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Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) [Hardcover]

Suzanne Collins
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31,876 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.



A Q&A with Suzanne Collins, Author of Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)

Q: You have said from the start that The Hunger Games story was intended as a trilogy. Did it actually end the way you planned it from the beginning?

A: Very much so. While I didn't know every detail, of course, the arc of the story from gladiator game, to revolution, to war, to the eventual outcome remained constant throughout the writing process.

Q: We understand you worked on the initial screenplay for a film to be based on The Hunger Games. What is the biggest difference between writing a novel and writing a screenplay?

A: There were several significant differences. Time, for starters. When you're adapting a novel into a two-hour movie you can't take everything with you. The story has to be condensed to fit the new form. Then there's the question of how best to take a book told in the first person and present tense and transform it into a satisfying dramatic experience. In the novel, you never leave Katniss for a second and are privy to all of her thoughts so you need a way to dramatize her inner world and to make it possible for other characters to exist outside of her company. Finally, there's the challenge of how to present the violence while still maintaining a PG-13 rating so that your core audience can view it. A lot of things are acceptable on a page that wouldn't be on a screen. But how certain moments are depicted will ultimately be in the director's hands.

Q: Are you able to consider future projects while working on The Hunger Games, or are you immersed in the world you are currently creating so fully that it is too difficult to think about new ideas?

A: I have a few seeds of ideas floating around in my head but--given that much of my focus is still on The Hunger Games--it will probably be awhile before one fully emerges and I can begin to develop it.

Q: The Hunger Games is an annual televised event in which one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts is forced to participate in a fight-to-the-death on live TV. What do you think the appeal of reality television is--to both kids and adults?

A: Well, they're often set up as games and, like sporting events, there's an interest in seeing who wins. The contestants are usually unknown, which makes them relatable. Sometimes they have very talented people performing. Then there's the voyeuristic thrill—watching people being humiliated, or brought to tears, or suffering physically--which I find very disturbing. There's also the potential for desensitizing the audience, so that when they see real tragedy playing out on, say, the news, it doesn't have the impact it should.

Q: If you were forced to compete in the Hunger Games, what do you think your special skill would be?

A: Hiding. I'd be scaling those trees like Katniss and Rue. Since I was trained in sword-fighting, I guess my best hope would be to get hold of a rapier if there was one available. But the truth is I'd probably get about a four in Training.

Q: What do you hope readers will come away with when they read The Hunger Games trilogy?

A: Questions about how elements of the books might be relevant in their own lives. And, if they're disturbing, what they might do about them.

Q: What were some of your favorite novels when you were a teen?

A: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Boris by Jaapter Haar
Germinal by Emile Zola
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

(Photo © Cap Pryor)




From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up Following her subversive second victory in the Games, this one composed of winners from past years, Katniss has been adopted by rebel factions as their symbol for freedom and becomes the rallying point for the districts in a desperate bid to take down the Capitol and remove President Snow from power. But being the Mockingjay comes with a price as Katniss must come to terms with how much of her own humanity and sanity she can willingly sacrifice for the cause, her friends, and her family. Collins is absolutely ruthless in her depictions of war in all its cruelty, violence, and loss, leaving readers, in turn, repulsed, shocked, grieving and, finally, hopeful for the characters they've grown to empathize with and love. Mockingjay is a fitting end of the series that began with The Hunger Games (2008) and Catching Fire (2009) and will have the same lasting resonance as William Golding's Lord of the Flies and Stephen King's The Stand. However, the book is not a stand-alone; readers do need to be familiar with the first two titles in order to appreciate the events and characters in this one. Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK (c) Copyright 2010.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Bookmarks Magazine

As might be expected for the last volume of a series whose popularity is just below that of Twilight and Harry Potter, much of the ink spent on Mockingjay recreates the great anticipation for the final volume and assures readers it is worth it. Many critics were unwilling to reveal any details of the plot, but those who did argued that what really makes Mockinjay entirely gripping is how it continues to successfully explore the violence and moral ambiguity raised by the first two books. Reviewers were also happy to add Katniss to the list of endearingly kick-ass young female action heroes. "This dystopic-fantasy series," noted the Washington Post, "has had such tremendous crossover appeal that teens and parents may discover themselves vying for--and talking about--the family copy of Mockingjay."

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The highly anticipated conclusion to the Hunger Games trilogy does not disappoint. If anything, it may give readers more than they bargained for: in action, in love, and in grief. When the book opens, Katniss has survived her ordeal at the Quarter Quell, and she and her family are safe in District 13. Gale is there as well, but Peeta is being held at the Capitol as President Snow’s very special prisoner. Events move quickly, but realization unfolds slowly as Katniss learns that she has been a pawn in more ways than she ever supposed and that her role as the face of the revolution is one with unanticipated consequences, including a climbing death toll for which she holds herself personally responsible. Collins does several things brilliantly, not the least of which is to provide heart-stopping chapter endings that turn events on their heads and then twist them once more. But more ambitious is the way she brings readers to questions and conclusions about war throughout the story. There’s nothing didactic here, and the rush of the narrative sometimes obscures what message there is. Yet readers will instinctively understand what Katniss knows in her soul, that war mixes all the slogans and justifications, the deceptions and plans, the causes and ideals into an unsavory stew whose taste brings madness. That there is still a human spirit yearning for good is the book’s primrose of hope. Grades 6-12. --Ilene Cooper

Review

Praise for Mockingjay:

#1 New York Times Bestseller
#1 Publishers Weekly Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Children's Book of 2010
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
A 2010 Booklist Editors' Choice
A 2010 Kirkus Best Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010
#1 USA Today Bestseller
#1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller

"Fans will be happy to hear that Mockingjay is every bit as complex and imaginative as Hunger Games and Catching Fire." — Entertainment Weekly

"Suspenseful... Collins' fans, grown-ups included, will race to the end." — USA Today

"At its best the trilogy channels the political passion of 1984, the memorable violence of A Clockwork Orange, the imaginative ambience of The Chronicles of Narnia and the detailed inventiveness of Harry Potter." — New York Times Book Review

"Unfolding in Collins' engaging, intelligent prose and assembled into chapters that end with didn't-see-that-coming cliffhangers, this finale is every bit the pressure cooker of its forebears. [Mockingjay] is nearly as shocking, and certainly every bit as original and thought provoking, as The Hunger Games. Wow." — Los Angeles Times

"This concluding volume in Collins's Hunger Games trilogy accomplishes a rare feat, the last installment being the best yet, a beautifully orchestrated and intelligent novel that succeeds on every level." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

About the Author

Suzanne Collins' debut novel, Gregor the Overlander, the first book in The Underland Chronicles, received wide praise both in the United States and abroad. The series has been a New York Times bestseller and received numerous accolades. Also a writer for children's television, Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

From AudioFile

Scarlett O'Hara. Jo March. Jane Eyre. These classic fictional heroines embody female strength and courage. Now add Katniss Everdeen to that list. The teenage survivor of the annually televised "Hunger Games" and the even harsher survivors' reunion, the Quarter Quell, has become the poster child for a rebellion exploding across Panem, her dystopian world. Katniss finds herself caught up in the revolution, unsure whom she can trust. Narrator Carolyn McCormick is back for this third installment, and her cool, clear voice is perfect for the hard-edged Katniss. McCormick has a wholly grown-up voice, but then Katniss is forced to act the grown-up, more deadly and capable than most adults. The narrator's voice here is sometimes plaintive, sometimes matter-of-fact, but always compelling, and often thrilling. M.M.C. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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