22 March, 2012

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Pages: 455
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian
Format: Paperback
Published by Scholastic
First Published August 24, 2010 by Scholastic Press

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains - except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay - no matter what the personal cost.

This book, simply put, was a spectacular finish to the Hunger Games trilogy. Throughout the book, I truly felt the pressure and responsibility placed on Katniss's shoulders. There is pressure from the Capitol and President Snow who want to snuff out the hope stirred by the Mockingjay. There's pressure to perform well and act as a beacon of hope for the other districts starting to fight. And of course, there's pressure from District 13 and Katniss must act like their puppet in order to ensure the safety of those she cares about.

Mockingjay is filled with so much angst from so many directions I felt as though I might explode! This complexity of a sort is absolutely brilliant. Collins writes the finale in a way that makes the reader become emotionally invested in all the characters and the rebellion itself. The plot became numbing when Katniss herself was emotionally numbed and it became thrilling when Katniss was a daredevil. It definitely became an emotional roller coaster right off the bat.

To be honest, I wasn't too into this book until halfway through when the action picked up. That was when it became apparent that many people were going to be sacrificed for the sake of the rebellion. Some of the deaths really tore me up, while others I had predicted as I knew how they would affect Katniss. These are characters that you've emotionally vested yourself with and they perform brilliantly and your heart breaks with theirs. I truly felt like this story was a broken bone that had to be re-broken just to heal properly. So much damage has to be done before Panem can heal.

While this book was certainly more emotional that the previous two, I just didn't like it as much. The characters had truly grown past their witty and marginally happy selves (if you can believe that) and had significantly changed with the rebellion dangling in their face. This is completely justified, however, as anyone would change with such a daunting task; I simply enjoyed the atmosphere of the first two books.

Despite my small nitpickings of this book, this is a truly smashing hit of a finale to a terrific series. I would recommend it to anyone who may have thought the first two books were not death-ridden enough!


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