Mockingjay is the third book of The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne CollinsCheck the review of the first sequel hereCheck the review of the second sequel here
Read from September 10 to 13, 2013MY REVIEW:
Well, I just finished Mockingjay and I'm just..speechless. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Mixed feelings. So sad yet so true. I want to be mad at the author for such a hurting ending and a violent gorey bloody book, but I just can't. It's so relatable specially now in Egypt, and so realistic. It's just a fact that we don't want to admit maybe.
Catching fire was not as fast-paced as The Hunger Games was, and Mockingjay was even less than both. Through the first two thirds of the book, it's not so thrilling and not so full of events. It's just details, more unnecessary details, Katniss expressing her emotions and confusion, more description,.. Yet, I was never turned off. It was still a page-turner; maybe it's something about Collins and how she manages to make details enjoyable. The last third with the assasin mission was the most enjoyable. It was when all the action really started.
One thing I've always liked about the books was how it always felt like I was Katniss. As confused, sad, clueless as her. But I think it was taken a bit too far in this book. Most of the times I was completely clueless, she was either hiding in a closet or waking up on a hospital's bed. It seemed like I was being told what happened instead of being shown.
Even though the last third of the book is what it's all about, it was too black, gorey, bloody and violent even for me. It was pretty disturbing sometimes. All the emotions in the first two books that made the violence and blood easier to swallow, disappeared in the final book. It was a colder version.
As much as I want to be mad at Collins, blame her for the ending and yell for my disappointment; I'm actually not that mad. I can't be. In the last few weeks, I've been questioning human beings myself. Questioning those beings who'd fight corrupted regimes in order to form other corrupted ones when they are in charge. It is kind of funny how those who's been treated unfairly tend to be unfair themselves when they get the chance. They'll turn into other control freaks when they get in charge. I also realized a while ago that the rebels in my country are not that good either, and it was just the perfect time to read this book. Maybe I would've been mad as most people are, feeling the ending was too dark if I've read this earlier. But now it feels like the only reasonable ending.
You know what the real disappointment would've been? If the rebels win, and that's the happy ending and I'm supposed to be happy. Nobody wins in war. People die. There's no victory to celebrate. Death should be viewed from all sides. These are the horrors of war and they can't be overlooked. Also categorizing the Capitol and the rebels into black and white would've been disappointing too. I don't want a book to tell me it's so easy to deal with a revolution, and know which side is right and stick to it when in real life I don't know which side I'm on anymore, when I'm not even sure if it has to be about those two sides at all.
It's not easy to swallow this book. With all the deaths, the disturbing moments, the characters' terrible states and breakdowns and change in characters, but I would've never thought any other ending would feel as true as this is. Whether I like it or not, the ending closed all the open doors. The love-triangle ended, no more games, let politicians play their dirty games as always, remember those who passed away, feeling of guilt never ends. That's it.
The thing that majorly let me down in this book was how Gale ended up. Gale is never the kind of guy to leave Katniss behind, get a fancy job, have a relationship, and live somewhere far. Gale was Katniss' best friend through the whole trilogy. He'd cover her back, take care of her family, understand her with just a look. It's disappointing how he ended up.
Also the deaths. Too many and too fast. I remember Rue's death in the first book and how it took a couple of pages to weep, cry and properly mourn her. But now Cinna, Prim, Finnick,..? All so fast that it feels so wrong to kill such major characters that easily. It felt so cold especially with Finnick's death.
As for Katniss, as much as she didn't want to be a piece in their games, she never succeeded. She rarely makes her own choices. And she's been and will always be a piece in somebody's game.
Her character changed a LOT since the girl who volunteered to save her sister (Johanna was right). I don't blame her for changing with all what happened, but I shouldn't be blamed I don't like her anymore. She's not that strong, confident, powerful, smart, cunning girl who was never selfish and would've done anything to save her family and who fought for a value. Instead, she became a selfish, weak, confused, manipulated, cold girl who could've saved Finnick (whose death killed me and I'll never forgive her for) and the other Squad members by just sacrificing herself to the mutts. But didn't.
But I think a seventeen-year-old who has been through all this, shouldn't be expected to act well and stay sane. It's almost impossible. Because even heroes suffer.
I'm not reading the book for a hero anyway. I don't like Katniss anymore, I'm disappointed with Gale, I don't like the ending. But honestly, that's the only realistic enough ending I would've accepted. It's the only ending that made sense.
I'm disappointed, not with the ending, but with how that's actually the truth. This is life. This is war. This is politics. Those are the inhumane human beings.
Maybe that is the truth, it is ugly, but who said the truth had to be pretty?
I would've rated it 3 stars, but the ending promotes it to 4 stars.QUOTES I LIKED:
"Still, I hate them. But, of course, I hate almost everybody now. Myself more than anyone."
"And it takes too much energy to stay angry with someone who cries so much."
"As bad as it makes you feel, you're going to have to do some killing because in the arena, you only get one wish. And it's very costly." says Peeta.
"It costs your life," says Caesar.
"Oh, no. It costs a lot more than your life. To murder innocent people?" says Peeta. "It costs everything you are."
"I still stand by what I said. Do you want me to lie about it?" Gale asks.
"No, I want you to rethink it and come up with the right opinion." I tell him. But this just makes him laugh.
"And that, my friends, is how a revolution dies."
"I imagine death from all sides. The last moment before seeing a shell hit the ground, feeling the wing blown from my plane and the dizzying nosedive into oblivion, the warehouse roof falling down at me while I'm pinned helplessly to my cot. Things I saw, in person or on the tape. Things I caused with a pull of my bowstring. Things I will never be able to erase from my memory."
"I try to appear extra calm to make up for my frantic crashing through the crowd. Like that's fooling anyone. So much for setting an example. Oh, who cares? They all think I'm nuts anyway."
"I've stopped talking because there's really nothing left to say and there's this piercing sort of pain where my heart is. Maybe I'm even having a heart attack, but it doesn't seem worth mentioning."
"Better not to give in to it. It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart."
"If there's a more helpless feeling than trying to reach someone you love who's trapped underground. I don't know it."
"We blew up your mine. You burned my district to the ground. We've got every reason to kill each other. So do it. Make the Capitol happy. I'm done killing their slaves for them."
"Partly," she admits. "Jealousy is certainly involved. I also think you're a little hard to swallow. With your tacky romantic drama and your defender-of-the-helpless act. Only it isn't an act, which makes you more unbearable. Please feel free to take this personally."
"You should have been the Mockingjay. No one would've had to feed you lines," I say.
"It takes a long time before I get to the bottom of why I'm so upset. When I do, it's almost too mortifying to admit. All those months of taking it for granted that Peeta thought I was wonderful are over. Finally, he can see me for who I really am. Violent. Distrustful. Manipulative. Deadly. And I hate him for it."
"Maybe. But he's changed," I say.
"So have you. So have I. And Finnick and Haymitch and Beetee. Don't get me started on Annie Cresta. The arena messed us all up pretty good, don't you think? Or do you still feel like the girl who volunteered for your sister?" She asks me.
"No," I answer.
"That's the one thing I think my head doctor might be right about. There's no going back. So we might as well get on with things." She says.
"All around the dining hall, you can feel the rejuvenating effect that a good meal can bring on. The way it can make people kinder, funnier, more optimistic, and remind them it's not a mistake to go on living. It's better than any medicine."
"The rebels want the Capitol, just as the Capitol wanted 13."
"She's an extreme example of surgical enhancement gone wrong, for surely not even in the Capitol could they find this face attractive."
"In the morning, I have no time or energy to nurse wounded feelings."
"Never underestimate the power of a brilliant stylist."
"My mother buries her grief in her work. Having no work, grief buries me."
"I curl up, make myself smaller, try to disappear entirely."
"Closing my eyes doesn't help. Fire burns brighter in the dark."
"I'd supposed he would be secured in the deepest dungeon that the Capitol had to offer, not cradled in the lap of luxury. Yet Coin left him here. To set a precedent, I guess. So that if in the future she ever fell from grace, it would be understood that presidents -even the most despicable- get special treatment. Who knows, after all, when her own power might fade?"
"Apparently, the end of Snow's reign didn't equal the end of his terror."
"I can't believe how normal they've made me look on the outside when inwardly I'm such a wasteland."
"Was it like this then? Seventy-five years or so ago? Did a group of people sit around and cast their votes on initiating the Hunger Games? […] All those people I loved, dead, and we are discussing the next Hunger Games in an attempt to avoid wasting life. Nothing has changed. Nothing will ever change now."
"My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead. It would be best for everyone if I were dead."
"Taking my life is the Capitol's privilege. Again."
"I won’t do it. If I can’t kill myself in this room, I will take the first opportunity outside of it to finish the job. They can design dream weapons that come to life in my hands, but they will never again brainwash me into the necessity of using them. I no longer feel any allegiance to these monsters called human beings, despise being one myself. I think that Peeta was onto something about us destroying one another and letting some decent species take over. Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children’s lives to settle its differences. You can spin it any way you like. Snow thought the Hunger Games were an efficient means of control. Coin thought the parachutes would expedite the war. But in the end, who does it benefit? No one. The truth is, it benefits no one to live in a world where these things happen."
"We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction."
"I give Peeta a nod of assent and hurry back into the house, locking the door behind me. But the evil thing is inside, not out."
"All through the town and the Seam, it's the same. The reaping of the dead."
"We seal the pages with salt water and promises to live well to make their deaths count."
"That what I need to survive is not Gale's fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that."
"My children, who don't know they play on a graveyard. Peeta says it will be okay. We have each other. And the book. We can make them understand in a way that will make them braver. But one day I'll have to explain about my nightmares. Why they came. Why they won't ever really go away.
I'll tell them how I survive it. I'll tell them that on bad mornings, it feels impossible to take pleasure in anything because I'm afraid it could be taken away. That's when I make a list in my head of every act of goodness I've seen someone do. It's like a game. Repetitive. Even a little tedious after more than twenty years.
But there are much worse games to play."