Google+ Reading Teen: Finally, My Thoughts on Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Finally, My Thoughts on Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

 
 So, I was going through my old posts, looking for something to post today, and came across this.  I guess I never posted it, because I was just so angry and disappointed.  Plus, I think I had talked so much about it, that I was sick of talking about it.  And also, I feel like there were so many things that bothered me that I couldn't get it all down.  But, I thought it might be fun to post this, and see if anyone is interested in it.  So, here are my bitter and resentful thoughts on Mockingjay! :P
8-30-2010
*spoilers galore*
After reading Mockingjay all day on Tuesday, I left Wednesday morning to go on vacation for my anniversary.  All I could think about was Mockingjay.  You might think that's a good sign, like it was so well done that I couldn't forget about it.  But, for me, it wasn't.  I was so disappointed in this book.  Honestly, if I hadn't loved the first two books so much, I probably would've ditched this one in the middle and never given it another thought.  But, I was so emotionally invested in these characters by the time Mockingjay came out that now I'm just left feeling angry and empty.

I expected it to be amazing.  Why wouldn't I?  Suzanne Collins is obviously capable of writing amazing books.   There were so many things that I felt were inconsistent and unanswered. I also thought there was way too much information about people we weren't emotionally invested in. And I just really, really missed Peeta. I think his personality is SO important to the books, and it just wasn't there!

Here are some of the things that really bothered me:
  • Gale and Katniss never would have left Peeta at Tigress' like that. They were so against it, then all of a sudden they just say ok and give him a pill to kill himself?
  • It seemed inconsistent with Gale's character to not care who gets killed in the "nut" and with the bombs he was making. I just didn't buy that. It seemed to me that Suzanne heard that everyone expected Katniss and Gale to get together so she changed it and had to think of a way Katniss would leave Gale. And then Gale just gives up and moves to district 2?  Like he would just do that!  It makes no sense!
  • I can't believe we didn't get more info about Cinna. After all we invested in him, and we don't even know what happened???
  • We never found out what Gale was going to say before the first Hunger Games, before he's taken away ("Remember, I...")
  • Finnick....that's all I'm going to say.
  • The entire book was depressing and there was no hope to pick us back up like in the other books. There was just so much focus on the bad and nothing good. And the entire reason Katniss went to the games to begin with was to save Prim and then she dies anyway? I was left at the end feeling empty, like what was the point in this entire series?
  • The ending drove me crazy because it was like Katniss and Peeta just got together because they were both there. Not because they loved each other. After all that....the least she could give us was some serious love. It was just like Gale said, she only loved them when they were in pain.
  •  It seemed kind of ridiculous that they've been in captivity for years and years and years, then all of a sudden they decide to fight, and most of the districts just crumble, easy-as-pie?  Except for the one, of course, where they can't win until Katniss saves the day with her bow-and-arrow....uh...yeah.  If you're going to make a book that is mostly about war, you have to at least make the war believable.  
  • I think, for me, the book was all about the war and not about the people. The first two were about the games, but more about the people, and their relationships. I missed that.
  • Then there was her depression.  I know that she went through a lot, but isn't she the one who totally dissed her mom for "checking out" and becoming depressed after her dad was killed?  I just don't feel like the Katniss that Collins created in the first two books, would have behaved the way she did in Mockingjay.   Oh, and p.s. Watch your back, Katniss, cause Peeta might flip at any moment and stab you while you're looking the other way?
  • I really would have been happy no matter who Katniss ended up with. But I feel like it was portrayed that the only reason she didn't end up with Gale was because of the bomb. But since he made one mistake (don't worry about all the innocent people she killed, and horrible ways she treated people) he was out, and since Peeta was still around, she went with him. After all we invested in the characters, I felt like we deserved more, and so did they.
  • Katniss was supposed to be fighting against a government that got to decide who lived and who died, based on what they wanted or didn't want.  So, how is what she did at the end, shooting Coin just because she decided on her own that Coin shouldn't be allowed to rule?  So, it's ok to kill whoever you want, as long as you don't like what they stand for?  This one point seemed to ruin all credibility for me.  She's no better than the rest of them.
I felt like instead of keeping the characters consistent with the personality she created for them in the first two books, she changed their personalities to fit an ending she couldn't otherwise make happen.  It seriously makes me sad, because these book were so incredible, and I feel like they were ruined for me, by this last book.  I know there are people who loved it, and I'm sure I'll hear from you :) but for me, this book was just wrong.

(After reading some comments I will add)
Ok, I completely understand everyone saying that this was a very bad situation, and that war is hard, and that Katniss, of course, is suffering from PTSD.  I know all this and I agree, if anyone went through all that she went through, they'd have every right to go bonkers and hate the world.

HOWEVER!

I didn't pick up a book about war and depression and hopelessness when I picked up The Hunger Games.  I picked up a book that had some difficult issues, but still had love, moments of happiness, friendship, excitement, and most of all HOPE.  I have read books with similar feels to Mockingjay (GRACE by Elizabeth Scott comes to mind) and I am ok with those, because that's what the author sold me when I bought the book.  What makes me so upset about Mockingjay was that it was a bait and switch.  I never would have picked up this book if I hadn't already been invested in the characters.  I just don't have any desire to be this depressed about a book.  It doesn't interest me.  I want to read a book where I am swept away into another world.  And part of me, even though it might be crazy, wants to BE the character in the book.  I wanted to BE Katniss in THG & CF.  But who on earth would want to be her in MJ?  I guess what I'm saying is that I feel lied to.  I feel duped.  She hooked me with one type of book, then stuck me with another.  With a book I never would have wanted to read in the first place.  And that makes me mad....

Sad, and maybe a little too investedly yours,









If you'd like to read our entire crew's thoughts on The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, you can read them here (they are much happier)!

124 comments:

  1. OH MY GOSH YES!!!!! DITTO ON EVERYTHING YOU SAID!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Finnick... heart: broken.

    I cried so hard with him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agreed. :..( my new lifelong goal: kill every lizard i see

      Delete
    2. dont u dare kill an innocent creature because of the stupidity of this book. your no better than Snow!

      Delete
    3. I kinda agree, but still FINNICK WAS BOSS AND MRS. SUZANNE FRIGGN' COLLINS DECIDES HEY LET"S KILL HIM I'M SO DISGUSTED OF HER NOW.

      Delete
  3. I have to agree with you on everything that you said. The whole book was just a wash and didn't really stay true to anyone. She was suppose to be this great leader, The Mockingjay, yet in the end everything just fell apart. Basically everyone dies and she is left with Peeta not because she loves him more than Gale but just because he was the only one to stick around for her.

    ReplyDelete
  4. YES!! ALEXA!! THANK YOU!! I'm not the only sane one on the planet (Along with Kit and Amy who agree....and Abigaile didn't even finish it!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can't say everything that bothered you bothered me, but I definitely feel you on Gale's mysterious disappearance. I don't even mind that Katniss ended up with Peeta, but shouldn't she at least TRY to resolve things with her BFF?

    And yeah, the quick-and-easy war bothered me a bit. I thought it was because I was a guy. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I loved all three books and I thought Mockingjay was a brilliant end to the trilogy.
    Okay the ending was a bit rushed but I thought Collins was brave to kill off some of the major characters. Prim and Finnick; for me their deaths happened so fast I had to re-read those scenes. At first I did think “What was the point of Katniss going through the Hunger Games when the person she did so much to save died in the end anyway?” But that was one of the many factors of the book that made people think it was so wrong – that it made it right.
    Let me explain myself.

    A lot of people didn’t like how different Katniss was in this book, how her character was so broken and weak. But for me that’s how she changed and developed as a character. The first two books Katniss was as strong as she always had been, but by the third book, she’s breaking apart. She’s seen so much violence, so much death and on top of that she doesn’t know what’s happening to Peeta, all of this comes together and it’s just too much for her. I thought Katniss losing it MADE the book, because it showed us just how hard it was to live in the Capitol. Gale remained the same because he never entered the arena, he didn’t have to kill in order to survive over and over again. Katniss went through it not once but twice. And then she’s made the symbol of rebellion, putting her in charge of many more lives. I think it made a lot of sense for Collins to finally show Katniss’ weak side coming out.
    True she did have a problem with her mum being in a similar state but her mother forgot to take care of her two daughters, Katniss never forgot to take care of Prim.
    Whereas in some books a character develops by becoming stronger, for Katniss it was the opposite. Her development was her breakdown.

    Another thing for me that was brilliant: Peeta’s mental breakdown.
    Again, it’s been an issue, I know a lot of readers who didn’t like it, but it worked for me. I was totally Team Gale until Mockingjay. Not because Gale became unattractive all of a sudden but because by seeing Peeta broken I realised how much I loved him. I never could hate Peeta because he was too nice to hate, and in this book Collins showed me just how perfect Peeta had been.
    For me Katniss didn’t end up with Peeta because he was just there because after reading Mockingjay I have no doubt that Katniss fell for Peeta in the first book. She loved Gale yes, but Peeta was the peace that she needed, he was easily lovable and in return he loved her very much, so her ending up with him was perfect.
    Gale was always there, strong and firm, but I do think his lack of understanding of the Hunger Games lost him. He was a fighter but Katniss knew the true brutality of the war. I think we should have had more information on what happened to him in the end, but it made sense to see why he and Katniss couldn’t end up together when they would constantly be reminding each other of Prim’s death. Now I don’t think the ending was FAIR for him, but Peeta and Katniss healed each other in a way Gale wasn’t able to.

    For me it all came together in the end.
    (Sorry for the essay!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it's true what you said. i also agree with other things that andrea said. it's hard to see it in your way when you're so angry about all the sadness of the book.
      now to me, yes, i loved the book, and yes, i was also a little disapointed, but the only thing that really botherd me the most whas finnicks death. that's all. is he had lived i would had love it 99,9%. cause there is a lot of people who survives war, and finnick could have been one of them. he still had a lot to give. i trully think that his death specifically was a wrong move. i can even understand prims's death. and the 00,1% is because i hoped we had a little more from the epilogue. it was great, just a little too short for al the violence and sadness from the book.
      but you're wright with all the other points of the book.

      Delete
    2. I agree with Sheepa. People fail to see that Katniss was falling in love with Peeta since the first book but could not accept it. I read the trilogy 4 times and compared the reactions of Katniss towards Gale and Peeta. She loved them in different ways buy only felt stirring inside when she kissed Peeta so she didn't stay with him just because he was there she loved him.

      Delete
    3. Thank you , You helped me swallow the Mockingjay a Bit more < I do think if your read closer , That you can see In The hunger game Katniss is strong wonderful , Catching fire you can see that she is breaking a bit in her morale, and Mockingjay , She's pushed to the breaking point. And I always loved Peeta It hurt when he was tortured and confused. and then altered completely. and yes they are eachothers Pillars. I do love these books, and perhaps they were rushed because Suzanne possibly was Hurt her self Its not easy being a writer , and she basically had to kill off all her creations in one swoop. I think The Author mourned as much as us , and so she tried ending it as quickly as she could before she changed her mind and re wrote the whole thing and gave us that Happy ending we wanted , and perhaps she wanted too. BUT sometimes the lesson is grater. The human mind can only take so much before It breaks. I think she ended perfectly.

      Delete
  7. "She's no better than the rest of them."


    YESSSS!!! Exactly!!! *points, waves, dies of pointing and waving, is resureccted for the cause, dives off a stage, wins the Hunger Games, Kisses Peeta... wait, what?*

    ReplyDelete
  8. ugh I feel the same way I couldn't stop thinking about it for days because the ending pissed me off and if the copy i was reading wasn't borrowed I would have thrown against the wall! Seriously though..I felt like Katniss and Peeta were just so incredibly worn out by the end of the series and like you said they got together because they were just there. But deep deeep deeep down i know he was the right choice. I still get mad when I think about it but to be honest Collins is a frickin beast if after all this time my emotions are stirred up so much. It's a love/hate relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I liked the book overall but do agree that it was really freaking depressing.

    Yeah, I think way too many people ended up dying and not finding out what happened to Cinna was crazy. I was hoping for a much happier ending then the one that did happen.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think with all the loose threads at the end of this one, that it would have made a better ending to book 2, with 3 being them picking up the pieces and putting everything back together. There's so much "here's what happened while you were asleep/passed out/away" that it felt like another book of material hidden in the shadows. Plus Prim coming from out of nowhere just to die. As if not enough characters had been thrown under the bus at that point.
    Buried in here is a really great story. I can see it out of the corner of my eye, but when I turn to get a good look it disappears. I wanted more out of this series.
    On a personal note, I love how the series is awash in horrific violence, but the sex is nonexistent. Gotta make sure we protect the children, you know. *rolls eyes* (come on, can't she jump someone? even "off-camera"?)
    Personal opinions, obviously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's a seventeen y o virgin - duh

      Delete
    2. I'm totally with you... lots of violence, but she never kisses Peeta or demostrates her love for him, NOT GIRL ON FIRE AFTER ALL... sorry for my english, Im latin, I can read it, but cant wirte properly, if I could i would write all the anger that im feeling right now... I just finish the book..

      Delete
  11. A lot of people didn't like how drastically the characters changed in this one. I think it showed how war changes, dehumanizes and traumatizes people. I think in a lot of ways the first two books are all action and this is a novel about the aftermath of war and PTSD. But those things inevitably come with war, and I Loved that Collins faced these facts head on.

    Those are my two cents, though. I'm sorry this one disappointed you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Definitely agree with a lot of what you said! Especially the points about Gale. I mean come on you don't have to completely corrupt his character just so Katniss won't end up with him. :P And Finnick and Prim? No words. Talk about heatbreaking. I realize Suzanne Collins was trying to send a message about the horror of war but gosh did it really have to SO DEPRESSING? One thing I did think was brilliant was Peetas hijacking. For one I was like "Peetas finally human!!!" XD (since he's like normally way too perfect) and for two it really showed how much he cared for Katniss. He proved his love and I thought that was great. Oh but my favorite part of the book? The assasination of Coin. I was litterally running around my house like YES! Haha. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coin was responsible for Prim's death. 13 y o's don't get sent into war unless someone way high sets it up. Snow told Katniss that Coin set up the bombs to gain sympathy and killing Prim was a way to control Katniss. Snow and Katniss agreed not to lie to each other.

      Delete
  13. Have to agree with you. The first Hunger Games was brilliant and I soo wish they'd have left it there. The second was a bit pointless, but good, then the third. Big mistake. By the time I finished it it was all a bit meh.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You made some interesting points here that I hadn't really thought about but I think the whole point of Mockingjay was to show the effects of war and that Katniss truly was no better. I certainly was hoping for a happier ending, but I was glad Peeta and Katniss ended up together in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  15. U R SOOOOOO RIGHT!!!!!!!!
    HOW CAN ANY1 <3 MOCKINGJAY I MEAN...IT'S SOOO SAD AND SOO POINTLESS IT'S LIKE A STANDALONE BOOK.I H8ED IT!!!!
    I <3 PEETA AND SHE RUINED HIM!!!!!!!
    GALE ALSO CHANGED DRATICALLY AND KAITNESS'S OPTIMISM WENT OUT OF THE WINDOW. i felt betrayed after reading this book :(

    ReplyDelete
  16. I read and loved the first two books as you did. I started Mockingjay when it came out but quickly couldn't stand it. I put it down. When I finally picked it back up recently I struggled through it. Then I was depressed for days thinking about it. I agree with so many of the points you said. But no one wants to hear that this book isn't fabulous. I think what happened to Peeta and how his personality changed was the worst part for me. It's like he died only worse. You're right that his personality made the book. I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)

    @StuckInBooks

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ok, I completely understand everyone saying that this was a very bad situation, and that war is hard, and that Katniss, of course, is suffering from PTSD. I know all this and I agree, if anyone went through all that she went through, they'd have every right to go bonkers and hate the world.


    HOWEVER!


    I didn't pick up a book about war and depression and hopelessness when I picked up The Hunger Games. I picked up a book that had some difficult issues, but still had love, moments of happiness, friendship, excitement, and most of all HOPE. I have read books with similar feels to Mockingjay (GRACE by Elizabeth Scott comes to mind) and I am ok with those, because that's what the author sold me when I bought the book. What makes me so upset about Mockingjay was that it was a bait and switch. I never would have picked up this book if I hadn't already been invested in the characters. I just don't have any desire to be this depressed about a book. It doesn't interest me. I want to read a book where I am swept away into another world. And part of me, even though it might be crazy, wants to BE the character in the book. I wanted to BE Katniss in THG & CF. But who on earth would want to be her in MJ? I guess what I'm saying is that I feel lied to. I feel duped. She hooked me with one type of book, then stuck me with another. With a book I never would have wanted to read in the first place. And that makes me mad....

    ReplyDelete
  18. Katniss's depression really bugged me too - she was not the hide in the closet until a man comes to rescue me or forces me out kind of girl. She just wasn't. I get psychotic breaks, but she would have gone the other way - on a violent rampage or run away.

    This was a tough book, bad stuff had to happen and I kind of didn't mind that Prim died anyway - that seemed kind of right, not everyone could come out unharmed. I don't know - there was just no way to make every reader happy and still tell a tale about war and a bad society.

    I do agree 100% this one seemed more about the war and less about the people, which seemed to be the issue.

    Excellent review/thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  19. As someone said in another comment, I think Collins did a great job with portraying just how war effects the mind, body, and soul.
    I know that some of the characters that died were heart breaking, but not everyone makes it out. Though I did bawl like a baby when Finnick died...I had to re-read that part just to make sure I read it correctly...

    I never felt like Gale just gave up and disappeared. He killed the girl he 'loves' little sister...all because he was vengeful. He knew he couldn't stay around. He had let war change him in the worst way possible.
    And she killed Coin so that she couldn't take her revenge and have another Hunger Games. She killed the one to save thousands.

    Even though I did end up crying through over half the book (that I didn't like), I like how everything was tied up.
    Except I agree with that I would have liked to see some more sparks between Peeta and Katniss. I know not all love is fireworks, but just a little more would have been nice. And I know we were supposed to just "know" that Cinna was killed...but confirming that would have been nice.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I agree - MockingJay ruined the series for me. War is bad, blah, blah, blah - but to have such a fatalistic ending to a series that inspired hope for change up until that point was so deflating....

    ReplyDelete
  21. I totally agree with you! Another reason that made me want to throw the book across the room and just slap Katniss in MJ was that at the end she decides that they should do another Hunger Games for the kids from the capitol! WTHeck????!!! Wasn't it the Hunger Games, which they don't want anymore, that made them all even more rebellious? I know that Katniss said she votes "Yes for Prim" but um I don't think that Prim would've want for other kids to die! And it wasn't the capitol who killed Prim (I hope I understood that right, it was Gales bomb right? I don't wanna make any false accusations here :P) plus the kids in the capitol are innocent! They don't have anything to do with the decisions of their parents! URGH! I'm getting mad again, because I loved THG and CF so much and was super excited for Mockingjay and then baaaaaaam huge disappointment. :( I won't even comment on the Finnick story except: :,(
    and um yeah I stop ranting now because well Suzanne Collins is a great writer and as I already said I loved the first 2 books! Just one thing: Katniss always said how much she doesn't wanna play a part in the games of other people anymore but in the end she always did it anyways urgh!
    ok enough, all I have left to say is: great review I totally agree with you.(and with Sarah Anne with all the hope for change thingy :D)

    ReplyDelete
  22. *CLAPS HANDS*

    EVERYTHING you said is exactly how I feel about this book,

    I feel cheated on, this book CAN'T be the final installment for The HUNGER GAMES series!
    The Hunger Games is everything this book is not!

    so sad it had to end that way T_T
    I'm especially sorry cause ALL the characters were fantastic! they deserved better than what she did to them (completely forget about them, Cinna; kill them off with lizzards, Finnick; connecting them to Prim's dead and sending them to a "fancy job" in district 2, Gale) and I could go on.

    Also, didn't she LOVED Prim the most in the whole world, then why didn't she paid more attention to her, it's like she didn't even speak to her more than a few words in the whole book! and don't get me started with all the whining and how she was always kissing Peeta or Gale, and getting their hopes up, when it felt like neither of them matter to her!

    But anyway this review is perfection, really.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I loved Peeta from the start. Didn't like Gale at all.

    MOCKINGJAY WAS THE MOST HEARTACHING BOOK I HAVE READ!

    I have constantly had flashbacks to Peeta in the Hunger Games. like "How about that kiss?....Dr.Everdeen.....Don't step on me......ready for another show?" :'(

    I wished sooo bad that at the end Snow might mention that there is a chip in Peeta's head which had a password that Katniss could get IF she killed Coin. (then Snow cud ddie from the stampede)

    Then having the sweet Peeta back would have been like a heavy disappointing curtain lift from the book and then Katniss could really love him ...fully. (nn he could have saved Prim)

    Everyone should have gone back to 12 and no bombing thing on Gale's part. Also, I felt Peeta and Gale needed a fight! They were hitting right off the bat which is weird considering they both think the other will win her.

    The PITY Collins creates for Peeta is a punch in the guts. Katniss cud have the sang the song from their Kindergarten and Peeta could have revived! just like he says "I remeber the bread."

    I MISSED PEETA'S WITTY USE OF WORDS!:'(
    I call for a re-write.:\

    ReplyDelete
  24. Peetalover~ Yes!! I totally agree. Something should have happened to bring Peeta back. I think I might have been able to deal with the disappointment of the rest of the book if only Peeta had returned to himself!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that Peeta did return to himself; I know that this is not spelled out, but I think it is tacitly made clear. The first thing he does when he returns is to plant flowers in Prim's memory -- at Katniss' house. Why should he do that if he was not the "old" Peeta who is loving and caring to others, particularly Katniss. And the next thing we hear, he's at her door bearing bread, symbol of life, for her breakfast. And when Katniss says they grew together again and that she needed "the dandelion in the spring," I think it's clear that she loves him for his special qualities, not just because he's there. The problem for the reader is that throughout the other books, things have been more spelled out, but in the end of MJ, things are more subtle.

      I had many of the same complaints as you did about the third book; particularly about Finnick's sudden death, Prim's being in harm's way in the Capitol coming out of nowhere, and Gale's disappearance to District 2 in such a dismissive way. I still think each of those needed either more build-up or follow-up, but the ending with Peeta seems quite right for two such damaged people as they were at that point.

      Delete
    2. I say that about Peeta because the book says that every now and then he has to grip the back of the chair, until he gets through his flashbacks, like he has to watch it or he'll snap. And I guess I just wasn't satisfied with "we grew back together". After all that we invested into this series, I think we deserved more. I just really missed Peeta in this book. :(

      Delete
    3. She just ended up with Peeta because he was there. She knew if they kissed enough she would get that "warm feeling" They only had kids after many many years because he wouldn't stop pestering her.

      Overall I've never been so PO'd at a book ever! I walked around foe over two weeks wondering WTF happened. You were so right about bait and switch after HG and CF (powerful and full of hope) and MJ where it seemed she was given 1/2 hr to finish the last 50 pages so she did it while going through that depression cloud with the eyes you see on the TV commercial.

      Delete
  25. First off, I completely and whole-heartedly agree with everything you wrote about the book. For me it was an incredible disappointment, especially considering how much potential it had.

    The absolute last straw for me was when the main characters (minus Peeta who doesn’t really count at this point in the book given his insanity) all agreed to continue the Hunger Games, making the Capitol citizens’ children participate in them. This completely destroyed any remaining respect that I had for the series and the author.

    I also wanted to comment on the bomb that killed Prim. Whether it was right or not to kill her off, I don’t know. I think I could have dealt with it either way if the rest of the story had gone well (like if Katniss voted against the Hunger Games in Prim’s memory). However, even though I know it was Gale’s bomb that killed her, that doesn’t mean that it was Gale’s fault. The way I took it was that Coin simply used his design to kill Prim in order to “stick it” to Katniss. Then Katniss just blows it out of proportion and blames Gale, and he’s certainly not going to argue against her because he does feel guilty for it even though it’s not really his fault.

    Here’s my idea for an alternate ending:
    Peeta heroically sacrifices himself to save Gale and with his final breath reminds Katniss that there is still good in the world, she just has to be brave enough to find it. Gale and Katniss then capture the president together, but as they are leaving they see Gale’s bomb kill Prim. The council is held to determine the future of the Hunger Games and we see Katniss’s internal struggle with her anger over Prim’s death. She stands up to tell them to continue the games for Prim, but hears Peeta’s final words to her again. Moved by his self-sacrifice and goodness, she gives an emotional speech on how they cannot allow themselves to become that which they were fighting against. Coin is brought to trial for the murder of the medics and she and Snow are sentenced to death. Paylor is then elected president of Panem. Gale and Katniss make up and renew their bond as they begin the work to rebuild the nation. In the epilogue we see that Katniss and Gale are married, with kids, and live in a cottage in the woods outside district 12. While both admit that they will never be the same as they were before, they are always inspired to be better whenever they think of Peeta.

    Just my thoughts :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I agree with your assessment 100%! These were my exact thoughts about Mockingjay, too. I was SO disappointed with the ending that I was in a "funk" afterward. I was warned that I might not like book 3 but, like you, I had already invested too much in the characters to not read it. And I don't care what the good points were in this book- the bad far outweighed any of them. I wish Collins had invested as much in the characters as her readers do.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am so glad I read your blog...it spoke to me so much! Everything you said is exactly how i feel! I had so many expectations for the final book because I thought the first two were AMAZING!...but i was very disappointed. I was VERY upset on how she handled the subject with Peeta in Mockingjay. I loved how strong and wise he was in the first two books. He loved Katniss no matter what, and I thought that was adorable. He was simply my favorite character because of how perfect he was. Collins totally destroyed the Peeta I knew and loved in Mockingjay. It made me so sad and angry...especially the fact that Peeta never went back to being his normal and adorable self. I kept hoping that Katniss would show Peeta the pearl he had given her or remind him of the time he had seen her at school for the first time singing. I hoped that Peeta would then remember everything with all the moments they had shared together...but it never happened. Collins left us with a different Peeta who didn't love Katniss in the same way. Even in the end, I wasn't reassured that Peeta was back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lexi, that is so true! I think that if, in the end, Peeta had come back to himself, that I would have glimpsed a bit of hope, and maybe I could have been satisfied with this ending, but as it is, it just makes me so angry! I feel like I not only wasted my time, but have this hole that I wouldn't have had if I never read the books. I feel like it's all still so unresolved. When I talk to people who loved the last book, it's usually because they wanted Peeta and Katniss together, so they're happy. But to me, that wasn't Peeta!

      Thanks for commenting!! Maybe we'll get lucky and the directors will totally change the movie! haha

      Delete
    2. I totally agree!!...it wasn't the same Peeta! I miss him...

      Let's keep our fingers crossed for the movie!

      Delete
    3. Peeta was broken but he didn't bend. I hated a lot of Mockingjay but I thought when Peeta was arguing against having another Hunger Games with the Capitol kids...that was the moment that I knew that even though the character was broken, his core identity remained. They might have broken him but they couldn't make him bend. Peeta's arc is wholly about identity and being true to oneself. He said so in TH G and even when his soul and mind gets ripped apart by whatever they do to him, the character doesn't bend to it. He retains his core nature.

      Delete
  28. now everytime I see a lizard I'm like, "WHYYYYY!" yes. I hate lizards now.
    I don't really care how Gale ended up in the end becuase I hate him. He acted like a jerk the whole book and he dragged Katniss away instead of letting her save Finnick.
    and I missed Peeta. I wish we would've seen more of him in Mockingjay.
    also, nobody else on her talked about Haymitch! i LOVE haymitch! I wish he would've been included in the fighting, but I guess I'm Just glad he didnt die too. Like Prim *cry*
    despite the depressing feel of Mockingjay, I think I liked it. Even though I just shut it at the end and was kinda like,"what? that's all?" we never heard the end of alot of poeples stories, such as Annie, Haymitch, etc. plus Cinna didn't get a good death scene. But I guess if you want a warm fuzzy story you can't get thta from the Hunger Games. But I wanted more Katniis/peeta romance!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I do not agree with any fudging thing that you said.
    First of all:

    Cinna is obviously dead. I don't know how stupid YOU are, but the point of some books are to make you assume, and frankly, this is a very easy assumption.

    Again on this one, (though I am not ENTIRELY sure about it), when Gale says, "Remember, I..." Well, um, I'm pretty sure most people, (most normal people I guess), would assume he says, "Remember, I LOVE YOU!!!" Sorry, but seriously, WHAT ELSE WOULD HE BE SAYING?!?!?

    Okay, your complaining about this book having no hope left. Let me just yell this straight out there...... THAT IS THE FUDGING POINT!!!!!!!!! Im sorry, but this book isn't really supposed to be filled with hope. Its supposed to be incredibly depressing because that's how the whole message of the trilogy comes through. If everything really ended okay in the book then we wouldn't still be feeling hatred towards Snow, the Capitol, the hunger games. We might, but the point of this ending was to show how truly bad the Capitol was, and how cruel and uncaring Snow and other people are.

    You also mentioned Prim's death being annoying because the point was for Katniss to save Prim like the day of the reaping. Again, stupid, that's the POINT!!! She couldn't save her beloved sister because of the terrible world, the terrible people.

    You also had a little dig at the Coin situation at the end. You said something on the lines of "oh so now she can just go on and decide to kill Coin because she doesn't want her to rule?" Okay, seriously? You've got this whole thing wrong. She killed Coin because Coin was bad, wanted to kill her, only cared about power. I'm not really sure what is wrong with your mind, person, clearly something though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All I have to say is this:

      When your argument is so feeble that you have to start attacking the actual person who wrote the post instead of just stating your points, you should probably just keep your mouth shut.

      ~Kit

      Delete
    2. Wait...Cinna is dead??? I had NO IDEA!! Thanks for pointing that out. hahaha

      Delete
    3. Jade must have finished the book and have been PO'd as much as I was and had a psychotic attack. You were so right Kit - If your only argument is to pick on the poster - you're truly a dud.

      Delete
  30. Oh, I forgot one thing...

    About peeta never being the same, (yes, it was incredibly depressing, made me cry), that was also another message of the book. No one will EVER be the same because of what they went through. Especially Peeta, who's undeniable love for Katniss was partially taken away by the evil capitol.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I disliked a lot of Mockingjay but not for the same reasons you disliked it, I think. I actually loved the fatalistic tone and the brokenness in Mockingjay. I just wasn't a fan of the execution and the details. I am also a fervent believer in the fact that once you get past a certain age, you shouldn't expect your fictional "heroes" to be people whom you want to be or whom you want to emulate. Rather, let them have their grounded character arcs and enjoy the fullness of that narrative.

    As someone from a war-ravaged country ruled by dictators that send child soldiers into battle, I loved that both Peeta and Katniss still bore the marks of the Hunger Games on their souls. Realistically, that type of ish is not something people forget. For those of us like me who actually grew up being oppressed and hearing our neighbors being taken away for being gay or for being political dissidents and seeing some come back forever changed and others never coming back at all, Katniss felt quite organic and real. PTSD, anyone?

    I have several issues with how Suzanne Collins wrote certain things. How she lazily resolved the "triangle" for one things -tbh, I never saw this as a triangle...even from the first book, it was obvious Katniss would end up with Peeta. I'm surprised that people actually thought that Gale was a real option. He was less developed for one thing and there were thematic and narrative clues indicating what the ultimate endgame would be. The gender politics of that relationship was more subversive as well. Also, Gale's opinions on war was juxtaposed against Peeta's and where that led both characters made it clear to me what Suzanne was intending.

    I could see authorial intent a mile away when Prim was killed indirectly because of Gale's participation in war-mongering. And I don't like seeing the author's intent in such a heavy-handed manner.

    Back to the point. I had issues with her pacing. Holy...did I have issues with her pacing. I thought the senselessness of the deaths weighs heavily after a while. It got to the point that when Prim died, I didn't feel anything. That's either supposed to be a clever reflection of how Katniss started to feel - numb and broken - or it was unintended. Either way, I felt that either the deaths could be less senseless or spaced out or something.

    I agree with a lot of points about how you felt gypped. I can so see that. The tone of the books change in MJ and it becomes a narrative about the consequences of war on children rather than a YA book where the hero saves the day. It makes the books more adult but I can see how that would be intensely off-putting.

    Katniss shooting Coin. I am conflicted on how I feel about that. I don't think Katniss is supposed to be better than the rest. She's not. She's just as human as the rest of them. I don't see Katniss as a remarkable person. I see Katniss as everywoman. She has goodness in her but a lot of it was beaten out of her by MJ and especially after Prim's death. I think what I would have liked to have seen was for Suzanne to make a concession to the tone of the previous two books and show Katniss doing something good or heroic.

    ReplyDelete
  32. (Part 2)

    One last point in this meandering message. Like I said, I really do like the tone of the books and it's the execution I take issue with. Katniss isn't good. None of them (excepting Peeta and Prim really) are. And that's okay. I just love narratives about broken people though. There's a certain beauty in it and I thought Peeta's narrative for instance really worked in MJ for that reason. His story was always about holding onto identity and even after he'd been broken, he did not bend. His core remained and he fought for it. He was one of the victors that refused to vote for letting the children of the Capitol's PTB go into the arena.

    I think the broken person narrative worked less well with Katniss because once Prim died, the fight, the Katnissness of the character, goes out of her. You see it come back a bit in the space between the words when Peeta comes back to District 12. Katniss can never be the girl on fire again. She can remake herself into a hybridized version of herself but I think she was too broken to be that fiery girl she was before the arena or even the girl she was in the beginning of MJ. I just take issue with SC not giving us a proper culmination of Katniss's narrative. Sorry for the loooong comment. Mea culpa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment! I agree with a lot of what you had to say. I've been thinking about re-reading MJ now, since I know what to expect, and seeing if I feel any differently about it. Or maybe re-reading the whole series. I

      just didn't feel that way about Gale. I guess you picked up on things that I didn't because I felt that his supposed actions in MJ were inconsistent with the character that SC set up in books one and two. But, maybe I'll read it again and feel differently.

      Delete
  33. Like everyone else, I loved the first two books and was so excited to read Mockingjay. I even liked the beginning of it, sure it was kinda depressing but I saw so much hope in taking down the Capitol. What bothered me most was Finnick and Prim's deaths. Finnick was a victor who survived both Hunger Games and I just didn't see him dying so easily. But ok, Suzanne, if that was all you had done I could have forgiven you for that.

    I can't forgive her for killing off Prim. I finished the book yesterday and I am still getting upset and emotional about it today. I feel like I'm mourning the death of a real person, and I can't accept that she actually died. I think Suzanne just did this as a last ditch attempt to make the book "stand out". Like you said in the article, the entire reason Katniss volunteered was to protect her sister. In the first book, before leaving for the Hunger Games, she warned Prim not to take out any more tesserae, to try to protect her. When she was leaving District 13, she made a comment about how she felt good knowing that her mother and Prim were safe in 13 while she was in the Capitol. I find EXTREMELY hard to believe that Katniss wouldn't have given Prim a similar warning to the one she gave in the first book. She was still trying to protect her sister, that's what this whole series has been about. She would have said something like, "No matter what happens, promise me you will stay in 13. No matter what they tell you, do NOT go to the Capitol."

    But of course, that wouldn't work into Suzanne's evil little plan :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was an evil little plan - wasn't it?

      What was the point of volunteering in HG to kill her in MJ? And you MJ likers out there - don't give me any crap about the horrors of war.

      Delete
  34. just finished reading Mockingjay and all I have to say is wow. just wow. like so much happened and it's so much to absorb. For some reason, reading your blog post and all the comments helped me see the "light" behind some of the things that had happened in the book. I hope I am not the only one who felt " a hole " in their heart after finishing the book. It feels like something is missing. I won't lie though, the whole series was well written and so powerful. I just wish it didn't end so quickly :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you! I feel like there's a hole in my heart! I'm thinking that now, after a year, I should re-read it and see if I feel any differently, knowing what will happen. Have you seen the movie yet?

      Delete
    2. The HG movie was so incredible. The sets and scenery were so fantastic. I will see the next 2 even though I was so disapointed in MJ.

      If the director doesn't change MJ, I plan on standing up in the theater and shouting "NOOOOOOO you can't do that!!" when Prim is killed. I bet I won't be the only one.

      Delete
  35. Word, I should reread the whole thing too because I feel like I read Mockingjay a bit too fast because I was just so eager to see what would happen in the end! Nope I haven't seen the movie yet but I plan to sometime this week, how about you? I really hope the actual Mockingjay movie manages to create a better ending, something that kind of ties everything up together, you know what i mean? But we'll have to wait quite a while before Mockingjay releases haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did see the movie. I thought it was probably the best book-to-movie that I've seen, not that there weren't lots of things left out. Plus, I don't like who they picked for Peeta at all. But, I'd probably never be completely happy.

      I was hoping the same thing about Mockingjay, maybe they'll change it enough that I'll be happy? But I won't get my hopes up. haha

      Delete
  36. Really? I'm glad they didn't change the movie too much. I hate when movies go all on their own and differ from the books! I think Josh makes a good Peeta and Liam's looks are perfect for Gale for some reason. I was watching some youtube videos and I heard they were going to cast Zac Efron as Finnick. I REALLY HOPE NOT!

    Any tips on how to distract myself from the book series? Really need a distraction now that the books are over haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I hadn't heard that about Zac. It seems like he's too old! I did think Liam was a perfect Gale, he did a great job.

      If you want another book that's similar to The Hunger Games (some say better) you should read Divergent. Have you read that yet?

      Delete
    2. Funny that you say you think Zac seems too old to play Finnick; I thought he seemed too young! Then I looked him up and he happens to be exactly Finnick's age -- 24. I guess he's beautiful enough; hard to say whether he can act the part.

      Delete
    3. That is so true!! It's funny, I think of Finnick being the same age as Katniss and Peeta, but he's not. I forget that he was in a previous game, and came back. I will definitely be ok with Zac as Finnick. Any excuse to look at that face! :D

      Delete
  37. Word, plus I won't be able to take him seriously if he plays Finnick. Hunger Games THE MUSICAL haha :)

    & nope I have not read that yet, is it good?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is SO good!! It's a similar feel to THG, but different! Definitely read it!

      Delete
    2. will do :) ill let you know what I think after I finish reading it!

      Delete
    3. Great! Can't wait to hear what you think!

      Delete
  38. I totally agree. Mockingjay is one of the worst examples of literary trash I've ever seen. On its own, there's absolutely no way I would have finished more than the first few chapters. Instead, I read through it in a fury - almost faster than the other books...because it was so terrible, and I simply couldn't wait for it to get better and have meaning. Unfortunately this never happened. As others have mentioned, somewhere in here there's still a good story. In the right hands, with another 30 or 50 cleverly constructed pages, most of this book could stay the same...and it would at least be a satisfactory ending to the trilogy. For this reason (and many others), it's absolutely unbelievable to me that the editor let this book go to print as is.

    It was interesting for me also to read how others talked about the hole in their heart that they experienced...or the depressed feeling. I felt that too - in a way that was unfamiliar to me, especially for it to come from a book. I think it's just a testament to how vested we got in these characters and their story. It's an absolute shame that Ms. Collins didn't get that, and to be honest - I have a hard time respecting her now for it.

    As others (and specifically you in your main review) mentioned, I could have accepted a hundred different endings to this story, but the fact that she didn't stay true to the characters and the story and jammed this war is terribe/PTSD thing in there...it's just tragic, wrong, and didn't fit the direction this story was going. There are many ways you could make that point...but you don't start where this story started. And there were just too many cheap writing tricks (hence the literary trash (the fade to black being the worst - seriously how many times can she get blown up or drugged). I could go on and on (and pretty much have). I just hated this book...and I hate that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree so much with everything you said. And I love how you said "I just hated this book...and I hate that." That is exactly how I feel!!! I just get so upset about not staying true to the characters.

      Delete
    2. You are so right!

      Delete
  39. I cant see why everyone hated it so much. I loced it and thought it stood equal with the first two. The depressing feeling at the end of the book showed how well Collins constructed these characters and helped convey their loss. As for Gale their is a perfectly plausible reason why Katniss didn't communicate with him. She wasn't allowed out of the district. To call this literate trash is a real far cry. I believe many of you just can't take sad endings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't call it literary trash either. And I'm the first to admit, I don't like sad, depressing books. That's why I don't read them. What bothers me so much, is that this series, as it began, was not a sad depressing story. It was a book where horrible things happened, yes, but that wasn't the tone. The bait and switch is why I was left so upset.

      Different people have different tastes, and this is only my opinion, and why I personally didn't like it. I know lots of people who liked, or even loved it. It just wasn't for me.

      Delete
    2. I can see where your coming on but throughout the series it builds up to what is going to happen in mockingjay. The series slowly bulds up to the level of mockingjay. And i saw the transition from the arena as natural. I was infact disappointed when they went back in in catching fire. And by the time anything had happened in hunger games and catching fire plenty had in mockingjay

      Delete
    3. I was all for fighting the government, and moving past the Games. But, for me, if I'm going to take the time and energy to invest in a book, I want there to be hope. I don't mind violence, war, sadness, etc. as long as I feel the overall tone of hope. But the entire book was just depressing, and the ending was forced, flat, and hopeless. If I want that, I'll read it in the news, God knows I've watched enough Kony 2012 videos.... and I understand that some people are ok with this type of book. There are tons of them out there with this tone. But I don't pick those books up, because that's not what I want to read. What bothers me so much, is that this isn't the book I picked up to begin with (The Hunger Games/Catching Fire). It changed. It started as one type of book, and changed into another type of book, after I was already invested in the characters. Not to mention (which I already did, in the post) that, in my opinion, the characters acted in a way that wasn't consistent with who they were. I felt like she changed their entire make-up, just to fit an ending that she wanted. Instead of letting the characters be who they were, and seeing where they would take her. And that just left me feeling empty.

      Again, I can totally appreciate that you and others loved this. My dad actually liked this one more than the first two because he saw it as more realistic. I just don't agree. AND I'M SO SAD ABOUT THAT!! :'(

      Delete
    4. I can see why you dont like it, it was very depressing, but with the characters acting different to who they are i have to disagree. Gales aggressive nature is hinted in book 1 and developed further in 2. He acts like this because of what happened to twelve. Katniss is broken and its quite obvious why she killed coin. She killed prim.

      That said i was devestated when Finnick died and didnt like that at all.;(

      Delete
    5. I'm not saying Gale wouldn't have made a bomb, I'm saying that he wouldn't have not cared who he killed with it. I found it far too convenient that his bomb just happened to kill Prim. That seemed like a total cop out, for Susan Collins. Basically Katniss didn't really have to make any decision, and Susan made it seem like if Gale hadn't done that, Katniss would have been with him, but since he did, oh well, I guess I'll go with Peeta.....since he's there. It seemed lazy to me. And I honestly didn't care who she ended up with. I loved Peeta and Gale.

      What bothered me about Katniss killing Coin was that everyone had reasons for killing who they killed. The Capitol put the kids in the game because they were squashing a rebellion. They honestly felt that they were good, those rebels rose up and tried to ruin their lives, so they have to do this to keep that from happening again. Coin did what she did because The Capitol was doing horrible things and had to be stopped. When Katniss kills Coin, she's no better than them. She doesn't like what Coin is doing/has done, so she just decides what justice needs to be done, and does it herself. She puts herself in the judgement seat, which is exactly what The Capitol did, it's exactly what Coin did, and it's supposed to be what she was fighting against the entire time. To me, that was the thing that said, this is a cycle that will never end. There really is no hope.

      Delete
    6. That isnt a bad thing that happened and i dont see the cycle continuing because Katniss is back
      In 12 and an actual decent person is president.

      Anyway i see why you didnt like it. Some of my friends didnt either i guess its just opinion

      Delete
    7. haha, that is true, we could probably go back and forth forever! :D

      Delete
    8. Why should we have to take a sad endings? She didn't sad end the other two books.

      Bait and switch - and life is too short to have to go through two weeks with a hole because SC was told she had a 1/2 hour to finish off the last 50 pages while suffering through a horrible divorce where her husband took the dog and after losing her home in a flood and finding out her kids do drugs and flunked the SAT.

      Delete
    9. It seems she also couldn't get her prozac scrip refilled.

      Delete
  40. I didn't understand what effects of war Collins hoped to teach us by Katniss giving up on Gale upon finding he may have inadvertently taken part in Prim's death. There was certainly foreshadowing that she would end up with Peeta, but her reasoning for ditching Gale was (in my mind) just not enough. By such logic, she couldn't have married Peeta, either, as Peeta's parents (who Katniss inadvertently killed by blowing up the areana and starting the rebellion) would have prevented his marrying Katniss as well. I mean, I guess that's a bit of a stretch, but even so. If someone could enlighten me on what the moral behind Gale and Katniss' not being able to be together was, that would be much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I honestly can't enlighten you, because I feel exactly the same way. To me, it looks like Collins decided she wanted Katniss to end up with Peeta, and she didn't know how to get rid of Gale, so she orchestrated this situation. All it did was make Katniss look like a heartless, ungrateful (after all Gale has done for her) person. It didn't make any sense to me, and after conversations with others, and two years of thinking about it, I still get upset about it.

      Delete
  41. (Part 1)

    First of all, I just want to tell you, Andye, how right you are in so many things. I feel just like you. Betrayed. But after reading these comments, I guess I sort of came out of my depression knowing that whatever the author did to poor Peeta, it was what she thought was for the best. But I still miss Peeta like crazy. It's worse than him dying - him being there, but at the same time not being there.

    Now to help you Ben, here's what I think. I don't know everything; a few things confuse me too, but here's what I think. Peeta and Gale's personalities are completely different. Peeta is optimistic. He can see the light in things and is a friendly, almost carefree person. He stands strong to his morals of what is right and what is wrong - proven when Peeta voted no for having a 76th Hunger Games - even when he was tortured so much that it changed him forever, never to return 100% to what he used to be. Gale on the other hand (just to tell you, no, I don't hate Gale. But I don't love him as much as I do Peeta) has fire growing in his heart. He hates the Capital. Peeta does to, but he expresses that in a different way. Gale is not wrong. Gale is completely right to think what he thinks. He was the one forced to have terrasse. From what I think, Peeta’s family was wealthy enough to survive without any terrasse. Gale was the one who hated the Capitol for the poverty he was facing right now with the rest of Seam, and in every district. He hated the Capitol for being so unfair and immoral. He has every right to. He was “born a rebel”.

    At the end of Mockingjay, this is what Katniss says “I know that this would happen anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, not matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.” This is probably the main reason that Peeta was the one, but there is more.

    Talking about Gale’s bomb that killed Prim, yes, that was not a good reason to leave Gale. But only if that reason stands alone. There’s more reasons. The reason about the bomb is that every time Katniss looks at Gale, she can’t help but to remember Prim. No one wants to be repeatedly reminded of this misery that shook their life forever. No one wants to be reminded that the only person in the world they were sure they loved was gone. Katniss didn’t blame Gale. She just couldn’t bare anymore pain and suffering by being reminded that Prim is no longer with her. And the mine explosion thing, it just opened Katniss’s eyes to see how different Gale and Peeta are. Katniss says it herself “I wish Peeta was here – the old Peeta – because he would be able to articulate why it is so wrong to be exchanging fire when people, any people, are trying to claw their way out of the mountain.” She knew back at 13 that it was so wrong to be making traps designed to capture or even kill humans – and the person designing these traps is Gale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (Part 2)

      Another point is something important too. Before going to the arena for the first time, Gale and Katniss were like soul mates. They understood each other exactly. They still do – but not to the full extent as they used to. The arena has changed Katniss so much. In some way, it has shattered her. I remember somewhere that Katniss mentions this. Too lazy to find where. But she wonders how to explain to Gale that killing people is so much different than killing animals – that he would never be able to understand that it sticks with you forever. He would never be able to understand why she has these nightmares that never leave her. Only Peeta can understand because he was there with her when everything happened. He felt it too. And Peeta has the ability to heal Katniss in a way that Gale just can’t. Peeta can heal Katniss, and Katniss can heal Peeta.

      And most importantly, Katniss loves Peeta. She doesn’t know it, but she loves Peeta more than Gale. She thinks she loves Gale. That was her main assumption throughout the whole story, but she loved Peeta. She craved him in a way she couldn’t with Gale. What she felt for Gale I think was pity maybe. It’s hard to tell but it would explain why she only loved him when he was in pain. And in wiki I remember reading that Suzanne chose her last name to be Everdeen because of some other character who shares one thing in common with her; both of them have trouble finding their hearts. This suggests that what they think is not actually true. The only thing I can’t explain is the end when Gale didn’t shoot her and he suddenly left to district 2. It's confusing to me too. I guess that Gale was just fed up with her. That he has convinced himself that she will never be his because he could see that she loved Peeta more (shown in Tigis's shop). That’s the only reason I can see. But it seems quite likely looking at their last conversation.

      Sorry for the huge answer. Hope this helps you ;)

      ~ Isabelle

      Delete
    2. This is seriously one of the most articulate explanations that I've heard. I agree with everything that you presented. I would, however, still say that Gale and Katniss behaved out of character in the third book. I still think she changed what Gale was, so that it could fit an ending she wanted.

      I love Peeta too!! It absolutely kills me that he is basically a shell of the person he once was. :(

      Delete
    3. I have to say, though. I don’t find that Gale suddenly changed. He was always like that. Katniss did change though. And I just hate her change. The breakdown at the end wasn’t as bad as the selfishness shown throughout the last half of the story. I just hated that after everything that Peeta had done for Katniss, that she could actually even have the thought of killing him for something that is completely out of his control. Katniss ended up not, but if President Snow’s pressure hadn’t been on her, then she would have long before. While on the other hand, Peeta would have never done any such thing even if Katniss was going to tear him apart and rip him into pieces. She had completely forgotten her main goal during her last visit to the arena – to save Peeta no matter what the cost. And this huge jump in emotions and the fact the Peeta could never do such a thing made me furious. It just showed what Haymitch said to Katniss was right “You could live a hundred lifetimes and not deserve him, you know.”

      Well, back to talking about Gale. Gale never changed in my opinion. He just grew. That’s what happened. Ever heard people tell you that you have the potential to do something? That you just need the right chance to do it? This is basically what happened with Gale. Gale’s fire was consistent throughout the whole story. In the first two books, he had a fire in his heart. And from what I believe, Katniss didn’t completely agree with him, but at the same time, she didn’t extinguish this fire. It kept on growing inside Gale’s heart. And finally in the third book when Gale got the chance to punish the Capitol for all those years of pain that he and millions of other souls had to suffer, he let it out. He let the fire inside him out, and he took his trap making skills to good use. Gale was like this all along. He’s not wrong. Just his circumstances call for this. Gale has 3 children and his mother to look after – almost every year of his life holding his breath on the day of the reaping, hoping that he was lucky enough to live another year – and doing this just for his family. Katniss’s situation wasn’t so bad compared to Gale. She just had her one sister and her mother to look after, not 3 siblings. Gale hated this injustice against the poor, and his hatred only grew. I think that the whipping was a necessary part of Gale’s anger. District 12 had never seen such merciless punishment, but then suddenly Gale was almost killed. Because of the Capitol. He suffered so much pain just because he was feeding his family. His hatred multiplied a million times after that incident. But when he found an opportunity to turn the tables over, he didn’t hesitate. See, the situation was slowly but surely leading to that day. Gale just needed that chance to put that hatred into a merciless plan. And once he got that, he took it with both hands. This is what actually happened. Gale didn’t change. His character was static. He just needed that opportunity. Wouldn’t you do that if you were in the same position as him? I know I would.

      Just what I think :)

      ~ Isabelle

      Delete
    4. It was Coin who killed Prim to get even with and control Katniss. Gale didn't know his bomb was going to kill Prim. Do you get pissed off at the arrow maker. Blame Coin!!

      Delete
  42. I totally agree with almost everything you said. I would like to point out another inconsistency that really bugged me. When they were trying to capture The Nut they have already tried bombing it assaulting it, and such. She even says at that at first they don't offer any resistance because past attempts have done nothing. So they decide not to even attack the nut, just cause avalanches that block the entrance. So why were there all these innocent people dying and being hurt inside? Obviously the bombs won't hurt the people inside, they already found out from previous attacks that they were not able to crack the nut. It was just another opportunity for us to hear Katniss' self loathing because of all the innocent deaths she causes. After hearing her self loathing every five minutes through book three I was almost hoping she would just die.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I have to say that I agree with you. By the end, I thought, she just needs to die and end her misery, and mine. :P

      Thanks for your thoughts!

      Delete
    2. I think you said it all.

      Thank you for your great insight.

      Delete
    3. Haha, thanks! It was definitely long enough!! Thanks for all your comments! :D

      Delete
  43. After i read mockingjay...i was just left with this sadness...and wanting more books. like Katniss and Peeta being okay. i wanted to know that peeta totally returned to normal. but that never really happened. and i wanna cry because i seriously love peeta. and they way suzanne just corrupted peeta in this book...sickens me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree completely! Every time I think about it, it just makes me angry!!

      Delete
  44. I totally agree with you concerning Peeta. I understand that Peeta and Katniss had to change anybody would change through drastically through war and tortures ... but the author's choice to sacrifice so much without giving real explanations sadden the plot more than necessary. No need to give so little at the end, it has already been so angsty throughout the MJ. I do not know if many readers of HG have also read Harry Potter but I am a big fan also and I woud say that at the end of Harry Potter there is also all this sadness with great losses (my greatest being Severus Snape) and a short epilogue taking place 20 years later, however JKR managed to give us more details, information, warnings and though you can feel very sad at the end it is not as depressing because when you read it again you find real clues to explain the final situation.
    It must have been the author's choice but I think it is too easy to leave out a last conversation between Katniss and Gale, even if he was not in the arena they have grown up and fought together and they share the same love for the forest, things that cannot be erased and once Katniss's pain subdues a little and her health improves, it would have been logical and necessary to see that link not broken, not as love interest but as best friends that shared a lot. It was just too easy to erase him.
    I would have many more things to say but I am still gloomy about the whole affair and I am divided between finding a fanfiction that will answer to my wishes and thinking about the future movies adaptation and the choices that will be made. Will the production follow completely the book or choose a more positive point of view ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right about HP! She was able to convey the horrible circumstances, without completely losing all hope. And really, what did Katniss endure that Harry didn't? Harry's loses were just as great, and the tone of the final book was dark and sad, but still somehow amazing and hopeful. This was a perfect example of what I'm talking about!! Thanks! I certainly hope that they decide to change the last movie dramatically. I haven't decided if I want to see it or not. It's so strange to love the first two books SO MUCH and completely hate the last one.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Delete
  45. I just finished reading Mockingjay....I've been sad since, but I feel like that there should be another book. I just knew we the readers would learn more about her mother, her father (I always felt like the explosion in the mines was purposeful & the capitol doings), I felt like there was more to Haymitch & she hinted at that in Book 1 when he told Katniss that the capitol don't take these things lightly, but then we found out about what the capitol did after his stint in the 2nd quarter quell. I wanted a real finale for Cinna, yes, we knew, but I still had hope that the rumors were wrong. I didn't care too much that Finnick died, I liked him, but it was better him than Peeta. However, it's sad that he would never know his son. I wished Gale died earlier on, in 12 bombings, but she would never have killed Coin & there may have been another hunger games. I wish Peeta was never highjacked. I really missed him throughout the book. I missed Effie too, but I felt that not enough explanation was given to her absence. Prim had to die. That was the irony. All of this for her sister & in the end she couldn't save her. This was the first realistic moment in this book. The whole series Katniss is fighting against the tide. In book 1, she tells Prim not to be worried of the reaping because her name is in once & Prim is picked. She tells Prim not to take out too much tessarae when she has to leave for the games to keep her safe. After the quarter quell, the capitol bombs 12. Prim's life is endangered again. Prim's life is endangered once again after the bombing of 13 after Peeta's warning. Katniss admits to needing to watch out for Prim more. Gale finds her & Buttercup in their room & brings them to safety at the nick of time. However, I do admit that her & Gale just cutting ties off suddenly was uncalled for. I at least thought they would still be friends. After everything he has done for her family. I know we didn't see it, but I know when she went to the first games he was there feeding them & looking after them as she would his. He had no control over what his weapon was used for. Lots of things are invented & then can be used for bad. I also felt she should have been equally mad at Beetee for the bomb as well. Also, Snow hinted that Plutarch has a hand in the parachutes & that's the qualities of a good gamemaker. I felt that it was obvious she should end up with Peeta, they are both damaged from the games. I feel that it was a cop out for Gale to have to go away to make it easier for Peeta & Katniss to be together. Even though, I know she loves him. But she's 17, what teenage girl doesn't have a love triangle, but it was annoying. There were times when I felt she needed to be killed off so Peeta & Gale could be good friends. They seem like they would have liked each other if it weren't for her. In this book, she's weak. I know character's evolve, but I didn't see this coming. I am disappointed in this book. It was too sad & depressing, but maybe, just maybe this is what she was going for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I definitely think that's what she was going for. And I hate that. I mean, it's fine if she wants to do that....I just don't want to read it! :P

      Thanks for your comment, it's always interesting to see that people are still reading this and it's still evoking so much emotion. *sigh* Peeta....

      Delete
  46. You're welcome! Thanks for a great blog. It's always nice to see what other people think.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I got no closer after this book. What happend to Annie and her baby after finnicks death? I think Suzanne could of done a lot better but personally I will always love the series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I have to admit, I thought Mockingjay had ruined this series for me, but even after all this time, I still can't stop thinking about The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. They were just amazing books, and I've never read anything that's stayed with me like they have. I still hate Mockingjay and really wish it was different, but what can I do? (Just hope they change the movie! :P )

      Delete
  48. I just hope the alter it in the movie. To me (finished the book today) Katniss forgot how to love. She lost the meaning of value in human life and that is why none of the deaths ceased to have meaning after a while. Katniss went back and forth in her head ever other minutes about whether or not to put a bullet in Peeta's head and she did it so casually. Every single choice she made in MJ was made from fear not love and therein for me was the problem of the book. When you have a protaganist who doesn't love anything, who is at peace with all friends, family or herself dying at any moment, what are we fighting for? If she has nothingnto lose there are no stakes and there is no story. So many times she could have taken Peeta's hand, stroked his cheek, kissed his face, approached him with love but all she had left was fear. She couldn't say to Gale that she forgave him even if she didn't to ease the suffering that she knew he would take on. HG and CF Katniss would have given him that. HG Katniss would have shot Gale when he was captured and spared him because she LOVED him. HG and CF Katniss wouldn't care if Peeta hated her, her love for him was not conditional on him loving her back it was just pure love. Ms.Collins took the love out of the story and replaced it with fear and in doing so murdered any beauty left in the series.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I agree with everything said in the main post! I mean I like how the ending wasn't cheesy but it still lacked creativity, I mean obviously war is depressing and stuff but to not even have hope? Its ironic because the mockingjay cover is the only one where the bird is free and symbolizes hope, but after reading the book it seems unfitting almost. I really hope they change the movie too!
    Idk tbh I think peeta and katniss should've died together in some dramatic creative way to bring down the capitol, it would've been really sad but it would mean more seeing her go out as a hero I guess rather than having her sister die and her best friend and mom leave her

    ReplyDelete
  50. Even three or four years after you first posted this, there are still shell-shocked survivors of Mockingjay who have just completed the trilogy and are stumbling blindly into your little hospital looking for some comfort!
    I'd love to talk to Suzanne Collins, find out what she really had in mind, what she really wanted her readers to take from the books. The marvellous, affecting glimpses of humanity that she gives us in the first two, as beautifully developed characters struggle in a dark world to come to terms with brutality and tyranny, seem to be completely erased in favour of a legitimate but nevertheless banal and familiar warning about the effects of continuous warfare on the minds and bodies of vulnerable human beings.
    And I'm not sure that she's completely right even in that. Sometimes we have to fight. People cope with stress trauma in different ways and many are strong enough to compartmentalise the things they have seen and done, to rationalise their experiences. But not in Mockingjay, even though we may reasonably expect that at least some of the strong, quick-witted and resourceful Hunger Games contestants might fall into this category . The themes of hope, self-sacrifice, unconditional love, trust, loyalty, courage in the face of evil - but especially hope - that genuinely seem to have inspired so many young (and erm..somewhat older...) readers in the first two books are entirely overridden by a grim overview of war-shattered minds.
    The death of Prim is a horrible and gratuitous insert, since, as many have pointed out, her survival is a prerogative which underpins the entire trilogy. In addition, her survival should be more important to the reader even than that of Katniss, since she embodies the potential hope and innocence of the post-rebellion world. Her death seems like a nasty trick, played for the sole reason that it is so unexpected. In fact, it is poorly contrived, a cruel and unnecessary punch in the ribs of the already downhearted reader. Collins seems to relent marginally with the revelation that Katniss has children many years later, but why not - just once in this book - throw the readers a crumb of comfort by preserving her sister a few pages earlier?
    I'll always be grateful to Suzanne Collins for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, which were as addictive as morphling. But Mockingjay was like the second part of one of Gale's parachute bombs, luring you nearer to the centre of the action only to completely destroy you. I do wish she'd taken a couple of years off to think it through before writing that last book. I wonder if she's really happy with it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was a perfect response, and beautifully worded! Even after years and many conversations and debates, I still feel the same about this book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  51. I think I may have been too harsh. I don't remember any novel ever making me think so hard and so long once I'd finished it. I didn't enjoy Mockingjay, and yet I finished it within a couple of days.
    The characterisation seems entirely consistent with that in the first two books, and is cleverly developed, whether you like it or not (and being on the whole an optimist, I didn't.)
    However, I remember opening the first page of the Hunger Games and thinking "Oh, no - I'm not going to be able to read this!" on recognising that the whole trilogy was written in the first person present. I was amazed at how well Suzanne Collins was able to maintain that structure for so long, and so appropriately to her diffident but kind-hearted protagonist. In 'Catching Fire' I was able to develop a reasonably accurate idea of the development of the rebellion and get a good picture of who was involved - despite the fact that the narrator is entirely out of the information loop! - that is brilliant writing by any standards.
    However, it was in Mockingjay that the use of 1PPOV seems to begin to break down as an effective way of telling the wider story. Katniss's increasing introspection, her dependence on drugs, and simply her distance from much of the action makes for a relentlessly downbeat and fractured view of what is definitely a just war. By the very end I almost got the impression that Suzanne Collins herself might have lost the heart to go into too much detail about the final fate of some of her lovingly constructed characters. I would say that there are certainly unresolved ambiguities in the closing chapters.
    When all's said and done, it's hard to leave Panem behind, and I'm sure many people would happily read much more about the place, have backstories filled in, consequences addressed.
    Perhaps Mockingjay's greatest achievement may be to inflict a little post-traumatic stress on it's readers, let them see what it's like! I can't ever imagine enjoying Mockingjay, and I don't think any author would really want anyone to say that about one of their books, and yet you have to salute Suzanne Collins for her brave and dogged pursuit of the story that she wanted to tell, and damn the torpedoes. I'm just glad I didn't have to wait a year to read it.
    Deep down I may be guilty of the most invalid criticism that it's possible to make of a terrific author: that she didn't write the story that I was expecting, or wanted to hear.
    That's definitely enough from me.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Though I completely agree with you on everything you said, I must say that even now, years later (I first read it the day it came out) I still haven't made my peace with that book. I think Suzanne had way too much pressure and far too many deadlines. The depressed/PTSD Katniss didn't annoy me nearly as much as the idiotic Katniss who thinks she can save the world w/o an army. The entire plot of the whole book revolved around Katniss' little assassination mission into the capitol. What does that mission accomplish? NOTHING. Except for killing 5? or was it 6? of her friends, and a few citizens. She only has the chance to do something (kill Snow) after Coin provides her with the chance. Because, Katniss' mission and little "3rd Hunger Games" aside, Coin still made it into the Capitol first. It was all so pointless. The beginning of the book was slow (getting to know this strange, new, world), the middle was action-packed, but in the end, you discover it was absolutely pointless. And don't even get me started on Gale. Yes, he would've built that bomb. And he probably would have been willing to sacrifice the people in the Nut, but he would have shown some sorrow. I just HATE how he gets alienated because he built a weapon, as a member of the military, which was then used on citizens. It's like if a servicemember builds a bomb in a war, which his superiors then use on citizens, and suddenly all the citizens' deaths were HIS FAULT? There is no logic there.

    All that said, however, the first time I read the book, I ADORED it. 5 stars. I almost threw up at times with the graphicness of it, but I still loved it. It was only after many critical thinking and critical reading classes that I realized that I didn't love it. I don't believe the character's were incredibly inconsistent, I just didn't like the plot or storyline. Suzanne's an amazing author, but this is not her best work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The inconsistent characters are the thing that just put me over the edge. And yes, I agree with everything you said!

      Delete
  53. OMG!!! Sorry for my english, I am from Argentina (latin) so may be I will not write very well, but I totally agree with you, I just finish Mockingjay and Im fealing terrible, awful... I need to express myself, my anger... Chapter after chapter I was expecting them to be together, to kiss, to talk, to fall inlove again, I was expecting Katniss to tell him everything she was feeling, she doesnt say I love you NEVER, she just say REAL, All that passion about war, all her fire, THE GIRL ON FIRE DOESNT DEMOSTRATE TO HER MAN, how much she cares about him... OMG!!! I cannot believe it, I was feeling so identified with her, but she demostrates at the end that she doesnt care much about him, about her children... everything like "ok, if you want, ill do it", when she suposse to give hersel to Peeta 's love, I want Peeta for me, I could love him better... Ana

    ReplyDelete
  54. I read your column and I must say that I respectfully disagree with most of your points. Some of what I write here has been said already by some posters above me, but here it goes....
    It was very consistent with Gale's character to not care who gets killed in "The Nut" with the bombs he was making. There's a scene in MJ when Katniss walks in on a meeting that Gale and Beetee are having together regarding the bombs and traps that play on human compassion. When Katniss questions it, Gale stares at her in a hostile manner and it seems he’s actually annoyed that she would question him or his tactics for winning the war. There's another part in the novel when Katniss reflects on how Gale used to rant against the Capitol--but now that he can put his thoughts into action--that can lead to the death of others---she realizes how serious he is about his hatred towards the Capitol and his absolute willingness to kill innocent people. In the end, Gale became who he hated--the Capitol. It's not a judgement of him--as another poster pointed out, he was beyond infuriated with the Capitol's treatment of the Districts. It's just his pro-war attitude, making traps/bombs that can kill innocent people...little by little this put a chasm between him and Katniss. So by the time Prim is killed, and Katniss knows that the bomb that killed her--is the type of trap Gale had devised--Katniss will never be able to look at Gale the same way again.

    I do agree that it would've been great to get more info about Cinna. We know the Capitol killed him...but how...maybe SC did this on purpose...sometimes what we don't know is scarier than what we do know...and one can only imagine the torture and murder he had to endure for making Katniss' wedding/MJ
    Finnick -- his death was heartbreaking, but this is a war, and unfortunately, people on both sides get killed. I've read other comments online that stated things like they felt it was done and over so fast, how come Katniss didn't reflect, etc. I've never fought in a war and I hope I never have to, but knowing those who have fought in a war--they couldn't stop to stand around while their ally or friend was killed---they have to keep going for their own survival. It doesn't mean they don't care about their fallen. I think Finnick was killed because it added to the many losses that Katniss already experienced.

    I disagree that this entire book was depressing with no hope. In the end, there is hope. Katniss and Peeta designing a memorial book to reflect and honor those they loved and lost. Katniss and Peeta having children--a family--when Katniss swore in the first book to never have kids. That's a major turnaround for Katniss. Even the part about Katniss trying to remember act of goodness--that's hope. Katniss choosing Peeta--because he gives her hope... Based on these examples, I find it hard to agree that there was so much focus on the bad and nothing good. There was a lot of heartache, loss, death, and violence, yes. But it wasn't all like that. There's rebirth, hope, the struggle to keep going on in life--even though scarred and traumatized. That in itself is a beautiful message.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I honestly believe that some readers read this book wanting the story they want to read---and forget that this is SC’s story. This is the story SC wanted to tell. I understand your taste in books isn’t to read about sadness, depression, despair hopelessness etc… At the same time, even though the story went in directions that you didn’t want, hope, or expect, at the very least, it would be nice to respect that SC wrote the story that she wanted to share with the world.

    When you said you felt empty re: Prim’s death…and you questioned what was the point of this entire series…I’m wondering if SC’s intention was for the reader to feel as Katniss did by that point. Katniss probably wondered “why did I even do this for Prim? What was it all for?” In my opinion, if this was SC’s goal—for the reader to really question this—just as Katniss most likely did—then she succeeded wonderfully.

    I’m rereading MJ again, so perhaps I’m mistaken, but does Katniss ever reconsider how she responded to her mother’s depression, now that she is the one that is broken? Also, I wouldn’t expect Katniss to be the same as she was in the first two books. By the time we get to MJ, she’s been in two Hunger Games, she’s had to kill fellow human beings to survive, she witnessed others being killed in front of her (Rue), seen others sacrifice themselves for her, her entire home District has been destroyed—and in MJ, she carries guilt and blame for this-- she has no idea what is happening to Peeta and is terrified that everytime she makes a propo, it results in Peeta being tortured, when Peeta is rescued, she is thrilled to see him again only to find out that the young man who loved her has been brainwashed to hate her...how else would you expect Katniss to be or act? She was broken, depressed, sad, hopeless, confused, angry…she felt as though she had been lied to, used, manipulated, and she’s had her life on the line several times already…again, how else would you expect Katniss to be or act?

    With Gale and Peeta…it became apparent over time that she realized she loved Peeta—especially in the passage where she states Peeta is the dandelion that reminds her of rebirth and hope—and Gale is full of fire and hatred—and she doesn’t need more of that. I do wish SC had shown some conversations or more scenes with Peeta that showed how they grew together again. There were some, but I would’ve liked more. For me, Katniss choosing Peeta was for very obvious reasons. Remember in Catching Fire, Peeta says that no one needs him, and Katniss realizes she needs Peeta—that she would be devastated if he wasn’t in her life. Then when Gale and Peeta have the conversation about who she would choose, and Gale says “she’ll choose the person she can’t survive without”…it all is leading to Peeta. Even in the first half of Mockingjay, the fact that Katniss is worried and terrified for Peeta’s well-being says a lot.

    Lastly, Katniss shooting Coin. I don’t think it’s about “it’s okay to kill whoever you want as long as you don’t like what they stand for.” Katniss’s reasons for killing Coin was because she realized Coin would kill her and that the Hunger Games would continue under Coin’s rule. Snow also made it clear to Katniss that Coin had used them as pawns, she was power hungry, and behind Prim’s death. So when it came down to it, Katniss got rid of the next dictator of Panem by shooting Coin.

    So…those are my thoughts. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your thoughts! I don't disagree with most of what you say. But I still stand by my opinion (which is just an opinion). I still think it seems like she changed the characters' personalities to get the ending she wanted, and I still see it as a bait and switch. I agree that if someone really went through all that she went through, she'd be really messed up, but to be fair, if someone went through what she went through in the first day of The Hunger Games, she'd be messed up. I just don't want to read that book. So to start out as one thing, and then completely change to something so completely different just bugs me. And I still think she was a hypocrite for killing Coin. She was the most looked-up-to person in the entire country. She could've found a way to change things without just shooting someone because she disagreed with her.

      I'm just saying the third book was not consistent, and I didn't like it. Others loved it, actually my dad really liked it, it was his favorite. I just didn't. I appreciate the dialog and your thoughts, though! :D

      Delete
    2. You're welcome! That's okay--we are all entitled to our opinions. It's great that we can discuss a series we love and have different views.

      I agree the characters personalities changed. However, there was very real reasons for it, which I had wrote about above. It is possible that this is the ending Suzanne Collins wanted, as she is the writer, and this was her vision for the story. Sometimes what the writer wants isn't the same thing as what the reader wants.

      But I wouldn't call it a bait and switch. I would say it is bait and switch if there was nothing in the story that explained how or why Katniss changed. Like if she woke up super strong one moment, and the next day, without any explanation, Katniss is just...weeping, or weak, or just spineless. However SC shows that Katniss goes through a lot of life shattering events that do bring about the change we see in Mockingjay.

      War, trauma, death, loss---all these life experiences can drastically change a person and how they view their own lives, how they perceive themselves and others around them. Katniss had experienced so much trauma and loss, it was understandable that she would change. Perhaps that is what SC wanted to point out: that anyone going through what Katniss did would be forever changed. There are veterans...as far back as WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and more recently the Iraq War related to 9-11 that did not come home the same way as when they left here. I have a friend whose brother-in-law suffers from PTSD (what Katniss also suffers from) because of what he experienced.

      If Katniss had remained exactly the same, she would seem too perfect. Too put together. Too unreal. I think it would be harder for readers to identify with her, or even have compassion for her. Everyone has a breaking point. Throughout Mockingjay, Katniss tried to hold it together, but many times she couldn't. There was a scene were Cressida told her she had to say one line and she just couldn't get it out because of her fear for what was happening to Peeta.

      When Prim's death happens--that's when Katniss really was broken. She couldn't speak, she was on medications, wandering around Snow's mansion, she nearly lost everyone that she could talk to or trust. Peeta and Haymitch were probably the last two people in the world who truly meant the world to her...even more than her mother. I love the fact that Katniss considers if Coin sent Prim to the frontlines--and then her death happened--was it to get Katniss to align herself with Coin--or to break Katniss. It certainly didn't align Katniss to Coin's side--especially not after what Snow told her about rebels sending the parachutes that exploded. But it certainly broke Katniss.

      Over time, she heals although she still has scars. Through singing, rebuilding her relationship with Peeta, having the memory book as a memorial for those who have died.

      I totally agree with you that anyone going through what she did on the first day of the Hunger Games would be completely messed up. In fact, I wonder if any tribute in the past Games before Katniss' has every purposely stepped off their pedestal before the countdown was over as a suicidal gesture--because they couldn't bare to participate in the Games. It was bad enough that she (and millions of others like her) were forced to watch the Hunger Games, year after year, and with the fear that one day she or her sister Prim, would be a participant. And Katniss didn't survive one--but two Hunger Games. That's saying a lot.

      Delete
    3. The first time I read Mockingjay, I felt Katniss was hypocritical for agreeing with Coin's suggestion for a Hunger Games using the Capitol's children. I was so mad at Katniss for that! I thought to myself "you just went through this war to end the Hunger Games, and now you're agreeing with it!" Then I read other takes on why she agreed to it--or rather, why she *pretended* to agree. And then it all made sense.

      On surface level, it seems Katniss simply killed Coin because she disagreed with her. But it's a lot deeper than that. Katniss had disagreed with Coin before--and made it known. This is especially regarding how the Mockingjay Deal came to be. Coin was all for executing the victors who had been captured by the Capitol -- Peeta, Johanna, Annie, and Enobaria. And Katniss stood up and made it clear that she would not be the Mockingjay if Coin went ahead and killed all four of them. Katniss used politics of her own to help them.

      So with the end...Katniss didn't kill Coin simply for disagreeing with a Hunger Games with the Capitol's children. She knew that by disagreeing with Coin, it could mean her own death, the death of those she loved (probably Peeta's) and that this senseless violence would continue. There's a part where Katniss reflects that nothing has changed. All this war, terror, and loss...and all to end the Capitol's reign and end the Hunger Games against the Districts...and then Coin brings it up again like it's no big deal. Coin even was most likely the reason for Prim's death. So Katniss knew what she had to do...and end it all by assassinating Coin. I do believe Katniss would've tried to to change things if she knew she could do it without risking her life. This was not the case though and even Boggs told her that Coin doesn't like her, and that Katniss could be a threat to Coin. There's a lot of reasons why Katniss had to assassinate Coin and a mere disagreement isn't just it alone.

      Delete
  56. It's okay that you didn't like the third book. From what I've read, fans hated or loved it. SC, as a writer, probably understands that not everyone will like her book (or books--the whole series.). There's a fine line where a writer keeps true to their vision and may write something that the fans don't like...or if they change their story to appease fans. I would like to hear an interview from SC about her thoughts re: The Hunger Games series, especially her thoughts on fans' reactions to Mockingjay. It would be very interesting.

    I'm like your father in that I really enjoyed it. I thought it was realistic. Yes, it was very sad and heartbreaking...but part of how real SC made it was what made it enjoyable for me. I just finished rereading it a 2nd time, and I have to say I enjoyed it more the second time than I did the first time. I read it slower the second time and really took everything in. I'd also suggest reading it in a few years again...sometimes age and life experience can change our perspective. I've reread books years later and found that it was a new experience and sometimes I even saw the novel/book differently than the first time, other parts may have stood out to me more than before.

    If there's any complaint I have about SC...it's that she does a lot more telling than showing. Instead of giving one sentences to describe something through Katniss's POV...it would've been far more helpful to actually show it. For example. when she writes that Haymitch brought over 23 years of Tributes he had mentored over that time period....did Haymitch have any particular memories attached to them? Did he open up about any of them to Peeta and Katniss? Or the whole "we grow together again"....aside from Peeta planting the primrose bushes...how does Katnisss and Peeta grow together? What conversations do they have? Does Katniss visit him at the bakery? What about Katniss's trial? The rescue of Peeta, Johanna, and Annie? So there are many instances in all three novels where SC could have expanded more. Even though the novels in Katniss' POV, there are other ways to flesh out parts of the story from other characters POV...such as through dialogue. And not just when Katniss says "this is what Haymitch tells me:" And then there's a block paragraph. I mean, characters dialoguing about some sitautions could've told us so much more. So that's really my only issue.

    Thank you--I appreciate this dialogue too! I look forward to both Mockingjay movies!

    (I'm sorry for my multiple posts...I have a lot to say, and my posts were too long!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, no worries, I'm just going to answer here. It's been a REALLY long time since I read this, so I don't have perfect recollection about the particulars, but I'll try.

      I still just don't agree with her killing Coin. I think Coin knew that if she tried to kill Katniss everyone would riot. Katniss had too much power, and could've done something else, but she was just mad (and seemingly lazy). -sidenote- I actually didn't realize that people thought Katniss was serious when she agreed to do The Hunger Games for the Capitol children, but some people still think she was and they're really mad.

      The thing about the "this is a realistic response to war" thing that bugs me so much is that none of this book is realistic, really. The districts have been under oppression for 75ish years and have never been able to stand up to the Capitol. Then, all of a sudden, all the districts just up and rebel and take over in a snap, no problem. How? Except for the one district that's having trouble until 17(?) year old Katniss comes along and shoots a plane or something and suddenly the district wins. I mean it's just so ridiculous.

      The Gale thing...Gale spent so much time telling Katniss, "no, we have to think about others" that I just don't buy the character change. He took care of his family, and Katniss's family, and wouldn't leave them, even though he could've gone off and lived or fought or whatever. He spent his whole life taking care of people, so her trying to convince me that he was the type of guy who could be blase about the death of innocent people, just can't happen.

      So, yeah, it's not that I don't understand how hard it would be, it's just that I don't want to read about it. And if that's the type of book she was going to write, I feel like she should've made it like that from the beginning. BUT, I think she didn't do it from the beginning (even though it was plenty gruesome and difficult and trauma-inducing) because she knew no one would want to read it. She hooked us with one type of book, then when we were all sucked in, she changed it. My point is that I never would've read Mockingjay (or a book like it) because it's just not something I'm interested in.

      Also, I totally agree with what you're saying about the telling and not showing. The ending where she says Katniss and Peeta grow together made me SO MAD. After all we went through with these characters, that's it? It was just too hard for me to believe that they were ok, without anything showing me how they got close again. And yes to all the above paragraph.

      Now I have to go read the books again...hahaha

      Delete
  57. Hey, I'm back! Definitely reread the books--I just finished reading them a second time, and it was a lot different this time. I took my time reading them, whereas the first time, I sped right through them. The books are definitely page-turners!
    We'll agree to disagree re: Katniss assassinating Coin. :-) I can see why Katniss did it. I don't see Katniss as someone who kills someone for disagreeing with her. After all, she didn't kill Gale when she disagreed with his "sacrifice a few for many" view. You bring up a good point that Coin knew there would be a riot if she tried to kill Katniss. At the same time, Coin is so devious, that she would've found a way to kill Katniss without it looking like a murder. Coin would make it look like Katniss was a martyr. There's a conversation with Boggs and Katniss that Coin would eventually kill her because Katniss is a threat to her…and then pass it off as Katniss being a martyr and inspiration for the rebels.
    Katniss wasn't mad or lazy at all. She was extremely exhausted and broken emotionally after everything that she experienced--from the moment she heard Prim's name called at the reaping for the 74th Games--to everything she had experienced and seen--to that moment when Coin suggested another Hunger Games with the Capitol's children. She had suffered from depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from everything she went through—the final thing being Prim’s death.
    Yes, some people thought Katniss was agreeing with the Games. I'm glad I came to understand this wasn't the case. That entire section is vague, but after re-reading it several times, I can see that it was a ruse on Katniss' part. Some readers still believe she really meant it.
    I really have to disagree with the idea that nothing in the book is realistic. The part about it being true to how war and trauma affects people---that goes hand in hand with the depression and PTSD experienced by Katniss, along with how other characters are affected in different ways, such as Haymitch’s alcoholism.
    The reason why the Districts didn’t stand up to the Capitol was because of the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games were used to keep the Districts in line and also keep them divided. The Games were used to pit the Districts against each other—and using their own children/youth to do it. That’s one of the many horrors of the Games. Consider this: would District 5 be willing to fight on the same side as District 9—if District 9’s tributes murdered District 5’s? Or the Career Districts– especially 1 and 2 are coddled by the Capitol. Would those Districts want to rebel against the Capitol, who makes sure they are well-fed? Probably not. And to add to the insanity of it, the Capitol treats the entire thing like a game, a festivity, a party, get the tributes all dressed up like Capitol citizens and then sit back and laugh while the kids slaughter each other. And then take the traumatized Victor and force them to sell their bodies to Capitol citizens—or kill off their entire families if they don’t cooperate.
    When Katniss allied herself with Rue, District 11 took notice of that and sent her bread as a thank-you in the novel. I like how they react in the film—great foreshadowing of the second rebellion that’s to come. When Katniss and Peeta had the nightlock---to threaten the Capitol with no Victor for their games---some Districts took it as an act of rebellion. So those were small things that gave the Districts hope that maybe things can change, that they could stand up to the Capitol who was oppressing them. We don’t really know what happened in all those 73 years in the Districts. There might’ve been those who wanted to rise up against the Capitol during that time. All we know is that the Hunger Games were happening year after year. In the 74th edition of the Games, that’s when things began to change, and all because of Katniss Everdeen.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Oh man, please forgive my lack of spacing above.....grrrrr....


    You’re right—Gale does spend time telling Katniss to think of others, and he did take care of his and Katniss’ family. However, when it came to the war and taking down the Capitol, he was all for sacrificing innocent rebels and even innocent District 2 citizens to win the war. This especially becomes apparent with the death traps that he and Beetee design that play on human compassion. One bomb kills the victims—and then a second bomb goes off on those running into help the victims—that’s the type of bomb that killed Prim. He also was able to depersonalize the Hunger Games. When Katniss is worried about going into the Games and killing other tributes, Gale reminds her that it’s just like hunting, and tells her that. When Katniss mentions it’s animals she’s used to killing, Gale says it’s no different.

    For me, it wasn’t a character change at all. He had already expressed how much he hated the Capitol, that he would be willing to do anything to win the war. If you reread the chapter in Mockingjay when Katniss, Beetee, and Gale are in the Nut, that’s when it becomes very clear that Gale has no problem killing innocents to win the war. Gale does have a good and caring side when it comes to his family and Katniss’, but he’s also full of anger and hatred.

    It’s a shame that the story that SC wrote doesn’t appeal to you, but then again, we all have our different tastes of what we like/don’t like. What I might like, you may not like and vice versa.

    SC did write a very dark story from the very beginning. The whole idea of a nation forcing its children and youth to fight to the death on public television as punishment for a rebellion that happened several generations ago---that is very dark. It was inevitable that the story would only become darker, with a very grim tone. She was developing a story about change, revolution, and the cost of it. She was showing the horrors of war and how very few have so much (the Capitol), while so many have barely anything (the Districts—especially District 12). For me, SC didn’t really change anything. She wrote the story she wanted to tell. It’s not light reading at all—it’s very heavy. It’s hard and difficult to read. Mockingjay is definitely different than the first two novels, however, when rereading it a second time, I appreciated the direction it went in and understood it more.
    I definitely wished she had showed more examples of how Katniss and Peeta grow together. But that’s what fanfiction is for. ;-) She showed little snippets of how they grew close together, such as Peeta planting the primrose bushes, but not a lot.

    So yes, reread the books again. Even though it’s not what you like to read or the topic doesn’t interest you, reread it again with the idea that this is SC’s story to tell. It’s not an easy or fun story, however, our own reactions to it are telling. I’ll just close by saying that when I first took , my god-daughter to see The Hunger Games, I walked out of that theater and said “that movie disturbed me”. My god-daughter who was 13 at the time (she’s 15 now) kept saying how the movie was great. It’s not that I didn’t like the movie—I love the movie. It’s that I was really upset by the idea of kids being forced to kill each other for entertainment…so my point is anytime a writer can make you feel anything towards their writing or the subject matter…then it means they’ve done their job.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I wasn't sure what you meant by this statement: "except for the one district that's having trouble until 17(?) year old Katniss comes along and shoots a plane or something and suddenly the district wins. I mean it's just so ridiculous." <---What did you mean by this part?

    When you wrote that the districts "just up and rebel"...my response to that was the whole paragraph about how the Hunger Games split up the districts.

    ReplyDelete

Leave us a comment. Commenting people are our favorites! And we like to give things to favorites :)