Review: “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay is the third and final book in the Hunger Games series. It picks off shortly after the events of its prequel, in which Katniss Everdeen survives the games for the second time. Now, she is recovering in District 13 who took the refugees in after her own was destroyed. President Coin, the appointed leader of the rebels is looking to make use of Katniss and the movement happening behind her actions, she wants Katniss to become the Mockingjay to aid their cause.

However, it will not be easy. Capitol is angry and reminds Katniss that the lives of her loved ones are still in danger. That is for as long as President Snow is alive.

Katniss has stopped being the Capitol’s puppet and immediately became one for District 13. She is required to shoot promotional videos to spread the word of the revolution to other districts to unite them all, but it is slow progress.

Since we are following Katniss around, there is truly little action in terms of the revolution itself. She is either kept away from it by the authorities or unable to do anything due to her health. She dresses up and acts out what they tell her but then she’s useless again. I understand that it is realistic, not every part of the revolution involves front line fighting and victory on the part of the protagonist, but it is tedious for a reader of a book. Especially seeing Katniss losing that edge to her person, whatever one she had, was disappointing. We do not get to see it till the very last few scenes and by then it is too late to save this novel. Its quality is disappointing.

“Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!”

Personal note: This book has burned up alright…

Mockingjay, in comparison with previous books, is more violent, especially towards the end of it. I didn’t even pay attention to it as such, I was simply excited to read about some action happening.

“Some walks you have to take alone.”

The resolution of the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale is disheartening, to say the least. Regardless of who you were rooting for, I don’t think the ending is satisfactory for either.

There is an aspect to it that I feel like cannot be excluded from the conversation. Seeing as this is a young adult fiction series that I have previously praised for going outside of the genre box – it is still that. The reason Katniss becomes an almost unbearable protagonist, is that her depiction of a character with PTSD and other mental health conditions is done well. But it feels like that is all that was done. It becomes the reason for Mockingjay being a disappointing young adult novel in on itself. It feels as if the author has become too caught up in all the serious topics, that deserve to be mentioned, talked about, brought into the light, but there is a time and a place to do so, and Collins, in my opinion, missed that. Where before her involvement in trying to paint a bigger picture through Katniss’s life was done tactfully, woven between the words and actions of the protagonist, in Mockingjay it was blunt. Katniss became a side character in her own story to meet someone else’s agenda, yet again. The author discussed the problems but also didn’t show any of the solutions available in real life, turning Mockingjay into a non-inspirational story, opposite of the first two instalments.

All in all, I am happy to be over with this series, it was time. I now wish that Catching Fire did not end on a cliff hanger, because then I could pretend the story ended there.

Thank you for reading this review and until next time, Dream on, Dreamers!

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