Lots of ranting and spoilers up ahead. You have been warned.
In Mockingjay Katniss Everdeen and her family now live in District 13, after District 12 was destroyed and after Katniss was rescued from the area. Except Peeta remains a prisoner of the Capitol, and Katniss will do anything within her power- even sacrifice herself to become the mockingjay- to get him back.
As districts erupt into a full-scale war against the Capitol, Katniss is confronted with the question of how much she can really sacrifice as lives are lost, people are betrayed, and alliances created, so that she has to decide what the price of human life really is.
Instead of wasting time, let me just right into this review. This book was my least favourite in the series. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, because I did, but I had some problems with it.
The biggest problem was the ending. I hated it.
After writing such amazing cliffhangers for 2 books, Collins did not do well on the climax and ending of this novel. I was surprised when Katniss shot the arrow at Coin, rather than Snow, but after that, things just went downhill from there. I kept waiting for an explosion, for some sort of big finale, and I didn’t get it. Instead, Katniss rots away in her room, trying to make suicide plans, and then when she’s taken to 12, she continues to rot there. The whole pacing of the book falls apart in these last few chapters, as you wonder how this exciting story will actually end.
One of the confusions I had about District 12 was the fact that its suddenly fit to be habitable at the end. I didn’t quite understand how Katniss goes back, Greasy Sae goes back, and so does Haymitch. It felt like they were the only 3 people living in the whole district at the end, when we were told that the whole place was destroyed (except for Victor’s Village).
Part of the ending was the romantic conclusion. As previously mentioned, I have been Team Peeta since the first book. So you’d think I’d be happy at the ending. I am and I’m not.
The reader doesn’t know that Katniss picks Peeta until the very last page (before the epilogue) and the way she does this is so unromantic. “Peeta and I grow back together.” Its a very sensible statement and doesn’t really excite any…excitement or passion. I do like the continuation of the phrase “Real or not real?” especially in the way it plays out in the ending.
And while I wasn’t on Team Gale EVER, I still found it strange how he sort of just faded out by the end of the story. I understand that things had changed between them, especially since Prim’s death, but suddenly he’s transferred to 2 and things seem unresolved between them.
Katniss for the most part annoyed me. She sort of reminded me of ANGRY HARRY in Order of the Phoenix, or better known as CAPS LOCK HARRY, who was just so angry and moody all the time. As a result, she wasn’t the nicest person. Especially to Peeta, who’s gone to Hell and back for her, and to whom, she is just petulant. I wanted to slap her at times.
I did like the Epilogue though. Yes, it was bittersweet. But it fit the tone of the book well, as life does go on after death and destruction, but not in the same way as before.
All in all, I still really enjoyed reading Mockingjay. I was expecting more, a lot more, after the sky high precedent Collins set in the last 2 books, but I did enjoy what I received.
The question remains at the end, what is the price of human life? Is it another human’s life? Is it entertainment? Is another human’s life higher? Lower?
These are all questions that Collins begs throughout Mockingjay and throughout that, which still linger after the series are done.
So for that: 4/5
But I still stand by what I said for the first book; this is an amazing series that will make your heart race, make you smile, make you cry, make you ponder the nature of humans, and make you question your own motives. One of my favourite series/books…definitely check them out!
‘Till next time,