Book Review – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

by Maryse on June 4, 2011 · 11 comments

in My Book Reviews, Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)
To give you an idea of how I was feeling going into this book, here is a quick snippet from my Facebook page:

“OMG my jaw hurts so bad from constantly clenching my teeth while reading those last two books. And I still have a 3rd to go. I think I need to add aspirin to my reading table along with that box of crying kleenex…”

I know… it took me awhile to write this one, huh? Considering I finished it last Monday. This was another one of those “I need time to get over it” kind of series. Books that make you feel that way are always good but after the whirlwind Memorial Day weekend I spent with the Hunger Games crew, I was *spent*.

I knew I’d miss them, and I had a BLAST reading this series with my Facebook gang (and our commenting frenzy), but considering how book#3 ended, I needed more. More… detail, more personal time, more time climbing out of the darkness. More time spent in the light. But there wasn’t more, and I have to make my peace with that. In the words of my great friend Sherry:

There is NO closure for me at all….

Ditto. Okay, to be honest, there was a “sort of” closure. Enough to end the series, and be somewhat satisfied. But, after the emotional turmoil we’d just been through, I would have appreciated it all more, had the author eased us back into a happier *humanity* if you will.

I’ve decided I’m going to review this one right now, from the heart, now that I’ve had time to reflect. But, I will also include a few weekend highlights from my Facebook page. Moments that portray our reading experience in a raw and spontaneous light. Our “live” reactions will show you exactly what you’re in for if you haven’t read this yet.

(btw: more about the book & review after these reaction *highlights*)

Jennifer H: Number three pissed me off. A lot.

Michele: Did you cry?

Maryse’s Book Blog: Poop! That means somebody I like dies, don’t it? Yes and I know that’s not proper grammar but i’m taking liberties due to the tenuous state I’m in!

Michele: I just re-hashed 3 – skimmed the book… lots of stuff I forgot… all I can say is… KLEENEX!

Sherry: Son~of~a~b*%$h

Maryse’s Book Blog: NOBODY BETTER DIE!!!!

Michele: Nobody?

Maryse’s Book Blog:  I SAID NOBODY!

Michele: No need to shout! :) Did you see Lily’s post… she hid in her “closet” and cried!!!!!

Jennifer: Confused..about what to feel…i feel like theres fixin to be a major betrayal coming..i dont know cant shake the feeling…but somethings not setting right..with these propos

Kyla: I went and got the ebook :P now I’m making my way through it with a bit of unease about both sides :/

Maryse’s Book Blog: Last page of chapter 11 GRRRRRRRR!!! That was emotionally overwhelming and then some relief where I said FINALLY!!! and then… NO WAY!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Oh for crying out loud!!!

Sherry: You’re killing me!!!!! I’m going thru it all over again with you and getting pissed, sad, happy, hurt, angry, emotional, ecstatic, overjoyed, elated, …..well, you get the point right??

Maryse’s Book Blog: I am SO going to need a completely romantically indulgent piece of fluffy book candy after this series. SERIOUSLY.

Maryse’s Book Blog: The whole Peeta/Katniss vibe in this book reminds me of the Dimitri/Rose issues (Vampire Academy) later on in that series – very painful…

Lily Liliums-Realm: True that.

Sherry: I need therapy…………..

So what’s the story about? Stop here if you do not want to read *spoilers*.  Not that I give anything concrete, away, but I’m mostly analyzing the story told, and well. You know how that goes… Analyzing the situation might give away the *gist* of the story.

Book # 3 is all about war. Rebellion. Justice. Hope. All of which is carried out in complete and utter devastation. Corruption even in the most unlikely places. But does it serve a greater purpose? Do the means justify the end? Yes…. and… no. You realize quickly that there is no simple answer to freedom. We are humans, with the capacity to love and care for others, but also with a tendency to hate and kill. Our humanity unfortunately involves greed, power struggles, and the need to have leaders and, especially… order. But how can you have an orderly world, a *safe* world without rules and laws? Who will make those laws, and who will carry out the consequences when the rules have been broken? It’s a snowball effect, and one that can present a few daunting choices. Even the most decent intentions result in deadly consequences.

And anyway, all of this requires taking *out* President Snow, which, in itself, seems like an almost impossible mission. But with the help of District 13 (yup – they DO exist!!) and the one symbol that had ignited a fire amongst the citizens of the oppressed districts, the mission is launched and they’ve all been catapulted into an uprising. There is no way to stop it now. Let the REAL games begin. At least this time, the deaths might not be in vain.

Oh and yes… there is a love story, and while it is an important part of the main character’s growth, it wasn’t the focus. And by the time I reached the end of this book, I was so emotionally exhausted, that I wasn’t *team anyone* anymore. I loved them both. I was too distraught, and just wanted someone… anyone… to be loved (or even just given the time to love).

As I mentioned to one of my friends, the author is (to me) a brilliant writer. Her writing is amazingly poetic, beauty amongst chaos. An introspective Katniss is an enlightening one. I highlighted SO much in each book that I just loved…but, in book #3, I swear, the author was trying to kill me 8-O . Suzanne Collings took me to the depths of hell and then left me there. Oh she tried pulling me back out towards the end, but I had become so numb that I couldn’t reach her. The author made her journey to the end, but I was still struggling to see the light. Okay… I’m being a *tad* melodramatic ;)  But those who have read this series will know where I’m coming from.

And that would be my other tiny complaint about this last book. It seemed the author was so intent on this not being a love story, that we didn’t really get any relief. Lessons in humanity yes, but a romance book. No. Definitely not.  I would have loved a little (okay… a LOT) more romance.

To be honest. I’m glad it’s over. Not that it wasn’t an excellent series, but it is definitely an overwhelming one and I need my romance candy book fix. Here was my last “Facebook” entry (upon finishing this book), before my husband had to feed me two hours of South Park (until 3 or 4am):

Maryse’s Book Blog: *hrmph* that is how I feel right now. No sobbing… no crying… cause it was too dark for me to even feel that. Hard to explain. I went further below the sadness. Maybe tomorrow.

Cartman from Southpark (Southpark? Yah… I’m going there ;) ) once said “I think I just blew a funny fuse” (Remember? When he thought he saw something so funny, that he couldn’t laugh anymore). Well… I think I blew my “sad” fuse with this one. Moments of despair so dark, and distressing, and yet I couldn’t even cry… I was so far below the “sadness” level that I apparently bypassed it all together. My suggestion? Read this last one in smaller increments. Surround yourself with fluffy things and cupcakes. Go to birthday parties. Watch your favorite comedies (and not the dark comedies, either!!). Go slow with this book. Maybe you will be able to *feel* the moments as the author intended. I went too fast and crashed.

But no worries. My fuse is fixed. I’m all better now! On to the steamy books!! Yay for hot romantic heroes!!!!

3.75 stars

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

sherry June 4, 2011 at 3:18 PM

OMG, reading these comments had me rolling again!!! It takes me back to how I was feeling too :( I gave it too my Niece, so I’m waiting to hear from her….she’s VERY emotional like me and I need to be there for her :D

*Hugs Maryse*

Maryse June 5, 2011 at 10:08 AM

I know!! And there were so many more of our Facebook comments I wanted to add that had me laughing but… well…. I could only make this review “so” long. It was hard to pick my favorite moments. You had quite a few “son of a ***” moments that were just perfect examples of how I felt right then and there, too!

Michele June 6, 2011 at 5:13 AM

I think I’m gonna go into hiding & read them all again…

LilyofDarkness June 6, 2011 at 6:33 AM

LOL Thanks for bringing up the closet comment Maryse! I am hardcore! You’re not supposed to tell people I bawled like a little girl with a sinned knee! LOL! Ah, well…..I loved the series too, but the last pages of it left me more sad than anything else. She could have left us with the hope of “real” but instead I think in trying to make it clear she ripped what joy we could have found in that ending away.

Michele June 6, 2011 at 5:47 PM

I’m the one who said it Lily… SORRY!!! (You didn’t have to post it Maryse!!)

Maryse June 6, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Woops my bad!! I found it in our commenting frenzy and it just suited our reactions perfectly. Lily and I did discuss that little “secret” that was revealed. I think she’s good with it ;)

Amanda Conner September 6, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Loved the books. I only wish that there was more to it as you have said…example What happened to *spoiler*? Did he stay in District 2? are they still friends? Just left you hanging hoping for more! Now don’t get me wrong, I loved *spoiler* all they way till the end and always had hope for him. “Do you love me? Real or not real? I lost it! Had to take a break as well after reading this series…but i loved every moment of it.

adalie December 6, 2011 at 7:48 PM

I tottally get that “frozen” feeling at the end of the book! and I read them in oct,2010 first and really enjoyed them, but i didnt get many of the “deeper meanings” the first time, so to me it was just a good/ intense series. So last month my friend Morgan and i were reading them again, the first time for her, second for me, and after a year i didnt really remember everything so i was still totally surprised in some parts! Back to what i was saying- i finished the series before her and when i read the last few pages of how everything goes on afterwards, I TOTALLY GOT IT. But my friend Morgan was so upset about the ending she wouldnt even hear what i had to say! haha! But It hit me, how the main character could not have gone through such, such.. (there is no word!!) “things” and not be permenantly tainted by the events, their experiences (and hummanity) were so gruesome that there could be no room for a happily ever after. in my mind i pictured *spoiler* (my alltime favorite book-boy) and Katniss with gaping scars and that all they could really do was hold on to each other to dull the pain of the past, but it is never fully gone, they cant forget or take away all the “things” they had gone through. Also it helped for me to think that by doing the things they did, they made a better future for the next generation (and thier kids). and now its my favorite series ending of all time! i suggest waiting like a year or so and reading them again, garantee it will change your perspective!!! sorry for the super long comment! (:

Anika January 5, 2012 at 9:43 AM

I read this series about a month ago and loved them. I usually stay away from books like this since I am known for only vampire books. I have to say this is a great series and I may end up reading them again before the movie comes out in March 2012. It still has me wondering…What if, but I won’t spoil it for anyone. Lets just say I was sad when I finished reading this one. I wanted a different ending or maybe I wanted it to continue into something else.

Maryse January 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Agreed Anika. I liked the ending sorta.. but… I had other hopes.

Elizabeth May 5, 2012 at 7:21 PM

I really don’t get all your confusion at all. The ending for me was always going to be Katniss [SPOILER removed] Well thats my take!

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