A week ago Tuesday, MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins was released. I had the day off and I read the entire book in one day. It was excellent! MOCKINGJAY was a great conclusion to the very compelling, thought-provoking HUNGER GAMES series for teen and adult readers.
Two people recently asked me about the premise and message in these books. On the surface, THE HUNGER GAMES is about a televised competition where teenagers fight to the death. There can be only one winner of the Hunger Games. This sounds pretty gruesome. And it is.
But the story is about so much more. It's about human nature related to war and peace. It's about the lengths a government will go to to preserve its power and control. It's about the strength of human character in the face of evil. It's also a darn good, suspenseful adventure.
Katniss Everdeen, our heroine, volunteers to take the place of her younger sister in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games, for anyone from District 12, usually means certain death. Thus, begins her journey from girl-who-provides-for-her-family to the Girl-On-Fire.
As Katniss continues to survive and gather supporters around the country, the revolutionary leaders want her to become their symbol, their Mockingjay. While the first two books deal primarily with the Hunger Games, the third book focuses on the growing resistance movement and ultimate revolution against the Capitol.
I will not give away the ending, but I'll say that it got me thinking. Thinking about what it means to be good or bad, right or wrong, and the question, "Does the end ever justify the means?" Katniss wonders these things too, and is empowered to act on her final convictions.