Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

by Suzanne Collins

Genre: YA Dystopian
Pages: Hardcover, 447
Publisher: Scholastic

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.

From the very opening pages of the novel I was completely sucked in just as I was with the others, but this one was the final chapter so I tried to stretch it out and make it last. Just like with the Harry Potter series, I did not want this series to end. However, when it did I was left completely satisfied. This series has literally taken me through every emotion imaginable. From laughter to sadness, empathy to pure hatred, every emotion has been a part of this series for me. Suzanne Collins is a masterful genius whom not many can compare.

As I read about the future that Collins created for her characters, I found myself loving the references to what the world was like before Panem. I even thought about what impact our decisions we are making now on the future. Who knows if she was trying to do this (make us think) but the subtle things that are laced within the action packed plot made me do just that. While the other books focused on the Games and their impact on the districts, the final book in the series saw the revolution and the actual effects of the Games on every district and the Capital. When I read the first two books I really didn’t know who was going to come out alive in the end and what was going to happen. I loved the fact that yes, there was a “love” triangle in the series, it wasn’t the focus. I like how Robin DeJarnett described it in her review. A LOYALTY triangle is the best way to describe their relationship. Katniss, Peeta and Gale do love each other in their own ways, but I truly believe that Katniss’ only love is her sister Prim (as does Robin J). The trio will remain loyal to each other in every sense but they aren’t having a mushy, lovey-dovey romance. That is graciously appreciated by me. I believe that sometimes the love story takes the readers eyes off the real story.

If there were any novel I wish to have an alternate point of view from it would be this one. Peeta or Gale it wouldn’t matter. I would just like to see from the outside looking in so to speak. We know what was going through Katniss’ mind and can see what her reasoning is behind her decisions (even if they confuse us sometimes) but seeing the events from an alternate view point would shine light on what others were seeing in the same instances. With that said, if it never happens I am okay too.

Although I am sad to see this series end, again, I think that it ends perfectly. Through intense action, pure characters, amazing plot and pure creative genius Suzanne Collins has created a universe which I will continue to think about, write about and model writing after. I hope to use this book with my class next year as a reading and writing tool. I just need a class set of the first novel!!

Run out and read this series now if you haven’t already! You will not be disappointed!!

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