Thursday, August 26, 2010
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
As evidenced by my recent post, I have been dying to read the conclusion of Suzanne Collins series since I read the final page of Catching Fire last year. Well Tuesday was the day… and I went out first thing in the morning to pick up my copy of Mockingjay and I haven’t really come up for air since. WHAT A GREAT READ.
Just as engaging as the first two, if not more.... and a fantastic conclusion to what is now definitely one of my 3 favorite series of books.
Part II- SPOILERS (DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN’T YET READ THE BOOKS)
I’m including many of my thoughts from a spoiler filled discussion we were having on my online book forum since they sum up my opinions nicely.
Nothing about the previous books suggested that the story could be wrapped up in a pretty bow by the end and I'm glad that Collins didn't try to do that. She stayed true to the themes and the general feelings of the book from the first page of HG to the last page of MJ. Had it ended "and the revolution was over, Haymitch sobered up and Peeta/Gale and I lived happily ever after while Panem prospered" it would have ruined the whole experience. Don't get me wrong, I love happy endings.... but in this case, the "perfect" ending would never have worked.
The climax (or the major climax since Collins writes what seems like one after another) sort of threw me for a loop. I wasn't expecting Prim to re-enter the story so late in the game. My predictions pre-read were that either Peeta or Gale or BOTH would die along with most of the other main characters (Finnick, Haymitch etc) leaving Katniss as sort of the last one standing. Actually- I wouldn’t have been surprised if she ended up dead too and we got the end of the story through Prim’s eyes or something. I was very saddened when Prim met her sudden end.
My heart literally ached for Katniss. The entire mess had started with Katniss trying to protect her sister, and in the end, she still has to watch her die. I didn't trust District 13, or at least Coin, right from the very beginning. There was just something off. I don't think she was quite as bad as Snow to begin with, but she was power hungry and it changed her.
The lack of closure with Gale bothered me a bit. I was never Team one or the other, but whether everyone wants to admit it or not, the choice between Gale and Peeta was an internal struggle for Katniss right from the first games, conscious or not. Perhaps "choice" is the wrong word... but Katniss is aware that how she acts with one will hurt the other. She's conscious of some kind of feelings for both of them.... it's a struggle. I thought we would get a little more to the end of Gale's story. BUT I also think that what we were given was effective in explaining the lack of closure we get. He couldn’t face Katniss.
Can I just say that I LOVE that she ended up back in District 12? The fact that after everything she's gone through, she gets to go "home". I don't know why that was so important to me, but it made me happy. I’m glad that she and Peeta were able to come back together as well. Both of them deserved a little happiness and I think they are truly the only ones who could understand what the other went through.
As for what got to me the most? Two things:
-The freakin' cat. When Buttercup made his way back to District 12 I literally got a lump in my throat. I have no idea why that affected me so much but man... it almost had me a blubbering mess on the floor. Especially when he stays up and protects Katniss from the night. Ugh…. almost cried like a baby.
-“Real or no?” OH MY GOD. Those three little words, especially the final time the Peeta uses them in the book, had my stomach in knots. They just about killed me every time.
In short, I LOVED this installment of the series. Did I love it more than the first two? Probably not, but it’s difficult to compare because it’s so different from the first two. It’s heart-wrenching, exciting and packed with patented Collins cliffhangers and I devoured it. I’m only sad that I won’t be reading any further stories from Panem.