Monday, August 30, 2010


by Suzanne Collins
New York: Scholastic Press, 2010.

If you haven't read the first two books in the trilogy, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, this is a **spoiler warning** for those titles.

**Some spoilers for Mockingjay ahead** - I tried to limit spoilers in my discussion of Mockingjay, but I am talking about themes and some events that come later on, so read at your own risk.

Katniss is adjusting to life in District 13. With its strict schedules, rules about food, and careful procedures for life underground, she's finding it rather restricting. The rebels of District 13, in waging a propaganda war against the Capitol to provoke uprising, want to make Katniss into their symbol as the Mockingjay. She isn't sure if she wants to be a piece in their games anymore than a participant in the Hunger Games - but in this situation, how much choice does she have?

In many ways, the tone of this book surprised me. The first surprise was that Katniss has been living in District 13 for a month and we learn about some of the changes to her life, and her reaction to the destruction of District 12, retrospectively. The other surprise is how much of the war is occurring elsewhere. Katniss is a symbol rather than a major player for much of the story, so the main focal point is not the plot but her character. What do you compromise in war, and who loses? What do you do when you don't fully agree with either side, and what are you personally responsible for as a result of others' choices and use of power? All in all, this wasn't what I was expecting, but I continued to be interested in the characters and their choices to the end.

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