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/* Starred Review */ Grades 6-12 The highly anticipated conclusion to the Hunger Games trilogy does not disappoint. If anything, it may give readers more than they bargained for: in action, in love, and in grief. When the book opens, Katniss has survived her ordeal at the Quarter Quell, and she and her family are safe in District 13. Gale is there as well, but Peeta is being held at the Capitol as President Snow’s very special prisoner. Events move quickly, but realization unfolds slowly as Katniss learns that she has been a pawn in more ways than she ever supposed and that her role as the face of the revolution is one with unanticipated consequences, including a climbing death toll for which she holds herself personally responsible. Collins does several things brilliantly, not the least of which is to provide heart-stopping chapter endings that turn events on their heads and then twist them once more. But more ambitious is the way she brings readers to questions and conclusions about war throughout the story. There’s nothing didactic here, and the rush of the narrative sometimes obscures what message there is. Yet readers will instinctively understand what Katniss knows in her soul, that war mixes all the slogans and justifications, the deceptions and plans, the causes and ideals into an unsavory stew whose taste brings madness. That there is still a human spirit yearning for good is the book’s primrose of hope. — Cooper, Ilene (Reviewed 09-01-2010) (Booklist, vol 107, number 1)

 

 

 

 

 

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