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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

**This review contains mild spoilers. Do not read until you have finished the ENTIRE trilogy.**


Release: August 24, 2010

Others in the Series: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire

Source: Purchased
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Sigh.

Sometimes a book just can't stand up to the hype. Mockingjay is one of those books.

After a year of waiting for it's release, Mockingjay proved to be a disappointment, a shell of the previous series. Going into it, I was already concerned that the absence of the Hunger Games would be a major issue. There was no possible way to bring them back, as done in Catching Fire. For the first time, the series would have to stand without them. Only, in place of the life-or-death strategies and suspense that made the series so popular, Collins put in loads of  dull military tactics and a heavily science fiction feel.

In turning away from the Games, the story went towards George Orwell's 1984. For anyone who's read it, you can draw connections left and right. I'd been expecting this though, so it wasn't too much of a disappointment at the time. Collins threw in tons of the plot twists that made everyone love The Hunger Games, and for a while, I was hooked, riveted to my seat. The issue was, after awhile there's only so many twists you can throw in before it becomes confusing and jumbled. This, combined with the weak plot, is what began to spark my disappointment.

Furthermore, the rebellion was not as action-packed as one would've expected. Instead, it was a lot of manipulating Katniss and making strategies. In other words, fairly dull.

By the end, I was sure there was no way for Collins to end the series that would make me happy. Other than an Orwellian ending, that is. I genuinely disliked every single (living) character by the end. (I actually liked most of the dead ones.) They were not the characters I'd watched develop over the course of the previous two novels. They were dry husks. And then came the ending. I can't help but feel that Collins sold out at the last minute. It was the final blow that sent my already weakened opinion of the book crumbling.

Slow start, intriguing middle, but then an utter flop at the end. I'm not quite sure what to think of it all still. However, Collins did succeed in one place. She incited passion in her readers, whether it be love, hate, joy or disappointment. It just so happens that for me, it's passionate disappointment.

3 stars

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for this honest review! you're not the first person to think this...Maybe it's good that I haven't read this one yet!

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  2. so nice to hear something other than rah, rah, rah. Only because it's good to hear opposing opinions--thanks for being willing to share yours.

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  3. GOD!! i waited so freaking long for this book, and the waiting was worth it... but when i finished i felt so empty. WHY DID PRIM HAVE TO DIE?? god, and peeta kind of scared me .... i didn't like gale. And finnick ... just when the guy is happy he dies too. This book actually depressed me. Hands down catching fire was the best then hunger games .... i'm kind of dissapointed. I heard they were going to make a movie out of hunger games, frankly i think they might ruin it like twilight. Even though i despised twilight with a passion the movie was horrible, beyoond horrible. Anyway ... i'm glad atleast she ended up with peeta, but i wish they're was more. There were so many questions and other things unanswered ... I READ THE EPILOUGE LIKE 50 TIMES!! lmaoo eventhough it was like 2 pages, urgh. Still love the book, dissapointed about mockingjay, hope they dont make hunger games into the movie. Ending i have to say was just ... -sighs

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  4. I agree with you on most of these points. It was rather dull withouth the Hunger Games, but I think another part of the ... well depression this book has was that Katniss and all the other victors have pretty much lost their spirit, which I can totally believe happening. Especially to Katniss.

    My biggest disappointment was the climax, the leadup was great then... fade to black. And she copped out on the love triangle thing. I like how it ended (it was real, with their mental scars and stuff..) but I wanted more. I guess I don't understand why he gave up and didn't put up a fight for her.

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  5. I don’t think I liked this book as much as the other two.but still a good one ofc :)

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  6. hated the ending. she killed off so many people in like the last 50 pages! and i know gale had his faults, but they were the ones who had the connection from the beginning?? and the whole relationship with peeta was fake for ages? i don't understand how (even though she said it was over time) she and peeta got so close??
    grrr.the ending disappointed me ridiculously!

    on the other hand, just read the CHERUB series final (the 12th book) by Robert Muchamore which came out on the weekend as well, and was very happy with the ending :)

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  7. I feel pretty much exactly the same. The only non disappointing part of the book to me was the last page and the epilogue :D

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  8. I feel like there was absolutely no closure. I don't mind a somewhat frayed ending but this was just plain sloppy to me. I feel like in the end the only reson Prim died was so Katniss would have a reason not to choose Gale. I was very invested in this Trilogy and I now wish that I wouldn't have read the last book.

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  9. On literary terms, it makes complete sense that Prim died. In most war books (I consider Mockingjay to be one of them), there's the theme of innocence being lost. I think we can all say that Prim is the most innocent character in the series, so her death is symbolic of this theme. And it's when Prim dies that Katniss's last remaining ounce of innocence dies as well. She finally realizes that even in war, the so-called "good guys" would resort to fire-bombing harmless children to win. For that reason, I believe killing Prim was the absolutely correct artistic thing to do.

    But on personal terms, yeah, I wish she would've survived. She's one of my favorite characters! Then again, the book wouldn't have been as powerful without her death...

    I think that kind of sums up how I felt about the book. It made complete sense to me from a literary perspective, but on a personal entertainment level, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first two. Maybe, that's because war as a whole isn't a very entertaining topic, and it definitely shouldn't be. I don't think Collins "sold out" with the ending though though. Instead, I think she stood firmly behind her artistic sentiments and created a book that wouldn't please everyone. For that, even though the book has many flaws, I think she should be commended.

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  10. oh gale... i really wanted katniss to realize that shes been in love with him all along. Collins could and should have done so much more with them, but i felt like she treated gale as an afterthought in this book. which sucks because he was awesome.

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  11. This book started slow for me and never progressed. I'm about half way done and dreading finishing it. It feels like Collins was rushed to complete it and her editors weren't given time to do their jobs. If I hadn't read the first 2 books, which I adored, I would have never known Collins was capable of crafting an incredible read.

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  12. I thought it was a perfect ending. When Peeta says to Katniss "You love me. Real or not real?" and Katniss replyed "Real" Thats how the book was sold to me. I didnt think Gale was right for Katniss, it would be incest because Gale was like a brother.

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  13. I thought it was the perfect ending to the series. Sure it was depressing and heartbreaking, but it was realistic, and any author that can evoke such strong emotions in their readers is seriously talented.
    And I have to agree with the person above; I really don't think Collins is a sell-out. She wanted to make a point with this series, and she stood by it all the way through, even knowing many people would be disappointed with the ending.

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  14. i'm sorry you didn't enjoy it but I could see where you're coming from. The last one wasn't as amazing as the first two, but there was no way Collins could have put in another Hunger Games with the way the plot was going. I wish the series didn't end at three -- but I guess all good things must come to an end :p

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  15. loved the book it was very heart touching. just sad about what happened to prim:(

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