Thoughts: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Monday September 12, 2011 at 2:18 am |

Publisher: Scholastic
Copyright: 2010
Published: August 25, 2010
Pages: 455
Form: Paperback
Series: The Hunger Games (3)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Buy The Book: B&N | Book Depository

Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice.  But she’s still not safe.  A revolution is unfolding, and everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans – everyone except Katniss.

And yet she must play the most vital part in the final battle.  Katniss must become their Mockingjay – the symbol of rebellion – no matter what the personal cost.

**WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS.  SO IF YOU PLAN ON READING THIS BOOK OR THIS SERIES AND DON’T WANT TO READ SPOILERS, DO NOT CONTINUE READING!**

My Thoughts:

This is going to be less of a review and more of my rambling thoughts about the novel so please bear with me.  Following the phenomalness that is The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I have to be honest and say the finale kind of disappointed me.  Don’t get me wrong, the story as a whole was still enjoyable, but I did take issue with a number of things throughout the book.

Le sigh…first and foremost I have to wonder where my kick-ass Katniss disappeared to?  Was anyone else disappointed in the watered down version of Katniss we got in this book?  I feel like I spent the majority of the book hoping, and waiting, and wanting to see the Katniss that I grew fond of in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but she really never fully showed up in this one.  Sure you got a glimpse of her here and there, but the Mockingjay spent way too much time as a puppet to further other’s agendas, and not much to further her own.  That is when you could figure out what she was feeling through her muddled thoughts.  And when she wasn’t being told, directed and coached on what to do, she was in a drug induced stupor floating in and out of consciousness.  She was entirely too woe is me, callous, and complacent.  It was to the point that eventually I had a hard time convincing myself that I still gave a damn about what happened to her.

Another problem I had with the book was the fact that almost every time something monumental happens, particularly the capture of President Snow, everything fades to black, the actual action is totally skipped, and Katniss wakes, riddled with drugs, and everything is concluded.  WTF!  I hate to say this but that is just kind of easy and lazy to me.  I was so amped for her to finally find and take out Snow, especially after watching her sister get blown to bits, and she blacks out again, only to find that everything is taken care of.  I couldn’t believe it, I felt like somebody robbed me.  I couldn’ t believe I went through all of that with her, for it to end the way it did.  It was really very frustrating to read.

I am also taking issue with the wonderful people we lost on this book.  First of all, I LOVED me some Finnick.  And when I say loved I mean I was just as much concerned about him as Katniss and Peeta.  I was rooting for him, hoping for him, and ecstatic for him when he finally got to marry the woman he’d loved all those years.  So I was heartbroken when he was killed, and upset with the way he was killed.  There was no thought, or love in his death, and there was no need for it.  I hate that soon after he’d found his happiness, and after a lifetime of terror, it was taken away from him without a second thought.  And Prim, highly upset about her.  I was in shock that after all Katniss went through to save her sister and keep her safe, she dies anyway.  It just made me think, what the hell did I go through all of this for?  Because I went through it right along with Katniss, we all did.  I was terribly hurt by her death and extremely PISSED!  And then I knew for sure Katniss would find and kick Snow’s ass after watching her sister die…I thought that would at least be the fuel to light the fire up under her ass, but, well you all know how that ended up.  Just BOO for losing those two, and boo for them both going the way they did.

Also, I thought we would get to know more about Haymitch in this one but we don’t.  I wanted to know more about the demons that drove him to seek comfort in alcohol to the extreme that he did.  I understand about the Hunger Games, but I was thinking, it had to be more than that.  Some possible explanations cropped up in finding out bits and pieces of other characters stories, but nothing definitive to Haymitch.  That was a shame to me considering he was such an integral part of their survival.  I loved Haymitch, under all the alcohol, he had a heart of gold.  He was straight forward and pulled no punches, but he really cared about those kids.

As far as Peeta vs. Gale, I knew within the first 50 pages of Mockingjay which one I wanted her to choose.  Which is funny considering my indecision in the first two books.  But I have to say I’m team Peeta 100%.  Really I could tell just by the way she recalled him, thought of him, and felt for him that he was and would be the one for her.  She thought of him much more lovingly and tender than she did Gale.  And I have to say, in the midst of war, I didn’t care for who Gale became.  I could appreciate him as her friend, but he didn’t have what it took to be anything more.  I will say though, I think it sucks the way it all played out.  I really wanted her to make a solid decision one way or the other, but like everything else in this book, she just kind of fell into her decision and it was basically made for her when Gale moved off.  I mean I knew that she knew from the onset who she belonged with, but I wanted her to face her decision head on.

What I loved about the book was the fact that she recognized, more than anyone else, who Coin was.  I felt from the very first that she was just another Snow.  I admit she had a decent facade, but she was every bit as manipulative, conniving, and scheming as Snow.  So when she took her out I was like YES, but I wanted her to take Snow too.  And I wanted to know what happened afterwards…but again, she blacks out, wakes up drugged..same old bullshiggity, yet another cop out.  Oh and Peeta…how could you not love this kid?  Even after he came back from the capitol hijacked, he was still Peeta.  So filled with compassion, understanding, and love.  And not just with Katniss, with everyone.  Peeta was just good and I absolutely adored him.  To me he was about the only person who remained consistent in this book.

Overall, the story was cool just because it wrapped everything up, but I really wanted more from it than we got.  While I enjoyed getting a look at all the secondary characters I had come to like in the story, I really missed and longed for the Katniss I got to know in The Hunger Games.  I understand the point the author wanted to make about war, it’s not always pretty and sometimes we lose the people we really love because of it, but the majority of Mockingjay just left me sad and cold inside.  The people I loved all ended up dead, away, psychologically unbalanced, or inebriated.  I did enjoy the piece of happiness Katniss and Peeta managed to eek out  in the end. I just hate that it took so much for them to get there, and that the heartache eclipsed the happy.

Related Posts:

Thoughts: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Other Books in this Series:


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Jade

Written by Jade

Jade is a book blogger from NC. In her spare time she loves to read and build and maintain websites. She has been reading since she was four and building websites since she was 16. SortofBeautiful.com was born on March 8, 2011 and is a fantastic merging of her two favorite hobbies. Enjoy your stay!

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15 Responses to “Thoughts: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins”

  1. Besides the bit about Gale I am 100% on board with your sentiments about Mockingjay. I totally understand the reasons why Collins would want to make the ending bleak because in war nobody really wins but this is a YA story and to be honest, even if everyone else did die, I thought at least Katniss deserved some measure of happiness besides what she got. I’ve grown up with plenty of people who have suffered through wars and none of them turned into empty shells the way Katniss did. So disappointing.

  2. Jade Jade says:

    @ Lan, thanks for stopping by. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who felt disappointed by the finale. I’m really curious to hear your thoughts on Gale if you have the time. I’m always open to hear a new perspective. Maybe you saw something that I totally missed. Please share!

  3. Brie says:

    Is that the cover for the paperback edition? I prefer the old one…

    I actually thought that Katniss’ attitude in this book was appropriate. She was in over her head and after all the things that happened to her I wasn’t surprised to see her act like that. Her ending reminded me a bit of how Frodo ends in LOTR, a friend of mine is a huge Tolkien fan and she gets mad at me when I say that Frodo ends traumatized and a bit like the ghost of the guy he used to be, and that’s why he follows Gandalf to the other side or whatever you wanna call it. So to me this is what happens to Katniss, she ends up like the shell of the courageous girl she was because how else can she deal with everything? It’s absurd to put such a huge responsibly in the hands of a teenager and expect her to actually deliver.

    Now, Finnick, I don’t even want to talk about him because I get mad all over again, and how could she kill Prim? That’s three books worth of nothing basically, come on that’s why Katniss goes to the games in the first place and then she dies? I get that Suzanne was trying to portray the unfairness of war and all that, but that was too much, she should have killed Katniss instead…
    I also ended up feeling cold after reading the book, but I think that was the author’s intention all along.

    You should read these two articles, I think you are going to enjoy them:

    http://www.readreactreview.com/2011/06/24/10-things-i-didnt-like-about-the-hunger-games-trilogy/

    http://www.readreactreview.com/2011/06/22/10-amazing-moments-in-the-hunger-games-trilogy/

  4. Lena says:

    Sorry Jade, I had to skip the review because I didn’t want to read the spoilers. I loved Hunger Games and wasn’t too keen on Catching Fire. I was hoping Mockingjay would be better, but by your first few sentences I could tell it probably wasn’t too good. So I said, let me stop. I’m hoping to read Mockingjay in a few weeks and then I can come back and compare notes. I’m so tempted to read your review. AHHHHHH phooey!

  5. Jade Jade says:

    @ Brie, I posted that cover because that’s the cover of the one I read. I hate to hear that about Frodo too because I love LOTR and have been wanting to read the books. As far as Katniss, I feel like she went through way too much to become a shell. She was so strong in the first two and then juts blah in this one. And it wasn’t like she became a shell as a result of her own decisions. She becomes a shell as a result of being controlled and manipulated. The old Katniss would not have gone down like that.

  6. Jade Jade says:

    @ Lena, if you have not read Mockingjay yet then please do not read my thoughts. I want you to read and form your own opinions about it because I love to hear how others took the book. To me some of the fun is in reading the differing opinons of the same book!

  7. Brie says:

    OMG! Did I just spoiled LOTR for you? I’m so sorry! But if it makes you feel better that’s just my interpretation, my friend (the one who’s a big fan) says that I’m crazy and that I don’t know what I’m talking about, so she is probably right!

  8. Jade Jade says:

    @ Brie, LOL…no I think I’ll live. I’ve only ever watched the movies a thousand times…but I always wanted to go back and read the books and I’m pretty sure I will in the future. And like you said…its open for interpretation. So, no worries dear.

  9. Missie says:

    “the heartache eclipsed the happy.” Perfectly said, Jade. Mockingjay makes me happy that Breaking Dawn ended the way it did, with no loss of beloved characters, even though that bothered me at first. LOL

  10. OMG I can’t read this and it drives me nuts. I have to come back and read it because I’m reading Mockingjay now, but I sooo want to read this post. I keep thinking…well maybe I can just read the first paragraph.

  11. I loved reading your thoughts, Jade! And I agree about Peeta…love love love that boy.

    I think, for me, the Prim thing was a little too much. I felt like that was the one sacred item (so to speak) that I really wish had been left unscathed. *sigh*

    As far as the ending, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really wish Ms. Collins had added a couple more pages describing how Katniss and Peeta “grew back together.” She refers to this, but I wish she had shown us what that looked like, shown us a bit of Katniss and Peeta finding moments of happiness or love. I suspect she didn’t because the book may not have left as great an impact as it did with allowing us to feel a bit of the loss and devestation of war–but the happily-ever-after reader in me wanted to share in some of the piecing back together that Katniss got to have. Hmm… I love this trilogy.

    🙂

  12. Jade Jade says:

    @ Alexis, if you haven’t finished Mockingjay please don’t read it yet! I don’t want my thoughts to sway you one way or the other. But I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts once you’re done reading.

    @ M. Christine Weber, I agree. I felt like she was the catalyst for this whole story to begin with and to have the very purpose of Katniss sacrificing herself destroyed was way too much. And I too wish she had shown the readers how those two grew back together.

  13. WOW…totally call me clueless… I had no idea the hunger games was written by Jackie Collins….
    Now I’m not even sure if I want to read it!
    Ha ha ha ha
    Jackie Collins?
    Suzanne Collins?

  14. Okay. I’m here!

    So for the most part, I disagree with you. So here me out.

    Katniss was never a badass. She was talented and she cared about her family but she was manipulated from Book 1. Every once in awhile she would do something awesome and unexpected but to me, she was just a girl that performed well in the arena. She had survival instincts. With no arena here for most of the book, we don’t get that and to get that would feel out of character for me. What I loved about Katniss was how human she was and I think she is still that person here and it is a bit heartbreaking because she just…degenerates.

    I was following but didn’t get hooked until Peeta was back in the picture. I love me some Peeta! He is the star of the entire series, in my opinion, and I loved him in this one. Gale can go fly a kite.

    If you remember, I didn’t want to finish the series because I didn’t want to anything to happen to the characters. Mockingjay seriously gutted me. But I feel like what Ms. Collins was awesome even though it hurt. She didn’t cop out and save everyone though I was more disappointed to lose Finnick than Prim (I know I have no heart).

    Where I agree:

    The fact that Haymitch wasn’t more present AND he went back to the drinking without pause PISSED me off. There are no words to express my disappointment with that.

    Also, I agree about President Snow cop-out. That was disappointed because I wanted her to do both.

    I also agree that her constant retreat to medication was a little annoying. I understood because she is sooo broken but I was too invested to be completely satisfied with it.

    I thought it was a masterpiece BUT I think I am scarred for life. I’m glad I read the series but a part of me feels like I’ve lost a bit of innocence. I know sound dramatic but yeah. Okay this is a long comment.

    • Jade Jade says:

      Alexis, differing opinios are always welcomed as I feel they sometimes let me see something in a different light. I actually understand what you are saying, but even though her circumstances were not of her making, she was a very strong girl albeit reserved. And actually I agree with you about Finn. I was more upset about him than Prim. The thing that makes me mad about Prim is because it made me feel like the whole story was in vain. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.

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