Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The third installment of the Hunger Games series picks up where Catching Fire ended, with Katniss being shuttled away from the arena, while Peeta remained in the hands of the Capitol. Taken to District 13, Katniss learns of the rebellion that spread through the rest of the districts and of her role as the representative for the cause. The success of the rebellion rests on Katniss, to willingly participate with the cause and be a part of something much bigger than she had ever imagined.
I read this book in a span of 3-4 days, and initially when I finished it, I was happy. Then I started mulling over the book, reading other reviews, and in general, picking it apart. I came up with a number of issues with the book, that unfortunately swayed me from a strong “like” to a mediocre “meh its ok” type of opinion.
Throughout most of the book, she was drugged up, selfish and unaware of anything going on around her. She was almost in a catatonic state of being for a good chunk of the book, which is acceptable given the trauma she has faced in and out of the arena in the first two books. It still bothered me that she could switch from traumatized to shooting down airplanes in 0-60 seconds.
2. The rebellion
I found it really bothersome at the repetition of the rebellion using Katniss in the same way she was used by the Capitol, as a pawn. I was half intrigued and half disillusioned to see the softer side of war. Not the battles themselves, but the strategies and planning of the people in charge. That is something you don’t see much and it something I appreciated. But it still left a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t feel compelled to support the rebellion leaders, because it seemed like they were just mimicking the Capitol. Although the rebellion is fighting for freedom for all the districts, whose to say District 13 wouldn’t turn power-hungry and become the next generation Capitol.
3. Team Peeta v. Team Gale
This actually bugged me the most. What started as a series about oppression and injustice, turned more into “who is Katniss going to end up with” over “will good triumph over evil and will millions of lives be saved.” I honestly couldn’t care less who Katniss ended up with. I don’t think either guy is the right one for her, and I saw her living on her own or dying for the cause actually.
For a good chunk of the book, I went along with Collin’ storyline, character developments out of respect for my adoration with the first Hunger Games book. The last 15% of the book was just outrageous on so many levels, I can’t even count them on my two hands.
I do give Collin’s credit for not being afraid to take chances, kill off main characters, the way other teen authors *coughstephaniemeyercough* did. I loved that she was able to present an awesome mentality of what its like during a rebellion. I just found some of the character storylines to be weak and it really took away from the message from the series. What started as Katniss’ impulsive actions for survival, turned into scripted sessions for promo ads. Maybe that was Collins’ message from the start? War changes people? No one is as strong as you think they are or want them to be? Life sucks, deal with it? Life and death don’t matter as long as you can’t decide which guy you want?
Whatever her overall message was, it wasn’t very clear, it was muddled and muffled by the romance triangle, for me at least.
Suzanne Collins will be making an appearance at Kepler’s Bookstore in Menlo Park in early November. I plan on going, and hopefully she can shed some light on why she made some of the decisions that she did for the series.Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins Scholastic Press, 2010 ISBN 0439023511 390 pages