26 September 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

"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.

  • Whoa.
  • That was a great book.
  • I suspect that many authors who write series always face the problem of ending their series.  It's this whole balancing act between reader's expectations and your own desires--and you cannot make it corny, no matter what.  Because there is nothing that turns off a crowd faster than corniness.  However, I must say that Suzanne Collins took the typical corny ending and turned it into a fitting, stunning closing.  She is just that good.
  • "Mockingjay" was much, much darker than the rest of the series.  You can sense the strain on Katniss's character as she struggles against the odds--she's slammed, over and over again and she falls continuously, but she always gets back up.  She definitely made some wrong turns--practically everything that went wrong did, in fact, go wrong.  You can see how much she's changed since the first Hunger Games book.  In retrospect, she's an entirely different person at the end of Mockingjay.
  • I have to comment on Suzanne Collins' writing.  Because she really is a fabulous story teller.  I can only imagine the pressure she must have felt, knowing just how anticipated this book was.  How to meet the rising standards and expectations?  The twists and turns in "Mockingjay" blew my mind.  You were expecting one thing and then boom!  She sideswipes you with something completely different--it was a thrill ride.  Better than any roller coaster.
  • I loved seeing the evolution of the characters.  That's something that's crucial in a series--any series.  If the characters remain the same, the books quickly lose their following.  The dimensions of the characters were deepened and I loved reading that.
  • On the topic of the love triangle.  Not having any particular preference, I was weighing each encounter throughout the book, trying to figure out what Katniss was going to do.  I liked how it turned out, actually.  It made sense to me and it fit well.
  • Overall, I loved "Mockingjay" and I truly enjoyed the entire series.  For those of you who haven't managed to pick it up yet, I urge you to do so.  Even if you don't particularly like dystopia novels.  Give it a go.
  • I think the song "Citizen/Soldier" by 3 Doors Down goes PERFECTLY with this book.
Book Info:
  • pages - hardcover, 390
  • published - August 24th, 2010
  • publisher - Scholastic Press
  • genre - dystopia
  • series - Hunger Games #3
  • books in series (from #1)
    • The Hunger Games
    • Catching Fire
    • Mockingjay