Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 30, 2011
In anticipation of Suzanne Collins' third and final Hunger Games novel, Mockingjay, I was among the crowd of impatient fans ready to flip through the pages at a papercut-worthy speed. Which is why, as I grew closer to those fateful last pages of the series, I felt disappointment pushing through my thoughts.

Mockingjay wasn't at all what I expected. I knew the story would have to be dark like its predecessors (more so, since it was about war),
but I had no idea how dark it could be.

By the end, Collins writes of so many horrific deaths in such a short time that there is no breather. Her message is pounded into our minds with each slaughter: war is bad, War Is Bad, WAR IS BAD! And yet her writing lacks grace or subtlety. What should have been a sad yet sincere conclusion transforms into a contrived, deliberately alienating story with no regard for the characters who originally brought the books to life for readers.

And yet, with all the pandemonium of war, there was quite a bit of boredom jammed into Mockingjay. At least half the book is spent with a humorless Katniss, deep underground in District 13, with hardly anything happening. And when something exciting does occur, we only learn of it after the fact. This summary-style delivery comes across as the technique of a lazy author who was tired of writing full-action sequences. Instead, we end up with a protagonist conveniently absent of any importance (until the deaths begin, that is).

Overall, Mockingjay is an immense letdown. Personality, subtlety, and closure are sacrificed for the all-too-prominent anti-war message Collins hurls at readers. I would advise fans to hold onto the characters they love dearly and make up their own finale, rather than experiencing the blow to the stomach that the final Hunger Games book inflicts.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

Bonzi said...
Jan. 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm
The last Hunger Games was alright. The reason I was not in love with this book (even though I flew through the reading) is because it lost the effect of true hunger games. The main idea of being this hunger games sort of lost my interest even though there was success in the end. Therefore, I did enjoy reading about the progress Peeta was having in his recovery and once they were filming in the capital grounds and things went wrong they grabbed my interest and I couldn't stop reading. I'm... (more »)
Garrettds said...
May 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm

            When I set down the book after having finished it I felt hollow, empty – wanting more. Mockingjay leads you on a fantastic journey that exceeded my expectations. Back in the beginning with The Hunger Games I latched onto the general plot, and it was interesting and easy to follow. As the storyline progressed you could begin to make predictions as to how the book would play out. I believe readers thought Kat... (more »)

Garettds said...
May 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm
Hi, my name is Garrett.
TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I honestly have no idea what book you read. How was Katniss not involved in any of the action? Maybe the first seven chapters she wasn't but for the other TWENTY she was in the midst of it all. And that's when all the real action happened anyways.

It wasn't suspenseful?? This book had me on the edge of my seat more than even the first two did. If anything THG had the least action since virtually half of the book was either her preparing for the Games or her and Peeta sitting in a cave.... (more »)

Brookealee said...
Mar. 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm
All the points you made were valid. While I did enjoy the chance to wrap up the series, I was disappointed that Mockingjay lacked the suspense and thrill of the first two novels. However, I can at least be content with this impeccable review. :)
BlurryWords said...
Feb. 27, 2012 at 10:49 am

I completely agree. After reading the first two books in the series and finding them two very well written, rather graceful thrillers. I was rather let down by the finale.

I can't say I hated it and I am glad that I have read it, however it seemed to hold a lot less impact than the first two stories and I believe this was because of lack of emotion. Throughout the story we only ever really feel Katniss' depression. I know that Katniss was ever a happy character but I always thought she... (more »)

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