Friday, September 3, 2010

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

This is the third book in The Hunger Games Trilogy.

Summary:  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 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.  (Summary from book - Image from www.suzannecollinsbooks.com)
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Mindy's Review: If you’ve read The Hunger Games, and Catching Fire, nothing short of giant tsunami is going to keep you from reading Mockingjay. As with the first two, the final book in this series is a firestorm of human emotion, disturbing twists, and heart-stopping action. Its exploration of humanity and the horrors of physical and psychological warfare are stunning (both literally and figuratively).  I felt equally captivated and repelled by Suzanne Collin’s brilliant but brutal storyline and her fearless decimation of characters. It was almost physically impossible to stop reading. At 2 am, I’d think, I’ll stop at the next chapter and get some sleep. And I would (stop), for about .23 seconds, but before I knew it my eyes were halfway down the next page, and I wasn’t in the least bit tired.

As for the ending, without spoiling it, I can tell you that a) I didn’t see it coming b) I think that it was the only way it could have ended and c) it felt right. Sorry, anything else and I’d be getting hate mail for spoiling it. That’s all you get.

Her Rating: 4.75 Stars    For the sensitive readerMockingjay, is much more violent than its predecessors as catastrophic violence reaches into the general population. I’m not sure that I would recommend this book as a younger “YA” read (or indeed the series, knowing how it ends) without reading it first myself.

Sum it up: The perfect end to a disturbingly wonderful series.
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Heather's Review:  Mockingjay didn't immediately grab me as the first two books in The Hunger Games Trilogy had. The characters had hardened, which, while in sync with the storyline, created a bit of disconnect. It took a quarter of the book for the hook to completely take hold. From that point on the novel was impossible to disengage from. Though this book was more gruesome than the others it as hopelessly addicting as the previous two. The last hundred pages were read with my stomach in knots. I was sure that Collins was going to botch the ending, in turn ruining the entire series. Yet her brilliant imagination came through as one surprise after another popped up. While the story didn't end happily ever after(thankfully) it was utterly perfect. I was able to close the cover completely satisfied, yet with a desire to read the entire trilogy over again. Way to go Suzanne Collins!

Her Rating: 4.75, not as good as the first but darn close

Sum it up: A strong ending to a creative and gripping trilogy.
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Kari's Review:  Mockingjay was a painful read. I kept forcing myself to read faster in hopes the story would evolve to a more similar feel of the first two. I realize it is realistic and that Collins had a strong message she wanted to send: no one wins in war. Even knowing that it doesn't change my reaction. The ending is something that would actually happen therefore this book deserves a higher rating than 3 stars. But, in connection with the previous two books, because it was so rooted in reality, the story was just so, so painful. If it had been historical fiction, I may have felt differently being based on real life events. With all the war in the world right now it makes sense why Collins would write such a poignant and moving story and yes, even to end it this way. I just wish there was more of the old feel from the first two.

I cried in the last chapter, and not just a brief tear to the eye cry. It was a full, chest-aching, heart-wrenching kind of cry. I think that shows what a brilliant writer Collins is and what she can evoke from the reader--these are not real events, nor are they real people, but I cried like they were. Am I glad I read them? Yes. Will I re-read the first two? Definitely yes. Probably not the last though, unless to clarify the speed reading I did to know the answers during the first read.

Her Rating: 3.5 stars--I just wish it had more of what the first two books did so well.

Sum it up:  A raw look into what war really does to a people and more intimately the individual.
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Kim's Review:  When I read The Hunger Games I was a newbie to the YA world. It is one of the novels that opened up that genre to me. Catching Fire was eagerly anticipated, and I thoroughly enjoyed it as well. I feared that Mockingjay would leave me wanting, as so many 3rds in trilogies do. This was not the case.

Collins absolute passion for this story shines through the pages of the third novel. Her intimate knowledge of her main character, Katniss, brings her character even more vividly to life than the previous two books. I felt that the author was enjoying this story as much as her fans and wanted to taste the twists and turns just as we did. The "love triangle" thing, or whatever you choose to call it, brought a emotionally resonating tone to the whole book. It was an undercurrent, but strong enough to pull you into the feelings and desperation of this very YOUNG girl. It is truly hard to remember sometimes that this girl is 17, that her competitors were, at times, much younger. The capacity that Collins creates for these characters echo much more adult feelings and emotions. At 17, I was not worrying about such things as starvation, competing for my life, and saving the entire futuristic world.....but hey, perhaps that is just me.

Her Rating: 5 stars. And the genre as a whole gets 5 SHOOTING stars, for giving the young adult readers something to obsess about besides vampires.

Sum it up: Hello, my name is Kim, and I am a Hunger Games junkie.
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Average Rating: 4.5 Stars
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4 comments:

Sally T. said...

I loved reading these reviews - I could, to an extent, agree with each one of them! They only reinforce my own high opinion of this book and the series. She ended it the only way she could, didn't she? It felt very real. Thank you for sharing your (multiple) viewpoints with the rest of us YA Lit junkies!

Monica said...

I've been waiting to read all your reviews for this book. Of course - I hated the third book. I'm just shallow enough to want the happy ending that I look for in all books. I can see that she masterfully wrote the book to depict war - but I would rather go pick up a war book and know what I'm in for. I read to escape, so I was not happy to be left so miserable and empty at the end of what was an intriguing series. I agree with Kari's review completely!

MindySue said...

Monica, I understand where you are coming from. You invest so much time and emotion into a series and then to have it end differently than you would have liked is excruciating. That's how I feel about the fourth book in the Twilight series. pregnantvampirepsychobaby Waaaah?!?!? It makes me want to pull out my hair. So believe me, I've been there.

Kari said...

Monica, I'm glad to hear I'm not alone! I was starting to think I must be the lone disgruntled reader. It was fine. The ending made sense. I just needed more closure and needed some healing myself. Leaving all that out with a measly epilogue...it just wasn't enough.

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