- Series: The Hunger Games (Book 2)
- Paperback: 500 pages
- Publisher: Large Print Press; Large Print edition (March 16, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781594135859
- ISBN-13: 978-1594135859
- ASIN: 1594135851
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 73,908 customer reviews
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- #1544 in Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction Action & Adventure
- #1598 in Teen & Young Adult Survival Stories
- #1882 in Teen & Young Adult Dystopian
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I also heard a few people express disappointment in the conclusion of the Katniss/Peeta storyline. I've read people's reviews taking issue with how Katniss and Peeta are represented at the end of Mockingjay, asking "Where's the passion?" Passion? Are they insane? First of all, the story is told in first person by a character who is admittedly not at all comfortable being demonstrative and doesn't respond well to those who are. There was never going to be a hearts/candy/flowers declaration happening here. Peeta has a borderline obssessive love for Katniss throughout most of the trilogy. The way I read the story, by the end of the first Hunger Games, she returns the feeling. Though hesitant to think why she does the things she does, or to state it aloud, she expresses it in so many different ways throughout the remainder of the trilogy, there really is no doubt. Despite the fact that she is suffering major PTSD, she agrees to take on the stress of being the symbol of revolution and take a front line role to bring him back. Regardless of the amount of trauma they both endure, they still eventually turn back to each other. Gale was a strong character, but he had not gone through what Katniss did in the arena and would never have been able to understand that part of her. The time she spends clinging to him and avoiding Peeta is essentially an attempt to return to the person she was before the games (which was never going to happen). Peeta was the walking, living, breathing reminder of the trauma endured. I thought it telling that Peeta returned to Region 12. Like Gale, he could have gone anywhere when it was all over, yet he went where Katniss was. Really, Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch needed each other to become human again (or as human as they were ever going to be). Katniss reminded me of uncles I had who, when they returned from war, sat in a darkened room, staring at a wall day after day for over a year before they could handle being amongst the living again.
I'll admit part of me would have liked President Snow's demise to be more than it was. Considering the amount of suffering he caused, part of me is bloodthirsty enough to have wanted him to suffer a great deal more. There are also characters I would have liked to survive (Finnick, Cinna, and Prim to name a few), but their deaths helped to illustrate the randomness and unfairness of death in wartime.
There are parts of this story we'll never get to see because it is told from Katniss' point of view. We see only what she sees and know only what she thinks is going on. I, for one, would be interested in knowing more about events of the story from Peeta and/or Haymitch's point of view. Peeta's fight back from his memory hijacking would be an intriguing read.
Ultimately, I found this book engaging, infuriating, exhausting, and funny all at the same time. To have had Katniss serene and sweetly declaring life to be sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows would have been absurd. She is with a husband (partner?) whom she loves and is utterly devoted to. She has two children she loves, but is worried what they will think when they know the role their parents played in the past. She and Peeta are happy, but remain somewhat haunted which is perfectly realistic for what the characters have gone through.
I had little to no expectations when I first started reading the Hunger Games Trilogy. If a book is trending and seems interesting, I will add it to my “to read” list. This is how I first started reading Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. After finishing Mockingjay, I was blown away. All I could think was, how many of the YA readers will understand the nuances of Collins’ message?
She hooked you in with the “will she or won’t she” scenario. “Will she or won’t she” pick Peeta or Gale? “Will she or won’t she” survive a game that does not allow for love to shine through? Those questions get you through the first book, and possibly half way through the second book, but those same questions are a moot point with Mockingjay.
Mockingjay stripped you of your hopeless romantic naiveté. There is no room for romance when the world is collapsing around you. There is barely room to breathe. There are no good guys or bad guys, only survivors. Mockingjay asks difficult moral questions: can man ever hold seats of power without corruption? Can war ever actually solve a dispute? At what price is man willing to pay for absolute power?
I won’t even go into Collins’ varied symbolisms. Part of the pleasure of reading is finding them yourselves and asking yourself what the author is telling you, the reader. It becomes a communication between the author and the reader. It makes the novel Mockingjay even more important because it is written for younger readers, our future, those that will decide the world events of tomorrow. Collins does all this without a lecture, without loosing her characters or her plot, she has crafted an incredibly well written story that I would gladly recommend to anyone who asks.
After I finished reading Mockingjay I had the same feeling as I had when I finished reading The Lord of the Flies so many years ago. Yes, I am comparing Mockingjay to a classic. There is no way around it. Mockingjay, like Lord of the Flies, asks you deep moralistic questions through the point of view of young characters. This is simply another great novel that makes you go hmmm.
My favorite quotes from Mockingjay:
“Frankly, our ancestors don’t seem much to brag about. I mean, look at the state they left us in, with the wars and the broken planet. Clearly, they didn’t care about what would happen to the people who came after them.”
“It’s a saying from thousands of years ago, written in a language called Latin about a place called Rome,” he explains. “Panem et Circuses translates into ‘Bread and Circuses’. The writer was saying in return for full bellies and entertainment, his people had given up their political responsibilities and therefore their power.”
“Something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children’s lives to settle its differences.”
I immediately understood Katniss: the mindset to survive unthinkable tragedy, to distrust as first reflex, to protect others, to wrap oneself in emotional distance - yep I got that. Refusal to be a game piece, to surrender myself, That she was in her teens and I in my 40's mattered not a whit. Still, many years later, Katniss and I amble through a reunion - a literary walkabout is still a fresh experience. This is unusual for me. (The films, though entertaining and generally well done, can't compete with the story in my head. Though I confess the idea of drinking fruit juices recommended by s Donald Sutherland voiceover can give me chills.)
Peeta's deep love for Katniss and her misunderstanding of it in so many ways - especially feeling unworthy of it - I also understand. I am fortunate to have married my Peeta. He may not have Collins' character 's gift for the right words, I know he loves me always.
The other marvelous folks who populate the books are an odd sort of family now. Reading their collective story never gets old. And they always remind me to be my fierce though flawed, self and never be a piece in anyone's games.