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Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

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Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press

After another day of reading, I’m happy to stand victorious and done with the huge hit bestseller series The Hunger Games. My only stump in reading them was the first couple of chapters of the first book; afterward, they moved fast and are smooth easy reads.

After winning two rounds of The Hunger Games for two different reasons, the heroine Katniss finds herself homeless, finding home and shelter in the reportedly devastated district 13. Following the mass publicity she received in the prior months because of the games, she becomes a propaganda tool for an underground rebellion and for The Capitol.” As time moves on, she finds herself in the midst something that is no longer a game, but an all out war that she doesn’t really have a grip on what’s happening until the ending. After facing more tragedy, hardship of battle, the pain of betrayal, she learns that “two wrongs do not make a right,” and the overthrow of a totalitarian regime is much more than just a battle in an arena. When all is said and done, she learns love is not who you need, it’s who you cannot live without.

By embracing newfound freedom, she grows into adulthood under different circumstances than her own childhood. All around, three stars.

After reading some of the reviews of the third and final novel in this popular series, I noticed some readers thought it was unexpected, others found it logical, others found it bittersweet, and others found the story to fall flat. Some analysis below:

In fairness to the author, I’d like to initiate the positives in this third novel, as a new writer who writes about child soldiers, I can relate on a small level (on my part) to the story. It’s told from a teenage point of view, so survival is one thing, societal change is another. Teenagers to me generally do not have an instinct regarding overthrowing entire governments. Romance in teenagers tends spin about more as I think back (a long time ago) when I was that age; girls fall in and out of love rather quickly, so though the romance factor is tiresome, it’s not out-of- the-park inappropriate. Though the ending was bittersweet, that’s how war ends, if one is fortunate. In the big picture, Ms. Collins was fairly gentle to her readers.

The criticism to me lands mostly in the higher-level thinking involved in overthrowing and changing an entire government and societal structure. The author stood firm in staying in the point of view of the lead character, but it made the read more laborious because as a reader, I knew much more intrigue was involved with the rebellion that surfaced as generalities in the end. Though the “yes, Kid, let the adults take it from here,” standpoint is understandable, as entertainment it didn’t hold the strength that the inner instinct of arena survival did.

Readers, I do recommend checking out The Hunger Games and making up your own mind. I’m looking forward to the upcoming film and a compare/contrast analysis regarding the movie industry. The controversies amongst some have been more than anticipated to me, because I’ve been hearing about this series for years. Either way, the readers decide, and they certainly voiced their opinion with this series. Good for you, Ms. Collins. Thank you for teaching we new authors.

Reviewer: C.C. Cole

I’m C.C. Cole, award-winning author of the dark fantasy/action “Gastar” series, blogger, and book reviewer.  Raised in rural Mississippi, I live in the suburbs there with my family.  Interests other than writing include medieval and twentieth century history, martial arts, and adopted greyhounds.  I’ve been a participant in the launch of Orangeberry books, a featured author in the book “Every Child is Entitled to Innocence,” by Niamh Clune.  I’ve also written for The Writers Collection, a blog that is featured in the Westchester Guardian. You can visit C.C. at her blog.

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