“Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)” by Suzanne Collins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Summary from Goodreads:
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 plains – 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.
When I initially read the series over a year ago, I had a hard time loving Mockingjay. One part of the problem was I sped through books 2 and 3 insanely quick because I needed to know what happened. In doing that, I didn’t allow myself enough time or space to sit and let the books soak in. The other problem was I hadn’t read a book like this where the ending is so messy and devastating. I was still used to the idea of somewhat happy endings. When a book ends like how Mockingjay does and you’re not used to it, it can be problematic to wrap your head around. During my re-read, I was able to appreciate things that I didn’t pay much attention to the first time around.
I really enjoyed the fact that good and bad aren’t clear cut. Yes, we can all agree that President Snow was evil. But what about the Rebels and President Coin? Are they “good”? They’re attempting to overthrow the “bad guys” but is that alone enough to make them the “good guys”? When you factor in what Gale and Beetee (?) did with the bomb does that still make them good? They played as dirty as the Capitol did. Why is it “bad” if the Capitol does it but “good” when the rebels do it? When I initially read the series, I was really bothered by that. I desperately wanted clear cut good and bad guys. I didn’t want this gray area. That might have been part of the reason I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the others. Now upon my second reading, I definitely understand and appreciate that aspect much more. I’m still not sure if I like it more though.
Overall I did enjoy that this book was more political and explored that aspect of the dystopian universe. I just wish there had been a bigger build up to that though. THG was mostly about the games/survival with just a hint at the universe. Catching Fire introduced the idea of unrest but you pretty much forget that’s going on when you’re in the area. Then BAM! here we are in Mockingjay surrounded by nothing but the politics. That’s not to say is a bad thing per se. The reader just needs to be eased into it better. I know the shock of the difference in tone threw me off.
As with the other 2 books, Collins had me absolutely, completely hooked both times I read it. I like re-reading books I enjoy. Typically I do it because it’s comforting. When I re-read the books, it’s just a fun distraction. I’m never hooked as I was on the first read because I know what’s going to happen. This whole trilogy captured my attention every time I’ve read it. I think the only other books that do that to me are the Harry Potter books.
The bottom line? I thought it was the weakest of the Trilogy but I still enjoyed the book and loved the series.