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Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The second book sucked. All there is to it. The first book was awesome, amazing, but the second almost destroyed my original opinion on the Hunger Games. But I’m not here to tell you about Catching Fire. I refuse to waste one more second of my time thinking about that book. I’m here to talk to you about Mockingjay.
The entire story idea for the Hunger Games trilogy is basically revolution. Overthrowing the tyrannical government that lives in luxury while the rest of the citizens struggle to stay alive. It’s set about a thousand years in the future, and a country called Panem stands in the place of the United States. Instead of states, there are Districts.
Oh, before I go any farther, I must emphasize that my review is going to be on the last book of the trilogy. If you haven’t read the first or second books, please don’t read on. It’s crucial that you read in chronological order, because they include vital details that will not be filled in in the third book. Yes, you will have to suffer through Catching Fire. But, I will tell you right now; it is most definitely worth it to read this series.
But if you have read the first two books, then I probably don’t have to explain to you the extremely poor state of some of the districts, the gruesome and revolting Hunger Games (of which this series is named after), the legendary thirteenth district that is (supposedly) leading a revolution, the fact that Katniss is torn between two boys, and that because of her rebellious acts in the Games, she has been nominated to be the rebels’ icon. Huh. I guess I just filled you in. Well, it was a good review, anyway, because these are very important points that you must keep in mind while reading the third book.
Most of this story centers around Katniss and her internal conflicts. The most obvious being which boy she should choose, and some of the less obvious being her uncontrollable internal anger and bloodlust battling with her unwillingness to become the monster that she’s trying to overthrow. And also the fact that she does not like the leader (called “Coin”) of District Thirteen. But the latter two are much more potent in the story, of which I am incredibly glad, because I abhor (that was a vocabulary word in my class a few days ago. I love using the word, mainly because I’m proud I still remember it. Teehee) the choices that she makes in the end.
But anyway, I love analyzing characters. First off, Peeta and Gale. Gale: the handsome, passionate, funny, stubborn man that was Katniss’ hunting partner for the past five years and knows more about Katniss than her own mother. Major fault: he is willing to do anything, including killing his own people, to win the revolution. Peeta: the guy that’s been in love with her since he first lay eyes on her (which I find extremely cheesy and only fuels my hatred of him… oops, I wasn’t supposed to tell you that. But since I have, I might as well tell you that I think he ruined what could’ve been a wonderful relationship with Katniss and Gale. If you disagree, feel free to comment below.), saved her life an innumerable amount of times, and is pretty much the exact opposite of Gale. As in, he is extremely relatable and most everyone loves him… except for me. And most of the other girls in the book club. Ha, that was a funny story, I’ll tell you about it a bit later.
Katniss is a girl I can’t help but compare to Bella (of twilight. Yeah, now I got your attention. But don’t count on me going blabbing about how hot Edward or Jacob is. I find them both repulsive. No, I am not trying to insult any of you “twi-hards” out there.). Both love two guys in different ways, but Katniss, I feel, has a better reason to be utterly bewildered on her choice of boys. What with the publicity stunts needed to be carried through and all (I know, I know, Peeta really meant it, and it was for the best, but still. I feel relationships, especially this awkward, should be kept quiet. He spent his entire life contentedly having and secret crush on Katniss, and had to go blabbing to the world about it the week before they were supposed to hack each other to pieces?! Seriously?!). They both made some MAJOR mistakes, and they are both self-sacrificing. For different reasons, yes, but in the end many of the actions are similar (Bella would’ve killed herself if she was captured for love and stupidity, Katniss would have done it for the sake of justice. And vengeance. And to escape to a more relaxing hell. But of course no author can let the main character die, they can make other characters that are held near and dear to the reader die, but the main character cannot die. Big no no.).
My major complaints about this story are, one, that it seemed to drag a little bit. Many of the internal-arguments are repeated many times, which I know is what the author intended, but it gets pretty repetitive after a bit. Also, I ended up hating a lot of the characters, and the ones that were amusing and/or lovable were dead by the end of the book. Which was not fun. Spent about half an hour crying over them at the end of the story. Another major thing I abhor (haha! I used it again! Mwuaheehaha! I am conquering the use of the word!) is Peeta’s personality. It’s too tacky, perfect, and cliché. He is the stronghold, the man that is passionately in love with the heroine, would sacrifice his life for her, et cetera. Pshhhhht. Yeesh. Like I haven’t heard that before. But seen it, with my own eyes? I have NEVER encountered such a perfect boyfriend. You can call it jealousy, and I will completely agree with you. Lastly, the ending was abrupt. But I can’t tell you why exactly I didn’t like the ending, except for the fact that I feel that Katniss has made the mistake of a lifetime several times, without revealing too much information.
Oh, that story I promised you. This took place when the second book wasn’t even out yet, but seeing as though the characters are the same, I’m going to tell you. So it was the end of a book club session on The Hunger Games, and everyone is packing up, when one girl randomly shouts “Lets have a vote! Who likes Peeta, and who likes Gale.”
The supervising adult says, “Okay. Gale, raise your hand.”
Many hands go up. Many, many hands go up.
One single, solitary hand. The girl that suggested the vote. People start calling out all of Peeta’s faults (or was it Gale’s positive aspects? I think so, because, like previously mentioned, the author had not created many faults for us to work with) to try and dissuade her of her decision.
Then one boy calls out over the din (hehe. Funny word.) “How about neither?” Because, of course, the boys are not gay.
Every male hand is raised. At least, I hope. I don’t really remember.
My point is, Suzanne Collins is an amazing author (who lacks a dash of humor in her works, which would really lighten up the mood, but still. She really makes you think, and the Hunger Games trilogy is a vast improvement over the Gregor and the Underworld series), and though this trilogy may not make my top ten list (maybe just barely), the Mockingjay is a wonderful addition to the series and I highly recommend you read it.
3.5 out of 5 stars (I’m a hard nut; it takes a lot to please me once I stop obsessing over the book).