Monday, August 30, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

"Knock, knock!" "Who's there?" "SPOILERS."
"...Spoilers who?"

(That completely obnoxious "joke" is meant to tell you that there are going to be spoilers from the first two Hunger Games books.)

Previously on The Hunger Games, there was the Capitol. The Capitol is the controlling city of Panem, which was formerly North America. People in the Capitol are incredible consumers. They are shallow and easily manipulated. The Capitol rules over the 12 districts. Most district people are poor and on the brink of starvation. Their children have been forced to kill each other at the Hunger Games for the amusement of the Capitol. Finally, the districts realize that they cannot allow this anymore. They have to put an end to the Capitol's power. They have to fight back. This time, they have to win.

Katniss Everdeen won the Hunger Games. People fell in love with her and her fake/maybe not romance with Peeta Mellark. During the Quarter Quell in Catching Fire, Katniss was taken from the arena by a hovercraft from District 13. District 13 was said to have been completely obliterated by the Capitol. However, all that was simply propaganda. The district simply went underground, building an entire civilization. Unfortunately, District 13 was not able to rescue Peeta. He was taken by the Capitol.

Because she is so recognizable, Katniss is asked to be the face of the resistance. Katniss will be the mockingjay (A hybrid of jabberjays and mockingbirds, symbol of resistance). She films messages for the Districts and the Capitol. At the same time, the Capitol is filming Peeta. He is urging both sides to stop fighting, fearing the great loss of life. Katniss knows that the Capitol is abusing Peeta. President Snow is keeping him alive because Peeta is the one way to get to her. Eventually, District 13 sends a rescue team for Peeta. What they bring back is just tragic. I was sobbing during all these scenes, sobbing just thinking about it. I'm even about to tear up now.

The love triangle gets thrown for a loop, definitely. However, there are also some changes to Gale that make it even more difficult to predict. There's also even more decisions to make in the rebellion. How far is too far to go? Does the ends justify the means? Is it really victory if it turns you into the very thing that you hate?

Mockingjay is just explosive. The entire series is fantastic, but this is just the perfect ending. It's heartbreaking, but ultimately heartening. It's also more satisfying than a million Breaking Dawns, maybe 1 1/2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (But I still love you, J.K. Rowling!). You NEED to be reading these books right NOW.

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