★ Jess 's Reviews > Mockingjay

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
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Nov 08, 14

bookshelves: books-i-own, read-in-2010, read-in-2012, 4-stars-loved-it, special-top-favorites-♥
Recommended for: Fans of 'The Hunger Games' and 'Catching Fire'
Read from January 19 to 23, 2012, read count: 2

Spoilers.

When I first read 'Mockingjay' I was a silly little fourteen year old, drunk up on the fast paced action and immediate danger Katniss faced in the first two novels. Given her weakness and exclusion from important events, not to mention my almost 12 month wait for its release, I was bitterly disappointed.

Perhaps, reading now, I appreciate Mockingjay more because of my lower expectations. Perhaps it is because I can look at it in a new light. Perhaps its both.
I will not delete my original review, because I think in a certain way it still stands true. I can easily see why so many people dislike Mockingjay, and I dont blame them. However, Suzanne Collins did take a risk with her approach to this finale, and its either love or hate.
Mockingjay shows the horrors of war. Nobody wins, everyone hurts. Collins portrays this well with Katniss: so strong in the first two books, pushed to the very edge of sanity for the majority of this book, on the verge of suffering a total break down. Every character is heavily flawed, pushed to their very limit. Desperation and depression hang on every page, as a result, Mockingjay is one of the most numbing books I have ever read. Not because of character's deaths or beautiful writing, but because of the entire gloomy atmosphere.

This is not to say Collins should be applauded for a magnificent finale. It was good, but not the masterpiece it had the potential to be. Parts of this needed to be fleshed out: details, conversations, motives.
Im not necessarily talking about Snow's capture or Peetas rescue. Katniss' absence from these events makes perfect sense. How could she remain fit to take down the president? She's a seventeen year old girl who has just watched her sister be blown to pieces, witness Gale be taken by the enemy and presume Peeta dead. I'd love to see you hold it together if your sibling and two best friends are all killed within five minutes, right in front of you. These events take a toll on Katniss. Trauma finally catches up with her.
This is something I did not understand first time around; I expected her to be strong and courageous. I wanted her to be stand in the face of impossibility, like every other protagonist in a YA series. She doesn't. She can't. Collins shows nobody can be unflinchingly strong. No one should be expected to. Even heroes suffer.

I would have preferred less mention of the camera crews: their reason for inclusion made sense, but it quickly became pointless. Not horrible, just unnecessary and a little distracting. Also, after the Capitol was overthrown, why was Panem not united as one nation? Why do the districts (and isolation, ie Gale moving away from 12 and seemingly dropping off the face of the earth) still stand?
More detail and explanation from Collins regarding the ending would have been beneficial. Besides the state of of Katniss and Peeta's relationship, she gives us very little conclusion. Perhaps the publisher gave her too tight a deadline, but this is a huge letdown regardless.

There are certainly a lot of good things to take out of Mockingjay, but ultimately it is weak as a conclusion to a trilogy like this one.

The following is my initial review.


FIRST REVIEW-2010
I gave both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire five stars.
And I dont give out five stars easily. Infact, out of my 300+ books, less then twenty have got full marks.
So far, this had been my favorite trilogy.
I was in love with the characters, and had been waiting for Mockingjay for almost a year. And after that cliff-hanger ending in the previous book, my expectations for the finale were absolutely giant!

I wanted to love this.
I really, really wanted this to be my favorite book ever.
But it totally bombed.
On every level, the final book of this exceptional trilogy disappointed.
Mrs. Collins had better be glad she will never meet me, or I may go Annie Wilks on her ass, like in that amazing book: Misery

I am going to split this review into two sections. Pro's and Con's.

!!!!!!!!!!!! WARNING. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS STARTING NOW. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK, STOP NOW!!!!!

PROS:
-I really loved the part when Finnick and Annie got married. I was so happy for them. And their baby at the end. My brother told me to shut up because I sighed: "Awwwwww" really loudly. However, Both should have been heavily expanded and explained in detail.

-Regardless of the two stars I issued this disappointing novel, I really enjoyed the majority of the last twenty or so pages. Especially when Peeta and Katniss ended up together :)

-The Hanging Tree song. Awesomely creepy.

-Peeta ending up with Katniss. Three cheers for team Peeta :). Im so glad she chose him, but its not like she had much choice, is it? I mean Gale moved away, so Peeta was all she had...

-Prim dying. This was a pretty sad scene. But its in 'Pros' because im all for character's death, and this was the only death scene that didnt look like it was first draft stuff.


CONS:
Where do I begin?
-Are you kidding me? The most important bits of this story (when Peeta, Annie and Johanna were rescued, when the Capitol was overthrown, and the Trial of President Snow and Katniss) Were totally and utterly overlooked. All these scenes were seemed like sub-plots.
I diss Stephenie Meyer for avoiding the action scenes in her novels.
Well, that is exactly what Collins did as well.
I really wanted to read about *how* Peeta and the others were rescued from the Capitol. I wanted to read about *how* they caught Snow. *Who* caught him and the difficulties they endured.
I would have loved it if we could have had some detail from Snow and Katniss's trial and what went on in there.
Surely these would have boosted this to at least 4 stars, If we got all the juicy action-packed, suspense-filled detail of the Snow's capture and Peeta/Johanna/Annie's rescue!

-Finnick's death scene. Are you joking me? Did Mrs. Collins not want to include any emotion or thought in that part. Just "Oh no! Finnick's dead! His life flashes before my eyes, he stops breathing. Oh well, lets move on." and then not another mention. I actually threw the book across the room. Im not even joking.
If Collins had spent more time/effort on this scene, I would have teared up. But I didnt. Because It was awfully written.

-Katniss. Can anyone honestly say she used her brain and was utterly brilliant in this one? In my opinion, she was cold, unlikable, stupid, slutty, selfish and an absolute idiot at times ALL THE TIME! At one stage she says: "Am I really that cold and calculating?". Yes. Yes she is,

-Can we please have some detail about what happened to Gale. Possibly a little more then: He got a job in another District.

-The Pods in the Capitol streets. Surely, there could have been another form of excitement then this? I mean, it was a bit ridiculous. Im sure more detail on arresting Snow could have made up for it though. Im just sayin'

-Every single character (minus Haymitch, and at times Finnick and Peeta) were utterly one-demential and boring. Also, I wouldnt have objected to more Annie Cresta and Johanna Mason.

-Katniss shooting Coin.
Okay, so why? And why was there no action taken afterwoods. Like, Katniss just shoots her-gets locked on her own for a few days....and its all forgotten.
Just no.

-Last, (but not at all least) Suzanne Collins really didnt live up to her own expectations. I have decided that The Hunger Games is an amazing series, but Collins is not a good writer (kind of like Twilight and Smeyer. It showed in this poor book. The plot itself, was poorly executed by Collins. Her writing lacked the thrills of the previous two, and if some one told me that Mockingjay was done by a ghost writer, I would have believed them.


All in all, I am enormously disappointed by the finale to this trilogy.
Whilst most parts were shocking, it did have its redeeming qualities: Some good one liners, a few breath taking scenes and the like. But sadly, that wasnt enough.
The biggest upset was the lack of detail in the important scenes.
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Reading Progress

08/26/2010 page 1
0.0% "DAD JUST BROUGHT HOME MOCKINGJAY!!!!!!! I am going to ditch what I am reading and start this tonight!!!!!!!! SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!" 3 comments
08/28/2010 page 161
41.0% "Are you, are you.....coming to the tree.....Where the dead man called out for his lover to flee.....strange things did happen here.....No stranger it be.....If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree..." 5 comments
08/28/2010 page 215
55.0% "So far it has been a very enjoyable morning. I have been sitting in front of the fire place, curled up with this book on my beanbag and eating some English Muffins......Now that all ahs to stop so I can do my homework........... Happy dance. Not." 1 comment
08/31/2010 page 347
89.0% "*sigh*............I am so disappointed with MOCKINGJAY. It lacks depth and emotion. Collins fails to live up to her own incredibly high expectations.....Hoping to finish this tonight..."

Comments (showing 1-31 of 31) (31 new)

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Amber YAY. READ IT NOW.


Diana Tell us what you think afterwards.....


★ Jess Im on page 79. Its pretty average so far.


Amelia, the pragmatic idealist lol! hahaha wow Katniss is bothering me so much, Gale's looking pretty good. But no misunderstanding, she needs to be with Peeta.


Amber I agree 100%, Amelia.


★ Jess Yeah I know! I *hate* Katniss in this book! Whats wrong with her!?!?!?
Gale....meh, I dont like him either.
And Peeta. He can do so much better then katniss. But I still want them together.


Amber Whoa. It's like TWILIGHT all over again!


Regan ♥ Whoa. 2...? This makes me even more nervous.


Lydia Hartman Booklover23 wrote: "Yeah I know! I *hate* Katniss in this book! Whats wrong with her!?!?!?
Gale....meh, I dont like him either.
And Peeta. He can do so much better then katniss. But I still want them together."


I completely agree


Amelia, the pragmatic idealist I agree with all of this!
This book is like almost 400 pages, and WHAT was going on most of that time? Because like every major thing seemed to happen off screen: the start of the revolution, the rescue of Peeta, the thing with Snow...
And all the off-screen deaths? That's what JK Rowling did a little in DH, but at least Rowling had character development!
And yeah Peeta and Katniss ended up together (Three cheers for Team Peeta) but WHY exactly?! Because she loved him, because Gale just up and left, or because everybody else died, so she might as well take up with him? Who the #$(%$ knows!
Grr.
I need to stop.
But I love your review.
As always :]


Amber I agree 100%! Great review-as usual.

I laughed at the part about Ms. Collin's being glad she didn't know you.
Oh goodness. This book was such a dissapointment.


Lydia Hartman Amber wrote: "I agree 100%! Great review-as usual.

I laughed at the part about Ms. Collin's being glad she didn't know you.
Oh goodness. This book was such a dissapointment."


The book its self wasnt AWFUL it just seemed bad compared to what we were expecting... but thats just my opinion


★ Jess Thank you Amelia and Amber :) I agree with you comments.

And Lydia, I kind of agree.
I was expecting too much, but that is no excuse for all the super-important off-screen events.
That made so devastated.

And the lack of description in Finnick's death scene? Awful.

Yes, Amelia-I forgot to mention about Katniss and Peeta ending up together.
HOW? HOW HOW HOW!?!?!?!?!


Dhitri Jess I REALLY LIKE YOUR REVIEW, I can even picture you saying it in person. You have put to words all the thoughts that came to me while reading the book. Well done!!!


message 15: by Emma (new)

Emma i like that cover!


message 16: by Luke (new) - rated it 1 star

Luke They're making this into 2 movies :O


Lindsay Thank you! I'm annoyed by so many things, but presently annoyed by the nagging question: WHY DID SHE KILL COIN? I mean, was it because she realized Coin would eventually become another Snow? Or did she think putting Coin in power would do nothing to lead Panem in the right direction? This was the climax of the entire series so to speak, and it wasn't explained. I agree with your review!


message 18: by Jeff (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jeff I agree with you- this was such a huge dissapointment after the first two books. My biggest complaint is that she turned such a strong female character in Katniss into sniveling ineffectual nothing who locks herself in closets to avoid confrontation and worries about what bot to choose...she turned Katniss from an amazing amazing girl into a horrid Bella type Twilight twit


message 19: by Jeff (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jeff boy I meant


message 20: by 4l3x (new) - rated it 3 stars

4l3x "-Katniss shooting Coin.
Okay, so why?" She was the one responsible for Prim's death. I was expecting to Katniss to kill both of them (first Snow and then Coin), but when she got only one arrow, I knew she'd go for her


message 21: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy Completely agree with all of your points.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree. I skimmed this book. The first was quite good, the second okay and this one... yeah.


message 23: by Emi (new) - added it

Emi There really should have been more detail on Finnick's death


Tiffany I completely agree with your 'original' review.. although when it comes to the over looking of details, I felt that way about all 3 books.. Each book could have been like 200 pages longer and could have been way better and more vivid and detailed.. plain and simple, this series had sooo much potential and at times delivered, but all in all should have been way better than it was, because of how it was written. Oh well.


Kiana Ortega wow this was like the best review EVER!!!!!! Not even kidding every thing you said in this is just I feel about MOCINGJAY.


message 26: by Jazzy (new)

Jazzy Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is wonderful! It goes from a girl with no choice to what she can do with her life to her becoming a Mockingjay. In the beginning, she has no freedom; she is completely overpowered by President Snow. As she learns from the crowd of rebels, she acts and stands against the president with great power. The plot has a lot of effectiveness. There are families all over Panem starving to death, just so the Capitol can have their luxuries and pleasures. The families live in broken down, old houses, while the Capitol spends their everyday lives in the worlds’ most advanced technology and mouthwatering food. Tension remains throughout the book. It starts off with Katniss facing a challenge that her lover, Peeta, may never return back to her, and then the challenge of Peeta becoming against her because of some drug. Mockingjay ends with her duties as the bird who ends the war through vengeance and justice and wins over Panem. I have to disagree with Jess. I believe that Mockingjay was executed really well and that Suzanne Collins is a great writer. I hoped that Peeta and Katniss would get together, and that Katniss will somehow win. I loved Suzanne Collins’ style. She has a very intricate way of grabbing and pulling the reader into the book. “My nightmares are mostly about losing you. Then I wake up to find you're still with me.” I really loved that Suzanne Collins added a lot of love quotes between Katniss and Peeta. Their true love is what, to me, brought the trilogy together. So after when he whispers, “‘You love me. Real or not real?’
I tell him, ‘Real’ ”. She does a very nice job of keeping cliff-hangers at the end of every chapter, making the reader want to go on. “My lips are just forming his name when his fingers lock around my throat.” This was one of the points where I could not just put the book down. I would definitely recommend this book to all my friends, it is very interesting, and it was very hard for me to put it down.


★ Jess Maybe just like,
write your own review?


Elizabeth Rund She didn't explain howPresident Snow was captured because it was in Katniss' point of view and she just didn't care any more.


Kristine Mockingjay definitely improves on a second reading especially a second reading preceeded by a re-reading of the first two books. The trilogy works best as a single novel as there's much foreshadowing that appears early in the story but can be forgotten by the third. Mockingjay also suffers from a rushed reading. Many negative reviews reveal many key points have been overlooked by the reader.
The camera crews were there because they were still filming propos but this time in 'battle'. That's the reason Coin gave for sending Peeta to join them - Coin wasn't satisfied with what was being produced.
The districts weren't scrapped for the same reason the states (colonies) weren't scrapped when countries such as USA and Australia became nations - each colony already had a separate identity and wanted to keep some autonomy. I think it was Plutarch who referred to a time in history when this worked and what he envisioned Panem to be.


Atlantis Yes I agree when you reread it with rereading the series it all makes sense. Of coarse you should expect the third book would die down a little I mean she does have to end the series some way. I will admit I was a little disappointed at first when I read it but when I reread all three of the books and also watched the first two movies it grew on me. Now I am even more excited until mocking jay the movie comes out in 2016. So I still agree it wasn't as magnificent as the first two but it sure was good. So good job collins


message 31: by Imi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Imi Finally someone, who understands, that she's broken because of all the things that happened to her. To be honest, this is my favourite of the trilogy, because it shows how Katniss is not a godess or something, just a normal 17-year-old girl, well, maybe she's the face of a rebellion and a war, but she's just a kid and she went through so much it'd be hard for anyone. And I love her breakdowns and the depression in this novel, because it's realistic, not heroic. And I especially love, how the ending is not that sugar-coated. It's sad and depressing. Everyone lost a lot of things in the war, and those scars cannot be healed. I mean the districts won and Katniss' family still ended up separated.

And one of my favourite quotes from this, andsadly a lot of people don't even notice this:
“Are you preparing for another war, Plutarch?” I ask.
“Oh, not now. Now we’re in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated,” he says. “But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction. Although who knows? Maybe this will be it, Katniss.”
“What?” I ask.
“The time it sticks. Maybe we are witnessing the evolution of the human race. Think about that.”

So true.


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