Tuesday 21 June 2011

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My reviews don't normally contain spoilers, but I've got so much on my mind that just this once, this review will. So if you haven't read Mockingjay yet, I'll just say that it's a must for anybody who's read the first two books - and turn away now. Unless you like spoilers.

Mockingjay is a great end to an amazing series. But I have to admit I was a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong - it was a gripping page-turner, just as the previous two Hunger Games books were, but unfortunately I wasn't left with the feeling of being completely blown away, as I expected. I think what made it worse was that, for the first three-quarters of the book, that's exactly how I was feeling, but as I got nearer to the end my enthusiasm waned big time. While I think it's great Collins once again threw in totally unexpected twists that I, for one, definitely didn't see coming, I hated how grim it was. I know the characters have been through A LOT, but still, I was hoping after all that there would be more of a triumphant feeling in the end. Frankly, the anti-human message was rammed a little too hard down my throat. It was so incredibly, unexpectedly bleak.

It was horrible to see all the fight go out of Katniss. She started out as such a strong character, and while it's realistic that, after all she's been through, she's seriously damaged, I missed the fiery Mockingjay. Although the final pages and the epilogue hinted at her putting herself back together and leading a reasonably full life, the last paragraph about her inner turmoil kind of undermines that with its focus on the negatives. I guess I would have just liked a few extra pages, just one or two full scenes - full conversations, at least - of her and Peeta together, happy.

Which brings me to Peeta. Oh, Peeta. What happened to him was just heartbreaking. After spending two books firmly on the fence between him and Gale - and wanting to see more of the latter - I sped through Mockingjay, yearning for Peeta, impatient to see him - the REAL him - reappear. But once again, while he obviously gets better in the end, I would have liked a little bit more time with him. One or two scenes - instead of just a brief mention and vague references - would have been so much more satisfying. Just to see the real Peeta one last time.

As for Gale, after finally getting to spend more time with him, I was so disappointed. He was surprisingly hard, brutal and uncaring. I couldn't believe how he basically deserted Katniss in the hospital, and later in District 12. Of course, he's been through a lot himself, but still - Peeta has arguably been through even more and he fought his way back to Katniss. For Katniss. She made the right choice.

I probably sound like I hated this book, but I didn't. I liked it. Loved it even, for the most part. It was just the ending, really, that left me unsatisfied. Which is not a good feeling to be left with after such a brilliant series.

Rating: 3.5/5

Related Reviews
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins


  1. Belle,

    Your review conveys exactly how I felt about MJ. Yes, I liked the book but I was also a little disappointed. It was horrible to see Katniss lose her fight, and my heart broke for what happened to Peeta. I never cared for Gale so I suppose I wasn't really surprised by his actions, but you make a good point about him.

    Great review.

  2. wow, that review really hits all of the main points. Kudos putting it into words so well! I totally agree with you. I LOVED the book and the series but it was hard to see the characters go through so much. I'm really excited to read "The Girl On Fire" book because it seems like I can get back into the books and look at it from other people (authors) point of view.

  3. Very nice review...I had a really hard time reading this book, just because how different the tone is. Especially the change in the characters, like how Katniss was so lost and not herself at all. I agree, it would have been nice to see that Katniss was okay in the end.

  4. Awesome review - mainly because I agree with everything you said ;) Haha.


    I did not like the fact that all of a sudden Katniss was FOR the "war" or whatever. What happened to fighting? You're right - she completely changed. And I hated what happened to Gale. It was so out of nowhere. I also didn't like Peeta. He was way too weak.

  5. Thanks for your thoughtful comments ladies. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who felt disappointed. It wasn't just me, then!
    Celesta - what's The Girl on Fire book? Is that related to The Hunger Games? I've never heard of it :)

  6. I agree the ending isn't as strong and actually the whole book but it still a great book. Good honest review :)

  7. Thanks Nic! Yes it was still a good book - I think my expectations were probably set too high with the previous two though. They were too good for their own, er, good!

  8. Great review. I felt the same way. Hated the bleakness of book 3. I was Team Gale the whole series so I was still kinda rooting for him, but I just hated to see them end up so beaten. Still a good book, but I missed the fire and total awesomeness of the first two books.

  9. Thanks Kelli! I loved Gale in the first two books (as well as Peeta) but was so put off in Mockingjay :(

  10. Hi, Belle,
    I felt kind of the same way you did. What really disappointed me most was the fact, that after everything Katniss did to protect her sister Prim, she was killed. I really expected Katniss to have at least her sister, the person she entered the hunger games for would survive and be with her!

  11. Yeah it was a punch in the gut, that's for sure!