Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

So. It's been a week now since I read Mockingjay. Why did I not immediately put up a review? Well, because, I was conflicted and I was thinking about it. And I needed to talk about it with people first. Then think some more. Now a week has gone by and I have not come to conclusion and I'm beginning to think it might be something I'll have to revisit later and THEN I'll come to a conclusion. But that doesn't help you. So here it goes.

Mockingjay, the third and final installment of the kickass Hunger Games series (if you haven't read any of them OMG what have you been DOING with your life?) begins with Katniss in the once thought to no longer exist District 13. District 13 lives a fairly Spartan lifestyle, in both the frugal and the military sense. District 13 is heading the rebellion against the Capital, which by now almost all the districts have joined in. Katniss has not. She drifts around, unfocused, unwilling to help, worrying about what the Capital is doing to Peeta. The leaders of District 13 want her to become the mascot of the rebellion, the Mockingjay. Katniss finally agrees when she realizes that she can agree to be their mascot in exchange for things that she wants, such as Peeta's pardon if the rebellion wins.

A major issue to this plan is that Katniss sucks at being a mascot, so she's sent out into the actual war, with her camera crew following her in the hopes of getting good footage. Katniss as the Mockingjay does inspire people, and the tide turns against the capital. The rebellion is even able to take over the Capital's airwaves and begins broadcasting promos with Katniss on TV. Then Katniss sees Peeta on TV, and he's broken and beaten and sickly, and something else seems strange as well. Katniss completely falls apart, and a rescue mission is sent in. Peeta is saved, along with some of the other victors from the last Hunger Games, but Peeta is very, very changed. Now all Katniss can think about is killing President Snow.

If you haven't read the book. Don't do the jump.

So what I've been thinking about was why I wasn't satisfied at the end. I wasn't. Something didn't work for me and I just can't put my finger on what it was. I was talking about this with my colleague, who was totally satisfied with it, and cried at the end. I was expecting to cry at the end. I did not. I was expecting the kind of response I had to the end of the Chaos Walking series (have you read the Chaos Walking series yet? Seriously, WHAT have you been doing?), but it didn't happen.

This book was considerably more violent than the last ones, but it was a war and it was appropriate to what was going on. I has fairly horrified a lot of the time, but that wasn't it. I felt like the love triangle was played up more than was needed, it was a strong enough book without it but I don't think it was that either. There was some things I was confused about, like why why WHY did Katniss say yes to another Hunger Games? "For Prim?" That made no sense. Prim wouldn't have wanted another game and more children to have to die. That was just weird. And it sounded like there were only two options, either another Hunger Games or everyone from the capital must die. OK, maybe that's what the rebels want, but so what, they're not in charge. And then, after Katniss kills Coin and goes back to 12, what happened? Was there another Hunger Games? Did that all fall apart when she died?

Maybe that was part of it. The suddenness of the ending. What happened? What happened to the world? Katniss goes back to 12 to wallow in her own filth for months, but what's happening? The world was such incredible crap before, is it better now? Tell me! Way more interesting than Katniss trying to decide if she's going to kill herself or not. And then Peeta at the end. Not that I was upset, if I had to pick between Gale and Peeta for Katniss I would have gone with Peeta. But did anyone else get the feeling that she went with him only because he was the one who showed up? She just needed someone at that point and he was there? Maybe that was the point. I'll admit it was an interesting love triangle. Usually you have a character torn between two people she wants. Katniss is torn between two people she doesn't want in that way.

But yeah, ending. I think that was it. I didn't like the ending. Thanks for letting me work out my feelings. At a later date, I think I'll go back and read the whole series, and then maybe I'll figure it out for sure.


  1. I,too, was left unsatisfied. I actually got a bit bored reading it in the middle so I took a couple of days off to see if it was just me....Book I & II were read in a single sitting. At least there was finality and not another one waiting in the shadows. p.s. I am off to see what Chaos Walking is....!

  2. Yeah, I was way more engaged with the first two than with the third. Chaos Walking was so good! Another dystopia, actually a lot of similarities between that series and the Hunger Games series. Anyway, Chaos Walking is by Patrick Ness and the first one is The Knife of Never Letting Go.

  3. I'm going to have to get my own review up. Personally, I found Mockingjay unsatisfying because the end felt just too darn rushed compared to the previous--sometimes overly--detailed pace of the previous books, and the first two thirds of Mockingjay. I kept thinking, "Wait, where's the rest of it?"


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