Discussion: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins–Spoilers Ahead!


Title: Mockingjay

Author: Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic

ISBN: 978-0439023511


Contains Spoilers – Read At Your Own Risk

From Amazon:

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.


I have been putting off writing about Mockingjay, mainly because there have been a gabillion blog posts already published online, and I don’t know that I have anything new to add.  The other reason is that I don’t think I was ready to let the series go yet.  I was pressured to read it because my niece wanted to ask me some questions about the ending, and she pulled the SPOILER card to prod me into reading the books quickly.  As in she would SPOIL the ending for me, ‘cause she can just be that way.  Grrr.

The Hunger Games is a great series and I was totally caught up in Katniss’ struggle to survive.  Here is a girl who had next to nothing, who asked for nothing, and who expected nothing.  Her world is grim and dark and compelling, and the world building and politics gave the books so much depth.  If there is a hell on earth, Panem would be it if you lived in the Districts.  The Capital,  when it was attacked by rebels from the Districts, swiftly and brutally put down the insurrection.  Decades later, they still haven’t forgiven, nor will ever forget, the uprising.  The residents of the Districts suffer for the sins of their forbearers, and there seems to be no end to the indignities forced on them by the Capital. 

How Katniss continued to get up every morning to put up the good fight against undefeatable odds, I will never comprehend.  Heartbreak and a lack of the most basic comforts in life have been her constant companions.  After she beat the odds and managed to save both herself and Peeta from the Hunger Games, she should have been living on East Street.  But no, the corrupt politicians in the Capital determined that Katniss had displayed too much insubordination during her time in the Games, and now they want only to make an example of her.  Within the blink of an eye, rules that have governed the Games since their inception have been rewritten, and the victors, that one pool of people exempted from the Games were forced back into the Arena.  How do you live through that – again?  How?

So what was my niece’s question about the series?  It is actually a question that breaks my heart, because I did get so caught up in these books.  In the end, was Katniss happy?  I don’t think,  after everything that she was forced to live through, and after all of the loss she was forced to suffer, that she was capable of being happy.  Content?  Maybe she was that.  But happy?  I think that Katniss, and Haymitch, and even Peeta, were far too damaged by what happened in the Arena, and worse, what happened after they got back out, to ever be able to be happy. 

What is your take on the ending?  Was Katniss happy?  Are you counting down the days until the first movie comes out?

4 thoughts on “Discussion: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins–Spoilers Ahead!

  • July 27, 2011 at 11:03 am

    you love me. you are glad i made you read it. i cried when i finished it, that last conversation peeta and katniss had. i loved peeta. and haymitch was already damaged, i knew that, but i wanted katniss and peeta to kinda be happy.

  • July 27, 2011 at 11:07 am

    To The Evil Bookpusher, Jen – in the end, they had each other, and I think that was so much more than either Peeta or Katniss were expecting. I think that’s why I liked the series so much. The ending wasn’t all neat and tidy – they had to live with everything that they did, both good and bad, and it changed them forever.

  • July 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Fantastic discussion post. I think you nailed it. I don’t think Katniss could be happy either, but I think content is a good word. I really liked Mockingjay for not ending with the happiest of endings. But, I was a little sad too because everything Katniss did was to protect her sister and Prim ended up dying anyway. I also wish Katniss and Peeta’s relationship would’ve remained untouched, but I guess Katniss would’ve never figured out she had loved him if it hadn’t happened.

  • July 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    @Jenni – thanks for commenting! Yes, I think that watching Prim die right in front of her was the one thing she could never emotionally recover from, and to know that she played a part in her death made it even more unbearable for Katniss. Just thinking about that scene in Mockingjay gets me teary-eyed. I can’t imagine having to live through any of the awful things Katniss did. And, yes, I am so emotionally invested in the story it’s not even funny.

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