Between the Lines

Everyone can read, but really understanding a book and the story it represents is entirely different. It's important to adopt different perspectives. Here, I offer you mine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Before you read this, I ask you to check out my other review on The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.
Now. Normally, when I am this fired up about something I have read, I wait a day or two to simmer down so that I don’t publicly humiliate myself by posting something I might regret on the Internet.
Well TOO. BAD.
I literally just put down the book, and I want to review no matter how unstable my feelings for it are right now, and I am GOING FOR IT.
I am warning you RIGHT NOW, I’m not really editing what I write, so if there’s a spoiler or two in there, I apologize. As you can see, I had a LOT to say. And for once, the Negatives are almost a match for the Positives!! :O

Mockingjay (The final book in The Hunger Games trilogy)
Suzanne Collins
374 Pages

Summary: “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. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.”
Positive: 1. Murderous cliffhangers. If you’re reading this review, I’ll take a shot in the dark and assume that you’re wondering if The Hunger Games lives up to the hype. Yes, it does. A thousand times, yes! All you need to do is read a first few pages, and you’ll be pulled in and under like a riptide in the ocean. Seriously, the only way I could convince myself to put the book down long enough to get a few hours of decent sleep was to break away in the middle of a chapter—because I quickly learned that if you waited to finish, the compelling cliffhangers that Collins uses to conclude each chapter would pull you right back in. 2. Character development. Suzanne Collins had three whole books to build a bond between characters and the audience, and let me tell you, she used her time wisely. They were all awesome, villains or heroes—but, thank God, nobody was perfect. Katniss especially. Not the most lovable character to me, but goodness, do those boys throw themselves at her! At least she has some “fire” (pun intended) and can defend herself and stuff. She became way more outward with her emotions, but still kept her old snarky, sarcastic charm. And… what’s this? She becomes more decisive? And actually LISTENS?! Finally! We’re proud, Katniss. (Not really. I think her death would have been an exemplary ending, too.) 3. To put it simply, the entire plot is a Positive. After wrestling through the beginning (which I felt was mostly used to remind readers of what had happened in the previous two books), it was just one event after another, firing away—bam, bam, bam! Some events irked me, and some made me want more. The surprises brought about in each chapter made it impossible to stop reading, and it all tied together brilliantly.

Negative: 1. Violence. In the first two books, it is obvious that war is coming—and in the final book, it does. Way more emotional than the first two books, Mockingjay is also the most vicious and bloody. Based on the actions and statements of characters, the gore is clearly (and ironically) pertaining to the cause of anti-war. 2. KATNISS. EVERDEEN. GOT. ANNOYING. Quite honestly, her whining about how hard it was to be the Mockingjay and not have enough control and choose between Peeta and Gale irritated me. Sure, she had a lot to deal with, but often times I felt like she was really dramatizing everything. Especially on the topic of picking her love interest. She had to fake emotions for Peeta towards the beginning, but then began to actually feel them. Eventually, she wasn’t sure of where she stood with Gale because he made it obvious that he loved her when he kissed her back in Catching Fire, but they’d always been just friends, and… GAH! Seriously, the tension almost drove me insane, but I felt like she whined so much that I almost stopped caring. I kind of wish that she ended up alone. I mean, she’s all independent and self-reliant—I always saw her as some lonely cat woman, standing up for herself and not needing a man. The “cat” sound is even in her name! It was meant to be, I tell you!! 3. Finnick! AAAH, FINNICK!!!!!! Come on, Collins, everyone loves Finnick! WHYYY?!?! That is all I will say on this matter, in order to spare those of you who have yet to read. 4. I feel like Katniss pretty much slept through the end. Anyone else disappointed with how the climax fell flat? Something important happens, and Katniss blacks out, and then… we wake up later. Then something else important happens, and she blacks out again, and… we wake up later. And then she sleeps more, and then Peeta shows up, and then EPILOGUE! Seriously, am I the only one who feels like either I missed something or this was rushed? Though, I must say, the epilogue did make up for this.

Overall: While the Negatives do appear to have outweighed the Positives in this review in numbers, in content, Positives are still a win. I DID like this book, despite it's many yet minor flaws. Maybe the book wasn’t worth losing the last shreds of sanity I had left, but it was enjoyable and I don’t regret reading it. Not the best ending ever, but the overall series is nothing short of genius. I absolutely love The Hunger Games.

Rating: One thumb up! (Over all series: every finger and toe I own.)

Tidbit: Rumor has it that The Hunger Games is on its way to becoming an epic, amazing, masterpiece of a movie!! (It better be an epic, amazing masterpiece. If some bad director butchers it, he/she will have an army of angry book nerds to deal with.)