Book Review: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins

This is a spoiler-free review.

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

This is a spoiler-free review.  Natalie and I may do a review with spoilers included later, once more people have had a chance to read Mockingjay.  I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, so I'll keep this initial review general.

Anyone who has read the first two books knows that they are full of action---they are pretty much non-stop the entire time.  I was expecting the same out of Mockingjay, and was very surprised when the whole book felt slow.  It was almost like the book was a transitional, world-building piece that had all of the action in the last 40 pages.  I found that to be very disappointing.  You know what the tone of the book reminded me of?  Sookie's raw emotions in Charlaine Harris' Dead in the Family and Zoey Redbird's shattered soul in PC Cast's Burned.  

Katniss is not her usual fighting self in Mockingjay.  She has been almost irreparably damaged by the events in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and a lot of the book focuses on her emotional upheaval and subsequent attempts at healing from injuries both physical and emotional.  

The world-building was, as usual, superb, but the plot was too predictable.  The first two books transcended the YA genre while this one definitely had a simpler, YA plot.  I predicted all of the ending events well before they occurred---something I hate to be right at!  

The whole book has left me somewhat unsatisfied---don't get me wrong, it's still a very good read, but it's not as good as what I expected.  After two years of waiting for the series to be concluded, I expected more out of Mockingjay.  I was ready for it to be as stalker-worthy as The Hunger Games and Catching Fire; however, the first two books were much better. 
Just One Gripe: 
The plot predictability. That, and the predictable ending are what left me so unsatisfied.

The Best Thing About This Book: 
I can't say what I liked best without spoiling anything---I'll just give you two page numbers to my favorite parts:  page 165 and page 197.

Appropriate for a younger audience: 
Hmmm, some parts did get very gory.

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 3/5
Setting/Imagery: 5/5
Originality: 4/5
Ending: 3/5
Total Score:  19/25


  1. Oh nooooooooooooooo I'm almost afraid to read it now. =(

  2. You had to expect that, though. I mean... it was entirely necessary for much of this book to be slower in order to tie in all the loose ends and really make this book come full-circle. If she had this book be the second, we would've never had such an action-packed second book while re-entering the arena. Re-entering the arena in the second book was the best thing Suzanne Collins could've done. If she re-entered this time in the third and final book, it wouldn't have worked. So I'm so glad with the way she wrapped this book up. I don't think we need action on every single novel, and it would've felt gimmicky if this was just a replication of the first two novels.

  3. Well I won't be reading the third book....

  4. i agree with you. i liked the book but it was lacking in comparison to the first two. and i also thought i would get a little more romance and with this supposed triangle but it never really came about.

  5. Interesting. Unlike you, I was getting kinda tired of the nonstop action. Don't get me wrong, I was riveted, but I wanted more of the world and character building. Now I'm really curious to see what happens. I thought "Catching Fire" was predictable.

    Got my copy right after work and hope to read it soon. Thanks for the spoiler free review!

  6. Sorry, me again. :) I wanted to add this award to my post, but I couldn't so here it is:

  7. Lucky you!! I've got to get started on Catching Fire first, but I'm definitely going to try and get this!
    Great non-spoilery review!
    xx Tina

  8. Sorry for the double posting, but I have an award for you over at my blog, because yours is absolutely wonderful:

    One Lovely Blog Award

    I hope you accept it, and have a wondeful day!

    ●▬▬▬๑۩ Tina @ Book Couture ۩๑▬▬▬▬●

  9. Ooo thanks for being spoiler free. Mine hasn't arrived yet and I hate when people give things away. Thanks for the pages, I will definitely look those up when I'm done.

  10. I skimmed your review in case there were any spoilers! But I am glad to see it scored high! Btw - I like the detailed way in which you score your reviews!

  11. THANK YOU!!! After reading so many gushing reviews today I was starting to think I was the only one left underwhelmed.

  12. I completely agree! I did really enjoy the book once it picked up but I for one was looking for this book to focus just a tad but more on the love. I get it though that it wasn't really that kind of book. I also thought the end was rushed and so much happened in like 30 pages and then it was just over. I was just left feeling a bit empty:(

    I would still reccommend this book because I do feel like you need to end a series and this is the end even if it didn't end the way I wanted it to.

  13. The book went in a such a completely different direction then what I expected. When I first finished the book I wasn't too happy with the ending...but it's growing on me...kind of...I guess.

  14. Okay, I am not going to write too much here because I am going to post my "official thoughts" on our second opinion...

    So, um, when did Collins let the ghost writer have complete control?? This book is completely different... Where is the Katniss that was so strong and motivated go? Where is my love triangle I have been waiting two years for??? The last 3 pages are what should have been the last 100, REALLY rushed... hmmm... I need to think on this more...

  15. I totally agree with Natalie. I felt so utterly unsatisfied with the very abrupt and rushed ending. I was hoping there was some kind of publishing mistake and they left out 3 chapters. I still have unanswered questions about the other characters. No true farewell between Gayle and katniss. And the epic moment when katniss and peeta do finally get together, there should have been pages and pages describing their union! I was so upset. I was hoping for an "isle esme" moment instead I got a short blunt predictable ending. :(

  16. Getting ready to start this serie for Sept... yes behind the times but at least I can read all 3 back to back. Wish me luck girls :)

  17. After reading all 3 books back to back, I'm finally done with Mockingjay. The 1st 2 books were definitely a little better, more complete, but I didn't hate this one. The ending was just lacking what I needed for a good ending. But I'm okay with how things turned out...sorta. I just wish there was more. More happy and more love, is that too much to ask? I feel like I didn't get dessert.

  18. I agree with all of the negative comments. This was no way to wrap up a story. I'd like to read the actual version that Collins wrote so if anyone comes across it please let me know.

    I wish I wouldn't have read the other 2 now. Oh well, back to Follett.


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