Posted by Elizabeth Ryann on 8:15 AM in , , , , ,
I have been not-so-patiently awaiting the release of MOCKINGJAY, and since I received my ebook release at 9:15 last night, I of course put off sleeping until I was finished.

Now I'd really like to discuss it, but I refuse to spoil anyone who doesn't want to be spoiled, so I'm going to make the comments section of this blog post a spoiler area and restrict my thoughts to there.

If you've read MOCKINGJAY and feel compelled to discuss, please join me!



I sort of don't know what to do with myself because I kind of hated it. I mean, of course it was well-written, and of course people died and I cried, exactly as I was supposed to do, but so much of what I loved about the other books felt cheated here. I get why those choices were made, and it feels realistic, but it wasn't satisfying at all. I hate that Katniss, whose strength has been so remarkable throughout, spent 60% of this book hiding in small dark spaces. I HATE how she resolved Gale's character arc. Like, HATE HATE HATE HATE. I'm more Team Katniss than anything else, but of the romances, I liked Gale. That said, I figured it would be Peeta that she ended up with in the end, I just didn't figure that Katniss would be a shell of herself, with no resiliency left. That she wouldn't even retain Gale's friendship, or care about it. I hate that Peeta really doesn't seem to have any real warmth left. I hate that Haymitch is just as irretrievably broken as Katniss. I hate that her mom is so lame as to still not even be strong enough to come visit her only surviving, broken, daughter. The only time her mom ever showed any strength was in caring for the injured, and it would be tough to get more injured than Katniss at this point. I hate that Prim was randomly killed for no real reason--like, I get that it was to break Katniss, but I don't truly get why.

I just... I don't love it as I wanted to love it. And that's a bummer.

I don't love it as I wanted to love it either! I think the problem (at least for me) was the pacing. The first two books are so caught up in the pacing of the arena that there is a definite beginning, middle, and end. In this book there isn't an obvious beginning and end - it's a war, with endless sieges, combats, and strategies. The book picked up, then came back down very quickly. I was most disappointed by the fact that Katniss always seems to come out of these spirals of up by receiving an injury; someone has to tell her how that particular section of the book ended. She's knocked out, or mentally disabled, or hiding, and Boggs/everyone recounts what happened after she goes down. (This especially applies to the trial scene, or lack thereof!)

The Peeta/Gale/Katniss triangle definitely intruded on my reading. The conversation between Gale and Peeta in the cellar seemed a bit forced, and I wasn't interested in that at ALL at that point in the novel. I liked the ending, but I had a hard time with Katniss and Peeta, broken, living over a mass grave. It may be more realistic, but the systematic deaths of everyone that they loved seemed haphazard. Finnick? Prim? Really?

Augh. I think I have to reread to even understand what happened through most of the novel. Too much rising and falling action, not enough time to revel in the climax or the ending.

Yes! Exactly! I agree with every single point, right down to the choppy pacing. (And thanks so so much for commenting, Emily, because not talking about this was killing me.)

The other issue for me is that Katniss spends so much time on the sidelines, or working on her image, or hiding in a closet that she really doesn't feel like herself to me. Intellectually I get why this makes strategic sense for the war, but I feel like the Katniss I met in the other two books would've found some other way to participate than merely playing to the camera and sitting around feeling sorry for herself because maybe her two boys don't love her as much as they used to do. That was never who she was. She was always a do-er. And not just in the sense that she doesn't take orders well, but in the sense that inaction was completely foreign to her. When you add that to Peeta's personality makeover, I think a large part of my problem stems from the fact that this book felt like it was simply about different people. Ones I didn't really like as much, or care about as much.

And I was seriously tired of all her random life-threatening-but-not injuries because it just started to feel incredibly repetitive, especially since it seemed like all of the victors had them. Why did they all crack simultaneously? These guys are all survivors, but suddenly they're not? Then almost all of her allies are systematically killed, but it felt less organic to the story, and more sensationalistic, for lack of a better word, and that took me out of the story again.

And did you understand why she voted for another hunger games, for Prim? I honestly have no idea what was going on in that scene. But then, I still don't really understand why Coin would have Prim killed.

Augh is right.

Thank you for discussing this book, I've been itching to break it down.

I'm very bothered by the deaths of Finnick and Prim. I could see why Prim's death was necessary because Katniss wouldn't believe Snow's story otherwise, but I feel like it was excuted in a very hasty way. Finnick's death just plain irks me, and to find out Annie has his baby at the end doesn't help.

I'm disappointed that Katniss wasn't the first one into Snow's mansion, or that she didn't get to at least be there when that whole thing went down. But that goes back to Prim's death, so yeah. That halucination or whatever it was after the bombs exploded still has me a little confused. I'll admit that I skimmed that part because it was kind of boring. I should go back and read it again. I think the only reason Katniss voted yes for another hunger games was to get on Coin's good side before she killed her, so Coin wouldn't have her in her sights or something. I think? Still doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

A big "Yeah" to everything else you guys said. I'm still not completely sure of my feelings on the book, but there certainly is a lack of love, especially compared with the first two.

Kymkaye, I know exactly what you mean. Plus I just don't see why Finnick wouldn't have the motivation to move faster. It just seems unlikely that the film crew would outrun him, you know? And the bit with Annie at the end didn't help anything for me, either. As for Katniss believing Snow about Prim, yeah, it needed to be something big, but again the weapon just didn't seem to have a point to me. Precisely who were they enticing into the trap? Their own medics? That just seems really ill-advised?

I was very disappointed that Katniss missed most of the action throughout the book. It's completely human to have a breaking point. It just wasn't very enjoyable to read about this previously kick-ass character stumble through trauma after trauma, and remain broken beyond repair. She was so fun because she always managed a way to beat the odds. Here she just felt like a statistic of the war.

I've been discussing this with my friend Karla, and she gave me permission to copy and paste our emails here, so:

LastWord to Elizabeth Ryann
Aug 24

okay im only like halfway through it but i had to discuss with someone!!

first, i was so choked up when katniss had her breakdown right after the bombs...dude i was breaking down right with her....if only someone had had the sense to sedate me! lol

anyway the main reason im emailing....I knew KNEW that there was something wonky about the way that snow always smelled like perfume and blood...but in CF i thought that maybe someone was slowly poisoning him....I never thought that it was because he was drinking from tainted cups to deflect suspicion from him being a poisoner...not that i believed he wasnt a murderer....i guess i was just hoping htat someone (like cinna or his team) was trying to do away with him...you know? or was it just me?

okay, deep breaths Karla! must read on!!!

ElizabethRyann@gmail.com to LastWord
Aug 24

Katniss broke my heart in this one.

And, yes, read on!!

As for President Snow, I knew that there was something weird about the blood, but I found the actual reason he did even weirder, but in a takes-me-out-of-the-story weird way. I guess I just assumed that it had something to do with some strange enhancement that he'd had done to himself, to give him a more predatory edge. I figured we'd learned he had scientists treat him, and he can smell fear or something, and because of his enhancements he eats a lot of raw meat. The poisoning I don't really understand. It seems like it would be so easy to take out his enemies/inconvenient allies without also poisoning himself. The people in the capitol don't really strike me as the suspicious type, so it seems unnecessary. I also can't quite figure out the medicine of the future, where it seems like they're pretty much able to fix whatever, and quickly, but then sometimes they're not able to do anything--like poison for the President and an Avox tongue. It's odd.

LastWord to ElizabethRyann@gmail.com

Okay. this is where I tell you how much i loved, no hated, no loved the book. Yeah, Im conflicted.

First off, Katniss just didn't seem like Katniss to me in this. well, except during the first part of the invasion when she went along with Boggs' plan all the while deciding on her own course of action to take down Snow. But that's for later.

I really didn't like that she took to hiding and not following up on all the things that were going on at the beginning. I kept expecting her to break into Command and demand that they get Peeta out, especially after she realizes that he's alive. So, why didn't she? And then all the allowing them to make her over. The Katniss I knew couldnt stand all that crap. I get that she was injured and not in her right mind, but she had moments of lucidity where I feel like she should have done MORE.

As for Gale: In HG, Collins really foreshadowed his fanatic revolutionary side well with all his rants at the beginning of it but in CF, I kind of pushed that aside because he was willing to run away with Katniss. And, he even said in MJ that the only thing he really had going for him was protecting Katniss' family....So, why was this obviously smart boy, so dense as to design a bomb and not see how much Coin detested Katniss. I mean it was obvious. well to me

And then at the end when Katniss all but forgot about Gale, like his friendship had not been the most important thing to her for so long...how can she just say to her self "hey he's in 2, i don't need to worry about him anymore" uh, hello? thats def not what i could ever expect of her

Peeta: I love Peeta. I know you're more of Gale fan but I always wanted Katniss to end up with Peeta, and I have to admit that I kind of liked how they made him see her as everyone else sees her. I thought more than once in HG and CF that she's got this cold exterior, but we see through her actions how shes not...My problem with the Peeta story line is not how mean he is, but how Katniss ran away from him too. Yeah, she was hurt that he could be so terrified of her and feel like shes evil, but i just wanted her to face him sooner and be like this is not you. this is not the peeta we all know.

Sidenote: the Real/NotReal game was a great device for helping Peeta discern what was true.

Prim: I get why Coin killed Prim. I do....She wanted Katniss broken and she wanted Katniss to witness it, just another senseless death to lay at Katniss door, but a personal one. Coin was too much like Snow. She wanted control over everything and she knew that she couldnt have that with the Mockingjay still operating on all cylinders

And as soon as Katniss agreed to the Hunger Games, I knew what she was going to do. She agreed so that Coin wouldnt give the order to slaughter the citizens of the Capitol before Katniss could take Coin out herself.

What I didn't like was the way that the ending was so summarized...maybe wishful thinking on my part, but I feel like the trial, the aftermath, all of it could have easily taken another 100-200 pages....maybe even another installment.....I just felt kind of let down that I didn't get to SEE the ending but had it told to me.

Still, i did love this book....not as much as HG or even CF but still.

Okay! Hello, long ass email! lol
Now, you go!

ElizabethRyann@gmail.com to LastWord

I hated it. It makes me want to cry because I was SO PSYCHED and I... hated it. The tone for this one was completely different from the other two. This was so depressing and sad, and I seriously missed my favorite kickass heroine. I kept waiting for the plot to start, but it kept almost starting, and then Katniss would receive another injury and end up back in the hospital, still mentally and emotionally broken. She just allowed everything to happen to her, or wasn't even present during big sections of the plot, but sat around all unstable and had someone break it down for her later. This is NOT the Katniss I remember. I kept waiting for her to DO something, but she never really did. Why would she insist on a visit to the wreckage of 12, but not on an earlier rescue of Peeta? She insists that her kidnapped makeup crew not be chained up, but she doesn't really ensure that they're treated better than that? She goes along with plans to be a fake revolutionary for the cameras and doesn't even seem particularly conflicted about it? She's sometimes cruel to Gale for no real reason? She spends endless hours hiding in dark closets? She's just so broken and passive that it broke my heart. Even the ending wasn't really about her choosing to do something. She kind of just gets sent to 12, drifts into a relationship with Peeta, and after 15 years he apparently wears down her resistance to having children enough so that she agrees to do it, even though she's terrified? Like... how is that satisfying? That was the most depressing ending ever. She no longer cares at all about Gale because she randomly decides that his heart is just too evil so that they won't even stay in touch? Her mother just completely abandons her for no real reason?

I'm not arguing that a 17 year old girl who has been through what she has doesn't have every reason to have a breakdown. I'm just shocked because I didn't expect KATNISS to have that breakdown. What was so fascinating about her was how she was always able to overcome her circumstances, no matter how unlikely. And then it turned out that there wasn't a single victor in Mockingjay who wasn't completely and totally broken. It was just awful.

As for the whole thing with the bomb/Prim/Coin thing... I still don't really get it. It's not in Coin's best interest to take Prim out like that. For someone who's in charge of a fanatical waste-not district, that was possibly the least effective way of hurting Katniss ever devised. There was no real guarantee that Prim would be killed in the explosion. It would've made a lot more sense to just have Prim "accidentally" shot, if she for some reason wanted to keep Katniss alive and suffering. Which, really, there was no real reason for her to keep Katniss herself alive, so it still doesn't make tons of sense. And the only reason to blame the bombing on Gale (which I'm not saying is AT ALL fair) is if the bombings were actually one of his trap bombs--which this one wasn't, really. It could maybe be said that the double-bomb was used as a lure for the medics, but since it was a team that was dispatched (in war time), someone had to have authorized their dispersal. So that still doesn't really make sense to me. And yeah, blaming Gale? Not cool. And rather weirdly abrupt, the way it was written.

(continued--Blogger does not care for the length of these emails)

I actually really liked the hijacked Peeta story, since it finally gave him something interesting to do, and the Real/Not Real game was a great device. That said, I thought that storyline would be used for further character development of both Katniss and Peeta, but...nope. We just end up with a Peeta who's no longer homicidal, but not really the same warm guy anymore at the end. And Katniss doesn't really work with him, she's just sort of nearby while other people do. Even though Gale made more sense to me as a match for Katniss, I figured she'd end up with Peeta. But this book ended up really being about the end of their relationship... except that it wasn't, in the end? After everything they went through in this book, I thought it would've made more sense for Peeta to end up with (ack, can't remember her name--Deely?) the cheerful girl from 12, and to work towards being friends with Katniss again by the end of the book, or something. But then, I was expecting his gift for talking to lead him towards a career in government, but nope, neither he nor Katniss are really relevant anymore after the revolution is over. Geez, I guess I was expecting Mockingjay to essentially be the new President from 8's story--victor to revolutionary to peaceful government developer. Instead, we got what we got, and I just didn't like it at all.

P.S. Killing Finnick just felt like overkill, by that point. Like he really couldn't outrun Katniss's film crew? Really? Like he wouldn't be crazy motivated to get back home to pregnant Annie? That took me out of the story too, since it just felt overdone, and not earned.

LastWord to ElizabethRyann@gmail.com

I get everything that you are saying, but I can't say that I hated....more that I was disappointed.

The tone definitely did not match that of HG or CF...Katniss was too much of a wimpering mess for me to respect her all that much in this. For me, there were only flashes of that girl on fire that we all loved from HG and CF...

that said...

The things I loved:
Prim. The relationship between Prim and Katniss was so much more than before...like while Katniss was away being this symbol of revolution, Prim grew up and grew up well. I loved their little late night talks and Prims sage advice for her sister...almost as if their roles had reversed the minute they came to 13...

Peeta's hijacking. I really liked that storyline, and would have much preferred to see more of his "coming back to himself" I totally agree with you. It was far too detached what with Katniss just standing by like she did and not helping at all.

Things I liked, but was thinking WTF?:
Katniss' emotional meltdowns: Her reactions to what was going on around her was more in line with how i wouldve handled myself: blindly following...not really her personality, but i was very moved by her reactions while walking through the ruins of district 12 and after the bombing of 13 when she goes up top to do some propos....even though they really didn't sit well with me because of how strong she is. Her outburst at Peeta when he showed up to replace Leeg 1 seemed more fitting reaction for her...That said, if she hadn't been such a sappy sally thru the whole thing, I would've been so much more overwhelmed by Prims death, because that --seeing her sister die right before her eyes--would definitely break her....

Prims death: I feel like prim needed to die....like is was a full circle thing. the series started with Katniss offering herself up as tribute in order to spare her sisters life but really all she did was push back her death sentence...while i dont like that prim died, it feels right to the story

Things i hated:
Finnick dying...Yeah, it did feel forced and overkill....seriously, finnick should have been one of the ones who made it out of the sewer. that was just flash, burn, and sizzle to throw the reader for a loop in my opinion

Gale's fanaticiism...yeah, they foreshadowed it well in HG, but i feel like Gale should have shown a little more compassion in regards to innocent lives lost. it didn't sit well with me that he was so gung ho about killing all those people working in the nut...some of them were spies for the rebels!

The way the ending was written....I'm not going to go into detail there, I've already said about the summarizing thing and you hit on that very well....it just wasnt satisfying for me either

Now, after all that....this is what i EXPECTED:

it beginning with the rebels hatching some kind of plan to extract Peeta and the others from the Capitol...Katniss leading the charge (or at least pushing from behind very heavily) Peeta becoming hte voice of the resistance and together he and Katniss get the districts on board.....the attack on the capitol played out decently....i wouldve liked a little more, but the blueprint scheme and then them finding more pods was cool....the mutts being involved....I really don't know what else I expected...yes, i expected peeta and katniss to be together....for a moment there when Delly was in the hospital with Peeta helping him to remember, i thought it might go in the direction of him and her, but i still hoped that peeta would come out of his stupor and remember how much he loved katniss....but yeah, whatever

I can't say as i hated this, but it definitely wasnt the best in the series....more like the worst, but still a good book...just not what i expected or wanted :(


ElizabethRyann@gmail.com to LastWord

My hate stems from my sheer disappointment, I think. And the lack of delivery on the setups. I feel built up and letdown.

Your read on Katniss is mine, and that's what kills me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Katniss. This Katniss? Is like a horrible bodysnatcher version of Katniss, and I don't like it. I'm not saying her reaction here is not justified because she has certainly faced an awful lot of trauma, I'm just saying that it's not particularly in character for her. I don't want to pity Katniss. I want to admire her and want to want to grow up to be her.

As for Prim, yes, I love who she grew into, with all the best parts of the entire family. But that's kind of why I felt like she had to survive. Or, at least, if the book ever intended for there to be any note of hope for Panem-After-The-War, Prim had to live because of how hard Katniss worked and sacrificed to ensure that she did. But that's part of what was so depressing. There is no hope left, even though the Capitol was stopped and the war is over. Her kids play on a graveyard of everyone she ever knew. That's a rather horrific image. And really, with no hope for pretty much anything, I get why Katniss has sort of checked out of life. But I don't like it at all. And it doesn't fit with what I know of her from before this book, so it's really jarring.

As for Gale, I had no problem with him suggesting the avalanche to destroy the nut. His fanaticism in the earlier books always hinged on how clear he was about how wrong and evil their government was, and how strongly he felt that it should be stopped. He's smart, he has paid attention to what's going on around him, and he was in a war strategy meeting. I have no problems at all with him recognizing the avalanche as an effective option. I DO have problems with him not caring at all about the loss of innocent life, because that's EXACTLY what he DOESN'T stand for. That's what he recognizes as evil and has argued against for two books. He was also never one for taking the easy option, not ever, so that whole scene was weird to me. I can see him coming to agree that that's their best option, but he has always had compassion, and so I think he should've also been the one to argue about keeping the train track entrance clear as an option (as they did, but I felt that that should have come from him. This is the same guy who is great at dealing with the practicalities and looking after others. He often takes better care of Katniss' family than Katniss does, for instance. So the way that scene played out was really odd. And again, inconsistent with what had come before.)

So I finally decided that this book was about people caring for those who are broken around them, who help bring them back to themselves, so that they can once again relate to their peers. ALL of the victors were irretrievably broken. But that's why Finnick and Annie were so celebrated here, that's why this was more of the Gale/Katniss relationship book (where the previous ones were more Peeta/Katniss--but left the door open for Gale since Katniss was so conflicted about it) since he was still whole enough to take care of her (and take care of her family) because he hadn't been part of the Games, that's why Peeta spent so much time bonding with Delly in this book as she helped heal him, Johanna had no one and she couldn't rise above it. But then that theme didn't turn out to be true either, and no one really ends up with any sort of warm hopeful relationship in the end.

The whole thing was just bizarre. And horribly disappointing. There were certain elements that I liked, but not a single thing lasted, and it was all just horribly horribly depressing with no sliver of hope. It kinda hurts me to even associate this book with the other two.

I totally agree with just about all of this....yes, i had no problem with gale being the one to suggest the avalanche at the nut...it was his total disregard for the loss of innocent lives that threw me through a loop (just like you) at that part i was like "Gale! WTF is wrong with you?!?"

you bring up a great point about all the victors being irrevocably broken...i guess i didnt think about it but they all were and that is so depressing....what snow said in CF when they announced the Quarter Quell really is true...Even the Strongest Fall :(

I could seriously go on forever, disecting this book. there was just so much going on. Things that I loved. Things that I liked but wondered about the plausibility, and things that I didn't care for at all.

And yeah, exactly: "Even the Strongest Fall" is not precisely the message I was expecting these books to end on.

Thanks for discussing it with me, Karla! It helps a lot with the horribly alienated and depressed feeling with which finishing Mockingjay slammed me.

I'm still depressed and confused.

I stand by my reasoning that Suzanne wrote the first two and then decided to do something "new" and "daring" in this third one.

I also think that something terrible must have happened to her during the writing process of Mockingjay because there were never any happy moments. EVER. We'd get one respit and then BAM someone dies or something explodes.

As I reached the last page I started crying because NO NO NO. that is not how this book was supposed to go. E, you said it best in that I hated it because I was so horribly disappointed in it. I need to collect my thoughts before I write more.

*heavy sigh*

After sleeping on it, I woke up still disappointed.

I find it a little ironic that HG, the darkest jacket has the most hope in it. Then CF has a little less. And MJ had the lightest jacket but had the darkest interior. There was nothing redeeming about it.

I get why Prim died, and while painful, I do think it was necessary for her to truly be broken so that she could see Coin for who she was. And Snow for who he was. But Finnick? Didn't need to die. He's the only one who had true happiness in this book with Annie. Keep him alive! And Katniss? I think she died on the hovercraft to 13 and this was a robot impersonater. To quote you, E. "I don't want to pity Katniss. I want to admire her and want to want to grow up to be her." I definitely didn't admire her in this book. And that's not right.

OK, to be fair, there were a few parts I liked. Hijacking Peeta, Prim and Katniss' relationship. And yeah, that's it. Two bloody things in the entire book. Damn it.

I've decided that epilogues are about as lame as prologues. I hated it in HP 7 and I hated it here. It just beat you down further. Oh Katniss can't make her own decisions? Well, Peeta will make them for her. CAUSE SHE'S LAME. I get that the Games break you and if they don't, the Captiol will, but COME ON, you've just taken part in a successful rebellion to take down those evil doers. You have to feel good about that. Unless, your mom ditches you again. And your best friend whom you thought you might be the love of your life is off living the good life and you two don't even bother to talk. Oh and your kids play in a graveyard. Yippee Kai Yiah Yeah.

I am so sad that's how the book ended. It takes away from the other two. I want a re-do!

Abby, this? "As I reached the last page I started crying because NO NO NO. that is not how this book was supposed to go." Was EXACTLY how I reacted. And I DEFINITELY feel misled about the covers. Why on earth is Mockingjay such a cheerful light blue with the bird all real and breaking out of its shackles? Is it supposed to be ironic? Was it designed to hurt us more? I just don't understand, at all. It's just all so...bleak, for lack of a better word.

Honestly, this epilogue just gave me new appreciation for the crappy Harry Potter epilogue. I still say there was no chemistry between Harry and his wife, and there were two deaths that I seriously didn't care for (one of which was the animal one because seriously??), but now I understand how very very much worse it could have been.

Wow. Everybody has like a totally different view from me, haha ... I'll try to give my perspective, as a writer... I know some of the other people on this thread are writers.

Okay, I will say that the 1st book is by far my favorite, and that I really liked the pacing in that book the best. It was cool and exciting and like an action movie. But I feel like this book is what Suzanne Collins was TRYING TO SAY with the series.

My theory? It's about how war sucks and nobody wins. How violence is bad and how it hurts people.

The whole time I was reading I was like struck by how even the "good guys" are using the same tactics that the "bad guys" used--look at Gale and how he turned totally pragmatic about killing the enemy using those awful traps, and how Katniss has this epiphany about it after they collapse the tunnel. She's like WHAT ARE WE DOING?? And what really really drove this home was how they wanted to have another hunger games at the end using kids from the capital! It was like THEY HAVEN'T LEARNED AND THEY AREN'T DIFFERENT. Which is so often true when it comes to war. The other side is the bad guys and you are the good guys no matter what atrocities you commit in the name of winning. I think SC was trying to tell the story of war from both sides. The victors break too. Everybody loses. It flat out sucks.

I really really enjoyed this because I think it was done so well. The theme was strong to me, and it has been making me think all day. But the unfortunate part of saying something like that in a book is that you can't glorify the victory so much, because by doing that you are sort of saying that the war was okay and justified and obviously that's the opposite of her message. I think the theme or message of the series (I believe SC said this herself in an interview too) was basically just against violence/war especially in entertainment. The 1st book was thrilling, but also heartbreaking. Katniss had to kill all these people she didn't want to kill. A bunch of her friends died. Kids died. The bloodbath was pretty huge in those books too.

I'll admit, I was totally stunned by Finnick's death, and super super sad about it. But then I remembered how SC doesn't hesitate to kill her characters. I was also sad about the Gale conclusion, since I sort of favored Gale personally. But I actually agreed with the end that she should be with Peeta. I think that was the most satisfactory conclusion for her character.

I also did feel like Katniss was different, and I didn't like that so much ... but again, I think it fit with the theme. She's defeated. PLUS the book's a dystopia, and dystopias almost never have happy endings. IE, Brave New World, 1984, Time Machine, etc ... usually the main character dies. I actually half-expected Katniss to die.

So anyway, I liked the book. I thought it was really sad, but it made me think like crazy. I finished it and got up and paced around thinking WHOA. Depressing but such a powerful statement. Especially in our culture.

I'm not a pacifist, but I am against unnecessary violence/war. I think the book was ultimately trying to show how awful war is, not glorify it.

So yeah, the book was bleak! But I think it was supposed to be that way. I think it was supposed to suck for those of us who loved these characters.

I know this isn't a super satisfying reason, but it's the one I told myself after reading Lord of the Flies, and Brave New World, and a bunch of other dark dystopic fiction...

Hi, Katherine!

I think you're absolutely right that that was the intention, and she certainly conveyed the horrors and effects of war on everyone, including "good" people who choose to do bad things. Did you read Trisha's blog today? http://trishaleigh.com/2010/08/30/thoughts-on-mockingjay/ She pretty much had the same thoughts you did, and she appreciated it for a similar reason. I think that the themes explored here certainly condense down to an extremely powerful message, and Collins definitely gets her point across.

That said, I feel like the other books managed to include many of the same themes without completely sacrificing hope or Katniss's ability to stay conscious. This book, to me, felt less like a natural conclusion to the story she had been telling about the horrors of war and how it devastates, and more like the story got dropped in favor of CRUSHING DEVASTATION in order to hammer home the message. And if she were a lesser writer, I would not have been as heartbroken as I was by the loss of so many of these characters. And I certainly did have to go back and rethink my opinion on Katniss, and the qualities that I thought I'd observed that made her so awesome. And I didn't enjoy doing that AT ALL, which definitely colors my response. I deeply love the Katniss I thought I knew. But you bring up a good point about dystopias and defeat, and you've made me think it all through a little bit more, which is never a bad thing... There's certainly plenty to unpack here to keep people busy for a very long time.

Thanks for chiming in with some positivity, though! I really appreciate that, seriously. Because I was unlikely to do so anytime soon, as saddened as I was by the book. :)

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