The WORST book in the Hunger Games, but with a hooking plot that keeps the anxious reader reading on into the blackness. This was VERY dark and depressing. Many beloved characters die, unimaginable torture and practices described, though not too heavily, you can hardly trust anyone, and the main character sinks deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper into a grave depressing state. Though I have to give credit to the author, Collins, for writing so well as to bring the reader fully into the story and its emotions. But overall, this is a book I doubt I'll ever reread because when I was finished I was just not satisfied with the ending and the story. In fact, one of the best parts of the books was when you learned Katniss, the main character, started becoming normal again and fell back in love with Peeta whom, I hope, became her husband and they had several children. Just by reading this you can tell Collins isn't very good at weaving happiness and genuine hope into a story, even giving the storyline and situations she could have made it more hopeful.
On a happier note, the action was eye-gluing, the language pretty clean, and hardly any consumerism to look out for because... it takes place in the future! As for educational value, the reader's mind will be open to thought and discussion on future and tyrannical governments, sacrifices and bravery and tough decisions, and many more topics that deal a dark, futuristic world and justice.
To look out for: heavy, though not too graphic, violence which includes torture, people blowing up, blood, and tons of other stuff that a normal thirteen-year old should be able to handle; some kissing and mentions of prostitution;one character drinks A LOT and morphine addiction in some characters; some negative messages about how to handle tough situations, how to treat your at-your-mercy enemies, and other dark subjects; most of the characters in this books are downright bad role models, but readers would normally excuse that giving their condition, and they hardly ever act hopeful about justice and peace.
This is definitely NOT Suzanne Collins best book, but it was a gripping conclusion to her infamous Hunger Games trilogy. The story and setting gave plentiful food for thought about a world where its poorer subjects live in dystopia, considering many today live in that condition, and what just governments are. However, violence, drinking, bad role models and messages, as well as mature themes, add to the higher age rating, but if you put this in front of a tween I assure you they will read on for the justice of the rebellious characters and for the pure genius of Suzanne Collins writing.