Mockingjay. Suzanne Collins. Scholastic Press, c2010. 400 pages.
Plot: After rebels rescue her from the 75th Hunger Games arena, Katniss is taken to District 13. Existing in secrecy underground, District 13 is a strictly regulated community occupied by rebels. Every hour of each resident’s day is scheduled and meals are rationed. Katniss agrees, though only after striking a deal President Coin (the leader of District 13), to become the “Mockingjay,” a symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol. The deal grants immunity to all of the victors of the Hunger Games and ensures that Katniss herself will be the one to kill President Snow. The rebels then, Katniss included, begin to take control of the other twelve districts and finally begin an assault on the Capitol itself, their minds set on capturing and killing President Snow.
Review/personal thoughts: Though the two previous Hunger Games novels were indeed dark, I found the trilogy’s final chapter even more somber. The greatest difference, I believe, was in Katniss. After surviving the Hunger Games twice, it can be expected that her outlook will have shifted. I found this a responsible move on the part of Mockinjay author, Suzanne Collins. One of the trilogy’s recurring themes has been the adverse affect war has on the lives it touches. In depicting Katniss as despondent and distrustful, Collins remains true to this theme. Rather than glorify war, she makes an honest attempt to communicate the consequences of war. The novel does end positively, though the impact on Katniss of what has occurred remains clear.
Genre: science fiction
Reading level/interest level: ages 12 & up
Similar titles: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix