All About Mockingjay, part 1:

SPOILER ALERT!

Seriously, if you have not read Mockingjay yet, DO NOT READ FURTHER. If you ever think you want to read the Hunger Games series, don't read further. If you think you might want to see a movie based on the Hunger Games, do not read further.  Just don't do it.

And for everyone who can't read further based on those things, here's a fun little website called What Should I Read Next. And here's a web comic that always makes me smile. And here's a picture of a fox.


Now please, unless you've already read Mockingjay, go away.

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Go on, shoo!.
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*waits*
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Okay, I think it's just us now, Mockingjay friends. *takes deep breath*

AAAAAHHHH!!!!  I cannot believe they killed Prim!!! AND Finnick!!!  *falls over*

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, here are my actual, organized, thoughts.

LOVES:

The book. Seriously. I might have been disappointed with some things, but the book as a whole was amazing. I wandered around my house in a daze after I finished it, and the whole time I kept thinking. This is why I love reading. This is what good books feel like, the ones that crawl inside your head and won't leave willingly. Holy crap.

LIKES:

I liked the ending quite a bit. *ducks from people throwing things* I did! Part of that has to do with the way I read.  I'm very much an in-the-moment reader, so I don't often try to guess the end to books, unless it's a  mystery. So I wasn't waiting for any specific kind of ending. I was just waiting to see how it ended.

I also liked the ending for a different, more concrete, reason. For me, the series was all about Katniss vs. The Games.

The Games tried to take Prim, Katniss stops them (it?). The Games tried to trick her into killing Peeta, Katniss stops it. The aftermath of the first Game threatens Katniss and the people she loves and she tries to stop it but ends up going to the second Game anyway. The second Game tries to kill her, but she is saved, at the expense of her home district. And the final battle turns into just another form of the Games.

Because of this, I was mostly waiting to see what Katniss could save from the Games.  Could she keep the people she loved? Would her integrity still be intact? Would she be able to take her life back?

In the end, I think she did take her life back. She lost a lot, including the person she was trying to save in the first place, but she does return to her home distinct and start to rebuild her life. And I liked that ending. I felt it was fitting.

DISAPPOINTMENTS:

Oh, Finnick, why did you have to die?

I think I was more upset about Finnick (and Cinna) dying than I was about Prim's death. Prim's death at least did something huge to the story. It was the final wedge between Gale and Katniss and really enforced Katniss's distrust of the rebels. Finnick just.... died.  And really fast too. As important as he became to the story in the third book, I thought he deserved a longer death scene.

Things going too fast was my main beef with the last part of the book. I'm a fast reader, so when someone only takes a couple of sentences to die, I'm on the next paragraph before I realize they're dead.

That happened a lot in the last part of the book. I kept having to go back and re-read to absorb everyone's deaths. And while I was fine with Katniss being injured and unconscious for the final part of the last fight, I would have liked a later recap of how everyone else survived.
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Those were my main thoughts on the book. In part two, I'll talk about some specific plot points and what I thought of them. (OMG, which side killed Prim????)

In the meantime, what did YOU think of the book? What did you love? Like? What disappointed you?

Discuss!

12 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you about being lost at certain points and having to go back and re-read some portions of this book because I thought I had missed something.. I felt shell shocked after finishing Mockingjay. The series made me think of 1984, Brave New World, and Farenheit 451 (which was not missed in regement 451). Panem is the big brother for this generation. The thing that weighed on me the most was how younger readers would handle and process the harsh violence and post tramatic life of their favorite characters. HUNGER GAMES and CATCHING FIRE do not prepare the readers for the onslaught of mental and physical torment and fractured lives that fill MOCKINGJAY. I also felt like she rushed the last third of the book to keep it under 400 pages. It is an excellent book for high school students to use to compare the mental and physical torture that American POW soldiers endured in Korea and Vietnam. It is the 9 – 13 year olds who have become engrossed in the first two books with Team Peeta and Team Gale, that I am concerned for. Prim has become everyones favorite and so entwined with both her own and Rue’s innocence, that her death and the slaughter of the children with mixed blame of the ‘good guys’ is a hard pill to swallow no matter what the age of the reader. I also felt robbed by the hit and run death of Finnick and Cinna. I enjoyed the epilogue and was glad that Katniss found some happiness. I felt that the love that she and Peeta found in the end was real and not the 'Katniss on the pedistol' that Peeta had in the earlier books. The descriptions 'the girl and the boy' made me feel uneasy - detached of maternal bonding. Mockingjay was an incredible end to this trilogy despite the disturbing tone of the book.

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  2. I totally agree about Finnicks death. Why so quick? Seemed pointless. But disagree about the ending.
    Love your random fox picture. Too funny!

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  3. I really liked the book but there were some things I was disappointed with. I wanted Katniss to be stronger and more involved in the fight against the government or to free Peeta or something. She seemed too self absorbed. And I was disappointed that she was a figure head of the revolution, always being dressed to be on TV, just like for the government. President Snow's death was a let down too. We aren't sure how he died. But overall the series was great and I think whenever a book becomes that popular, it's easy not to be completely satisfied. I loved how much my daughter loved the series and spent lots more time than usual reading.

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  4. I loved it! yes there were things I wish had been different - WHY FINNICK!! - but I've been thinking about it so much since I finished reading. And isn't that the point? A book and character that stays with you?

    I loved the ending too - although many may disagree with me. It was obvious throughout MJ that Peeta was her true love even if she hadn't quite realized it herself. I still tear up when I think about him struggling to plant the primrose bushes along her house. I was so worried that SC was going to kill him off - then I would have been really upset. I like that Gale didn't die either - that way Katniss was forced to really make a choice between the two, instead of just defaulting for the one left alive.

    How about that last line? Fantastic!

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  5. okay, I'm a little late to the party. I was out of town. But anyway, I like your assessment here. I agree that, for me, the book was about Katniss vs. The Games/the Capitol. Not "Who will Katniss pick?" So I appreciated that she pulled the rug out from under the love triangle fans.

    I also liked the ending. The VERY ending. As in, the last page and a half, plus the epilogue. It was bittersweet, happy, but sad. I liked that.

    I did NOT, however, like how Katniss kinda turned into mentally unstable emo girl. Sorry. Was it realistic? Oh, totally. But it just didn't bear any resemblance to the Katniss I knew and respected in the first two books.

    I wanted Katniss to have a moment of triumph. I wanted her to kick butt. And yes, she did kill Coin. That moment would have been so much better, however, if she hadn't promptly gone cuckoo, screaming and fighting for her suicide pill, and then singing weirdly in her room. Didn't like it.

    Anyway, I could go on. (And on and on.) I'll look forward to the next posts. :)

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  6. Suzanne- I've heard others say that the level of intensity jumped too much in the last book. I didn't notice it, but then I handle violence in books much better than I do violence in movies.

    I hadn't really thought about 9 and 10 year-olds reading the books. They seem much more early/mid-teen to me, even the first one. I was really almost as saddened by Rue's death than I was by Prim's. And the fact that the mutant-things at the end of the first book had the faces of the other dead kids was super-disturbing as well.

    As far as "the girl and the boy" in the last part... Katniss never thought she'd have kids, so it made sense to me that she'd have trouble feeling maternal.

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  7. Terry- I liked the fox too. So adorable... Why didn't you like the ending?

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  8. Natalie- I see what you mean about Katniss, though I thought that the rebels dressing her up was a great mirror to the Capitol. The two groups turned out to be far too similar, and they way they tried to use Katniss was definitely part of it.

    Yah for reading more!! :)

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  9. Carla- Yes! The primrose bushes were the kicker for me, that's when I fell for Peeta. :) Also, last line was very awesome. And I did like the way SC handled the choice between the two guys. It made total sense why Katniss wouldn't go with Gale in the end.

    *sniff* I sill miss Finnick though...

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  10. Renee- There is no late here! We don't keep time on this blog. :)

    I agree, Katniss's meltdown was a little unexpected. I attributed it to the fact that she was planning on killing herself right after shooting Coin. When she realized she'd have to live and deal with everything,Prim's death, Gale's possible involvement, the fact that the rebels almost turned into the Capital, Peeta still possibly hating her, being a traitor, she just lost it.

    I didn't really blame her and like you said it was realistic. But I will say I've never see a protagonist go nuts like that before.

    Hmmm... Maybe the novelty of it was what kept me interested?

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  11. I thought the ending was absolutely perfect. "You love me. Real or not real?" "Real." It was so fitting!

    About Finnick's death, I was shocked and appalled, but I also think it was effective in that it showed how quickly someone we love can just...die. Suddenly. Unfairly. If we hadn't gotten to know him better in this book, his death wouldn't have affected us in the same way.

    Prim's death was a horrible irony. But, it made Katniss' rise from the ashes even more meaningful. And what about what happened between Katniss and Buttercup? I'm not a crier, but that had me teared up!

    The most horrifying moment for me was when Katniss voted YES on holding the Hunger Games for the capitol children. How terrible! I was holding out hope that she had something planned that would prevent it. I want to think that she had planned to kill Coin all along, but did she? It was a little fuzzy for me.

    Natalie--I thought it was pretty obvious that Snow was already on death's door. He was very sick and coughing up blood!

    Renee--I think it was completely understandable that had a melt-down. Wouldn't anyone? Besides the effects of war in general, look at everything else she went through. If she had held herself together, I think she would have seemed less human.

    All in all, a wonderful conclusion to an amazing trilogy!

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