By Suzanne Collins
Genre: Young Adult
Published Sept. 2011, Scholastic Inc.
Paperback, 390 pages
My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.This novel deeply impacted me. I had to let the review sit for awhile before I could coalesce my thoughts on it because I kept replaying the many aspects of the series over and over in my head, wondering if the series could really have ended any differently. I suppose if some of the key characters had made different decisions, there would have been some difference, but keeping everything else the same, Katniss really could not have responded differently. I felt that this book was much more realistic regarding the behavior of a 17-year-old in her circumstances than many other books I have read of the Young Adult genre.
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains--except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost.
I felt that the second and third books revolved largely around what it would take to break Katniss. The reader can guess the answer quite easily, but Katniss is haunted by not being certain of this answer. She is only a young adult after all, not even experiencing all of the atrocities that the Capital visited on the other Hunger Games victors before her. She is naive in many ways, though her inner strength and determination to survive are great personal motivators.
There is maybe one part of the book that I really wish would have happened differently, and that is what happens to Finnick, especially given his reunion with Annie. I could not understand how it was so necessary to the continuance of the main plot, and I felt sad for Annie.
I don't want to give away the ending for Katniss's personal story, but in the grand scheme of things, even this was necessary for Katniss's personal survival, as well as the betterment of the remaining districts of Panem. While that statement is appropriately confusing, the way I described the ending to my husband, who still needs to read the second and third books, is the ending was bittersweet - heavy on the bitter and light on the sweet.
The Cover: This cover has the same simplicity as the previous two covers, as well as gives me an idea of what the mockingjay actually looks like.
First Line: "I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather."
The sadness of this first sentence permeates the entire novel and places me back in District 12 very quickly.
Favorite Quote: “Some walks you have to take alone.”
Read For: Young Adult Challenge, Dystopia Challenge, Finishing the Series Challenge