Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – The Politics of a Revolution

mockingjay book coverJust a couple of weeks ago, we had our elections here in Southwest Florida. The run for Governor was especially cut throat this year. The politicians and their followings littered our papers, mailboxes and televisions with the dirty laundry from the other side. By the time the elections came about, I told my boyfriend that I’d rather vote Donald Duck into office than either of these two. But writing in Donald would have just been giving up my vote so eventually I did my own research and made the best decision in my eyes.

SPOILER ALERT – We’ll be discussing some aspects of Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins that are immediately pertinent to the plot and outcome of the story. If you have not yet read the book, I highly recommend doing so before reading this review.

There’s speculation that The Hunger Games Series was partially inspired by the conflict in the Middle East. No one book comes as close to this idea as The Mockingjay, the last installment in the trilogy. In this book, we see the politics behind the revolution – the grandstanding for the cause, the victims and for the fight for the office of President.

Catching Fire leaves us at a huge cliffhanger. Katniss has just been rescued from the arena and she realizes that Plutarch Heavensbee, Game Maker from the Quarter Quell, is really an ally rather than another of President Snow’s minions. She is also enlightened that Peeta has been captured by the Capitol during the rescue mission. On the edge of the story’s conclusion, Suzanne Collins leaves us to ponder the fate of the surviving Victors, including Katniss and Peeta.

peeta mallarkWhen Katniss regains consciousness and her bearings, she realizes that she is now in District 13, an underground community compound that was believed to have been destroyed in the original rebellion 75 years ago. The totalitarian society of District 13 is run by the self-appointed commander President Coin. Prim, Gale, Finnick and Haymitch are among the refugees that have landed in District 13.

But shelter is not given freely here. Each member of the community must contribute. Plutarch and Haymitch help strategize the Mockingjay rebellion while Gale has found himself on the front lines, fighting as a soldier. Even Prim and her mother have a place, tending to the sick and wounded.

katniss everdeen in District 13President Coin is relying on Katniss to be the poster child for the rebellion. To show her face in opposition to the Capitol – but in show alone. As the poster child, Katniss is much too valuable to be taking on any roles in the military efforts themselves. Can you guess how well this went over?

When Katniss learns that Peeta is actually alive and being used as a puppet by President Snow to appease the people back into order, she’s put in a special unit for a rescue mission. It’s when Peeta returns to District 13 that the surprises begin.


Plutarch and Coin talk strategyLike any good war story, some die and some live and in the background you hear the rumblings of politicians vying for the positions that will soon be open in the new Panem. Coin, Plutarch and Katniss are all considerations for replacing Snow and who actually gets the job, and how they get it, may actually surprise you. But who actually gets killed off at the end of this book and who lives to pick up the pieces after the revolution has ended is very surprising. There’s a definite resolution to this storyline, although one that not everyone agrees with.

Suzanne is amazing in her story telling. This book is masterfully written and is a great ending to a powerful story. I love her use of Katniss as a strong female character that everyone from President Snow in the Capitol to Haymitch in the arena to Peeta and Gale in the trenches find themselves relying on. I highly recommend this story to all those who enjoy a good YA book and don’t mind a teenage love triangle. For younger readers, please keep in mind that the subject matters of these books are mature and the action and descriptions are often violent and unapologetic. With the million different ways that Collins could have ended the book series, it’s interesting the path she chose.

What did you think of The Hunger Games Trilogy? Are you planning on seeing the Part 1 of Mockingjay in theatres when it premieres?

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