Author: Suzanne Collins
Publication Date: August 2010
Classification: YA Novel
Summary from Goodreads:
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 plains–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.
Never since Luminous or Silas has a book had me so enthralled in something that sucks so badly. I am not lying to you whatsoever….If this book was a person, I would have punched them in the back of their dumb face.
….and now onto how I really feel…..
It was hard to engage myself with this book because at the end of every chapter, it would seem as though the characters had no idea what was going on. Katniss is a prime example of this. She was introduced in book one as a strong female lead. She is strong in the sense that she has to realize her true potential. At first she is unaware of the power she possesses and it is her will to live for her sister that ultimately drives her. If she were to be a character that would only make one appearance in a book, then she could very well be one of my favorite female characters from a mainstream book. Her qualities are admirable. However, she popped up (of course) in the sequel to the Hunger Games (Catching Fire) and she started to falter a bit. She hit some strides and improved upon herself in some aspects, as she became a bit more vocal but triangle of love with Peeta and Gale seemed to cloud her judgement and the noticeable instances of self doubt began to overshadow this brilliant character which was created beforehand. Enter book three and she is one big sloppy mess in a book which is one big pile of WTF?!
She was a whiney character even before her sister died! No, scratch that…when her sister died she finally shut up for a minute and stopped doubting herself. Instead she just went back to the remnants of District 12 to mope like a dog left out in the rain. Perhaps all of this behaviour would have been acceptable if one of the other leads had been her rock. That was not the case. Peeta flew over the cuckoo’s nest and Gale was just some guy with no purpose anymore. Some might say he was leading the resistance. I say he acted as a puppet wtih some of his strings cut. In most of the scenes he occupied, he just flailed about and did next to nothing to actually progress the storyline. And yes…I mentioned Katniss sister, Prim…well I for one thought since she was such a source of strength for Katniss, her relationship with her older sister would have been fleshed out in book two. I was wrong, but I still had my hopes for book three. Once again, I found myself to be a kid discovering that Santa Claus doesn’t exist; my hopes were crushed. And for all of you that believe Santa does exist….well whatever helps put you to sleep at night. Here is some warm milk. Book three was the final place where Prim and Katniss could develop their relationship and all the intracacies of Katniss inner psyche would be uncovered. However, what I was left with was an exploding little kid and a hopeless teenager. Oh joy!
This book did not entirely circle the drain, as it did have some high points; action! The action scenes were few and far in between but what they lacked in frequency they more than made up for in complexity. They were not superb by any stretch of the imagination but were a welcomed change of pace in this series that mainly had a lot of hide and go seek and then go set a trap and watch it blow and maybe run to go get some grub. POW! KABOOM! That was about it. Fairly generic (first book might be the exclusion to this). The action scenes in Mockingjay seemed to be more deep and powerful. When they hit, they hit hard.
Another saving grace for this book, which in turn saved me from turning it into a hampster bed was the epilogue. The ending to the book itself left me with a bad taste in my mouth but the epilogue served as spearmint gum. I hate mint, but spearmint is ok by me. The epilogue was poetic and well…go read it yourself. I actually smiled as a result of this book just because of the epilogue.
It is a must read if you have read book two of the Hunger Games trilogy. If you have only read book one…stop! Save yourself the disappointment.