Annalisa’s review of Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Tony (new)

Tony Really? It has to be Pita. :)

message 2: by Annalisa (last edited Aug 06, 2010 01:52PM) (new)

Annalisa I think I'm in the minority there. I just think Katniss is too strong and Pita too much of a softie. If they end up together she will walk all over him and it won't be a balanced relationship. (Nothing against you and Rachel, sometimes these relationships work, it's how me and my husband are, but I don't see it for Katniss in a survival world.) Besides, what I read in her feelings for Pita are guilt and wanting to take care of him and being forced to be with her, but Gale is the one she is afraid to love because she knows she will fall deep for him. Anyway, those are my feelings. I guess we'll find out next month.

We had a great discussion about Peeta vs Gale here.

message 3: by Penny (last edited Aug 06, 2010 12:44PM) (new)

Penny Who says it has to be Gale or Peeta? Maybe Katniss will decide she's too young to be in a commited relationship and go on to University (actually I'd love to see this happen. Really, I would). What if Gale dies? Or maybe she'll pick someone else, like Finnick (I also like this option but I know it would never happen. But seriously, how hot would that be? Pretty hot, amirite??? Squee!!!).

I'm just sayin'.

Here's the deal, Peeta is going to die. I'm almost 100% convinced of that. He is the sacrificial lamb. There is no other way (well, there are other ways for this series to wrap up, but I don't want to get into that now). So I've come to terms with Peeta's inevitable death. I'm still sad, but I've accepted it.

But Gale? Really??? Yeah, I just don't see it. I can't see Katniss doing what Peeta wants her to do: continuing on with her life after he's dead and gone, living happily ever after, making babies with Gale. No. It's not gonna happen. Katniss is just too stubborn. Besides, I still think Gale is part of a big conspiricy (paranoid much? Yes. Yes I am) and that he and Madge are sort of together. Don't look at me like that. It makes perfect sense. The book will come out and you'll see what I'm talking about and totally apologize for ever being Team Gale. Mark. My. Words. (or not--it's your choice).

(I'm sleep deprived. Severely sleep deprived. And yes, I'm still on the road. P.S. traveling with three kids and no husband isn't fun. Can't wait until I get home so the husband can raise these kids for a while)

message 4: by Annalisa (last edited Aug 06, 2010 01:51PM) (new)

Annalisa Penny, you crack me up. I would love that option too. But between Gale and Peeta, I would way rather see her end up with Gale. I just think people like Peeta (in general) because he's had more "screen" time and so they're supposed to like him, but if they thought about it they wouldn't think they matched (except for girls who have "Peeta" husbands and want to route for the nice guy). I don't see the Madge thing, but I guess we'll see. I can't even remember who Finnick is. Do I have to reread these books before Mockingjay comes out? So maybe I just don't remember a Gale/Madge thing :).

I'd be okay with Peeta dying. It's what he's set out to do from book one. (I don't dislike him, though, just dislike him for Katniss.) Maybe Collins has the guts to do what SM couldn't. Oh, here I go again... So back to Hunger Games, yeah, I think Peeta's going to die. And I think girls are going to be upset about it, but it's the logical progression to the story. I agree, the best option is for Katniss to take off on her own because she's A) too young, B) needs to mourn Peeta and what the Hunger Games have done to her, and C) it's how Katniss is. It's what Collins has set us up for since Hunger Games.

I just got back from vacation with my husband's family. Is that worse? :) It was fishing and staying in a dirty cabin where nobody cleaned up after fishing and I was a little grossed out. I'm currently washing everything that went on the trip. So I'm a little prissy about dirt. I would never survive in Katniss' world :).

message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Annalisa, I hope that you enjoy it. It was quite the ride, quite intense. I finished it this morning.

message 6: by Cami (new)

Cami Don't react so soon! I haven't finished yet!

message 7: by Annalisa (new)

Annalisa Read fast! I pretty much had to stay away from goodreads until I finished.

message 8: by Cami (new)

Cami Luckily, I have a long weekend w/ my husband and we can finish reading it together. (which, of course, slows a girl down!)

message 9: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Annalisa, I love your review. I'd love to vote for it, but I don't want to call attention to it quite yet, unless you would consider checking the spoiler box.

I'm glad that the resolution was acceptable to you.

message 10: by Annalisa (last edited Aug 26, 2010 10:56PM) (new)

Annalisa Are there spoilers before the love triangle comments that I noted as spoilers? I'll go bold that.

message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Oh, and that underground death was also hardest for me in some ways.

message 12: by Annalisa (last edited Aug 26, 2010 11:04PM) (new)

Annalisa I was so sad, especially after finding out later about the baby and really she was all he had to keep her stable. He just really got beat up in this book and I kept wanting to protect him.

I marked the spoiler box for now.

message 13: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Annalisa wrote: "Are there spoilers before the love triangle comments that I noted as spoilers? I'll go bold that."

The whole review seems sort of spoilerish to me but that bold you just added probably helps enough. I am hoping most who haven't read it yet will avoid reviews even though so far most reviews are those by people who haven't read the book yet.

message 14: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Yeah, I loved him. What a great character and good character development.

message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Thanks for adding the spoiler box. The book is soooo new. And once people have read it, they will click on reviews marked as spoilers. I did! So, your review will get read. It's a great one.

Yes, both those deaths got to me, and the first one was more emotional but the second one shocked me.

message 16: by Annalisa (last edited Aug 27, 2010 10:00AM) (new)

Annalisa The second one shocked me too and it actually pissed me off quite a bit, but I didn't cry like I think I was expected. I was already pulling away, protecting myself from the pain at that point. When Harry goes down to the forest in Deathly Hallows, I bawled right along with him because I was so connected with his story. I didn't get to that point in this story where I was so tied up in Katniss' emotions that I felt everything with her.

message 17: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Dang I wish I still lived there so we could get together and talk about this book...holy cow. You should just call me when you get a while to chat!

message 18: by Annalisa (new)

Annalisa I know, Hannah. I've been wondering what you thought. Four stars says nothing!

message 19: by Penny (last edited Aug 27, 2010 09:42AM) (new)

Penny I didn't cry with either death, though I felt more when the first one happened, probably because I felt more connected to the first character then I did the second. Like you said, the second death was tragic and senseless, and I strongly agree with you about why it was done. But I don't think the second death undermines the whole series, makes it pointless.

About the detachment you felt, I felt it to, but I feel that is what Suzanne Collins was hoping for. Here's the deal, my father went to Vietnam and saw a lot of senseless violence, lost a lot of friends and acquaintances. In all my life I've only heard him speak about it, in a candid manner, once. Otherwise he speaks about it in a detached way, as if he read about it or watched some footage of it instead of actually experiencing it himself. I feel it is his way of coping with it, which is sad.

I feel that Katniss, by starting that book about everyone she knew who died, was doing what my father needs to do (although, as far as I know, he probably has done something like that. Like I said, he doesn't ever talk about it). My point is, the reason we felt detached from the story is because Katniss was already so detached. She was so messed up by all the senseless violence that she'd already checked out emotionally. And when reality threatened to take over, she took drugs to make it all better.

Under similar circumstances I think every normal person would shut down emotionally. If Katniss had continued to function "normally" after going through all that, we'd have a sociopath on our hands. Like Peeta said, when you kill someone you lose a part of yourself, you're killing your soul. Suzanne Collins did a fantastic job illustrating that.

Katniss triumphs in the end because, though it took time, she confronts the pain, works through it. She lives her life, no longer the actress, the puppet, the victim. I especially love that she does what she vowed to never do. She has children. The best part is, her children, everyone's children for that matter, won't ever know the horrors of Reaping Day and the Hunger Games.

I feel she ended up with with the right man. And no, I don't think she settled for him. I knew she truly loved him when she started fighting for him, not only for his life but for all those lost memories, for his love.

I also feel Katniss is a romantic person, just not in the traditional sense. The girl kept the pearl, would take it out when she was thinking of him! Carried it with her into battle. Didn't even throw it out when he rejected her, tried to kill her (on more then one occasion)! Speaking of, talk about the ultimate rejection. I think my heart broke on Katniss behalf when that happened.

P.S. I wish we lived near each other. I would love to have you in my book club.

P.P.S. Like always, I typed out this long essay that is better then my actual review. So I'm just going to go ahead and add it as an addendum to my review.

message 20: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Annalisa wrote: "I know, Hannah. I've been wondering what you thought. Four stars says nothing!"

I finished it last I am still processing! I will post a review soon enough :) I will say that the ending bothered me. Her character bothered me this book more than anything. But still. Processing and it is like I need to talk it out or something!

message 21: by Annalisa (last edited Aug 27, 2010 10:19AM) (new)

Annalisa Penny,
That would be awesome, if we lived near each other :).

Okay, I don't know that I conveyed this very well in my review, but I totally understand why Collins made us feel detached and made Katniss detached. It was real and she made us feel what Katniss was feeling, or refusing to feel. I get that war is gruesome and horrible and she didn't want to glorify it at all, but I think she went too far in the other direction. I read a review that went on about the hopelessness in the book and how a lot of people turn to YA fiction because they get sick of the bleakness in adult fiction. The Road is pretty bleak and I liked it, but it's adult fiction and so there's a different standard for me. And even then, I didn't think it was as excessive as this. And it's not even the excessive violence, well not entirely, as much as the excessiveness of it all on Katniss, on all the tributes, but mostly her. I quit believing that all these things could happen to one person. I didn't want to read about it anymore. And while I get that Collins was going for, and achieve it she does (it's why I gave the book 4 stars), I have this conflict about it being YA and that it's too much for YA. I found this article that expresses a lot of what my reaction was to the violence.

I don't think the death made the series pointless either, but I did have a moment of "well what was the point of Katniss going through all that if she did all of that to prevent what happened anyway." And I also meant that it made you question whether war in general is ever worth the price. But yes, they tore apart the government and got rid of the Hunger Games and that was good and worthwhile and someone had to break to do it. It just pissed me off that she had to tack that on in the end after everything else happened. And it pissed me off everything that Finnick went through because I really liked him and it made it harder for me to buy into a government that was sadistic and focused on torturing not people in general but children; I didn't get the point of such a vendetta.

I agree that she didn't settle for Peeta. I always believed that she loved him, that she loved both of them. I just felt in the first two books she loved him initially out of guilt and force and though her feelings were there, they were complicated by her need to be strong and focus on the battle ahead and he wasn't strong enough for her, but by this book all of that was removed. And sometimes it's when something is taken away from you that you realize how much you needed it and that's how Katniss came to understand her feelings for Peeta. She didn't have a reason to stick by him, but like you said, she kept the pearl, and that was very romantic. I just wish she would have been a little kinder when she spoke to him. You know what I wanted from them? A shouting match. I wanted to Katniss to blow up in front of him and ask what he wanted from her and break down and have it out. And I wanted her and Gale to talk. Every scene with her an Gale just faded into the next without any connection. He became a non-issue in the book.

I'm very conflicted about the book. Because I understand all the emotions that Collins wants us to feel and all the things she wants us to question, but another part of me wonders why YA has to be so dark and disturbing. I think she could have achieved emotion and questions without being so cruel. I don't think this book was appropriate as YA, while I still felt that the other two stayed within the bounds.

message 22: by Penny (last edited Aug 27, 2010 11:46AM) (new)

Penny Annalisa wrote: "You know what I wanted from them? A shouting match. I wanted to Katniss to blow up in front of him and ask what he wanted from her and break down and have it out. And I wanted her and Gale to talk. Every scene with her an Gale just faded into the next without any connection. He became a non-issue in the book.

Oh wow! Okay, a shouting match would have been awesome. I admit I kept wanting her to confront Peeta, to tell him something, anything, to breakdown and cry. Sure, crying in front of people isn't really Katniss' MO, but I thought that maybe she'd show some of the pain and confusion she was feeling.

But really, maybe it was the right thing for her to do, to work through her emotions on her own, to keep her thoughts to herself. Unlike Bella Swan, Katniss didn't turn to the men in her life for advice about "the other guy". She didn't run into one guys arms in order to soothe the pain inflicted by the other guy. Sure, Gale put his life on the line to rescue Peeta, but she didn't ask him to. BTW, when Gale did this I had to give him a lot of credit, endearing him to me just a little.

But for the most part, Gale was as cardboard cut-outey as he ever was. He never showed up, not really. For me, he was always in the background. Had the hunger games never happened he would have been her future, I'm sure. But once Prim was called as a tribute any possiblity of them ever getting together was over.

For instance, what if Katniss hadn't taken Prim's place (this never would have happened, but still) and Prim died in the arena? Do you ever see Katniss getting over that? Yeah, me neither. Honestly I don't think, under any circumstance or any other scenario, Gale would have fit into Katniss's (Katnesses? Katniss'?) life after she won the 74th Hunger Games. Her life was forever changed, even if she hadn't gone back into the arena a second time.

If Peeta had died in the arena during the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss would have become an alcoholic or morphling addict. She probably would have been sold off, just like Finnick (speaking of, tragic much?).

No, Gale would have never fit into her life.

Moving on...

I think the violence is excessive, yes. But at the same time I don't think it was wrong of Suzanne Collins to put it in this book. Here's the deal, as Americans we are fortunate in that excessive violence isn't part of our everyday lives, unless you count violence in the media whether it be real or not. What a blessing, am I right? That being said, just because we're fortunate to live in such relative safety, doesn't mean we should pretend violence doesn't exist. For instance, I know a lot of women who don't watch any news as it is "too depressing", because "such ugly things are happening in this world" and they don't want to "expose their children to any of it". These same women let their kids play violent video games, watch violent cartoons but it's okay because it's "not real". What's more troubling is these people vote and they don't really know what's going on in this world, unless you count celebrity gossip and/or everything Glenn Beck says.

This may sound harsh but I'd rather my kids were aware of what's actually going on in this world. Of what some people are capable of doing. Not to scare them, but so that they aren't naive/ignorant, don't live a life of denial. I want them to know how fortunate they really are to have a roof over their heads, food in their bellies. I want them to know that the freedom and relative safety they have is a blessing, that they will be grateful for it.

And sure, this book is just fiction, but it's based on bits and pieces of pop culture, history and folk tales. I also feel the violence in this book was included for an important reason.

(the thing I absolutely love about the audio book version of this book is the fact that, at the end of the story, Suzanne Collins explains what inspired her to write this book, what message she's trying to convey. I looked at the hardback version of this book and I saw that while there is an acknowledgment section the explanation isn't included, which really is a shame).

I'd rather my kids would grow up reading this sort of thing then any of the pointless crap that publishers are regurgitating these days. I want my kids to read things that challenge them to think.

P.S. in case anyone asks: no, I don't want my seven-year-old to read this book right now. But when she's old enough, mature enough, I hope she reads this series.

P.P.S. And just for the record, watching the nightly news in front of your kids isn't a bad thing. It won't cause them to be serial killers and crack hoes. I should know, I grew up watching (or more accurately listening to) the nightly news. My parents wanted me and my siblings to know what was going on in the world. And no, we're not messed up because of it. If something bothered us our parents spoke to us about it, provided them with a lot of teaching moments. If anything, I was the kid who always knew what was going on in the world and always did well when it came to social studies, government, history and economics. I rocked at current events.

message 23: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Penny, I agree with most of what you said. I understand the death in the square though. I don't think it was violence for violence's sake. I didn't like a lot in this book but that's good because I don't like war or violence and it would have been weird to have this be comfy to read.

message 24: by Annalisa (last edited Aug 27, 2010 03:52PM) (new)

Annalisa Penny,
I'm very glad Katniss didn't break down to Gale about Peeta Bella Swan style. I actually kept thinking that while reading it, that if she did I was going to be furious. But still I wanted an outburst from her :). And the conversations she could have had with Gale could have been about her reactions to the district being gone and remembering her father, that kind of best friend stuff, not about Peeta. They didn't seem to connect in the book, ever.

That would have been very cool to hear Suzanne Collins talking at the end about why she wrote the series. I think it should have been included in the hardback version.

Lisa (and Penny still too),
I don't think the violence is violence to push the envelope or be the most disturbing YA out there. But I think it's there to shock you into thinking about war. Something about it didn't feel like the natural progression of the story but Collins tilting the story for the most damage. I've been trying to figure out what exactly it is that disturbed me. Unwind didn't disturb me like this and it was pretty intense and the main characters were left pretty beat up at the end, but for some reason, that one didn't seem to cross the line where this one did. It's such a thin, arbitrary line and it's different for everyone and maybe in a year or two if I read through the whole series again, knowing what's going to happen it won't bother me as much. I didn't hate the book by a long shot and everything everyone says that loved it, I still agree with. I'm just a little more conservative in what I like to see in YA fiction that some. I like that distinction of YA vs adult fiction. I read a review that mentioned maybe it was Peeta's balance of humanity and goodness to the bleakness that was missing. I'm mulling that one over.

message 25: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Ah. I see. I an an adult and while I know it's a ya book, I read it just as a book.

Oh, that one scene from Unwind was so disturbing, so haunting.

message 26: by Dawn (new)


message 27: by Michael (last edited Aug 27, 2010 08:37PM) (new)

Michael "The other death upset me because it made the whole series seem pointless."

I totally agree! It's like it runs the series right back to where it started. Collins was probably going for irony, but by that point, pretty much every supporting character had been killed off anyways. So, I was kind of just like "Eh, another death?"

message 28: by Annalisa (last edited Aug 28, 2010 09:48AM) (new)

Annalisa Lisa, I think Unwind didn't bother me as much because that was what was behind the whole story so in the back of your mind you were always waiting for that scene and if Shusterman hadn't delivered, you may have felt a little cheated. I personally wouldn't have minded if he left it out, but it felt right to include and it was done tactfully (haunting but vague). I didn't think Shusterman punished his characters just to punish them; the story felt more organic to me, and it still held onto that sense of hope you find in YA. You know, Unwind was pretty disturbing and it should have bothered me. Maybe I just read that one like a book too :).

So I've been thinking a little more about what bothered me. I think a big part of it is that there wasn't enough character development. Collins left me on the outside of Katniss' head. Like when she made the decision about the capital Hunger Games and never explains, even afterward, why she did it. You can figure it out, but I wanted to know what was going on in Katniss' head: her reaction to killing and being used and everything. It makes it hard to sympathize with her when you aren't getting anything out of your MC. You're left to guess most of Gale's intentions and whether Coin was as evil as Snow and Peeta was such a minor character we really don't get much of him at all. It's part of the reason the deaths don't mean anything; there wasn't enough character development. I think Collins did this to aide our feeling Katniss shut down that Penny mentioned, but there were times Katniss was feeling and it wasn't portrayed to the reader. I watched the events unfold, many times in fast motion, instead of living them with Katniss the way I did in Hunger Games.

message 29: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Annalisa, I know what you mean. This definitely felt different than the first two books.

But it worked for me. Characters who have been through hell and are scarred and traumatized and different. In completely different circumstances. A whole different world really.

So, while I partially agree, I feel differently about book 3. It once again felt very realistic to me, from start through epilogue.

I did have the same (surprising to me) muted reaction to the most devastating deaths, three I can think of for me. And I don't think the book was perfect. Too much action, war, violence, as I said in my review.

message 30: by Annalisa (last edited Aug 28, 2010 11:19AM) (new)

Annalisa I think it worked for a lot of people. I think that's where the divide is on people who loved it and people who felt like something was off/missing (well that, and some books weren't meant to be "liked," but to make you think). It's like The Book Thief. Death as a sympathetic narrator and Zusak's prose to contrast the horror or WWII totally works for me. Other people are thrown off by his techniques. You're going to get that anytime you try something new for effect. I thought Hunger Games was such an amazing book because the action was intense, the plot twists so creative, but the fast pace didn't deter from character development (besides it being such an original idea). It had it all. I wanted that again. I get why she wrote it the way she did, but it fell just short for me.

message 31: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan I loved The Book Thief too. It's on my top-100 shelf I liked it so much.

message 32: by Annalisa (new)

Annalisa It's one of my favorites too. I have a literary crush on Markus Zusak :).

message 33: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Annalisa wrote: "It's one of my favorites too. I have a literary crush on Markus Zusak :)."


Have you read his other books? I have not yet read any others.

message 34: by Annalisa (last edited Aug 28, 2010 04:26PM) (new)

Annalisa Book Thief is his best one, but I love his prose and have read everything he's written. I Am the Messenger is another one where people struggled with his literary devices but it has a great message. I personally love Getting the Girl but I'm a sucker for quirky boy protagonists with big hearts. That one isn't as well known.

message 35: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Annalisa, re your last statement: Have you read An Abundance of Katherines?

message 36: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey I really liked how you talked about how this book was harder to believe than the other books. I've been struggling to figure out why I felt that way and your review completely explained it. Thanks!

message 37: by Annalisa (last edited Aug 28, 2010 04:26PM) (new)

Annalisa Lisa, I actually haven't read any John Green, why? Good guy protagonist?

message 38: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan I thought so. Good girl one too. I'd recommend it.

message 39: by Penny (new)

Penny Annalisa, if you're going to read John Green be sure to read Paper Towns. I quite liked that one. I also really liked Looking For Alaska. An Abundance of Katherines was good, but I didn't like it as much as the other two. I've yet to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, but I've read the first chapter and I found it amusing.

message 40: by Annalisa (new)

Annalisa Thanks for the recommends. John Greene is hiding somewhere at the bottom of my to-read list. I think it was Looking for Alaska that piqued my interest, but I haven't checked that one out yet either.

message 41: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan I'm very eager to read Looking for Alaska. I don't know anything about Paper Towns so I'll have to check out that one. Thanks, Penny.

message 42: by Lisa (last edited Aug 29, 2010 07:51AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan I looked for a wonderful, short blurb I read (a link that came in an email to me) about Suzanne Collins talking about the level of violence and the war in Mockingjay, but I can't find it. I might keep looking. There is this interview at Powell's though (where she touches on it but not as cogently as in the other interview):

message 43: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Ross Michael wrote: ""The other death upset me because it made the whole series seem pointless."

I totally agree! It's like it runs the series right back to where it started. Collins was probably going for irony, bu..."

def..what was the point of THE OTHER DEATH it was like everything she went through was for nothing

message 44: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Because war is cruel. Etc. I could talk all day. Anyway, I don't think it was pointless, but it was sure disburbing.

message 45: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Ross You are right...No I am not saying that THtat should not have happened ,but it wasas if the 1 thing she was trying to protect was unaccomplished..liked the book just thought there could have been a bit more description with the closure

message 46: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Well, yes, that would have been nice, and I actually wish it wouldn't have happened. Of course that goes for at least three of the deaths.

The way I looked at it though was that it was too much for Katniss to absorb and she numbed out and therefore readers didn't get detail because we were looking at everything through her eyes. It did work for me but I was devastated. I did appreciate that the book and the end of the book were not easy or simple or fully resolved.

message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with some of the begining and some i dont agree with but im not going to get into that the part.
about gale and peeta though i completely and totally agree with you

message 48: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi I agree with what you said about the violence being too much in this book for it to be considered as a YA book. I love that you're siding with Peeta now. Really Gale was a little bit inhuman in this book.

message 49: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Ross Gale was really aggressive with his war techniques. I think once you experienced the hunger games first hand that it will be different.
I think suzanne collins needs to give me closure on how Katniss manages or maintains relationships with everyone she interacted with from book 1

message 50: by Annalisa (last edited Sep 01, 2010 08:27AM) (new)

Annalisa I agree that the death wasn't pointless. It's just how I reacted in the moment, that all of Katniss' efforts had been useless and then realized that was the effect Collins was going for. To make us feel futile against the huge machine of war.

Go read and vote for Heather's review. It pretty much captures everything I've been unable to explain.

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