Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Author: Suzanne Collins
Published: August 24, 2010
Hardcover, 390 pages
5 Gold Stars
(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 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.
I'll be perfectly honest that the first time I read this book, over two years ago, I wasn't that impressed with it. I felt it lacked what the other books so strongly provided and to me, it wasn't the perfect ending to a fantastic series. Now, after reading the series over again, I can honestly say my opinion of this book has changed greatly. While my opinion on the other two remained relatively the same, everything about Mockingjay felt fresh and amazing. I don't know why I didn't enjoy it that much the first time, but this time I couldn't get enough of it.
Katniss is in District 13 now, a place she only learned existed at the end of her second stint in The Hunger Games. She discovered that the Capitol bombed District 12 and the only hope for the citizens to be free is to take over all the districts and kill President Snow. Katniss has been voted in as the Mockingjay, the face of the rebellion, and the one that will help the rebels win. Reluctant, Katniss finally agrees to doing this as long as her friends are kept safe and she is the one who kills Snow. Life is very different from Katniss in 13, She is still recovering from the Quarter Quell and Peeta has been taken hostage by the Capitol. She spends her free time hiding from everyone or hunting with Gale. Nothing is the same between them either and as much as she thinks she'd like to fix that, her only worry is Peeta. Seeing him on TV, disintegrating in front of her eyes, kills her and she is determined to go to the Capitol and save him. When that proves impossible, she does the next best thing. She goes to any district they will allow her in and gets herself on TV as much as possible to prove to everyone that she is alive and well and willing to do whatever it takes. When a rescue mission for Peeta takes an awful turn, they set out for the Captiol. What is originally just a glorified mission turns into a real hunt for Snow and Katniss finds herself in another version of the Hunger Games, where Capitol pods explode everywhere and mutts find their way to her.
When I read this the first time, one of my complaints was that there were no Games, but in reading it again, I see that the Games were all around them as they tried to get to Snow. Real life games that the Capitol began using against its own. Pods that hold a number of dangerous things like poison, tracker jackers or traps. Mutts that can track down Katniss by name. Bombs and explosions erupting the streets of the Capitol. This is scarier than the Games because it isn't a fight for a Victor, it is a fight to get rid of everyone who has ever gone against the Capitol, and even those who haven't. The rebels will do whatever it takes to take over the Capitol and show Snow who's boss. Surrounded by those she trusts, Katniss dives head first into the Games, determined to be the one to take down Snow. The new characters are clever and strong in different ways. some are from the Capitol, Cressida and her cameramen, who prove their worthiness in front of the camera. Coin, the President of District 13, is cold and ruthless and will do anything to take back what she thinks is hers. And Boggs, Katniss's commander, who believes that Katniss can take their mission to the end and do what needs to be done. Old friends join them, Gale, Finnick, and Peeta. We see a lot if development in each of these characters and see how Katniss's opinions of them change throughout the book.
It is nonstop action in this conclusion to a fantastic series. Katniss has never followed the rules and she doesn't plan to ever. For once though, she does not think of herself and she tries her hardest to lead her team to Snow's mansion in one piece. Fighting her mixed up feelings for Peeta and Gale while trying to be the leader she doesn't feel she ever will be. She is not at her strongest for most of the book, but she finds a way through it, pushes to the other side and comes out stronger in the end. The ending is heartbreaking in a way that perfectly sums up the series. I wish I could read about these characters forever, but at least I can watch them on the big screen and keep them in my heart. To me, this series will forever stay with me. The horror, the power and the love that I've read throughout the books captured every feeling i've ever felt. I related to most of them in one way or another and I love how everything played out in the end. Collins was not afraid to do what she had to do to conclude the story and I love her for that. To me, this ending is perfect and Katniss will live on forever within me.
“You're still trying to protect me. Real or not real," he whispers.
"Real," I answer. "Because that's what you and I do, protect each other.”
“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”
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