Literary Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Format: Audiobook

Mockingjay available summary:

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

One of the things that struck me here was just how attached Katniss has come towards Peeta… upset that Peeta was left behind in favor of her, how she couldn’t understand why she was the symbol of the revolution or why they simply couldn’t find anyone else.

What I have complained over and over again in regards to my not being able to connect with Katniss throughout the series… finally comes into fruition in the third book of the series. I find myself wanting what is best from her, wanting her to succeed to get everything she has ever wanted. At the same time I think this attributed to the fact that she has finally grown as a character as opposed to staying relatively the same throughout the series.

Who knew when President Snow posed to Katniss that she has to act like she was in love with Peeta to make President Snow believe they were in love that the consequence was that in the Capitol taking Peeta and using him against Katniss that she would have actually fallen for Peeta and not necessarily in the romantic scene but in a deep loving bond where she would want no harm to happen to him.

And this is the heart and the center of Mockingjay… what drives Katniss into the directions taken to the ultimate conclusion. And this is why that a part of me is pleasantly surprised that after finding myself drawn to the secondary character I am finally able to relate to Katniss and find her a character worth rooting for.

In this final novel of the trilogy Peeta has undergoing a transformation of epic proportions, being kidnapped and essentially brainwashed to think that Katniss was a mutations and as thus must be killed… well that would drive a wedge in their growing romance / relationship. What really pushes Katniss into her own is how she copes with after finding Peeta may actually have lost him in the worst way possible. So them trying to find their way back to one another is a mountain that Katniss finds that she is more than willing to climb.

At the same time we have Gale that is trying to hold onto Katniss, the girl that he had always loved in some capacity since their youth. But when the rebellion comes full throttle it becomes painfully clear where Gale’s priorities lie. Even though he is fighting for the people, his inadvertently ignores those closest to him in the process and they end up becoming a consequence or a casualty in his pursuit of liberty / freedom.

It in this novel we start learning more about some of the surviving tributes that have won in the past seventy-odd various Hunger Games. Finnick’s past comes to light as does bits and pieces of Haymitch’s past (though some of it came to light in Catching Fire). We learn more about what happened with District 13 and how they have managed to survive since. We see Prim and their mother as they cope with the changing times and how Prim comes into her own as a healer.

We also get to see Katniss as she sees what war is and where her stance is when it comes to this second war against the capital. We see her warring sides at work as she wants what is right not only for herself but for those she loves around her. How she struggles against what she has perceived to be the ultimate betrayal and how she adapts to that. There is just so much going on that when Katniss finally decides to do in the end may or may not have been predictable, but I think for me… it comes down to Katniss’ core… she will do anything and everything to protect her sister…

In the end, this is a fitting end to a trilogy that I didn’t really find myself connecting to directly until later. Katniss needed to break, and doing that too early wouldn’t have worked. Instead rooting for other characters all around her and learning from each and every one of them why they connect to Katniss was enough to keep me interested as to figure out why she was such a strong protagonist… And as such this is a book series that I may find myself picking up and reading again down the road…