So I suppose it s really ridiculous of anyone to expect her capable of then going on to be president of this new world after everything she s been through Nobody would be evil enough to force that on her considering her fragile mental stateExcept me image error SPOILERS AHEAD What the f Words can t begin to express my disappointment I bought Mockingjay the first day it came out and I was preparing myself for a truly epic novel, one worthy of its predecessors I loved The Hunger Games it was fast paced, thrilling, suspenseful Catching Fire wasn t as good but it was still enjoyable I was majorly impressed by the game arena I wasn t let down by Catching Fire though I figured it was just a transition novel, build up to what would undoubtedly be a mindblowing, epic conclusion in Mockingjay Maybe I set my expectations too high I do think Collins is a good writer she definitely knows how to write and tell a story But I feel like she lost her way in this book Or maybe the only thing that made this series so great was the Hunger Games, and now that it s absent, there s nothing to drive the story.
The love triangle wasn t well played out First of all, I m getting a bit tired of reading about love triangles especially in novels where there s a much greater plot present But I ll admit, I was on Team Gale throughout the series, because he was strong and resilient and resourceful and caring There was this attractive manly quality about him and he was so in sync with Katniss, and hot to boot But towards the end of this novel, I didn t give a flying fart about Katniss s love life and who she ended up with, because everything seemed like such a hopeless, depressing mess that there was no point I also hated how she kept flip flopping and toying with both Gale and Peeta I ve been bothered by this since CF She should make up her mind about who she wants instead of leading them both on Her fickleness is pretty inconsiderate to these two guys whom she supposedly cares about And if she can t decide I can see why, they both have great qualities , then she should give herself some space time to decide, and in the meantime, don t go kissing or showing romantic affection to either one She ended up with Peeta, which would have been fine if it had been executed properly But even in this aspect of her life, she didn t get to CHOOSE, which is basically the story of her life She just ended up with Peeta because he was the only one who stuck around At the end, I found myself wanting her to end up alone, of her OWN choice Heck, instead of spiraling into bleak depression and continuing life as a puppet, I would have rather seen her die for a noble cause and for doing the right thing That would have been asatisfactory ending, and that s saying something because I normally HATE when characters die.
I didn t like that we didn t get to experience the action close up As the war unraveled, I felt like Katniss was always on the sidelines, only called in when other people commanded her to We didn t get to see Katniss kicking butt against her enemies, we got to hear from other characters about events that occurred, or watch them on the TV It is so mindnumbingly dull to be watching a character watching something, instead of experiencing the action with the character Everything she did was for show, for a propo or campaign or whatever It was all so fake Here they are in the middle of a war, people are dying left and right, and all they care about is filming and getting good shots and angles and putting on a pretty face It felt so staged and it was boring and infuriating to read The only real action is towards the end when she and her team are going on the assassin mission to kill Snow, and even THAT was originally only for a propo that went astray The last third of the book the assassin mission was gorey and bloody, which I didn t mind It s war after all But many characters deaths were so rushed and pointless Prim s death didn t have the impact that I m sure Collins was aiming for I didn t feel sad when she died, as she s barely in the story as it is, so I didn t get to know her well enough and connect with her beforehand She was absent for at least 100 pages before her death came out of nowhere, for God s sake, so her death felt like any stranger s death Although it seems her death kind of defeated the point of sparing her from the Hunger Games What DID kill me was Finnick s death Finnick was one of the characters I loved most in this series, and call me petty, but I can t forgive Collins for killing him off after he d been through so much and finally got to marry the love of his life It wasn t even a death of purpose He got eaten by mutts in a sewer, along with half their assassin team It annoyed me so much because their deaths felt so UNNECESSARY, like they were just a way for Collins to emphasize that this is a DEATHLY SERIOUS, VERY BLOODY BOOK It felt like she was just randomly and meaninglessly killing off supporting characters because she couldn t bear to part with her main ones Deaths are fine when they re important to the plot, but this felt like death for the sake of death.
Okay, now on to the REAL disappointment of this book Katniss herself One of the reasons why I loved this series was because of Katniss She was strong, resourceful, clever and cunning, she had an amazing survival instinct and she knew how to persevere In Catching Fire, these qualities diminished she was mainly a pawn, a puppet for others to use for their own objectives But she still had some semblance of control and she was still Katniss In Mockingjay, all these traits are scrapped and we get a Katniss clone who is angsty and bitchy and whiny wasn t Bella in Twilight bad enough Half the book, she s throwing herself pity parties in the closet literally Sure, she definitely has reason to be sad and angry, and her life is full of hardships and tragedies But I thought that the Katniss from the Hunger Games, the Katniss who had to keep her family alive since the age of 12, would be able to fight through and persevere I guess I wanted a strong victor, a strong heroine, not a self pitying victim who can t make her own decisions That s another thing that bothered me throughout the whole book, she had no control over ANYTHING, not even her own life and actions She was a empty, lifeless pawn, a zombie if you will, who didn t do anything that wasn t directed or commanded by other people In this novel, I was expecting her to STEP UP, embrace her role as Mockingjay, use her power influence to get involved in the rebellion, take control of her life, and make a difference in the outcome of her world I was expecting to see her grow and change and I was excited for her metamorphosis Instead, we get this weak girl who s shirking all responsibilities, addled on drugs half the time, and lashing out at people the other half Not only did she not improve herself from the first book she was kickass in the first book btw , she got WORSE, an empty shadow of her former self At the beginning, I could understand her confusion, her pain, her reluctance to be the Mockingjay It d be weird if she DIDN T feel this way, if she didn t have that time of indecision and unwillingness But after, I expected her to be strong and work through it, to face her fears and obstacles and choose to do the right thing, to really fight for justice The best things in life never come easy anybody who s done anything has had to overcome obstacles to accomplish their goals When she decided I must be the Mockingjay , my heart soared cheesy but it did and I was rooting for her 100% When I heard her inspirational words during the propos, the fire behind them, my heart soared because I thought Katniss was back But as I kept reading, I realized even though she verbally accepted her role, her mind still wasn t in it and she wasn t in control of herself She didn t grow and become stronger, that s what pisses me off.
The post traumatic stress, the mental breakdowns, the self pity, the self loathing, the nearing of insanity all of these things are realistic, yes, but a bit tiresome and not very interesting to read when it s all the same and the narrator is drowning herself in it in the face of much greater things to the point where it detracts from the plot These feelings shouldn t be the main focus throughout the ENTIRE novel There has to be a turning point when she overcomes all of this and actively decides not to let these obstacles stand in her way Now, many people will say her breakdown istrue to life, and it s what any normal 17 year old girl would feel and go through But, maybe I m weird here, but for some stories, I don t WANT to read about the average, normal teenager I want to read about someone who s a bit special, who s different, who displays traits like courage, heart, perseverance greater than the norm and accomplishesthan the normal, average teen even during the most difficult of times Something that, when you close the book, makes you feel like Wow, they re amazing Inspirational I want to be like that to be honest, I didn t sign up to read a war documentary or some nonfiction account of how war affects its victims I came in expecting a break from reality, a fantasy sci fi young adult novel about a girl who becomes a hero.
In trying to be as realistic as possible, I think Collins chose a pessimistic extreme of realism to portray There are perfectly human people in real life in real circumstances who are able to fight through obstacles and hardships and come out on top without relying on drugs and hiding in closets They can findconstructive and positive ways to deal with their problems Sure, it obviously affects them they re not invincible but they don t lose themselves the way Katniss does Those are the kinds of inspirational stories I wanna read when it comes to these kinds of novels, not this Diary of an Emo Puppet This book was also REALLY anti climactic Whenever Collins finally gave us an exciting scene, as soon as it got intense, Katniss would get knocked out in the midst of things and we d wake up to her in the hospital being treated MAJOR COP OUT, in my opinion Then, of course, comes the inevitable centuries that s what it felt like of us hearing about her in pain and agony Okay, we get it after reading about it the WHOLE novel Now can she please pick herself up and make herself useful Katniss doesn t deserve the title girl who was on fire and to be the main character in such an epic setting and story Sure, she can be on fire, but only when someone sets her on fire or directs her to be on fire, not of her own doing She was soulless and indifferent and cared about herself and her own feelingsthan anyone else s seeing as how she spends most of the novel grieving for herself and almost never for anyone else if the main character, the narrator, doesn t care about anything and has no passion, why should we What s the point when the main character whose eyes we re seeing through has no heart and no passion And what happened to the selfless girl who willingly sacrificed her life to save her sister The things I did like I liked that Katniss had 2 seconds of mental clarity and shot Coin instead of Snow the only time in the book when she was truly thinking clearly and acting of her own accord I wonder if I m giving her too much credit though judging from her selfish one track mind in this book, I fear that she did this only because Coin killed Prim, not because she saw the bigger picture Worse yet, I fear this may just have been a result of Snow s manipulation, not her own decision I also feel the significance and bravery of this smart moment was rendered meaningless by her immediate cowardly reaction instead of having conviction in her action and facing the consequences, she scrambled frantically to find the most painless and quickest way to kill herself She never once in the book acknowledges all she has to live for and all the positive things she still has in her life When a character s will to survive is absent through a whole novel, I as a reader have no desire for them to live either grant their wish already But to continue on I liked learning aboutof the characters in depth Gale who I grew to love evenin this book , Finnick, Annie, Boggs, Johanna, etc I liked the ending passages fitting and beautifully haunting and I liked the songs The Hanging Tree and the meadow one There are probably some other things that I ll update this review with once disappointment and frustration are no longer clouding my brain.
I wouldn t have minded so much if it had been a page turner that was exciting to read, but trying to finish this book felt like a chore When reading for enjoyment starts feeling like a chore, that s the ultimate sign that I dislike the book 90% of the book, Katniss was wandering aimlessly through hallways, drugged out on morphling, hiding in a closet, or lying in a hospital bed I kept waiting, I was so sure it would happen any minute, for the story changing moment when Katniss would pick herself up and say Enough is enough I kept waiting for the moment when the winds would change and she would decide with conviction to actively work through her problems but to my shock, that moment never came This book seriously dragged and dragged and dragged, and just got slower and slower until everyone started dropping dead towards the last quarter of the book The Hunger Games, I couldn t put it down for this, I dreaded picking it up to finish it I did tons of things in between reading this book doing my nails, watching TV, taking a walk, etc because I couldn t read it in one sitting without wanting to gouge my eyes out It was the same reoccurring theme Katniss was manipulated and controlled by everyone around her and she didn t think or do anything of her own will It got old I read all this build up and didn t get rewarded for it And even though the rebels triumphed, I didn t feel anything for them, not relief, not happiness, just nothing I was just detached And none of it was thanks to Katniss her only role in the Capitol s defeat was watching Prim die, getting burned, and waking up in a hospital, where we re TOLD instead of SHOWN how the Capitol fell all while she was unconscious, an occurrence that s way too common in this book Again, anti climactic During the scene when it really mattered I understand the message Collins is trying to convey and I agree with it that war is awful and no one truly wins And good and bad are not clearly defined black and white It got too preachy at certain points though, didn t it And I understand that not all books are unicorns and ponies happy endings, and that this series has always been intense and dark and a bit bleak But that only works when there s an underlying message of hope and of optimism I felt it in the 1st books, but this ending was devoid of all hope and happiness Yes, humans are disgusting creatures who hurt and kill one another, who do horrible things because of greed and selfishness and just pure malice But humans are also capable of love and compassion and kindness, and I wish she d incorporated a bit of that into the story as well so there d be ahopeful ending Even in real life, no matter how bad things may be, there is always hope Isn t that the kind of message you really want young people to be left with Instead of pessimistic doom and give up on mankind I finished the book feeling hopeless and lost and depressed, and not in that deep, profound way where it motivates me to get up off my ass and do something to make a difference.
Gosh, at least Harry was his own person and got to face Voldemort in the end What did Katniss get to do except be an empty canvas for them to paint and feed lines to Though I guess since I m feeling so passionately about all of this, it wasn t a worthless read It was just very, VERY disappointing.
Edit I just re read this review a month or so after I wrote it and I sincerely apologize for my sloppy writing and overindulgence in run on sentences I was in a rush to unleash all my feelings after finishing the book so I wouldn t forget anything I hope this review was understandable and enjoyable anyway That s the end of the review and you can stop here but I wanted to add on and I m thinking those who grew up with Harry Potter like I did can relate So I decided to re read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to prepare myself for the upcoming movie, and to get the bitter taste of Mockingjay out of my mouth, and here s a passage towards the end where Harry s character really touched me and left me in awe Because, said Harry, sometimes you ve got to think aboutthan your own safety Sometimes you ve got to think about the greater good This is war You re seventeen, boy I m of age, and I m going to keep fighting even if you ve given up a few sentences later I m going to keep going until I succeed or I die Don t think I don t know how this might end I ve known it for years Reading it again makes me all emotional and teary all over again, from Dobby s heartfelt burial to Harry s courageous walk to his death in the forest, knowing fully well what awaits him and yet willing to sacrifice himself for others and for a better world all the while, struggling with his fears and the temptation to run away and I swear, tears of pride and joy sprang from my eyes and exhilaration shot through my veins when Harry, the boy we grew up with, stepped up as a man and faced his enemy with confidence, strength, wisdom.
Whatever faults the last HP book may have, I just have to say Thank you, Harry, for giving me hope again and proving there are still admirable heroes in young literature.
I m never very good at predicting outcomes Nothing I could ve predicted would have been quite as good as this Although I did get close a very distant close on a few things, and I was right in saying that it wouldn t be walking through a field of flowers and sunshine A book like this just couldn t be.
It s good, and yet not good Because it s good in a very heartbreaking, chilling, haunting, intense way.
Katniss is a different person from the first two books I found her softer,thoughtful, and alsoopen granted, she s still kind of a brat sometimes But don t we all have our moments In the first two books, even though the story is told by her, she s very closed off with us This book is filled withemotion, and I liked her best in this book, even though it s a tragedy of sorts As I m stewing over the novel I read every word of yesterday, I think, Did I really love it And then, How could I love it I shake my head I can t love something so terribly sad and at times grotesque Something so painful Truthfully, I don t think I loved it Love isn t the right word It was a fantastic novel I don t think I can come up with any better way for a trilogy of this kind to come to a close The perfect note of sadness and sweetness, pain and healing all mixed up in a jumble This book was farsevere than the first two Much harder to read, and withemotional depth, I think Sometimes I just had to close the book for a while and breathe because I needed to stop for a bit, to regroup myself so I could get through a certain part Collins wove in a few questions to ponder Where do you draw the line Do you give just what you got Should you show mercy to those who haven t shown mercy to you Is it right to kill innocent people just because the leaders on their side of the line killed innocent people on your side Contrary to what some believe, this is not an anti war book Actually, I think Collins is trying to get us to ask ourselves questions about what justifies war, and where the line should be drawn between justice and vengeance Not that we shouldn t fight, but that we know what s worth fighting for.
Several notable characters die It s painful, and it hurts to read it Some believe that these characters didn t get enough homage But since this is told from first person, maybe it s just too painful for Katniss to dwell on those deaths The last three pages make all the heavy, intense, painfulness of the rest of the book almost worth it, in a strange way Bittersweet is the perfect word The sense of loss underlying the message that life really does goes on, even when we don t see how it possibly can Sometimes we need a little help to pick ourselves off the floor and start again I wasn t disappointed with the ending, but I am disappointed that it s the end It left me feeling emotionally drained and like I d lost something I m not sure if I m shell shocked or simply worn out by the intensity of it all I m glad, in a way, that it ended like it did I m also sad, and a little confused Not because I didn t like the ending, but because I simply feel emptied out for the time being I just wishI wish that there could have beenhappiness for these characters that I love so much I think that unfulfilled wish is, at the end of the day, why I m feeling this way right now In time the feeling will pass, I know, but at the moment I m sorry for it No matter how I enjoyed this book and I did, I really did , I m in a sort of grieving state Happiness was there in the end, but it just wasn t enough to compensate for all the sadness Then again, I think that was the point.
It s a very rare thing to find a trilogy like this one, and I ll always hold a place in my heart for the girl who was on fire pre release Waiting for this is torturous I finished Catching Fire and wanted this in my hands immediately.
Oh Suzanne, please let Peeta live without becoming seriously maimed again , either I know it s stupid, but I want a happy ending Not like uber happy, of course, I m not unrealisticbut I just want to finish this trilogy humming and skipping around the house yeah, laugh I don t care rather than lying around depressed afterwards wondering what went wrong cause I just hate when that happens.
S I m not making any predictions because it feels like either my wishful thinking or my most dreaded outcome I can t find a balance in between Call me weird All I can say without bias is that the ending will not be all walkin in a field of flowers and happiness P Update 11 28 14 So, of course I had to read it again after getting only half of the story from the Mockingjay movie Unsurprisingly, cried and cried again My feelings basically remain the same about this installment Structurally, the novel is quite messy There is such a big game going on and Katniss motivations and actions don t always make sense to me But the ending is brilliant, especially the final chapters I need something to cheer me up ASAP.
Let s face it, a series is only as good as its last book Is a kitchen towel drenched in my tears a good indicator of the quality of Mockingjay I think it is, considering that I am not a crying over books type I think this book is a FANTASTIC ending of a FANTASTIC series.
The book is lying next to me now, so deceitful in appearance, with its innocent, bright, cheerful cover Who knew there would be so much darkness hidden between its pages, so much heartache Mockingjay is indeed a DARK, DARK book full of deaths, sacrifices, torture, betrayal and despair, a book which takes you to a very disturbing but very real place.
I have no doubt the novel will have thousands of readers livid, especially the crowd of readers who mistakenly think The Hunger Games trilogy is mostly dedicated to Team Gale Team Peeta dilemma with some revolt thrown in as a picturesque backdrop These books are about love indeed, but they are also about survival, freedom, and peace I find it amazing that people are disappointed that Katniss doesn t take a Katniss becomes a superwoman and takes over the world while deciding on which boy to pick route How realistic is it to expect a child damaged by hunger, oppression, and violence she had to witness and take a part in, and thrown into the midst of all kinds of political intrigue, to achieve that How many soldiers do you know who came out of a war unscathed or empowered by the atrocities they have witnessed How many children This is why this book has such a great effect on me It takes a very difficult but honest route, portraying the infinitely damaging consequences of war regardless of the righteousness of its cause and Katniss s journey to stay true to herself and do the best she can And the love triangle resolution Truly, it couldn t have ended any other way.
Is Mockingjay a perfectly written book Absolutely not, it s not nearly as perfectly constructed or clear as The Hunger Games, but just like another imperfectly perfect successful series finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows it brings its message across in the most honest and powerful way possible.
Suzanne Collins is a genius, she is fearless and I have a great respect for the gutsiness of hers that didn t allow her to settle for an ending all wrapped up in pink paper with a perfect little bow I am sure she knew that the faint of heart would be enraged But she stuck to her guns and stayed true to her message and to her characters.
The question now is how will I recover from PTSD of my own caused by Mockingjay It will probably take me months and a score of Georgia Nicolson diaries to get over it But I love this book anyway, in spite and because of all the pain it has caused me Real.