Amelia, the pragmatic idealist's Reviews > Mockingjay

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
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Dec 01, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: 2010, dystopian, ya-kids-teen, series-books, disappointing, annoying-characters, point-of-view-girl
Read from August 25 to 28, 2010

2013 edit: Time can do a lot to influence my opinion of books. In some cases, time goes on and I end up appreciating a book more than I did originally, like Ender's Game or The Great Gatsby. But in other cases, time actually diminishes my opinion of certain books.
I'm so sick of all this HG-movie hype. Seriously. Ms. Collins' novels were thought-provoking, but not *that* much. I'm left to wonder if I read the same books as everyone else. Collins' writing style doesn't have that much depth. And I stand by my original comments that Katniss is one of the worst narrators in fiction. Dry as toast.

For me, there is very little difference between The Hunger Games trilogy and the Twilight series. Both have been shamelessly promoted and have run amok on fame and notoriety. To me, Hollywood is where good stories go to die. The marketing is just over-the-top... But as long as authors are treated like celebrities and get more money. That's all that matters, right Ms. Collins? Ms. Clare?
So as a result, The Hunger Games now gets 4 stars; Catching Fire gets 3 stars, and Mockingjay winds up with 2.

I’ve had a few days to reflect, and with Mockingjay, my feelings have to do with what I was expecting vs. what I got instead. Since this is the last book, I was prepared for Katniss to settle the love triangle thing once and for all. I was expecting her (and Gale and Peeta) to spend some time on the love story issue, and to bring about the fall of Snow and all that. What disappointed me the most about Mockingjay is that I feel like I never got the resolution that I was looking for. Most final books in a series bring all their loose ends together. Take City of Glass for example: in that book, the whole Jace-Clary-Simon thing is pretty much resolved. Now there’s another book coming out in a few months that could totally screw with the resolution in COG, but Clare tied up her loose ends. And I would argue that by the end of Mockingjay there IS no resolution. Katniss never had to make a decision – it was pretty much made for her.

And even with my “reflection time” or “time out from potential book-bashing,” I still believe that Collins committed (at least) partial hari-kari with her characters. Katniss’ lack of emotional depth, her distrusting and cynical side, were very understandable in The Hunger Games. Partway through Catching Fire, I was starting to tire of her attitude, but I kept thinking, “Okay, she’ll undergo a character change in Mockingjay. She has to.” And she didn’t – in fact, she got worse. To me, Katniss’ treatment of the people around her in this book is for the most part unacceptable. She is disloyal, especially to Peeta and extremely insensitive of everything that happens to him. I’m not going to go into it, but she showed some series personality flaws that, this late in the game, can’t be excused or explained away. If your MC is not likable, it's hard to hold on to the story. And once again, you had important, emotional, and heart-wrenching deaths happening OFF SCREEN, which makes it even harder to have an emotional reaction. I kept a tally of how many major characters get offed in this installment, and most it was OFF SCREEN! This whole BOOK is emotionally dehydrated. Readers are supposed to feel something, but none of the characters seem to!
And then…there’s the last chapter. After 300+ pages of Katniss refusing to deal with her issues, it seemed like an ending that was undeserved. It would have made the ending and the epilogue so much more fulfilling if it had felt genuine, but it didn’t. I’m still not convinced that Katniss is capable of love… but still, I do appreciate Collins giving us closure.
And of course, there’s non-stop action, which has always been the strength of this series. But when books 1 and 2 emphasize action over character development, emotional exploration, or romantic angles, it leaves a lot of necessary ground left to cover for book 3. And once again, there was lot of action…but not a lot of anything else. And that just doesn’t cut it at this stage.

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Reading Progress

08/25 page 1
0.0% "ahhhh it's about time!! hold on, world, you're just gonna have to wait a few days!" 3 comments
08/26 page 3
1.0% ", Gale fans. I guess this is your man's time to shine. Just thumbing through the pages and seeing the name "Gale" a lot. Not much Peeta though. Hmmm, talk about retribution. We finally get to see what exactly it is about GALE - he's most likely the star of this book. oh, and if you reply to this message with a SPOILER, I will come after you like the mutts went after Cato. You remember. :P" 1 comment
08/27 page 125
32.0% "Oh my gosh, Katniss, that was a FREAKING creepy song!!! Geez!" 1 comment
08/27 page 140
36.0% "Katniss, you this point, I don't care WHO you pick, I just want you to pick SOMEONE, ANYONE to prove to me that you *actually* give a wang." 1 comment
08/28 page 198
51.0% "Katnis...I'm sorry, but this is a long time coming. You're acting like SUCH a freaking slut." 8 comments
08/28 page 330
85.0% "Katniss: "Am I really that cold and calculating?" Me: Uh, yeah you are. We're almost done with book 3 and you still can't be bothered to make up your mind. The way you had the nerve to treat Peeta in this book has me convinced that you are a manipulative ruthless, obsessed control freak who is incapable of love. You're just as ruthless as you accuse Haymitch and Plutarch of being." 3 comments
02/02 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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extraordinary ordinary whimsy I just love this cover!

Molly Oh my gods! Is that it?!
sorry...spazzy moment there...

Elizabeth (Liz) It's kind of unexpected though because the last two have been really dark and like fire and this one is like ice.

★ MY PREDICTION: Gale dies.
Katniss chooses no one.
Haymitch dies.
Finnick does something heroic (and dies)
Annie Cresta plays a bigger role.

message 6: by Lindsey (last edited Jul 27, 2010 08:52PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Lindsey :)

Hey, so you finally read Hunger Games!!Do you love it?!? Or do you think it is just pretty good?

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist I don't know, though, I'm a little nervous now! The whole time I was reading CF, I was thinking that if Katniss was going to end up with anybody at all, it would be Peeta, if for no other reason than the fact that he's in more scenes than Gale is. However, if MOCKINGJAY has more of a Gale-influence, it could be Collins' way of setting up for a Gale victory :P
Now more desperate than ever for the 24th!
(even though that's when school starts, boo)

Diana ♫ נєηη - ѕσυℓ σƒ ѕσυη∂ ♫ wrote: "My friend just converted to Gale on Sunday.

*happy dance*"


Krista (I remember you, Min) (Critical) I wanted better for Peeta, and if he had to settle for Katniss, I'd hoped she'd at least love him! She always went out of her way to protect him before, but all of a sudden she cares about no one but herself! It was gross.

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist yeah what happened?! And she didn't even HAVE to choose - Gale made the decision for her by just leaving. Easy out!

Krista (I remember you, Min) (Critical) I can't say I blame Gale, though, even though it makes him seem cold! I mean, Katniss strung Gale and Peeta along forever!

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist that's totally true. I don't blame them either, except I think they went along with Katniss stonewalling them for a long time. But (SPOILER) she didn't even have to make a decision or have a heartto-heart/showdown with him at all. He made it easy for her by just leaving. It made the Peeta victory not seem like such a victory after all. I'm still not convinced that she loves him.

Krista (I remember you, Min) (Critical) Same here. Katniss sure does have weird ways of showing her "supposed" love. And I agree about the outcome--I really wanted Katniss to choose Peeta, and admit it was him she wanted, him she really loved. Gale made that choice for her.

Melissa (i swim for oceans) hmmmmm I have to say, Katniss did piss me off a lot, but I think that Mockingjay did what it was meant to do and was how it should be. It was definitely hard to read, but I'm glad how it gave closure. Anyhoo, Team Buttercup.

Ain020596 @Amelia.
Hey, I totally agree with everything you said. And I dont blame Gale for walking out after all the horrible things she did. Katniss turned horrible in this book. Collins must have been drunk and drugged.

Ain020596 Plus, I thought the ending sucked big time.

Kate (A Reader's Review) I think all of your follow-up review points are incredibly valid, yet I wanted to reiterate that this is the story Katniss had to tell. War is tough, brutal and not pretty. Suzanne Collins was courageous for not taking the happy go-lucky route with the ending. Believe me, I love happily ever afters and usually can't stand something that doesn't end that way, but I just cant see how the callous Katniss of previous books could suddenly change with what she was facing.

Kate (A Reader's Review) I also wanted to say that maybe this shocking ending is exactly what Suzanne Collins wanted, look at all of the discussion it has resulted in? I think it's great!! :)

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist I get your point, but it's not even really about the "happily ever after" or whatever. I found it implausible that after everything that Katniss and the people around her went through, she could CONTINUE to be so callous. That has nothing to do with war being tough or anything, that actually has to do with Katniss being a relatively flat character, because she never really underwent that emotional character change. As the series progressed, she got WORSE, not better. So really, it's more of a characterization problem. I (and a lot of other people) wanted Katniss to grow in that area, but she didn't, and it just about killed the book for me. There's absolutely no reason (at this stage in the series) for her to treat Gale and Peeta like she did. It made her extremely unlikable.

message 20: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Alonzo Thanks for the review. I tired of the entire Katniss scenario after Catching Fire, and decided to not bother with Mockingjay. After reading your review, I see I made the right decision!

AtenRa I completely agree, Amelia!I struggled with accepting Katniss throughout the whole book, and I don't think I succeeded.I don't care much about the love triangle, to be honest.The way she treated both Gale and Peeta, I think it'd be best if she ended up alone.

message 22: by I am Bastet (last edited Sep 09, 2010 03:31PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

I am Bastet Yep, emotionally dehydrated. I read this book hoping that it would totally turn me around on the series, prove to me that Katniss wasn't a whiny awful person, and that she was capable of growth, but instead every reason I hated her during the first two books was just underscored here.

I couldn't believe how badly she treated everyone throughout this book, Peeta and Gale especially. I didn't believe that she was in love with Peeta, and so I didn't feel satisfied at all when she ended up with him. And also, I was expecting more of an emotionally charged scene when Gale left. Not just "Shoot straight." Like... wow. If we're supposed to believe he was ever a contender for her affections, that goodbye scene does NOT help that case.

The amount of pagination wasted on Katniss feeling sorry for herself--good lord, all she ever did was feel sorry for herself that people died because of her. That space could have been dedicated to developing the emotion better, but no.

Great review. I don't think I could say it better.

I am Bastet I just re-read this review because a GR friend and I are discussing the series as a whole, and you hit all the things I didn't like about this book and say them better than I can! Love that you call it "emotionally dehydrated" because that's what it was--a series like this really kind of sets up for and needs an emotional ending, and it just didn't have it. I got so weary of Katniss' attitude and her lack of an emotional journey.

Probably my favorite Hunger Games Trilogy review!

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist THANKS ISIS! I just saw this but I wanted to say thank you! That's super sweet! :D

Kristen Good review! I don't think I can say it much better than this.

Sarah Oh well everyone said this series was awesome. And I was going to give Katniss a pass in The Mockingjay for treating Peeta so bad, blaming it on her past and sufferings until that horrible cold ending that made me hate her and hate the fact that I read the series. Sorry just venting. Great review.

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