27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2011
I have to side with all the five-star reviewers!
I enjoyed reading this SO much! I thought that the characters, who we have learnt to love in the previous books, developed new layers to their personality - Peeta in particular! A lot of other reviews have suggested that Katniss is unlikable and that she becomes weak and 'whiney', but I found her one of the most relatable characters BECAUSE of her flaws. Her reactions to the trauma that she suffers makes this one of the most gut-wrenching books I've read.
I think that the source of a lot of disappointment for the other more negative reviews is that this story has a non-conventional ending. I think the ending may have alienated a lot of people as it's not a stereotypically 'happy ending' but, personally, I found this a fantastic thing! With other series of books I've read, notably Harry Potter, although I loved them, I found myself asking just how much of a happy ending there could be for the main characters when so many bad things have happened in their lives. I loved the bittersweet ending of Mockingjay, where we see a world still affected by the traumatic events of the past.
I think that in comparison to a lot of (dare I use the phrase) 'Young adult' fiction that shows a dull love triangle, this book shows that no matter what happens, there is always hope and I found this to be a refreshing message. This book won't be everyone's cup of tea but I would encourage everyone to read this book - but maybe ask them to forget about the conventional ending that they were probably expecting.
There are flaws in this book, don't get me wrong, but I would challenge anyone to find a perfect book. For me, I review a book depending on whether I felt anything for the characters and whether I would read it again. By those criteria, it deserves every one of those 5 stars.
I hope that this has been helpful in some way!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
At the end of the second book, Katniss and co. have relocated to the rebel city of District 13, the city that the Capitol maintained was destroyed. From here, the characters plot their attack against the hated Capitol and President Snow, joining in the rebellion that's now taking place in all of the Districts, for a showdown between President Snow and Katniss Everdeen....
I thought this book had potential and hoped that it would be an improvement on the second book, a lacklustre sequel to the brilliant first book. While the story of "Catching Fire" felt like it was dragging its heels, "Mockingjay" doesn't even bother to disguise its weariness. Suzanne Collins basically gives up in the third book, she (and when I began reading it, me as well) just wants it to end. She's out of ideas.
First off, why is the rebel city basically another version of the Capitol? They're a group of people who escaped the Big Brother/tyrannical rule of the Capitol only to replicate it almost entirely in their new, separate city. I don't understand why Collins made this choice, doesn't she want us to like the rebels at all? It'd be like in Star Wars if there were two Darth Vaders fighting each other - which one do you root for?
But that detail slips by as you realise how slow the pacing of the book is. Katniss spends pages and pages recovering from her injuries before heading off to view a battle scene and becoming injured again. So she has to recover all over AGAIN. With the focus on Katniss who is unable to leave the safety of the rebel stronghold, this allows Collins to avoid writing a potentially riveting scene of Gale and Finnick leading a covert op to the Capitol and bust out Peeta. In fact, a lot of action and exciting scenes are avoided entirely by Collins who either can't be bothered or doesn't feel she's up to writing them. So instead we get to read about Katniss recovering from her injuries, playing with her cat, blah blah zzzzzzz....
And if you think Collins was out of ideas in "Catching Fire" when she instigated another Hunger Games to liven things up, wait until you realise that she pulls out that trick again with this book. Yes, you read that right, there is ANOTHER Hunger Games in this book! Except it takes place in an urban setting, in the streets of the Capitol, but it's still very, very contrived.
The final battle is very sketchy. Once Katniss and Gale make it to the President's Mansion, an explosion renders Katniss unconscious and the reader finds out about the victory in a sort of brief outline, with a lot of exposition from Plutarch. Once again, Collins fails to write what was potentially the most memorable scene of the series, and I don't know why she didn't. It just feels lazy and, to go back to the Star Wars analogy, what if instead of focusing on blowing up the Death Star the film was about Princess Leia sitting in her cell by herself doing nothing?
This being the final book in the trilogy, characters will die and Collins gleefully kills off characters she's built up, once the attack on the Capitol finally gets going. But don't expect anything memorable, the characters (and one really major one) are dismissed in a line or two and then the story moves on. Even Gale isn't spared from this treatment, though he survives, he disappears and is given a line at the end and that's it - so much for Katniss and Gale's special friendship!
What really bothered me though is the lack of triumph at the end. The evil Capitol is overthrown, peace and equality and freedom now reigns, but there's no feeling of success once you put the book down. You don't care that the rebels won because they were mostly unpleasant and unlikeable throughout. Katniss is miserable throughout as well so you don't feel good about her because she doesn't feel good. There are no more Hunger Games and yet rather than feel glad, you just wish they'd bring it back because the characters are so boring without it.
This third book stands in stark contrast to the first book which was hugely entertaining and thrilling to read while this third one is a chore to get through for very little enjoyment and a very poor ending, which is very disappointing, as I really wanted all of the books to be as brilliant as the first. However, Suzanne Collins' inventiveness didn't hold up as the series went on and instead of going out with a bang the series sputtered out like a damp firework. So much for the mockingjay, I'd suggest anyone contemplating reading the trilogy to just stick with the first book and move on.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
So, Mockingjay. I'm not going to lie - I am addicted, obsessed and completely loyal to this trilogy, so my review is reflective of that - but even so let me tell you, this book did not exactly bring me joy. It evokes a lot of emotions, yes but I was crying not smiling at the end of it.
Mockingjay stays true to its dystopian origins. While a lot will not agree with me, I feel that the grimness of the book is a part of its strength. In true dystopian fashion, it explores the downfall of human conscience and displays the worse of our attributes; like Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I was appalled by many of the events in the book and at points felt sick at the ability of the characters to act as cruelly as they do. At times I felt that Mockingjay borders on unbearable - exactly how grim can a book be? It seems that nothing close to happily ever after can be associated with this book, because believe me, it can be depressing.
I can't help but comment on all the political implications on this book, because the trilogy is far beyond just Katniss' story. The workings of the rebellion and the fight for freedom takes a bulk of the book and the tension spirals out of control in many of its pages.As the mockingjay, Katniss traverses the thin line that divides both sides. I love the twisted, wicked feel of the battle because that was exactly how I imagined it to be. Not only full of secrets, but full of dark aims and uncertainties.
There is a lot I can say about how the characters' fates are sealed. We know beforehand that there will be deaths; what we do not know is who will die. Or exactly how many. As it turns out, no number of speculations could possibly have prepared me for the depressing turn of events in Mockingjay. Unfair will not even begin to cover what I think, because really I felt as if the characters were oppressed. Their circumstances were too heavy to comprehend experiencing, and the book does not give them what happiness they were due. The strength of characters is evident here, as clearly as their weaknesses. At this point, we readers are already very attached to the characters, so extreme reactions are expected. When I found out exactly who dies, I literally screamed and cried and wished the words changed. It was not supposed to happen, that was my primary reaction. There was a sense of hopelessness and helplessness and surely, you have got to be kidding? I felt as if I was killed right along with the character(s).
It was even more painful to read about the fates of those who were indirectly responsible for those deaths. And while I was not happy with the decisions of some of the major characters, I can understand the rationale behind it. It was not easy to pretend to be in their shoes and emphatise, but to comprehend the depth of pain and grief is, and that understanding is what makes it seem like a true decision. Depressing, but I felt that the portrayal of the damages to the human persona is not only accurate but also vivid, I believe Mockingjay stays true to its origins.
The ending I felt is slightly too rushed for my liking and too much too short. I am not sure I approve with what happened to some of the major characters, because towards the end I felt the need to know more about how they fared. I needed details, further insights and I don't think that was exactly granted. The ending is open to interpretations and leaves a lot to the reader to ponder and imagine. It is not happy per se, but as close to happiness as a dystopian trilogy like this one can be. I'm going to go ahead and say that the ending be-fits the feel of the trilogy. Had it been a flowery happy ever after, I would have much disliked it, because then it would appear as if it was only made to please the readers. It's not the best possible ending, but I can envision it happening following the events of Mockingjay. So it is a neat ending I guess. Still, I needed more!
I'm sure Mockingjay is part evil - it gave me such a terrible case of withdrawal once I finished that I did not know what to say or do - and that was on top of all the other emotions the events in the book evoked! There was a sense of 'now what?' that hovered over me when it was over, and I was emotionally-drained. Which means it's a good book, a great trilogy and a worthy read. Which means I am still hooked to it, and will probably always be. Which means Katniss' story is unmissable. Prepare to scream, kick and cry with this final book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2012
Having read the first two books in the trilogy, I was keen to see how the story played out, and whether Katniss would resolve the bizarre love triangle perpetuated within the confines of the first two books. I was sorely disappointed, not only on this score but others, namely its relevance to the other two novels. Basically, plotwise, it started unravelling in 'Catching Fire', where, spoiler alert, all of the previous victors are rounded up to partake in an unfair fight in the name of the 'Quarter Quell', and the conclusion of this novel, with Plutarch featuring strongly, was reminiscent of Orwell's 'nineteen eighty four', where O'Brien appears to be an ally, and I was half expecting Plutarch to be a double agent of sorts. The predominant military theme,Katniss being appointed the eponymous 'mockingjay' and being used in propaganda films to transmit to 'the Capitol' didn't work for me. Peeta's temporary insanity and hatred of Katniss, having been tortured by Capitol officials, was weak and unconvincing,but the ending made me think about politics on a much wider scale, the prevailing message that any country will do anything possible to achieve a political objective, to the point of committing atrocities within its own ranks. And the conclusion was a bit morose and pessimistic. While highlighting that 'War, what IS it good for? Absolutely nothing' I felt that, for the genre of young adult fiction, it hit a little too close to home. With reference to the love triangle, Katniss would either have been better off alone, or if, instead of Mockingjay, the third book could have been set in the future with her own children up for nomination in the Hunger Games. That would have been a better story.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The final book in the Hunger Games trilogy is quite different in feel from the first two books, which in many ways were the same book rewritten with slight variations (this is not a criticism: I loved them). In many ways this is the book that injects some realism into the series. You cannot go through the experiences that Katniss, Peeta and their families endured without serious and permanent consequences to the psyche. This time round the focus also shifts slightly: it's less Katniss's story (although she's still pivotal) and more about the Civil War that is raging and how she is being used on both sides.
If you thrived on the adrenalin rush that the first two books delivered, you are likely to be somewhat disappointed by this one. There are moments of intensity but they are episodic rather than continuous. I didn't tear through this book as rapidly as I did the others. Also, if you were hoping for resolution of the Peeta/Gale/Katniss triangle, you are likely to be disappointed (there is a resolution of sorts, but it's not delivered in the way that I think many fans would have hoped for).
On the other hand if you were drawn into the mind games between Katniss and President Snow and the machinations of how the Capitol could really be unravelled, you will find what you are looking for. This is easily the most "adult" of the series in tone and feel. People don't act in simplistic ways. The good guys are almost as unpleasant as the bad ones. The ending isn't neat and pretty. Did I expect a different resolution to the series? Yes. Would I have preferred a different resolution to the series? Possibly, but I think this one works and works well.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2014
I read this book when my daughter (age 11) recommended it. The next day we bought the next two books in the series. I think I read all three books in the series in a week.
The three books in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins are book 1 The Hunger Games, book 2 Catching Fire and book 3 Mockingjay.
This book completes the story of Katniss Everdeen. Given this is a character we now love, I am assuming most people have read the first two books, then normally this is quite satisfying.
Quick aside: You do have to have read the first two books in the trilogy to enjoy this one.
So we see the story through to completion, and I will not give away the details except to say:
1)This is the least satisfying of the three books, and when I reflect on this its because it does not have any Hunger Games. This is a rather perverse observation since the demolition / dismantling of the Hunger Games is something Katniss wants to achieve.
However without this, the story has a very weak forward momentum, and relies heavily on your existing affection for Katniss to carry you through.
2) The love triangle Peeta, Katniss, Gale starts to feel very contrived, and for most of the book you have no clue how this might be finally resolved. Since both boys are likeable the final denouement does result in heartbreak for someone.
So yes read it, but not as exciting as the two previous installments.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2015
I find it strange that I have to give this book only 1 star, since in some ways I loved it. But.... the ending. I had so enjoyed the whole series and had read them one after another becoming almost totally immersed in the whole of Katniss' life when suddenly the whole world came screaming to a ghastly halt and we were left with a rather bitter middle aged lady sitting by herself and muttering.
It's as though a young girl so alive and exciting aged 16 has ended up at middle age sitting by a dirty canal drowning worms and dreaming of the young hope she once had. Then, she was loved both by a handsome dark haired dangerous beauty with whom she used to go poaching, and the rather plump slightly sweaty blond she has ended up with. She was the hope of her nation, the beacon in darkness, not a boring woman suffering from PTSD. She is now a woman who's last desperate act (shooting the new evil president) has not been hailed as heroism but forgiven on the grounds of mental illness! She tolerates the children she didn't really want because her baking obsessed husband wouldn't shut up until she agreed to have them, she doesn't even seem to know their names.
I think the idea was to make you feel the futility of war, but the writing just isn't up to putting across the gradual wearing away of optimism and the reversion to greed, prejudice and pettyness that always occurs. Unfortunately it left me rather feeling the futility of peace.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2012
Just to warn you, there will be a few spoilers in this review.
Mockingjay, sadly, is a poor conclusion to the trilogy that makes little sense and for the most part feels disjointed. As another reviewer mentioned, it felt like reading a fanfiction. I found myself (although I hate to admit it) skimming over parts which mostly consisted of Katniss' self pitying internal monologues. She is nothing like the character in the first novel - don't expect any emotional scenes like Katniss taking Prim's place in the Games or Rue dying in Katniss' arms because there are none in Mockingjay. Katniss becomes a truely unlikeable character; in Mockingjay Collins has stripped her of her independence and logical thinking, leaving behind a Mary Sue (or Bella Swan) type of character. Her defiance in Hunger Games was admirable, whereas in Mockingjay it is just frustrating and generally a stupid idea.
Another enfuriating part of the novel is the love triangle, which has been painful to read throughout the entire series but it spectacularly agonising in Mockingjay. Katniss becomes such an unlikeable character that I began to detest Peeta and Gale for even caring about her and for allowing her to treat them in such a way. When the love triangle is finally concluded in Mockingjay it is done so in a couple of brisk, unfeeling sentences that were obviously written without any care or effort. If you were a fan of the love triangle, you'll be disappointed with its lackluster ending after three novels.
Mockingjay had potential with Collins killing off several of its main characters including Finnick, who in my opinion was one of the only likeable characters left. I thought that there would have been more of a reaction by Katniss to his death, but the novel quickly moved on, which felt wrong considering Collins put some effort into describing Finnick's reunion with Annie, as well as their wedding. The worst death was that of Prim, however, which felt entirely unnecessary. It may have worked if Katniss had reacted to it as you would have expected, but instead the next chapter revolves around Katniss wallowing in self pity from her own injuries, with Prim's death not being mentioned for several pages afterwards. I don't understand why Prim was killed off. From Katniss' lack of reaction to it (aside from at the very end of the novel) you would have thought Prim was just some insignificant secondary character. At least in Mockingjay Collins builds Prim's character a little, but ultimately when she was killed I found myself showing little interest, something which could have been redeemed if Collins had put more effort into the scene.
My recommendation is for people to stop reading at Hunger Games, or at Catching Fire if you have already read that. Mockingjay is a dull read. As soon as you think an action scene is going to get started, Mary Sue-Katniss gets herself injured in some way and usually passes out. The ending to Mockingjay leaves a bad taste in your mouth and fails to stir any sort of emotion in you other than regret that you didn't just stop reading the series at Hunger Games.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2012
I gave the first two books 5* as I genuinely felt they were both truly amazing. Sadly I can't say the same for the final book of this trilogy. Towards the end of the book it felt VERY rushed and there were plenty of open-ended 'scenes' which I felt could have been handled better. It's such a shame because it could have been something great but sadly it feels quite incomplete.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Some minor spoilers within.
I have read the hell out of these books in the past week - all three of them. It's a tremendously satisfying series of books and every single one of them was hugely enjoyable. However, the last book suffers (a little) from several issues. The first is that it just doesn't feel as coherent as the first two - without the driving force of the Games themselves, it has to be a very different book and the characters don't feel quite so credible to me. The second is that the ending seems to undermine most of the central messages I took from the book. It just doesn't gel - it's a jarring misstep to my sensibilities. The third is that the horror of the central plot-line loses a lot of its impact with the half-hearted way in which events are described. Certain characters, I feel, deserved better in their final send-offs.
Don't get me wrong - it's still an intensely good book, and a reasonably good cap-stone to a tremendous trilogy. It doesn't take away from how good the first two books are, and it stands up well as a book in and of its own rights. It's just I came away from it feeling a little colder than I think I would have if some other paths had been taken.