Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Pub. Date: August 24, 2010
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Format: Hardcover, 390pp
Age Range: Young Adult

Series: Hunger Games #3
ISBN-13: 9780439023511

Description from Amazon.com:

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either.
My Review:

Mockingjay. What a book! Suzanne Collins has crafted one of the most intelligent and and readable series that we’ve seen in recent years. She utilized each piece in the trilogy to develop and bring the series to completion. Nothing is wasted. While she might have been tempted to stretch the series out for sales, it’s clear she stayed true to her vision as she steered the story to an end. Much respect to Ms. Collins!
No bones about it, Mockingjay is a dark novel. You’ll be emotionally spent when you finish it. And that’s as it should be. Collins has successfully demonstrated the crippling and devastating effects of war. Civilian or soldier alike, no one escapes unscathed. No one remains unchanged. If you read The Hunger Games hoping for more exploration of the ramifications of war and violence, you’ll be satisfied to see that Mockingjay is both ambitious enough and honest enough to confront the stark reality head on. Nothing is sugar-coated or glossed over. This unflinchingly realistic portrayal of war and revolution shows that even the victors sacrifice more than anyone should. 
If you are looking for sunshine and happy endings, you’ll be disappointed. This is no fairy tale, and Collins would be doing you a disservice to serve up any other ending than the one that she provides. Because it stays realistic, this series feels more adult. It becomes elevated beyond a story. The characters start to live and breathe and rise off the page. Your heart will break for them as they love, fight, struggle, and survive (or die). Survival will not come easily or cleanly; it will not be free from trauma and after-effects. In this sense, the books succeed masterfully by showing the reader vicariously what war is like. Hopefully, most of us will never need to learn first hand the horrors of war. Collins has taken the subject and presented it in a way that effectively shows us the atrocities of war in order that her readers can learn something the easy way rather than through experience.

These books will inspire intelligent conversation about war and violence, truth and lies, and the influence of television and the media in disseminating information to manipulate the masses. Additionally, the series should inspire discussion about love and hope, compassion and kindness. By nature, man is capable of committing the most egregious acts of violence and hatred. But at the same time, we are capable of much beauty and love. And these novels show the complexity and fullness of humanity and how extreme circumstances can bring out both the worst and the best in us.
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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

  1. Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue February 3, 2012 at 2:26 AM Reply

    Absolutely agree. I read these books over a year ago and I STILL think about them, what they mean, the questions they pose. I really admire Collins for sticking right to the story she wanted to tell, too.

    Like

  2. Dawn February 3, 2012 at 2:28 AM Reply

    I'm glad that my husband bought the hardbacks. I think we'll want to revisit the books in a few years. I can't help but wonder where Collins will go next. She went from writing Middle Grade books to Teen books. Will she transition to adult books next?

    Like

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