Friday, 16 March 2012

Mockingjay Review

Mockingjay (Hunger Games 3)

-       Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic

Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But she's still not safe. A Revolution is unfolding, and everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans - everyone except Katniss. And yet she must play the most vital part in the final battle. Katniss must become their Mockingjay - the symbol of rebellion - no matter what the personal cost.

If The Hunger Games was the collection and kindling of the bonfire and Catching Fire was the spark and initial burn, Mockingjay is the roaring flames out of control following no previously established pattern. It was shockingly intense, very political and the final few pages had me sobbing on train. In fact a kindly older gentleman even asked me if I was alright!
Without giving away too many spoilers from the first two books, the Hunger Games are over, now the real games start for Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Prim and the rest. The districts are in revolt against the Capitol and once again Katniss finds herself involved in the fight not just for her life this time, but for all her friends and family. Katniss is still the damaged, defensive girl we met in The Hunger Games and while she has a wider number of people to care for she still cuts herself off and avoids confronting her feelings. She can appear cold and harsh. In fact I think if the story wasn’t told in first person from her point of view, Katniss would be a difficult person to like. Luckily the first person narrative allows us to see how much she does hurt and that it can paralyse her at times. My heart broke for her so many times – even while wanting to yell at her to try harder.

Propaganda has played a strong role in all three books and one more poignant here as both rebels and Capital fight for airtime to encourage/discourage people and battle for peoples hearts. This lesson has quite a deep refection on politics today when spin and emotional stories can influence people more than facts - or am I reading too much into what is a fast paced and exciting narrative?

While Mockingjay does very away from the structure laid out in the first two books, it needed to be different to as the story has grown and frankly it would have been boring for a third time. Some of the little moments of joy and simple pleasures are missing from this story which makes it a much more challenging read, but to be honest I can’t think of another way this trilogy could end. It was one hell of a ride and I truly hope the movie does the books justice.

Oh, and anyone like me who hasn’t read these books previously – give them a try. Not all hype is overkill. J

Recommended for fans of Carrie Ryan and Isobelle Carmody. 9 out of 10.


  1. Did you tell the man that Suzanne Collins had just ripped out your heart and squashed it? Because that's how it felt when I read the book. -Make note: bring tissue to movie-

    1. I had so many mixed feelings about Mockingjay. I hated the epilogue, and I felt the book wasn't especially satisfying; but then again, the nature of the subject doesn't really lend itself to a satisfying resolution, not if the book also stays true to itself. Did that make sense? Unlike most readers, I wasn't thrown by the particular death that left folks reeling, but that might be because I expected that character to die almost from the first time that character was introduced. (trying not to be spoilery by withholding gender, etc)

      It did, though, reinforce for me what an interesting and complicated and very real heroine Katniss is, and we need more like her in our books these days!

  2. Oh a lot of people didn't care for this one. I'm glad you thought it couldn't have ended any other way. That makes me look forward to reading this last one!

  3. I am glad you liked it :D
    I was just so very disappointed :/ She felt wrong, everything felt wrong, and it was boring as hell

  4. Yes, I thought the same about the happy moments missing. This is the way the trilogy needed to end. But so well done. Glad you enjoyed this set. :)