Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

2 Stars
Amazon link-  Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

To sum it up: Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It's by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it's by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay- no matter what the personal cost...

Well... definitely not what I expected.

(There are no spoilers in this review, by the way- I wanted to write something for all to see, including those who have yet to read this last installment in The Hunger Games Trilogy.)

I don't even really no where to begin while writing this review. I won't go into too much detail, because to be honest, my brain hurts. I'll start off by saying, that I gave it two stars, not because I hated the novel. It wasn't great. It wasn't good. I didn't absolutely dislike it, but I didn't like it either. It was just... well... okay. After all of the build-up from books one and two, I really expected this last book to blow me away. Instead, I ended up completely disappointed.

For one, Mockingjay took me a while to get into. I take that back... I never really got into it. Sure, there were many things things that caught me by surprise and parts that I enjoyed as well. But throughout most of the novel, I was pretty bored. There was so much endless dying interspersed with endless strategy and technical details, that I found to be completely unnecessary. Over-all, it just pulled away from the element in the story of a love triangle, and brought readers into the realities and effects of war.

For one, I felt a complete disconnect from the characters- the ones we grew to love, (or hate, for that matter) were all just cardboard cut-outs with no depth. They were so vital to me in the previous two books, but were nearly non-existent here, which caused the book to take a huge nose-dive because of it. Peeta is barely present, and if you discount the time that Katniss spends crying in corners, injured and in the hospital, and being manipulated or controlled by others, she isn't really present either.

And on the last few pages, we finally learn: Gale or Peeta? But in my opinion, the relationship between the three of these characters took a huge back-seat. I understand that these books aren't classified as "romance", but I felt like what was considered a huge part of this trilogy, turned into an afterthought in this last book. By the time I reached the epilogue, the characters were people I felt I no longer knew, in a book I just wanted to end.

Every so often, a book comes along that changes you. The Hunger Games Trilogy did just that, and I know I'll spend weeks thinking about it and sorting through all of the questions and emotions that Mockingjay stirred up. It didn't seemingly carry as much heart as her previous two books, but regardless, I still lived and breathed them the past week, and have come to the conclusion, that Suzanne Collins certainly has a gift with producing a truly brilliant and unforgettable Trilogy.

FYI: I would highly recommend reading the first two books in The Hunger Games Trilogy first- I would absolutely say it's necessary to read all of the books in order, because in my opinion, they definitely can't be read as stand-alone's! :)

1 comment:

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

Alyssa - you've summed up my thoughts prefectly. I was left indifferent to a lot of this book, which is pretty much the biggest crime you can commit as an author in my book (well, almost).

The characters felt increasingly like'cardboard cutouts' to borrow your phrase and the love triangle never came to the boil - we could have done without it altogeth!

My review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


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