Thursday, August 26, 2010


by Suzanne Collins

Dedication: "For Cap, Charlie, and Isabel"

First paragraph: "I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather. This is where the bed I shared with my sister, Prim, stood. Over there was the kitchen table. The bricks of the chimney, which collapsed in a charred heap, provide a point of reference for the rest of the house. How else could I orient myself in this sea of gray?"

Review: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO BOOKS so read them before you read this. Click the titles for my previous Hunger Games or Catching Fire book reviews.

Where to start? This is the third book in The Hunger Games series. What to say? Guess we'll find out. Did I love the book? Yes. Am I absolutely torn up inside about some of the events that took place? Definitely. What about the end? Argh. It had a good ending. Just not the ending I was hoping for. Although, I think that reading all three books back to back might make me appreciate the final ending more.

I guess that doesn't leave much else to say so let's get started.

Once again, Katniss Everdeen is the face of opposition against The Capitol. So much is required of this seventeen year old girl. In this book you start to see her wall breaking down. She spends almost as much trying to heal either emotional or physical wounds as she does trying to lead the rebellion. You start to see Katniss more as a mortal, doing every day things. There are no games for her to compete in. There is no constant surge of adrenaline. Just her, her friends, her enemies, trying to shape what their world will look like and how it will function in the years to come.

The book picks up just after Catching Fire ends. Just after you're made aware that District 12 has been completely annihilated and no longer exists - it's nothing more than a heap of smoking ruble.

Almost all of the star players in the past two books make another appearance. That is, unless they're dead. I actually felt my heart-aching when some of the names were listed off.

One person in particular. I guess I want people to be able to read my review with out ruining the book so I'll just leave it at that. But to actually feel heartache when a person dies in a book, someone who isn't the main character, or even that close to the main character, shows some good writing. All I could think when this took place is, "Who will take care of [insert important people to this person]. They were so young. I can't believe Collins killed them!".

Each character has a story, a life. Collins did an amazing job of creating a real world with her characters. One where life matters. They aren't just characters in a story anymore, they're people who matter to the reader.

Collins didn't focus on the boring strategy of war; however, she didn't pretend there was no war either. Somehow I think she portrayed just enough of each key element to leave you satiated while still making the reader cling to the possibilities of what may lie in wait on the next page.

Just like the other two books you really never know what will happen. You never know what tricks the rebels and The Capitol had up their sleeves. Never knew who to trust. Unable to really see how it would all end. I guess that is why I do not write books. I'm pretty certain that if I tried, everyone would know the ending three or four chapters in. But Collins ... she has suspense and intrigue down to an art form.

I just finished reading and I'm still so emotional from the whole thing. Maybe I should have waited a few hours to let the rush wear off but I figured I should get it out now before my opinion changes for one reason or another. I think this is probably my least favorite book in the trilogy, but not because I didn't enjoy it. It's just that the other two were more my style - intense, and completely action packed. I'm guessing this one could have tied for second until the end. I just can't wrap my head around that right now. Maybe if I read and review the book again sometime I'll change my mind.

Until then, this trilogy needs to be added to everyone's "To Be Read" list. The first book is probably the darkest. But each book after it becomes a bit more hopeful. I promise that even if you don't love it and add it as your "favorite books ever read" like me, you'll still find it entertaining and enjoyable.

Click here for the Mockingjay website.

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