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Mockingjay Book Review

mockingjay part three of the hunger gamesReader! I am breaking my September hiatus because everyone is out there talking about Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. If you haven’t heard, Mockingjay is part three of a trilogy. If you’re attention deficient and have other things to do, let me tell you that I liked Mockingjay but didn’t love it. For the rest of you, read on:

Here’s my review of part one, The Hunger games. That first book was one of the nicest surprises I have ever had in a book. I went into it knowing very little, which is very hard to do these days.

I only knew that it was getting a lot of press, so I was desperate to hurry up and read it so I could form my own opinions without any influences. Here are the broad strokes of the plot so far:

The Hunger Games

Set in my favorite of all literary landscapes–the nightmare dystopian future (I have no idea why I love it so much)–there are 12 colonies (called districts) which are all subject to The Capitol. They resisted once, but were thrown back and thrown down with a vengeance. So now every year each of the districts must offer a tribute to fight in the Hunger Games at the Capitol. The tributes are children and are chosen by lottery.

The heroine, Katniss–this name is not getting any less weird to me–winds up volunteering herself for reasons I won’t spoil for you. Book one is largely about her preparation to enter the arena, and then the fight itself. If there has ever been a nail-biter for me, this was it. Book one had a feeling of dread that I absolutely loved.

Catching Fire

I loved Catching Fire, but not as much as part one.

Katniss is still alive. As the winner of the games, she is now entitled to all sorts of glamorous perks, but also made an enemy of The Capitol through her defiant acts. So now wields a lot of power with her status as a champion, but the leaders of the Capitol, including the nasty President Snow, know that she holds more sway over public opinion than they would like. Without going into much more detail than that, let me say that there was a surprise about halfway through that nearly everyone but me seems to have seen coming.

But then, I watched about three quarters of Snow Falling on Cedars without realizing that Ethan Hawke only had one arm…

Summary of Mockingjay

Katniss is still alive. Sorry if that was a spoiler, but it shouldn’t be. Now that the official revolution has started–it has been revealed that the mysterious District 13 actually exists, and is the headquarters of the rebellion–Katniss is still being used. This time by those who want her to be the symbol of the revolution.

Unfortunately, I felt that most of the suspense of part one and two was absent from the conclusion. I felt similar to when I went to the final, craptacular Matrix movie. The scenes in the Matrix itself were always the most appealing and interesting to me–but the trilogy concluded with a bunch of people fighting robots, which could happen (and has happened) in many other movies.

The Hunger Games Trilogy ends as an action story, an indictment of war, and a heavy dose of teenage angst. I feel like Suzanne Collins was able to expound her views of warfare and savagery, and I am not disagreeing with her. But this book did not feel as original as the other two did, and it’s not just because I had had two books to get used to the story.

It felt like if the characters had had different names, it could have been part of any other story.

But my shortest Mockinjay summary =  I liked it. I just did not love it the way I loved the first one. And I have no idea how I could have done it any better or what I would have changed, so maybe this is just fanboy whining.

There were some satisfying moments. I especially like Katniss’  response at the conclusion of the final trial.

If you have read the first two, I’ve no doubt that you’re going to read Mockingjay no matter what anyone else says. Let’s talk. What did you think?

Josh

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  • Sandy Sommer RKC September 7, 2010, 12:53 pm

    Book got a great review recently in “The Week.”

    • Josh Hanagarne September 7, 2010, 12:57 pm

      It has gotten a lot more good reviews than negative ones. I still think I’d give it 4 out of 5, and my not-quite-complaints are all based around the fact that the first one blew me away. That’s not really something I can blame the author for:)

    • Julie April 1, 2012, 9:12 pm

      I just finished reading mockingjay and I feel like it ended on a very sad note. I understand that Katniss can’t always be strong and such, however I just wished that some relationships were mentioned, such as her and Gale and her and her mom. I just feel like she was shipped off to District 12 with no hope of ever being loved by anyone but Peeta. So basically she was used and abused by others and now there is nothing… so I decided to look around for alternate ending and found an amazing one and I want to know what you guys think.. here is the link 🙂

      http://sherileestory.blogspot.ca/2010/12/alternate-ending-to-mockingjay-by.html

      Enjoy 🙂

  • Michelle September 7, 2010, 2:04 pm

    I really need to read The Hunger Games. I’m also a big fan of dystopian novels, and I also have no clue why. In fact, this November, I plan to write a dystopian romance (with pirates!) for Nanowrimo.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 7, 2010, 7:41 pm

      Awesome. Send it to me and I’ll review it!

  • ami September 8, 2010, 12:26 pm

    Well – I just blazed through the Hunger Games – and wow – what great writing. I read it, partly b/c I love reading YA/Middle grade novels for myself and partly to vet it for my son. I was also curious about some of the criticism of the series w/respect to the level of violence depicted.

    There IS violence, quite a bit, and it IS sometimes shocking, sudden and graphic. At the same time, Collins is trying to depict war and occupation and all of the nastiness that accompanies them. Not something you can describe with pansies and perfume and unicorn cupcakes. I would let my almost 12 year old read it as a conversation starter (tho’ he might stop reading due to the kissing!). It’s a dark book but also thought-provoking and intense – a good way to talk about tough issues with an older child or a friend. And, now that I’m hooked, I may have to read Books 2 and 3 (Closure is a powerful need!)

    • Josh Hanagarne September 10, 2010, 10:10 am

      You should definitely read them, Ami. And then send me a review:)

  • Gina September 15, 2010, 8:04 am

    I love the series. I had to read them twice – once to find out what happens, and another time to appreciate the brilliance of Suzanne Collins’ writing. I grew up in the Vietnam era, and I was not surprised to read in her author interviews that her father fought in that war. She brings up so many relevent themes of society, of war and its aftermath, too many to go into here, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find the trilogy worked into some middle or high school curriculums.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 15, 2010, 8:57 am

      i wouldn’t be surprised either. I would have preferred this to The Scarlet Letter when I was a Sophomore in High School, that’s for sure.

  • Kirk September 19, 2010, 3:05 am

    I massively enjoyed the first book. Thought the second was quite good albeit slow to get going. I didnt really enjoy the war story transition in the third at all.

    Catniss is less in control of her own fate that either of the first two books and seems to only be proactive when it comes to putting herself into danger. Shes comes across as vastly less sympathetic character due to her attitude and decisions that she does make.

    The ending felt a bit rushed but I guess all things considered it really wasnt a bad book. I just wished it hadnt drifted quite so far from the other two.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 19, 2010, 12:33 pm

      Agreed, Kirk. Not bad by any stretch, just a long fall from #1.

  • Jenna Mack November 22, 2010, 11:35 pm

    I absolutely loved the first one but by the third one, it just seemed like she was trying to come up with new and improved ways to torture, maim and/or disembowel people in as graphic a way as possible. I, too, gave a mental “hurray!” at the little twist during the “sentencing” after the final trial, but I saw it coming – I knew one of them had to go since they basically hated each other.

    • Josh Hanagarne November 24, 2010, 5:16 pm

      I guess I’m just oblivious. I should be used to not getting it by now!

  • Carley December 12, 2010, 12:55 am

    When I first read the HungerGames, I couldn’t place the way I felt when I finished it. I had to think about it for a few days- and then it hit me. I loved the book. The idea. The characters. And even more, the opportunity it gave the storyline. When I moved onto Catching Fire, I loved it even more. Here was Katniss and Peeta fighting again for their lives, with wonderful characters like Finnick and Johanna interwined with them.
    I finished that one, and couldn’t wait. Here Katniss was struggling to hold onto her sanity, and finally seemed to face everything she had been through. I didn’t mind it then, and couldn’t wait to read about her comeback. With her crazy mindset at the end of book two I associated to be with the passion that had consumed her in the first, but when I moved on to book three, it was an entirely different story. I had expected her to stumble for a while, but at least rally for Peeta. She was able to stay strong for him before, and if he was still alive, I felt she would fight more than ever. She didn’t though, and though I felt awful for for her, I was really disappointed. The war seemed to overide story line- and the only time I really saw the true Katniss was in her shot at Coin. All the death in the book just depressed me, made Katniss all the more unstable, and wasn’t the theme of the other books at all. I really would have hoped there would have been a moment when all of the characters would get a chance to show their true selves, but instead it was quite the opposite. Just really sad :[

    • Josh Hanagarne December 14, 2010, 11:34 am

      Agreed and agreed.

    • Jennifer January 11, 2012, 2:41 pm

      Carley, this is exactly how I feel about Katniss in Mockingjay…sad. I really wanted Katniss to regain her inner strength and fire. I would have actually preferred that she die fighting than resign herself to other’s decisions. She basically shut down and allowed the other’s to direct her actions. I was so sad and disappointed that she never regained her true self.

  • Rae December 12, 2010, 3:56 pm

    SPOILERS ON THE HUNGER GAMES!!!

    Ok a little mad at Suzanne Collins (author of the hunger games serise) right now. I am at chapter 5 of Mockingjay and for once while i was reading any of the Hunger game books i was BORED!! that shoudl not happen!! the other book were thrilling, exciting, and i just couldnt stop reading them but of course on the last book i am trying to put off turning the page of the book cuz i really dont care how hard Katniss’s life is for her. she is living in a huge pity party for herself. Most heros battle it out through their problems and are people who i can call real heros!! Katniss….not so much. Ok now onto the topic of the whole Love Triangle going on inbetween Katniss, Gale, and Peeta…I DONT CARE ANYMORE!!! i stoped caring at about the middle of the second book where i just wanted Gale to go die in a hole. (which my friend who has read the whole book actually said hapened go figure!!) I really didnt like Gale from the begaining and Peeta abviously was the right choice for Katniss so i thought that having him live while everyone awesome like Prim, Rue, and super hot Finnick die these horribly bloody deaths that made me cry was just wrong!!! But of course just like in every other book the author lets the three main characters live on…. The idea of the hunger games was absouly amazing and that idea was mainly potraded in the first book but after that they just got boringer and boringer!!! Sorry if i am boring u i had to vent!!!

    • Josh Hanagarne December 14, 2010, 11:33 am

      Not boring at all. I agree with just about all of your comment.

  • Mary Styers February 17, 2011, 10:02 pm

    I can’t quite put my finger on how Ifeel after reading all three books two times. Sure Mockingjay did not have the warm and happy ending I had kind of hoped for, but I think that may have been the point. War ravages all those involved. It broke my heart when Gale and Katniss face each other the last time and she can find no semblence of the two friends that had once exsisted and supported each other when they were younger. THis death of their friendship, which she truly cherished, is for me the greatest tragedy of the entire series. From the very beginning Katnis eludes to the fact that she has no interest in being married and definatley no plans to bring children into the world of Panem. She doesn’t even know she needs Peeta. I guess I love the trilogy, even though it did not have the ending my heart desired. It had an ending that acurately reflected the damages of war. I dream about the movie filling in some of the gaps that the books left in my imagination.

  • Mikayla Rivera February 27, 2011, 12:59 am

    ok i 1st of all loved the 1st book and i fairly enjoyed the 2nd but i jus finished the 3rd and i am pretty much confused like it seems that unlike the 1st their is no flow in the story and i know everything b4 its goin to happen(and i hav never even read the book) so there is basically no suspense, but this is not even wat really bothers me wat really bugs me is that katniss is like a weak character. What i mean when i say weak is that in the 1st book it was unbelievable how strong she was but now all she does is feel bad for herself and it jus gets really repetetive and boring. in the 2nd book i noticed that it started getting like this but i was still interested but in this one the whole plot is centered around katniss being drugged
    btw i believe it would hav been ten times better if they killed gale cuz he was annoying, at least when killing prim kind of lead up to it i mean at that pt 2 much was goin on and i know the people were supposed to b confused but i was jus as confused as them cuz i had no idea wat was goin on with all this weird like “pod” blowing up stuff, this leads me 2 my next pt what really confused me were all these names i had to remember i jus couldnt keep up, also i really wish they had made johanna and katniss become friends or in the end johanna comfort katniss over prims death i think that would hav been nice, and also why was the whole story about propoganda i mean come one that is almost as stupid as bella getting pregnant and having a baby in like a month in Breaking Dawn
    watev i guess though mayb i will try reading it again and mayb i will like it more but 4 now i am jus confused :/

  • e April 19, 2011, 1:34 am

    ohh.. mockingjay..*sigh*..that was my reaction upon finishing the third book.
    i loved the hunger games..catching fire was good, entertaining but was losing its steam in some parts..and then it completely fell apart in mockingjay..with its errating pacing. the heroine depressed on every other page..and character assassinations.
    i know the author wants us to see the ill effects of war, but i just could not accept how it was executed. the katniss i loved and kicked ass in the first two books became a self absorbed drug dependent b****. she went from being strong to an absolute mess. i cant blame her, she was suffering from ptsd. but..i know that deep down she could pull herself up.. i was expecting her to refuse to be played as a pawn in the war as she did in the games but she let coin and the others use her. instead she chose to be drowned in her sorrows and when she was not depressed,she is fueled by hate and revenge. the only time she was the old katniss was when she decided to kill coin. she trusted her judgement and did not care whatever will be the consequence. but aside from that she was just some other mopey teenager
    Gale turned from a rebel wanting freedom to a amoral being who will kill innocent people since the end justifies the means.
    and peeta..i wont even go there.
    haymitch and finnick were the only two people that i did not loathe.
    and the pods and their journey to the capitol. felt more like a plot device thrown in to add tension.
    and the resolution of the triangle was just crappy the flimsy rationalization of katniss not being able to look at gale the same way again after he indirectly caused prim’s death( which i still think was not necessary) ..i always knew that she will end up with peeta and thought that gale would die..because gale was her love not meant to be and peeta, the hope she needs to move on. but arghh..sigh..
    im not totally disappointed by the book. i still think it was brilliantly written, and really has a lot of good parts. i was more disappointed by my expectations and what could have been EPIC

    • Bigstik10 January 20, 2012, 8:58 am

      “Gale turned from a rebel wanting freedom to a amoral being who will kill innocent people since the end justifies the means.”

      Wow, this poster really didn’t undertand the ending or the Gale character at all.

      • Profj11 April 25, 2012, 12:24 pm

        I’m sorry…I couldn’t stand it. The first book was outstanding. Catching Fire was fairly good – a bit of a repeat. I didn’t really find the arena very terrifying because once they figured out the “clock” it was too predictable. There wasn’t nearly as much suspense. Mockingjay was dreary and depressing when it wasn’t suffused with gratuitous violence. By the end of the book, Katniss is a self-centered basket case, and Gale, who hasn’t faced the horrors that Katniss or Peeta have – has turned completely immoral. There is no reason for his transformation. He neither denies that the bomb was his or frantically begs for forgiveness for killing Prim – whom he promised to protect. Everything he stood for is cast aside in favor of some plot devices. Finnick dies needlessly, as if Collins wasn’t sure what to do with him. He would never have left Annie. What not have made it more interesting by including Enobaria in the elite force? She could have found some redemption in a death such as Finnick’s. Story lines are dropped arbitrarily and Snow’s demise is totally anticlimactic. It would have been so much more satisfying if he had been subjected to the kind of fear he fostered in others. Perhaps an attempted escape, as people were distracted by the children in the pen, Katniss taking it down with an explosive arrow, and the muttations chasing him as he fled the crash? And finally, Katniss, who in the first two books defies authority and control and asserts her individuality, courage, humanity, etc. is simply shipped off back to 12, as if she had no voice, stays there, and ends up with Peeta for no other reason than that he’s there. He sort of grows on her. She doesn’t really desire him romantically – she just kind of gives up. Ugh. Blah. Prim’s death would have meant something if it had reignited the fire, the anger, the courage…maybe this is when the escape could have been attempted by Snow and she would have defied all odds to charge through the crowd, despite the mutations and the pods, to shoot the hovercraft down… But no. The girl who fought and risked her life for the chance to live in freedom and the right to choose her own path, gives up and ultimately just oozes into her remaining years without choosing her home, her mate, or even if she wanted children (she only does it because Peeta wanted them.) Yuck.

        • MR May 25, 2012, 3:40 pm

          You are correct. ^

  • Pie June 4, 2011, 10:07 pm

    CATNISS is spelled Katniss. You would know this if you read the book c-o-r-r-e-c-t-l-y.

    • Josh Hanagarne June 4, 2011, 10:54 pm

      Fixed. Congratulations, you have made the world better by one order of magnitude.

  • Jackie June 14, 2011, 10:17 pm

    I loved this book in it’s whole. There was no Hollywood stereotypical bull where after you have been mentally scarred you can recover right away. Katniss fought her war and she was exhausted at the end. There was a line in the books where the author states that Snow is dead, now what. Katniss accomplished the one thing she was willing to give her life to. And to survive and overcome the fears that accompany, it’s a lifetime’s job to nurture. I was so happy when Peeta was chosen; they both have problems they have to work out and together they can live in peace. I was kind of upset that Gale would just abandon katniss like that, without any visit or goodbye and didn’t even come to her aid when she kill Coin. I thought the author totally warped Gale into a totally different person. I thought there would be some type of truce between Peeta and Gale.

  • Ray Long August 30, 2011, 3:42 pm

    I give the first book a perfect 10, the second an 8, and this third a 3. i hated Mockingjay. from the beginning her character changed and i wanted to reach through the pages and strangle her myself. i put this book down several times but managed to finish it after a week and a half. when Rue died, i cried. i felt nothing for Prim and she was the reason for the book in the first place.
    it is my hope that Ms Collins will go back and show us earlier games.

    • Fuggew April 25, 2012, 6:35 am

      I totally agree. I threw this one in the trash, couldnt finish it. The characters were entirely different than they had been in prior novels. Katniss before had doubts which acted as excellent foreshadowing tools.
      In this novel she was consumed by doubt, anger, and paranoia. Everything that she said, did, or thought was pessimistic.

  • Tristan September 1, 2011, 3:40 pm

    I’ve just finished mokingjay and the book just made my heart collapse with pain both physical and mental pain I felt like I was katniss everdeen I felt her losses. In my life. Have read thousands on thousands of books but none made me feel like I was the character it was very new to me and I didn’t like the feeling it made me feel alone. It also made me remember the loss I had when I was seven and my mother past away it never sunk in until I read this book that she’ll never feel the rain or walk this earth ever again this was truly a great series that was suspenseful, thrilling, and mournful

    • Josh Hanagarne September 1, 2011, 4:15 pm

      Thanks for the comment Tristan.

    • Jackie Anderson January 17, 2012, 9:52 pm

      I felt the same way, I had to put it down and just cry it brought up so many memories for me so much of it I felt realted to my life just not as amplified!

    • Kelli April 15, 2012, 11:03 pm

      No matter what I think of the ending, the fact that it was that profound and healing for you, Tristan, makes the book worth it. God bless. Sorry for your loss, relived.

  • Alyssa Marie :) November 16, 2011, 11:27 am

    I’m getting ready to read books 2 and 3. Hopefully I’m not as disappointed as everyone else because I absolutely loved the first book!!!!!!

    • Josh Hanagarne November 16, 2011, 12:31 pm

      Alyssa, don’t get hung up on what ninnies like me say. Maybe you’ll like 2 and 3 even better than one. I’d love to hear what you think when you’re done.

  • Jackie Anderson January 17, 2012, 9:50 pm

    I was crazy about the first two I couldn’t put them down! Honestly, I wasn’t expecting a fairytale out of the last book i’m 13 and unlike most girls I do like a taste of reality in a book, but I also didn’t expect Collins to take her amazing characters and kill most of them off and nothing to ever get better, maybe I wanted at least one miracle in there I don’t know! All I know is war is hell, Mockingjay’s war was hell’s nightmares!

  • Bigstik10 January 20, 2012, 9:12 am

    Mockingjay was terrible. The first part was a slog with Katniss either in the hospital, crying in some closet, or just being angry.
    To much important stuff took place out of Katniss’s POV which really hurt the book. It leaves big plot holes and too many unexplained or unclear things. The characters are terrible. Katniss is a whiny mess. Peeta’s only character growth comes from the Capitol messing with his brain and Gale is written in such a way that the target demo didn’t understand him (he comes across as an angry war-monger as opposed to someone that’s maturing and realizing chasing after Katniss isn’t as important than freedem of the people of Panem). She put her heavy-handed message above what was best for the story, characters, and the fans.

    It was almost as if Ms Collins got halfway through the story and realized she still had too much to tell so she just started chopping things out and taking shortcuts. I could keep going but my blood pressure is going up.

    At the end of the day, this was till young adult fiction and it should offer a glimmer of hope. If she wanted to write an adult Russian tradgedy, she should have written and adult Russion tradgedy.

    • Kelli April 15, 2012, 11:11 pm

      Agreed!! I found myself criticizing the young adult fiction in the same way. I almost could not get through the book and the war scenes were gory, needlessly. We get it, war is destructive to all people everywhere, all the time… It’s also necessary, which is a hard pill to swallow, but the pacifist in Susan may have gotten bored of writing it herself, hence shortcuts galore. As an English major the book peeved me, as a teenager I would have lost interest at katniss’ attitude and coldness, but as an adult in America, I love the social commentary on our wasteful natures.

  • Air March 13, 2012, 3:36 pm

    I finished Mockingjay a few days ago and WOW. I absolutely loved this trilogy. I’m not sure why everyone is complaining about Katniss’ actions in this book, and even you stated that it was heavy on the “teenage angst.” I disagree. Katniss was forced to murder kids and watch them be brutally murdered. She watched people being dismembered in front of her. Katniss lost EVERYTHING. She lost her home and most of the people there, her friends, her best friend, her sister, and even Peeta for a little bit. Most of the time she had no one to confide in. Katniss had to take on the world by herself. She very clearly was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, not teenage angst. Wouldn’t you lose it after watching your loved ones be ripped to pieces in front of you, being forced to murder people as sport, or having to watch your sister burn alive?

    Also, yes, this book is at about a fifth grade reading level, but is clearly not for kids. Hemingway’s stories were also written at an elementary reading level, but they are definitely not for elementary readers. Or maybe yes, kids should read these. If they watch the news, they see things of similar brutality especially if you have seen the short film about Kony. Kids are being forced to murder their parents by this guy. Sometimes I think that we are not far away from living in Panem.

  • Air March 13, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Also, after reading most of the comments, I think everyone needs to go an talk to a Veteran who has seen combat. You don’t come back from war with your inner fire. You come back changed. My neighbor is a vet and saw combat in Iraq and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had to be hospitalized because of it twice. In Mockingjay, Katniss reminds me of him so much. Some days he was fine, other days it was a struggle for him to keep a grip on reality just like Katniss. Trust me, if you guys talk to a vet, you’ll gain a whole new perspective on Katniss.

  • Mill March 16, 2012, 12:44 pm

    I really enjoyed the first two books, but I found that the last one was just ok.
    I found that this last one dragged on for way too long until the ending seemed kinda rushed.
    I wouldn’t mind if they had did it in a 2 part book.
    Either way the ending wasn’t bad. I would have to rate the last one 3 out of 5/

  • Wade March 30, 2012, 12:54 am

    *There will be spoilers*
    Wow. I just finished Mockingjay. I don’t know exactly how I feel about it beyond the typical feeling I have when I finish a series, the sadness of saying goodbye to a bunch of people you won’t see again (I rarely ever re-read books).

    This series was hard for me to read because it was two distinct stories. The first a story of survival, the action/adventure story of the Hunger Games and the war. The second is the love story of Katniss, Peeta and Gale.

    As a reader, my emotional connection to the story was largely in the love story, but that story was clearly far secondary to Collins in the way she ends it. What made it difficult was that I hated Katniss. I’m not saying that Collins did a bad job with her, she did a great job, but she developed someone I could not like. I tried, but after the first book she was just too robotic and clueless and assuming the wrong things. I warmed up a bit to her in the second book when it finally looked like she cared about something and the Katniss-Peeta story was a little more prevalent. But she lost me again in the third story as she’s back to her old ways. She didn’t seem to grow at all, which was particularly evident when she votes in favor of a new round of Hunger Games with Capitol children, that was a first book Katniss move, revenge and reactionary thinking, they killed my sister, I will watch their sisters be killed. And once again it was almost the very last second before she allows herself to discover the truth and acts heroically as we would come to want of her.

    On the merits of the action story being incredibly well written and intriguing (and in my favorite setting of a dystopic future!) I will always recommend the series to friends. But if one is looking for an in-depth romance to develop and invest themselves in along with it, look elsewhere, though I feel that it could have been done.

    • Heidi April 28, 2012, 2:18 pm

      I’ve just finished reading Mockingjay. I agree with most of the posts here. I did question whether Katniss voted for the Capitol Hunger Games as a way to please Coin while she was planning on taking her out. Did anyone else have that feeling? Or perhaps she made that decision at the execution.

      • Wade April 28, 2012, 8:22 pm

        I don’t think she was planning on it until she saw the look in Snow’s eyes and remembered back to when they agreed to not lie to each other. I feel that was the spur of the moment thing that drove her to execute Snow instead. It didn’t seem premeditated to me.

  • Greg April 3, 2012, 12:58 pm

    I saw the Hunger Games movie a couple of days after it came out. I decided to read the book. Wow. Of course I was hooked. Immediately read “Catching Fire”. Again, Wow. There are a few more nits that I would throw at book 2 than book 1. Just had to read book 3 “Mockingjay” ASAP after finishing book 2. I’ll try not to provide much in the way of spoilers although if you are looking for a review of book 3, it’s hard not to stumble onto more information than you wanted to know. I couldn’t put book 3 down. But it was a difficult book to read. For a lot of reasons. It doesn’t “flow” as smoothly as the first two books. About half way through book 3 I realized that I was actually depressed by the way the characters, and their relationships, were developing. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before. I want to report that book 3 isn’t a good book. It definitely isn’t as good as the first two. But it held me in it’s grasps until the very end. As others have written, it felt like the last few chapters were rushed. Collins spent most of the book building up to the end and then boom, everything was done. I found that I was left with many questions as to why Collins allowed some event to occur at the end. Why some events didn’t make sense. But I guess that was the point. Like everyone else, I love a happy ending. And, the very last words in the book, could be considered a happy ending. Again as others have shared, the book is difficult, dark, frustrating, violent, bloody. Depressing. It leaves you wanting more, questioning why and asking for answers. It didn’t take long into book three to realize that it isn’t going to end well. At least not as most, including me wanted or expected it to. I’m not the reading type. I rarely complete books much less entire trilogies. So, in spite of my frustrations, the sheer fact that I read all three books in a week and a half and still find my mind going over events in book three, any book that can effect me this way, I must consider to be a great book.

  • Abby April 9, 2012, 4:33 pm

    Wow. I just finished “catching fire”….best book ever!!! I absolutely love this serious! I just have one question though for you Josh, why is called catching fire? I know I must sound really stupid to those of you that totally understand but I really dont get it! And if ( this is probabley NOT going to happen) somehow, one of the cast members of the hunger games movie sees this post, OH MY GOSH!!!!!!! You guys did soooooo good! I so wish I could meet you all (yes even Cato and Clove) and to Josh HUTCHERSON: you played my favorite charachter and played him perfectly! I totally felt like I knew Peeta and you are just a screaming image of what I see him as
    Jennifer Lawerance: Again, I dont think anyone else in the world could play Katniss beter than you could! What I wouldn’t give to meet this amazing cast. Seriously. I really really really REALLY want to meet you all!!! And oh my gosh, I have the biggest crush on Peeta! (more so on Josh Hutcherson) I really wanna right more about these people but I can’t, I will though!!

    HUNGER GAMES: best book ever.

    • MR May 25, 2012, 3:53 pm

      Catching Fire because the rebellion was starting to spread…hence “Catching Fire”….

      O.o

  • Anyuli April 15, 2012, 11:55 pm

    I absolutely loved this trilogy! I was hooked throughout all three novels. Although several times in Mockingjay truly did make me sad, I appreciated the way Collins didn’t tell this story as a fairy tail. I feel as though it was based on actual human emotion. I felt as though I was Katniss during the series. You can’t expect for a character to endure so much pain and be the same person she was in the first book. That would have been unrealistic. War changes a person, look what it did to Haymich. Collins was putting us in Katniss’ thoughts showing us her fears during war. And the sad aftermath it has on a lot of our heroes.

  • Lesley April 16, 2012, 8:28 pm

    I finished Mocking Jay and it really got to me at the end when Katniss is back home alone depressed and when the cat somehow made it back and she just looses it! I started crying because how could Prim just die?! Wasnt the whole reason that Katniss volunteer the Games just so she could protect her sister??
    Other than that the book it self was good… it lost me at some places and it also kinda depressed be but overall it was good.

  • Chantelle April 17, 2012, 7:21 am

    Just finished reading it. I was disappointed in some ways but pleased in others. I think that, overall, I felt that the book was realistic, but the message that “War is horrible” was very…heavy. It felt like the main drive of Collins’ writing was to shove this moral down your throat. And it was effective, I mean, I was disgusted and angry throughout the book…but Katniss became a character I really didn’t like. I understand she’s been through hell, and that kind of emotional trauma makes people selfish and depressed and everything, but…it’s hard for me to like a book if I don’t like the character telling the story. That’s just me, personally. Katniss’ selfishness has grated on me, at times, throughout the series, but she was almost unbearable by the end. I wanted to stop reading Mockingjay at many points, but I couldn’t stop reading the first two.

    • Wade April 17, 2012, 10:31 pm

      I agree completely on Katniss, it seems that despite everything she goes through she never learns a lesson or grows as a person, in the end she’s still so spiteful that she votes in favor of a new set of games? I didn’t like her in the first book, she warmed up to me in the second and I went right back to not liking her again in the third. I was hoping for a little more out of her, luckily the story was compelling enough.

      • Chantelle April 17, 2012, 11:26 pm

        I was disgusted with her when she agreed to the Hunger Games at the end. It was just so…argh. She just became a monster, in a way. I was so mad! XD Her total disregard for the lives of Capitol citizens – knowing some of them personally and knowing the impact that death has on people’s lives – is just so…I don’t want to say OOC, but I thought she was better than that. Even Peeta, who has been mentally destroyed throughout this book, managed to have some dignity and say no. I was surprised that Peeta still got with her after she did that.

        • Fuggew April 25, 2012, 6:40 am

          Thank you for the spoiler on the ending. I dont mean that sarcastically. I really wanted to know how it ended. but i couldnt tolerate another minute of katniss.
          I never liked her much, but in this novel, wow, she was a total B.

  • Profj11 April 25, 2012, 12:41 pm

    One more thing (after my previous post) – it just occurred to me why I really hate this last book. Collins abandons her character profiles. Regardless of PTSD, etc. there should be some consistency. The Katniss we met in the first two books would NEVER have voted for a new Hunger Games – unless it involved dumping Snow and his cronies in an arena. But NEVER the children…the innocents. This is sadistic. I mean, we are talking about the girl who dropped her weapon at the square in front of the Nut and argued that the people of the Capital and the Rebels were NOT each others’ enemies. And Gale would NEVER have killed the children in the “pen.” It is simply ridiculous. It is almost as if someone else wrote the last book. And I think she (Collins) risked alot by finishing up the series with a character most people cannot tolerate. Doesn’t bode well for marketing Katniss action figures.

  • Kelli April 25, 2012, 1:00 pm

    I am now about a week after finishing the final book and I am so sad that the last book has ruined the whole thing for me. I agree with the poster who said that it was like someone else wrote the last book. I think it’s rushed and not fully developed. I think she was bored with it and lost the vision somewhere around the District 13 living situation, right after the visiting District 8. Seems like she decided she didn’t know how it would end, or it was going to take too much effort to develop the characters so the reader would feel resolved about them. The ending felt like “and then they all died” kind of ending a teenager writes in their High School English class. It seemed sloppy and I was left disliking the character for more than PTSD reasons. I can have empathy for PTSD, but Katniss turned into a victim. She was super selfish, when I felt she would have (based on the first 2 books) stepped up into the role of freeing the people. What’s a sacrifice worth if she seems to hate all people? Why would she want to save anyone. It didn’t make sense to the character she had developed. From an English Major’s standpoint she completely failed the reader and herself with shortcuts, boring storylines, and not fully resolving character plotlines (or being sloppy about it). And war sucks, but pacifists are the first to die in the arena, she made that clear.

  • Amy April 27, 2012, 8:53 pm

    Did anyone feel that Hunger Games was somewhat like Ender’s Game where kids have to train and kill each other in order to train for intergalactic battles? Does anyone else think it’s an emotional manipulation/ or cheap device to pit children against one another in a death match?

  • Clare April 30, 2012, 9:43 am

    Hi – I read the book because the film was released, i then read the
    second book – they are very good books the story is great but it lacks something!!! they are very well written and I wish I had the skills to write like that – but I like to get lost in the books/story but the first two books – haven’t excited me much and I thought there would be more fight more drama….. so just the last one to read now. I just hope it finishes the story off so I can put it to bed.
    I am really looking for something that grips me and send me on a journey with the story. Any recommendations out there in book land???

    • Heidi April 30, 2012, 10:51 am

      I’m not sure how old you are but I am currently reading the Games of Thrones book series, also and HBO show. It’s a wonderful Fantasy / Sci-fi series that is extremely well written and is entirely gripping. It is not for very young persons as there is some very explicit subject matter and violence, although not nearly as violent as the Mockingjay.

      Also, if you like dystopian/sci-fi I recommend the following classic books:
      Day of the Triffids
      The Chrysalids (both by John Wyndam)
      The Handmaids Tale – Margaret Atwood
      1984 – George Orwell
      A Scanner Darkly & Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner) (both by Philip K. Dick)
      Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

      • Josh Hanagarne April 30, 2012, 11:00 am

        I agree with everything you said. Also, I’d put Variant by Robison Wells and The Forest of Hands and Teeth on there.

    • Kelli April 30, 2012, 11:12 am

      Two more, one which is based off a true story, and the other, one of the best modern authors, Chuck Palaniuck.

      1. Under the Banner of Heaven (my all time favorite – based off the true story of a murder and the religion of Mormonism.)
      2. Lullaby – Chuck P.

      Couldn’t put either down, so good.