Mockingjay

by Suzanne Collins
ages: 14+
First sentence: “I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there! (Though you probably already have.)

NO SPOILERS. Promise.

Like Hunger Games and Catching Fire, this book is very unputdownable. Thankfully, I set aside the day to sit and read, otherwise I’d have been biting my nails and obsessing over the book. Better to get it all over with in one sitting.

And, for the most part, I really really liked the book. I liked what Collins did with Katniss, and the rebellion, and Gale, and especially Peeta. I liked the direction Collins was taking the books, the whole Katniss-as-Mockingjay thing. There were touching moments, some kick-butt moments, she kept me guessing as to where the plot was going, and she generally laid foundation work for something absolutely incredible to happen. There’s a lot of good anti-war stuff in there, how rebellions don’t always work right, how killing ourselves isn’t always the answer.

There are some things I wished she would have done: I missed Cinna, I wished Haymitch had more to do, I wished she had done something more with the District 13 government. Those were minor quibbles, though.

Because, the book fell apart for me. Completely and totally by the last 45 pages. There’s a moment near the end — and if you’ve read the book, you know where it is — where I was on the edge of my seat, disbelieving. However, in the pages that followed, Collins made choices — with characters, with the plot, with narrative — that completely derailed the rest of the book. It would have been so much better if… but it wasn’t. The whole ending was anticlimactic, and took the book in a direction that felt forced. I ended up feeling dissatisfied with the whole book, in the end. I’m not sure what I wanted, really, but it wasn’t the ending that Collins gave me.

Which, unfortunately, left me with a less-than-stellar reaction to the book overall. (And am I the only one?) And that’s too bad. Because it’s a great series: thought provoking and intense. I just wanted something better to end with.

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11 thoughts on “Mockingjay

  1. You're definitely not the only one to feel disappointed. In the comments to my post yesterday there's a handful of people dissecting where the book when wrong for them. There were a lot of great moments for me, but there were so many places where the book just fell apart (mostly the romance) that I definitely feel let down at this point.

    I just started re-reading this morning. Hopefully I'll have a review finished for Friday.

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  2. After reading Collins' acknowledgments about her father teaching them about war and peace, I didn't mind the ending so much. The more I think about it, the more I like it. I do think she made her point.

    I was disappointed in the second book that Collins didn't do more with the political or moral issues she could have worked with, but I think she handled them in a very interesting way in the end.

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  3. Melissa, you definitely aren't the only one who was disappointed. I haven't posted any thoughts about it because as I continue to discuss it with people, it's starting to grow on me. Suffice it to say that I yelled at the book (and Katniss) more than once, barely restrained myself from throwing the book across the room multiple times… and now I'm thinking I need to reread it. 🙂

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  4. I loved the book, mainly becuase I love the series but it definitely wasn't my favorite of the three. We need to chat via email on this because I have thoughts and opinions (as do you) that I'd love to discuss.

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  5. I'm glad I waited until I finished my review to read yours. I'm with you. I couldn't put it down but the more I've thought about it since I finished, the more disappointed I've become with what could have been.

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  6. I didn't necessarily like or agree with everything that happened, but I was not disappointed. The book certainly challenged my own ridiculous need to have everything work out just the way I would have wanted. But, that said, I was riveted by Katniss' emotional turmoil and heartbroken by the story's terrible irony (trying not to be a spoiler!). Katniss' story will stay with me for years.

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  7. Totally agree about the last 50 or so pages being anti-climactic. If it had to happen, there had to be a better way to deal with it. Instead of Katniss disconnecting with the audience (which I thought happened quite a bit), I disconnected with the book.

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