When the story opens, Katniss has been rescued from her second Hunger Games by rebels and taken to District 13. She returns to District 12, her home, to see everything destroyed and most of the people dead.
Since this is the third book in the series, it is heavily influenced by events that came before. In Panem, a dystopian country that takes the place of America sometime in the future, there was a civil war that left the Capitol in charge of twelve poorer districts, with the thirteenth supposedly destroyed.
Almost nothing remains of District 12. A month ago, the Capitol’s firebombs obliterated the poor coal miners’ houses in the Seam, the shops in the town, even the Justice Building. (ch 1, p. 3)
Katniss’s Hunger Games partner, Peeta, has been captured by the Capitol. She is worried about him, but her old friend and possible boyfriend Gale is in District 13 with her, and so is her mother and sister.
People in District 13 live in a large underground bunker and have little freedom. Katniss is very suspicious of them. She is angry and depressed, and has been injured in the last Hunger Games. However, she soon realizes that she is the Mockingjay, the face of the Rebellion.
Katniss resents her role, but agrees to do publicity shoots for propaganda as long as she can be in the field fighting the capital. She and Gale grow further apart as she begins to doubt his methods when he develops weapons she considers inhumane.
When Peeta returns to them, he has been tortured almost to the point of insanity. He has been “Hijacked” with the tracker-jacker venom.
Terror. Hallucinations. Nightmarish visions of losing those I love. Because the venom targets the part of the brain that houses fear. (ch 13, p. 180)
In the end, Katniss decides that the revolutionaries are not to be trusted when they set off a bomb that kills her sister. She shoots Coin, the rebel leader, instead of Snow. She tries to commit suicide, but Peeta stops her. Then she returns to what’s left of District 12 and marries Peeta.
Collins, Suzanne (2010-08-24). Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games). Scholastic Books. Kindle Edition.