24 August 2010

Mockingjay

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)My library was surprisingly on top of things and had this book ready to be picked up yesterday, a day before its release.  I liked it a lot, even though I still don't much like Katniss. Quit reading here if you want, because I'm going to talk about some details of the book.

I liked the overall plot and how Collins used the idea of food and entertainment to control people.  I appreciated that the rebels were far from a perfect organization; revolutions often are too neat in history and in books.  I couldn't help thinking of Kyrgyzstan often throughout the book.  But that's just me. 

I was disappointed at how easily Collins discarded Gale.  I don't mind that he ended up out of the picture, but I thought it was unfair that his much more difficult childhood (compared to Peeta) ended up creating a personality Katniss didn't need.  But maybe it was more than their circumstances that created Peeta and Gale. 

It didn't wrap up neatly, which I liked. It wasn't at all neat and there are still plenty of questions. I was sad to lose Finnick though.  I really liked him. 

I don't know if others like her a lot, but Katniss certainly isn't my favorite heroine.  Her cluelessness was over the top in the second book, but even here she didn't see things too clearly.  And what about her voting for the Hunger Games to happen again?  Seems Peeta should have had trouble getting past that decision. 

Anyway.  What did you think?

9 comments:

Melissa said...

I was okay with it all -- I didn't even mind Katniss's indecisiveness -- but everything (EVERYTHING) derailed for me after the bombing at the capitol. I didn't mind that it ended messily, but it was so completely, utterly unsatisfying that I felt ripped off.

Amira said...

I thought the bombing was a really good way for Collins to make you feel as ripped off as Katniss does. Even though I agree that it made for an unsatisfying ending for the reader. But Collins made her point.

I'd be interested in asking her what she thinks could or should be done when you desperately need change in the government and there is no legal or safe way to bring it about.

Jennie said...

I've had a couple of days to think about the book and my thoughts on it, and I really think that when Collins departed from the "Games" she was out of her element. The revolution sequences were frustrating to me, as was all the internal crises that we had to wade through. What appealed to me about the first two books was the pacing of them - not action-packed, but well paced. I didn't get that feeling from this book.
I do understand that war is ugly and the emotional impact of killing someone is difficult to comprehend, but I felt there was far too much of Katniss "dealing" with things. What made her at least slightly likable was her passion, her fire, and she was so flat in this book.

I agree with you on the dismissal of Gale, and her decision regarding a new Hunger Games. That seemed out of character. I'm actually surprised Collins brought Peeta and Katniss together in the end. I thought there was far too much baggage between them.

Ms. Yingling said...

Katniss started to grate on me at the very beginning. I agree with Jennie that departing from the games made the book lose focus for me.

Amira said...

I thought Collins wrote best when she was talking about the games in the first book, but I wasn't interested in hearing about them again in the second and liked Catching Fire least of all the books because of that.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I liked this book because I think Collins did a very good job writing the message she wanted to send.

Kimberly said...

You pretty much summed up the thoughts I've been formulating to talk about at book group.

Overall I loved it. Much better many endings to series. I did want Gale and Katniss to end on better terms. And I was very sad about Finnick as well.

It wasn't as well paced, but I think that reflected the war effort. There wasn't a battle every day. And I think we have to remember that Katniss is only 17. It's rare kids that age are like Peeta. I'd say more are like Katniss.

Diana said...

It was finally my turn to read this book and I finished last night. As I’ve thought about it for the last few hours, I realize that I’m quite happy to be finished with the series. When I finished Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, I was kind of sad not to be involved in the character’s lives anymore. They were my friends. Mockingjay has many characters that I’m happy to be finished with. I agree with you that Finnick is the most likable. I don’t think it was necessary to get rid of him—the plot would have been just fine without it.

I did like the book. I thought the writing was good. I thought Katniss’s constant mental anguish was very realistic (also annoying at times). I liked that many of the characters were a mixed bag—none all good or all bad (even Peeta was bad in this one—although through no fault of his own). I also liked that it didn’t wrap up neatly.

It is troubling how Gale was discarded. It might have been nice to have a little more explanation there. It did make it easier, though, for Katniss to continue to be wishy-washy and let circumstances make her decisions for her. I’ve always been in Peeta’s camp so I’m happy with that result.

I am somewhat troubled that Scholastic is marketing this to elementary school children (in the book orders they send home from school). Of course there’s the violence, but what about Finnick being used as a sex slave? Maybe it will go right over their heads but I don’t think that particular content is suitable for children.

I’m looking forward to Collins’ next series.

Amira said...

Even more than the appropriateness of marketing it to elementary age is is my concern than they wouldn't get as much out of it as a middle or high school kid. But it seems like that happens a lot.

Jean said...

I read it yesterday evening. I liked it pretty well, but about Katniss voting for the Games--didn't she only do that in order to get closer to Coin? I thought it was fairly realistic that Gale slipped away.

What I thought was well-done was how almost no one is really all that likable. They're all forced to do horrible things for one reason or another and it changes them. Which is what happens in wars.

I'd agree that Collins is at her best when writing Games-type material. She sounds much more comfortable when they're moving through sewers and dodging horrific booby-traps.

I told my 10-yo that she can read it when she's 14 (maybe 13). I can't really see it as appropriate--or very meaningful--for younger than that. Did you see that Kristin Stewart is on the list to play Katniss? Anyone less suited to it I cannot imagine...