Friday, September 3, 2010

Book Review: Mockingjay


By:  Suzanne Collins

Publisher:  Scholastic Press

Publish Date:  August 24, 2010

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Format:  Hardback, 389 pages

Recommendation:  YES!! and read the first two books too! It is so much more than YA and deadly games.

Book Synopsis:
My name is Katniss Everdeen.
Why am I not dead?
I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed.  Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe.  Peeta has been captured by the Capitol.  District 13 really does exist.  There are rebels.  There are new leaders.  A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescu3ed from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it.  District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol.  Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans - except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem.  To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust.  She must become the rebels' Mockingjay - no matter what the personal cost.

First Sentence:
I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather.

My Review and Summary:
First, this review will have spoilers as to the first two books and some to this one as well, not much but if you want to go in unknowing the please don't read.  I tried keeping all the major issues out of this review and hope I did well in that.

One month after Quarter Quell and Katniss is still healing.  Katniss returns to the ashes of her home District 12 to see the devastation with her own eyes.  Katniss is still trying to put the pieces and players together to figure out what's true and what's not.  She feels guilty for the deaths of District 12 for her actions in the Quarter Quell ~ upsetting the Capitol to make them do this to her home district.

In Katniss's state of mind and distress over what has happened with the games she can't decide if she wants to join up with the Rebels and be the image they need her to be... the Mockingjay, to give hope to the other districts while fighting.  Yet the help with clothes, speeches and such all sound just like the position Katniss played before each game.

This book starts off slowly with learning who and how the rescued ones are.  You learn there are great worries for the ones who were captured by the Capitol, and you see how devastating it is to the ones who are alive and... well alive.  Here in District 13 you start to see there are rumors about the place and you wonder slightly on it while learning interesting details of the place, but the people are safe and accepted here. 

I was aware from the previous two books that President Snow and the games really affected these kids' minds, but it really shows in this conclusion as to how badly it really was/is.  The clouded view and instability of Katniss from the previous and even current happenings really comes into focus here.  This is also what makes this book so heart wrenching for me.  Suzanne definitely does NOT take the easy road for her characters.  She is very bold in taking this great stand with them, which makes them that much more real to me.

I was wanting to see more of the government and the views of what might have been "wrong," "right," or where they "went from here".  But again, these books are from Katniss's view so we are a little short on these explanations.  These books are of Katniss as she grows in the role here.  You do get your conclusion to the story.  But the idea implanted from this world and the reaction of these characters keeps you thinking.

As much as I loved the book and was drawn into these characters once more, I felt left wanting more in the end.  This can be a good thing and a bad thing.  Maybe the frantic pacing in parts of the book once it got rolling and then slower in others might be why.  I'm not sure.  Maybe the trauma periods for Katniss, when she is sedated, is what I felt as I'm missing things, I wasn't sure I was getting all the information or even the right information.  But I was seeing Katniss's view on everything to understand her even more.  It might be that I don't really get my closure with what happens in the government and politics.  But the book left a huge impact on me.  The thought to do what is right and needed in the bigger picture.

Is this the perfect ending to the trilogy?  I don't know.  I do know I was drawn right to the characters and the destructive world they live in.  Drawn so much I was heart broken in the end.  But there is a short ray of hope given after it all.  For me this book is about more than how Katniss chooses to be with, it is about what you choose in life to fight for and what you will do for it, but keep your eyes and ears open to not be tricked to do for others.

I purchased this book for my own reading.

This book qualifies for the Speculative Fiction Challenge hosted by Book Chick City, and for the Young Adult Challenge hosted by Home Girls Book Blog.

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