Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains - except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay - no matter what the personal cost.
Note - this review will have spoilers, so if you haven't read this book yet, steer clear!
I remember that the first time I read this book, I was left completely confused. The first two parts of the novel are brilliant - it's everything I think that fans wanted to happen at the end. At times, it was a bit annoying when Katniss doesn't really do much - and even though she has been put through a lot, it's hard to see her as the girl that entered the first Games. And she isn't, of course, she's changed a lot; but barely any of her fight is left. She just wants revenge, and has become pretty selfish, which ruins her slightly, because that was certainly one characteristic she never had to begin with.
Another thing I wasn't certain of was District 13. It's just another Capitol, really, except they hate on the Capitol rather than the districts. Of course they had many reasons to hate them, but I just felt like everyone had moved from one Game to another, and that nothing would change. However, Coin's execution changed that, and I think that was very clever on Collin's part - there is no real indication that that will happen, and when I first read it I had to reread that paragraph quite a few times before I realized it said 'President Coin' and not 'President Snow'. The cliff-hangers and surprises are still consistant through Mockingjay, and have been throughout the whole series.
However, one thing I really didn't like was the ending. The whole novel leads up to this moment, this overthrowing of the Capitol, and the tension builds and rises and the suspense is so thick and - disappointment. Up until the assasination of Coin, it's fine - but then Katniss gets taken into a room and all you are told about is her going mental. It was just so disappointing. But even that's okay, until the very very end. From reading it again, I can tell that it was always Peeta. The first time, I thought it was an equal change between him and Gale, but no - it was always Peeta. And I think that was the ending most fans wanted - but the way it was done didn't seem realistic enough. Katniss tells you that they get close again, that they develop a romantic relationship and fall in love - but you don't see it, which I think would have been the perfect ending; especially after everything that happened to Peeta with the hijacking. But it wasn't, and it still doesn't feel completely genuine.
But despite my complaints, it is a good book, and an utterly breathtaking and unique trilogy. I know this won't be the last time I read it, because it is so addictive, and I don't think there will ever be another series like this that is even half as good. Collins is such a good author, and even though I've said it before, her characterization is brilliant, and I don't think there are many characters that I didn't get attached to. With the films being made, more and more people will be reading the books - but I'd honestly recommend reading the series before watching it, because even the best movie still wouldn't be as good as either of the novels.