* This review will not discuss any major spoiler plot points*
Have you had the experience with a book where...you get to the end and realize that you read the book so fast because you couldn't wait to find out what happens that you actually want to reread it so you can savor the story the second time? That is what reading MOCKINGJAY was like for me - it's just one of those books. If you haven't yet read the first two books: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, you must! Now that I've seen where Katniss' journey was ultimately headed by the end, I'm so glad I went along with her!
From "The Ashes" to "The Assault" to "The Assasin" the plot of this story kept me on the edge of my seat flipping pages as fast as I could to find out what would happen to Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Finnick, and Prim next. It was action-packed with twists and turns I wasn't expecting, although with one major one that I saw coming but was hoping for, that kept me guessing as to where the story would end up, but always hoping Katniss would find her way through. It was like uncovering the windows to see a view into the hidden worlds of Panem that I couldn't image in District 13 and the Capitol. It was honest, hopeful, gruesome, empowering, soul-searching, and heartbreaking all at the same time.
It was truly Katniss' journey to hurt, heal, discover herself, and ultimately find hope in the world she lives in and the role she's been forced into. I really enjoyed the development and growth of the stories of the secondary characters in this final installment. However, this story is all about Katniss and how she must move past the horrors she's seen in two Hunger Games and to discover who she is meant to be and what kind of person she wants to be and how to become that person, do what's right for her, and help the ones she loves. All of this while dealing with carrying the weight of the entire citizenry of this country at war (which in reality has been at war for 75 years) on her shoulders. Many people talk about Team Peeta or Team Gale, and there is a satisfying conclusion to that piece of the storyline, but really, this series is not about a love triangle at all. It's about growth for these characters, these children, who have to mature and work out a world they've been thrust into, growing up faster than they should ever have to, and the mistakes they make and the way they find their way through.
Suzanne Collins crafted a page-turning story throughout all three of the books in the series that constantly surprise the reader and leave a sense of hope and rooting for for those that survived. This third one was an emotional journey, but I would say this trilogy is one of the best YA series out there!
5 Stars for MOCKINGJAY