Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read this as part of the The Hunger Games Trilogy omnibus ebook edition.
I had high hopes for the final novel of the series, especially after thoroughly enjoying the second novel, Catching Fire. I agree with a few other GoodReads reviewers who stated that Collins accomplished her goal in painting the stark reality that war and violence accomplish nothing and apparently humans can’t help but repress and destroy each other, even unto their own extinction.
I also had hope of learning more about the history that led up to the rise of the Panem. But Collins only choose to go back three generations and only once or twice made a reference to the world before the rise of the Panem from the ashes of our civilization.
I suspect a nod to Ray Bradbury in the name of the sharp shooter squad District 13 assigned Katniss and Gale to as part of the rebel army. The prevalence of Ancient Roman names among the Capital citizens and a reference to ‘bread and circuses’ paints the Panem as a resurrected Roman Empire imploding faster than the original.
While predictable, the ending left me dissatisfied. I don’t feel comfortable recommending this book to young adults, even though Collins wrote it for that audience.
As a ‘former’ parent (my kids are grown, either married or in college), I would treat this entire trilogy just like an R-rated movie. Don’t read it unless you’re seventeen (sixteen maybe), mostly due to the violence and gore. Very little if any sexual content exists in any of these novels.
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Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
4 out of 5 stars
Read in October 2011
I read this in record time and surprised myself by liking it better than the first book, the Hunger Games. Katniss’ relationship with her family, friends and handlers evoked more emotions, believability and depth. The Victory Tour provided a glimpse of the wider world, showing me tantalizing bits of the various Districts and the ruins of civilization destroyed during the Dark Days seventy-years before.
I still find it hard to believe that fascism could survive so long. The unbearable inhumane conditions of the District ‘citizens’, the calculated cruelty of the Hunger Games, augmented in this novel by the Quarter Quell, a sadistic 25-year anniversary twist to the regular annual reaping of the rebel Districts’ youth. The cost in lives, and the sacrifices made, reflect a horror I hope we never forget from our own not-too-distant past.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3.5 out of 5 stars
Read in July 2009
I loved this book and yet at times I hated it. Several times it made me cry, nearly sobbing out loud. It never made me laugh and pricked me to anger often.
Katniss lives in District Twelve, an area devoted to coal mining in what was the Appalachian Mountains of North America. Her father died working in the mines and her mother suffered severe debilitating depression after his death. That left Katniss, at age twelve, to provide for her mother and her young sister, Prim. She sneaks out of the confines of District Twelve, underneath a tall electrified fence, to hunt and gather in the nearby woods, keeping them from starving – barely.
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