by Suzanne Collins
pub: Aug 24, 2010/Scholastic Press
"My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead."
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 is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.
REVIEW (No Spoilers)
I re-read HUNGER GAMES and CATCHING FIRE, so I could read the trilogy back-to-back. The first two - once again - left me sad and depressed. Great stories, loved the characters but other than staying alive, Katniss doesn't catch much of break. With MOCKINGJAY, I was hoping she would. That wasn't the case.
Collins' writing is again excellent - drama, excitement - I felt like I was right there with the characters. But as to where the story went, I was disappointed.
Once again Katniss is manipulated by others. Sure she has one big moment in the end, but after that, she has to do what she's told...again. Honestly, in so many ways Katniss' situation ends up the same as the other books. Another battle (okay, this one's bigger), she's betrayed, loses people she loves, can't really find peace and true happiness. I was hoping for something different.
This plot ran a bit slower than the first two because Katniss was recovering and then had to get her mojo on to be the face of the revolution, but it kept me riveted. And it soon becomes another fast-paced thrill ride with clever plot twists and turns. I happily whipped through pages but then started to see where things were headed and went...Oh, no.
Character-wise - Katniss took some time to recover but then was back to her old self. I thought Gale went a bit off the reservation but really liked what Collins did with Peeta's situation - creative and devious. The rest of the secondary characters continued to be one of my favorite parts of the story. And the reality of District 13? - surprising, intriguing, brilliant.
As for the romance resolution - that completely tanked for me. Honestly, I wasn't invested in either Peeta or Gale - mainly because Katniss never seemed to be madly in love with either one. I liked them both so I would have been fine with either choice.
My big complaint is that she didn't PICK one. Because of something that happens, Katniss just can't be around one of them anymore - it's an emotional thing. So one guy gets taken out of the running, and she's left with the other guy. She doesn't decide she loves Peeta or Gale, she just takes the leftover. I thought that was a total cop out. Especially with the fans big "Peeta vs. Gale" debate. Make her pick someone!
Griping? Me? Okay, so I'm a bit whiny because I didn't get the ending I wanted. Hey, guys, I checked the Dystopian Novel Handbook and no where does it say that our beloved main character can't enjoy a little of the good-life. Especially at the end of the trilogy!
Yeah, guess I'm a bit invested in the characters.
Why? Because it's that good!
MOCKINGJAY ends a fantastic YA dystopian series. What did you think?
Haven't read it? Crawl out from under your rock and get to it!