SPOILERS, SPOILERS, HEAPS AND HEAPS OF SPOILERS
Okay, so if you've not read Mockingjay by now, then really, you shouldn't read this post. Really. It will be full of spoilers and will totally spoil it for you. This isn't a review either, because I don't think I could actually review the book articulately. So, these are just my thoughts.
I was kind of not going to read this book, especially after being spoiled. BUT. I reconsidered, because Hunger Games and Catching Fire are and will always be amazing pieces of dystopian literature. Which means that my expectations for Mockingjay were exceptionally high, maybe too high. And this is where my slow descent into mind numbing panic began, because of course, things didn't play out how I wanted them to. By the time I had finished the book, I was ready to jump on a flight and go and find Suzanne and kick her ass. I was livid. I hated the characters, I hated how the book ended, I wasn't fussed if other people liked the book because I didn't. Surely she'd made a mistake. She had somehow put the wrong ending in my book.
Now, this is where my admiration for Suzanne begins. Because it takes a lot for me to feel so angry and distraught over a book. I've not cried so much since I read the final Harry Potter book. I didn't think it was possible to let a book affect me so much. But it did. And for this reason, i'm in awe of this woman and the world and characters she has so artfully created. Because OF COURSE she had to end it the way she did (note, this does not and will not ever include the epilogue or the lame Gale ending). It doesn't matter that it's not the ending I wanted, that the story didn't progress how I would've liked it too, that Katniss didn't choose the boy I was rooting for. None of this matters. What matters is that she has made me care about these characters, that she emersed me so fully into their world, that despite my anger at the way it ended, the ending was perfect for the characters. Which to me, is such a brave thing to do. I wish things had turned out differently, but what I wanted and what I got are two completely different things.
Now onto the characters. Well HOLY SHIZZ Peeta was such an ass in this book and I LOVED it, for the whole page and a bit it lasted. Mostly because I didn't care for Peeta, mostly because it was about time he stopped being such a pansy and being all fluffy. But the whole highjacking thing could've played out so so much better than it did. It kind of hit the page with a bang and then dissolved instantly. I never thought he was a threat, I never feared for Katniss's safety around him, I never even wanted him on my pages. Because it was Peeta, the boy who bakes cakes. Even when he strangled Katniss I never felt much of anything, other than this was such a weird storyline. Where was the danger, where was the fear, where was bad ass Peeta who hates everyone? I swear, the second he iced that cake it was like "oh well, he MUST be better now" really? I just found it all a little too unbelievable and forced, so much so that it never quite had the effect on me it was intended to. I still hate Peeta.
Gale. Oh poor Gale. I love you even if Katniss doesn't. But MAN, what did they do to you in this book. They turned him from this loving provider who would do anything for his family and Katniss, into a bloody thirsty war crazy boy. Plus, the whole Prim thing majorly PISSED me off. Really Katniss, your going to blame the guy for wanting revenge on the people who stole the girl he loved and forced her to kill people, who made her into someone that can't see a good thing when it's in front of her. I was cheering when he was being bad ass and wanting to show the Captiol that he wasn't to be messed with. I could even understand him wanting to do something, anything, to try and make a better future for everyone. Of course he was going to be angry, he felt that it was his fault Katniss went through what she did, because he wasn't there for her in the arena. And his ending? really? Katniss was that shallow a person that she never even cared that she never saw her best friend? that she never said goodbye to him? that the fact he just upped and left for District 2 didn't bother her? the Katniss I know would not do this, she would fight for Gale, like she fights for those she loves. His ending was not an ending at all. It was nothing. Fuck, that makes me mad.
Katniss. I just want to give her a big hug and see if I can invent some kind of memory remover, because boy, she could do with catching a break. In this book, she was such an erratic and scared girl. I never quite knew what she was going to do from one scene to the next. I could almost see her cracking and was waiting for the moment that it all crumpled around her. Yes, she is the girl on fire. Yes she is a rebel and yes she is kick ass. But really, she's not. I would like to think that she's this bad ass warrior who fights for the good of the people. But thats not her. She's just a girl trying to protect what little family she has left. She never wanted any of this. She didn't want to fight, she didn't want to be the Mockingjay, in the end she just wanted to die. And this is what broke me. This was what made me realise that the Katniss I stored in my head was not the Katniss on the pages. She never really had a choice in anything. Every decision was made for her by someone else. Her fate and the fate of those she loved was put into the hands of others. She had no control over anything. She never wanted to fight, she never wanted to go into the games, she did these things because she felt she needed to, in order to protect people. But she does have fire. She has a fire inside her that makes her carry on, that fuels her desire to want revenge. This fire was effectively robbed from her and I don't quite know where it went or if she could ever get it back. Evidently, she didn't. They sprayed a fire extinguisher on the girl on fire and destroyed her. Bad move. She was better in my head as a bad ass.
The whole Prim situation makes me real mad, so I'm trying not to think about it too much. In fact, i'm trying to pretend that whole thing never really happened.
Finnick. I have nothing to say about this boy that doesn't make me want to crawl into my fort of blankets and cry for a while. Same with Cinna.
Now, I've not read other posts about this so i'm unsure as to how people think about the whole Gale/Peeta thing, so I apologise for my lack lustre approach. I have been firmly Team Gale since I read the first book. Within the opening chapter, I had made my choice. No matter how nice Peeta was, how much he sacrificed for Katniss, how much he loved her, my mind was set. I couldn't appreciate these sences because I kept thinking about Gale. About how it must hurt him to see Katniss kiss Peeta. It took me until about an hour ago to reconcile my feelings about the whole Peeta and Katniss get together and have babies thing. Because she was meant to be with Gale. As much as it pains me to say this, it was always Peeta. Collins always intended for him to be the one (blah). It took me until an hour ago to come to terms with this. A life with Gale would've been out of character with this new Katniss I have discovered. He has too much fire, his fire combined with the fire inside of Katniss would've destroyed them both. She needs Peeta. Like needs him and his gentle nature and the fact that all he has every really wanted is her. Seriously, it hurts me even to type this out, but I do believe the right choice was made. (Katniss was lameo by the end)
Plot. I have a LOT of issues with certain things that happened. Destroying District 12 was just so weird. I kind of wanted to see the whole thing happen, but all we get to see is ash and Katniss being all emo about her town. Then District 13 was a bit to high tech for me, the fact that it was all underground was very cool though. And very clever and sneaky. Then Peeta kind of comes back with his freak on and tries to kill Katniss, whilst Gale is being a weird boy hating everything and planning the death of lots of people. The District 2 scene? AMAZING!! and the Katniss I knew and loved. She was back. With a BANG and a swanky outfit to boot. Her compassion and vulnerability made those scenes and built them up into something so powerful on the pages. They packed a big hard punch and made me realise that deaths were going to come thick and fast. Then that whacked out build up to storming the Capitol and all we get to see is Katniss and the other rebels breaking into peoples apartments and hiding things in their closets. Then hanging round some underwear shop with a woman who looks like a tiger and effectively missing everything that was built up before hand? What the crappola was that about! Also, the fact that Prim dies when all Katniss wanted to do was save her, to keep her safe. I kind of understood when Katniss said yes to the option of another Hunger Games, this time with Captiol children. But then the other Katniss would never have agreed to this, the other Katniss would try and destroy them without harming innocent people. It kind of threw me that she would say yes. It also pissed me off that Katniss could've just let Prim die in the arena and saved her self a LOT of bother and then married Gale instead of weak ass Peeta. (I will repeat what I said on Twitter. Team Gale because Peeta would be *that* guy. The one who cries after sex. I am sticking to that statement, because I totally beleive he would.)
The epilogue. Aka those pages I ripped out of my book and burned. One word - Overkill. If not for my revelation today about how I feel about the book, I would probably still be cursing Collins to the firey pits of hell. Really? Really? My first thought when I read that was "did I somehow stumble upon a missing chapter from The Lord of The Rings." Katniss would NEVER do that. I don't care what anyone says, that is just insane. INSANE. Also, what the EFF. I can't even beleive that even got printed. I mean yeah, I can cope with the ending and the fact that she choose Peeta, and that years go by in like a page. And I can even cope with the fact that the girl who cant sit still sat in her kitchen for YEARS without enyone kicking her out of her chair. BUT, I can't cope with the fact that she has what appears to be a miserable future.
Not that she is miserable with Peeta because I can see why she chose him, but that her life is depicted a sad existence. She didn't want the children, she says so herself. Yes, she was thrown into a war when she wasn't even an adult yet, she has saw things anyone could ever fathom, she has never been able to make her own choices, but I can't beleive she would want this life for herself. They don't even rejoice that the things they suffered through, the lifes they ended, the blood they shed and the scars they bear, are the reason why the world is somewhat better than it was before. She doesn't seem happy that because of the trials she went through, her childrens and heck other childrens lives will be better. that she has built this future from her sacrifices. No, she sits in her garden and makes a memory book for the kids she didn't even want. In fact, writing this post has made me mad again. DAMN YOU COLLINS.
I'm off to write some fan fiction, and this time, the ending will be the ending that I want. Not some weak sauce ending where Katniss and Peeta are basically piss poor excuses of the people they used to be.
edit - i just re-read my post and realised that I start off in awe of the book and end up pretty much where i was when i first finished it. I think it kind of hate it a bit. no, i kind of hate it quite a lot.