Review: Mockingjay

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


This story had a lot of potential. Sadly, it didn’t live up to that potential. The plot took some leaps that I felt detracted from the progression of the story and the development of the characters.

I also hated how the rebels were no better than the capital – killing children and innocents to achieve victory with the “least amount of life lost.” The leaders of both sides use their followers (and enemies if they can get away with it) as pawns with no regard for individual rights.

I was glad that both those leaders died, but at the end of the book I wondered what the revolution was really for. Sure, the games were stopped for the time being, but the people were still fractured, divided into districts, and assigned industries.

What’s the point of a revolution that doesn’t gain or restore liberty?

I’m probably judging it too harshly. A leader was chosen that seemed to have better moral character than the previous options. The people were no longer required to sacrifice their children in a perverse reminder of their own subjugation to the government for the entertainment of the capital. But they still relied on the government for so much.

The major point Collins makes with this book is the role of the media in shaping public opinion. This is a real occurrence in our culture that all would do well to take into consideration. We should all spend a little less time with Fox and CNN and spend a lot more time in good books, learning the patterns of history, the destiny of the various forms of government, and the social issues that challenge every society.

Even though this book identifies the danger of the government controlling what is seen by the people, information does not become more free after the revolution. It remains a tool of the powers that be to shape public opinion.

I feel like Collins could have done more to offer solutions to some of these problems, but maybe that’s the point. We need to solve those problems. If I expect her to do it, I’m just like a capital citizen buying into the propaganda, doomed to remain a pawn of the rich and powerful.

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About Jonathan

I am a man whose life has been profoundly changed by a beautiful woman, 5 amazing kids, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Leadership Education.
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2 Responses to Review: Mockingjay

  1. Jonathan, Have you read Brave New World or 1984? Like Mockingjay, they are cautionary tales, more than revolution, how-to manuals. For me, Mockingjay was a powerful reminder that if we lose our freedom, it won’t be easy to get it back and revolutions are more likely to go wrong than right. I think we are supposed to hate how things go in this book. I loved that unlike a lot of other popular YA fiction series, this one didn’t wrap things up in a tidy, happily ever after, disaster averted, manner. It gave a more realistic, and therefore, informative, view of captivity and attempted revolution. I found it very thought provoking. It made me appreciate what the founders accomplished, more than I already did and it made me want to work even harder to preserve the freedom we still have. I love your book reviews. Keep posting!

  2. Jonathan says:

    Thanks for commenting Jen! You offer some valid points. I have read both Brave New World and 1984 and I enjoyed them both. Well, enjoy probably isn’t the right word, but I felt that they both had more depth than Mockingjay, but then again the target audience is different.

    I also appreciate that the message about the cost of liberty is shared in so many different styles. Mockingjay has value if it can reach people that have a hard time relating to some of the themes in 1984 and Brave New World. I believe it has.

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