Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Book review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

This is really more of an overview/my final thoughts about the entire Hunger Games trilogy, so please be aware that it may contain spoilers, just in case you’re anything like me. (I HATE being spoiled; I even refused to read the synopses on the covers of the second two books because I wanted to be surprised.)

While I felt that Mockingjay was an adequate and over-all enthralling final installment in the series, for reasons that I can’t accurately convey, I mostly felt…dissatisfaction as I was reading the novel. I believe that feeling mostly stemmed from my longing for some real interaction between Katniss and Peeta (the precedence set in the first two novels), yet I can’t deny that the fact that the author kept dangling that in my face is what kept me reading at a feverish pace - but that craving ultimately wasn’t satisfied until the very end of the novel. (And yes, I’m totally aware that I was reading from a romantic rather than literate standpoint. I can’t seem to help myself.)

Katniss: I’ve gotta admit that I often found the heroine difficult to relate to and her behavior baffling. One minute she’s arguing with Gale over the necessity of taking an offensive strike in war or attempting to sacrifice herself for others, and the next she’s shooting unarmed citizens or agreeing to a Hunger Games to be held for the children of Capitol officials. And the Gale/Katniss/Peeta triangle reminded me a bit too much of the Edward/Bella/Jacob triangle from Twilight. (I was totally Team Peeta, obviously.)

Having said that, I also appreciated the refreshing complexity of the character: Human beings are a jumble of conflicting and confusing thoughts and emotions, and given the turmoil/tragedy that Katniss was put through again and again, I believe that someone not as strong might have truly been driven insane. While there were moments where Katniss was on the brink of madness, she always bounced back and proved herself the consummate survivor - and my ’shipper heart loved that she ultimately needed her dandelion in the spring to survive.

Although the books were often brutal and unapologetic (which I actually appreciated), the last lines before the epilogue made my heart melt: “You love me. Real or not real.” “Real.” Just the right touch of fluff to balance things out, rather than an overdose of cheesiness that made me want to vomit on my shoes. Although, I’ll definitely be seeking out some well-written fanfiction of the more adult nature, so if you have any recommendations, please send them my way. ;)

Final thoughts about the trilogy as a whole: Simple yet lovely writing, intricate characterizations, infinitely creative, with edge-of-your-seat twists at every turn. The newest Harry Potter? I don’t know about that. To me, that’s like comparing apples and oranges: Both have their individual qualities that make them special.

Happy reading!



  1. (AU but the author has a lot of good stories sort of flipping around things that are amazing!)

  2. Thanks so much! I'm totally cool with AU, so I'll definitely be checking them out when I have the chance. ;)

  3. Hey Kari,

    "for reasons that I can’t accurately convey, I mostly felt…dissatisfaction" YES!!

    I finished the series around 1 am this morning and sat on my porch for another half hour just processing. I'm still not really sure how I feel about the events of book 3. Gripping, complex, intelligent, but still somehow not satisfying.

    Maybe, like you, it's my romantic side. I wasn't team Peeta all the way though. I was like Katniss, completely confused by my feelings towards both guys. Peeta with his too good to be true goodness that balances her. Gale with his fire and just barely restrained passion that will understand her in ways Peeta never could. I like that she got her dandelion but I love Gale too. I wish there was more of a conclusion there. A conversation. A hug. Something.

    Thanks for the recommendation and giving me a place to map out my thoughts afterwards.


    1. Oh, I totally get what you mean about Gale. There was definitely a loose end there, & I'm not generally a fan of loose ends - but not tying things up in a neat bow seems to be trendy thing. :/