12 September 2010

Book Review: Mockingjay

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: 24 August 2010
Date Finished: 10 September 2010

Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid

Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge, 42 Challenge, Women UnBoundYA Reading Challenge, Hogwarts Reading Challenge,

The Short and Sweet of It
The final book of the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay follows Katniss as she leaves behind the games and becomes a warrior in the battle against the Capitol. While I wasn't as thrilled with this as I was with Hunger Games, I am very glad I read the series.

A Bit of a Ramble
Reading the Hunger Games trilogy felt a bit like the first time I read Collins' other series: Gregor the Overlander. Don't get me wrong: the series are completely different, but the experience was similar. I wanted to fly through the books, absorbing the story as fast as possible in an overwhelming desire to find out what happens next. As for what does happen next, I'm not really concerned about plot spoilers while writing this, so if you are worried about revelations, stop reading now.

First, some things I loved. The book explicitly portrays villainy on both sides of the fight. While the actions disgusted me, I appreciated Collins not elevating one side to an angelic height while demonizing the other.  The details about Katniss's day-to-day preparations for war: adjusting to life in 13, agonizing over Peeta and the others taken captive, the propos, joining battles, and on and on, well I really enjoyed the action within the story. I think the inclusion of many and varied mini-stories and situations elevated the plot to a more authentic feel.

I have to admit though I was rather disappointed with the Peeta situation. Hijacking? Really? And then to have Katniss be such a horrid person about it? I actually started to dislike Katniss for quite some time while reading.  She seemed like a person with no identity, poised between Gale's personality and Peeta's, and constantly waiting to see which one she would turn out like - er, I mean love more...or rather which one she couldn't survive without...which one couldn't survive without her? Hell, I have no freaking clue if love or lust or passion in any form had anything to do with her ultimate choice, or if it was even a choice. This leads me back to a comment I made in my Catching Fire review. I wish there had been significantly less on the love story and significantly more on the dystopian-war story.

All in all, the first book is my favorite. While Catching Fire had a larger cast of characters I cared about (for whatever reason), Hunger Games sticks in my brain as the installment which entertained me the most and frustrated me the least. Mockingjay was a good end to the series, but I must confess I was hoping for a bit more Harry Potter and a bit less Twilight (if that makes sense to anyone). I must say, though, that as long as I ignored the bulk of the love triangle fiasco, I really enjoyed reading this series, and it will be staying on my shelves for possible re-readings instead of getting donated or given away.

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  1. I think I agree with every sentence of your review! :--)

  2. I sort of breezed through your review, because we are only in the fourth disc. I have to admit so far I'm a little bored. Maybe I'm just over the whole thing, I don't know. We shall see. My kids are just as particular as I am and I'm sure they will weigh in on the subject once we finish.

  3. I still have to start on the Hunger Games, but all the non-stellar reviews of Mockingjay have made me reconsider diving in. Then again, when a series stirrs up this much emotion I guess I should read it whatever people think of the last book.

  4. I thought there was far less focus on the love triangle in here which was really nice! And despite what I originally wanted to happen, I was pleased with what did. I agree, Katniss was horrible at times, but it made sense with her characterization, which I thought was excellent.

  5. Wow you got through the series quickly! My husband just started The Hunger Games this morning so we'll see how he likes the series.

  6. Jill - Thanks! It's nice to see someone agree with me since I do sort of feel like I'm in the minority.

    Sandy - I can't wait to read your thoughts on this one. As I do immediate reviews, I'm not as articulate as I could be.

    Iris - I definitely think it's worth reading!

    Amanda - Katniss definitely felt like a real character; I just didn't like her very much.

    Stephanie - One book a day for three days! :)

  7. I felt like it was a satisfying conclusion to the series. It had both good and bad, but I was glad the focus was on the effects of war, instead of the love triangle.

  8. I also found the ending okay, but like others have said, at times I was actually a bit bored. I was, however, also somewhat relieved that there wasn't put too much weight on the whole love triangle angle ;-) I am happy I've read the whole series though, and will re-read the first one, because that was definitely a favorite!

  9. I am just starting this book tonight, so I skipped this post, but I will be back to check it out and see what you thought of the book!

  10. "Hoping for a bit more Harry Potter and a bit less Twilight" is the perfect way to describe how I felt reading Mockingjay. It was a good conclusion, but THG is still my favorite book of the three.

  11. I didn't like Katniss AT ALL in this book, which I felt was a bit of a mess. I think the attraction of the series for me was the actual Hunger Games itself. Once the novelty of that wore off, I kind of lost interest in the series.

  12. Avid Reader - It's strange and wonderful how people get different things out of books.

    Louise - I did really love the first book in the series, that's for sure.

    Zibilee - Definitely don't read a review first!

    Kay - Definitely! Hunger Games was wonderful.

    Jenners - Ditto. That is exactly how I felt.


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