First Published: August 24th, 2010 by Scholastic Press
ISBN: 0439023491 (ISBN13: 9780439023498)
Series: The Hunger Games #3
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult.
Setting: Post-apocalyptic North America. A nation called Panem.
Narrative: First person, present tense.
Reviewer’s rating: 5/5
If there’s a word that sums up feeling totally drained, broken, but at the same time hopeful, that's the story of Mockingjay in a nutshell. Like the previous book of the series, Mockingjay begins at a slow pace. The previous book of the series ended with a shocking information from Gale: there is no District Twelve. Mockingjay comes with even more cliffhangers. The story begins when the rebellion has finally started. The long gone and dead District Thirteen emerges from the underground, quite literally. And with them comes yet another pair of people Katniss finds hard to trust.
Katniss Everdeen has survived yet another Hunger Games; against the wishes of the Capitol, against the wishes of her own. District Thirteen has come out open with a plan. The Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee is on the Rebels side. While the District has been training their soldiers and the refugees from Twelve, Plutarch is coaxing Katniss to be the Face of the Rebellion. There’s only one purpose she has to serve and that is to be the Mockingjay, the symbol of the Rebellion which gives hope to the Districts.
If words could kill, you’d die a hundred times over in this book. You can’t help but live along with Katniss and feel the physical and mostly the mental fatigue of every thing that happens to her. You’d want to get away and read the book as an audience, detached from what was happening, but Suzanne Collins with her use of the narrative makes sure that doesn’t happen. Some people have critiqued the story as being full of violence, bloodshed and brutal deaths. Mockingjay sure has all of them. Yet there’s a very clear anti-war message inherent in every thing that goes inside Katniss’s mind.
The final installment of The Hunger Games was pretty much all a reader could take. We often find ourselves not wanting a favorite series to end. Well, we all wanted J.K. Rowling to not finish Harry Potter. But that changes when it comes to The Hunger Games trilogy. A reader would love having read it but wouldn’t want another installment of the series. Because wanting that would mean even more suffering in Panem. And one can only take so much.
The story again contains very strong Marxist views and comments on the consumerist society. A feminist reading will give a thumbs-up to the story as well. Katniss shows immense courage which, in the dystopic world of Panem, is saying something. The story’s going to quench the thirst of every generation of readers. The head and the heart both become a battlefield in themselves. And while the battle unfolds right in front of the reader, one can’t help but feel the underlying comment on the present-day society. A very strong remark is made by Plutarch Heavensbee when after the war Katniss asks him if he’s preparing for another war. He says: “Oh, not now. Now we’re in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated. But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.” Could be a comment on the world we live in, right?
All in all, if there's no Apocalypse stopping you, you would read the book at one stretch. This book is so well written. Each word, each sentence is so well structured. If you haven't read this yet, trust me you don't want to miss it. It will make you sad and scared but it will make sure you understand where you are and the effect you can have. The book is worth every experience. Whatever problem you're in, just remember that if Katniss could, you could too. All you'll ever need to seek is that dandelion in the spring. That yellow which promises life.
Because Katniss' children believe,
“Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when again it's morning, they'll wash away….”