Tag Archives: Scholastic Press

Book Review: Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book #3) by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book #3)   

Author: Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press

American release date:  September 1, 2010

Format/Genre/Length: Hardback/YA SciFi Action/391 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

The Rebellion has begun, but at what price? The destruction of District 12. Katniss was able to escape, along with her mother and sister, and Gale, but not everyone was so lucky. And poor Peeta is still in the hands of the Capitol, being forced to endure who knows what? Katniss insists on returning to her district to see it for herself, and it’s not a pretty sight. She and her family are living in what was thought to be a destroyed district, namely #13. But they’ve simply kept themselves out of sight, planning for the day they can retaliate against District 1, the Capitol. Good thing they have Katniss, the face of the Rebellion, even though President Coin was overheard to say they should have saved the boy first, meaning Peeta. Finnick is there as well but he’s not entirely himself. And so is Haymitch, but can she ever trust him again?

Katniss is overjoyed to see Peeta appear on the screen in a broadcast from the Capitol, but her joy quickly sours as he advocates a ceasefire and calls upon the rebels to surrender. This isn’t the Peeta she knows, what have they done to him? When Katniss accidentally stumbles upon her prep team, being held hostage and tortured, she begins to realize that President Coin and her advisors aren’t necessarily better than President Snow.  Coin wants to use Katniss as the face of the Rebellion again as they storm the Capitol, but she demands a price – freedom for those captives being held in the Capitol and immunity, especially for Peeta. But her bargaining may lead to more trouble than she imagines.

When Katniss is finally reunited with Peeta, she is horrified at the change in him… and what he has become. Would he really harm her? Could she harm him, if it became necessary? What if he begged her to? And what of Gale? How does she feel about him? Seventeen, with the weight of the world on her shoulders, can Katniss do what is expected… no, demanded of her? Or will she finally break?

Katniss’ journey is finally coming to an end, but as I read this final book, I couldn’t tell how it would end for her. So many twists and turns, unexpected happenings. Like being on the edge of your seat, holding your breath, waiting for the ending and hoping, hoping, hoping. When the adults around you are intent upon destruction, where can a girl turn? This was a fitting ending to the series, and contains heartbreak, deceit, friendship, love, and triumph. I was pleased with the ending, and plan to watch the movies next. I hope they do the books justice.

Good series, highly recommend.

Book Review: The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book #1) by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book #1)   

Author: Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press

American release date:  September 14, 2008

Format/Genre/Length: Hardback/YA SciFi Action/384 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

In the aftermath of a devastating war, what was once North America is now a nation known as Panem, comprised of the Capitol and twelve outlying districts. Once there had been thirteen districts, but the thirteenth had rebelled against the Capitol, only to be destroyed. As a reminder of what happens to those who don’t obey, the Capitol conceived the Hunger Games. Every year, each remaining district provides two contestants—one male, one female—who are chosen by lottery to represent their district. The contestants are sent to the Capitol to participate in the games, pitted against one another to fight until only one person remains. The last person standing is then crowned the winner, their district receiving benefits from their win. All of which is televised to the entire nation.

Times are hard for everyone. Catniss Everdeen lives with her mother and younger sister Prim. Catniss supplements their meager diet by hunting, which is illegal as it takes place outside the area where they are allowed to go. But survival calls for desperate measures, so Catniss continues to hunt, along with her hunting partner, Gale. She also forages for various herbs and vegetables, which she has learned from her mother, who is a healer.

Time for the Hunger Games again, and everyone attends the drawing of the two participants. Catniss only wants her family to be safe, so is unprepared to hear the first name drawn is Prim’s. Without hesitation, she volunteers to take Prim’s place, and her offer is accepted. The male volunteer turns out to be Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son. Catniss and Peeta are escorted to the Capitol by Haymitch Abernathy and Effie Trinket, the former a drunken fool and the latter an excitable fool.

Catniss hopes that she isn’t killed too quickly, not holding out hope of winning the games. But she is tougher than she realizes, and maybe, just maybe, she can survive this thing if she tries.

This is a really creative story about a dystopian future society filled with barbarism and inequality. The poor have a rough life, while the idiots in the Capitol go blithely about their merry way, watching the annual slaughter that is the Hunger Games. Catniss is a very good, well-written heroine, and Peeta is easily her counterpart. Watching them grow and develop throughout the book, and watching them work together to defeat the others, is priceless. Catniss is a typical teenage girl in that her emotions are all over the place, especially under the circumstances. But she comes through it all with great grace and aplomb.

I really hope this sort of society never comes to be, but I can also see it happening, too, especially in an oligarchy, such as we in the US live in now.  The first book in the trilogy is riveting. Looking forward to the next one.