Series: The Hunger Games #3
Published: 2010 by Scholastic
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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“Mockingjay” is the third book in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. As with my review of “Catching Fire,” I’m going to try to avoid as many spoilers as possible from the first two books, even at the expense of a more vague review.
“Mockingjay” takes it’s name from a species of bird that exists within the book that is a cross between a jabberjay and a mockingbird. Jabberjays were birds that the Capitol used to memorize and deliver messages, kind of like more intelligent parrots. When jabberjays bred with mockingbirds, they created a species capable of memorizing and repeating human songs with lyrics as part of their bird calls. It becomes a symbol of revolution, because the Capitol never meant for them to exist. Little touches like the mockingjay are a part of why this book resonated so well with me; it’s that touch of creativity that adds little glimpses of sunshine and hope in the middle of a very bleak world.
The bulk of this installment in the trilogy takes place in District 13, which was firebombed in the previous revolt that occurred around 75 years before the trilogy takes place. However, much of District 13 survived in underground tunnels and bunkers and continued to thrive, unknown to the average citizens of the Capitol and the other districts. The resistance is headquartered there, and is using Katniss as part of their official propaganda. Now officially a part of the revolution, Katniss finds herself questioning whether the ends justify the means, and what the cost of a victory would be. Meanwhile, a good friend is in enemy hands, and Katniss feels increasingly powerless while caught up in a conflict larger than herself.
The first two books in the series were rather emotional, but this one takes the cake. I cried several times while reading it, but at the same time couldn’t put it down because it was so suspenseful and I had to know how everything would end. Overall, I was quite satisfied with the ending. Katniss’ life after the revolution didn’t take the direction that I expected, and I’m glad. It was interesting to see the way that Katniss evolves since the first book, becoming more and more jaded (and kind of scarred for life) since the moment she volunteered herself for the Hunger Games to protect her little sister. She matures a lot as the books progress.
The ending of the book also (finally!) resolves Katniss’ love life dilemma, and I think it rather funny that most of my friends are very adamant about who they thought Katniss should end up with. I was happy with her choice; my sister was not. For anyone who’s read it, who did you like more, Gale or Peeta?
Overall, I’m definitely glad that I read this series. Normally I’m a bit hesitant when everybody gets obsessed with a book, because let’s face it, everybody was obsessed with “Twilight” too. “The Hunger Games” isn’t like that; it’s more mature and leaves room for thought, and the writing is infinitely better, despite its flaws. I tend to shy away from YA novels, not because I don’t like them, but because I’m a fast reader and tend to go through them too quickly. Luckily, I made an exception for this, and it’s something that I may have to do more often!