"My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead."
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.
Details: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, 390 pages, 4.13 stars on Goodreads
My Thoughts: I felt a little guilty when I got this book. Everyone was fighting tooth and nail to get their hands on it, and here I was, receiving it in the mail and putting it aside to finish a few other reads first. But I eventually got around to picking up that book and turning the lovely blue cover, and I began to read.
One thing I have to say is that I was never as captivated by the Hunger Games trilogy as everyone else seemed to be. They're great books for sure, but I was always able to put them down and go do something else, and to the end of the trilogy, I didn't cry. Okay, well, I teared a little bit, but everyone else seemed to sob their guts out. I don't know why the Hunger Games doesn't work as well for me as it does for everyone else.
However, I do have to say that I really, really liked Mockingjay. Maybe it's because I haven't read the other books in four thousand years (I don't remember them very well), but I loved how Suzanne Collins made it so deep and dark and chilling. This book illustrated better than any other how truly horrifying war is. There are passages in Mockingjay that make me want to read them over and over and over again.
Of course, there are aspects of Mockingjay that I really, really didn't like. Oh yeah, and here's where the spoilers begin. Scroll down to the bottom if you haven't read it yet and you just want to see the final rating. You're continuing to read? Okay. Let's start.
Unnecessary deaths. There were a lot of them, particularly Finnick and Prim. In a way, I can understand why Collins wanted Prim to die. It was this horrible ironic twist since the entire trilogy basically started because Katniss chose to die in Prim's place, and then in the end, Katniss lives and Prim dies. But Katniss has suffered enough. She's so incredibly screwed up now, enough to vote for the Hunger Games to run again! And Finnick? He didn't even get a decent death. It was just all, "Oh yeah, and Finnick died. Moving on..."
Katniss changed. I liked her because she was gutsy and brave and loyal, and in Mockingjay, she was broken shell of a person. I understand everything she's gone through is absolutely horrible and absolutely scarring, but I had a lot of trouble relating to her in this book. She was a different person, and I didn't like her as much.
Gale vs. Peeta. I've been a Peeta person all along. Personally, I found it obvious that she would end up with Peeta; that's how these types of stories work. But seriously? Just having Gale conveniently take a job somewhere else? He deserved a better ending than that. I would have loved a Katniss-Peeta-Gale confrontation or something.
All in all, Mockingjay was good - but it definitely could have been better.
Plot - 4/5
Writing - 4/5
Characters - 3/5
Impact - 3.5/5
Inability to put it down - 2/5
Overall - 66% = B