Mockingjay, the third installment of the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins was an action-packed ride that kept me on the edge of my seat, but did not completely satiate my needs. Let me explain…after reading Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I was anxious to know what was going to happen to my beloved Katniss and Peeta! I lived in anticipation while waiting for this final book, and was so excited to get my hands on it in August! Yet, after reading it I didn’t feel that this ‘love story’ was worth all of my devoted enthusiasm!
Mockingjay picks up where Catching Fire leaves off, which is right after the daring rescue of Katniss by the rebels. Katniss has been taken to District 13 to recoup, and Peeta has been taken prisoner by President Snow. Katniss is of course devastated, angry, and starts to feel indifferent towards the war since she thinks that Peeta is most likely dead because of her. Her feelings of ‘indifference’ soon change after a televised segment from the Capitol featuring Peeta himself, proving he was in fact alive! She reluctantly decides to reengage herself in the war by becoming “the Mockingjay”, a symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol. Sounds exciting huh? I must say, Suzanne Collins definitely delivered a clear and detailed storyline filled with intense action and drama.
However, even with the ongoing excitement of the story, my biggest qualm was the character development. For reasons that are well explained in the storyline, our usually charming and charismatic Peeta was not himself. He was angry, viscous, uncaring towards Katniss and murderous at times. I felt like I had been introduced to a new character, rather than reunited with a longtime friend. Then there was Katniss, who was more like a shadow of her former self for most of the book. I was slightly perplexed that this strong, courageous young woman could be so easily broken and almost lethargic after her rescue from the ring. It just doesn’t seem in her character to give up so easily. Gail was just about the only redeeming character in the story, as his role of the warrior and protector of Katniss never faltered. He definitely proved himself during this book.
The love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gail remained in existence; however the romanticism between the characters definitely lacked the luster that embodied the first two books. I mean DAYUM, couldn’t we get ONE PASSIONATE MAKE OUT SESSION?! Is that too much to ask Suzanne?! Still, at the end of the book Katniss finally makes her choice between Peeta and Gail, giving us readers the closure we’ve been waiting for.
Overall, the book was extremely fast paced and entertaining. If this book were a stand-alone, I would probably rate it at a 3.5. However, given the complexity of the series and my love for the storyline, I’m going to give it 4 pumps. I’m taking one pump away for the missing romanticism and pitiful character development of “Panem’s Sweethearts”.