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Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)
Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)
by Suzanne Collins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.85
1323 used & new from $0.01

3,141 of 3,469 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Direction, but Perfection (Potential spoilers, but pretty vague), August 24, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This was a brilliant conclusion to the trilogy. I can only compare it to "Ender's Game" - and that is extremely high praise, indeed.

When I first closed the book last night, I felt shattered, empty, and drained.

And that was the point, I think. I'm glad I waited to review the book because I'm not sure what my review would have been.

For the first two books, I think most of us readers have all been laboring under the assumption that Katniss Everdeen would eventually choose one of the two terrific men in her life: Gale, her childhood companion or Peeta, the one who accompanied her to the Hunger Games twice. She'd pick one of them and live happily ever after with him, surrounded by friends and family. Somehow, along the way, Katniss would get rid of the awful President Snow and stop the evil Hunger Games. How one teenage girl would do all that, we weren't too sure, but we all had faith and hope that she would.

"Mockingjay" relentlessly strips aside those feelings of faith and hope - much as District 13 must have done to Katniss. Katniss realizes that she is just as much a pawn for District 13 as she ever was for the Colony and that evil can exist in places outside of the Colony.

And that's when the reader realizes that this will be a very different journey. And that maybe the first two books were a setup for a very different ride. That, at its heart, this wasn't a story about Katniss making her romantic decisions set against a backdrop of war.

This is a story of war. And what it means to be a volunteer and yet still be a pawn. We have an entirely volunteer military now that is spread entirely too thin for the tasks we ask of it. The burden we place upon it is great. And at the end of the day, when the personal war is over for each of them, each is left alone to pick up the pieces as best he/she can.

For some, like Peeta, it means hanging onto the back of a chair until the voices in his head stop and he's safe to be around again. Each copes in the best way he can. We ask - no, demand - incredible things of our men and women in arms, and then relegate them to the sidelines afterwards because we don't want to be reminded of the things they did in battle. What do you do with people who are trained to kill when they come back home? And what if there's no real home to come back to - if, heaven forbid, the war is fought in your own home? We need our soldiers when we need them, but they make us uncomfortable when the fighting stops.

All of that is bigger than a love story - than Peeta or Gale. And yet, Katniss' war does come to an end. And she does have to pick up the pieces of her life and figure out where to go at the end. So she does make a choice. But compared to the tragedy of everything that comes before it, it doesn't seem "enough". And I think that's the point. That once you've been to hell and lost so much, your life will never be the same. Katniss will never be the same. For a large part of this book, we see Katniss acting in a way that we can only see as being combat-stress or PTSD-related - running and hiding in closets. This isn't our Katniss, this isn't our warrior girl.

But this is what makes it so much more realistic, I think. Some may see this as a failing in plot - that Katniss is suddenly acting out of character. But as someone who has been around very strong soldiers returning home from deployments, this story, more than the other two, made Katniss come alive for me in a much more believable way.

I realize many out there will hate the epilogue and find it trite. At first, I did too. But in retrospect, it really was perfect. Katniss gave her life already - back when she volunteered for Prim in "The Hunger Games". It's just that she actually physically kept living.

The HBO miniseries, "Band of Brothers", has a quote that sums this up perfectly. When Captain Spiers says, "The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you're already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it."

But how do you go from that, to living again in society? You really don't. So I'm not sure Katniss ever really did - live again. She just ... kept going. And there's not really much to celebrate in that. Seeing someone keep going, despite being asked - no, demanded - to do unconscionably horrifying things, and then being relegated to the fringes of society, and then to keep going - to pick up the pieces and keep on going, there is something fine and admirable and infinitely sad and pure and noble about that. But the fact is, it should never happen in the first place.

And that was the point, I think.
Comment Comments (340) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 15, 2014 4:16 PM PDT


Curly Q's Coconut Dream Moisturizing Conditioner, 16-Ounce Bottle
Curly Q's Coconut Dream Moisturizing Conditioner, 16-Ounce Bottle
Offered by Blue Glass Notions
Price: $19.38
8 used & new from $14.00

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE this stuff!, August 13, 2010
We use the Curly Q Coconut Dream Moisturizing Conditioner as a "shampoo", and then we spray her with the Curly Qs Moist Curl DeTangler. And in return, my four-year-old daughter has the most gorgeous platinum spiral curls down to the middle of her back - and she smells amazing. All this out of two products. She calls it her Princess shampoo and spray.

We get stopped wherever we go because people want to "sprong" my daughter's hair or compliment us on how gorgeous her curls are - and they certainly didn't want to do that before we started using this product line - when her hair was frizzy and dried out. It's hard to make blond hair moisturized - harder still to make it LOOK moist: shiny and glossy. These products do both.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2014 10:06 AM PDT


Curly Q's Moist Curls Detangler/daily Curl Moisturizer, 8-Ounce Bottle
Curly Q's Moist Curls Detangler/daily Curl Moisturizer, 8-Ounce Bottle
Offered by ToysNGamesEtc
Price: $13.51
16 used & new from $9.95

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Thing Ever!, August 13, 2010
My daughter has ringlets that would put Shirley Temple to shame. The traditional detangling sprays on the market are so drying that, while they might work that morning, they just serve to dry her hair out over time. It's frustrating because my mother comes home, loaded with crappy product that she buys on sale for $1 a bottle. I finally gave my mom (my daughter's grandmother) a hair intervention. She couldn't figure out why I was using expensive product that didn't appear to be for "us" (since we're white as white can be).

All I know is that my daughter's ringlets were turning into crap with the crap we were using and this stuff works - I don't care what aisle of the store it would be on. And yes, it's expensive. Whatever.

We use the Curly Q Coconut Dream Moisturizing Conditioner as a "shampoo", and then we spray her with this. And in return, my four-year-old daughter has the most gorgeous platinum spiral curls down to the middle of her back - and she smells amazing. All this out of two products. She calls it her Princess shampoo and spray.

We get stopped wherever we go because people want to "sprong" my daughter's hair or compliment us on how gorgeous her curls are - and they certainly didn't want to do that before we started using this product line - when her hair was frizzy and dried out. It's hard to make blond hair moisturized - harder still to make it LOOK moist: shiny and glossy. These products do both.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2014 2:00 PM PST


No Title Available

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best.Product.Ever, March 29, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For the last two years, I've used two products on my hair. That's it. I don't shampoo anymore. Before that, I had every shampoo, conditioner, gel, mousse, spray, cream, potion known to man - all in a vain attempt to try to "manage" my curly hair. In addition to the spending a ton of money on products that didn't work, I'd also spend an hour (or more) on my hair in the morning. 75% of the time, I'd try to blow-out my curls. As soon as I'd step out into my Seattle climate, my hair would begin to frizz. Not to mention the fact that all that shampooing and blow drying was so damaging on my hair that I couldn't get it to grow much beyond my chin. The other 25% of the time, I'd try to let my hair dry on it's own, but the curls would be too tight and I wasn't happy.

Then I read "Curly Girls" and my life changed. Does that sound too extreme? If you're a product addict, always looking for your next product fix - still unhappy with your hair, I don't think I'm being too extreme at all.

In the summer of 2008, I stopped shampooing my hair. I did try some of the no-poo shampoos, but honestly? I really don't need them. So I did away with those too.

Now I'm down to just the Deva One. And I did try all the rest of the Deva line, but didn't like how they made my hair feel.

I "wash" with the Deva One conditioner. Rinse. Pump back in a bit more to stay in all day. And then one more (non Deva) product as a styling gel. That's it. My curls are gorgeous, soft, non-frizzing things. They've grown out to the middle of my back. When I pull the curl out, they are probably waist length. I haven't cut my hair in two years.

When people say, "Oh, it's so expensive", I smile a little. I go through 3 bottles a year. That's about $100/year. Combined with my other product, I'll say I spend $140/year on my hair. Because it's so healthy, I don't have to try to "hide" its flaws with expensive coloring treatments (my other favorite trick from my previous lifestyle).

The day I cleaned out all my bathroom cabinets was a very good day. Now that it's just an extra bottle of One in there and my bottle of Biolage Curl Defining Creme, I have plenty of room for more Victoria's Secret body lotion...


Nancy Drew: Danger on Deception Island - PC
Nancy Drew: Danger on Deception Island - PC
Offered by Select2go, Ship from USA, No Import Tax 100% Feedback
Price: $8.25
34 used & new from $3.67

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Game!, November 11, 2006
This was a wonderful game! Hours of good, solid game play. An interesting mystery and intriguing characters. A chance to interact with aquatic life. I learned how to work a GPS and a HAM radio. It was so much fun. The puzzles were a good mix of ability-levels and types. Word puzzles, spatial puzzles, problem-solving ones. I can completely recommend this game.


Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch - PC
Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch - PC
Offered by Select2go, Ship from USA, No Import Tax 100% Feedback
Price: $9.25
52 used & new from $1.70

4.0 out of 5 stars A good, solid game, November 11, 2006
I enjoyed this game. It had a good mix of puzzles and an interesting plot that kept things moving along. I've played all the games and I can recommend this game. It's not in my top 5 (for those, I much prefer Games 2-7), but it's a solid addition to the series.


Nancy Drew: Secret Of the Old Clock - PC
Nancy Drew: Secret Of the Old Clock - PC
Offered by TnsDeals
Price: $7.18
88 used & new from $1.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Her Interactive's Best, November 11, 2006
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Oh, I wanted to like this game. I've played them all. I was so excited to find out that Her Interactive was going to be able to make a game based on the first 4 yellow-jackets (original books) in the Nancy Drew series.

I loved Nancy's car - until I realized I was going to be subjected to completely pointless errands in order to "make money". I hate repetitive, mind-numbing tasks. And this game had it in spades, unfortunately. It was beyond ridiculous.

I enjoyed some of the puzzles/challenges - but they weren't worked into the plot terribly well.

Finally, it was just too short.


Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor - PC
Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor - PC
Offered by TnsDeals
Price: $6.89
87 used & new from $0.48

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Such a Shame..., November 11, 2006
Oh my, I really, really, REALLY didn't enjoy this game.

When I play the games (and I've played them all), I like to start on the Senior level and play without help. I don't mind wracking my brain, stepping away, and coming back to something.

But this game? I couldn't play without a great deal of help. I never really understood what I was doing or why or how. I really didn't learn much either. And that's what I've always loved about the games - walking away knowing a little bit more about something than I did going in.


Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon - PC
Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon - PC
Price: $19.99
21 used & new from $5.78

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All RIGHT!, November 11, 2006
Phew - I'm relieved to be able to recommend this game. I've played them all - in order. And I really didn't enjoy the last two, so I was a bit concerned.

But Her Interactive got a lot of things right in this one! Interesting mystery, with the puzzles relatively seamlessly integrated into the plot. Not too much repetition of tasks - hooray!

The only reason it wasn't perfect, for me, was that I really didn't learn too much. My favorite games are the ones where I walk away with a bit more knowledge of something than I had before going in. And this one - not so much.

I also had a small objection to the ending. The "treasure", so to speak, was completely out of the park. There had been nothing to indicate leading up to it that this was what we were seeking. And, as a history buff, I hated seeing such a "treasure" indeed relegated to the back-burner and used as a throw-away at the very end.


Nancy Drew: Danger by Design - PC
Nancy Drew: Danger by Design - PC
Offered by J&S GAMES
Price: $8.00
62 used & new from $1.49

56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointed, actually, November 11, 2006
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
I've been a fan of these games since the first one - Secrets Can Kill - came out. I've played them all.

I'm not at all sure what's happened to the games, though. While the graphics have steadily improved, the puzzles, plot, and gameplay have really gone downhill.

The first game, "Secrets Can Kill" had pretty horrific graphics, but the story was compelling and there were some fabulous puzzles in it.

Things really picked up with the second game, "Stay Tuned for Danger". Better graphics and a very interesting story, very cool puzzles, great plot.

I can absolutely recommend Games 2 (Stay Tuned for Danger), 3 (Message in a Haunted Mansion), 4 (Treasure in the Royal Tower), 5 (The Final Scene), 6 (Secret of the Scarlet Hand), 7 (Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake), 9 (Danger on Deception Island), and 10 (Secret of Shadow Ranch).

These games are similar in length and have interesting puzzles. Lots of areas where you can snoop around - which I really enjoy.

Game #8 (The Haunted Carousel) is interesting and has wonderful graphics, but is awfully short.

I did not at all enjoy #11 (Curse of Blackmoor Manor) as I found it way too difficult. I also cannot really recommend #12 (Secret of the Old Clock). It was too short and repetitive.

I did somewhat enjoy #13 (Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon) and #14 (Danger by Design) but they were nowhere near the quality of the earlier games in terms of plot or puzzles.

And now, we have #14. Outstanding graphics, but way too short. The amount of repetition of puzzles in order to advance drove me completely crazy. I don't mind Nancy running about doing errands to help people (for that, I thought Games 3 and 4 had it perfectly balanced). But I like each task to be different and interesting. Not mind-numbingly repetitive and boring.

This seems to be a factor of the more recent games - delivering telegrams in Game #12, painting pictures in Game #14, and finding seashells and making necklaces in Game #15.

I miss looking for clues. Putting together evidence for a purpose. I miss puzzles that actually are woven into the fabric of the plot and are there to advance the game. It seems like the repetition now might be so that it can be said that this game took X number of hours to complete.

I did like the swimming through the tunnels part. But again, there really wasn't much snooping you could do. I miss Nancy being able to go into an area and really look around. And having it be up to me, the player, to determine whether what she is finding is relevant or not. It drove me crazy that I couldn't go anywhere at JJ's but the kitchen. And, even then, there really wasn't much snooping to be done.

I also miss learning useful things.

In #1, I learned about American Sign Language

In #3, I learned about Chinese symbols and the San Francisco earthquake

In #4, I learned about latitude and longitude and how a sextant works

In #6, I learned SO much about the Maya and how to work a HAM radio

In #7, I learned about Roman Numerals and Prohibition

In #8, I learned how to make invisible writing!

In #9, I learned how to work a HAM radio and about Pacific Northwest sea animals

After that, well, I didn't really learn very much of anything useful in any of the later games.

I had really high hopes about this game, though. There SHOULD have been so much to learn in Paris. The mystery had a lot to do with WWII, but it was never at all explored or really mentioned - except in passing.

If you've never played a Nancy Drew game, please, please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and start with one of the earlier games (although probably not the very first one - the graphics aren't as good and switching discs can be highly annoying). But give #2 - 9 a try; you won't be disappointed!

Oh please, Her Interactive, PLEASE go back to the way they used to be structured. I'd gladly sacrifice some of the improved graphics if it meant regaining some plot, cohesion, or integrated, interesting puzzles.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 29, 2010 1:11 PM PST


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