MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by hayesjf » August 30th, 2010, 8:59 pm

Good points, Taylormillgirl!

I did like the scene when she brushed his hair back from his forehead, and I was hoping that was their breakthrough, and it was to a certain degree. It just fell short for me after that.

To be honest, I need to go back and read the other part you mentioned. I think I read it so fast that I missed the subtlety there. That would definitely help me feel better about things. :)

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by titancia » August 30th, 2010, 10:17 pm

I, like many people, read this book on Tuesday by the time I went to bed, and honestly, it still does not settle well with me. I agree with what's been said before--I think Katniss lost her fire at the end of the book, she lost that momentum and the drive and her entire world stopped when Prim died--which made me angry because hadn't they just talked about compassion being used as a tool in war? Why hadn't they seen that coming? I've thought about this on a regular basis, even had discussions with my sister who disagrees with how I feel at the trilogy ended, and I still come to the same conclusions.
hayesjf wrote:Also, it bothered me that Kat never really made a decision. I know she did about Gale, and that made perfect sense to me (although I think she had made that decision much earlier, really), but it was like she just kind of ended up with Peeta. Like it just happened.
That's one of the biggest things that bothered me as well. It was obvious that she preferred Peeta at some point (though I preferred Gale!) but she ended up giving up the fight, letting things happen. And even though she did prefer Peeta, I feel like if Gale had shown up instead, she would have settled for him. There was no conscious decisions on her part for quite a lot of things, and the whole ending, aside from killing Coin, was her in this weird, lost state.

Several things disappointed me about the end of the book. The ending was so thrown together and so lost. I felt like I was in the book up until then, and suddenly I couldn't connect with a single character. The emotional connection was lost. The intensity and the passion was gone. I agree with the Harry Potter comparison--characters may have had to die, but in HP it felt right. I didn't feel like they died for a cause here, and Katniss dishonored their memory by giving up, by not fighting it out to the bitter end. Whether this meant she should have died, I don't know, but I feel like she didn't fight. These people had become her friends and had chosen to fight for her cause, for her mission to kill Snow, even though they knew they were going against Coin, and she just stopped. She betrayed their trust by allowing herself to cease functioning.

Everything played out without her. I feel as if the decisions she made at the end of the book, the decision to retreat into herself, were choices she would have made at the beginning of HG. She had changed throughout the trilogy and her decisions would have changed--the end of MJ threw her back to the beginning of HG, and negated everything she did and everything she had gone through.

The fire had gone out of Katniss. I didn't like her at the end of the book--The first two books I understood she was kind of manipulated into being the Mockingjay, but I felt she really embraced it at the Hospital in MJ, that she felt the support from the others and she finally understood they had to look up to someone, but she wasn't the only one in the fight. She had become the Mockingjay--and she gave it up. She completely gave up. She was always so bitter about Haymitch and his drinking, at the constant stupor he was in, and that's how she ended up. The worst of it was she became what she hated.

I was relieved she did not end up with Gale--I was Team Gale from HG and kept hoping some twist would allow her to be with him, but at the end, I felt her and Peeta deserved each other. There was no passion between them, no connection, and so much distance that by the time he returned they were just two lost souls who settled in with one another because they had once been in love, had once fought for the survival of the other. I understand why she would have chosen Gale over Peeta, but she never had to make that decision. It was made for her.

I know, my thoughts over the book is a bit scattered but I've taken the disappointment over the ending so personally. I never saw Katniss as a girl-power heroine, just as someone trying to survive in a situation she only asked to be in to protect her younger sister. I never saw Katniss as a true fighter, always knew she felt forced into being the Mockingjay, but I was so bitter after she rejected all that had happened, after all that had meant so much. I know she's been through a lot, I know her beginning purpose was to protect Prim, who ended up dying just the same, but for me, the end simply lost the passion and fire the rest of the series held.

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by Sommer Leigh » August 31st, 2010, 8:56 am

You know what I did really like at the end? The game Peeta and Katniss (and the others) play. "Real or not real?" For me, these moments were really easy to picture and there's something of their old selves in the game that I loved. When you think about it, from the very beginning of The Hunger Games, Peeta and Katniss built up a very false life for each other. Everything they said and did was confused by truths and lies and media manipulations. In the end, it wasn't just what the president had done to Peeta, I think their game helped them sort through what they'd done to themselves.
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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by Mira » August 31st, 2010, 5:27 pm

I'll weigh in. I loved the first two books, but I had real problems with Mockingjay.

I hope I'm not offending people who really loved Mockingjay - this is just my opinion! I just want to give my two cents, nothing personal. :)

But I felt the book suffered from some narrative problems. For one thing, the character of Katliss is completely reveresed in this book. One thing that made her so likeable was her ability to be strong and rise above her emotions, unlike her mother. In the third book, Katliss is almost completely at the whim of her emotions. She's knocked out for months in a total stupor over killing Coin. That's a bit much - it didn't feel believable.

There were other problems. The characterization of Peeta was far-fetched and strained. Fear never trumped compassion for him before - why would it now? She also didn't allow the reader time to grieve Finnik's death. He dies for no good reason - just ripped apart on the stairs - and she never returns to it. She builds toward a confrontation between Katliss and the evil Head of State and then de-rails it completely with Priss' death and never gives the two of them a real showdown. She basically tricks the reader there. It's not good narrative structure.

I believe that Collins had an agenda, which was to show the horrors of war. But I believe she could have done that and still wrapped things up in a satisfying ending. This is YA, after all.

I'm guessing that Collins was not edited enough. This read like a third or fourth draft, not the final version. I think they may stop editing authors once they get too popular - or they are just too anxious to get the book out and make money. They did the same thing with Rowling's last couple of books, especially the last - definitely needed more editing.

Anyway, I still like the series. And I appreciate that Collins tackled a very dark and difficult theme. But I wish MockingJay was a bit more polished before release.

Again - just my opinion!

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by CourtneyLeigh » September 1st, 2010, 1:04 pm

Mockingjay!

Like many others, I enjoyed the book, and any problems I had with the ending haven't stopped me from loving it. As soon as I finished it, there were some things that were already pestering my mind. The state of Katniss and Peeta's relationship, Prim's seemingly pointless death, Katniss saying yes to the Hunger Games, and Katniss not being conscious for the end of the war. These four things really stuck out in my mind, so of course, I pondered and I pondered and I pondered.

And after some major pondering, I have come to these conclusions.

1) Although I am personally unhappy with the final state of Katniss and Peeta's relationship, I can see why Collins chose to go that route. Above all things, her novels - all three of them - are about war. Not one of her novels ended on a happy note, and more specifically, these unhappy endings revolved around Peeta and Katniss. At the end of The Hunger Games, Peeta shuts out Katniss when he's realized she's only been pretending to love him. What made it even more painful is that, even in Katniss' own mind, she didn't really love Peeta. After the cameras were gone, she didn't want to be with him. At the end of Catching Fire, Peeta has been captured by the capitol. And although this time Katniss is genuinely distressed at his loss, a lot of that distress stems from the fact that her mission, throughout the whole of the novel, has been to keep him alive. Once he is captured by the capitol, she considers him to be lost for good. Everything she has strived for in Catching Fire has been futile. She has been a pawn, and she has lost the one person who made her feel powerful and gave her purpose. I never expected Katniss and Peeta to work out in a wholesome, us vs. the world sort of way after reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. However, I can honsestly say that I never expected Peeta to change. I always thought it would be Katniss who destroyed their relationship. For me, Peeta was the one who always instigated the growth in Katniss. Like Gale implies, Katniss is a survivor. Before Peeta, she never thought about what it meant to fight for herself, to live for herself, to be herself. Even Katniss recognizes that Peeta is the good one, the true leader, the one who would fight for the Districts because he believed in their cause, not because he had been forced into it. When the capitol took Peeta's mind, they took Katniss' fire. As readers, it's hard to digest because we have been rooting for Katniss and Peeta the whole time. They were only children, and they had to do horrible, horrible things. And in the end, they just can't break free of that cycle of destruction. And they don't have a bad life, nothing as miserable and as lonely as Haymitch, but they are never quite whole again. Also, some people were bringing up subtle moments between Katniss and Peeta that let us know they had decided to be together/still cared for each other. I wanted to note a moment that really got me, and that was when Peeta brought the primrose bushes to Katniss after her months of solitude. Her months of solitude were for Prim. Like people noted, Prim is the whole reason that Katniss was even part of the Hunger Games. This little gesture really hit me.

Okay next conclusion: Prim's seemingly pointless death. Fact #1: In war, hundreds of thousands of men and women die. None of these deaths are pointless, especially not to the surviving families. Fact #2: In novels, usually when someone dies, it moves the story forward. It has a specific purpose relating to the protagonist(s). Opinion: Initially, Prim's death seems to go against both of these statements. When Prim dies, Katniss has NO reaction. Prim is just there and then she's dead. And then Katniss is swept up into voting for some new Hunger Games, killing Coin, and then moving back to District 12. It isn't until after months of solitary depression that we actually see Katniss break down a bit, but even then, Collins doesn't let Katniss linger on Prim's death. At first I felt like screaming. Prim was the singlemost important person to Katniss, above her mother, above Gale and Peeta. I wanted to see some anger, some despair, SOMETHING from Katniss. Instead we got a little moment between Katniss and Prim's cat. That's it. So I got to thinking, what was going on with Prim's death. As much as I would like to dismiss it as Collins on a killing spree, I don't really think that was it. I think Collins was going for something much bigger here. Yes, Prim's death was the reason that Katniss ended up believing Snow and his allegations against Coin, but I also think Prim's death was the final breaking point for Katniss. That's why she didn't see the end of the war. That's why she spent months moping around. That's why she is merely existing with Peeta. Prim is the one who asked Katniss what would break her, the one who brought that topic up. Katniss thought it was losing Peeta, but I think, in the end, it was Prim's death that totally broke Katniss. And what made the ending of Mockingjay so horribly upsetting and tragic was that Prim's death happened just as the capitol fell. Katniss will have no more adventures. There is no room for a sequel because the Mockingjay fell. And although the Districts won, Katniss lost everything. She has no fire. I noticed some people saying that Katniss hadn't changed, but I think she did change. Irrevocably. Irreparably.
(whoa, you can tell I'm getting way into this by the one word sentences).

About Katniss saying yes to the Hunger Games, I like what people have said here. That it was really a ruse, especially because Katniss and Haymitch have always communicated with little messages to each other. I think Collins is expecting her readers to understand what's going on here. Katniss says yes to the new Hunger Games. After making eye contact, Haymitch agrees with her. He has lived through the Hunger Games. He knows that Katniss would never wish to put anyone else through the Games. By voting yes, Haymitch knows that Katniss is against Coin but doesn't want Coin to know it. And we as readers know this because Haymitch votes with her. If Katniss really wanted the Games, I don't think Collins would have specifically chosen to highlight Haymitch agreeing with her. Also, I don't think there are any Hunger Games because in the end, Katniss is persuaded to have children. She would have never, NEVER agreed to that unless she knew there was no chance for them to witness the games or anything like the games. She hated the games.

Alright, about being unconscious for the end of the war. This goes back to reinforce my point about Prim being the final breaking point. After Prim dies, I don't think Katniss cares. Prim's character definitely blossomed for me in Mockingjay (whereas she seemed to be more of a catalytic character in the first two books). That's not to say that Katniss just stopped caring, but her reasons for fighting, for agreeing to become the Mockingjay were always about surviving and about protecting the people she loved. She never really got swept into the whole "fight for the cause" mentality. So when Peeta and then Prim were both taken from her, she really had no reason to fight. Shooting Coin was not about having the right person in power. It was about revenge. Coin was the one who sent Prim to the front line, and I don't believe Katniss was ever above killing someone for revenge. In fact, that seems to fit her character better than killing Coin because she didn't think she was the right president. Also, there was some self-preservation in there. Coin would always be after Katniss because of her status as the Mockingjay.

Anyways, after some heavy thinking, I understand the end of the novel, and although it was shocking as I read it, I think Collins made some good choices. Like others have said, perhaps it could have been a bit longer to really show us these things instead of summarizing a lot of it, but overall, I think this novel ended the series the way it should have been ended. Maybe it's not how I would have liked it to have ended, but I do believe the ending.

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by abc » September 1st, 2010, 3:34 pm

Good work, CourtneyLeigh!

I felt both pained and satisfied by Mockingjay. Yes I did want more lovely moments between Peeta and Katniss, but I think Collins wrote a book that is true to the theme, story, and her probably her heart. And she got us all thinking. A lot, it looks like.

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by aspiring_x » September 1st, 2010, 4:00 pm

i'm so late to this conversation... but i have opinions (like always.. and maybe wrong ones - but they're mine!)

i find the let down about the character of katniss some are experiencing completely odd. there's all this talk about katniss being the girl on fire, people are arguing that she just fizzled out. BUT katniss never was the girl on fire. truly, her, the voice we read the book through. that is not a girl on fire. that is a girl just trying to survive and protect those she loves or feels she owes.

the girl on fire- that was just an image THEY created. sure, some that loved her thought that was what she was... but she never did. she was always sarcastic with the term herself.

then there is this argument that she and peeta shouldn't have reacted the way they did because they are heros- not real people.... i cannot understand this. i prefer for characters to behave like real people, not whatever else. i mean, that's one of the many layers of these books that really resonated with me. the honest portrayal of humanity. people CAN be and ARE broken during war. i would have hated it if the author would have written it any other way.

maybe, i'm just cynical... or depressing. but i thought this book was brilliant. i didn't even notice the preaching. i thought so much was so well-planned.

i thought the romance was tied up really well... because in a lot of ways that's what marriage is. it's this partnership that comes from needing each other, learning to trust some one else. rarely are deep relationships formed by one big gesture, it's this steady life-long string of events that tie you together. it is not passion and fireworks... there are those moments, but it's like finnick and annie... when he says she grew on him. the way he said that... that's been the way this series has portrayed deep romance throughout.

gale- and his corruption. that was just so true. he kept following this road of hate... that was his path, and in the end he inadvertantly destroyed not just prim but many, many innocent... and it never seemed to even bother him... not at the mountain, not at the capitol... not much at least. i was so relieved to see him go.

and peeta- every person has a breaking point. noone is impervious to brainwashing. my goodness! if he had returned from that situation differently- he would have had no humanity.

near the end there is a lot of axing of characters... and it was written in such an honest and bleak tone. it reminded me of the episode of buffy when her mom dies, and it just doesn't feel real, because it just happens... but that is PRECISELY how it feels.

my complaint really, was the need for "blockbuster effects" near the end... the mutts, the ground splitting, all the pods. that was the only part that didn't seem real to me. it didn't seem like something the greedy capitol would do... destroy all their possessions.

but the rest, the politics and power, the romance, the hate, the brokeness, the humanity... there was so much tangible truth in this fantastical story- i think it was brilliant.

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by mojo25 » September 1st, 2010, 7:40 pm

I'll admit I skipped a lot of pages because I got a little bored with the action/war scenes, so I might have misinterpreted the ending. But I think Katniss was fed up with being manipulated by everyone--and that the supposed good guys --the Rebels--weren't so good after all (Coin etc). I liked Katniss and Peeta's relationship because while it was an act at first, over time, it became real. And Gale wasn't appealing because he designed all those awful bombs etc. So I like the ending--after all they had been through they find some peace and she's finally free... If Prim hadn't died, Katniss would not have killed Coin because she wouldn't have wanted to put Prim at risk. She had nothing to lose.

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by sally » September 2nd, 2010, 9:13 pm

Loved the first two books, but the third didn't satisfy me. I think the author felt a homily about the horrors of war was more important than the character arc, which was a huge disappointment. Katniss--the girl on fire--fizzled out. There was nothing redemptive. And I know some will disagree with me, but she belonged with Gale. Yes, he'd gone cold, but remember, she was the girl on fire. They were two halves of a whole. Instead, Katniss gave up, so Peeta had to look after her.

I loved Peeta, he was wonderful, but despite his genuine affection for Katniss, their 'relationship' was a product of the games and therefore would always have a false notel. Snow had seen to that--to the point that Katniss's last words were about the games she played to cope.

I guess some YA authors can't resist a little moralizing with their captive audience, but it's a betrayal of trust for the reader when the characters don't fulfill what they've been set up to do. I think this deepens the disappointment because the books were so well-written and tightly paced.

Maybe the Capital has won after all.

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by LizHales » September 3rd, 2010, 12:32 pm

aspiring_x wrote: i find the let down about the character of katniss some are experiencing completely odd. there's all this talk about katniss being the girl on fire, people are arguing that she just fizzled out. BUT katniss never was the girl on fire. truly, her, the voice we read the book through. that is not a girl on fire. that is a girl just trying to survive and protect those she loves or feels she owes.

the girl on fire- that was just an image THEY created. sure, some that loved her thought that was what she was... but she never did. she was always sarcastic with the term herself.

then there is this argument that she and peeta shouldn't have reacted the way they did because they are heros- not real people.... i cannot understand this. i prefer for characters to behave like real people, not whatever else. i mean, that's one of the many layers of these books that really resonated with me. the honest portrayal of humanity. people CAN be and ARE broken during war. i would have hated it if the author would have written it any other way.

gale- and his corruption. that was just so true. he kept following this road of hate... that was his path, and in the end he inadvertantly destroyed not just prim but many, many innocent... and it never seemed to even bother him... not at the mountain, not at the capitol... not much at least. i was so relieved to see him go.
Yes, thank you! I agree with you. I feel like a lot of people are not understanding Mockingjay. They are doing the same thing the rebels in the book did, trying to turn Katniss into something she is not. She never, ever wanted to be the "Girl on Fire". All she wanted was to fight to keep her family alive. If she had truly wanted to lead a revolution, she never would have even considered running away with Gale or Peeta and living out in the woods.

Also, it seems like some readers are too focused on the Katniss/Peeta/Gale romance. The romance is not the focus of these books, it has always been secondary, even to the point that I never saw any true romance between Katniss and Gale.

I loved it, I thought it was dark and tragic and brilliant!

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by maybegenius » September 4th, 2010, 2:20 pm

I'm really enjoying this discussion, but could we please avoid saying that some people just didn't "get" the book? It's a little insulting. We're all well-read and intelligent. We've all done literary analysis. Some have differing opinions, that's all. Books are subjective and themes are fluid; that happens.

I respectfully disagree that Katniss was never the "Girl on Fire." You're right, she was never the constructed painted celebrity that the capital painted her as, but she certainly was fueled by love and the need to protect those she cared about. That, in my opinion, was her "fire." She didn't want to be a part of the political power play, but when she had to fight, she fought. She fought for love. And in Mockingjay, I felt that love and that desperate desire to protect and fight faded out of her.

Again, I don't think that makes this a bad book. I also loved the book and the series. I just felt saddened by the third installment, which was probably the point.
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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by aspiring_x » September 5th, 2010, 10:00 am

maybe! i hope i didn't say anything to make you think i was saying that!!! i just didn't get the argument! :)

if katniss' "fire" is her love for prim and her desire to protect those she loves, i still don't think mockingjay as untrue to that. the moments of her "fire"- saving people at 2 (father's memory), saving the hospital in 8 (mom and prim in the foremost of her thoughts), the rush at prim in the end... are all motivated by that.

her "fizzling out" is primarily directed at the political part. because that was never her passion. she just wanted to have the handful she loved and enough to survive.

her massive woe from peeta's brainwashing falls in line (not only did she love him in her way, but she failed to protect him) and her bleak depression over losing prim is suiting. katniss (to me) is the kind of character who does what needs to be done, but still suffers the emotional shock-if not belatedly. she didn't grieve immediately after the loss of prim (though she did)- but the majority of it came after she'd "taken care of the business" of coin and snow.

at the end, her character and peeta's come full circle. the end with the primrose bushes and peeta being her meager lifeline, is a strong echo of the boy with the bread scene.

if love and the desire to protect those she loves is katniss' fire, then it is the warm crackle of the hearth or a controlled campfire, not the blazing inferno of a forestfire... and i think mockingjay really showed that... especially at the end.

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by maybegenius » September 5th, 2010, 3:04 pm

No, not you, aspiring. No worries :) I was mainly referring to this:
LizHales wrote:Yes, thank you! I agree with you. I feel like a lot of people are not understanding Mockingjay.
And I'm not trying to pick a fight, just to be clear! I just get my hackles up when the implication of, "You don't have the same opinion as me because you don't understand the book" gets thrown around. Because, well, you know. Differing opinions are commonplace in literature discussion, and that's a good thing. It doesn't mean people with differing opinions didn't "get" the book.

I get what you're saying, aspiring_x. I think, for me, the horrors of war and the depressed/shell-shocked/despairing emotion kind of overwhelmed the love in this installment. The love was there, absolutely. But I didn't feel the same almost instinctual drive in Katniss to protect people. It felt to me like she was more watching the world crumbling around her, and going through the motions. And those emotions are realistic! But they still saddened me, you know?
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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by aspiring_x » September 5th, 2010, 8:48 pm

maybegenius wrote: And I'm not trying to pick a fight, just to be clear! I just get my hackles up when the implication of, "You don't have the same opinion as me because you don't understand the book" gets thrown around. Because, well, you know. Differing opinions are commonplace in literature discussion, and that's a good thing. It doesn't mean people with differing opinions didn't "get" the book.
whew! *wipes worry-lines off forehead* :)

SO TRUE!!! this is one of my favorite things about literature (and all the arts, really.) once the work is viewed by another pair of eyes, it grows, it changes, it morphs. IT BECOMES something greater, beyond the designs of the writer. it becomes alive in the mind of the reader. it's a wonderful thing. even if it grows into something beyond the intentions of the original authorship. i always think of anne frank and her diary... you can sure bet she didn't intend for that little journal to become what everyone sees it as now. :)

and the end was sad, the whole thing was sad... i guess i just expected the sadness?? who knows! :)

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Re: MOCKINGJAY - spoiler edition

Post by sally_apokedak » September 5th, 2010, 11:02 pm

Well, I have never posted on these boards before--I've never even visited them. But I had to register to add my thoughts to the HG thread. So SC must be doing something right. She's got us all staying up to all hours reading and then thinking for days and talking.

I finished MJ at 4:30 this morning and, no, I didn't put it down with a satisfied sigh. But I thought it was a good book, in many ways.

So here are my initial, rather shell-shocked, observations, in no particular order:
  • SC is master of the page-turning action. My kids and I gobbled up the Gregor books and the HG books.
  • SC doesn't paint scenery--all of her worlds are sparsely furnished. She's into action, not scenery. This is not a bad thing. She gives us enough so that we never get lost and we are able to fill in the gaps with our own imaginations.
  • When you have two such wonderful male characters, it's hard to imagine that anyone could pull off an ending that would satisfy everyone. By painting both boys as loving katniss without ulterior motive, Collins showed us 1) that Katniss was lovable and worthy and 2) set herself up for a heartbreaking ending, no matter which way she went.
  • If she had let one of the boys die, we would have probably felt like she was taking the easy way out.
  • Once Katniss pulled the trigger and killed the unarmed women in her apartment, she crossed a line she could never come back from. Katniss said something earlier in the book about how killing changes you. Up until that point, though, she had always killed in self-defense or in defense of the oppressed. Then she blows the woman away. It was unnecessary and I thought out of character because she had been making a plea with Gale, up to that point, for compassion. It made the assassination of Coin believable, though, and it demanded that she end her life sitting in her chair alone and half alive and that she only come back to a half life when Peeta joins her. Because you cannot kill in cold blood--you cannot blow away unarmed civilians--and then go on and win the war and be happy. Not if you have a shred of decency.
  • If Collins didn't let Prim die, she couldn't have had Katniss all alone at the end and needing Peeta. Prim wouldn't have left her alone. Plus Prim's death is what got rid of Gale.
  • In this book, Prim and their mother became characters with some flesh and Katniss became less of a character.
  • I wanted her to grieve over Finnick. The ending showed numbness but lacked grieving that would have allowed me to cry and feel better.
  • The ending was anti-climactic. She didn't fight. She didn't face off with the evil and win. She became evil. She killed unarmed people. She set herself up as judge, jury, and executioner for Coin.
  • I also thought the first three chapters were too slow and the ending was too fast.
  • But the ending was earned.
  • I loved the part where she told Peeta that she was still trying to take care of him because that's what they did--they took care of one another.
  • What in the world was all the hanging tree thing about? We have Finnick with the knots in the rope, we have the nooses, the song, then the knots that Finnick pulls straight so there is no knot. We are totally set up for a hanging, where maybe they make some fantastic escape because the knots will be fake knots tied by Finnick or something awesome, and then nothing comes from the hanging tree thread at all.
  • But maybe something came of it. In the end Collins leaves us with kids who thought they'd rather be dead, but who have been forced to live. They will never be the same. They have killed, they have witnessed tortures that will never leave them. If they could have hanged, they would have been relieved of pain. Katniss analyzes the hanging tree song and sees clearly that death is the only real way to flee from the troubles of this world. But she and Peeta and Gale must live on. Prim, the good one who has no blood on her hands, the one who is a healer and not a soldier, gets released in a blaze of glory. She is delivered from the evil world as she goes about doing an act of compassion, and Katniss, the one with blood on her hands has to keep on living and remembering all the painful things.
  • And yet, the novel does not end without hope. There is Peeta. There are plants growing and babies being born.
    It is not a happy story. It is painful. SC didn't have to make all those choices. She could have played it safe. But once she had Katniss kill in cold blood, she could not let her end happily, I don't think. Soldiers do horrific things when they are scared, in the heat of the moment. They pull the trigger because they are crazed from the horror of war and because they want to survive. And they are forever changed. SC would have been false if she had painted a story where you can kill as much as Katniss did and not pay a heavy price.
OK I'm sorry to come in with my first post and give you all a novel. They were such disturbing books, though. Thanks for letting me jump in.

I know one thing for sure, for sure. I'll be snapping up the next SC book that comes out. Without a doubt.

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