Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay

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 fr...

Title:Mockingjay
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0439023513
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:392 pages

Mockingjay Reviews

  • Tatiana

    So, of course I had to read it again after getting only half of the story from the Mockingjay movie. Unsurprisingly, cried and cried again. My feelings basically remain the same about this installment. Structurally, the novel is quite messy. There is such a big game going on and Katniss' motivations and actions don't always make sense to me. But the ending is brilliant, especially the final chapters.

    I need something to cheer me up ASAP.

    Let's face it, a series is only as good a

    So, of course I had to read it again after getting only half of the story from the Mockingjay movie. Unsurprisingly, cried and cried again. My feelings basically remain the same about this installment. Structurally, the novel is quite messy. There is such a big game going on and Katniss' motivations and actions don't always make sense to me. But the ending is brilliant, especially the final chapters.

    I need something to cheer me up ASAP.

    Let's face it, a series is only as good as its last book. Is a kitchen towel drenched in my tears a good indicator of the quality of

    ? I think it is, considering that I am not a crying-over-books type. I think this book is a

    ending of a

    series.

    The book is lying next to me now, so deceitful in appearance, with its innocent, bright, cheerful cover. Who knew there would be so much darkness hidden between its pages, so much heartache?

    is indeed a

    book full of deaths, sacrifices, torture, betrayal and despair, a book which takes you to a very disturbing but very real place.

    I have no doubt the novel will have thousands of readers livid, especially the crowd of readers who mistakenly think

    trilogy is mostly dedicated to Team Gale/Team Peeta dilemma with some revolt thrown in as a picturesque backdrop. These books are about love indeed, but they are also about survival, freedom, and peace.

    I find it amazing that people are disappointed that Katniss doesn't take a Katniss-becomes-a-superwoman-and-takes-over-the-world-while-deciding-on-which-boy-to-pick route. How realistic is it to expect a

    damaged by hunger, oppression, and violence she had to witness and take a part in, and thrown into the midst of all kinds of political intrigue, to achieve that? How many soldiers do you know who came out of a war unscathed or empowered by the atrocities they have witnessed? How many children?

    This is why this book has such a great effect on me. It takes a very difficult but honest route, portraying the infinitely damaging consequences of war (regardless of the righteousness of its cause) and Katniss's journey to stay true to herself and do the best she can. And the love triangle resolution. Truly, it couldn't have ended any other way.

    Is

    a perfectly written book? Absolutely not, it's not nearly as perfectly constructed or clear as

    , but just like another imperfectly perfect successful series finale -

    - it brings its message across in the most honest and powerful way possible.

    Suzanne Collins is a genius, she is fearless and I have a great respect for the gutsiness of hers that didn't allow her to settle for an ending all wrapped up in pink paper with a perfect little bow. I am sure she knew that the faint of heart would be enraged. But she stuck to her guns and stayed true to her message and to her characters.

    The question now is how will I recover from PTSD of my own caused by

    ? It will probably take me months and a score of

    to get over it. But I love this book anyway, in spite (and because) of all the pain it has caused me.

  • Hope

    I’m never very good at predicting outcomes. Nothing I could’ve predicted would have been quite as good as this. Although I did get close (a very distant "close") on a few things, and I was right in saying that it wouldn’t be walking through a field of flowers and sunshine.

    A book like this just

    be.

    It's good, and yet not good. Because it’s good in a very heartbreaking, chilling, haunting, intense way.

    Katniss is a different person from the first two books. I found her softer, more thought

    I’m never very good at predicting outcomes. Nothing I could’ve predicted would have been quite as good as this. Although I did get close (a very distant "close") on a few things, and I was right in saying that it wouldn’t be walking through a field of flowers and sunshine.

    A book like this just

    be.

    It's good, and yet not good. Because it’s good in a very heartbreaking, chilling, haunting, intense way.

    Katniss is a different person from the first two books. I found her softer, more thoughtful, and also more open (granted, she's still kind of a brat sometimes. But don't we all have our moments?). In the first two books, even though the story is told by her, she’s very closed off with us. This book is filled with more emotion, and I liked her best in this book, even though it's a tragedy of sorts.

    As I’m stewing over the novel I read every word of yesterday, I think, “Did I

    love it?” And then, “How could I

    it?” I shake my head. I can’t love something so terribly sad and at times grotesque. Something so painful.

    Truthfully, I don’t think I loved it. Love isn’t the right word. It was a fantastic novel. I don't think I can come up with any better way for a trilogy of this kind to come to a close. The perfect note of sadness and sweetness, pain and healing all mixed up in a jumble. This book was far more severe than the first two. Much harder to read, and with more emotional depth, I think. Sometimes I just had to close the book for a while and breathe because I needed to stop for a bit, to regroup myself so I could get through a certain part.

    Collins wove in a few questions to ponder. Where do you draw the line? Do you give just what you got? Should you show mercy to those who haven’t shown mercy to you? Is it right to kill innocent people just because the leaders on their side of the line killed innocent people on your side?

    Contrary to what some believe, this is not an anti-war book. Actually, I think Collins is trying to get us to ask ourselves questions about what justifies war, and where the line should be drawn between justice and vengeance. Not that we shouldn't fight, but that we know what's worth fighting for.

    Several notable characters die. It’s painful, and it hurts to read it. Some believe that these characters didn’t get enough homage. But since this is told from first-person, maybe it’s just too painful for Katniss to dwell on those deaths.

    The last three pages make all the heavy, intense, painfulness of the rest of the book almost worth it, in a strange way. Bittersweet is the perfect word. The sense of loss underlying the message that life really does goes on, even when we don’t see how it possibly can.

    Sometimes we need a little help to pick ourselves off the floor and start again.

    I wasn’t disappointed with the ending, but I am disappointed that it’s the end. It left me feeling emotionally drained and like I'd lost something. I'm not sure if I'm shell-shocked or simply worn out by the intensity of it all. I'm glad, in a way, that it ended like it did. I'm also sad, and a little confused. Not because I didn't like the ending, but because I simply feel emptied out for the time being.

    I just wish...I wish that there could have been more happiness for these characters that I love so much. I think that unfulfilled wish is, at the end of the day, why I'm feeling this way right now. In time the feeling will pass, I know, but at the moment I'm sorry for it. No matter how I enjoyed this book (and I did, I really did), I'm in a sort of grieving state. Happiness was there in the end, but it just wasn't enough to compensate for all the sadness.

    Then again, I think that was the point.

    It’s a very rare thing to find a trilogy like this one, and I’ll always hold a place in my heart for the girl who was on fire.

    -----

    {pre-release}

    Waiting for this is torturous. I finished Catching Fire and wanted this in my hands

    Oh Suzanne, please let Peeta live (without becoming seriously maimed {again}, either)! :'(

    I know it's stupid, but I want a happy ending. Not like uber-happy, of course, I'm not unrealistic...but I just want to finish this trilogy humming and skipping around the house (yeah, laugh. I don't care! ;)) rather than lying around depressed afterwards wondering what went wrong...'cause I just hate when that happens.

    P.S. I'm not making any predictions because it feels like either my wishful thinking or my most dreaded outcome. I can't find a balance in between. Call me weird.

    All I can say without bias is that the ending will

    be all walkin' in a field of flowers and happiness. :P

  • Tina

    SPOILERS AHEAD!!

    What. the. f***. Words can't begin to express my disappointment. I bought Mockingjay the first day it came out and I was preparing myself for a truly epic novel, one worthy of its predecessors. I loved The Hunger Games; it was fast-paced, thrilling, suspenseful. Catching Fire wasn't as good but it was still enjoyable (I was majorly impressed by the game arena). I wasn't let down by Catching Fire though; I figured it was just a transition novel, build-up to what would undoubtedly

    SPOILERS AHEAD!!

    What. the. f***. Words can't begin to express my disappointment. I bought Mockingjay the first day it came out and I was preparing myself for a truly epic novel, one worthy of its predecessors. I loved The Hunger Games; it was fast-paced, thrilling, suspenseful. Catching Fire wasn't as good but it was still enjoyable (I was majorly impressed by the game arena). I wasn't let down by Catching Fire though; I figured it was just a transition novel, build-up to what would undoubtedly be a mindblowing, epic conclusion in Mockingjay.

    Maybe I set my expectations too high. I do think Collins is a good writer; she definitely knows how to write and tell a story. But I feel like she lost her way in this book. Or maybe the only thing that made this series so great was the Hunger Games, and now that it's absent, there's nothing to drive the story.

    The love triangle wasn't well played out. First of all, I'm getting a bit tired of reading about love triangles -- especially in novels where there's a much greater plot present. But I'll admit, I was on Team Gale throughout the series, because he was strong and resilient and resourceful and caring. There was this attractive manly quality about him and he was so in sync with Katniss, and hot to boot. But towards the end of this novel, I didn't give a flying fart about Katniss's love life and who she ended up with, because everything seemed like such a hopeless, depressing mess that there was no point. I also hated how she kept flip-flopping and toying with both Gale and Peeta (I've been bothered by this since CF). She should make up her mind about who she wants instead of leading them both on! Her fickleness is pretty inconsiderate to these two guys whom she supposedly cares about. And if she can't decide (I can see why, they both have great qualities), then she should give herself some space/time to decide, and in the meantime, don't go kissing or showing romantic affection to either one!

    She ended up with Peeta, which would have been fine if it had been executed properly. But even in this aspect of her life, she didn't get to CHOOSE, which is basically the story of her life. She just ended up with Peeta because he was the only one who stuck around. At the end, I found myself wanting her to end up alone, of her OWN choice. Heck, instead of spiraling into bleak depression and continuing life as a puppet, I would have rather seen her die for a noble cause and for doing the right thing. That would have been a more satisfactory ending, and that's saying something because I normally HATE when characters die.

    I didn't like that we didn't get to experience the action close-up. As the war unraveled, I felt like Katniss was always on the sidelines, only called in when other people commanded her to. We didn't get to see Katniss kicking butt against her enemies, we got to hear from other characters about events that occurred, or watch them on the TV. It is so mindnumbingly dull to be watching a character watching something, instead of experiencing the action with the character. Everything she did was for show, for a propo or campaign or whatever. It was all so .. fake. Here they are in the middle of a war, people are dying left and right, and all they care about is filming and getting good shots and angles and putting on a pretty face! It felt so staged and it was boring and infuriating to read. The only real action is towards the end when she and her team are going on the assassin mission to kill Snow, and even THAT was originally only for a propo (that went astray).

    The last third of the book (the assassin mission) was gorey and bloody, which I didn't mind. It's war after all. But many characters' deaths were so rushed and pointless. Prim's death didn't have the impact that I'm sure Collins was aiming for; I didn't feel sad when she died, as she's barely in the story as it is, so I didn't get to know her well enough and connect with her beforehand. She was absent for at least 100 pages before her death came out of nowhere, for God's sake, so her death felt like any stranger's death. (Although it seems her death kind of defeated the point of sparing her from the Hunger Games.) What DID kill me was Finnick's death. Finnick was one of the characters I loved most in this series, and call me petty, but I can't forgive Collins for killing him off after he'd been through so much and finally got to marry the love of his life. It wasn't even a death of purpose. He got eaten by mutts in a sewer, along with half their assassin team. It annoyed me so much because their deaths felt so UNNECESSARY, like they were just a way for Collins to emphasize that "this is a DEATHLY SERIOUS, VERY BLOODY BOOK!" It felt like she was just randomly and meaninglessly killing off supporting characters because she couldn't bear to part with her main ones. Deaths are fine when they're important to the plot, but this felt like death for the sake of death.

    Okay, now on to the REAL disappointment of this book: Katniss herself. One of the reasons why I loved this series was because of Katniss. She was strong, resourceful, clever and cunning, she had an amazing survival instinct and she knew how to persevere. In Catching Fire, these qualities diminished; she was mainly a pawn, a puppet for others to use for their own objectives. But she still had some semblance of control and she was still Katniss. In Mockingjay, all these traits are scrapped and we get a Katniss-clone who is angsty and bitchy and whiny (wasn't Bella in Twilight bad enough?). Half the book, she's throwing herself pity parties in the closet (literally!). Sure, she definitely has reason to be sad and angry, and her life is full of hardships and tragedies. But I thought that the Katniss from the Hunger Games, the Katniss who had to keep her family alive since the age of 12, would be able to fight through and persevere. I guess I wanted a strong victor, a strong heroine, not a self-pitying victim who can't make her own decisions.

    That's another thing that bothered me: throughout the whole book, she had no control over ANYTHING, not even her own life and actions. She was a empty, lifeless pawn, a zombie if you will, who didn't do anything that wasn't directed or commanded by other people. In this novel, I was expecting her to STEP UP, embrace her role as Mockingjay, use her power/influence to get involved in the rebellion, take control of her life, and make a difference in the outcome of her world. I was expecting to see her grow and change and I was excited for her metamorphosis. Instead, we get this weak girl who's shirking all responsibilities, addled on drugs half the time, and lashing out at people the other half. Not only did she not improve herself from the first book (she was kickass in the first book btw), she got WORSE, an empty shadow of her former self. At the beginning, I could understand her confusion, her pain, her reluctance to be the Mockingjay. It'd be weird if she DIDN'T feel this way, if she didn't have that time of indecision and unwillingness. But after, I expected her to be strong and work through it, to face her fears and obstacles and choose to do the right thing, to really fight for justice. The best things in life never come easy; anybody who's done anything has had to overcome obstacles to accomplish their goals. When she decided: "I must be the Mockingjay", my heart soared (cheesy but it did!) and I was rooting for her 100%. When I heard her inspirational words during the propos, the fire behind them, my heart soared because I thought Katniss was back. But as I kept reading, I realized .. even though she verbally accepted her role, her mind still wasn't in it and she wasn't in control of herself. She didn't grow and become stronger, that's what pisses me off.

    The post-traumatic stress, the mental breakdowns, the self-pity, the self-loathing, the nearing of insanity .. all of these things are realistic, yes, but a bit tiresome and not very interesting to read when it's all the same and the narrator is drowning herself in it in the face of much greater things to the point where it detracts from the plot. These feelings shouldn't be the main focus throughout the ENTIRE novel. There has to be a turning point when she overcomes all of this and actively decides not to let these obstacles stand in her way. Now, many people will say her breakdown is more true to life, and it's what any normal 17-year-old girl would feel and go through. But, maybe I'm weird here, but for some stories, I don't WANT to read about the average, normal teenager. I want to read about someone who's a bit special, who's different, who displays traits (like courage, heart, perseverance) greater than the norm and accomplishes more than the "normal, average teen" even during the most difficult of times. Something that, when you close the book, makes you feel like "Wow, they're amazing. Inspirational. I want to be like that." & to be honest, I didn't sign up to read a war documentary or some nonfiction account of how war affects its victims. I came in expecting a break from reality, a fantasy sci-fi young adult novel about a girl who becomes a hero.

    In trying to be as realistic as possible, I think Collins chose a pessimistic extreme of "realism" to portray. There are perfectly human people in real life in real circumstances who are able to fight through obstacles and hardships and come out on top without relying on drugs and hiding in closets. They can find more constructive and positive ways to deal with their problems. Sure, it obviously affects them (they're not invincible) but they don't lose themselves the way Katniss does. Those are the kinds of inspirational stories I wanna read when it comes to these kinds of novels, not this "Diary of an Emo Puppet."

    This book was also REALLY anti-climactic. Whenever Collins finally gave us an exciting scene, as soon as it got intense, Katniss would get knocked out in the midst of things and we'd wake up to her in the hospital being treated. (MAJOR COP-OUT, in my opinion.) Then, of course, comes the inevitable centuries (that's what it felt like) of us hearing about her in pain and agony. Okay, we get it after reading about it the WHOLE novel! Now can she please pick herself up and make herself useful?

    Katniss doesn't deserve the title "girl who was on fire" and to be the main character in such an epic setting and story. Sure, she can be on fire, but only when someone sets her on fire or directs her to be on fire, not of her own doing. She was soulless and indifferent and cared about herself and her own feelings more than anyone else's (seeing as how she spends most of the novel grieving for herself and almost never for anyone else) .. if the main character, the narrator, doesn't care about anything and has no passion, why should we? What's the point when the main character whose eyes we're seeing through has no heart and no passion? And what happened to the selfless girl who willingly sacrificed her life to save her sister?

    The things I did like. I liked that Katniss had 2 seconds of mental clarity and shot Coin instead of Snow (the only time in the book when she was truly thinking clearly and acting of her own accord). I wonder if I'm giving her too much credit though; judging from her selfish one-track mind in this book, I fear that she did this only because Coin killed Prim, not because she saw the bigger picture. Worse yet, I fear this may just have been a result of Snow's manipulation, not her own decision. I also feel the significance and bravery of this smart moment was rendered meaningless by her immediate cowardly reaction: instead of having conviction in her action and facing the consequences, she scrambled frantically to find the most painless and quickest way to kill herself. She never once in the book acknowledges all she has to live for and all the positive things she still has in her life. When a character's will to survive is absent through a whole novel, I as a reader have no desire for them to live either; grant their wish already! But to continue on .. I liked learning about more of the characters in depth: Gale (who I grew to love even more in this book), Finnick, Annie, Boggs, Johanna, etc. I liked the ending passages (fitting and beautifully haunting) and I liked the songs (The Hanging Tree and the meadow one). There are probably some other things that I'll update this review with once disappointment and frustration are no longer clouding my brain.

    I wouldn't have minded so much if it had been a page-turner that was exciting to read, but trying to finish this book felt like a chore. When reading for enjoyment starts feeling like a chore, that's the ultimate sign that I dislike the book. 90% of the book, Katniss was wandering aimlessly through hallways, drugged out on morphling, hiding in a closet, or lying in a hospital bed. I kept waiting, I was so sure it would happen any minute, for the story-changing moment when Katniss would pick herself up and say "Enough is enough." I kept waiting for the moment when the winds would change and she would decide with conviction to actively work through her problems -- but to my shock, that moment never came. This book seriously dragged and dragged and dragged, and just got slower and slower until everyone started dropping dead towards the last quarter of the book. The Hunger Games, I couldn't put it down; for this, I dreaded picking it up to finish it. I did tons of things in between reading this book (doing my nails, watching TV, taking a walk, etc) because I couldn't read it in one sitting without wanting to gouge my eyes out. It was the same reoccurring theme: Katniss was manipulated and controlled by everyone around her and she didn't think or do anything of her own will. It got old.

    I read all this build-up and didn't get rewarded for it. And even though the rebels triumphed, I didn't feel anything for them, not relief, not happiness, just nothing. I was just detached. And none of it was thanks to Katniss: her only role in the Capitol's defeat was watching Prim die, getting burned, and waking up in a hospital, where we're TOLD instead of SHOWN how the Capitol fell (all while she was unconscious, an occurrence that's way too common in this book).

    Again, anti-climactic! During the scene when it really mattered!

    I understand the message Collins is trying to convey and I agree with it: that war is awful and no one truly wins. And good and bad are not clearly defined black and white. (It got too preachy at certain points though, didn't it?) And I understand that not all books are unicorns-and-ponies happy endings, and that this series has always been intense and dark and a bit bleak. But that only works when there's an underlying message of hope and of optimism. I felt it in the 1st books, but this ending was devoid of all hope and happiness. Yes, humans are disgusting creatures who hurt and kill one another, who do horrible things because of greed and selfishness and just pure malice. But humans are also capable of love and compassion and kindness, and I wish she'd incorporated a bit of that into the story as well so there'd be a more hopeful ending. Even in real life, no matter how bad things may be, there is always hope. Isn't that the kind of message you really want young people to be left with? Instead of pessimistic doom and "give up on mankind"? I finished the book feeling hopeless and lost and depressed, and not in that deep, profound way where it motivates me to get up off my ass and do something to make a difference.

    Gosh, at least Harry was his own person and got to face Voldemort in the end. What did Katniss get to do except be an empty canvas for them to paint and feed lines to?

    Though I guess since I'm feeling so passionately about all of this, it wasn't a worthless read. It was just very, VERY disappointing.

    Edit:

    I just re-read this review a month or so after I wrote it and I sincerely apologize for my sloppy writing and overindulgence in run-on sentences! I was in a rush to unleash all my feelings after finishing the book so I wouldn't forget anything. I hope this review was understandable and enjoyable anyway :)

    That's the end of the review and you can stop here but I wanted to add on .. and I'm thinking those who grew up with Harry Potter like I did can relate:

    So I decided to re-read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to prepare myself for the upcoming movie, and to get the bitter taste of Mockingjay out of my mouth, and here's a passage towards the end where Harry's character really touched me and left me in awe:

    "Because," said Harry, "sometimes you've got to think about more than your own safety! Sometimes you've got to think about the greater good! This is war!"

    "You're seventeen, boy!"

    "I'm of age, and I'm going to keep fighting even if you've given up!"

    a few sentences later .. "I'm going to keep going until I succeed -- or I die. Don't think I don't know how this might end. I've known it for years."

    Reading it again makes me all emotional and teary all over again, from Dobby's heartfelt burial to Harry's courageous walk to his death in the forest, knowing fully well what awaits him and yet willing to sacrifice himself for others and for a better world ...all the while, struggling with his fears and the temptation to run away .. and I swear, tears of pride and joy sprang from my eyes and exhilaration shot through my veins when Harry, the boy we grew up with, stepped up as a man and faced his enemy with confidence, strength, wisdom.

    Whatever faults the last HP book may have, I just have to say: Thank you, Harry, for giving me hope again and proving there are still admirable heroes in young literature.


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