This book review of Mockingjay, the third and final installment in the Hunger Game trilogy, is a week in the making. To be honest, I have started it 5 times, and deleted it 5 times. Why? Because my feelings on this book have been evolving.
My initial reaction, after reading the final sentence of Mockingjay, was anger- pure fire and brimstone kind of anger. I felt robbed of the happy ending I so badly wanted. Gloom and doom are not my kind of books. What kept me reading was the hope that Katniss would finally be able to find happiness in her broken world.
I fumed. I stewed. I grumbled to anyone who would listen. (sorry for that!) I was disgusted.
But a couple days later, an insightful friend said something that changed my entire opinion of the trilogy. “It really couldn’t have ended any other way.”
I thought about this, far longer than I probably should have, and in the end I realized she was right. Katniss couldn’t change her personality, the war for Panem had to be ugly, and death was a certainty.
From this view point, I began to appreciate Suzanne Collins on a new level. She stayed true to the story, even to the point of killing off characters that I had grown to love. She destroyed a relationship that I rooted for. She tortured my favorite character. She was right to do so.
I have discovered that the beauty of the Hunger Games trilogy did not come while I was reading it, but in the week since I finished. My thoughts linger on Panem, on whether or not their efforts actually made a difference. Could this world be fixed? That is a question that is left for the readers to ponder. A true stroke of genius on Mrs. Collin’s part.
My anger has subsided, while my appreciation grows by the day. To a hopeless romantic, I will never be able to say that I loved the Hunger Games. But as a writer...this trilogy was spot on. Life has a way of NOT ending up like fairy tales and Suzanne Collins reminded us of that.
Star rating for Mocking Jay: 4 stars for making me invest in this book.
Star rating for The Hunger Games Trilogy: 5 stars for sheer brilliance and for making me continue to wonder about the fate of Panem.