Mockingjay

by Suzanne Collins

Hardcover, 2010

Call number

JF COL

Publication

Scholastic Press (2010), Edition: 1st, 391 pages

Description

Katniss Everdeen's having survived the Hunger games twice makes her a target of the Capitol and President Snow, as well as a hero to the rebels who will succeed only if Katniss is willing to put aside her personal feelings and serve as their pawn.

Media reviews

Collins is absolutely ruthless in her depictions of war in all its cruelty, violence, and loss, leaving readers, in turn, repulsed, shocked, grieving and, finally, hopeful for the characters they've grown to empathize with and love. Mockingjay is a fitting end to the series that began with The
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Hunger Games (2008) and Catching Fire (2009) and will have the same lasting resonance as William Golding's Lord of the Flies and Stephen King's The Stand. However, the book is not a stand-alone; readers do need to be familiar with the first two titles in order to appreciate the events and characters in this one.
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3 more
All in all, Mockingjay confirms what we've suspected already — The Hunger Games isn't just a powerful saga about a unique, memorable hero struggling to do the right thing in the public gaze. It's also an important work of science fiction that everyone should read, because if you don't, you'll be
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left out of all the best conversations.
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The novel's biggest surprises are found elsewhere. Hope emerges from despair. Even in a dystopian future, there's a better future.
More maudlin than the first two books in the series, "Mockingjay" is also the most violent and bloody and, based on the actions and statements of its characters, its most overtly antiwar — though not so much that it distracts from a series conclusion that is nearly as shocking, and certainly
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every bit as original and thought provoking, as "The Hunger Games."
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User reviews

LibraryThing member beserene
'Mockingjay' is the final volume of the trilogy, and seems to have garnered even more controversy than the first. I have had many friends encouraging me not to read it -- to let the first two pieces stand alone -- because, they said, the third book "ruined" it.

I find, after reading all three in
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one long sweep of a day, that I must respectfully disagree.

It isn't a perfect book -- the writing is still flawed, the pacing still hectic -- but, in terms of story, there was no other way for this trilogy to end. Given all that Collins set up in the first two books -- the violent dystopic society, the trauma visited upon the District children, the complex and mysterious movement to end the slavery of that existence -- the conclusion had to end up in war and tragedy. And it does -- a war that is both repellently violent and intensely psychological, in which manipulations on both sides reach a pitch that revolts the reader and, eventually, the narrator herself. I will not reveal the details here, but Katniss' situation throughout this novel is not the cheerful reward that many readers would have been rooting for, so I understand why many were disappointed. This is a hard vision of a potential future, and as such, it does not fall back on easy definitions of good and evil the way many science fiction and fantasy books -- especially YA -- do.

In fact, the way Collins has built the complexity of this situation is truly remarkable. Looking back from this vantage point makes the first book seem downright simple. The second volume caused our feet to fly out from under us. But it is in this third and final book that we are shown exactly how complicated things are, both for the fictional world we read and for our own. Make no mistake -- this entire series, and especially this book, is an indictment of the horrors of humanity, especially the inhumanity of developed nations (and yes, Collins means the United States in particular). Our own callous indifference to the suffering that allows us to lead lives of luxury, the willingness of our bureaucracies to change any rule to benefit themselves (ourselves), the atrocities that we will commit in the name of country in order to preserve our own power and security -- all these things are laid bare by the novel's representations of society, war, and in the specific characterizations of key figures that surround Katniss.

The personal tragedies that result from all this targeted chaos are wholly wrenching. They should be. Katniss and her loved ones are participants in this drama but they, like many individuals in the real world, are also victims of it. Every reader wishes that our favorites could simply ride off into a happily ever after -- but that isn't how it works. Not really. Not with all that has happened. And so we are given examples of what war does to individuals, to families -- reminders that such violent upheavals always have fallout, that consequences are often dire.

And we weep. As we must. There is a moment near the end of this novel, in particular, that made me sob like a child. It will live in my memory alongside a few similar moments of literary catharsis: the red fern, Dumbledore's funeral, and now, Buttercup the cat. These are not moments remarkable for their descriptive skill or their writerly craftsmanship, but rather for their pure emotional power. That passage will remain in my mind until age begins to erase who I am, and each time I think of it, I will remember the message of this series. I will think about the tragedy that humanity could be. And I will be warned.
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LibraryThing member Jac8604
As the final installment of a widely loved and thoroughly praised series, Mockingjay has proven to be a worthy conclusion. Not only does it meet the high expectations set by The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but it's even more epic, bleak, suspenseful, heartbreaking and, ultimately, satisfying
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than its predecessors. In Mockingjay, the entire of Panem is the arena and Katniss finds that the true threats are more dangerous than any of the Capitol's manufactured muttations could ever be.

Collins is great at creating fully fleshed-out characters and putting them through their paces. This is especially true of Mockingjay, where no one is exempt from making mistakes and the realities of war have led characters to surprising choices and places. Collins portrayal of the Districts' uprising is excellent. Instead of turning the tale into one of good versus evil, the lines are blurred. The loyalties, agendas and intentions of everyone are often uncertain and the heroine's goals are usually the only constant.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the highly debated love triangle - involving Katniss's best friend, Gale Hawthorne, and pseudo-boyfriend, Peeta Mellark - which is an even larger part of the tale this time around (Collins even seems to poke fun at the issue once or twice). This is understandable given the dire circumstances that they find themselves in, the new and surprising complexities of the relationships, the repercussions that Katniss's choice will have and the much greater role that Gale plays compared to the previous books. However, this storyline is more important than any concerns about which boy Katniss is kissing next. Collins has made this particular drama about more than romance - its also about Katniss deciding who she wants to be and what she needs in life. While it takes almost the entire novel for her to reach a decision - Peeta, Gale or neither - she eventually does and, in my opinion, it's one that's in keeping with her character and the realities of her situation.

Mockingjay is a more reflective novel than the first two. Like Catching Fire, the energy and excitement take some building up an Katniss's inner struggle dominates the novel over the action. That's not to say that this story is lacking in any way but, due to the ravages of war and the many high personal stakes, it is more bleak and focused on Katniss's inner dialog. As for the ending, it manages to be somewhat ambiguous yet nicely wrapped-up and wholly appropriate. The rest is for you to find out.
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LibraryThing member ncgraham
(some spoilers, mostly for the first two books)

I have put off writing about Mockingjay. Oh, there are lots of books that have been languishing in my review queue for ages, but this is the one I have been actively avoiding. Why? Partially, because I knew that I would be expressing a minority opinion
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and call down the wrath of die-hard fans. Partially because I feel like a hypocrite. You see, as with the first two books, I couldn’t put Mockingjay down, which I suspect is the greatest virtue of Collins’s storytelling. But I can’t say I particularly liked it. I’ve always felt a little “outside” this series, as I have never been subject to the boundless glee of a true fan. I liked The Hunger Games quite a bit, but both of the sequels have disappointed me, this one most of all.

On the plus side, the first portion of this book was actually pretty interesting (the inverse of Catching Fire, which had a weak opening and an exciting conclusion). I’m sure this is partially because Peeta is not around, so there can be little development of the love triangle, let alone descriptions of Master Mellark’s eyelashes. What’s good here:

• the handling of Katniss’s psychology, including what I suspect is a pretty accurate depiction of war trauma
• the picture presented of District 13, hardly the ivory tower one might expect
• the creation of the Mockingjay advertising campaign, excellently done

Unfortunately, Collins spends the latter half of the book killing off as many characters as she can, for no discernible purpose whatsoever. Most are fan favorites, and often they die in an offhand way. “Oh, by the way, X just died as we passed through the last room. Sorry.” I have heard fans insist, But this is real life! In war, people die left and right, and there’s no time for mourning. Sorry, kids, but this is not real life. This is fiction. The author owes a certain something to her readers. Maybe there isn’t time for everyone to gather around the body and sing a hymn, but there’s always time for a narrative pause, for the death to have emotional weight, to mean something. These are important characters after all, not red shirts! And if their deaths aren’t moving and don’t contribute to the plot, why are they dying in the first place?

Then there is the love triangle, because yes, it does surface eventually. I wish that Collins would come up with an interesting and inventive solution to this problem, thereby redeeming it, but I suppose I was hoping for too much. The worst thing you can do with a love triangle is kill off one of the characters or make him Go Bad. Collins opts for the latter. It’s not a piece of character development I saw coming, and I regard it as little more than a cop-out.

The best scene in the book comes near the end, where Katniss does something that made me remember (finally) why I loved her in the first place. It’s an act of defiance that reminds me of the moment with the apple and the Gamemakers in the first book. It’s a good scene, but it doesn’t redeem Mockingjay in my eyes.

Collins had such an intriguing idea for this series, and the initial volume showed so much promise, that I wish I could recommend the trilogy as a whole. I can’t, and I hope that I have expounded my reasons sufficiently in these last two reviews.
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LibraryThing member fyrefly98
Summary: After having been rescued from the arena of the Quarter Quell, Katniss has gone - along with the refugees of District 12 - to live in the fabled District 13, home of the rebellion against the Capitol. The rebels are fighting the war on all fronts, but in order to succeed, they need to
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unify the people behind a single symbol: the Mockingjay, Katniss herself. Katniss hates the Capitol, but she can't stop worrying about Peeta, who was left behind at the Quarter Quell... and more and more, she's starting to wonder whether the leaders of the rebellion are really that different from the government they're fighting against.

Review: The short version? I liked it. I didn't love it, but I liked it quite a bit. I thought it was a satisfying ending without being too pat or too easy, and while I was left with a lot of questions, I felt like it did a nice job of bringing the story that's been brewing since the beginning to a close. There were a lot of really nicely poignant moments, some huge surprises, and a few places where I got a wee bit misty-eyed. Collins's world is as interesting and well-built as ever, and the story - especially to anyone who's invested in the series, which is pretty much everyone who's reading it - is crazily compelling. It's one of those wonderful audiobooks that makes me want to go get on the treadmill, do some more ironing, drive around the block a few times, just to have an excuse to listen to more.

So why didn't I love it? One word: Katniss. She annoys the snot out of me. She's fine when she's doing - she's a great action heroine - but she's not so good at feeling, and really not so good at thinking... and in the third book, she spends a lot of time feeling and thinking, and proportionately less time doing things, and thus she gets on my nerves a lot more. (And, for the record, I am neither Team Peeta nor Team Gale, nor even Team Katniss, but rather Team "Peeta deserves way better than Katniss and even though I didn't much like him at first I'm starting to think that Gale does too, because *damn* is she obnoxious," so my thoughts on the infamous love triangle are probably moot.)

Also, I feel like in the third book, Collins gets a lot less subtle in her writing, and a lot more blatant about making sure you understand that there is a Message you are supposed to be getting. There were some bits that were so unsubtle they actually made me cringe; one extended and extremely overworked metaphor involving tormenting a cat with (essentially) a laser pointer, and one involving Katniss acting jerkily and uncoordinated on camera, like she was a puppet. Because it's reflective of how she's being used as a puppet by the people in charge. Get it? Because if you don't, Collins will helpfully explain it for you in so many words.

However, no one claimed that this series was a masterwork of High Literature - nor does it need to be. What it needs to be, and thankfully is, is a damn good story: interesting, with characters you're invested in (even if that investment is to occasionally scream "Argh, why are you being so *dumb*?!?"), a fast-paced and inventive storyline, a few explosions thrown in here and there, and a satisfying finale to wrap it all up. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Another book where my recommendation's pointless. If you've read the first two, you'll be reading this one too; if you haven't read the first two, I'd give the series a try, even if dystopian fiction and/or young adult novels aren't your normal cup of tea. They're good, solid, addictive fun.
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LibraryThing member LiterateHousewife
Highest hopes I had.
Read right away hoping to
Devour, relish...

I heart Hunger Games
And Catching Fire. Alas,
this book left me cold.

Katniss, drama queen,
Where was your optimism,
Strength, passion, fire?

Peeta, Gale, oh you
Cardboard stereotypes of
Who you had once been.

Violence, intrigue,
Power grabs, yet
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at last I
Found it hard to care.

Review in Haiku,
For Mockingjay be plenty.
Something should be fun.
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LibraryThing member suetu
If The Hunger Games and Catching Fire are tales of a dystopia, then Mockingjay is a slight departure for the series. This final chapter in the trilogy is a war story. Panem is at war. The stakes for Katniss and the band of characters that we’ve grown to love (and sometimes hate) have never been
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higher. And while Suzanne Collins’ work on this series has been masterful to date, she rises to the occasion to give her story the conclusion it deserves.

As the novel opens, Katniss and hundreds of other refugees and revolutionaries have been taken in by the citizens of District 13. The rumors were true, but District 13 is both more and less than anything she could have envisioned. While safety is a fluid concept in Katniss’s experience, she is what passes for safe at the moment. Still, she is tortured by thoughts of Peeta, being held prisoner in the Capitol. And she is tortured by too many ghosts. We’re introduced to a somewhat more fragile Katniss in this novel, and she is not the only character in a somewhat diminished state. The events unfolding around them, as well as those of the past few years, have taken a heavy toll.

It is in this final chapter that the surviving characters must wage a battle for the future of Panem. Ms. Collins has never shied away from depicting graphic violence and disturbing scenes, and this novel may be the most disturbing yet. For me, the life and death struggles that occur in a war resonate more painfully than a staged fight to the death. There’s no denying that this is a dark tale. It is even more impressive, therefore, that Ms. Collins manages to infuse enough humor into the book to occasionally relieve the gloom, and to remind us why we love these characters in the first place.

This third book is a departure in other ways. The pace of the story-telling wasn’t quite as breathless. While still very much a thriller, in some ways Mockingjay allowed itself a bit more time to explore the emotional lives and constantly shifting relationships of the characters, as well as the full ramifications of the dangerous situations in which they found themselves. The emotional aspects of Katniss’s tale have never been given short shrift, but there was a greater expansiveness here, perhaps owing to her increasing maturity. Of course, fans are waiting with bated breath to learn the outcome of the Katniss-Gale-Peeta love triangle. There is a resolution, one that seemed like the only possible outcome to me. The ending of the book is satisfying, not always happy, but deeply satisfying.

Perhaps the best testament I can give Mockingjay is to tell you that this 41-year-old, responsible, gainfully-employed woman read it from cover to cover between 1:00AM and 7:00AM this morning. Not for one minute was I in danger of falling asleep. I think it’s going to be a long time before a story inspires me to want to pull a stunt like that again.
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LibraryThing member dk_phoenix
I put off writing this review for the longest time, because I was absolutely furious at the way Collins ended the series. Or should I say, at the way she wrote this book and ruined what could have been an incredible trilogy. I'll write the review now, furor slightly abated, and though I suspect I
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won't remember ALL of the triggers that made me want to throw the book across the room, at least this review won't simply consist of me spewing venom. I hope.

Yes, ***SPOILERS AHEAD***.

Let me just say that I thought [The Hunger Games] and [Catching Fire] were incredible. The twist in [Catching Fire] made me gasp and screech, and the obstacles thrown at the characters -- and how they overcame them, Katniss in particular -- were mind-bogglingly incredible. Loved them. And now I wish I'd just stopped reading after book two, because this third one ruined everything.

My first issue with [Mockingjay] is the way the book begins. Things have happened in between books two and three, and we don't get to see them happen or discover it along with the main character. This is a little off-putting, especially when you consider that the books are written in present-tense, which means we learn what happens as it unfolds, along with the main character. By not including us in the shift to District 13 and learning about the district with Katniss, we're cheated out of the narrative. It feels like there was a book missing, or chapters missing, in between where we left off and where we pick up.

My second issue is the biggest one: Katniss becomes an observer in her own life. In the previous books, our heroine was put up against the worst, most dire circumstances imaginable, and she took action to change the course of what seemed like an inevitable destiny. She changed the stakes. She refused to be manipulated and charted her own course, regardless of the potential consequences. She acted. In [Mockingjay], Katniss doesn't do anything. She's swept along in the tide of events, whining about this or that or feeling sorry for herself, and the strength and resolve she'd developed in the previous books has disappeared -- with the exception of two circumstances. She takes an active role in the story on only two occasions: In District 8, and at the end of the book when she shoots the 'wrong' person. What kind of a hero doesn't act? A character who reacts instead of taking action isn't a hero. Character Building 101.

Problem Three: Unnecessary deaths. Collins starts killing off characters, but barely even spares them a second glance when it happens. Finnick dies in one sentence and then we move on. Heck, I've talked to people who didn't even realize he was dead until the list of people who died at the end of the book! Does such an important character deserve a half a line before he vanishes? And no one really reacts... no emotion, nothing. He's there, then he's gone. Yes, this happens in war, but writing character deaths that way is cheating your readers of their emotional investment. And don't even get me started on Katniss' sister. That was cheap, and completely unnecessary. And the way it was written (without mentioning her name), I actually didn't know it was her until 10 pages later when I read a line and said "Wait, WHAT?!" There was no rational reason for Prim to be there at that moment. None whatsoever.

Fourth issue: Gale vs. Peeta. Or should I say, Peeta vs. No One, since Collins obviously made up Katniss' mind for her at the beginning of this book, and then decided to turn Gale into a warmongering lunatic. Who never talks to Katniss again after things are over, even though they've been best friends since childhood. The 'choice' felt forced and overplayed. And can I mention how half the book, Katniss just sits in a corner and whines about how she thinks she's a terrible person and can't choose between the two of them? I can't even count how many times she 'falls asleep alone' and then 'wakes up' in this book. It all contributes to what, for me, was the fifth major issue of the book...

It was boring. The action didn't inspire awe or terror or fright the way the events of the previous books did. Too much introspection from our carried-along-by-the-tide 'heroine' caused this book to feel flat, lifeless, and dull. I didn't even want to finish, because nothing was really happening most of the time. What happened?!?!

I could say more: About how it doesn't make sense for Katniss' mother to not visit her, how it's a cheap cliche for Finnick's lady to be preggers once he's dead, how it didn't make sense for the President to be killing his own people after enacting an order that was supposed to protect them... the motivations in the book were unclear, murky, and contradictory. Characters acted out of character (ie. Katniss, who doesn't really act at all), and plot points didn't tie together in a logical way. How this book passed the editing rounds without being torn apart, I have no idea.

All I can say, this book was a disgraceful ending to what could have been the YA trilogy of the decade. What a waste.
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LibraryThing member yolana
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

In Mockingjay, while Collins still explores her dominant theme of the effects of war and violence on children she doesn't miss taking digs at the political complacency of a full and well entertained population, at the blatant manipulation of the population by both
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political parties of the novel, and at the willingness of both parties to use any means necessary to achieve their ends (Anyone expecting District 13 to be paradise will be disappointed. The rebels are just as manipulative as the Capitol and at one point Collins contrasts the pragmatism of President Snow with the revolutionary zeal of the rebel leader, President Coin, and I admit I found Snow preferable.) She even touches on the redemptive quality of art and she pulls all the strands together in a novel that is still driven at an active pace.

As in the first two books of the series she uses her protaganist Katniss Everdeen and her love interests Gale Hawthorne and Peeta Mellark to great effect in showing the reader how children (and yes, for all that he has had to grow up too fast Gale is still only too years older than Katniss). I'm not a fan of love triangles as a rule and had originally considered her decision to go there one of the minor flaws of the book, however Mockingjay has proved me wrong. In having to decide between Peeta and Gale Katniss is really making a choice of what kind of person she will become after all the violence she has suffered. Peeta has always represented hope and kindness and being true to one's beliefs under horrific circumstances. His transformation at the hands of the Capitol from what had been the moral center of the first two books to the cold, angry and confused person he becomes in the third is one of the most heartbreaking aspects of this book, and believe me there are many. Gale's transformation into a ruthless man incapable of empathy, while unfortunate, is hardly unforseen. This 'new' Gale is a distillation of the one we see in the first book behaving coldly towards Madge because she was the mayors daughter, but Katniss, whose driving need has been to just survive, has never given any thought to what he was saying. In Mockingjay survival is no longer as precarious as it's been and she has the leisure to listen to and think about what he's saying and as she listens she becomes increasingly uneasy with his willingness to use the ends to justify the means, his incapacity to pity even the weakest and most helpless of his enemies and his refusal to see shades of gray. Gale may be two years older but Katniss is years more mature in her realization that “we're all slaves.” She still manages to overlook the increasing ruthlessness of her hunting partner until she is brutally forced to take a good hard look at him towards at the end of the book and decide whether or not she can reconcile herself to this aspect of Gale. There have been some complaints that Katniss is too passive a protagonist but really her core personality seems unchanged to me. Yes, she is manipulated by the rebels, but she chooses this because it's the way to get what she wants, much like surving the games of trying to keep Peeta alive, and even then she does it at her own convenience. She's dealt a lousy hand but she plays it very well.

This is a bleak novel but there are some truly moving sections. At one point a Capitol citizen who has been kidnapped and violently introduced to the austerity of District 13 sees the clothes that Cinna designed for Katniss cries because it's been so long since she's seen anything pretty. And of course the sections where Katniss sings are also beautiful, particularly the last one, where she sings a combination of swan song, District 12 memorial and requiem.

Collins turns her readers into tributes and drops them into the violence and mayhem that is Panem at war. We survive, of course, but not without feeling drained, desolate and yet at the end of all this she manages to give us with hope.
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LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
The last entry in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay left me with a bittersweet feeling. I loved this series and am disappointed that it is over, yet, I liked how it ended and was glad to have closure.

Katniss the heroine of all three books came across as a very real person. Not always likeable,
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appearing rather detached and cold, allowing only a very few inside her defences, nevertheless, we are given occasional glimpses into the passion and love that drives her and learn to care for and admire her. She always was true to herself and that kept her character real and authentic throughout the trilogy.

As the rebellion becomes a full blown war, we are in turns horrified and heartbroken. Although Katniss allows herself to be used as a figurehead, she still is breaking rules. We realize that there are no true “good or bad guys”, everyone has their own agenda. The author holds nothing back, she shows us that war is not a game, the deaths are real, people that we care about are killed, maimed and left broken.

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

The love story is still intriguing. Katniss has choices to make and eventually she does. I can see some would be a little disappointed in the ending, hoping that Katniss would overcome her inner demons and grow in the powerful, independent woman we can all see inside her. Instead the author chooses to show her withdrawing to a quieter, contemplative life. I thought this was another way that the author showed that war doesn’t always lead to an exciting victory, instead, the best outcome can often be simple - Peace.

Mockingjay for me was the perfect ending to a great story. I don’t know where the author is going next, but I will gladly follow.
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LibraryThing member atimco
I know that reviews are mixed for Mockingjay, the last book in Suzanne Collins' wildly popular Hunger Games series. Unfortunately, I fall into the camp that is less than impressed.

The rebellion in the Districts is spreading, despite the superior technology and fighting forces of the Capitol. Since
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the bombing of District 12, Katniss and the rest of 12's refugees have sought shelter in District 13, long thought to have been completely destroyed in the war 75 years ago. But District 13 is alive and well, its people living underground in bunkers and developing strategies to fight the Capitol more effectively. One such strategy is Katniss herself doing publicity stunts as the Mockingjay—if she'll cooperate, that is.

And that's the thing about Katniss in this book. I was completely on her side in the first two books, but somehow I just didn't like her much in this one. Probably as a result of surviving two brutal Hunger Games, she has become belligerent, self centered, and calculating. I'm not saying she should be District 13's puppet any more than she was the Capitol's, but sometimes she really overdoes the paranoia and anger. I guess it's realistic, though, this emotional and mental disintegration, and she's never been a standout in the realm of emotional intelligence. Katniss often seems to be her own worst enemy.

And there are some annoying loose ends. We never find out what happens to the two refugees Katniss had helped in the second book, who were going to search for District 13. Katniss remembers them in passing and thinks they must not have survived—and that's that. It seemed as if it would turn out to be important later when Katniss met the two in the woods, but apparently not. And there are other characters whose stories really aren't tied off. The love triangle is finally resolved, thank goodness, though Collins really doesn't give this the development it needs. But though I was originally rooting for the other guy, I was satisfied with the choice itself.

I consider Collins an able writer and enjoyed her prose in the first two books, but around the middle of this one I got tired of the present tense and Katniss's point-by-point narration. It suddenly seemed very... staccato, somehow. I don't know where the flow went; maybe it was the meandering plot that showed the weakness of this style. The sense of urgency and tension is not sustained in this plot, and that's what makes the present tense style so effective: the reader is experiencing everything at the same moment as Katniss, and that's great when things are exciting. But when the suspense is lacking, it feels more like a trudge.

I tore through the first two books in a single day (it did help that I was sick in bed, but still). It took me well over a week to finish Mockingjay. It simply did not compel me as the first two did. I didn't mind the ending as many readers seem to, but overall this is definitely my least favorite of the series. It will be interesting to reread the series in a few years and see how it holds up when I know what happens and therefore have more mental energy to reflect on Collins' craftsmanship. Perhaps I'll find more to appreciate in this last book of the series.
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LibraryThing member elbakerone
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins might just be the most anticipated book of 2010, and as it brings to close the Hunger Games saga, it surprisingly lives up to the great expectations cast before it. Katniss Everdeen, Panem's ultimate survivor finds herself unwittingly cast as the people's hero - the
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symbol of the revolution that will destroy the Capitol's tenuous hold over the Districts. Still torn romantically between Peeta, her fellow survivor, and Gale, her childhood best friend; Katniss must face the reality that all of them have changed from the children they once were and none of them are guaranteed to survive the current war. Dealing with her own battle scars, both physical and emotional, Katniss walks the precipice between the need for survival and her thirst for revenge. Where once she killed only to live now she looks to destroy those who ruined her life and turned her into their Mockingjay.

Collins crafts another highly suspenseful and emotional novel in this conclusion to her bestselling trilogy. Maintaining the gritty violence prevalent in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, Mockingjay takes an even darker tone, as Katniss has fully shed the sliver of innocence that made her so charming as the heroine of Book One. At first, I was displeased with her transformation, but Collins takes the step toward believability by altering the protagonist and allowing her to grow up. The maturity in her character acts as the new thread connecting Katniss to readers, and Collins assures that with every turn of the page, fans are carried along on the emotional roller coaster.

I can't say that there is any good way for this series to end. The simple fact that Mockingjay represents the final adventure is, in itself, a bit disappointing. And yet, rather than dragging the series out to less enjoyable books, Mockingjay was a satisfying conclusion in every way possible. Rather than fizzling out with a whimper, The Hunger Games trilogy ends with a bang, and those that followed Katniss every step of the way will be left with a fully resolved ending - until future rereads start the adventures all over again!
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LibraryThing member Bibliotropic
I've now followed Katniss's tale from beginning to end, and I can safely say that I understand what all the fuss has been about all this time.

Katniss returns to her role as the semi-willing catalyst for revolution, only this time it's far more direct, having been rescued by those in the secret
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District 13. Katniss is turned into the face of rebellion, central to the propaganda used to incite others to join the fight against the Capitol, and unsurprisingly, feels like she's being used for entertainment just as much as she ever was while participating in the Hunger Games to begin with. But she's not the type to take things sitting down, and her refusal to stay away from the front lines of battle make her loved by those who can help her, and hated by those who are in power... on both sides of the line.

Katniss spends a good chunk of this book either suffering from PTSD or recovering from injury, and while that's definitely high on the realism scale, it doesn't always make for the most interesting read. I had started to play a little game with myself, predicting how certain situations would go. Katniss would demand to go help somebody, make a speech, get injured, spend time in the hospital, then go hide in a closet for a while. It's clear that Collins did some heavy research into how untreated post-traumatic stress disorder can affect people, and I have to give her serious commendations for that, but when you can turn Katniss's reactions into a slight running gag because the same routine plays out at least three times, maybe it's time to cut back on those scenes a little.

Collins also managed to sum up the entirety of war within this book, quite skillfully. Lots of propaganda, and long periods of boredom followed by bursts of mind-numbing terror.

One very interesting point about this book is that it stays very true to the notion of casualties of war. In many stories, you know that the people surrounding the main character are all going to live, with the possible exception of one or two of them, who will die in such a way as to spur the main character on to more decisive action. Not so here. In addition to a very literal "rocks fall, everyone dies" situation, Collins makes it clear that no named character is really safe. Characters you've come to know and love end up dying, sometimes in a way that can spur Katniss on, but most of the time they die in the background, providing a distraction so that Katniss can get away. If there are any characters you really like, be prepared for the chance that they won't make it to the end of the series.

Katniss also gets the chance to really evaluate whose side she's on, and comes to the conclusion that she's really only on her own side. Flanked by the Capitol, who wants her dead, and the leader of District 13, who wants to use her and then kill her when she's outlived her usefulness, Katniss ends up using District 13 as much as they're using her. They provide her with training and access to get her revenge on President Snow, but she makes no secret of her dislike for President Coin or her methods. It's an interesting situation from the reader's standpoint, and underscores the fact that in war, "good" is often subjective, and therein brings the debate of whether the end really does justify the means.

I know some people reading this are waiting for my take on Katniss's romantic situation, and here it is: I want to smack Gale. Not because I think that Katniss should end up with Peeta, but because of his reaction to realizing that he wouldn't be the one she chose. He basically takes the standpoint of, "There's nothing here for me, so goodbye." He tosses aside their years of friendship because he isn't going to be the one Katniss falls in love with. Yes, he had a point when he said that Katniss may never be able to stop wondering whether it was his plan that killed a bunch of children, including Katniss's sister, but the way he doesn't associate with her again really puts forward the impression that his romantic feelings for Katniss were actually more important to him than her safety, happiness, or their history together. Peeta tried to kill Katniss with his bare hands. More than once. And she still forgave him and managed to live with him. Gale's reaction seemed ultimately selfish and shallow, and given the character development he had over the course of the series, I really didn't think he had that in him.

While I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the rest of the series, it was still a fantastic novel, and a spectacular conclusion to the trilogy that ignited the fires of justice in many young hearts. If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend that you do.
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LibraryThing member bookgal123
With Mockingjay, Collins takes her Hunger Games trilogy to the next level. This book isn’t another glossy, action-packed adventure; it’s a gritty and unflinching portrayal of what it truly means to be at war. I’m not going to lie—it’s one hell of a tough ride, and it’s definitely not
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everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve talked to a couple of people Mockingjay and most of them either loved it or they hated it. Here’s what it seems to come down to:

DON’T read this book if you’re simply looking for a good-triumphing-over-evil, pat, happy ending. You’re not going to find that here. Seriously, turn back now.

DO read this book if you’re willing to be challenged by a messy, complicated, and very realistic story about a damaged seventeen-year-old trying to negotiate her way through a bloody revolution. This book is dark and difficult and, even though there is some hope at the end of it, it’s definitely not the kind of story that will leave you with a case of the warm fuzzies. That being said, I’m so glad I read this, because it was absolutely worth it.
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LibraryThing member Isamoor
May11:

She actually turned it around in this one for me. I think this was a great ending. Avoided a ton of cliches.

Characters: Still a little juvenile, but added some real bite to them. In particular I love the "shades of grey" that come into play. I love it when authors do that correctly.

Plot:
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Seems a little rough at first honestly. But really comes into it's own in the last half. I can say she went in directions I honestly didn't expect.

Style: A young adult could really grow up with this. The book maybe spent a little too much time depicting drug-addled states, but maybe those exist in life a little too often too.
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LibraryThing member Mariah7
SPOILERS...be warned.

This book had me just stopping and gasping at the words I was reading. It was crazy all the way through. Crazy in a good way of course.

The only thing that I didnt love about this book...was that I couldnt fall in love with Peeta like the other two books. I had to remind myself
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that that wasnt really him...It didnt help either that Katniss couldnt see past the hijacked guy, and just started turning her back on him. Even at the end I didnt feel the love for him.

I started falling in love with Finnick instead and then he had to get his throat ripped out. I was so shocked and sad! My heart still squeezes when I think about it.

I liked the ending and thought the seperation of Katniss and Gale was written perfectly...he needed to realize that he could find someone better and that Katniss and Peeta where good together.

All in all I LOVED this book and thought it was the best conclusion to the series. There were so many twists and turns I couldnt put it down.

I am sad its over but it ended so perfectly...I am happy! =]
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LibraryThing member Smiler69
Keeping my review short and sweet for this one, since there really isn't any way to describe the plot without giving away too much. In this final installation, Katniss finds herself saddled with a role she is uncomfortable playing; namely, being the official face of the revolution, for which she is
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dressed up in a Mockingjay costume (designed by her beloved stylist Cynna) and filmed for tv spots which are hacked onto the Capitol's programs. But are the rebels really out to do the right thing, and can she even still trust Peeta and her best friend Gale? As someone very eloquently put it, this novel is unrelentingly bleak, and there were times when I just had to put it down, though I was then compelled to spend a sleepless night trying to fly through the last few unputdownable chapters. I had to fight hard to hold back the tears in the last few pages and thought the ending struck just the right kind of note, I have to say I'm glad to have heard the last of Panem at this point. Until the movie comes out, that is.
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LibraryThing member rdwhitenack
A real bloodbath of a book, which makes for great reading entertainment. I thought the story really evolved in this final book, and does a great job of getting the readers' distrust of the "Capital" to its zenith. As the main character struggles with what is and what is not reality, the reader
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similarly struggles in their own internal debates with who they believe Kat should trust.
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LibraryThing member apomonis
Yes, it's YA. Yes, it's sappy. Maybe even derivative.
However, I'm in love with Collins' jarring, violent, and emotional storytelling.
Go ahead, revoke my Man Card.
Call me names. I don't care.
I'm all in.
I will never forget this series, nor the action that ramps up this final installment. The
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fever pitch makes it unassailable as entertainment. Is it literature? Probably not. But, who cares?
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LibraryThing member blockbuster1994
This is not an easy final book on any level. It can be very dark and violent--children die, people are tortured and Katniss is overwhelmingly depressed for much of the book. Certainly, she has been shaped by her society, although she has not been defeated by it. She is utlimately accepting of her
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past and able to move forward in peace, if not hope.

Suzanne Collins has created a compelling story from start to finish. The execution of her writing results in a straightfoward, easy to read trilogy packed with adventure. The characters ring true, the jeapordy of their society is palpable, and there is alway, always evil to be battled.
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LibraryThing member maidenveil
The Games have ended and turned into a larger arena where everyone is a player. And Katniss Everdeen is more than a player now - she's hailed as the rebel's image of hope, the Mockingjay. Just like in every war, there are a lot of casualities, sacrifices to be made, politics and powerplay, and
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truths that everyone need to accept. Feelings are raw, emotions are high, and stakes are larger than the last two books. I had to remind myself from time to time to breathe while reading this book. From start to finish there is no time to put your guard down. Like in Katniss case where she needs to be always on the move to keep sane, while reading you feel that you are always on the move as well. Heart-stopping revelations, turn of events, and realities to live by while fighting, Mockingjay is one book that is so hard to pin a review on. All I know after is that tears start to burst out of me (thankfully I was alone) and I won't tell why. I am just happy to be able to experience reading Hunger Games, betting on either Peeta or Gale, cheering on Katniss, waiting for the book, and now trying to get over the haunting tale that Suzanne Collins have written with a ring of truth in it. Truly a must-read book that will eventually turn into a classic recommended to be read by everyone.
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LibraryThing member Draak
What a big pile of wasted paper! I would not recommend this book to anyone....well maybe I would if you enjoy constantly reading about someone whining, crying, and saying "oh there's one more person who died because of me." Because that's all this book was, Katniss taking all the blame. Gone is the
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fierce girl who took her sisters place in the Hunger Games and in her stead is a weak, spineless ninny who really should have been put out of her misery and ours early in the book. Then maybe we would have had a story about how everyone was going to get revenge for her death. Even when the war is on and she is out in the middle of the battle all she did was whine and one more person died because of me. Maybe it would have been ok if she would have realized that after years of oppression the people in the districts were tired and wanted their lives back. That they didn't do it for her or die because of her. Instead she was written as a vain, self centered nobody. Even the ending seemed forced and expected. What started out as a good trilogy ended badly in my opinion.
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LibraryThing member YAaddict
You've heard it all before, so I will make it quick (as possible):

No matter how you felt about Mockingjay, I think we can all agree it was impossible to put down. Collins succeeds again at taking us to a different place and time and making her characters come to life right before our eyes. Yes,
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Mockingjay was much more depressing and gory than the first two, but you have to appreciate Collins' realistic approach. She could have taken the easy road and tied on a beautiful ribbon and a happily ever after, but would that fit this series at all? Katniss' world is a very dark world. This is about a war. Have any wars in history came out the other side unharmed? Yes, some parts I was devastated. Yes, some parts I cried my eyes out. But I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Some characters did have a shift in personality. But I feel they were still in character if you go by what they have have been through.

If I had one complaint, it would be that I wish the ending was a bit longer. But that is mostly my own selfishness. I didn't want to let these characters go. However, the Epilogue was beautiful. Will I read Mockingjay again? Probably not. My heart is not strong enough. I was so emotionally invested in this story. Would I take back the experience of reading it? Absolutely not. Mockingjay will forever stay with me. If you are a Hunger Games fan, you have to read Mockingjay. But you might want to go in fully armored.
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LibraryThing member hellonicole
As much as I wanted to love Mockingjay with an undying, fiery passion, I just couldn't. There were too many things that just left me scratching my head. Was the book still great? Yes, amazing. But I can't help but feel that the ending promised so much, and then came up short. Now, granted, I
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finished this book at 2am, so maybe this is just me processing what I read, but to me it just feels that a book as action packed as Mockingjay deserved a far better ending. It really is hard to comment much further without going into spoilers, and as it is so soon after the book's release I don't want to do that. Suffice to say: Great book, in keeping with the series awesomeness as a whole, but a little flat at the end. Still a pleasure to read.
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LibraryThing member dekan
The Huner Games series is one of the best i've read in a very lng time. Not since i finished the last Vampire Chronicles was i sad the series was over. Which i'm referring to Menoch the Devil. I was happy with the others but those that have read them all understand my point. Once i finished this
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series my thought was, i need more!
Another perk to this series is if you happened on to any one of them you could read it and not feel lost. You would have some questions but they are very complete, each, in themselves. My favorite was the first one of the series; The Hunger Games.
The third book in this series was my second favorite. It also screams hummanity issues and that get you thinking. You're finally brought to light about district 13. So different than you expect. It really gives a good look of community and mass community issues. Interesting view on how it's handled and of course it's downfalls. How easy it would be with human nature to end up how it is.
My only beef with this book is the ending. Don't get me wrong, the climax (and a few other places) recieved a verbal, out loud reaction. The others ended so well and complete though. Now everyone i've talked to disagrees with me. I just felt that the series gave you so much information, detail and insight. The last bit of the book basically gave you a nicks notes version of weeks (literaly within a few pages) and op this is it and it was done. Like the very ending was just thrown together with not a ton of thought. Also to me it would have been better without the epilouge. It just solidified the nicks notes, generic ending. Aside from that it is a must read, excellent, can't put it down book and series!
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LibraryThing member eejjennings
Excellent series. I especially liked the prevalence of film crews and prep teams altering the reality for the TV viewers of the war and war games. Would be an excellent series to use in a classroom to discuss the use of propaganda by politicians and the distinction between truth and perceived
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reality.
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Awards

Pages

400

ISBN

9780439023511

Lexile

800L
Page: 20.6922 seconds