Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.

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.

 

I admit that when I finished reading Mockingjay I was left with mixed feelings about it. There were some parts of the book that I loved and some others that felt too rushed and I wish Collins had given them a bit more room.  Overall I enjoyed it and I think the way The Hunger Games Series ends was the only one possible for a series like this one. Yes, a bittersweet ending which still leaves me pondering about a lot of things, like whether Katniss got the happiness she deserved or  not, whether happiness itself had always been something difficult to achieve from the very beginning of the series and maybe out of reach….

“Real or not?” For me this book was the most real among the three, the least imaginary one. It reflects a reality that’s almost disquieting, the reality of the horrors of war and the costs of freedom.  A war where no one’s a victor and everyone suffers. No one is left unscathed and the repercussions of what the characters go though in this book won’t ever leave them. They will always follow them, in their every action, no matter how much they’ll try to eradicate it from their minds. And isn’t that what real wars entail?

If Katniss was the heroine who seemed always strong, always powerful , always ready to play her trump card, in Mockingjay, despite having a never-ending courage, shows a frailty that makes her a very relatable character. Frailty is human, even the most powerful hero has his weak moments and that’s what happens to Katniss. And I don’t blame her. She witnesses unfathomable cruelty, she loses people whom she loves but at the same time she has to keep fighting…No wonder breakdowns ensue. I believe this is the book where we can actually relate to Katniss and feel like she was real, like she was a friend you’d want to help and comfort and tell her everything’s going to be all right. I could feel her pain and it tugged at my heartstrings.

In this book every character is pushed to the very limit. There were some scenes where I had to stop reading for a second, because they were too powerful and sometimes too emotional. One thing for sure is that Mockingjay  is able to stir emotions, whether you want it or not. It’s difficult not to cry in some scenes as it’s hard not to sympathize with the characters in others. Lots of things happened that I didn’t expect and at some point I gave up guessing because Collins proved me wrong every time. She makes you stay on the edge of your seat and be sure to expect the unexpected.

As far as the  love triangle goes. To be totally honest, I never saw it as a real love triangle, because I think the books didn’t centre around that.  Yes, there’s some romance involved but that’s not the focal point of The Hunger Games Series. That being said, I’m not sure what to think about how it was resolved. For those who haven’t read the book yet, I won’t spoil it for you, so I’ll just say that the dynamics of the choice Katniss makes are two-faced. They make you wonder if there was ever a choice or if things had to necessarily unfold that way…Did she make a real choice or was he the only solution?

In the end I enjoyed this final book of the series, even though I believe that if Collins had put a little more effort into it, it could have been a truly great book, since I found some aspects of the novel to be a bit too rushed, especially as far as important scenes involving secondary characters go.

My favorite out of the three remains Catching Fire, but this book gains a solid 3.5 stars from me.

And now some of my favorite passages:

“Yes,” I whisper. The red blinking light on one of the cameras catches my eye. I know I’m being recorded. “Yes,” I say more forcefully. Everyone is drawing away from me—Gale, Cressida, the insects—giving me the stage. But I stay focused on the red light. “I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I’m right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women, and children. There will be no survivors.” The shock I’ve been feeling begins to give way to fury. “I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there’s a cease-fire, you’re deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do.” My hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. “This is what they do! And we must fight back!”

I’m moving in toward the camera now, carried forward by my rage. “President Snow says he’s sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?” One of the cameras follows as I point to the planes burning on the roof of the warehouse across from us. The Capitol seal on a wing glows clearly through the flames. “Fire is catching!” I am shouting now, determined that he will not miss a word. “And if we burn, you burn with us!”

“As we ride the elevator Gale finally says “You’re still angry.”
“And you’re still not sorry,” I reply.
“I will stand by what I said. Do you want me to lie about it?” he asks.
“No, I want you to rethink it and come up with the right opinion,” I tell him.”

“I’m going to be the Mockingjay.”

“He never lets go of Annie’s hand. Not when they walk, not when they eat. I doubt he ever plans to.”

“I clench his hands to the point of pain. “Stay with me.”
His pupils contract to pinpoints, dilate again rapidly, and then return to something resembling normalcy. “Always,” he murmurs.”

“You love me. Real or not real?”
I tell him, “Real.”
Elena

About Elena

Literature is my passion. I love reading so much that I spend countless hours in bookstores and libraries. I have a soft spot for poetry and art. I like traveling and discovering new places. I can't do without a book.

2 thoughts on “Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

  1. Zsadi says:

    I liked. your review. I totally agree with it, most of all the “rush” the autor had to just get done with it. I too think it could have been a great book, but got under the category of just an ok book because of the end and the way-too-short epiligue.

    Like

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