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Mockingjay Bookmark Promo Poster

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzzane Collins

“There are much worse games to play.”

Synopsis From Book Jacket:

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.

Personal Thoughts:

Its been a week since I finished Mockingjay but it took me awhile to write a review. I love the first two books – I thought The Hunger Games was a great start to the series and Catching Fire is a good sequel but with Mockingjay I’m a bit disappointed. It is still a gripping read with twist and turns but it lost the consistency from the first two books.

Katniss in The Hunger Games is selfless and brave, in Catching Fire she is responsible and more mature but in Mockingjay she is passive all throughout. She was used as a representative to the revolution but she don’t make her own stand. Being a mocking doesn’t give her much substance to do. She goes to war doing what other people want her to do. She is confuse most of the time. She doubt everything and everyone around her. Peeta was not himself most of the book. But I’m glad that he recover from tracker venom hijacking in the end. I would be more frustrated if this book turn out different for him. And while he was captured and under torture he still manage to devised a plan to make sure Katniss is safe. He still protect her from the Capitol. President Snow is just another paper-thin villain character.

The ending seems rushed. Many dies but everything happened too fast that I didn’t even got the chance to sympathize for them. Even how Prim was killed was unti-climatic. It was sad but not powerful enough to full an emotion. If buttercup (Prim’s pet cat) didn’t show up at district 12 to Katniss I would never felt that Prim was really gone. Katniss mother’s decision to leave Katniss is not realistic, given the fact that she wants to forget Prim tragic ending it is still not believable they will parted ways permanently. Afterall Katniss is the only one left to her. Gale exits to Katniss life was abrupt and strange. I still chooses Peeta for Katniss but it did bother me that there wasn’t really any resolution between Gale and Katniss at the end of the book. It is not convincing enough that Gale would just give up Katniss and leave just like that. I expect that he would have fight to be with Katniss or made some sacrifices but instead he was just disposes at the end of the book with little explanation.

As I’ve said I want Peeta for Katniss and I’m happy that they end up together. It was how I always hoped it would end but the way it was executed seemed very undefined. There’s no satisfaction in it. Collins just throw everything in the end, she keeps on telling what happened to everyone but we didn’t see nor feel it.

Overall, this book is action packed like the first two books but it is my least favorite from the series. If there is one thing worth delving in Mockingjay, it is still the philosophical questions that the books raised throughout the series. The Hunger Games world is a nice window to understand our own culture.

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzzane Collins

“At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.”

Synopsis From Book Jacket:

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Petta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create unintentionally.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

Personal Thoughts:

Catching Fire goes straight into the story and I feel immersed once again in the dystopian world of Panem. Suzanne Collins weaved a more cruel world in this book. The story is now even more tragic as Katniss and Peeta are faced with even more challenges and difficult choices. The stakes are higher, it is not just about teenagers trying to kill each other in order to survive. If you thought the government of Panem was cruel in The Hunger Games, in this book you’ll discover just how truly brutal they are and how far they are willing to go to keep in control.

The two major characters were at it’s best once again. This book makes me more care about them so much, and when I care about the characters their world is worth delving no matter what. Katniss is as compelling as she is like in book one. She is a genuine character – full of flaws but full of virtues as well. She was just as brave and just as wary as before. Her uncertainty makes her endearing and more interesting. Peeta is as determined as he is. It is clear how he will do anything to protect Katniss whether it cost him forever pain or even his own life. He became more firmly established as an honorable person in this book. Katniss is right when she said that Peeta can sway people with his words. Peeta is emotionally strong, has commendable principles, has that charisma and wit that ignites people emotions; for sure he would shape up to be a fine leader after the revolution. That’s why I like Peeta for Katniss. They are total opposite but they complements each other. He’s strong where she’s weak and vice versa. And really, there is just nothing to not like and admire in Peeta. This pair simply took my heart, it’s hard not to care about them. I enjoy their stubbornness and determination too and I love being surprised by the sacrifices they are willing to make.

Haymitch becomes more than just a drunkard in here. Suprisingly his character holds a major part in the revolution. Cinna, Katniss’s stylist during the games, has his own brand of rebellion too. He is one of best example of how people of Panem took courage to stand and finally fight the government. Gale is still a mystery but the love triangle between him, Katniss and Peeta become more distinct.

This book is fun and engaging. The pacing is perfect, action packed, full of twist and turns. The characters are dealing with intricate layers of conflicts from personal relationships to political issues. When I learned that Katniss is going to the arena again, I felt the pain. But then I know Peeta will do everything to protect her. I anticipate how they will turn the odds again in their favor. But I did not imagine the big escape from the arena. Collins certainly brings back again the arena to life.

Catching Fire ends in a way that make you want to drive right into the last book, which I actually did. This book is an exciting continuation of the series, it is engaging and entertaining. The thought provoking parallels between Hunger Games and our world sink even deeper to senses.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

“Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death.”

It is typical for me to be ages behind with the best books no matter how everyone is raving about it. Though being left behind is actually a blessing, it meant that I don’t need to wait for the next installment of the series every year and I don’t have to worry much about giving spoilers in my review. As much as I want to hurry this review and just pick up the next book, Catching Fire I can’t suppress my  thoughts about this book. It’s overflowing right now and I don’t even know where to start.

“Happy Hunger Games!

And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

The story set in the nation of Panem, which lies in the post-apocalyptic ruins of North America. At its heart is the Capitol, the center of power and money. The Capitol is surrounded by twelve Districts that supplies sources of its wealth. The Capitol exerts its power over the nation by hosting the annual Hunger Games. Every year two tributes, one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve to eighteen from each District are selected to take part in the Hunger Games. This game is a televised battle where participants called tributes fight to death and only one must survive. There is no option. Kill or be killed.

I am surprised how compelling the plot is, it’s not original but there were moments when I was able to get absolutely lost in the story and felt as if I was there with Katniss  inside the arena or with the other televiewers watching the tributes play the game of survival.

Katniss Everdeen really stands out as a character. She is smart, brave, selfless and a real survivor. You could throw anything at her, and she would come out stronger than ever. She is able to think fast and act quickly. But she’s not all tough which makes her more real. She’s not all good handling her emotions especially about how she feels for Peeta and Gale. She also shows concerns and affection to other tributes which is not a good thing if you want to survive inside the arena. But I must say, her bonding with Rue is one of the best thing that was developed in the story. I love the connection that they had with each other. The hardest part was knowing that one of them had to die. The gripping part was wondering how it would happen. The friendship and alliances made throughout the story is one of the best part of the book.

As for Peeta Mellark, I enjoyed the mystery of his character and how the little things about him were revealed at a slow pace. It makes him more interesting. He is such a lovely person and so kind to everyone. His feelings for Katniss seams so real and I wish I can get a glimpse of what he is thinking.

Then there is Gale Hawthorne, Katniss bestfriend and hunting buddy. I loved the ease Katniss had with him while they were out hunting at the beginning. Gale wasn’t present much in this book but while reading I kept on thinking what is his reaction on the game. Seeing Katniss fight to survive and watching Katniss fall in love with Peeta inside the arena would definitely seem strange and hard for him.

Katniss and Peeta inspite of differences were perfect match for the game. They certainly worked the game to their full advantage. But I did imagine how will it be if Gale was with Katniss in the arena instead of Peeta. Given the fact that Gale and Katniss were both hunters and survivors, it is convincing enough that they can survive in the arena but maybe it won’t be much easy for both of them. I wonder if Katniss and Gale can turn the odds in their favor too. Will the star-crossed lovers tactic will work with them as well?

What Lies Beyond The Hunger Games Battle

  • Discrimination

The emphasis in class differences is very vivid in the story. It shows what kind of culture the Panem has. How each district is catagorized between highest social elite and the dirt poor. Katniss has lived a life being hungry, subsisting on a diet of squirrels, goat cheese and roots. Even Katniss’s fellow tribute, the baker’s son Peeta, who’s seems in a middle class family grew up on a diet of stale bread. Meanwhile in the Capitol, you can get any kind of food you wish by just pushing a button.

  • Sacrifices

From the beginning of the story we see how people offer their lives in exchange of others. Katniss offers herself to be a tribute instead of her sister Primrose. Peeta is willing to sacrifice himself to protect Katniss in the arena. Then there is also Haymitch, we only see him as a mentor to Katniss and Peeta who is always drunk. But Haymitch offers his own sacrifices too – as a previous victor of the game his task is to mentor the next future tributes. That wouldn’t be easy. Imagine getting to know these kids, coaching them, hoping for victory and then watch them die. Year after year, that has been his fate that’s why he resolve to drinking. He also choose to live in solidarity, he never marry and have kids because he knows one day his kids will be part of the game too and that is not something to look forward.

  • Politics and Government

The government of Panem is a totalitarian one, which means that it has absolute power over its people. The main reason that they do The Hunger Games every year is because the Capitol or the government wants to send a message to the public that they are in control of them.

“The news sinks in.

Two tributes can win this year, if they’re both in the same district.

Both can live.

Before I can stop myself,I call out Peeta’s name”

When the Capitol suddenly change the rule of the game, announcing that there will be two teenagers who can survive the game then at the end they switches back the rule again to where only one can survive, it shows how powerful the government is. How they can manipulate  minds of their people in order to get what they want, when they want it. Imagine living in this kind of world, where free will doesn’t exist, people are not treated as individual who has own merit and value.

  • Humanity

The story shows humanity’s survival at its finest, and on the other hand – at its worst. During the battle, tributes not just fight for life. They also fight internally for the will to kill or not in order to survive. Katniss struggle so much to kill any tributes but she knows she must, but this fight is not only about her own life,  it also concerns the life of others she love both outside and inside the arena. The quest to keep her souls, while those around her are losing theirs is not an easy battle. So the question is – “Is it worth to forsake her humanity in order to win?”

  • Reality Show

“Why don’t they just kill him?” I ask Peeta.
“You know why,” he says, and pulls me closer to him.

And I do. No viewer could turn away from the show now.
From the Gamemakers’ point of view, this is the final word in entertainment.

Reality shows is not a stranger to us and Hunger Games is no different, it is just a brutal version – group of teenagers killing each other in order to survive. But the saddest part is how viewers enjoy watching other people suffer. As if life is just part of their entertainment. I wonder, if is this a kind of reality show we will have in the future? I really hope not.


This book is more than just a game of  life and death.  It is a story of friendship, love and sacrifices. It shows a complex vision of reality – from politics, culture and morality. A very compelling book that gives a glimpse of a possible future if we don’t be careful  in choosing our path.

In My Mailbox: April 28

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. This meme is about books that you received or bought during the week.

Look what I got in my mailbox today. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  This book is a prize I won from whodunit reading challenge of Gathering Books. A big thanks to the Gathering Books team and to the sponsors. Can’t wait till weekend to start reading this book. Happy much ^__^

Here is the book description from goodreads:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.