Mockingjay: The Hunger Games, Book 3

Book review by Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Mockingjay: The Hunger Games, Book 3 Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Exciting, dramatic -- and bloody -- sci-fi trilogy finale.

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 51 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 279 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 18+

Hopeless: Please Carefully Consider How This Will Effect Your Mental Health (contains spoilers, but necessary ones)

As an author, I think one of our responsibilities is to leave our readers hopeful and uplifted—and if careful—this can be done even in a book that contains much violence, or doesn’t have the traditional happy ending. I was fine with the first two Hunger Games, but the third takes the darkness too far. There is no hope at the end. There is no light. Humanity is portrayed as twisted, irredeemable, and monstrous. The main character—even knowing how terrible the Hunger Games are—sentences capital children to death in one final match. (I.e. Instead of rising above the people and actions she despises, she’s gradually shaped into the very thing she’s hated and fought against.) Later, she reverts to attempting suicide to escape her pain. She lives on, but even the final sentence reverts to death and despair. I understand that this book is realistic and gritty, but I’m very concerned about the potential messages here. Books should encourage people to rise above horrible actions, not sink to their level. They should bring light, not darkness. They should teach readers to heal and pursue mental well being, not take their lives. (This novel doesn’t encourage suicide, but by reading the main character thinking about and pursuing it, it still plants seeds in the reader’s mind and heart.) I might’ve been here with a shining three or four stars if this novel had been developed differently—I was perfectly fine with the previous books—but again, I feel like the third book goes to far. These are all my opinions, of course, and I have nothing against Suzanne Collins as a person or an author, but I’d ask you to very carefully consider your mental welling before you pick up this book.
3 people found this helpful.
age 15+

The mental health implications

I’m a 20 year old student who reread the hunger games to check its suitability for my younger brother (14) after reading them at age 11. I think it is a brilliant conclusion to the trilogy, however in this day and age it has a huge amount of mental health references regarding the main character Katniss who is ultimately a 17 year old dealing with PTSD. Some of the descriptions can be quite difficult for a young reader to comprehend with references to suicide towards the end of the book. It is a great book with strong characters who overcome huge difficulties but would just be wary about the mental health aspects which tend to be overlooked due to the violence in the book.

This title has:

Educational value
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

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