Review of the Hunger Games 3 | Teen Ink

Review of the Hunger Games 3

March 12, 2023
By DarkTetra SILVER, San Jose, California
DarkTetra SILVER, San Jose, California
9 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We can't hide from the reality of what anti-vaccine conspiracies do: they kill babies too young to be vaccinated. They kill healthy children that are just unlucky. They bring serious diseases back from the verge of extinction. And, the biggest side effect of vaccines is fewer dead children."
-Kurzgesagt-In A Nutshell 2019

All right, so now I’ve finished the entire Hunger Games trilogy, and you know what that means: It’s time for me to rank the third and final Hunger Games book: Mockingjay. I’ll do this just like how I ranked the previous book: the connection to the previous books, the development of old and new characters, and the overall plot.

Connection with prequel(s)

So let me just start off by saying I am SO glad that the author finally ditched the real fake love arc with Peeta and Katniss. I mean, it’s there, but not nearly as emphasized. And I’m also glad that the author FINALLY went full-on with the rebellion arc and finally got Katniss involved with the war. To be honest, I really think what made the second book bad was that the author begins to introduce the concept of an open rebellion against the Capitol, but because she couldn’t jump into it right away, she either had to make the beginning part filled with stories of rebellion, the tension of trying to die it down, the threats from Snow, and then fit the actual war into the rest of the book, or just spread the hints of rebellion all over the book and come up with a filler (in this case, the Quater Quell).

The characters from District 12, except for Katniss’s mother and sister, are just killed off before the book off-screen, which really feels like the author was too lazy to give them full character arcs. I mean, imagine how different the book would have been if Peeta’s family had been brought to 13. We never even saw them much throughout the first two books, and now they died without contributing a single thing to the story. Still, the few problems I have are VASTLY outweighed by the relief of the removal of the ridiculously confused and half-baked real/fake love arc/triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. That, plus Katniss springing into a literal war instead of competing in Hunger Games and worrying about Snow killing her family, lands this category an A-.


Oh, BOY do I have a LOT to talk about. I mean, this book’s plot is SO much different from the first two books and that is AMAZING! I mean, sure the Hunger Games were nice. But after the author set up the whole rebellion arc I was just DYING to see Katniss in a full-out revolutionary war. I mean, first of all, this book has WAY more action scenes. In the previous book, Katniss spent half her time worrying her head off about things that she already worried her head off like, 10 pages ago, only to do it 10 pages later.

In this book, there’s way less nonsense. Instead, the author finally builds into the climactic third part of the story, the one I was waiting for. I mean, I think everybody who read, like, the first 30 pages of book 1 would know that the author would eventually have a second war between the districts and the Capitol and that Katniss would play a major role in it somehow. And now that it’s here, oh, BOY let me just say that it was executed excellently. First of all, I love that scene where after trying to film a staged propo with Katniss (giving her lines and making her look beat up and everything), Haymitch steps in and he’s like “nope, this won’t work.” I was really afraid that Katniss would just spend, like, ⅔ of the book inside District 13 with one, big climactic finale at the finish, but instead, there are tons of more interesting scenes sprinkled throughout the book. We almost never see Katniss in direct combat, but the parts where she goes to the hospital and shoots down the Capitol’s hovercrafts, visits District 12 and sings that Hanging Tree song, and especially when she does that really impressive speech after the “Nut” (the mountain in District 2 where the Capitol keeps all of its war artillery) is destroyed more than make up for the lack of actual combat.

There are just two flaws: 1) I really wish that the revelation of the existence of a secret, functioning, underground District 13 was much more sudden and unexpected, and that book 2 didn’t hint about it at all. 2) Katniss going nuts over Peeta because she knows he’s getting tortured and also because he gets hijacked is just the real-fake love arc just taking a more dramatic turn. I mean, it appears far less often, but it still sucks.

The only other thing holding this category back from an otherwise well-deserved A+ is the completely unnecessary “plot twist” at the end, where Katniss kills President Coin. Because this happens at the very end of the book, it contributed absolutely nothing to the plot whatsoever. Plus, Katniss’s motivation for doing this is confusing: I mean, I get Katniss thinks Coin accidentally killed Prim with the exploding parachutes, but otherwise Coin has been a major protagonist throughout the entire book. She helped win the war against the Capitol and even agreed to spare Peeta and the other victors’ lives. Plus, it’s never even actually revealed who dropped the exploding parachutes, so this “plot twist” actually does the opposite of what it’s supposed to do: make the reader hate Katniss rather than support her. Really, why did Katniss kill the person who literally won the war against President Snow, Katniss’s worst enemy? Still, though, this category is also much more improved. So, I’m going to give it a B. I mean, it probably would’ve been at least an A-, but the multiple flaws just held it back.


Oh, man. Every single main character from any of the previous books gets a TON of development here, and I LOVE that. I mean, where to start? Katniss goes through some pretty serious trauma and pain, physical, mental, and emotional. This changes her character so much that she’s practically a different person compared to the (relatively) naive, carefree girl we saw at the beginning of book 1. Gale matures even more, helping Katniss get through a bunch of tough times, and, despite the circumstances, not developing a prejudice against Peeta for Katniss and him supposedly being madly in love. Peeta getting hijacked is more of a temporary change, but it still has a dramatic impact on the plot and especially on Katniss, who literally has multiple mental breakdowns over Peeta. Besides them, Finnick also gets a lot of character development-or should I call it revelations, since the book just reveals facts that were true all along, like how President Snow threatened the lives of Finnick’s family and how he knows a lot of secrets about the Capitol and President Snow.

There are also a lot of new characters, although they don’t get as much character development, but instead aid Katniss throughout the war and make plenty of other actions. All of this is fine, but then the author kills, like, half of the main and side characters at the end of the book, which really feels like she was desperate to do something dramatic and unexpected and literally just copied The Deathly Hollows. So I give the characters another A-.


So overall, the Hunger Games: Mockingjay is a HUGE improvement compared to the mediocrity that was book 1 and the absolute trash that was book 2. Still, there are plenty of flaws, so I just can’t put it anywhere higher than B-tier. Sorry, book 3. I really wish I could’ve given you an A-tier. I do.


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