Author: Suzanne Collins
Publication Date: 2010
Why I Read It
Had to finish the series!
Short Synopsis (no spoilers)
This is the last book in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series. *sniff, sniff* Katniss and Peeta have both been “saved” from the Quarter Quell, but both are on equally harrowing journeys in a rebellion against The Capitol. Katniss has embraced her role as the Mockingjay-the symbol of the rebellion. District 13 leads the rebellion and uses Katniss as a piece of propaganda to encourage the rebels in the other districts to stay strong in the cause. Katniss doubts her role, especially when faced with the mortality of those she loves. Peeta was captured by The Capitol and is being used to convince the districts The Capitol will remain supreme. President Snow is also using Peeta to get to Katniss. He knows if he can end her reign as the Mockingjay, the rebellion will most likely fail.
What I Liked
As an end to a great trilogy, I was expecting a lot. Maybe too much. Because in my head I knew where I wanted the story to go. It did end well, as well as a book about a dystopic society in full rebellion can end, but I feel like the rebellion/cause/effect could have been highlighted a bit more. Now, I know a book can only go so far and cover so much. And, in the end I was glad with how the story turned out.
My guess at who would win the lover’s triangle (HATE!) was accurate and for all the right reasons. The greatest character achievement for me was knowing Peeta did not allow The Capitol to change him.
“I don’t know how to say it exactly. Only…I want to die as myself. Does that make any sense?” he asks. I shake my head. How could he die as anyone but himself? “I don’t want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I’m not.” -Peeta in the Hunger Games
Katniss, of course as the protagonist, goes through a journey of self discovery and realizes by the end that her self identity is important, but so are the influences she chooses to surround herself with. It is her journey of self discovery–her questioning every action she takes, every word she says, and every event she is a part of–that is the draw for me to this series. It is a journey we all take, especially young adolescents/adults. This book gives an internal look through such a struggle and makes it okay to question what we do and know. Question it. Test it. Become defined by what makes us the person we want to be.
What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. -Katniss Mockingjay
I read this novel for enjoyment, but as a teacher, my mind is always looking for lessons/themes/ideas to use in my classroom or even with my own daughters. Here are some valuable lessons/ideas I look forward to using in my classroom:
- Dystopian society’s and how rebellions can change, but often are not always the “greener” side of things
- Use of Collins’ writing style–voice–I cannot stress how hard it is to teach voice and audience to students. This book is so well written in Kat’s voice and can be used to show students how to model similar writing.
What I Didn’t Like
For me, this book started out a bit too slowly. Considering we were in the thick of a rebellion, one would think it would be a bit more fast moving. I do think Collins chose the slow beginning to show Katniss’ internal struggles a bit more clearly, but it was almost too slow at some points. I also disliked the far inferior role Haymitch’s character took in this novel. He was such an integral part of the first two books, it almost seems a shame he plays such a smaller role in this book.
Still disliked the Love Triangle. I don’t like losers. I always feel sorry for them. Always. Even in this instance, knowing why Katniss chose who she did and that it was the best choice for her.
I also felt the series could have played on the new government and President’s Coins ulterior motives a bit more. It is clear in the end where she stood and what she wanted, but it would have been a treat to see Katniss struggle with this side of the rebellion a bit more.
- Anyone who loved The Giver
- Dystopian novel lovers
- Love Triangle lovers (not me 😦 )
- YA Readers–that includes teachers!