Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Genre: YA Fiction, Dystopian
Published: Aug. 2010, 390 pgs.
Source: Personal library
Review: 4/5 stars

I've had such a hard time deciding how to review the final book in this incredible series. Suzanne Collins is brilliant. Even though I didn't like Mockingjay as much as the other two books, I still think Collins is an amazing author. The trilogy is put together so well. We know the characters--we love some and we hate others. Even though Katniss is so flawed and imperfect, I think most of us loved her. I'm reminded of another female protagonist from a very popular series. I know many people, including myself, who just wanted to slap Bella half the time. Though there were times in this series that I wanted to shake Katniss to help her see the truth, it was usually out of love and concern for her, not because she drove me crazy with her internal dialogue.

Having said all that, I couldn't quite give this book 5 stars because it just was too painful. I understand why Collins wrote it the way she did. I applaud her for her courage to make the hard choices. I just expected it to be more hopeful. Instead it was just--real, too real.

Time for spoilers. (I have my doubts that anyone who hasn't read the book would be reading this review, but just in case. )

***Do not read this section if you have not read the book yet. ***

I just want to mention a few things. Finnick's ending was one of the hardest parts of the book for me. I did not expect that at all. Annie needed him. It was not fair for Collins to take him away from her. (I know, I'm taking this way too seriously.) His death affected me more than Prim's.

Some people have criticized the "rushed" ending. I don't really see it that way. This was Katniss's story and by the last chapter she was done. She barely cared about anything so it wouldn't have made sense to have all the proceedings after the assassination detailed through her eyes. I guess she could have been present at the trial but she didn't care enough. She was ready to die. Her part in all the politics was done. Since this was a first person narrative, we couldn't have gotten an accurate assessment of what was going on anyway because she wasn't entirely mentally or emotionally stable. That's my take on it.

I think the very ending when she goes back to District 12 and the epilogue were incredible. "Real or not real." Perfect!

***End of spoilers***

Rating: 2.4.1 Definitely some sexual references but slightly obscure. The violence was pretty close to being too much for me. I had thought about letting my 11 year old start to read these books soon but after reading Mockingjay I won't let her for a few more years. Thank you Suzanne Collins for not using any profanity when it could have been easy to put in.


alisonwonderland said...

Nice review! I've read that a lot of people didn't like the epilogue, but I thought it was perfect. I'm glad to hear that someone else liked it too!

Robin said...

Thank you for your review. This book was definately not what I was expecting from Collins, but I appreciated her courage to write real. We like rosy, but it's not often reality.
I also really appreciated the epilogue and think you have a good point about the "rushed" ending. It gave me some things to mull over:)

melissa @ 1lbr said...

I felt the same way about Finnick! It hurt even more than Prim (well, almost more).

Interesting thoughts about the rushed ending. I was one who didn't much like how the political world stuff wrapped up. I need a reread, I think.

Shelley (Book Clutter) said...

This book was painful! I almost couldn't believe it when Finnick died. He's one of my favorite characters. The last chapter and epilogue moved the book from three stars to four in my mind. Very real and very powerful. I loved that ending much more than the "happy" one in Twilight.

Laura H said...

Ditto to exactly what Shelley said. I was called cold hearted today because I love Finnick more than Prim.
Shelley said it all for me.

DAD said...

Believe it or not!!!! I actually read all three books. It is clear that I don't get as much out of them as the rest of you but I did enjoy them.

Not quite the Bradys said...

After Finnick I didn't even care about Prim. When we had book group I suggested a memorial service for him. :D I hated that he died.

KaseyQ said...

My frustration with the ending was just that Katniss was such a strong character, and while she suffered a lot in the last book, she had suffered before and always come out of it stronger. I felt like that was her nature and one of her most admirable qualities, to say, "Okay, this sucks but I'm going to power through and I'll be okay." I didn't like that she seemed to give up in the end. Do I think she deserved peace? Absolutely, but I would have felt more satisfied with the ending if I had felt like she took back the reins on her life and came out of it at least a stronger person, if not triumphant.

That's just my two cents. Thanks for your wonderful reviews!!