Mockinjay by Suzanne Collins: Epic but "Qualm"able

After I was done with Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, I looked upon this final installment in awe. “What a ride. What a story,” I thought. Since it was almost one in the morning, I went to sleep with its ending lingering on my mind. I could think more clearly after hours went by, however. Mockingjay might have been a great reread for me yesterday night, but I realized how it was blotched with so many questionable details.

Disclaimer: Please stop reading if you haven’t read the previous two books yet (my review of The Hunger Games is here and Catching Fire is here).

Katniss is trapped in the underground. Peeta is imprisoned in the Capitol. The 75th Hunger Games certainly didn’t end well, leaving Katniss with a mental problem and a huge demand to become the Mockingjay, the face of the rebel.

While Katniss can eventually see the urgency of the request, she has several conditions to propose in return. Now being under the supervision of President Coin of District 13, she can’t eliminate the feeling of being yet another puppet. But her desire to kill President Snow hasn’t died out. With her voice, she tries to unite all the districts to overthrow Snow and his reign in the Capitol.

I finished Mockingjay in two days, meaning that even though I had a few delayed qualms, this book was still so good in its own way. I liked how the author left enough room for Katniss to grieve and accept her condition. I liked how it highlighted the evilness of war and how it affected people who had nothing to do with it the worst, mainly commoners and children. I liked how Peeta didn’t come back with a bowtie and was all ready for Katniss to continue her romance confusion. And much to my surprise, I really liked the ending.

I was a little bothered by the fact that Katniss didn’t seem like herself in this book, however. When she felt like a puppet, she was really a puppet. I felt like everyone had been pushing her into doing something and deciding something until she stopped following the most crucial order and it became her somewhat worst decision ever. Please skip this part if you haven’t read the book yet, but I thought that Finnick, Holmes, and Leeg 1’s deaths were unnecessary if Katniss could see the undeniable blemish in her plan that no consideration was given to. I knew she wantedneededto kill Snow, but how could she reckon that she could execute the plan with no backup and a few non-soldiers in her little group? Even if going back was no option, it was still a better option than going through what should be called a suicide squad instead. And to make it even worse, her little action didn’t bring any mattered contribution in the end.

While I could tolerate the love triangle and Katniss’ hesitation in the second book, I was a little bothered by Katniss’ fickleness here. It didn’t sit well with me that Katniss could switch between the two guys easily and kiss them when the needed situation arose. But, another spoiler alert, what disturbed me the most was the fact that Katniss wanted to discard Peeta without making any effort. Big thanks to Haymitch for slapping her right in the face when he asked her to imagine what Peeta would do if the situation was reversed. I knew Katniss had been through a lot, but just one book ago, wasn’t she so determined to save Peeta’s life at all costs?

Despite those qualms, I have been spending quite a lot of time scrolling through Goodreads reviews and diving deep into Quora discussions about this trilogy. I have been so eager to see what the others perceived and whether there was more to some scenes than what I had predicted. In the end, it was still a good reread that highlighted my December reading journey.

Actual rating: 4.5