Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – Thoughts (Spoilers)

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Published by Scholastic Press

This isn’t really going to be a review, just thoughts about “Mockingjay.” After reading “The Hunger Games” three times and “Catching Fire” twice, and anticipating “Mockingjay” for a year, I think I’m too subjective to do an actual review. For my opinions about the previous books in this series, please see my thoughts on the audios and my reviews of both “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire.”

To be completely honest, I was sort of bored at the beginning of “Mockingjay.” Maybe not bored, exactly, but not nearly as excited as I thought I would be. In fact, I sort of wondered why I was up in the middle of the night reading. The fact that Peeta wasn’t around for a long, long time might have been part of it, but I think more it was that Katniss was just sort of moping around, unsure of what she really wanted to do. Plus, she kept ending up drugged in the hospital, which always felt like a slightly cheating way for Collins to get her through situations.

Things started to turn around for me when Katniss went into the first disputed district. I loved how she stood up to Gale, determined to not just kill people who might be innocent. Finally, that felt like Katniss to me. It made me really dislike Gale, though, although he almost won my heart a bit with how he treated Katniss most of the time they were together in District 13.

The most horrifying moment of the whole book – perhaps the whole series – for me was Finnick’s revelation that President Snow had been pimping out the Victors. These are people that have had miserable lives in their districts, been pitted against other teenagers in a kill or be killed contest and manage to live, and now they are sexually abused? I almost threw up. “Mockingjay” got me really attached to Finnick, actually, and I was sort of devastated when he died.

A less devastating death for me was Prim’s. I know a lot of people didn’t like that scene, didn’t realize I was Prim, but I thought that was perhaps the most masterfully written scene in the entire book. I felt that I was truly experiencing the situation with Katniss, and she didn’t initially realize she was watching her sister die either. It seemed fitting to me that Prim died at the end of the series, since the entire thing started with Katniss trying to save her sister. It gave a sense of how much bigger than just Katniss and her family the entire thing had become, but was also a reminder of all that the people of Panem lost under the old regime and during the rebellion, a warning against complacency in the future. Plus, at least if Prim was going to die, she was dying doing something she loved and she felt was important, instead of being forced into the Games.

As to the romantic angle: I am SO GLAD that Collins did not kill off either of the boys. Regardless of who Katniss ended up with, if she had ended up with him only because the other boy was killed off, I would have been very annoyed. I was glad she ended up with Peeta, and glad that she realized that he is the one she needed, even if she hadn’t needed to get away from Gale after his weapon being used against Prim because, again, if she had seemed to end up with Peeta just because of Gale’s weapon I would have been really disappointed.

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