Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Book Shelf: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
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.
(Blurb from Goodreads....)
Review: (Warning, contains some spoilers!)
Mockingjay marks the end of The Hunger Games series and Collins doesn’t disappoint with her heart-wrenching, action packed ending!
It’s taken me a while to get my head around this book. I recently finished it and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there were parts that broke my heart and shattered my soul but at the end of the day I feel like Suzanne Collins wrote it right. While I have no doubt there are people out there who will disagree with me, I honestly feel that for Collins to have written this book any other way would have been a betrayal to the series.
Before I go into the rest of my review, there’s something I need to say. The Hunger Games series houses a dark, harsh world filled with pain and torment. Collins has made this clear from the very beginning and in this book she truly backs up her claims. You can’t have a dystopian world of that magnitude where people suffer so much and not show it. Suzanne Collins was brave enough and daring enough to show the loss, however heartbreaking, that her characters faced and went through. She didn’t sugar-coat it. It was agonizing and it was painful, but it was REAL. She showed the necessary evils of war in a way that was undeniable and that you couldn’t hide from. Nothing was glossed over with the pain and the deaths of the characters depicted exactly how I think they should have been. Ordinarily endings that aren’t extremely happy annoy me, as I feel cheated, but here I feel like nothing else would have been enough to truly strengthen the events of this series. Was I heartbroken to see characters I’d come to love loose their lives? Of course! Did I hate seeing Peeta and Katniss become shadows of the people they’d once been? Good lord, yes! But was it the right thing for Suzanne Collins to show after everything that has happened in this series? Absolutely!
I feel ripped and raw after reading this book. If ever a book managed to tear my heart into a million pieces it’s this one. This was a never ending ride of torment. Loss, pain, betrayal....they were all themes within this book that you couldn’t hide from. So many things seemed senseless and meaningless, from the deaths of certain characters to the decisions and actions of others. It was heart-breaking. Collins made me feel. And feel it all! She didn’t let me read an action packed, war story with a happy, Hollywood ending. Instead she forced me to read a book that was so emotional, despite it’s YA Fiction status, that every moment engraved itself in my heart. I should hate her for this....but I don’t. And here’s why....I think she was true to the human spirit. There’s only so much a person can take before they begin to fray and break and in this series Collins wrote Katniss in such a way that true to this.
Katniss Everdeen is one of the strongest heroines out there....even though she’s a shadow of who she was by the end of this book. It’s understandable that she crumbled. No one can expect to go through so much and not be left scarred, both physically and mentally. Katniss’s character is perfect in my eyes. She’s real and she’s believable and fits perfectly within the story. She was strong when it counted despite her pain and even though she’ll never be the person she once was I think she still managed to accomplish exactly what mattered. Oh, my heart bleeds for her. She’ll never be able to completely let go of the past, nor will Peeta, but I think in the end Collins wrote this perfectly too.
I was marginally surprised with the way the “love triangle” between Katniss, Peeta and Gale was resolved. In fact I feel slightly cheated. I expected there to be a bit more fight, more indecision, instead Gale just more or less walked out of Katniss’s life. I still agree that had things been different, Katniss still would have found her way back to Peeta, he was just the one she was meant to be with, but I would have like a deeper, more meaningful resolve between the three of them. However, in the end I think Katniss is right to be with Peeta. They’re very different people, and considering how much they’re both irreversibly altered after the events of this book, I still feel like they balance one another out. They’re able to understand each others pain and heal one another. I don’t think Gale would have ever been able to do that for Katniss. As Collins put it....she needed Peeta.
And yet despite the anguish and devastation left over at the end of this book, Collins leaves this series with little rays of hope. In the form of friendships that remained despite everything. In the face of a baby, born to a character loved and then lost. In the relationship between Katniss and Peeta that manages to go on despite both their pain and in the family and life they share.
Suzanne Collins ends this series on the biggest of highs and biggest of lows, leaving me as the reader feeling both devastated and fulfilled. Overall I’m happy with how the series ended, and sad to see it go, but I’m comforted knowing that every event, every moment of pain, all led to a world different than the one that started out, and even though it breaks my heart to say it, I think everything Collins wrote was necessary. And I wouldn’t change a single word of it!
Source: I bought.
Recommend borrow or buy: Buy--this is a series you need to own.
Cover: This is my favorite of the Aussie Scolastic covers for the series, but again, it's not really that nice :/
Read sequel/continue with series: This is the last book in the series, but I'd love to see more by Suzanne Collins!
Buy it here: