Mockinjay by Suzanne Collins

Let's get one thing straight. I didn't finish this book. I made it 2/3 of the way through and stopped. I couldn't continue. Some was due to friends telling me that the book was great and then the last 1/3 of the book just died. One friend was so upset he said he threw the copy of his book (hardback) into the trashcan. He hated the ending that much. I told myself it didn't matter, that I needed to know the ending, but I just can't finish it. I think I am happier with the ending I have created in my head. Also, I grow weary of Katniss.

I promise I won't spoil the book for those who haven't read it yet, but I ca tell you this...Katniss is bring. All she does is sit around and whine and complain as those in power use her as an unwilling and completely naive chess piece. She acts as if she knows what is going on, but as far as I can tell (for the amount I read), Katniss is never a real instigator of anything. She is always the pawn. This girl was completely clueless about the insurrection her acts of "defiance" created. Not that she was ever willfully defiant, those acts were always completely by accident. In act, it feels like everything Katniss does is an accident. She is terrible at fake acing, so they drop her off at a field hospital where she witnesses the death of hundreds and finally is able to deliver her defiant line about fighting. Truly, it was just a happy accident. Would she have been able to deliver such a line if no one had died? Probably not, because Katniss doesn't do anything with purpose. Falling in love. Friendships. It all just happens to her and the poor thing is just along for the ride.

What made this book harder to swallow was that Katniss was the only character telling the story in this narrative. No jumping to Peeta's viewpoint, which was a little annoying a he is a far more interesting character. Also, in this book he is clearly being tortured and for some reason I could never figure out, the rebels label him a traitor, which just made no sense. It's like calling a Prisoner of War a traitor simply because they had the misfortune to be captured. They already know the government is manipulative and that Peeta was in danger by leaving him in the government's hands, but the instant he appears on television they call him a coward? The logic just doesn't pan. But why aren't we given Peeta's perspective as in the other books?

For me, the setting and plot of this final book are weak. Which makes the characterization so much more critical and sadly, it fell. I think it was already stumbling in Catching Fire, but for me this books failed. Anytime I can't finish reading a book out of fear that the author just can't fix all the mistakes they are making is a very bad thing indeed. I need my characters to be intentional. Especially the heroes. And especially if they are willing heroes like Katniss is supposed to be in this final battle.


Anonymous said...

A few of my 8th grade students commented that the 2nd book stunk and the 3rd was an improvement over the 2nd, but still left them with a bad taste in their mouths. I think I'll skip books 2 and 3. Just picked up Darren Shan's THE THIN EXECUTIONER. Am hoping for an entertaining ride.