Monday, September 6, 2010

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay is the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, the first two books of which were The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Unlike most of my reviews, this one is going to have spoilers, because I just don't know how to write about Mockingjay without writing about important plot events. However, I will only write spoilers for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. So if you've read the first two but not Mockingjay, you'll be fine. If not, you've been warned.

At the end of Catching Fire, Katniss has managed to make it out of two successive Hunger Games alive. Despite this, she's still not safe, as the Capitol wants revenge - and full control of the districts, most of which have truly begun to revolt. President Snow blames this on Katniss, and she is driven along a path not entirely of her own making as she tries to protect not just herself, but everyone she loves.

There is a LOT of death in this book. I know some people found this discouraging and hated the book because of it. However, this was not the case with me. While Mockingjay was certainly not a cheery novel, I liked it better for its accurate depiction of war and the consequences of war. The characters in the series are not black or white, good or bad - they are all shades of gray, and that is even more true in Mockingjay. There were times when I absolutely hated Katniss and some of the other characters for the choices they made, but I did not empathize with them any more or less. The characters in the Hunger Games series are portrayed as humans, just like you or I, and the circumstances they are put in are believable in the context of human nature. This is my favorite thing about Collins's writing, and yet it is what made the books so painful at times. Mockingjay is a brilliant book, but it is not escape fiction by any means. Read it, by all means, but don't expect it to cheer you up.


  1. For me, reading I kept being reminded of Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness, the third book in his Chaos Walking trilogy as that was about war and its consequences. So if you like this...

  2. Clover- Thanks for the recommendation! I will definitely check for those at the library.