Let me start off by saying, Hunger Games was amazing. Catching Fire lost me a little. Mockingjay is either just completely mentally scarring or too "o...moreLet me start off by saying, Hunger Games was amazing. Catching Fire lost me a little. Mockingjay is either just completely mentally scarring or too "out there"-- way beyond what should be considered YA Fiction. I know it's supposed to show the bloody horror of humanity and such, but it was a bit too screwed up. Not to mention hard to follow. Especially the last hundred pages (yeah, spoiler alert!) when they're attacking the Capitol, I had to read and re-read pages continuously just to get some very basic details. Collins tried to be edgy, but she failed miserably, and made the battle very... detached. I mean, as the reader I was completely uninvolved, due to Katniss's lack of real action. The majority of the time, she's filming propos and being completely fake. Rather than fighting to the death for her country, everyone else is fighting around her and she's being prepped for filming. That was a major hole in the highly-anticipated conclusion.
Continuing on that note, I just never connected with any part of Mockingjay. Previously, in Hunger Games, Katniss was somewhat relatable.... or maybe not... but at least her stream of consciousness made sense. Then in Catching Fire and Mockingjay, Katniss started acting with absolutely no self control, or making completely random decisions without any relation to what she was feeling. As an example (and another spoiler), after all she's suffered and all she's lost in the Hunger Games, Katniss wants to put innocent Capitol children through something similar? She says numerous times in the first two books that she would never inflict the torture of the Games upon anyone, yet she's key in making a decision to start it up again? The only reason that she would have this motive is that she's ridiculously depressed that Prim was killed, but then why would she side with Prim's murderer (Coin) in her ideals?
Another few complaints I had about the book mainly involve Katniss's relationships. Obviously, there is something wrong with this book's romance, as Collins makes both of Katniss's choices for a boyfriend/husband completely undesirable. Firstly, Gale is a sick, masochistic, bloodthirsty, revenge-obsessed little bastard. In the first two books, I didn't know why Katniss wouldn't choose him over whimpy little Peeta, but after reading Mockingjay, I just want Gale to go die in a hole. Sorry if that's extreme.
Then there's Peeta. In all of Catching Fire, you could see that Katniss was swaying towards him, and away from Gale. But then Peeta has to be brainwashed to viciously murder her. Despite Katniss's very obvious longings for him, she emotionally detaches herself from Peeta (I mean what happened to keeping him alive at all costs?). I think that rather than having him hate Katniss, Peeta should just have lost his memories of loving her. This would allow for more affection and buildup to the end. To clarify, for the entirety of the third book, Peeta and Katniss have absolutely no physical contact (other than Peeta strangling her), or very romantic moments, and then in the last paragraph it completely sums up their new normal, happy-as-ever marriage and future together. Wow. Just, wow.
Finally, I just had to mention, Collins was quite mixed up by means of the characters that she killed off. This just about sums it up:
Characters that should have/could have died: The rebel soldiers in Katniss's military squad, Boggs, some of the Mockingjay camera crew, citizens of District 12, Gale, Prim, Coin, Snow, Cinna, and possibly Haymitch.
Characters the should not, by any means, have been killed: Finnick (Both his death, and how he died was utterly stupid and unnecessary. It completely ruined the ending for me, even though I'm not Finnick's number one fan or anything. The only bit of the end that didn't keep me totally ready to just leave the book and walk away was that he married Annie and they later mention their son. That was cute, but still doesn't quite make up for Finnick's less-than-glamorous or completely non-noteworthy death.), the random woman on the street that Katniss shoots in the heart (I mean really, a sentence of remorse, and that's it?), Madge and her family, Peeta's family, etc.
Characters that actually died: Rebel soldiers, Boggs, Prim, Coin, Snow, Cinna, Finnick, random Capitol bystanders, Madge and her family, and Peeta's family.
To end on a positive note, after this gruesomely pessimistic review, I must say that the book idea of Katniss's in the last couple pages was very thoughtful, and perfect for an ending to the series. Her having Peeta's kids was also sweet. One of the final lines was also very strongly stuck in my mind-- when Katniss reflects upon having kids post-rebellion/Hunger Games, she says something along the lines of "They don't even know they're playing over a grave", referring to the mass grave in which the majority of the dead in District 12 were buried after the fire-bombings.
That about sums up my thoughts on Mockingjay. Thanks for reading and withstanding the rant, if you got this far.