Review posted January 17, 2011.
Scholastic Press, New York, 2010. 398 pages.
2010 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #9 Teen Fantasy and Science Fiction
If you've read Hunger Games and Catching Fire, it definitely won't take my review to get you to read the third book in the trilogy. In Mockingjay, the rebellion against the Capitol is in full swing, and Katniss once again finds herself the focus of people's passions and hopes.
Thank goodness there are no Hunger Games in this book. However, the Capitol has some traps that are extremely similar to things that would be faced in the arena....
Normally, when I was this eager to read a book, I would have bought myself a copy. However, in the case of The Hunger Games trilogy, although they are brilliant and powerful and outstanding books -- I rather doubt I will much want to read them again, at least not any time soon. Katniss faces some horrible situations. The psychological warfare used against her is horrifying. Although the book is powerful, it's not exactly pleasant reading.
I still loved the book. It's exciting, gripping, edge-of-the seat reading. I've come to care about Katniss, and I was very pleased that finally she can live happily ever after at the end of this book. With nightmares, but still.
I also think that Mockingjay contained the best love triangle I have ever read. I honestly didn't know who she'd end up with until the last several pages. And I didn't have a gut-level preference. I could see how she truly loved each of them, and how they each satisfied a different part of her. What's more, Suzanne Collins resolved the love triangle in a satisfying way, which arose from the characters of the three people involved. She could have so easily killed one of them off! But instead, Katniss made a choice, and it was a choice the readers believed and sympathized with.
The author included some surprising moral dilemmas, and resolved them in a subtle way. She writes with power and depth. You can call this action-adventure in a dystopian setting. Exciting reading.