Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins (#3)

**There may be some spoilers if you have not read the first two books in the Hunger Games series - The Hunger Games #1 (review) or Catching Fire #2 (review)**

So I finally read Mockingjay and finished off The Hunger Games series. I was off college ill yesterday so I literally sat in bed all day reading this, I was so hooked. Even by 6pm, I was still reading! I'm kind of sad it's all finished now. Because when I was reading, I literally had NO IDEA what would happen at the end and now I do know, I wish I could read the series all over again like the first time. And I wish I read it slower. Oh well. 
I finished it!

Synopsis: 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.

Review: Oh my lord (sorry). OH MY GOSH. 

That was my reaction when I closed this book for the last time this morning. Out loud. To an empty house. 
Why such a reaction? THIS BOOK IS JUST...EPIC. That is literally the only word I can describe it as. Epic. So much happens. So much action. So much heartbreak. So much sadness and so many lovely things too. I felt so drained after reading this book, I felt so many things. Thank you, Suzanne Collins. Just, thank YOU. 

So this is probably going to be a fan girly rant. Let's go.

This is how my reading of this book went:

First I started like 'WHAAAT?'. I mean I've read Catching Fire but that was in April! Although I thought I remembered everything that happened in that book, I was totally wrong. At first I didn't know who all these people were etc. Then I re-read the end of Catching Fire AND IT ALL MADE SENSE. 
So Top Tip: re-read Catching Fire or read this soon after Catching Fire to understand what is happening. And also Catching Fire is the best one in the series. Everyone thinks so (okay, everyone being the 10 people that I have asked). 

A large part of the beginning is set in the underground world of District 13 and for some, they may find it a little boring as Katniss adjusts. Looking back now, this did seem to go on for a while but I liked learning about this different place. I mean, it's not exactly like we have read about this setting before. When we started the series, a reader wouldn't know it existed until Book 2. 
Then the action started and I was horrified, disgusted and waving a 'Go Katniss!' sign all at the same time. Readers by now will hate the Capitol, especially after Book 2. But by this point, I was with Katniss the whole way. Talk about empowerment of women...I still can't believe Katniss goes through all this and she's only 17!
So I'm feeling GO KATNISS and BOO SNOW. 
Then, Peeta comes and something so unusual, unexpected and just so surprising happens between Katniss and Peeta that I was just in a state of shock. I actually sat there for a few minutes thinking WHAT JUST HAPPENED. WHAT? WHEN? HOW? 
Nothing seems to be looking up, at all. And at this point, there's like 40% of the book left and I had no idea what to expect. Ever in a million years would I have been able to guess.

Then, this girl called Delly appears who was apparently mentioned in The Hunger Games. Don't remember that part...

Without going into too much detail (sorry for the extreme vagueness), a big event/mission happens that includes Katniss, Gale, Peeta, Finnick amongst others. Now. That was epic. Again, so many unexpected things, twists and turns that left me surprised, upset and relieved in so many ways. 
And then the ending. Well, for me there's kind of two endings. The first, EPIC ending where you're left in shock, surprise and dismay over what just happened. And then the calmer 'epilogue' ending, set 20 years later. In all honesty, the epilogue was disappointing, so disappointing after such a great book and series. The person Katniss chooses, well the 'other' is not mentioned at all. THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE SERIES SINCE BOOK 1 AND YOU DON'T EVEN MENTION THEM? I would have liked to know what the other major characters still alive were doing twenty years on. Were they okay? Did they move on? WHAT HAPPENED?
So yeah. Lovely ending. Just the bit right at the end was severely disappointing. It did feel like Suzanne Collins just wanted this book over, done. 


So that's how the whole book went for me overall. It may make sense, it may not. That is literally my thoughts being put into a jumbled mess. 

I have to admit that this book was good. Very good. But I think Catching Fire is slightly better than this. This is an entirely different type of 'Games'. I just felt this book had its best moments in the middle of the book. 

I enjoyed Katniss again as a character. Although I agree with others that she does lose some of her spirit at the beginning of Mockingjay, she sure makes up for it as she realises how much impact she has in Panem. I liked that Gale was more prominent in this book compared to the other two, he came across as a character, before reading Mockingjay, that was kind of 'there' and only a main character because he was Katniss' friend. But in this book, he's more prominent and it was nice to see that. I like Peeta but I wanted some more Gale. 

There is a whole cast of characters featured in this book, which I think is going to be interesting to film for the movie. There are some in it from the beginning, some introduced in Catching Fire and some completely new. Although most of the time I wasn't confused by this host of characters, at the beginning of Mockingjay, I was a little bewildered by the names Katniss mentions, a Dale dropped in here, another name there. I was like 'Who are these people?!' Gladly, the characters you need to know are explained. 

Collins' writing was as engaging as ever and I was hooked most of the way. I was off college ill and I spent the whole day reading this book because I just NEEDED to know what happened in the end, and soon. And that's always great to have when you're feeling down. Collins' is the master of creating twists and turns throughout her novels that leave you so shocked by what just happened. It is a true skill that only some authors I think can do really really well. 

On the subject of the movie, I know this is being made into two films and I can certainly see why. I was a little sceptical when I first heard that but after reading this, there is just too much action and intensity to fit in one film - you would be exhausted after it finished. I think I know where they will finish the first movie but I'm so looking forward to see this come to life on the big screen!

This series is one of the best I have had the pleasure to read and I can't believe it took me SO long to read this series. It really is as good as everything says (and the movie is brilliant too!). For those that have made it through the first two books, definitely read this, for sure. It is a brilliant conclusion and I was not expecting half of what happened. At all. Go, read it!

I give it a 5 out of 5

The adaptation of The Hunger Games (Book 1) is out now. Catching Fire (Book 2) will be out in 2013 and the first instalment of Mockingjay will be out in 2014 with the last instalment being released in 2015. Oh my, so long!

Pages: 390
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Challenges: None

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  1. I really enjoyed reading this book, too! I changed from Team Gale to Team Peeta in this book! I was all for Gale in the other two! <3

    1. Ha, I have to admit I changed from Gale to Peeta in Catching Fire, he was just too lovely not to like! :)


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