Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) – Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) – Suzanne CollinsTitle: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
Publishing Info: August 24, 2010 by Scholastic Inc.
Source: Library
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: March 21, 2013 (Originally read 6/9/11)
Related Posts: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)

    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 rescued 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.

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This is my second time around reading the entire trilogy of THE HUNGER GAMES and honestly, I was hoping as I went into MOCKINGJAY the second time around that I would come out on the other side with a better overall opinion of it. When I first read MOCKINGJAY, I wrote in my Goodreads review that I felt like it ended much too quickly and I was really disappointed with the turns it took. The beauty of re-reading this book via audiobook was that I wasn’t allowed to rush through anything. Here’s the thing: Whenever I get excited about ANY part in a book, I rush rush rush to read and find out what happens. I skip paragraphs of description and just read dialogue, I jump to the next page, I skim through pages so I can get to the end faster… And I totally think that ruined my reading experience the first time around! MOCKINGJAY still isn’t my favorite book of the series by far, BUT I did rate it a whole star higher on Goodreads this time around!

So that probably should have been the last paragraph of the review, but somehow it’s the first. I gave away the ending!!!! Oh well. Moving on… I think MOCKINGJAY was my least favorite of the series for a few reasons. For one, I felt like Katniss was exceptionally whiny in this book. I mean, yes, no kidding that she has a ton of crazy stuff to deal with (and I also partially blame the narrator of the audiobook because I think she has a really weird voice which is NOT how I would have Katniss sounding in my head at all) but I see less and less of her bravery and determination in MOCKINGJAY. Too many times I felt like she was giving up instead of using her “fire” (ha) to fight back.

I also really did not like the development of the love triangle in this book. I was already more on Gale’s side than Peeta’s so the whole hijacked-Peeta did not help me like him more in this book. I remember through the first read it was annoying and almost painful to read about Peeta hating Katniss so much, but somehow this time around, it didn’t feel nearly as abrasive at all.

Then there’s my issue with seemingly all final books in dystopians: The politics. I’m rarely interested in political story arcs in books. I’m just not interested in politics in real life and fictional politics often frustrate me instead of interest me. Now I get that the entire trilogy is kind of centered around this political aspect (whoops?) but MOCKINGJAY really gets into the ins and outs of how to take down President Snow and the capitol and some of it just lost my interest. Oh, and I TOTALLY forgot about the epilogue. Probably because it was super cheesy. I really could have done without that.

I’m really glad that MOCKINGJAY turned out to be a better read for me the second time around, but it still was my least favorite of the series. I really think the audio version helped me with pacing but took a little away from how I felt about Katniss as a character.
Would I re-read the series again? I’m actually not sure. Usually I’ll re-read my favorite series until the cows come home, but at least for now, I feel satisfied with going back over these books once. I may skim through CATCHING FIRE before the movie comes out and I really do feel like I can always go back to THE HUNGER GAMES and enjoy it, but I don’t know if I really want to push as far to read MOCKINGJAY for a third time.

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Katniss: This was my least favorite version of Katniss in the series. Even though I’m sure she was supposed to be somewhat falling apart in this book, I really FELT like she was and it was getting a little annoying. The back and forth between Peeta and Gale… the awkwardness that she was… It just really started to bother me in MJ.
Peeta: Just when I was starting to like Peeta in CF, they hijacked him in MJ and make him unlikable. It made it really hard for me to root for Katniss & Peeta to end up together, even after I knew how the series ended.
President Snow: I kind of feel like Snow lost some of his creepiness in this book. He was breaking down, but I wanted him to be creepy until the end.

addiction_factor1Re-read it! 

Well of course my advice is to read it… but I also think this is a good series to re-read! I actually liked MOCKINGJAY a lot more the second time around so I’m very glad I went through the whole series again!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE MOCKINGJAY

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4 thoughts on “Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) – Suzanne Collins

  1. Ashley @ Wholly Books

    I have to say that I believe I am in the minority of this one, having actually liked Mockingjay. I felt that the ending was realistic. I loved that Collins did paint a happily ever after picture at the end because after enduring all that, you can’t come out unharmed or unchanged. I also thought that the changes in Katniss were a product of everything she went through. I don’t think Katniss ever gave up, I think she was worn down. She had lost a lot and struggled to remember what she was fighting for.

    That’s just my opinion though! Glad you liked it better the second time through!

  2. Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books

    I actually really disliked Catching Fire the first time I read it – it was too similar to The Hunger Games in terms of overarching plot and conflict, and I had some problems with Mockingjay as well. It’s definitely very dark, political, gritty. But after re-reading it a few times myself and reading some fantastic interpretations of Collins’ works, such as this one (http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/03/after-the-ashes-rereading-mockingjay), I’ve drastically altered my opinion. I’m now of the belief that had Mockingjay ended any other way, it would not have done justice to the messages that Collins was making throughout the trilogy. That doesn’t mean I love every way in which it ended, but I have made peace with them and recognize why they make sense.

    I’m actually a fan of fantasy/dystopian-world politics. Real world politics? Not so much. But because they’re created for this specific fantasy world, I find myself very interested in them and how they affect the characters I’ve grown to love over the course of the series.

    I can totally understand all the points you make here about your frustrations with this finale, as they were initially concerns of mine as well. But it sounds as though re-reading it did help you understand it/appreciate it a little more, which is great. I love going back to previously read books and seeing how my opinions of it have changed over time. 🙂 Unfortunately it’s not something I feel like I can do very much with so many books to read for blogging.

  3. Kathy L.

    I know what you mean about this being your least favorite of the series. I loved Hunger Games and the first half of Catching Fire but after that it went down-hill for me. I’m a Peeta girl and I could not stand what happened to him! Between that and Katniss’s depression I was very VERY disappointed with the end to the Hunger Games series. I wasn’t a fan of the way the love triangle was handled either. I felt like Katniss never chose who she wanted but was with whoever happened to be around at that moment! Maybe I should listen to the audio book, because otherwise I don’t see myself going through that again.

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