More Book Club Selections
Book Picks by
- The Mo(u)rning Letters - Chapter 9
- WAKE, by Lisa McMann
- Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
- Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
- Smile, by Raina Telgemeier
- 4 Book Series by Megan Whalen Turner
- Darklight by Lesley Livingston
- Moving On Up - How to navigate the Bookstore
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
- The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
- Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
- The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
- Blubber, by Judy Blume
- Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
- What I Saw and How I Lied, Judy Blundell
- Before Green Gables
- The Classics
- Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
- Cathy's Book, by Jordan Weisman and Sean Stewart
- Does my head look big in this? by Randa Abdel Fattah
- Ophelia, by Lisa Klein
- Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood
The Mo(u)rning Letters, by Jenny McWhaSee more The Mo(u)rning Letters »
Meet GCDA's Book Review Writer, Jenny McWha
Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
Book Club review, by Jenny McWha, September 2010
by Suzanne Collins
Katniss Everdeen has filled a lot of roles in her life. Family caretaker. Protector of her sister. Hunger Games tribute. Twice. But now she has to fulfill an even more difficult role: The Mockingjay, symbol of the rebellion against the tyranny of the Capitol of Panem. In Suzanne Collins’ third and last Hunger Games book, Katniss finds herself in District 13 (long thought to be destroyed by the Capitol years before) living in an underground city and preparing to go to war against the government that forced the Hunger Games on the children of it’s citizens. However, in typical Katniss fashion, she spends more time hiding in closets than actually going to training or commander meetings.
THE GOOD: I enjoyed the first two installments of this trilogy very much; and let me tell you, this book does not disappoint. There is a big change in setting and plot—obviously we’re not in the arena of the games anymore—but I really felt that the first two books were leading right into this. You can’t want to support a rebellion until you fully understand how terrible things are. This is when the Hunger Games truly becomes a symbol of everything that is decadent, wrong, and purely desensitized about the Capitol. A mention is made in the book about bread and circuses: the way Rome controlled and mollified their citizens by giving them great feasts, chariot races, and gladiatorial games. The Capitol does a very similar thing, but the inclusion of reality television thoroughly weaves our past, present, and future into this terrifying saga.
I found the beginning a little a slow, but did have that with the previous two books. It certainly doesn’t take Collins long to dive right into action, and there’s plenty of it. It’s weird, because even though the other books were chock full of violence, I got into the story so much that I almost saw past it. This time, there really is no turning away from some of the awful things that happen in war, especially when technology is so advanced that a city is full of booby traps that can be turned on or off at a moments notice. There were a few parts (and I think you’ll know what I mean when you read it) that I actually felt physically sick to my stomach with what I was reading. I don’t always love Collins’ short prose style, but it worked wonderfully for those shocking incidents that need no description to help the reader know the terror the characters are feeling.
One of the things I also loved was the ending. I think here, more so than the previous books, Collins really showed how real life turns out. In a society like this, people die. Families get ripped apart. People never recover from what they went through. But life goes on. It has to.
DOWNSIDE: Sounds depressing, huh? I swear there are also happy and funny moments. But I can’t lie. There is violence and death and a lot of bad things happen. But I don’t think kids or teens should be sheltered from these things. You can handle it. Not going to lie, I also am not a fan of how the romance is written. Yes, the love triangle is resolved and I’m sure everyone has their favourite guy. But I wouldn’t pick this one for the great romance, if you know what I mean. It seemed kind of awkward and stilted in a lot of places. Also, I find Katniss a bit of a hard character to completely like. But as someone pointed out, it’s so wonderful to see a character that CAN be completely heartless (sometimes!).
AGES: 12 and up for the violence, but you and your parents can be the judge of that.
OTHER BOOKS: Of course you have to read the first two books in the trilogy: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve read anything else quite like these books. But if you have anything to recommend leave a comment! A friend of mine suggested the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield, which has a similarly creepy everyone-must-get-plastic-sugery-upon-tunring-sixteen dystopian society.
RATING: two thumbs up!
Teen Stuff Crew BOOK Picks
by the Teen
- Bite of the Mango
- Before I Fall
- VIDEO - A Vampire Picnic
- If I Stay
- The Chosen One
- The Daughters
- The Body Finder
- BOOK: What I Saw and How I Lied
- BOOK: Katy's New World
- BOOK: Prophecy of Days
- BOOK: George's Marvelous Medicine
- BOOK: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and 6 More
- BOOK: SKIN, the Bare Facts
- BOOK: Safe
- BOOK: Secrets Girls Keep
- BOOK: A Little Help From My Friends
- BOOK: Danika’s Totally Terrible Toss
- Book: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
- Book: Sea Change
- Book: The Secret to Teen Power
- Book: A Map of the Known World
- Book: Taking Care of Your 'Girls'