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111 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Ending; Feminist Friendly; Some readers just don't get it, I guess
I've found on here that many are dismayed with the ending of The Hunger Games trilogy. My advice? Read it again in a year or two. Maybe it's going over your head. Or re-read it right now, with a friend. I read the entire trilogy in a week, and even at the age of 19 I found some themes were hard to understand or keep track of -- not just because of authorship, but because...
Published on March 24, 2012 by AHodg47

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110 of 132 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Insultingly absurd
I don't know what else to say beyond the title of my review. I enjoyed the first, thought the second was adequate, but wanting. This book, however, is atrocious.

There are so many points in this book, during the "action" sequences, where all I could think about was the author's writing process. I'm not joking or making this up. This book sounds like the...
Published on March 19, 2012 by C. Peck


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110 of 132 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Insultingly absurd, March 19, 2012
By 
C. Peck (California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I don't know what else to say beyond the title of my review. I enjoyed the first, thought the second was adequate, but wanting. This book, however, is atrocious.

There are so many points in this book, during the "action" sequences, where all I could think about was the author's writing process. I'm not joking or making this up. This book sounds like the author just sat a 6 year old next to her, stuffed him with sugar and chocolate, and then just kept asking him "and then what happened?" over and over.

Yeah, you can imagine how that would turn out: "Then they were running, and then they fell because the sidewalk was a trap! then the alligator face people came in the sewer. then the floor opened up and it was spikes. and the spikes had poison! then they jumped over the spikes. but then the bees came. but the bees were robots! then the soldiers saw the robot bees and they stung them. and then, and then..." etc.etc. That is exactly how events unfold in this book.

Maybe I can get a sugar-high 6 year old and keep a voice transcription program running and turn that into a best-seller.

Absurd.
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65 of 77 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars biggest disappointment of my year, October 2, 2010
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****REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS****

At first, i wanted to hate this book. The night i finished reading it, by whole being felt utterly sickened with disgust. i wanted to throw it away, to toss it out my window and forget that i ever read it, keeping my loving memories of the beauty of the Hunger Games and Catching FIre untainted. Looking back, im glad i refrained from reviewing for a good week, because god forbid, if i would have the night i finished it, you probably would have more of a hate letter to Collins then a review.

I'm certainly not saying that i have grown to like the book, but my loathing towards it has instead become a dull appreciation. The book is good, but there are many good books which i don't like. In hindsight, what triggered my initial reaction of hate was how depressed this book made me. Not because of the dark context or the countless deaths that occur within it (i actually love dark reads), but because for me, it ruined what had the potential to go down in history as one of the best trilogy's of its time. It could have been truly amazing, but instead fizzled out into yet another piece of work that in my mind will always be remembered as "what could have been" instead of "what was."

I appreciate what Collins was trying to do, delving into the messy effects that war has on the human being, and in fact she does this quite brilliantly. However for Katniss to be the subject of this study is both unfair to her, and to the reader. To take such a beautiful and dynamic character and utterly destroy her to the point where she is a hollow shell of nothingness is unforgivable in a book where hope, and love are (or at least were) the driving forces behind said character. Collins strategy would have worked brilliantly in another trilogy, but not this one. I loved Katniss in the first two books. She was a work of art, what any aspiring author would hope to be the creator of. Beautiful and fierce, loving and conflicted, noble yet filled with cowardice, this is the Katniss i fell in love with, not the hollow empty animal who's only concern is survival. Where in the Hunger Games she is haunted by the innocents she kills, in Mockingjay she coldly puts an arrow through the heart of an innocent lady without a second thought. This instance of murder, the very evil she blames the capitol of, struck home with me. What it told me was Katniss is gone, dead, null and void. She truly did die when she volunteered to take Prim's place in the games, and the instant she lets her bowstring go, the life of Katniss comes to an end. In that moment, she herself becomes an advocate of the evil that fueled her defiance in the Hunger Games and Catching Fire, murder. As the book wore on i found myself urging on her suicidal moments because as dear as she was to me, i couldn't bear the hollow creature of a character that filled the pages. In my opinion the only thing she shared with the character i loved was a name.

Speaking of dead characters, for some reason Collins felt the need to kill off all of the hope bearing ones in Mockingjay. I don't know if it was supposed to be a plot tool or not, but if it was then it failed on epic proportions. Character deaths are an essential tool to creating suspense, drawing forth emotions, providing a pivotal cause of inspiration for the main character, or any other plot driving means. In the Hunger Games, Rue's death illustrates the masterful work of a great author using the death of a loved character as a plot tool. But in Mockingjay, Prims, Cinnas, and Finnick's deaths are presented as almost meaningless. At least Prim's served the plot in some ways, but i was appaled with the fact that Finnick's was almost an afterthought, and didn't merit more than a few sentences. Finnick brought a sort of light playfulness to the story and in my mind was an amazingly well drawn out character with all his complexities. So to kill him off just for the hell of it because Katniss was too slow climbing a ladder, and then to present her as indifferent about it was unacceptable.

Im not even going to get started on Peeta's hijacking because that almost deserves another review in itself, but suffice to say it was just a cheep trick to prolong the love triangle, create emotional 'strife' for Katniss, and keep him out of the story until Collins was ready to use him.

Another personal gripe with the book that i don't want to get into for space and times sake was Beete's cyber wars the the capitol for airtime. Honestly??? Who the **** is going to be watching tv while their city is being attacked?? To me it reeked of an author with pages to fill, a deadline to meet, and not enough time to fill it.

I really wish there were more good things i could say about this book. But I guess u just can't have your main character hiding in corners, incapacitated in hospital beds, or drugged to unconsciousness 75% of the book, and still have an amazing read. good? maybe, but amazing, no. I loved the first two books and read them multiple times. I hurt when the characters hurt, was sad when they were, and elated in their moments of elation. They conjured emotions so beautifully and at times even gave me the chills. However the only emotion this book was able to bring forth was disappointment. It just didn't live up to my high hopes after reading two of the most amazing books published in recent years. As an aspiring young writer, ill look to The Hunger Games and Catching Fire for clues to what makes great literature work, and to Mockingjay for what doesn't.

Just as Peeta, confused about his reality, asks throughout the book "real or not real?" i'm left with the same question about the book, real or not real? Unfortunately i think the answer to this one is "not."
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53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you love the first 2 books, dont read this one., March 18, 2012
Well.. Disappointed. The book was rushed, ending was rushed. There was no real reason behind any of the events in the second half of the book. It has lost its originality and emotion. Suzanne collins rushed the conclusion of the book and we don't even get to really find out what happened to other characters or why. I don't mind who ended up with who at the end but it was the way it was written. As someone said.. we were just told but not shown. No emotion, no feeling, Just empty. Is that what katniss is meant to be feeling like?

Well it just sucks, I wish I had never continued to read your trilogy suzanne collins. I spent money on your books and you've just made it all a waste of time with your lack of emotion, lack of real story and a rushed ending. Poor. a BIG FAT F!
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111 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Ending; Feminist Friendly; Some readers just don't get it, I guess, March 24, 2012
I've found on here that many are dismayed with the ending of The Hunger Games trilogy. My advice? Read it again in a year or two. Maybe it's going over your head. Or re-read it right now, with a friend. I read the entire trilogy in a week, and even at the age of 19 I found some themes were hard to understand or keep track of -- not just because of authorship, but because I was reading too quickly, was too tired, or needed to talk it out with someone. Luckily, my boyfriend read them with me and I had him to bounce ideas off of. Being able to discuss the book really helped with comprehension. I am a girl who loves books, don't get me wrong. I read all the time. But a friend always helps.

I have to say, I am very glad I read these books now, when I'm older. This is not a love story. This is a commentary on two starkly different political systems and a commentary on a soldier's mentality during war. Many complain of Katniss' helplessness. They complain she lost her strength and simply herp-derp'd through the last book like a robot. Alas, she did not. I know that I, at the age of 17, would not have been able to handle being the mascot of a bloody rebellion and potentially have my hands covered with the blood of thousands. Katniss was as strong as she could have been with everything hanging on her. I admire her greatly. Katniss Everdeen is the strongest fantasy heroine that girls in this day and age can find. Collins' story of a teenage girl from District 12 who has a habit of shouldering more than she can bear and over coming it is very feminist friendly. Girls, look to Katniss when you need strength, even in Mockingjay.

***SPOILERS***
There are a few specific moments I would like to shed some light on.

1.) Prim's death (and any other death that was seen as "heartless" or "cruel" or "unnecessary"). This was not a ploy to get rid of Prim. It is clearly indicated in Mockingjay that the bombings on the children and then on the medics were of rebel origin. Snow did not have anything to do with it and admits that. Prim's death was Coin's last stand to break Katniss, something she had been attempting since all 13 Districts united. Coin wanted a martyr to have the rebels to fight for. She wanted to revel in Katniss' glory without have Katniss stand as a political threat to Coin's seat as President. Since Peeta didn't succeed in killing Katniss like Coin wanted, Coin intentionally allowed Prim on the front lines to be killed in a carefully planned bombing by the rebels. This did, for a time, break Katniss. But not in the way Coin intended. It made Katniss hate Coin more. Haha, Coin didn't bet on Katniss finding out it wasn't a Capitol scheme.

Deaths like Finnick's are an example of the sacrifices that go on during a war. When Finnick stayed behind to save Katniss from the muttations and walked into his certain death, Katniss had no time to mourn him. She either had to keep moving, or suffer the same fate. I imagine this to be similar to what it is like on real front lines. No matter who it was, your best friend, your brother, your sister, your cousin, you keep moving. Survive now, mourn later. No one can blame Collins for not dwelling on the deaths that occurred in battle. The book is written in first person -- we see everything from Katniss' eyes, and think everything she thinks. If she didn't dwell on it, neither did we. We are left to mourn him and others like him on our own time, just as Katniss is.

2.) Katniss and Haymitch agreeing to Hunger Games for Capitol children, as suggested by President Coin. This, I thought would have been obvious to most, but by reading reviews I can tell that it went over some heads. Let me explain. Katniss agreed to the Capitol Hunger Games because she wanted Coin to trust her. Coin has done everything she can to get rid of Katniss so far, other than kill her outright. Katniss was not about to give her a reason to try anything more, and wanted to lure her into a false sense of security with agreeing. When she votes, she says, "Yes, for Prim." Because she is avenging Prim's death by planning to assassinate Coin. Coin is no better than Snow. And it seems that no one could see that but Katniss and Haymitch. Haymitch trusts Katniss, and is very much like her, so he affirmed Katniss' brewing plan by agreeing to the Capitol Hunger Games, all the while building a last strand of trust between them and Coin.

3.) The assassination of President Coin. I've read reviews that have said this is "wasteful" or "not thought out". Really? The woman who bombed innocent children and then her own medics, then suggested a second wave of Hunger Games with even more innocent Capitol children? If I was Katniss, I would not have let her take power, either. She was just as power hungry and corrupt as Snow was; her only saving grace was that she was the Commander in Chief for the rebel forces. She needed to go. Snow was on his way out anyway, and Katniss knew that if she didn't kill him someone else would. So she took the only chance she got. And WHOOSH there goes Coin, only to be replaced by the leader from District 8, a far more fair and capable woman.

4.) Gale/Katniss/Peeta Love Triangle. This is something that Mockingjay wraps up beautifully, however it is extremely complex and what I say here will only scratch the surface. Gale and Peeta represent two conflicting ideas, survival and love, respectably. In order to survive in the dystopian, warring environment of Panem, one must forsake love for survival. Katniss couldn't be with Peeta while there was war because she had to worry about survival, and she couldn't be with Gale while she was in love with Peeta. Something to note is that she was never in love with Gale. She clung to Gale only when he was in pain, when she was in danger of losing that which contributed so greatly to her survival. The ending wraps up this triangle in that it shows the true colors of the two boys. Gale leaving to take the job in District 2 is the final nail in the coffin in painting how selfish he truly is. Peeta stays in District 12 with Katniss, despite the painful connection to that district, his final act of selflessness. Love can be tangled with the urge to survive, and this book explores that confusion.

To conclude this review, I just want to reiterate some below reviews: THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR CHILDREN. Way too violent! I would not recommend anyone below the age of 14 or 15, maybe even 16 depending on the maturity of the child, to read this series. The three increase in violence and darkness rapidly. Mockingjay is the fantastic finale and leaves the reader satisfied and smiling. Picking up this series out of sheer curiosity was the best decision I've made since picking up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when I was 10 (although those two series are no where near alike, I just want to stress how near and dear to my heart Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay are). The struggles of the Districts, the lives of the characters, and the over-arching themes are something that I just couldn't put down. I loved Mockingjay. Loved it. There could not have been a better ending to The Hunger Games. All in all, I recommend this to everyone who wants to take a stab at it and doesn't have a queasy stomach. And it's feminist friendly, to boot.
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59 of 70 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Putting the Point in Disappointment (spoilers), October 18, 2010
While The Hunger Games and Catching Fire became more than books to me---defining the pinnacle of what a young-adult series can achieve---Mockingjay manages to find the frayed, tattered edge of every beloved aspect of the first two. It makes me wonder. If I like tomatoes and tomato sauce, why don't I like tomato juice?

I loved watching Katniss become a symbol of the revolution, her face on banners in revolting districts, but I hated her being explicitly called the Mockingjay because being labeled cheapened it. I found the constant voyeurism of the first two compelling, but in the third being watched meant preventing her from performing any real action. The need for cameras crippled her in a way they didn't before. Similarly, Katniss's game of loving whoever wasn't around got old in the third book, forcing Gale and Peeta into such resignation over their unrequited love that they argue for her love for the other. That conversation may have been the most disturbing thing in the series because of what it says about Katniss and how little she does despite how much she thinks.

That's what Mockingjay boiled down to for me. She didn't choose. She didn't act. She didn't take control. We waited through three books to see which boy she would choose, constantly provoking one while thinking of the other. The only reason she ended up with Peeta was because Gale had the bad luck of being involved with the bombs and was whisked out of the story. No one in their right mind would blame Gale for Prim's death because it was really Coin who planned the whole strike. The paragraph in which Katniss explains they were too similar proved meager gruel after three books of her affection for him.

I think we can all agree that Coin had to go, and we expected Katniss to take her out, but to have Snow laugh his way to an unexplained death seemed a slap in the face after the build-up the books gave to him. He never got his comeuppance. It reminds me of Cato's demise in the first book. Would it have been so bad for her to kill them? I expected Katniss to finish both Coin and Snow and take on some sort of leadership position, creating a respectable government. Instead, she was drowned in the commotion and the girl whose logic we've followed since the beginning was cut out in favor of a character we barely know and only have reason to like because she momentarily did something nice for Katniss. There's no more Hunger Games after the end, but that's little guarantee that things in this world are actually better.

While the romantic half of the book seemed haphazardly resolved, the political half was absolutely ruined. The crucial detail here is when Katniss is on trial and everyone lies to cover up her act. Everything throughout the series has been lies and manipulation, and this was the one chance for the truth to finally come to light. Instead, no, more of the same. There is no change, and Paylor, a character we know absolutely nothing about, is given the reigns to potentially create another totalitarian government. We have no idea what she'll do, no reason to expect anything better. Right never toppled wrong, and this is the great failing of Suzanne Collins in this book.

I still think this is a brilliant series, don't get me wrong, but there was so much more I wanted out of the conclusion. I wanted Katniss to emerge victorious, but instead she was beaten and virtually exiled. I hungered for the passion and eloquence of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but Mockingjay left me famished. The writing seemed stale, lost of its emotion. Collins's trademark explosive chapter endings were nowhere to be found in this book. Altogether, I'm left to think there's really only one conclusion to draw from the series: that disappointment is inherent in life and we're at the mercy of forces we can't control. Pretty grim, indeed, though I suppose it fits. We were fools for hoping for a happy ending. We should've known from the drawing of Prim's name that happiness is so ephemeral we can but barely glimpse it. Like the residents of the Seam, given just enough to survive, the epilogue does only enough to stave off our complete starvation. Instead of Snow pulling strings from afar, we're at the mercy of Collins, who proves to be just as punishing in this book.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars On the trilogy as a whole., April 1, 2012
Just so you know, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.

The fatal flaw is the main character. I have heard her described as strong and resourceful, but really I see little more than a girl with a pretty face who knows how to hunt. Here's why:

1. She is mainly a reactive character. There are few choices she makes on her own. Most of the time, she only acts because she has no choice. She doesn't take initiative. For example, in Catching Fire, she decides she wants to start an uprising. She tells one person about this and he thinks it's not possible. So she never does anything about it. She never tries to convince anyone in District 12, she doesn't make plans for how it would work. She just talks about how they should have an uprising. So now in Mockingjay, when she is thrust into the middle of the rebels what does she do? Does she train and prepare and give ideas for how to proceed and fight? Nope. She hides in broom closets and mopes. Only when she is denied the ability to go into battle does she train and prepare to fight.

2. She is manipulated by everyone. From the time she goes to the Games in book one, people take advantage of her and use her and she just allows it to happen. She is fine being everyone's mascot without knowing any details. I can understand why she tried to appease Snow in Catching Fire on the victory tour, the lives of her loved ones were at stake, but what about Coin? It is obvious that District 13 is just as controlling as the Capitol. Yet she just accepts that they must be good because they aren't outwardly violent. So she is fine doing propaganda for them without knowing exactly what she is going to be telling everyone with her actions.

Ultimately, the main character of this book made me furious. I am a woman. I want a female main character who is brave and strong and intelligent. Instead we get characters like Katniss, who are resourceful and capable, but lack conviction. We are told by Peeta several times that there is something about her that makes people want to protect her. How are we supposed to see her as strong? A strong female is one we want to protect? That makes no sense. If he had said there's something about her that makes people want to be better or stronger or there's something about her that makes people rely on her, that would be a strong female. What are we teaching young adult women when we idolize women who should be taken care of?

In reality, the reason why people think she is a strong character is because she is a girl. If Katniss had been a male and acted the same way, people wouldn't call him strong, he would be mediocre. I don't want a female main character who is "strong for being a girl," I want a female main character who is strong. Period.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A complete disappointment and one of the most depressing books I've ever read., March 28, 2012
** MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT **

...Where do I even start? I just finished reading and I feel so incredibly let down, it's hard to make sense of any of it. I suppose I could start with my initial reaction, which was that Mockingjay was a terrible mixture of everything that was wrong with the end of the Harry Potter series and pretty much all of Twilight put together. Nothing but gratuitous death after gratuitous death, a narrative style that takes you through hundreds of pages but leaves you feeling like you gained practically nothing from them, and a heroine that is reduced to an angsty, lifeless husk of herself.

In the first book, and at least part of the second, Katniss is a strong, savvy, motivated, and capable young woman. But for some reason that I cannot comprehend, Collins decides in book three to completely annihilate this Katniss and replace her with a whiny, wallowing brat. Suddenly she is uncooperative, incapable of reading any situation correctly, thinks almost exclusively of herself unless a truly dire situation necessitates otherwise, and is reduced to a detached, melodrama-laden puppet who only exists to do what others tell her to. When her people need her the most, instead of training, helping to devise strategies, or doing anything even remotely helpful, she instead deems any participation on her part unimportant and instead decides to laze around and do whatever she wants. At least until such a time comes when something she finds personally interesting crops up, in which case she demands to be included despite her self-imposed absence at every other opportunity. Everyone else around her is working double-time to keep her safe and alive while she is content to be an unpleasant and disobedient burden. When she is finally able to heave herself into some sort of action, it feels grossly too little and too late.

The entire book basically boils down to her waffling over every decision and being constantly drugged up and/or smothered by depression, and absolutely graphic deaths of character after character. Whoever this heroine is, it is not the Katniss Everdeen we have come to know and love, and there is literally nothing appealing about her. No matter how hard I tried, I simply could not feel for her, could hardly root for her. She has lost nearly every semblance of the backbone she once had, and I spent the entire book silently begging her to suck it up and deal with it somehow, rather than constantly give herself over to despair. Near the end, she even votes in agreement to hold a final Hunger Games featuring Capitol children, supposedly "for Prim." I don't think I even need to explain why this decision of hers is so completely appalling and contrary. Apparently some are claiming she only consented to fool Coin, but there was no indication of that in the text whatsoever, no internal explanation or any discernible amount of subtlety to clue us in.

Aside from the train wreck that is the main character, the story itself was a rushed and muddled mess, mostly composed of fighting, dying, politics, more fighting and dying, and little to no character development for anyone involved. If Collins' intent was to weigh the reader down with as much tragedy and misery as possible, she has succeeded beyond anyone's expectations. Aside from Katniss, pretty much every other likeable character is dealt a crippling blow, one way or another. Peeta is tortured ruthlessly ("hijacked," they call it) until he breaks, believing Katniss is a mutt with determination to kill her, distrusting everything and everyone around him, and just remaining generally unhinged for most of the book. Gale is basically reduced to a violent, angry rebel machine. Prim and Finnick are killed gruesomely.

And for all this suffering, Collins doesn't even offer her readers a halfway decent ending. Katniss "chooses" Peeta, but in such an unconvincing way as to negate all meaning in it. We are not shown the rebuilding of their relationship at all, only given a couple sentences saying that they started sleeping in the same bed and eventually Peeta starts kissing her again. Then flash forward to an epilogue where they have a son and a daughter, who she only refers to as "the boy" and "the girl," and which she only consented to have because Peeta begged her for a decade and a half. If she feels anything for either of her children or her husband, the feelings are microscopic at best.

After everything, the story is so incredibly, maybe even unbelievably, far from where it began that I only feel cheated. There is not even one iota of satisfaction anywhere, and I am somewhat horrified that this series is classified as "Young Adult" fiction, for all the brutal, gruesome deaths and total, unending despair with no amount of hope present anywhere. I am a full grown adult and had an incredibly difficult time stomaching this book. Perhaps I could be more forgiving if it were marketed toward an older audience, or if it only ended on a better note, but instead I feel tricked and I would not recommend this book to anyone. I do need to admit that I really did enjoy The Hunger Games and maybe half of Catching Fire, but I would advise anyone to stop there and pretend like Mockingjay never happened. As another reviewer said, I feel as if I will never wash out the bitter taste this book left in my mouth.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough but Necessary Conclusion, January 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have given myself a week to reflect on my thoughts and read other reviews before I decided to communicate my analysis and final thoughts on Mockingjay. I think it is only fair to judge this book as a portion of the overall experience the author provided. Mockingjay as a standalone book is a difficult read but is an essential component to the trilogy. I have decided to give Mockingjay (as well as the other two books) five stars because it stays true to Collins original direction and the character's true identity. I think that the negative comments I have all read resolve around the emotional unrest and anguish this book elicits. And I give credit to this sentiment because I was left feeling lost, confused, and ultimately heartbroken when I finished this book. Collins touches on a subject that is all too real and so so difficult to comprehend: PTSD.

Spoiler Alert.....Spoiler Alert......Spoiler Alert

I think this book is difficult in a number of ways to read because Katniss' emotional journey and lack of mental stability are the main storyline throughout Mockingjay. The Hunger Games and Catching Fire had Peeta's presence to balance out Katniss' emotional deficiencies, where Mockingjay largely does not. Katniss' anger directed at Haymitch for not saving Peeta is so real and exactly what I would have expected and wanted. Her heartbreak at losing Peeta was difficult to read at times due to the fact that Collins captured the sensation perfectly.

I feel that my initial unrest after reading the book revolved around Peeta and not Katniss. From the Hunger Games through Mockingjay, Katniss is the same physically strong, intelligent character. Her continued dependence on emotional guidance in Peeta is evident in all three books (providing her bread to continue fighting for survival, giving her a reason to fight in the 75th Hunger games, and her reason for becoming the Mockingjay). Katniss relies on key relationships to continue her fight for survival. Peeta, however, was a responsive, emotionally touching character throughout HG and CF, but we lost this aspect in MJ. Peeta's hijacking is devastating because his fears from HG become reality. "I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not." His callous conversations and threatening mannerisms resulted in my grief as a reader. Ultimately, though, Collins uses this shift in behavior to subtly reaffirm our original hopes, that Katniss really does love Peeta and misses his tenderness.

Eventually, Collins leaves us with the best possible ending. I have read several reviews in which people feel that Katniss is left as an empty shell of herself and she keeps Peeta in her life for convenience. I have such a difficult time understanding this conclusion.

After Prim's death, Katniss' mental state spirals out of control within her depression (a condition of PTSD). She is a shell throughout those months. She finally comes back to reality in time to realize that the new government is just as capable of expending innocent young lives. In my opinion, her vote to continue the hunger games was a decision to affirm that Coin was no better than Snow and to personally justifying killing her. Katniss' PTSD continues after she kills Coin and she gives up her desire to live (which we have seen before in HG before Peeta gives her the bread). It isn't until Buttercup returns that Katniss can begin the grieving that she must partake to begin her healing process. This marked a turning point for me because Katniss then describes her growing back together with Peeta and the return of the warmth he provides her. I cannot interpret this any other way than beautiful. Collins was vague with Katniss' emotions throughout the three books but when she touched on the subject it was delightful.

"I don't want to lose the boy with the bread."
"You're still trying to protect me. Real or not real," he whispers.
"Real," I answer. "Because that's what you and I do, protect each other."
"And then he gives me a smile that just seems so genuinely sweet with just the right touch of shyness that unexpected warmth rushes through me."
"I clench his hands to the point of pain. "Stay with me."
His pupils contract to pinpoints, dialate again rapidly, and then return to something resembling normalcy. "Always," he murmurs."

Collin uses the simple exchange between Katniss and Peeta at the end of the chapter to confirm their love. This is where I think Collins wanted us to think back on the good times and use those moments to imagine Katniss' life with Peeta. "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." To have good days and bad days, Katniss could not be a shell. She had regained her life and was living it to the best of her abilities. Fighting the PTSD when it returned and focusing on the pleasures in-between.

I would love feedback from other reviewers. My husband is in the middle of The Hunger Games and I'm not allowed to verbalize any of my thoughts until he has completed the series.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, September 22, 2010
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I don't understand how so many people could give this 5 Stars.

At the beginning of the summer I received a recommendation to read The Hunger Games' series. And I dove in and read then both in 4 days. While I felt the novels were dark, I enjoyed the story line. I was impressed with the creativity of the author and I couldn't wait to read the end. I made a HUGE mistake and purchased Mockingjay on Pre-Order. It was awful. By the end I wanted to punch Katniss in the face. Collins failed to advance the plot and she failed to build on the development of the characters that she spent 2 novels working on and that I devoted myself to. As a reader I have to like at least one of the main characters, and I feel it is the author's responsibility to make me understand the other characters. In this last book Katniss was whiny, indecisive and weak. This is not someone who could lead a revolution. Who would be inspired by this character? I felt duped and angry that I was willing to follow her at all, but I still had hopes after the first two novels. I knew early in Mockingjay who Katniss was going to end up with. Gail and Peeta both were great characters until Mockingjay. Peeta could have not even been mentioned and it's like Collins worked overtime to convince the reader that Gail's is a bad person. Except I don't believe it, I felt like I knew Gail from the first two and this change in him doesn't jive. Is it the war, is Gail running around on the front lines. Did Gail get thrown in the Hunger Games himself. Oh wait no it was his love for Katniss that made him a bad person. I just can't grasp it. The Gail in the first two novels had a good heart, bitter but good. This final novel was dark without reason and without realism. War is Dark. I get that and as a member of military I see it everyday. However darkness in this novel wasn't real. There was no light. Hope is the thing that drives the soldiers of war. By the end I didn't care about the characters. I didn't care if there was an end to the Hunger Games. I didn't care that the districts were destroyed. And it was obvious the author didn't care either. It was like she had a page requirement. Stretch the novel to reach it and then wrapped it up with three paragraphs at the end. If I read a thousand pages, even if you fail to work on a reasonable plot, even if you fail to develop the characters, do me the courtesy of a quality ending. Something that makes those previous pages worth the read. I cannot in good faith recommend any of the Hunger Games, because I wouldn't want some one to feel obligated to finish it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Such a disappointment!, April 4, 2012
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I stepped away from this book so disappointed. I'm not upset about how the story ended, but just how it got there. Reading three books with hundreds of pages for the climax of the story and finale to be finished in a couple of pages! Was the author rushed? Was she trying to meet a deadline? Was she tired of writing? Well, that is how it feels! I read pages of descriptions about Buttercup, nightmares, food, clothing, etc, only to read the burning of Katniss, death of Coin and fall of the capital in a couple pages. So disappointing. So many questions. So blah. The author could have even stretched this out into a fourth book. I'm glad I only interrupted a week of my life to read all three books. The screen writers for the third movie will have their hands full, trying to FINISH the author's book to be acceptable for the screen and the fans who won't be reading the books.
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Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)
Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins (Paperback - February 25, 2014)
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