Monday, August 30, 2010

Mockingjay by: Suzanne Collins


Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.
[from B&]

Mockingjay is the final installment in the Hunger Games triology by Suzanne Collins. The first two novels of the series were positively addicting, so I was really excited to read this when I picked it up. Which is why it didn't gather dust on my TBR list for long, ha.

Mockingjay has its ups and downs. I'll start off with the things I liked first.

Beware, here be spoilers after this point.

The characters were still really well written, even if we didn't get as much background on some of them than I would've liked. There were some new character introduced that were really interesting and some of my favorite old characters. The plot was pretty solid. The writing was solid. I think Collins has some of the smoothest first person narration I've seen in a while. It's really easy to feel what Katniss is feeling through the style of writing Collins has. Collins, once again, proved herself in the "author not afraid to kill off characters" aspect. I know with some writers (coughStephenieMeyercough) have problems killing off their characters. Collins doesn't. And I love that. Some of the deaths made me sad, but I love that she pushs the boundaries of young adult novels like that. And the violence in this book is really apparent, but really well written. As a fan of horror and gore, I loved those scene. But, they also made me cringe. Which is very hard to do. So props to you, Collins.

I was really scared what would happen when Peeta was brought back and was hijacked and all crazy. But it worked out in the end between them (thank God!), and had some really cute interactions when he wasn't trying to kill her and was trying to figure out what was real and not real. He even had a game called "Real or not real?" I thought that was a nice touch.

And, of course, I loved Haymitch. He was an awesome character, and I thought he was great in this novel, as in the first two.

Now for what I didn't like.

I didn't like all the fast forwarding Collins did in the novel. I think it made the pacing in the novel off, and maybe it would've been better to split the last books into two so we could really get everything. Like, some parts would be pretty slow, and then all of a sudden we'd be weeks into the future. That didn't really sit right with me.

I didn't like that she killed off Finnick. That made me sad. It's more of a personal thing. I loved his character and his interactions with Katniss. And he just got married! I felt that wasn't fair. But, again, just a personal thing. I also think it was unnecessary to kill her sister. Just because that's why she got herself into this whole mess in the first place. Again, just a personal thing.

I think it may have been overkill to have Coin be an uber bitch, too. It kind of felt like it was just thrown in there to have some last minute drama. I think this would've worked out better, too, had the last book been split into two. Because then we could've had that situation built up more, instead of set up and ended in one novel.

As I said with the first two novels, the love triangle thing in this series was vastly unneeded. The books probably would've been better without them. And then Gale is a douche in this novel. He has his moments, but it's kind of like the Gale from the first novel and the Gale in this novel are two different Gales. I get that he's even more angry and full of rage because of the things that have happened, but I don't think that's an excuse to just make him an asshole to someone who is supposed to be his best friend. And then he gets shipped off to distract 2 at the end of the novel and we never get a resolution with Katniss and him. Does she just keep hating him? Do they ever talk again? This is something I want to know!

Which brings me to the epilogue. I liked it but didn't at the same time. I like that it's a happy ending but with scars, that's cool and all, but I still think it was a tad unneeded. Even though I loved the last line.

So, I wasn't jumping up and down at the end of this novel like I was at the other two. But it was still a fairly solid read. Was it a completely satisfying end to a great triology? Sure. I wish there was some things that were developed more, but what can ya do? I love the series, I'll definitely be re-reading the books. Collins is a good writer, and I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us.

Overall rating: 8/10

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