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Katniss Everdeen finally grows up in Mockingjay, the third and last book of the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.
First of all, I would like to make clear that I’m a huge fan of these books. I literally put my life on standby just to finish the series. But I was not hooked on Mockingjay until maybe a good fourth in.
Why? Well, it starts out with our girl on fire taking refuge in the underground and undemocratic District 13. District 12, the girl’s hometown, is no more.
I’m not going to “dig in” so much in this part of the book since I felt as claustrophobic as our beloved heroine during this part of the story.
This book resolved and paid off many set-ups from the first two installments as it is expected from any third act, but only two took me by surprise.
1. Up to Catching Fire, Katniss’ rebellious nature, control-freak tendencies and detached point of views were necessary to get her through both her rounds in the arena as a tribute in the Hunger Games and hence spark up the rebellion.
But now, all she can do for the rebellion is wear her shiny Mockingjay outfit and act out a fight for the cameras. She becomes a representation for the uprising but can’t seem to do much to really help anyone out. And that’s frustrating for her and for me to read.
However, a parallel representation takes place. President Snow remains to wear the face of evil. But Alma Coin, president of district 13 and (in a way) of every rebel, progressively gets tinted with the evil the very people she’s fighting with are fighting against.
And Katniss catches it. I don’t want to spoil the book or the movie, whenever they make it, so all I’m going to say is this: Katniss discovers her rightful role in the rebellion.
2. Peeta. If you didn’t read The Hunger Games, all you need to know about Peeta and Katniss’ star-crossed lover act is that it is an act only for Katniss. Peeta gets played. Nasty. No wonder they’re called the hunger games.
Again, hate to spoil it but at the end of this book, you will learn that the one who really gets played is you.
Suzanne Collins focuses the right perspective and forces us, through Katniss' coming-of-age process, to look at things beyond the obvious. Not just as storytelling goes, but in general.
I absolutely loved these books and really can’t wait to get my hands on Collins’s next piece of work.
By the way, Suzanne, although I’m obviously done with this book, I’m still rooting for Gale!