Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review for Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 390  
My rating: 4/5
Warning: Spoilers in Quick Content Review
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire. Survived the Hunger Games. Twice. Still alive. And still rebelling.
Katniss has been transported to District 13 after her second time in the arena. Peeta is in the Capital. Yes, with Snow. Who is doing who knows what to him to get Katniss to crack. The rebellion still rages, and it’s stronger than ever now, with 13’s nuclear power and built-up strength on its side. But it’s missing one thing. A hero. A figure head. Someone to lead them. And Katniss is that person. Will she agree? Will she put aside her feelings, her doubts, to become their Mockingjay?
I was more than a little scared to read Mockingjay. I had heard all bad things about it, and didn’t want it to ruin my view of this trilogy. And now after I’ve read it, I have mixed feelings about it. It definitely wasn’t as good as THG or CF, and took way more effort to read. Some parts seemed to drag on and on and on. But there were some parts I loved and could barely put the book down. Like at the beginning, before Katniss was sent off to the Capital. Some parts, like those, were mind-blowing. Mrs. Collins teased us by making Gale more caring, almost romantic, making our minds flirt with the idea of Katniss + Gale. And in 13, she makes you decide which side Coin is really on.  After Peeta’s hijacking, I questioned whether he was really himself (I know you’re thinking, “Duh, Shelby, he OBVIOUSLY wasn’t himself!”) or whether Snow had made some ballistic, blood-thirsty clone out of him. Those parts just ignited me with anger for the Capital. Towards the middle of the book, I really didn’t feel anything. I didn’t have any opinion about what was going on. It was strange. I just kept zombie- reading. Then Katniss was sent to the Capital. And the war truly began for both me and her. It was so different, in the Capital…everything was so much more extreme. I had always pictured the Capital, even at war time, as a happy place with lots of flowers. Even if the happiness was just a cover for the real maliciousness going on there. But it was not alike that at all. It was worse than in the Districts. It was pure war. Almost sickening, the way they tried to trap Katniss and her team, to kill them in miserable ways. So many different, creative ways of killing people. It was nauseating.
Those were the parts I didn’t like. They drained me. Depressed me. I could feel the weight of the war, the heavy tension, the constant action, the constant fear.  Death was so…prevalent in those parts. And Boggs. Oh goodness. If I was one to cry over books, I’m sure the pages would have been wet. He was so brave. And he died in such a horrible way.  It was like WW3…maybe worse.  Mockingjay was definitely more violent than THG or CF. It’s more of a darker story. And the deaths…they stung so much more.
So now, after saying that, you wouldn’t think that I would say I wished for a more dramatic ending. Yes. I did. I feel like I ( and Katniss, consequentially) missed out on “the last battle.” She’s hanging off a light pole, watching…well, since some of you haven’t read it, I won’t give it away…let’s just say she was watching Prim, then the next minute she’s unconscious. She wakes up on a hospital bed. And it’s all over. The Capital fell while Katniss was out. And after two books and a lot of fighting, she missed it. *sigh* It was quite disappointing. Even for me.
Also, after Katniss wakes up, she doesn’t seem like herself. I didn’t like that at all. I mean, I know she was grieving (who? Oh, you’ll have to read and find out… J) but she doesn’t seem like the type who would go hide in a closet after the Capital was overthrown.
Another thing. I wished I had seen more romance between Peeta and Katniss at the end. They seemed so cold. It was like, “Oh, well, everyone else is either dead or disinterested, so why don’t we get together?” I mean, if they finally realized they truly loved each other and all that, why didn’t we see it? That was another big disappointment for me.
One more disappointment/confusion:  1.) I didn’t like then ending. Have I mentioned that already? It didn’t wrap up the book series very well, and it felt completely dead to me. It wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t romantic, it was just dead.    2.) Did anyone besides me miss the climax? I mean, WHERE WAS THE CLIMAX?!?!? Think about it. It totally wasn’t there. Someone enlighten me please, if you know where it was, because I’m hopelessly lost on that matter.
To sum it up, there was the good, there was the bad, and there was the ugly. Do you want me to be honest with you? The bad outweighed the good. The war seemed much more violent to me in Mockingjay than it was in THG or CF. It was like a futuristic holocaust. I pretty much loathed Mrs. Collins with my whole being after finishing Mockingjay. I wanted to scream in her face, “Why get us all so attached and emotionally invested in all these beautiful characters, then kill them off???” I kept thinking, “How can she do this to us?!” I was waiting for them to come back from the dead or something. But I’m sure she had her reasons for them dying…I still don’t see them, but I’m accepting. J Also, it wasn’t as fast paced as the last two books. It seemed slower to me. But it wasn’t all bad, though. Mockingjay had its awesome parts. J Let me just say, it did change my perspective of what this trilogy is about. I thought it was a story of freedom, rebellion, revenge, and taking back what’s rightfully yours, but no- it’s a story of hurt, death, and healing.
I loved this trilogy to death and will never forget the fight that Katniss, Peeta, and Gale went though. Real or not real?

 P.S.- And I can’t believe it’s finally over!! I could keep the story of Katniss, Gale, and Peeta going in my head, changing the plot, make it end like I want it to, or never end at all. Like a game. J “But there are much worse games to play.”
 Quick Content Review:
Profanity: None
Violence: Heavy (I want to be honest with you. There was more violence in Mockingjay than there was in THG or CF. Districts get blown up, a hospital collapses on the invalids inside, a character steps on a land mine and gets blown up (mention of blood and pieces of flesh everywhere), a character gets caught in a barbed net and dies, character are tortured (no description, just mentions), Katniss shoots people, Katniss gets shot once, you get my gist. Lots of violence- it is about war, so you must expect that. But I can’t tell you not to read this series because of the violence. It’s an amazing trilogy- one of the best I’ve ever read, if not the best. Don’t let the violent content scare you away. But please use your judgment and discretion, though. I don’t suggest that anyone younger than 15 or 16 read The Hunger Games because of the violence. )
Sexual: Mild (Katniss and Gale kiss once or twice, and Peeta and Katniss might kiss once; I don’t remember. Finnick tells about what the Capital did to him after his Hunger Games in order to keep him under control. He was forced to be a prostitute and says he was “paid with secrets” (about Snow and the Capital). He mentions something about Snow’s odd sexual preferences. Nothing explicit.)

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