September 27, 2010
Mockingjay by Susan Collins
The final installment of The Hunger Games.
Previous review on Catching Fire (Book 2)
Katniss has survived her second round in the Hunger Games. The Quarter Quell has ended with her separated from Peeta, and District 12 blown off the map. Katniss now has to acknowledge that District 13 does exist. Now she will have to decide if she can be the symbol of hope to all those who are fighting on the rebel side as well as a symbol of rebelliousness to the Capital.
In the beginning of Mockingjay Katniss has yet to really regain her bearings from the Quarter Quell. She is lost, and wonders about District 13. She uses a therapeutic method of keeping herself grounded by repeating known truths about herself. She doesn't know if Peeta is dead or alive or what it is that the Capital is doing to him. All she knows is that she is relatively safe while he is suffering pains that could be worse then death.
Then Coin, the leader of the Rebellion, tells her that she needs Katniss to be the face of the rebellion. The Mockingjay. When Katniss finally agrees to do what Coin wants she is unsure, again, if her actions will be of any help to anyone outside of the rebellion. Peeta is the one she most often thinks about. His welfare and whether or not the Capital is torturing him at that very moment. Her mother and sister, along with Gales family, are safe. So why would she worry about them? The only person really that Katniss has to worry about is Peeta...and Johanna.
I actually completed Mockingjay almost a week ago, and when i finished the book I knew, just knew, I'd have to read it again in order to really get everything I'd read. I was in such a hurry to just read the pages and learn what happens next. I'd wondered for a year what, and how, Collins would do next. She'd done such a marvelous job of pulling us in and surprising us over and over again. I wanted to know.
I WARNED YOU.
In the end we all knew it would be Peeta. I was rooting for Gale in Book 1until you really got to know Peeta. Then I had no idea who to like. In Book 3 you get to see Katniss without Peeta, and then at a time when she, like almost everyone else, has found Peeta to be a shadow of his former self. He is no longer the sweet, kind, and intense person who has always loved Katniss from afar. He is instead a Mutt born from the Capital with the express purpose of killing her. It's Gale's chance to step in, take over, and win Katniss over. But he, and Collins, don't play it that way. Instead, as he tells Peeta, he understands that Katniss will choose the person she can't survive without. Gale understands something that even Katniss does not. That Katniss needs someone to balance her out. Someone to be the calm to her fire. I love how that ended. So heartbreakingly lovely and true to their characters.
Okay, now that I've said my piece on that. War is said, and so many lost their lives so easily in this book that it made me not want to turn that next page. To pretend that they are still alive and happy. Collins said she wanted to make her books reflect war. It's scars that are left behind on everyone, and I have to say she did so magnificently. I don't feel she pulled punches when it came to getting her message across. I could hardly get through Cato's death in Book 1, and expected much of the same to happen with Book 3. Although it didn't have quite the same effect seeing how Peeta and Johanna came back from the Capital was hard. Peeta, the always kind and loving boy, reduced to an animal.
I can't really write more on the book, because I really believe it deserves a second read to really get what Collins was trying to convey. I loved it, I cried, and I can't wait to see what Collins comes out with next.