For What It's Worth

Friday, August 27, 2010

Review: My Husband's review of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Here is my husband's review for Mockingjay - it does contain minor SPOLIERS!

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)
Kevin's review of The Hunger Games & Catching Fire HERE if you want to read that first.

I just finished reading Mockingjay……..and, well, I have to say I was disappointed. It was written well but was just missing… something. Maybe it’s just because I read all three books in the series in a row, or maybe I was just expecting too much, caught up in the hype. All I know is that I didn’t feel satisfied.

The first two books were so intricately laid out with each scene, each moment meaning something and leading to something greater. She concentrated on all the little things. Here in Mockingjay she completely abandoned that style and jumped to the big picture but without tying in to anything she had laid out earlier. It was almost as if she had this epic Shakespearean story planned and then turned on CNN’s war coverage and said “let me write about that and insert these characters into that narrative.” Every issue relating to war is covered. Bombs, traitors, torture, propaganda, waterboarding, the media…you name it – it’s there. As an anti-war, anti-terrorism novel it works, as a bookend to this series it does not. The series started as a dystopian future and then swapped over to a commentary on current events.

There was some sort of fire in Collins writing when she penned The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. That wasn’t continued in this book. Katniss is the same self-doubting girl we were left with in Catching Fire. Everyone else around her has changed for better or worse. Even her little sister Prim has grown up and matured into a strong young lady. The storyline focuses so much on war & rebellion to the point that the character development is lost.

There is a lot sadness and bleakness in this book but no heart. I should explain……………
In the first two books there are scenes/events that rip your heart out. You go from the depression of dealing with the death of Rue to the comfort and tender moments with Peeta and even Gale. You felt the swings in emotion. In Mockigjay there are really no scenes that “stab” you in the heart. Yes, I knew that I was supposed to be happy or sad but I didn’t “feel it” and, no, it’s not because I’m an unfeeling guy. I teared when Katniss adorned Rue in flowers. I thought of my little sister and how I would feel in that situation. I felt the safety that Katniss and Peeta felt when they were holding each other.

As everyone has said there is a decision in the Peeta/Gale situation………. Yes, there was logic in the decision but, once again, there was no heart. Now I stated in my previous review that I am Team Peeta. And I stand by that. He is the yin to her yang, I think she needs Peeta’s calmness to balance her but whatever…that’s not the point. What she does to these two boys – now men, is on the verge of cruel. She asks everything from them and gives nothing back. Now I know she’s young and hadn’t had any romantic feelings at all before being pushed into the games and that forced the issue. On that level I’m ok with that. She doesn’t NEED to pick anyone. But Collins wrote it this way – that a choice had to be made. I believe she loves both Gale and Peeta for different reasons but the she way she treats them is just wrong. She won’t be happy until there is nothing left of them and one of them dies for her and then she will cry about how it was her fault. Some of the things she says to Peeta (my god girl – what does this guy have to do for you??) and does to Gale…..Grrrrr. ****SPOILER**** Peeta was tortured to the point that he has almost lost his humanity and she’s upset because he doesn’t think she’s beautiful. Then being spurned by Peeta she runs to Gale and uses him as her rebound guy until he pisses her off, then she goes to Haymitch and then the cycle starts over. Maybe I have problems with this because I’m a guy – maybe I just see it more from the guys angle than hers but it really rubbed me the wrong way at just how selfish she is when everyone has been through so much – not just her. ****END SPOILER****

The end was kind of like a “Scooby Doo” episode in the sense that you learn about what happened to everyone in the last part but because you are told about it – you don’t get to see it. As Karen said in her review, pivotal scenes and conversations were missing. It was tied up with a neat little bow but the package was empty.

I still had a lot of questions at the end……and we all know what that leads too… fiction.

I plan on reading it again to just make sure of how I felt. Who knows….practice makes perfect….oh wait, that doesn’t work for reading, does it? Well, I’ll read it again anyway and see if I can make more sense of it. It did upset me so that’s good right? I felt something. Yup, that’s what I’m telling myself.

Team Peeta? Team Gale? Team Katniss? Nah – I’m Team Buttercup!

Rating: as a stand-alone novel I would give it a 3.5 out of 4 but as the ending to this series I give it a 3 out of 4.

Here's Karen's review: HERE


  1. hahaha you know, I almost posted that Buttercup was my favourite character...but I'm quite partial to fluffy little creatures :)

    I definitely agree that Mockinjay was completely different and a thousand times darker than its predecessors, but I actually felt it was fitting in the context of what was happening in Panem. That said, I do agree that Katniss's reactions to the beauty thing were a wee bit obnoxious. Oh, and I do have to admit I cried over Finnick. A lot. I'm such a geek haha Either way, brilliant review :)

  2. Best review of Mockingjay I've read so far! I understand everything you're saying- and I'm a girl. Something about the book felt empty, but maybe that's how it was supposed to feel???

  3. Agree, agree, agree. It felt like a modern war novel, not a dystopian. Katniss is just unfeeling to Gale and Peeta, and even if she's had no romantic feelings before, I can't believe that ANY girl could ever be so clueless about her own feelings as Katniss is.

    I didn't like what happened to Peeta. It made him nothing like himself for almost an entire novel, totally changing the character until, bam! Problem fixed! And the only thing he wanted in book 1 was to remain himself, uncorrupted. I felt kind of sick over it.


    And yup, lots of deadly necessary dialogue was just not there, and things that needed to be talked out that were barely addressed. *sigh* I gotta find me some quality Mockingjay fanfiction, and soon.

  4. I completely agree with this review. Maybe all our expectations were too high? Maybe Suzanne Collins was just sick and tired of the story by time she got to the end so she just wrapped it as quick as she could? I cried often during Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but the only time I cried during Mockingjay was the Buttercup part at the end so I think that says something about the difference in the emotions in the book. The part in the underground/sewer with Finnick and Castor and the seemed so rushed. I couldn't even figure out what the hell happened to Castor I kept going back to reread it.

  5. I agree with you review. Except for team Buttercup.

  6. This is one of my favorite reviews! Thank you so much!
    Its still not released in my country yet, so I am kind of becoming impatient now....



    Awesome review, thank you! I totally agree with everything you wrote.

    I also like Autumn's comment, because that's exactly how the end of the story felt for me, too. It was as though Suzanne Collins tired of the horrific world she had created and decided to end it all ... then and there ... with a pretty bow that totally did not work to make all the disturbing stuff she'd written okay and made absolutely no sense in the context of the story.

    As for the bringing-down-the-Capitol bit ... I was fine with the rest of the book, but then everyone was getting killed off left and right - I even thought Gale was dead, after his capture (and how did he even get free? huh?) ... and that Peeta would be stampeded by a mob or something, lol, whilst wandering the streets in his semi-deranged state ... why? because everyone else was dying! for no reason, practically! My point is that - by the time Prim's death came about - I was just too numb to care! :o I could have understood that many deaths had the war had ended with an epic battle on an epic battlefield, that would spawn epic limericks until the dusk of humanity ... but - uh - no, that was not what happened, so - uh - no, I don't buy that all those people HAD to die simply because *that's what happens in a war*.

    Then, suddenly, Gale's the bad guy and we don't want to know about him ... and Peeta's no longer a danger to Katniss and they're making babies and ... WHA - ? ... did I miss something?! Seems like Suzanne Collins lost some of her manuscript's pages. Ahem.

    About Katniss's choice ... there really was no heart to it. Apart from the fact that we weren't even really present and only got a quick few sentences in the Epilogue ... which was annoying ... she did treat Gale and Peeta like crap and deserved for the both of them to walk away. When Gale told Peeta that Katniss would choose whichever of them she couldn't live without, that really brought it all home to me ... I've always rooted for Gale, but she was just too damaged, in every way possible, and should have exited the series ALONE. And why were they both so willing to be with someone who wasn't choosing for love, but for survival, anyway?

    Team Buttercup.

  8. I'm sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the book. A lot of what you brought up about the book being an anti-war novel that commented on current events was actually one of the things I liked most about the book although I do see your point about there being a lack of continuity of themes between this book and the first two.
    I don't understand how you can say you didn't feel anything reading this book - I was an emotional wreck! And I swear I'm not usually a crazy emotional person in normal life... I swear, lol.


  9. this is a perfect review but i did cry at the end with buttercup and also when they were talking about the things they put in the book and i dont cry about many fictional things.