I really enjoyed "The Hunger Games" and to a slightly lesser degree "Catching Fire", which is why I was so dis...moreOh dear. Where to start, where to start?
I really enjoyed "The Hunger Games" and to a slightly lesser degree "Catching Fire", which is why I was so disappointed when "Mockingjay" turned out to be something completely different. Yes, we have Katniss and Peeta and Gale and Haymitch, but they seem like different people somehow. In the previous novels, Katniss was strong, courageous and resourceful. She was someone people looked to for inspiration, someone I thought would lead the front lines into battle in "Mockingjay."
Instead, what I got was a girl who let people pretty her up and put her on-camera as a figurehead. True, at the end she did grow a pair and try to go solo into the Capitol to take out Snow, but it was only after I fought through 300 pages of her moping whilst all the action happened elsewhere.
The denouement of the Peeta-Katniss-Gale triangle disturbed me as well. I was given to believe throughout "The Hunger Games" and "Catching Fire" that Katniss had stronger feelings for Gale than for Peeta. Also, Peeta spent 95% of "Mockingjay" distrusting and hating Katniss... and yet the reader is expected to believe that everything is all hunky dory between them even though the author skims over their reuniting in a handful of paragraphs.
I'm not even going to touch the ruination of Gale's character with a ten foot pole, nor the death of Prim. Those atrocities just speak for themselves.
I understand that Collins wanted to present a realistic world, in that happy endings don't really exist. Yet I would argue that despite all the sadness we face in the world, things are rarely as bleak as what Katniss is left with at the conclusion of "Mockingjay." Despite Prim's death and Katniss's trauma (both physical and mental), her mother abandons her to help people in other districts; Katniss refuses to forgive Gale for something she thinks he caused, but which he never could have foreseen; and Katniss seems to settle for Peeta after all the BS that went on between them for the majority of "Mockingjay."
After all the horrible things that happened in this series, I wanted a little bit of hope at the end. But the hope that Collins gave me was not enough. I gave this book two stars on the strength of the series' previous installments.(less)