REVIEW: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (August 24, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0439023513
ISBN-13: 978-0439023511
Author Website: Suzanne Collins
Rating: YYYY

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 was a bittersweet moment to have the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy in my hands. I had spent a year waiting and vexing for MOCKINGJAY, pondering on how it would all end? Would I be happy? or sad? Would Katniss survive? Whom would she choose? What other horrors could the capitol inflict?...and would I be ultimately be satisfied when I finished the last page? As you can see I was obsessed, but quietly so because there were too many people that had invested their time with these books and everyone had a strong opinion. That is why I waited until I felt that I could review this book with only the weight of my conclusions. I did not want the overwhelming thoughts and passions of others and even my "love" for this series to cloud my mind.

MOCKINGJAY picks up with Katniss wandering through the ruins of District 12. The evil and destruction of the Capitol's revenge surrounding her with blood and ashes. Although what she sees fills her with anger and fear she cannot stop thinking about Peeta and what horrors he must be suffering at the Capitol's hands. Katniss had been allowed to recover from her injuries in the underground city of District 13 surrounded by her mother and beloved sister, but she knows that the kindness that has been bestowed upon her is for their greater purpose. District 13, has become the headquarters of the resistance movement and Katniss Everdeen is the very symbol of the uprising. Her survival instincts cause her to play along but she does not trust those that push her into the spotlight for the cause. What she desires most is President Snow's demise at her hands, to make him pay for all the death and destruction, but at what price? and can she ever live with herself over what could happen on her mission to help bring down the capitol?

MOCKINGJAY does not skip a beat as it delves into it's story. It is every bit as brutal and and frightening as it's predecessors. The plot is a bit more complex and the violence seems to have soared off the charts bordering on gratuitous, but war is hell and it is not candy coated in this story. It is more evident to me in MOCKINGJAY the toll that it has taken on it's characters, for everyone is held accountable for their actions. There is no hiding from the death and destruction that many have inflicted regardless of what side they hail from. Towards the end of MOCKINGJAY there is a passage that is written in regards to Katniss and the weight of all those that have died at her hands being pressed upon her and I was brought to tears. It is a testiment to Collins and her ability to create a story that will stay with you long after you have finished it.

I do recommend this final book to all those that have read the series for you just have to witness what happens, how could you not? Yet, I admit to not being as smitten with this novel as much as the first two in the series because I felt that the ending was a too rushed and loaded with so much action and violence that I found myself having to re-read it just to comprehend it. Then of course the ultimate "OH NO!" moment left me oddly numb and heartsick. In the end I did find peace with this story.
Thank you, Suzanne Collins for giving me a story that I will always remember.


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