Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire, the spark that started a revolution, once again finds her life in chaos. Rescued from the Quarter Quell and whisked to District 13 and the seat of the rebel cause, Katniss is expected to take up her role as the figurehead of the rebellion; as the Mockingjay so ready and willing to fight the Capitol. Peeta is captured. Probably dead–it would be best if he were dead. District 12 is gone. And Katniss finds she can no longer hide from the war she never meant to start.
Many are willing, as ever, to tell Katniss what to do, who to support and what role to play. But before she can become the Mockingjay, before she can save Panem, her loved ones, or even herself, Katniss will have to decide what cost she is willing to pay for survival and, ultimately, for freedom in Mockingjay (2010) by Suzanne Collins.
Mockingjay, the follow up to Collins’ insanely popular books The Hunger Games and Catching Fire hardly needs an introduction or help getting into the hands of eager readers. This book, like the rest of the trilogy, sells itself.
In the much anticipated conclusion to the trilogy, Collins does little to disappoint. Filled with twists, action, and memorable characters, Mockingjay will keep readers guessing (and riveted) until the very end.
And what a finish.
In a lot of ways Mockingjay was even more brutal than the other books about Katniss and Panem because Collins made it so clear that these characters are damaged beyond repair. Will they keep going? Of course. Will anyone be the same after the war is decided once and for all? Of course not.
The writing is scattered and often bleak, likely because our heroine is repeatedly injured mentally and physically. Collins is brutally honest about what it has cost Katniss and many of the other characters (especially the other Victors of the Games) to make it this far while showing irrevocably that war rarely solves anything neatly and often hurts the very people it’s trying to save. Still it’s impossible to turn away from this modern, original story of a girl, a revolution, and a war that is fought as much on camera as on the front lines.
Mockingjay remains a strong, compelling story about characters that have captured the world’s imagination. Some reviews have suggested that the core characters were inconsistently written here or that the ending was lacking. On the contrary, Collins has not only been faithful to the spirit of the first two books but also created an utterly original conclusion to a powerful trilogy.
I love all of the books as physical objects with the arresting designs by Elizabeth B. Parisi and cover art by Tim O’Brien. I love the energy from this series. I love the characters and the story. I find myself completely moved (and maybe even rattled) by this powerful, surprising, and ultimately appropriate ending to a series that has quite literally changed the face of young adult literature forever.
Possible Pairings: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Selection by Kiera Cass, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, Green Angel by Alice Hoffman, Legend by Marie Lu, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld