Rummanah Aasi
  I spent the entire week reading Mockingjay, the third and final installment of Suzanne Collin's blockbuster and best selling series Hunger Games. Normally, I don't take a lot of time reading a very popular book that I've waited all year long but I wanted to pace myself when it came to Mockingjay. Why? Because there were a lot things hanging in the balance. Plot threads that got me wondering ever since I finished the first two books in the series. To be completely honest, I really liked the Hunger Games series, but I didn't love them. I always felt there was something missing in the first two books, mainly character development and world building. I didn't think there was enough in the first two books. Ever since Mockingjay was released this past Tuesday, I've been reading spoiler free reviews of the book, which all promise a lot more character development and world building. It's true, it does. As promised, here is my spoiler free review of Mockingjay.

Description: Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. While she has made it out alive from the brutal, bloody arena, she is not safe. A revolution is quickly unfolding and she is the center of it. It up to her whether millions live or die. The future of Panem is in her hands. What will Katniss do?

Review: I didn't really know what to expect in Mockingjay besides death and destruction, which seems fitting since a revolution and war are unavoidable. Like the first two installments, Mockingjay is told from Katniss's perspective. She is trying to absorb the information and surroundings near her. Who can she trust? Who can't she trust? Who is telling the truth? Who is lying?
  As expected, Katniss and the other tributes who have been sent to and has survived the Hunger Games are irrevocably changed and scarred. The horrors and nightmares visit them frequently and don't go away, which is very symbolic of the book as a whole. While some may argue that Katniss isn't her usual feisty self and spends lots of this book in the background at key events, I would disagree. There is only so much she could do and have control over.
  Hunger Games and Catching Fire were about action and trying to survive under dire circumstances. Mockingjay, however, focuses on the consequences of actions, the casualties and atrocities of war, and last but not least the cyclic destruction humans bring upon one another. Lots of people die in this book. Some of the characters that I really cared about. Like real war, good people die and they die for no reason. I don't think any of the deaths, except for one, could have been avoidable. What strikes me a bit odd is the fact that I did not cry at all in Mockingjay. And I do cry in books. Perhaps my lack of tears is because the heart ache these characters endure is nothing different from what I read in the newspapers and hear about in the daily news about the wars that going on overseas. Or maybe its because I was expecting to know these characters a bit more earlier on. I don't know.
   While I really enjoyed this book and think it's the best book of the trilogy, I did have some issues. First, the writing seemed a bit unbalanced. There were parts of the book that were extremely slow and others were rushed through. There were lots of metaphors that I really liked, however, I didn't feel that Collins needed to explain and spell them out. I thought the climax of the book was a bit anticlimactic, perhaps because I already guessed what would happen. Readers looking for more romance and a happy ending maybe be disappointed. The Hunger Games series is, however, a series about war and nothing else.
   Overall, Mockingjay has earned it's reputation to be the most talked book of the summer and probably of the year as there is lots to discuss in this book besides the plot such as the themes of revenge, loyalty, abuse of power, patriotism, and the horrifying events of war. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: This book is very bloody and violent. Its more of the side of rated "R" than "PG-13" like its previous installments.


If you like this book try: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card or Incarceron by Catherine Fisher or The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
4 Responses
  1. Library Cat Says:

    Thank you so much for the review without spoilers. I am about 1/3 of the way through the book and I basically agree with you about the development of the characters and the results of their actions.

    I hope you will visit one or both of my blogs: LibrarysCat or Holocaust Resources for Children!!

    Have a great week!


  2. Well done on a spoiler-free review Rum! I'll mention more later, but I do have to object to one phrase you used: "The Hunger Games series is, however, a series about war and nothing else." War, yes, but there are so many themes (which is why it's a great book to discuss) - politics, the media, the individual vs the collective, resiliency ... the list could go on.


  3. @LibraryCat: Thanks! I'd love to hear what you thought of the book when you finish. And I have visited your blogs. Great stuff!

    @Macphail: I think war is the overac structure of the book. The things that you mentioned are themes too. I do agree that this series would be an excellent bookclub selection!


  4. Lisa Says:

    "Hunger Games and Catching Fire were about action and trying to survive under dire circumstances. Mockingjay, however, focuses on the consequences of actions..." I like what you said there and completely agree with you. I finished the book last night and can't seem to get it out of my head. Haunting.


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