Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
MockingjayWar is never pretty. It is violent. It is bloody. It can be tortuous. Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay shows all of that from a 17-year-old girl’s point of view. Katniss didn’t ask to be the symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol. Yet she is what is needed to rid Panem of slavery. Mockingjay is a dark exploration of all the personalities in war.
Katniss narrates her story beginning from waking up after the end of Catching Fire. She is in pain; she is lost; she is in the bleak world of District 13 now that her home in District 12 is gone. Despite her misgivings, Katniss agrees to be the Mockingjay, the girl symbol of the rebellion that has broken out in all the districts of Panem. She is given a special outfit, her own team of support and advisers, and a camera team to follow her. She relies on Hamitch and Gale to stay with her and keep her sane. Peeta – well she has her memories and hopes that one day the sweet man she knew will return.
She has the guilt of all the people who have died “because of me” in her head. Katniss occasionally sees the people she saves as well, but it is all the ones who have died either by her hand or protecting her. In her narration, Katniss doesn’t see that this rebellion has been building and she is the final spark that was able to set it off.
Mockingjay shows many different people and viewpoints through Katniss’ eyes. Gale is her friend, her love, her nemesis. Peeta is her friend, her love, her guilt. The head game maker, Plutarch, is used to setting up big plans. That’s how he sees his role in this rebellion. President Snow’s malevolent presence is always in the background. Hamitch is her advisor who pushes her and threatens her. Prim is always the bright spot in her life. President Coin is manipulative and secretive. Finnick is broken and rebellious and in pain. Cressida is still a bit clueless at the beginning and the reader can see how she inures herself and survives throughout. Boggs is positive and in command, a bright spot despite Katniss’ disregard of his orders. Beetee is upbeat and positive, excited because he can put his inventive imagination to work.
Collins doesn’t spare the violence in Mockingjay. Blood spatters; people melt; bombs hit innocent people. Although the end is somewhat lighter, for the most part Mockingjay stays dark. It is realistic and only somewhat hopeful. But it keeps up the narrative of the Hunger Games and keeps the reader pulled in. Do not read this book without reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Once you have, you’ll need to read the conclusion – then draw some of your own.
Notice: Graphic violence