by Suzanne Collins
The story of my obtaining the book first:
I was distraught when I realized that I would be vacationing on a cruise in Bermuda on the release day of Mockingjay. I searched the Internet and found a bookstore (The Bermuda Bookstore). I emailed them an order for the book. A week ago, they emailed me back and informed me that the book was already available in the store. But, of course, I couldn’t get the book until this past Wednesday when we docked. We docked in Hamilton. The bookstore is 3 blocks away and lovely! Due to the no-tax Bermudian law, I paid $18.00 for the book! (No surcharges for pre-order or overseas order.)
Since the moment I got the book, I carried it everywhere and tried to read as much as I could: at the beach, on the boat taking the family to dive and to the coral studded ocean floor, in the dining area when everyone else was lounging or eating their meals…. (And the book took a little dip in the wading pool when I slipped and fell into the shallow water – but banging my head against the hard tiled floor…)
Finally, before coming home, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of miles south east of New York City, I finished the book last night. Here are just a brief summary of my reactions:
I truly appreciated how Collins carefully planned and fluidly executed this emotionally authentic conclusion of the trilogy. Loved the surprises and the turns of events. (Although, I definitely predicted the final event from quite a while back, I wonder if young readers who are less jaded would have seen it coming… I hope this comes to them as a true surprise and satisfyingly so!)
I was really afraid of a heightened romantic element hyped by the Team-Peeta/Team-Gale promotion that could potentially spoil the story, which, to me, is much more about how humans and humans with powers function in our society, and much less about just whom Katniss would wind up with! Collins weaves the love-triangle side-tale and the relationships into the thematic structure of narrative beautifully and I am completely pleased with how the events of these three characters unfold and end.
I only wish that there had been more interesting and inventive technologies and strategies that were so prominent and make for a more exciting SciFi read. But that is only a slight dissatisfaction from a SciFi junky.
Here are some other things I really loved about the book:
Those little word plays and allusions in the book: Like Coin’s name. She is the “other side of the same coin” as Snow. Or Katniss’s squadron is 451 and things BURN and she burns…
I thought the “real/not real” game is a very clever symbol for the whole trilogy: the dichotomy of what real life is and what is captured on screen and of what the leaders of District 13 says they are working toward and the reality of how they carry out their goals. And of course, it works so beautifully at the end when Katniss and Peeta chatted about their lives and life together.
This book, as many have stated, feels different than book 1 and 2, because it is a book of revelations, especially Katniss’s revelations about herself and her world. I like her as a character so much more in this installment. I’d say that Mockingjay delivers!