“Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins

“Mockingjay” is the third book in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy.  As with my review of  “Catching Fire,” I’m going to try to avoid as many spoilers as possible from the first two books, even at the expense of a more vague review.

“Mockingjay” takes it’s name from a species of bird that exists within the book that is a cross between a jabberjay and a mockingbird.  Jabberjays were birds that the Capitol used to memorize and deliver messages, kind of like more intelligent parrots.  When jabberjays bred with mockingbirds, they created a species capable of memorizing and repeating human songs with lyrics as part of their bird calls.  It becomes a symbol of revolution, because the Capitol never meant for them to exist.  Little touches like the mockingjay are a part of why this book resonated so well with me; it’s that touch of creativity that adds little glimpses of sunshine and hope in the middle of a very bleak world.

The bulk of this installment in the trilogy takes place in District 13, which was firebombed in the previous revolt that occurred around 75 years before the trilogy takes place.  However, much of District 13 survived in underground tunnels and bunkers and continued to thrive, unknown to the average citizens of the Capitol and the other districts.  The resistance is headquartered there, and is using Katniss as part of their official propaganda.  Now officially a part of the revolution, Katniss finds herself questioning whether the ends justify the means, and what the cost of a victory would be.  Meanwhile, a good friend is in enemy hands, and Katniss feels increasingly powerless while caught up in a conflict larger than herself.

The first two books in the series were rather emotional, but this one takes the cake.  I cried several times while reading it, but at the same time couldn’t put it down because it was so suspenseful and I had to know how everything would end.  Overall, I was quite satisfied with the ending.  Katniss’ life after the revolution didn’t take the direction that I expected, and I’m glad.  It was interesting to see the way that Katniss evolves since the first book, becoming more and more jaded (and kind of scarred for life) since the moment she volunteered herself for the Hunger Games to protect her little sister.  She matures a lot as the books progress.

The ending of the book also (finally!) resolves Katniss’ love life dilemma, and I think it rather funny that most of my friends are very adamant about who they thought Katniss should end up with.  I was happy with her choice; my sister was not.  For anyone who’s read it, who did you like more, Gale or Peeta?

Overall, I’m definitely glad that I read this series.  Normally I’m a bit hesitant when everybody gets obsessed with a book, because let’s face it, everybody was obsessed with “Twilight” too.  “The Hunger Games” isn’t like that; it’s more mature and leaves room for thought, and the writing is infinitely better, despite its flaws.  I tend to shy away from YA novels, not because I don’t like them, but because I’m a fast reader and tend to go through them too quickly.  Luckily, I made an exception for this, and it’s something that I may have to do more often!


I read “Mockingjay” as a part of The 2012 Science Fiction Experience hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings and the Speculative Fiction Challenge hosted by Baffled Books.

Categories: Fiction, Sci Fi, YA | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on ““Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins

  1. Great review. I do think this was an excellent series, but, the third was my least favourite – it almost felt like a different style of book and although there was plenty of action in the latter half I almost became immune to it (or dare I say bored?) I also felt like the ending was flat and like you mention certain aspects seemed a bit unnecessary. All that said, i don’t want to be overly critical because I did overall really enjoy this series – I would say the first book was undoubtedly my favourite though.
    Lynn 😀

  2. I was ultimately disappointed with this book. I think the hype was just too much for me. I did enjoy the first book and think it was mostly a timing thing.

  3. Absolutely the second best young adult series I have ever read (after Harry Potter of course). It’s one of those wonderful series that defies ages. My mom and great aunt both loved the series almost as much as I did. And I was thrilled with how her life ended up; I think it was the perfect ending.

    • I’m a big fan, and I’m a bit surprised that there’s been so much controversy about the book. We need more great YA series to get people reading! I love the all-ages aspect too… Harry Potter spoiled me and got me used to having at least one book that all my friends were obsessed about. Then came Game of Thrones (because of the HBO series) and now this one. It’s fun! 😀

  4. Great review! I wish I reviewed this book too! I just ranted about the ending, mostly about the people who died. Haha! Thumbs up! 🙂

    • I could rant for a very long time about the people who died, lol. I was not at all happy about that part of the story, and it made it feel a bit like it was all for nothing, y’know?

  5. I think Mockingjay is where our opinions on the series diverges. I really enjoyed the first two books. They had a good mix of action and drama that kept it moving without getting too bogged down.

    This book kind of ruined that for me. It took out the action element almost entirely, and the strength of Katniss, turning her from an emotionally turbulent but strong young woman who always did what she felt was right. Mockingjay just made her super emotional chess piece that did what others wanted her to, outside of the occasional moment of clarity.

    And while I like who she ended up with, it didn’t seem earned to me at all. It just kind of fell into place.

    All that said, I’m very glad that you enjoyed it! Maybe my wife is right, and I’m just a bitter old man.

    • And I just noticed I didn’t say this in my overlong comment, but great review! I’m impressed that you were able to actually speak on the book without spoiling anything.

      • Thanks! My biggest problem with this book had to do with certain deaths near the end of the novel. I think that they were unnecessary and kind of overshadowed the hopeful tone that the ending would have had otherwise. That and it seemed like a bit of a cop-out to settle the Gale/Peeta thing…

  6. Wow you cruised through those! I’m going to have to pick up the trilogy–every one is talking about them. I want to see what the hullabaloo is about.

    • That’s one of the biggest reasons why I read them, lol. They’re pretty quick reads, and people have been telling me to read them for months now. They’re definitely worth it, despite their flaws.

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