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Mockingjay: Summary and Review

mockingjay by suzanne collinsmockingjay by suzanne collins
Title: Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction (Books for Teens)
Age Category: 16 to 19 years +

Today I finish my series on Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games Trilogyhunger games trilogy by suzanne collins with a summary and review of the much anticipated, and much hyped book for teens, Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins.  In this Mockingjay summary and review I will discuss the ending of the book/series in the last section of this post (I can’t resist, given some of the controversy in the blogosphere), so if you don’t want to spoil it, skip that part.  I will not give away anything important in the “Summary” or plot synopsis, so those parts are safe.

Mockingjay: Summary of Review

Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins is a stunning finish to an amazing trilogy.  I loved every minute of it, and so will most teens.  Collins masterfully brings resolution to the central tensions and conflicts of the story, including the struggle between the Districts and the Capitol, and the love triangle between Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, and Gale Hawthorne.  However, since the over-arching theme of the series is war, the close of the trilogy is appropriately untidy—indeed tragic—in certain ways.  Such untidiness helps to communicate what I take to be Collins’s central message: there can be hope and joy on the other side of war, but never a complete return to the way things were.  War changes things.  Permanently.

The subjective appeal of Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins (as for the other books in the trilogy) remains in Collins’s gripping plot-line, her hard-hitting writing style, her masterful character development, and her creative vision of a futuristic North America.  Again, as for the other books in the trilogy, the developmental value of Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins lies in the cultural reflection that the book precipitates, the interesting ethical issues it raises—particularly related to war—and the empowering female character it portrays. Sensitive readers should be warned that the book, like its predecessors, is quite violent (though I think appropriately so; see my review of The Hunger Games for the rationale behind this judgment).

Since I have touched on all these subjectively appealing and developmentally valuable characteristics in my review of Catching Fire and my review of The Hunger Games, I will not return to these again in any depth in this Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins review.  Instead, I will focus on certain ways that Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins clarifies the central theme of Collins’s trilogy—namely, war—and brings out the beauty and truth contained in her trilogy.  I will make these comments after a brief plot summary.

Mockingjay: Summary & Plot Synopsis

In this plot summary I will assume some familiarity with the series thus far, so if this is your first encounter with it, I recommend reading the plot summaries from my review of The Hunger Games, and my review of Catching Fire.

In the last section of Catching Firecatching fire by suzanne collins, Katniss and Peeta return to the arena for the 75th Hunger Games—the Quarter Quell—along with two victors from each of the other Districts.  In this special commemorative version of the Games, the Capitol (and President Snow in particular) seems bent on killing off Katniss, who has stirred up rebellion in the Districts, and has thereby become a threat to Snow’s oppressive dictatorship.

catching fire by suzanne collinsHowever, once again, all does not go according to the Capitol’s plan.  A significant number of the victors (including Katniss and Peeta) band together to form an alliance and again outsmart the Capitol at their own game.  Specifically, the allied group devises a way to destroy the force-field that encloses the Quarter Quell arena and make an escape, with assistance from sympathetic Capitol insiders (including the head gamemaker of the Hunger Games, Plutarch Heavensbee).  Although Katniss plays a role in the destruction of the force-field, she did not know about the escape plan, so her forced evacuation from the arena via hovercraft takes her by surprise.  Once on the hovercraft, Plutarch fills her in:

“We had to save you because you’re the mockingjay, Katniss,” says Plutarch.  “While you live, the revolution lives.”  The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames.  I am the mockingjay.  The one that survived despite the Capitol’s plans.  The symbol of the rebellion.” (pp. 386-387)

This quotation sets up Katniss’s role as the “Mockingjay” in the last novel of the trilogy.  As we learned in the first book, mockingjay is a species of bird that resulted from the unanticipated breeding of ordinary mockingbirds with “jabberjays”—birds that the Capitol artificially created to repeat back rebel intelligence during the last insurgency in Panem over 75 years ago.  Given these origins, the mockingjay is a bird that can perfectly repeat back any song it hears.  In the first book, Katniss wore a mockingjay pin on her clothes, and progressively through the first book it came to symbolize her, and the hope of overthrowing the Capitol that she stirred up.

Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins, then, features Katniss as the Mockingjay, the symbol and de facto leader of the rebellion, a creature that the Capitol has inadvertently produced through its cruel Hunger Games.  The book traces her role in the rebel army as it wages a now open war against the Capitol, and leads us through the realistically tortured psychology of a tough teenage girl who has been traumatized by war and loss.  In addition to drawing the rebel conflict with the Capitol to a close, the book resolves the love triangle between Peeta, Gale, and Katniss.  (Note: I will discuss just how it resolves in the next section of this review.  Stop reading now if you don’t want to spoil anything!)

War in The Hunger Games Trilogy

In my review of The Hunger Games, and my review of Catching Fire, I suggested that war was among the central themes tackled by the books.  However, now, looking back at these other books through the lens of Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins, I see that war was not just one of the themes.  Rather, it was the theme.  Indeed, the end of Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins finally made it clear to me that the central event of the series—the barbaric Hunger Games—just was a metaphor for outright war.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThink about it: different regions sending their children off to kill each other.  Some regions use conscription, others use volunteers (the “careers”).  Moreover, the games were fought in huge arenas of rugged terrain resembling the sort of areas in which real wars are fought.  And while the losers die, the winners take home the pyrrhic victory of traumatic stress and the requirement to mentor future Hunger Games tributes (which amounts to something like being promoted to officer).

In Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins, this metaphor becomes particularly clear in the strong parallels between the Hunger Games and the war now being waged by the rebels on the Capitol, orchestrated by Alma Coin, president of the highly militarized District 13.  Indeed, the way Coin uses the media to manipulate public attitudes toward the war, and the way she and her team use Katniss (albeit, a now willing Katniss) suggest that the war against the Capitol is just one more Hunger Games, though perhaps one with a just cause.

Toward the end of Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins, Collins brings into focus the perpetual human inclination toward war.  The central illustration of this theme comes when the rebels have won the war and Coin convenes the remaining Hunger Games victors to decide how to deal with the surviving families of former leaders in the Capitol: should they be shown mercy, or should a new round of the Hunger Games be initiated featuring them as tributes?  Although the vote is split, in the end the group votes to re-institute the Hunger Games.  The message: despite the rebel victory, the bloodthirsty human bent toward violence threatens to begin the whole cycle of oppression and rebellious war again.

Finally, Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins communicates the deep wisdom that war, even in the best cases, permanently changes things.  While Collins holds out the possibility that there may be peace and healing on the other side of war, such peace and healing can never be a romantic return to “the way things were”.  Indeed, Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins (and the whole Hunger Games trilogy really) explodes the myth that war can be tidy and surgical, that one group can cleanly accomplish their just goals through violence, without pervasive upheaval.

The clearest illustration of this point is the fact that Katniss ends up with Peeta and not Gale.  Among other things, Gale represents a tragically unrealized past, a past that is impossible to reclaim on the other side of war, regardless of how desperately one might long to return to it.  That Katniss ends up with Peeta underlines the fact that she is a different person.  War has tragically changed her, and has thrown her together with Peeta, who is also not who he was.  And the reality is, soldiers don’t come back the same.  Horrors change who you are.

Despite communicating the impossibility of going back, that it was Peeta also communicates hope for the future on the other side of war.  It would be hopeless if it were Gale, the hunter, the military man: with Gale the cycle of violence churns on.  It had to be Peeta—the artist, the warm bread in desperate times, the one who voted to abolish the Hunger Games, a “dandelion in the spring”—and not Gale’s “fire kindled with hatred and rage.”

In short, I highly recommend Mockingjaymockingjay by suzanne collins, and the entire Hunger Games Trilogythe hunger games trilogy by suzanne collins.  I encourage you to find the books in your local library, or to support my work by purchasing the books through the links in this post, or in the Children’s Books and Reviews online bookstore.

What did you think of Mockingjay? Leave me a comment; I’d love to hear from you. Also, if you found this Mockingjay review interesting or helpful, why not “Like” it (button at the top), or post it on Facebook or Twitter? The “Share/Save” button below makes it easy. Thanks!

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54 Comments

  1. Josh Spooner says:

    I love this series of books I have never felt like I was in the book like this before.

  2. Aaron Mead says:

    Thanks for your comment Josh. I agree; these books (especially the first one) draw you right into the world of the characters. My heart was pounding through most if it, as if I were living it.

  3. Sarah says:

    I totally felt that way with the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. There are seven books for now and I read all of them. It is my favorite book series and probably will stay that way forever. There is one last book coming out in 2012 and a movie in 2013. There will probably be 2 or 3 movies total. I really recommend this series. (: Thanks! And I might read the Hunger Games series in the near future! Great job with the review!

    Ps: I was so, and still am obsessed with Maximum Ride that I read the whole series in less than a week and read the mangas in like 3 hours! (: My friends think I’m crazy.

  4. Aaron Mead says:

    Thanks for the comment and the recommendation Sarah. I’ll have to check out the James Patterson series.

  5. Maria says:

    Great series. So sad how war changes everything. Wished Katniss and Peeta had not ended so badly injured. However reality is, war changes people and they will never be the same.
    I am glad that at the end they end up together.

  6. Aaron Mead says:

    Yeah, it’s a tough ending in some ways, but it seemed true to the series somehow. Thanks for the comment!

  7. Abigail says:

    i loved this seires and i am so sad that it had to end and i wish there was more onto it and the ending to Mockingjay was amazing and unexpected. the whole time i read i couldnt put it down and i felt like i was there so when i did a project for it in school it was so easy to picture and make my project look real

  8. Michael says:

    Great series! It’s hard to imagine how war can really change people that much. I feel sad.

  9. Aaron says:

    Thanks for the comment Michael. Yes, it is sad. The continuing physical and psychological difficulties of lots of U.S. veterans returning home from combat bear out Collins’s view of the trauma of war, I think. She nails it as far as I’m concerned.

  10. Eli says:

    Hi, i really enjoyed reading this books. I first began reading Hunger games this summer that it was assigned as my summer reading when i finished it i needed to know what happened next so i read catching fire which was a exiting book i love it just like hunger games. Two days ago i began reading Mokcingjay but i heard people say that it was the ne the mst dislikes of the series but i stll needed to read it si i finished it yesterday. When i was in chapter 22 i began getting confused and then rebels began to die Finnick dies and then Pirm to much blond and the book ended up leaving me confused. Although i donde like the end of the book i think Collins knows how to express herself and to be honest this is the first series of book i ever end completly becuase i didnt like to read until i read this books. They are life changing i loved them. Although Im still concerned about the end i really LOVE peeta in the first book i fell in love with him literally. But i really thought she would end up with Gale, i mean its her friend but then peetas loved her since he was 5. Still to many things happened to poor katniss that i got confused in the part of kiling snow and coin, Thats why i wanted to discuss with someone. If i could have the pleassure to meet the author and discuss this book with her it would be Wonderful. I would also love that a guy like peeta excists in real life. Lastly all i can say is that i recommend it to everybody again they are life changing.

  11. Aaron says:

    Hi Eli,
    I’m glad you enjoyed the series. I obviously did too. So, if I understand your comment correctly, you were confused about the killing of Snow and Coin? My take is that Katniss saw the whole cycle of injustice, oppression, and war beginning again if she simply killed Snow and left Coin in charge. Coin wanted to reinstate a form of the hunger games and oppress anyone associated with the former regime (i.e., the Capital). Katniss realized that nothing would really change if Coin was in power–she was just Snow in a different form–and so she killed Coin instead, for a chance at real peace and justice. (Of course Snow just died on his own, since he was so sick.). I think that is the same reason she married Peeta and not Gale. Gale was a warrior, a hunter, just like Katniss. If she married him, it would symbolize the continuation of the war-cycle. Peeta, on the other hand, was a peacemaker. So, her marriage to him symbolizes a chance for peace. You have to remember that the entire series is really about war. Does that help?
    Best,
    Aaron

  12. JJ says:

    To Aaron, I agree with everything you said. I just don’t understand why she voted to for the hunger games. Did Katniss just realize it when she was about to kill Snow?

    On another note, I loved the entire trilogy. I loved how realistic it was, even though I hated my favorite characters dying; especially Prim. When I finished Mockingjay, I felt so incredibly empty. It was so bittersweet.

  13. Aaron says:

    Hi JJ. Thanks for the comment. I think you ask a very good question here, about why Katniss voted for the Hunger Games again. My take on it is just as you say: she didn’t realize that the whole cycle of war would just churn on again (if the Hunger Games were re-instituted and Coin was left in charge) until she was about to kill Snow. She realized it then, though, and that’s why she killed Coin. I think the other thing to say here is that Katniss was a warrior through-and-through, and the author wanted us to see that. Her first impulse was for vengeance; she didn’t have the instincts for peace. That is exactly why she HAD to end up with Peeta instead of Gale: Gale was also a warrior at heart and two warriors do not make for peace; Peeta had the natural instincts for peace, and so only he could bring Katniss around to that way of being. Perhaps Katniss’s vote for the Hunger Games (and Peeta’s vote against them) is yet another sign that Katniss needed Peeta to teach her the way of peace.

    Yes, the death of Prim and others was tragic, making the book very bittersweet. I think that was exactly what Collins wanted you to feel: there is nothing tidy and completely “happily-ever-after” about war.

  14. Britney says:

    this book is amazing 🙂 probably my favorite series. Great review 🙂

  15. Aaron says:

    Thanks Britney!

  16. Rachel says:

    HI Aaron,
    I just finished the three books in this series. They are incredible. Nothing can take my mind off of these books- I wake up thinking about them and go to sleep thinking about them. Though, the Mockingjay ending left me very confused and empty. These are my questions:
    1.Who dropped the parachutes?
    2.Why couldn’t Katniss forgive Gale?
    3.Howcome the last we hear of Gale is that he is kissing other lips?
    4.How come in Gale and Katniss’s last argument Gale says something along the lines of “The one thing I had going for myself was protecting your family”?
    5. Howcome Gale and Katniss were best friends and now they never talk? (I know most of my questions involve Gale. lol)
    6.What happened to Gale after he got taken away?
    7. What is up with Katniss’s mother? Does she know Katniss had children?
    8.Do you think she will write another book,about the Hunger Games? I HOPE SO!!
    Well, that’s it. BTW great summary.
    PS Im so excited for the movie The HUnger Games, but are there going to be movies for all three books?
    PLEASE REPLY BACK!!!! THANKS!!

  17. Aaron says:

    Hi Rachel,
    Wow, those are some good questions. I’m not sure I can answer them all (it’s been a while since I read them), but I’ll try.
    1. I think we don’t really know who dropped the parachutes, but I think the implication is that it was Coin, possibly following a plan devised by Gale.
    2. I think Katniss couldn’t forgive Gale because she thought it was Gale’s plan that led to the death of her sister in that horrible last attack (parachutes, etc.). Although we never really find out if it was Gale’s plan, it looked so much like the description of a kind of trap he used to use when hunting (lure the mother animal with the babies), which plan he had described and suggested using in the final battle against District 2 (at the mountain, etc.).
    3. I’m not sure about this one, but I assume it is just because he is off with a military job far away and is no longer involved with Katniss.
    4. Because he used to protect Katniss’s family by providing game/food for them when they were back in District 13, and that bound him to them and was perhaps part of what Katniss loved about him. However, now that Katniss suspects that he was responsible for Prim’s death, he no longer looks like the protector of her family (although he never really admits that the plan with the parachutes, etc., was his; he just acknowledges that there is nothing he can say to make Katniss think otherwise).
    5. See above.
    6. I don’t really remember about this one.
    7. As I remember she became a healer in a hospital in a different district, but I’m not sure. She isn’t really a big part of the story at the end.
    8. I doubt it; I think the series is a complete statement.
    I would guess that there will be movies for each of the books, though I suppose it partly depends on how well the first one does.
    Thanks for the encouraging comment and the good questions. Hope my answers helped!
    Aaron

  18. Rachael says:

    I just finished this series (read it all in a week as I couldn’t put it down!) and my heart is so, so heavy. I understand that it had to end this way but my heart is broken for the lives that couldn’t have happy endings. Peeta and Katniss especially deserved to be able to finish their lives on a more upbeat note because they gave so much of their lives away. But I guess they were fulfilled in the end so that’s what really matters. I found my self going back into the earlier books to let my mind end with some of their sweeter moments. I don’t know anyone who has read this series yet so I just really needed to process this with someone. Thanks for this synopsis. It was helpful.

    I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. In the Mockingjay book when Peeta was being kept prisoner and tortured by the capitol, he spoke on TV saying to Katniss, something like “make sure you know who your fighting for” or something to the affect of that. In other words, make sure she knew that Coin was fighting for the right thing before siding with and killing for her. Do you remember this? My question is do you think Peeta really knew what he was saying at that time? Or do you think he was still speaking on behalf of Snow? Because as we find out in the end, Coin really wasn’t fighting for the right thing and he was right. What are your thoughts?

    I REALLY thought that Peeta was going to end up as the president of the Capitol. Maybe he will…but I could also see him not having the heart for any of it anymore. Ugh. It’s just such a waste of lives. But I guess if they hadn’t done what they did with their lives even more lives would have been wasted in the games, etc. So like our wars. Oh, goodness. I just need to stop writing. I have more thinking to do. Thanks again!

  19. Aaron says:

    Hi Rachael, thanks for your thoughtful comment.

    I had forgotten about that comment Peeta made when he was being kept prisoner. It is hard to tell to what extent his character was in his right mind at that point, having been tortured, etc. It is very possible that he had been brainwashed by the Capitol to say something like what he said, since it was ultimately an argument against fighting the Capitol, which was of course in the Capitol’s interests. However, as the statement functions in the story, I think you are quite right to see it as a sort of prophetic comment: Katniss really did need to be suspicious of Coin because Coin was really just the next military dictator in waiting. So, I think it is just one of those moments when an author uses the voice of a character to say something that foreshadows the future of the story. I’m not sure if there really is a clear answer as to what Peeta was thinking in that moment.

  20. Rachael says:

    Thank you so much, Aaron. I’ve heard some people saying that when Katniss agreed to go forward with having the hunger games again and Haymich went with it, they both had an idea of what she was planning. That she really didn’t want the hunger games to continue but she needed to say yes to it so that she would have an opportunity to shoot Coin. As I’ve gone back and read the end of the book, it does seem that way. What do you think?

  21. Aaron says:

    Hi Rachael. The way you describe Katniss’s agreement to a new round of the Hunger Games isn’t the way I read it. I guess I just took it as an indication of Katniss’s (and Haymitch’s) true colors: they are warriors whose first instinct is for vengeance. I take it that Collins was trying to show us, at that point, why Katniss had to end up with Peeta: since she is instinctively vengeful, if she ended up with Gale (another warrior) then the cycle of war would just churn on. Only peace-loving Peeta could temper her and make things change. So, I didn’t see the decision to support the Hunger Games as a premeditated plan on Katniss’s part; rather, just a spontaneous indication of her personality/character. Similarly, I think her decision to kill Coin was spontaneous: in that moment she saw how everything would go if Coin became president and she did what a good hunter does instinctively: she killed the threat.

  22. Rachael says:

    Ooh, interesting take. Thank you so much for your insight. I’ll have to continue to think about it, I guess. I know I’m a year behind in reading these books so thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions. I really appreciate it.

  23. Aaron says:

    You’re very welcome. Thanks for the great questions/discussion. It’s fun to think about these great books again!
    All the best,
    Aaron

  24. Mindy says:

    Hi Aaron,

    You’re review was really insightful and it made me reconsider my feelings for the end of the book. When i finished the book i was VERY disappointed with not only the ending but really the whole thing.

    Firstly, i thought it was very slow and it seemed like for most of the book, Katniss was in the hospital under some type of medicine, making propos, or just doing nothing. It also seemed like Katniss was hardly her own strong character in this book, like people were always telling her what to do, what to do next, how to do things, and there were always people helping her (like she wasn’t independent).

    I was also confused as to why there was no controversy over katniss killing coin. like no one even cared and like it wasn’t a big deal. Also how katniss wasn’t punished at all for killing her.

    I hated how for a lot of the major action events in the story, Katniss was put asleep under some drug in the hospital and was just filled in with the events later by Haymitch or other characters, like she wasn’t really there for the big scenes, especially when the rebels went in to take over the capital and kill snow, katniss caught on fire and then the rebels just did everything by themselves and didn’t really explain how they just happened to capture snow and kill off the rest of the peacekeepers.

    I thought the end was too fast, and there was no closure and hardly any explanations. like are they trying to rebuild district 12? why is peeta all better now? how can katniss trust him not to attack her? how did they get closer again to the point where they were kissing again?

    When i finished the book i had a lot more unsettling confusions and questions than the ones i still have now, but knowing that the whole trilogy was a metaphor for war and how nothing can be the same in the end makes the ending have a little more sense. so thanks for that 🙂

    and sorry this is so long! you don’t have to answer everything if u dont have time haha! 🙂

  25. Aaron says:

    Hi Mindy,

    Thanks for the really thoughtful and insightful comment. I think there is much in what you say. The book is certainly far from perfect, and in general, despite my overall positive reviews, I think the second and third books were weaker than the first.

    I guess the only thing I have to say in response to your comment is that Katniss’s relative impotence in the last book (her lack of independence, her being used by Coin et al. as a propaganda piece, etc.) is yet another sign of the way war can change people, and also of the way a war movement can take on its own momentum such that individual players just get swept up in it, even if they are as seemingly important as Katniss. With that said, it seems to me Katniss was never really a leader; she was backed into a corner and ended up leading by a certain successfully defiant, spontaneous example, rather than by plan and strategy. So, it is not that surprising that when the strategists took over she had little role. Her talent was survival, not so much strategic victory. Even in the arena she relied to a great extent on Haymitch as her strategist. I guess what I’m trying to defend here is the consistency of her character through the books. It’s just that in the third book, the setting is different (i.e., not the arena) so she never really finds her place in some respects. Only when she is free to maneuver, unencumbered by orders and strategy does she shine (e.g., when she is warring in the Capital toward the end of Mockingjay, and when she decides to take out Coin). I think she is a rebel and a free-spirit at heart, and that doesn’t work well with generals and orders.

    Anyway, I’m not sure that’s going to console you much, by those are the thoughts that came to mind in response to your comments. Thanks again for reading!

    Best,
    Aaron

  26. Grace says:

    hi um, i just wanted to say i loved the series! i was happy with the ending though i thought it could’ve been better. oh well it was still AWESOME!!!!!!!!

  27. Meredith says:

    i used to love Gale but now i hate him! How could he just desert Katniss like that! but i still loved the book! 🙂

  28. Emily says:

    I LOVED the first two books and am looking forward to reading the next. I couldn’t put the books down I read the first two in one week! It is so sad that I felt like crying 🙂

  29. Carrie Lynn says:

    I have not read the book and I am trying to help my son with a book report. He can’t remember why they entered the Capitol (Peeta, etc.) If anyone one can help I would REALLY appreciate it.
    Thank you so much

  30. Aaron says:

    Hi Carrie,
    The District armies entered the Capitol because they were trying to overthrow the despotic government that had instituted the Hunger Games, and that had kept them in slavery/poverty.
    Hope that helps.
    Aaron

  31. Diego says:

    I loved the trilogy – and after I had time to digest it…I really appreciated how Mockingjay was written. HOWEVER….someone earlier posted that they couldn’t figure out why Katniss voted for a new Hunger Games and you responded that it was her first impulse/warrior vegeance…………..NO…………….not close – reread that carefully, she is NOT voting for a new Hunger Games at all – she is voting this way in order to stay close to Coin….at that point she is already aware that Coin will need to be dealt with if the cycle of war/oppression is to be ended.

  32. Aaron says:

    Thanks Diego; interesting thought here. I’ll have to go back and re-read that passage.
    Aaron

  33. Elizabeth says:

    At first I didnt like mockingjay, I thought that it was kind of uninteresting.
    I got started reading the books last year when one of my close friends told me that it was a really good book. I really got into it and that was all that I wanted to talk about once I started. I ended up get even more of my friends hooked one it!! They all love it just as much as I do. I had the Hunger Games read in like 1 week and then catching fire in half a week. Mockingjay took me a while but once i got into it I just couldnt put it down!!!!

  34. Lexi says:

    I loved the entire series, but at first I was very confused by the ending of this book….after I read the summary though I understood it. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that Gale who had been her best friend since she was 11 just died out of the book at the end. The same thing happened with her mother. It’s kind of like Gale and her mother didn’t care what happened to her and she was nothing but a person they had once know.

  35. Aaron says:

    You make a nice point here. I think Gale’s absence at the end is more understandable than her mother’s, given that she marries Peeta. However, perhaps a tighter relationship between Katniss and her mother at the end would have provided more closure.

  36. T.J. says:

    i still don’t understand what happened in the Mockingjay book. This whole summary and review explains everything but the book. Now, i can’t do my homework because i don’t understand the story line. Sorry for breaking it to you, but this is the truth.

  37. Aaron says:

    I’m not sure I understand your comment. The summary tells a lot about the plot, but it doesn’t give it all away. That is so it won’t be ruined for my readers. Have you read the book? That’s the best way to learn the rest of the storyline.

  38. Robin says:

    I agree 100% with Diego, there is no way she voted for the Hunger Games because of her fire or her vengence. She may want some vengence but not against children, not even children of the Capitol. She would never vote to continue those games even as a punishment. She weighed all she knew including her suspicions about Coin and realized that nothing would change unless she did something to make that change. It is very apparant the way she thought through what she had been through, the people she lost and loved and whether Haymitch would understand what she was doing before she voted yes, it was a yes of deception. Coin would have found some other way of hosting those Hunger Games if she had voted no so she did what needed to be done, she bought herself a front row seat to get rid of another enemy of the people. This was her way of changing what she now knew to be what Coin wanted. She knew who she was fighting and she knew it was Coin. Snow was already a dead man but Coin would take his place. I think you need to read that passage over, Katniss was a different person in the end, war had changed her, you said that over and over. She did not change her mind at the last minute, her mind was always made up, kill Coin.

  39. Aaron says:

    You may be right about this, but I still don’t quite see how voting for another round of the Hunger Games gained her any special “front row seat” to get rid of Coin. She would have been at the ceremony with her bow and arrow regardless: that was the deal she struck with Coin, that she would get to kill Snow. So, I just don’t quite see the link you suggest between the vote and killing Coin. In any case, I should read that passage again.

    Thanks for the interesting help with interpretation!

  40. Melvin says:

    Hello, apologies for the inconvenience, but I don’t really understand the part after Katniss lost Prim. I mean, I understood it to the point of the doctor healing her, but afterwards the words became rather vague.

  41. A.C says:

    I thought the book was great, but it left many questions unanswered. However, the one that keeps catching up to me is: Did Peeta eventually recover and become his old self? And if he did, how?

  42. Marriah says:

    This book was defently the best of the 3 books.. You did a really good job with the summery and everything.. This helped me alot with some thing that i didnt even catch. so thanks.

  43. alaina says:

    i found the book very sad and also think that prim shouldn’t die and Katniss should marry Gale and Peeta should die. but over all i loved the book!!!

  44. sam says:

    hunger games and may the odds be ever in your favor

  45. sam says:

    ya your wrong alaina katniss should marry peeta and gale can just be friends with katniss and prim well your right about that she should live and i bet that u didnt even read the book so happy hunger games

  46. Greg says:

    It’s amazing to me how there is no consensus among reviewers regarding Mockingjay. When I finished it a couple of days ago, my reaction was: that was one messed up book. But as I think back, it is slowly making more sense. Katniss is never comfortable as the “Mockingjay”. There’s little difference between Snow and Coin, district 13 and pre-rebellion district 12. She realizes that she is being used by both Coin and Snow. I dont think she really wants a leadership role. I don’t think you can take some of Katniss’s actions literally. There’s no way she would vote for another hunger games. But by that time she realizes Coin is just as evil as Snow. I do feel that the ending was rushed. Just when she gets close to Snow’s mansion, boom, Prim is gone and she’s waking up in District 13. And then a couple chapters later, it’s all done. The book is very painful. I found myself genuinely depressed, pissed, confused after reading some parts of the book. One of the most painful is how Peeta is “damaged” by Snow. I was glad that she ends up with Peeta. I wanted that to happen at the end of book 1. But by then both she and Peeta are seriously damaged. I am going to re-read the book and see if it changes any of my opinions. I want to say the book stinks. But, I must say it is a great book.

  47. Noah says:

    I have just finished reading Mockingjay, and cannot at all describe the emotions that I am currently feeling. I was so confused about what happened with Gale and Peeta because it seemed like it all happened so quickly. Thankfully, your summary really helped me understand the main point that the author was trying to prove. Still, I am for some reason not satisfied with the ending. I thought that the epilogue of Katniss and Peeta getting married and having children would make me happy, which it did, but it also feels so empty, like something is missing. Maybe it’s what you said in the summary, that her life is so different than from the first book. With Gale, Prim, her mother, Madge, and most of District 12 gone, everything just changed so quickly that it caught me off guard. But still, I feel like I am going through some sort of strange psychological meltdown for some strange reason that I will never know. Kind of like Katniss before she married Peeta 🙂

  48. Lucy says:

    Just finished Mockingjay, I would have loved for one of the books to go deeper into Peeta’s life. I love him. I think he is the only reason I stuck with the books. I wonder why the author never gave many details of his life before the Hunger Games.

  49. Izzy says:

    I LOVED this series! Mockingjay however was not my favourite, I felt that somehow Katniss was ‘out of her element’ when not in the area, but I did love the ending. I always wanted Katniss to end up with Peeta, since the very first book, I adore the guy, and i am sorry to say that for me the most heart wrenching parts were not when Prim and Rue died but when he was in any danger, when he was hijacked or i thought Gale might win Katniss’ affections. i think that the ending, with both Gale and Katniss’ mother gone, reinforced the fact that when there was nothing else left for Katniss, there was Peeta, as there had been in the arenas. I never really liked Gale anyway, as he was Peeta’s only rival. I was glued to the whole series, and liked both Katniss and Peeta, especially the latter. I am truly sorry it’s over, though this is weakened by my satisfaction at the ending!

  50. Greg says:

    After my first read of Mockingjay, I was left feeling empty, unsatisfied. After a re-read, I feel much differently. I now can say, I love this book. Couldn’t say that before.

    On my first read, the ending seemed abrupt, rushed. But on a re-read, I was better able to see how Collins builds up to the ending. And how she resolves the Gale-vs-Peeta.

    I still don’t think that Katniss’s vote for a final hunger games with the children of Capital officials was real. The mental illness verdict was interesting to me. Not what you would expect of a country that loved it’s new president. Maybe the citizens of new Panem knew that Coin was just as evil as Snow and that Katniss did everyone a favor.

    Regarding Gale and Peeta. She’ll pick the one she needs to survive. She says she doesn’t need either of them. Classic Katniss. Collins really does wrap up the love triangle. Katniss asks Gale if it was his bomb that killed Prim. Gale can’t answer and that’s the beginning of the end for Gale. “That was the one thing I had going for me. Taking care of your family.” See ya Gale. Like everyone, I loved the Peeta: “Do you love me, real or not real”, Katniss: “real”. And the “it would have happened anyway”. That’s as close as it will get to a “I love you Peeta” from Katniss. That just who Katniss is especially after all the damage she’s endured in this last book.

    There are such a wide range of reviews of Mockingjay. Love or hate it. Not many in-between. This speaks to the genius of these books. Hats off to Collins.

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