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Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

By  Justin Carreiro     8:14 PM    Labels:,,, 
Welcome back to another review. On this section of reviews, I will be discussing interesting books and novels that come across my reading list and give a detailed, yet hopefully non-spoiler, review about the novel to all interested readers. The first book that will be reviewed will be the 2010 release and final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

The Premise: Mokingjay takes place in the futuristic world that is Panem. After the failed rebellion against The Capital by the 13 Districts and the annihilation of District 13, The Capitol regained control and set a new law in motion to set a precedent. Stemming from a similarity to that of Battle Royale, each district would annually draw one boy and one girl (roughly around the ages of 12 to 17) at random to bring to The Capitol and fight in an arena to the death. 24 tributes killing each other where one winner would win food for their district will the others would starve with limited rations. Katniss Everdeen is the main heroine who is the unlucky girl who volunteered to enter the Hunger Games when her sister, Prim, was drawn to compete. The trilogy also follows her love triangle with childhood hunting friend, Gale, and her fellow District 12 male tribute, Peeta.

The story commences right when Katniss wakes up after the rescue attempt at the 75th Quarter Quell. Realizing that those around her, outside and in the arena, had orchestrated a rescue to get her safely to the remains of District 13 and begin planning an all out rebellion against The Capitol by all the Districts. The story focuses on Katniss trying to reel from the devastation that took place from her actions such as the decimation of District 12, the countless torture and deaths of loved ones, and her rising up as The Mockingjay to help unite the Districts against The Capitol.

The Good: Being a huge Hunger Games fan, I enjoyed the concept and story so far. The characters were well developed beforehand and it was really great to at least have some closer as to what happens to most of the characters. Some of the twists were interesting because at points I expected the novel to go very linear and present itself a certain way to then take a 180 and leave the reader wondering why that happened. I enjoyed how this book took a greater look at the relationship between Gale and Katniss. For The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, it was definitely positioned as the subtle connection between Katniss and Gale but the fledgling yet complicated romance between Katniss and Peeta. It was great that the latter was brought to the forefront and to notice how these two interacted without Peeta in the mix for the majority of the book was a new occurrence. Another good addition was the discussion and visits into the other Districts because even in Catching Fire, the author only roughly featured about visits to two Districts so it was nice to learn more about the different Districts and their relation to The Capitol.

Katniss really was the Girl on Fire!
The Bad: With some of its positive quirks, there were many negative attributes to this final novel and there has been a nonstop debate with die-hard fans about how it should have ended and the progression of characters. The first two novels portrayed Katniss as a strong yet tortured girl who seemed to be developing into a leader; however, for most of the book she tended to be doing whatever someone else was telling her to do. It was not till near the end when she was finally getting to make her own choices and take the decision in her own hands though still being manipulated one way or the other. Another negative factor was that the book didn't highlight many of the important events that readers were looking forward to all trilogy; the action tended to start and barrel through until there came a moment when it would "fade-to-black", as it would say, and Katniss would learn about the events she missed from being severely injured or knocked out at the heat of the moment. The conclusion may have been interesting and caused a large amount of drama, but some can argue that there could have been another way to depict the events instead of the way it was presented.

Another issue is that there was no grieving periods for any of the deaths that occurred in Mockingjay. We all knew that the final book was going to be the one with the most deaths but surprisingly enough, I think the characters already realized that as well since they showed barely any recognition or mourning towards death. We lost some beloved and fan favorite characters yet there really was no progression or time to mourn the loss. The story had to continue but when you kill off a major character, there needs to be some time for the reader to adjust what just happen and grieve.

Is Peeta the one who will end up with Katniss?

The major concern that has been discussed by every single fan and reader of the book is the final conclusion between the love triangle of Katniss, Gale, and Peeta. Everyone was wondering who she would choose out of the three or if she was not destined to end up with either of her pursuers. The development seemed a bit rushed especially when finding out who she ended up with because it felt like the decision was made for her and she accepted it as that she would have come to the same conclusion regardless. Without giving away the final choice, it was a bittersweet conclusion and many felt, including I at some points, a bit robbed at the end of the book, but I was happy overall because she choose the person I wanted her to choose at the end; even though I felt, while reading the book, she was going to choose the other suitor.

The Results: 7.5/10!
As a die-hard fan of the series, personally, I would have thrown away any reservations and problems I've had and ranked this book as a perfect 10; still recommending the series to everyone. However, to give a fair and accurate scoring then I would have to consider all the problems that have been pointed out. The book was a great take about all the events that changed Katniss and the people around her and the dealings of war. It was a great conclusion, but there was always room for improvements and many things could have been improved. I would still recommend this trilogy to anybody who was unsure about reading this series but the first will always stand out as my favorite then the second with the last, ironically, being the final one.

Agree or Disagree with the review? Then post your comments below and share your thoughts you had about the book.

About Justin Carreiro

Justin is a longtime TV buff and gamer. He loves chatting about shows, playing video and board games, and his not-so-secret love for reality tv. He is also a fan of horror movies, music and a bookworm at heart. He spends his time in Toronto working in PR and Social Media.

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