Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsFor anyone who has not yet joined the bandwagon, let’s catch you up to speed. First things first, go read my review of the first book and get yourself a copy of The Hunger Games – because yes, you absolutely have to read this series in order. You should probably skip the rest of this review so you don’t risk reading any spoilers, which I will try to avoid but you know…

It’s been almost a year since I was first introduced to the world of Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire. Like everyone else, I was instantly hooked after reading The Hunger Games (click here for my review), the first in an unforgettable trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

I quickly moved on to Catching Fire, book two in the series, and loved it. Unfortunately, then I had to join in with the rest of the world and wait, somewhat impatiently for book three to be released – and then to get a copy!

Now, I’m on the other side of the fence. I’ve finished all three books – the whirlwind is officially behind me – and now I move onto the grieving process as I digest the whole story. I really feel like this series was perfectly paced, perfectly told and ended exactly when it needed to. It is a masterpiece.

Book three, Mockingjay, picks up where the last book left off and like the two books before it, everything changes and then changes again. Everytime you think you’ve figured out how everything stands, something new comes to the fold and decisions are made and now everything is different again. I really love how the experience of reading this story is nearly as thrilling, confusing, heart breaking and bizarre as the characters in the story experience it.

I love that the “love triangle” was so complicated and muddled that it was just as hard for me to take sides throughout the story as it was for Katniss. I think the ultimate struggle in this love story was with the fact that she was never given a chance to naturally experience both loves and make a choice for herself – time frames were forced upon her and I found myself angry for her for not being given a chance to explore her own feelings at a normal pace.

It wasn’t fair and I don’t think I “picked a side” until the last third of this book, possibly when Katniss herself finally seems to pick a side. The author is very careful about her details and forces you to experience every detail as Katniss experiences it and not a moment sooner. Everything is always raw.

They say a good author tortures their characters, never giving them a moment’s rest – and if this is true, then Suzanne Collins is an excellent writer. Poor Katniss. This book will make you cry – it will make you gasp with shock over the cruelty of humankind. It is the epitome of a classic disutopian novel but it is nothing you have ever read before.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about the ending of Mockingjay. Per usual, some people loved it, some hated it. I think this is a given for any great story, but needless to say, I had my reservations going in. Would she die? Which boy would she choose? Would she choose no boy? Would both boys die?

The author could clearly go any number of ways and her ability to torture her characters gave me no sense of hope that Katniss might achieve something of a happy ending. But I honestly thought the ending was perfect. And by that, I do not mean happy. It is not sugary sweet, wrapping everything up with a bow. Your heart will break. But…

If you’ve read the trilogy, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the books in the comments section below. Did you love it? Hate it? What was your favorite part or least favorite? Are you Team Peeta or Team Gale? Who do you think would make a good Katniss if this series becomes a movie? Spoilers are welcome in the comments so if anyone hasn’t read the books yet, proceed to the comments with caution!

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