Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Book Details
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Hardcover, 400 Pages
2010, Scholastic Press
ISBN: 0439023513
Series: Book 3 of The Hunger Games

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

With Mockingjay being one of the most highly anticipated books released in 2010, expectations ran high. So high, that I don't think Suzanne Collins could have possibly satisfied all Hunger Games fans no matter how she decided to end the trilogy. I'll admit, I expected this book to be monumental. After two books that were some of the most amazing I had ever read, only epic greatness would have ended the trilogy in a manner it deserved.

I'll start with the bad first. I feel that Collins took the easy way out. Sure, things happen - important things at that, but everything has a hint of predictability. Those jaw-dropping, tear-inducing, completely rip-your-heart-out moments that made the previous books were surprisingly absent in Mockingjay. There was no instances of the big, ugly cry. Never once did I have to stop and think "Wow, she really just did that."

My other complaint about Mockingjay is the pacing. The book is SLOW and doesn't pick up until the third part, about halfway through the book. We see a lot of thought and internal issues with Katniss and planning by the rebels, but no real action. A book that should have kept me glued to its pages, took me three days to finish reading because the first 200 pages weren't all that enthralling. I put the book down to do other things constantly. This was a huge change from the first two books where nothing in the world could have dragged me away from word one.

Now, the good. We get answers. Absolutely nothing is left unanswered. Too many series end without tying up loose plot points, so the fact that we know everything in the end is very important.

The story is complete. Along with answers along the way, we get answers to what we may have wondered about the future. An epilogue, a la Harry Potter, allows us a quick look into the future and we know for certain how things continue to play out after the book ends.

The romance aspect of the story will be interpreted by readers depending on what team (Peeta or Gale) they've been on throughout the series. Looking at it as unbiasedly as I can, I'll say it was good in that I really didn't know which way it was going to go until late in the book. It felt at times that each guy had a chance. I don't like the reason the book romance worked out the way it did. For such a strong character, Katniss has always been way too wishy-washy about her love life. I feel there should have been a firm decision made by her as to why she ends up with the guy she does, instead of kind of just accepting the situation that presents itself.

As always, Suzanne Collins as given fans a good story. It's no where near the emotional roller coaster it should have been, but it ends the trilogy in decent, acceptable way. I feel let down by the book, which is partly due to my personal expectations, the huge hype and the lack of shocking moments I loved in the previous books. Mockingjay will definitely be debated by fans for years to come.


Suzanne Collins's website


  1. I very much agree with you on the romance part, my main complaint was that Katniss just half-heartedly made the romantic decision she did because it was convenient. I wanted her to be absolutely sure of her choice and scream it from the rooftops since everyone had been controlling her Gale/Peeta decisions from the beginning. I love this series though:)

  2. I agree you you and I agree with Jenny above me. It felt this decision was made for her. This is the 3rd review I have read where I 99.999% agree with the review :).

  3. Yesssssssssss! I just wrote my own review about this and you have said all of the things I couldn't really articulate - pacing and the fact that it was putdownable, unlike the first two books, which constantly had me on the edge of my seat.

  4. EKE! In my lame effort to avoid knowing anything about this book before I read it, I'm avoiding all reviews, but I will be back! Mark my words!


  5. I agree with you 100%. I'm actually thinking I would have been better off had a read a review like this of the book prior to reading it instead of going in with the high hopes that I did.

  6. Nice review. I haven't read any of the Hunger books yet, but all these reviews make me think I'm missing something :)

  7. @Jenny - Exactly. I suppose the result kept with the way Katniss dealt with her love life the whole series, but I would have loved it if she made a real choice for a real reason.

    @Rosey - Right? It makes you wonder if she even considered the alternative, or if she didn't even care enough to form an opinion at all and just took what fate gave her.

    @Sam Ripley - That's what hurt the most. I never expected to be able to put down the book, never mind take days to read it.

    @Missie - I avoided all the early reviews before I read it too. I think I managed to be pretty much spoiler free, but I know I didn't even want to know people's vaguest opinions on the book before I read it myself. Enjoy!

    @Tara SG - I thought that after too, but I'm kind of glad I didn't. I really wanted to not have anything other than the book in my mind, so I didn't go searching for problems.

    @Man of la Books - I would definitely rate the first book, The Hunger Games, as one of my favorite books ever. This final book in the trilogy didn't quite measure up to that one, but honestly there are very few that do. You should totally check out the series.

  8. Great review. I remember after staying up all night reading (finishing at 5am) I was just that's it? It just didn't have the spark of the first two books and the ending felt like the rolling credits in a movie.

  9. @Karen - Rolling credits - definitely a great way to put it. Mockingjay was just lacking completely in the actual essence of the series. It had no pull. Nothing that made you NEED to finish it. Sure, the first two books made me crazy to find out, but Mockingjay could have never stood on its own.

  10. I just reviewed this and had the same feelings you did. The romance tie-up was my biggest complaint. Have her make a choice instead of taking what's left over!

    Great review as always!

    Teens Read and Write