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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I don't think I will go into much detail in this review. Actually, I don't think I'll be able to since my thoughts are all jumbled up into one big stew of disbelief, astonishment, relief and exhilaration. I wrote stew. Beef stew? Wait, I'm mumbling like Peeta now.

Disclaimer: This review IS NOT SPOILER FREE. But I will try to keep it to a minimum. You've been warned.

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Pages: 398


"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.

I've read mixed reviews about this book but I was and still determined to have my own view and opinion about this. I might not like everything that I've read, but one of the measures (for me) of a good book is its ability to move a person while reading. Just by reading the book, you cry, you feel scared, you feel sad. I felt all of that in this book, and then some.

If you think you've seen it all in Catching Fire, then you're wrong. Suzanne Collins had a few more fantastic tricks up her sleeve here in Mockingjay, and it'll leave you stunned into silence afterwards.

I think this is a stunning conclusion to the Hunger Games series. I wasn't disappointed at all. Although I didn't really feel good after reading this. (Yes, I didn't think that it was possible, but even though I'm satisfied with how everything played in the end, the heavy feeling stayed) But! I didn't say I don't have questions about this book.

Can anyone tell me what Katniss' real motive is? After all that she had done, for herself, for her family and for the citizens of Panem, I felt that Katniss' has somehow lost her way. Why did she agree for another round of Hunger Games? What was the point of everything she had done so far if she did? Was it for of revenge? I think that part was what made me question Katniss' character. Risking "some" lives for the sake of the rest? Wasn't that what she wanted to get rid of, The Hunger Games? The capitol's cruelty? And yet she agreed...

Maybe it should be blamed on everything she had gone through. Maybe Katniss just want everything to be over? But really, she kind of got me lost there.

Like in all books I read, especially those who were part of a series, reading about character death was not easy especially when you grew attached to them. Yes, I cried once again. It's something you know was coming, but when it was finally there, you just couldn't believe it happened. It's painful to read about them, especially because I didn't know who will die. The lives of the characters may depend on the decisions they make in the book, but still, reading about their deaths and how it played out wasn't easy.

I loved the story, but I think I liked everyone's character less in this book. Maybe its just me, I know that war changes people. Like what was said in the book, "there is no going back". Maybe they didn't change, maybe they just showed their true characters in the face of the war. That they could be cruel, cold and heartless. Like Gale. I am sorry, but I didn't like Gale much in this book. I pitied Peeta so much, but I felt bad for Katniss. Very much. The damage on her persona, on her as a whole was irreversible, and it was evident. Bit by bit you see Katniss being consumed by everything. The Games. The war. She was being destroyed, and it was painful to see what would happen to that seventeen year old girl...

Katniss might have escaped the Capitol, but in District 13, it felt like she came across a different version of it.

One thing to say though: I think Katniss made the right choice. Between Peeta and Gale, I think she did. I will not spoil you guys anymore, but the love triangle, though still heavy and very much depressing like the rest of the book, is what made me feel better. There was still something to it that would make you feel warm at times, amidst the helplessness you'll feel throughout.

The ending is very much open to different interpretations. It was neat, though it felt a bit rushed. In a sense, I think it was fitting. If this had a very happy ending it would've ruined everything the series presented, and I'm glad it didn't.

It's a heart-wrenching end to a fantastic book series, that is very evident. I guess expecting a happy ending wasn't really going to happen, because Mockingjay stayed true to its genre. Dystopian. The feeling of hopelessness sticks with you until the end. But don't let that stop you from reading this book, because this is fantastic!

So excuse me for now, I think the terrible case of withdrawal is starting to kick in...

Rating: ★★★★★ : AWESOMENESS! MORE! MORE! - I can't believe such a book exists!

1 comment:

  1. I know when I was finished reading this book, I wasn't upset or sad or happy. I was drained emotionally. I didn't have anything left to give. In that sense, Collins made us like Katniss. I thought the ending was perfect and like you said in your review, if we'd have gotten a happy ending, it would contradict what the book was doing in the first place.

    You asked about her voting the hunger games back in and why she did it. This is only my opinion but I think she did it to see if anything had changed. If they actually voted the hunger games in, then everything she fought for, everything President Snow said was true. She needed to have it voted through to be positive that Coin was exactly the same.

    That's how i read it anyway. Thanks for the review!


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