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Book Specific Discussions > Mockingjay - Warning! Spoilers!

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
I finished Mockingjay (conclusion to the end of Suzanne Collins' HUNGER GAMES trilogy) and I'm still processing it. I'd love to talk about it with some BOTNS people. Spoilers will be necessary. Have you read it? What do you think.


message 2: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 28 comments I've read it. Maybe it was all the hype, but while I liked it, I didn't love it (and I did love the first two in the trilogy!). After thinking about it for a while, I've decided that I really missed the actual Hunger Games: the set-up of the story, the quell, the lead-up to the games, the games themselves, and the aftermath. Without that structure, it became more like every other YA plucky-heroine-takes-on-dystopic-government story.

And I missed the secondary characters. Some were essentially missing, and the rest not nearly as fleshed out as in previous books.

Having said that, all but one person I know of who has read has LLOOOOVVVVVEEEEDDDDD it. So maybe I missed something?!?


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
The best way I can describe my reaction is that I loved the experience of reading the book but didn't love the book itself. Does that make sense? I didn't see the flaws, or at least fully grasp them, until I finished and had time to think about it. For instance, I completely missed the Prim had died until a few pages later, and then I had to go back and re-read. Too many characters were abandoned. And I didn't really like the epilogue. I feel like that was added so that Collins can start a new series that is the story of the offspring. Maybe the Hunger Games will be evitalized and one of Katniss' kids will go into the arena with Annie and Finnick's baby and probably Gale will have a kid that's also in the arena. I may be jaded, but I just can't believe that Scholastic is going to let her walk away from the big paycheck.


message 4: by Jessy (new)

Jessy (jessycfischer) | 25 comments I have to agree with what was said. I loved the first two but didn't love this one. It was really good and glad it turned out the way it did but....it just felt like something was missing.
I agree about the epilogue. It was just weird. I am glad Katniss and Peeta ended up together. I do not think Katniss would have been ok with Gale. She needs Peeta who understands everything she has been through.


message 5: by Taueret (new)

Taueret | 42 comments I found myself getting so irritated by the whole moping, passive Katniss thing that I abandoned it. Which isn't what you asked, I know. I wonder if I should persevere.


message 6: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 28 comments I think that if you loved the first two books, you should persevere. Yes, our formerly-kick-a$$ heroine breaks character, but it is worth it to find out the fates of the rest of the characters.


message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2763 comments Mod
Suzanne Collins was interviewed on last Friday's New York Times Book Review podcast which can be downloaded through either iTunes or the New York Times Book section.


message 8: by Sonja (new)

Sonja (sonham) I think it's not a bad book, it started me thinking about the influence of TV in our life, bringing even private matters to the public,...but I din't like the construction of the book. I was really disappointed when I noticed that Katniss awakes and the "whole world" changed while she was unconscious!
She was only a player until the end. She never managed to change things on her own.
Oh well and the epilogue reminded me of the one in Harry Potter where the autthor tried to stop fan fiction by putting such an end to the story...
Stil I am not sure what to think about the trilogie.


message 9: by Carol (new)

Carol (ckubala) | 553 comments Mod
Below you'll find my comments on my goodreads account. Since writing this I have read more reviews, talked with my colleagues at work and listened to the podcast at guyscanread.com All and this discussion are giving me new things to think about. At the end of my comments I stated that I would hate to see this continued and I'll stick to that. The story is what it is and should remain that way. I couldn't put my fingers on what was bothering me about Mockingjay but after hearing and reading more, I'm getting a better picture.

** spoiler alert **

One thing I was very certain of was that Prim would die. It seemed like this was set up from the beginning and was fitting. Katniss takes her place...

At work they couldn't decide if it was a good thing that Katniss married Peeta. I think they thought Gale was the better match for her. Maybe so but I could envision a marriage with Gale not working. Katniss needs the kindness and gentleness of Peeta to heal.

Looking forward to reading more from all of you.



Ok, I finished Mockingjay this weekend. I purposely have not read any reviews of this third installment of The Hunger Games. So what do I think?

Unlike the first two in the series, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, it took me quite some time to become engaged in this go round. I was maybe, two thirds of the way through and feeling a bit ho hum about all. Though I was interested to see how the story would end, I just wasn't that excited this go round. Something seemed lacking but th ...more Ok, I finished Mockingjay this weekend. I purposely have not read any reviews of this third installment of The Hunger Games. So what do I think?

Unlike the first two in the series, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, it took me quite some time to become engaged in this go round. I was maybe, two thirds of the way through and feeling a bit ho hum about all. Though I was interested to see how the story would end, I just wasn't that excited this go round. Something seemed lacking but then it changed and I found myself caught up, turning the pages quickly and speeding to the end. I wish the beginning had been as a strong as the ending was for me. I liked the way Collins ended the trilogy. It seemed a fitting end. And I hope it is. I would not like to see a quartet. Time for Collins to leave this behind and try something new.

SPOILER ALERT

I think from the beginning I knew someone important had to die. I didn't want it to be one of my favorite characters. Who died did not surprise me. I think I knew from the very first book who could not survive. It made sense and I liked the courage Collins shows in this choice.

Now, I'll go back and see what others have to say, the professional reviews and the general public. I know our staff, who all couldn't wait for August 24th had various opinions. They found Mockingjay brutal, heart wrenching and tough to read. One patron had some very interesting comments about Mockingjay, supporting her feeling that it was disappointing. I hope she and others will respond here and let us know what they think about the book


message 10: by Carol (Bookaria) (new)

Carol (Bookaria) (bookaria) I finished Mockingjay a few days ago and I'm still absorbing everything that happened. For me, the last half was a painful read (a really painful read), I also felt this one was a different book from the first two books and did not enjoy it as much (I loved The Hunger Games and Catching Fire)

The epilogue was too short and missing some details I thought were important. I plan to reread the book in a few months, after I process everything and come to terms with the author's ending.

Anyways, it is still a great trilogy and I continue to recommend it to anyone.


message 11: by Carol (new)

Carol (ckubala) | 553 comments Mod
Tell us a bit more about what you thought was missing. Also, several people I spoke to also thought it was a painful read. Do you think it is too much for teens? I found Mockingjay more adult than the others and wonder about age appropriatness. Do you think young readers who started the series at its beginning have grown enough to absorb Mockingjay?


message 12: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
I read an originally and compelling review of Mockingjay that I need to share with you: http://saraclaradara.livejournal.com/...

On a separate note, in answer to Carol's question: My 11 year old was counting the days until the release of Mockingjay -- literarally, counting the days. We drove to the bookstore on the on-sale date to get the book. We went back a week later to meet Suzanne Collins. And she's still on chapter 6.

Daughter says that Mockingjay is not grabbing her, that Katniss is "too full of herself." She liked the games better than the "random war stuff" as she put it.

I'm sure that without talking it through with an adult, my kid won't get any of the "bigger" issues in the book and so Katniss' behavior and the outcome won't make any sense. If she finishes, we'll definitely talk it though, but at this point I'm not pushing her to get to the end. When she's ready, she'll go back to it.


message 13: by Carol (Bookaria) (last edited Sep 06, 2010 12:49PM) (new)

Carol (Bookaria) (bookaria) Carol wrote: "Tell us a bit more about what you thought was missing. Also, several people I spoke to also thought it was a painful read. Do you think it is too much for teens? I found Mockingjay more adult than ..."

I'm not sure if the last book is appropriate for teenagers, to me it had a depressing ending instead of a hopeful or inspiring one, it definitely makes the reader question many issues related to war and how decisions are not black or white but filled with many layers of gray.

About the epilogue, I know Katniss had very little control over her life in the first and second book but I hoped, at least, she should get to choose who to share the rest of her life with (or who not to share it with) and I did not see that at the end either, she stayed with Peeta just because he was there comforting her, she had kids with him not because she wanted to but because he talked her into it, not ideal at all. I didn't feel this was the kick-a** Katniss we learned to love...

And Gale, he was an important character throughout the series and at the end we just learn that he was working on an important job on District 2 and that's it - what? what happened to him? these are the characters I learned to love and I just want to know more!

Well, I can go on and on but enough whining, I sound like Katniss already, I still love the series and still think the author is a great storyteller.

Does anybody else feel the way I do?


message 14: by Carol (new)

Carol (ckubala) | 553 comments Mod
Thanks for taking the time to tell us a bit more...it's not always easy to put into words what is causing the angst in a book. I, too, missed the kick a** Katniss and though I figured she'd end up with Peeta and it made sense in some ways, I agree that Gale who was a main character got short shifted.

Very interesting comments from Ann's daughter. I've yet to hear from any of our young patrons. Seems all reading it in our library are adults.

I won't forget the story and that says something for The Hunger Games Trilogy.


message 15: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Railey | 245 comments Ann wrote: "I read an originally and compelling review of Mockingjay that I need to share with you: http://saraclaradara.livejournal.com/...

On a separate note, in answer to Carol's question: My 11 ye..."


That was a really good blogpost on the series as a whole. I enjoyed all three books. I think what's throwing most people off is how much the third book shifted gears. We went from all the excitement and danger of the first two books to the politics of the third. And, really, the third book was about the politics of war and who really wins in the end (nobody). How often do our men and women who are off fighting in wars they don't truly understand come back home permanently scarred like Katniss and Peeta? It's a sad testament to our society that a lot of these soldiers are forgotten and left to recover and heal on their own in the same way our victors were left behind after all was said and done.


message 16: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 80 comments I finished Mockingjay this weekend and posted a review on my book blog:

http://greatbooksforkidsandteens.blog...

I love the whole series. Though the third book is a bit different from the first two - for many of the reasons cited in this discussion thread - I thought that was necessary in order to get across the horrors of war and make us think about how these questions apply to our own real-life world. I loved how thought-provoking this third book was.

My review also includes links to Collins' first series for middle-graders, The Overland Chronicles, which is just as well-written and compelling - our whole family loved it.

Sue


message 17: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Railey | 245 comments Sue wrote: "I finished Mockingjay this weekend and posted a review on my book blog:

http://greatbooksforkidsandteens.blog...

I love the whole series. Though the th..."


I loved The Overland Chronicles and that's the main reason I first picked up The Hunger Games.


message 18: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 80 comments Melissa wrote: "Sue wrote: "I finished Mockingjay this weekend and posted a review on my book blog:

http://greatbooksforkidsandteens.blog...

I love the whole series..."


Same here, Melissa! We all loved Underland Chronicles so much - I was thrilled to hear Suzanne Collins was coming out with a new series...and it surpassed my high expectations!

Thanks for stopping by my blog - I visited yours, too!


message 19: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Railey | 245 comments Sue wrote: "Melissa wrote: "Sue wrote: "I finished Mockingjay this weekend and posted a review on my book blog:

http://greatbooksforkidsandteens.blog...

I love the ..."


Yours is much better than mine. I'm just getting started and trying to learn how to do this blogging business.


message 20: by Suzan (new)

Suzan Jackson (suejackson) | 80 comments Melissa wrote: "Sue wrote: "Melissa wrote: "Sue wrote: "I finished Mockingjay this weekend and posted a review on my book blog:

http://greatbooksforkidsandteens.blog......"


Well, I liked it and signed up to follow! Keep up the good work!


message 21: by Kirsty (new)

Kirsty (kirstybooks) | 116 comments I have to say that I agree with all of the above. I didn't enjoy this book as much as the other two and I think that was due to the absence of the actual games. I loved the action and the fast-paced narrative in the first two books and I think this one dragged a little for me.

I also agree that the characters were not fleshed out enough. I didn't like Katniss' new persona and I thought the epilogue was a huge let-down. It was so predictable and too happy-ever-after for my liking. It just didn't fit with the rest of the trilogy.


message 22: by Simcha (new)

Simcha Lazarus (sclazarus) | 9 comments I'm so glad to have found a Mockingjay discussion here!

I actually enjoyed Mockingjay a lot more than I had expected to. I was a little disappointed with Catching Fire, which I found to be too repetitious and I couldn't think of how Collins could finish the series in a way that wouldn't disappoint me.
I was certain that either Peeta or Gale would be killed off and was glad that this was not the case but that the relationships were sorted out in a way that satisfied me.
I was also very satisfied with the character building. I thought seeing another side of Peeta, in which he is not always super-nice, made him seem more real and Katniss comes across as an average girl who is forced by circumstances to be something more, and which makes her easier to relate to. I also enjoyed finally getting to know Gale better and watching each character come into their own.


message 23: by Callie (new)

Callie (calliekl) | 646 comments I had a bit of a different experience I think, because I waited until Mockingjay came out before I read all three books, and I read them in such quick succession (all three in 4 or 5 days) that the books were able to flow as one story, rather than 3 separate books. This may be dumb, but I think reading them on my Nook aided in this as well, because I didn't even physically switch books.

My only complaint about the third installment is that it did tie up a bit too easily at the end. Katniss was unconscience, she woke up, and everything had resolved. But as to the criticism that as a formerly kickass character, Katniss became a lamer character in the third book, I didn't see that at all. There were several instances in the third book where she took charge and was able to kick some ass, like when she was in District 8 doing propo footage in the hospital, and the District was bombed. Instead of following orders and running to hide, she climbed up onto a roof and helped bring down the aircraft. Also, when she was on mission in the capitol and the leader of her squad died (his name escapes me at the moment), she could have turned back, but she pressed on in her mission. Granted, when the time came to complete the mission, she changed her target, but that was only after establishing that Coin was a much bigger threat than Snow was at that point.

I'm also glad she ended up with Peeta at the end, although the kid thing did totally open it up for another book (or series). I wish they had done more with Gale at the end, although a drawn-out scene where Katniss chooses Peeta over Gale would have been a bit too Twilight-y for me, and the book was already leaning in that direction anyway (she's kissing Peeta, she's kissing Gale, she's kissing Peeta, she's kissing Gale, who will she kiss next???).

I've rambled on too long at this point. I will finish by saying that I really loved this series as a whole, and have been recommending it left and right, even after finishing this book. It was possibly the best YA stuff I've read since The Giver, which is my favorite book of all time. And the follow-ups to The Giver, Messenger and Gathering Blue, pale in comparison to Catching Fire and Mockingjay.


message 24: by Helen (new)

Helen Dunn (hmonkeyruns) | 110 comments Wow. I am so surprised to see how much everyone loves the series.

Like Callie, I read all three books right in a row over the last week. I loved Hunger Games but by the end of Mockingjay I really disliked most of the characters, in particular Katniss, and I felt like the books were redundant and more than anything annoying.

I felt that Collins was beating us over the head with things we already knew -- I mean did she really need to tell us again, so late in book 3, that Gale and Katniss were old hunting partners? And we know, President Snow is bad. Stop reminding us every time you read his name that he's a bad guy. We get it. Maybe this is a characteristic of YA fiction that I'm just not aware of becaues I don't read it enough. Am I expecting too much?

I felt like most of the characters were one dimensional and I really didn't have much interest in what happened to them. Oddly, Finnick, one of the newer characters had a far more compelling story than Gale, who we were supposed to love. I thought that the resolution of hijacked Peeta was extremely disappointing. He seemed to be "cured" off the pages sometime after Katniss kissed him in the Capitol and when she wakes up in the morphling haze after the revolution is over. The assassination of Coin and the aftermath could have been fascinating but insted it gets wrapped up in a page of what are essentially bullet points. I'd have prefered to read about that instead of all the places where Katniss hid from life while she tried to OD.

And her Mom, just saying goodbye in a letter? Really?! Do they not have phones or ways to visit anymore? I get that she would want to work in the new capitol and build a hospital but would she really just totally abandon her only remaining child (who happens to be a complete basket case) without a backward glance?

And does it have some sinister meaning that Gale is working in District 2, which was sort of the bad guy breeding ground of the districts? Did he really completely sever ties with her when we're supposed to believe he's been madly in love with her for years?

I just didn't buy any of it.

I did really enjoy the first book though, and would highly reccommend that to anyone but I would tell them to save their time and skip the other two books.


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