Book Review – Mockingjay

Mockingjay is about the revolution spurred by Katniss Everdeen’s survival of not one, but two Hunger Games appearances. As a band of rebels plot to overthrow the Capitol, they need a symbol, a leader, a revolutionizer, a Mockingjay. Can Katniss be the Mockingjay they need, changing the course of Panem forever? Can she put aside her past for a greater future? Can they overthrow the Capitol who’s killed their children and exploited their resources?

Naturally, the third and final book of the Hunger Games series should come next. Check out my review of books one and two if you haven’t already!

Book 7:
Mockingjay
by Suzanne Collins

Genre:
Young Adult, Fiction, Dystopian

Published:
August 2010

Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers (except that this is the third book in a series and I can’t give a synopsis without alluding to the previous books), Mockingjay is about the revolution spurred by Katniss Everdeen’s survival of not one, but two Hunger Games appearances. As a band of rebels plot to overthrow the Capitol, they need a symbol, a leader, a revolutionizer, a Mockingjay. Can Katniss be the Mockingjay they need, changing the course of Panem forever? Can she put aside her past for a greater future? Can they overthrow the Capitol who’s killed their children and exploited their resources?

Favorite Quote(s):
Again, I can’t say this is an incredibly quotable book, but alas:

“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

– Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

Awards (based upon my brief research):
Locus Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Book (2011)
Children’s Choice Book Award Nominee for Teen Choice Book of the Year (2011)
Andre Norton Award Nominee for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy (2010)
DABWAHA Romance Tournament for Best Young Adult Romance (2011)
Goodreads Choice Award for Favorite Book, Young Adult Fantasy, Favorite Heroine, and Favorite Hero (2010)

Pages:
392

My Overall Rating:
3.5 – What I did love about this book was the resolution. It was a series ending and it left me feeling good about things. Of course I still loved the characters and watching their roles/personalities develop. But here’s where I got hung up… Was this a book about marketing? Because the propos aspect… laughable. I think we could have skipped the first half of the book and cut to the chase.

So the series as a whole? I would have to go 4.25. Though I never give quarter stars, my average ratings for the three books comes out to roughly 4.25, and it seems appropriate to me. Yes, it’s a must read series. Yes, my 2012 self was wrong.

Book Review – Catching Fire

Catching Fire is about the after-effect of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mallark’s victory in the 74th Hunger Games. Despite all odds, the pair came out of the games together, “in love”, and fueling an unrest in the 12 districts of Panem on the brink of their victory tour. Amongst the political turmoil, Katniss faces an inner turmoil as well. Can she give off the appearance that she loves Peeta for the Capitol’s sake? Has she lost Gale forever? Has she lost herself?

Well naturally I’m going from The Hunger Games to Catching Fire. As previously mentioned, this was a Little Free Library find and a book I’m about 10 years late to the party for. Oops!

Book 6:
Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins

Genre:
Young Adult, Fiction, Dystopian

Published:
September 2009

Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, Catching Fire is about the after-effect of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mallark’s victory in the 74th Hunger Games. Despite all odds, the pair came out of the games together, “in love”, and fueling an unrest in the 12 districts of Panem on the brink of their victory tour. Amongst the political turmoil, Katniss faces an inner turmoil as well. Can she give off the appearance that she loves Peeta for the Capitol’s sake? Has she lost Gale forever? Has she lost herself?

Favorite Quote(s):
Again, though the rating will be high, I can’t say this is an incredibly quotable book, but alas:

“I really can’t think about kissing when I’ve got a rebellion to incite.”

– Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire

Awards (based upon my brief research):
Goodreads Choice Awards Young Adult Series (2009)
Goodreads Choice Awards All-Time Favorite (2009)

Pages:
391

My Overall Rating:
4.5 – This book had a slower start than the first. There were parts I had to re-read in order to understand once I got into the thick of it. Still, as a whole, I have to go 4.5, because the story is gold. I love where Collins took it from the last book, and I’m curious to see where she’ll take it in the next!

Book Review – The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is about Katniss Everdeen’s fight to survive the Hunger Games, an annual, televised event where 24 tributes from the 12 districts of Panem (post-apocalyptic North America) fight to the death. Though Katniss and her male counterpart, Peeta, are up against stronger tributes, each tribute takes their own method of defense and Katniss’ knowledge of basic survival skills may just be the advantage she needs.

The year is 2012. The reading Mandi is so inexperienced, given she’s hardly had the time to read books of choice due to the past four years of college. But alas, a new movie is catching everyone’s attention – a movie based on a book. Like a good doobie, Mandi borrows the book from a friend, planning on reading it before seeing the movie. The book is terrible. It’s not her thing. She reads one chapter and forces herself to read a second before returning the book to her friend because, no, this is not a book she can enjoy.

It’s almost seven years later and Mandi finds not just this original book, but the second and third books in that particular series in a Little Free Library. Having grown and, quite frankly, watched everyone else gobble up this series like a feast they can’t deny, Mandi plucks the books from the LFL, putting them in her car for later.

And now… now is later.

Book 5:
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

Genre:
Young Adult, Fiction, Dystopian

Published:
September 2008

Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, The Hunger Games is about Katniss Everdeen’s fight to survive the Hunger Games, an annual, televised event where 24 tributes from the 12 districts of Panem (post-apocalyptic North America) fight to the death. Though Katniss and her male counterpart, Peeta, are up against stronger tributes, each tribute takes their own method of defense and Katniss’ knowledge of basic survival skills may just be the advantage she needs.

Favorite Quote(s):
Though the rating will be high, I can’t say this is an incredibly quotable book other than the obvious, “May the odds be ever in your favor.” I prefer quotes that I want to live by. Quotes that I want to hug. This was the best I could find:

“Kind people have a way of working their way inside me and rooting there.”

– Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

Awards (based upon my brief research):
This book has won SO MANY awards that, to list them all here, you would either become bored reading them, annoyed you have to scroll so far for the rating, or overwhelmed by how much people have loved it. Want to know the awards it’s won? Google it.

Pages:
374

My Overall Rating:
4 – No, wait, 5. No, 4. Ugh… 5. 2012 Mandi for sure gave it 0 stars. 2019 Mandi gave it 4, rested, and gave it 5. This book is so well written. There is a reason it is this popular, it averages 4.33 on Goodreads and it had a movie made after it. While the main genre – dystopian – isn’t something I was even open to in 2012, it’s still not my favorite genre, yet I can’t complain about a single thing in this book. (That’s a lie. It really bothers me when people say something like, “I’m going to try AND see what I can do,” rather than, “I’m going to try TO see what I can do.” Basic grammatical mistake in most cases unless you’re both trying and seeing and Katniss said it probably 46 times, but I can’t drop a star for something like that.)

The character development was impressive. The plot was beautifully elaborated and engaging. Heartstrings were tugged. And boy, am I glad I grew up.

I will note that I’m also not one for reading series. I can think of a grand total of two that I’ve read in the past – Twilight and Me Before You. I can’t say I’ve been disappointed with those experiences either, it’s just that a series can be a big commitment and my fear is always that each book will get worse and worse as it goes. That being said… on to book two, Catching Fire!