Monday, 19 August 2013

Hunger Games: Mockingjay


Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice.  But she's still not safe.  A revolution is unfolding and everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans - everyone except Katniss.

And yet she must play the most vital part in the final battle.  Katniss must become their Mockingjay - the symbol of rebellion - no matter what the personal cost.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I didn't like the final book in Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy.  Mockingjay was supposed to be the big showdown; an epic fight between the rebels and the Capitol.   Instead, I unfortunately found Mockingjay to be dull, slow and a chore to finish. 

It wasn't all bad; there were parts of the plot and concepts that perked my interest; such as the revelation that the victors were never free from the control of President Snow and the whims of the Capitol.  However, these few interesting tid-bits could not distract me from the clunky pacing of Mockingjay overall.  For many, many pages there's a lot of talking.  Then all of a sudden brief flashes of action happen that are over and done with all too soon.  Plus not to mention major characters are dispatched within the blink of an eye.  The structure does a disservice to not only Collins' fantastic range of characters, but to the overall plot.   

Although, the worst part of Mockingjay for me has to be the resolution of the love triangle between Katniss, Gale and Peeta.  Katniss is supposed to be kick-ass, not your average, YA heroine, and yet in the end she doesn't even pick who she wants to be with. Personally, I don't think she should have ended up with either Gale or Peeta.  It was obvious from how Collins portrayed Gale that he was never meant to end up with Katniss, their moral compasses were not in sync at all.  I may have been open to Katniss ending up with Peeta until I read the quote below:

"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." (p.271)

I might have been reading it the wrong way, but there were many instances other than the above were Collins makes it sound that the only reason Katniss likes Peeta is because he loves her.  And that's never a reason why you should marry a person and have kids with them.  You have to love them, for your own reasons.  Not just because the other boy might have had a part in killing your sister, meaning you could never look at him in the same way again.  The whole epilogue felt contrived, these guys were only 17!  I know some people do, but what's the likelihood of finding your life partner at that age? I get that no-one else could ever understand what these two had been through, but what's stopping them from ending up with someone else?  Or, God forbid, that they end up alone?

Perhaps I should re-read the series in a couple years time, and then maybe I can overlook the parts that I don't like and appreciate all of the good parts of this series.  Either that or hope that this can be a rare case where the movie is better than the book!  

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