Beware! There will be spoilers for Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
This isn’t exactly a typical book review, it’s more of a rant/complaint in a way.
Okay, okay, I’ll admit that I didn’t start paying attention to the Hunger Games series until they decided to make it into a movie. But once I started I felt like I caught on fire! I whipped through that book series in a little less than three weeks and, like I almost always do when I’ve read a book or series that I feel strongly about one way or another, I went into the book reviews and message boards on Goodreads to see what others were saying about certain plot points.
Boy was I surprised when I looked at the one about Mockingjay! Let’s go through the list of things many people found fault with and why their negative opinions were a little unfounded. Because honestly I think some of the people complaining must not have read the same book I did.
1: People who thought Katniss was annoying and mopey.
We all read the first two books in the series, right? By Mockingjay Katniss is only seventeen but yet she’s been thrown into two Hunger Games, she’s unwillingly killed a slew of people because it was a killed or be killed situations, and she’s been made a symbol of the rebellion even though she doesn’t want to be. She was, in a way, responsible for the annihilation of her entire district through her actions in the second Hunger Games. She is broken and suffering post-tramautic stress disorder and yet I saw tons of reviews where people thought she shouldn’t have been moping, freaking out, or fighting against being made “the Mockingjay.” What?! She’s been through so much and yet you don’t think she deserves freak out time?
2: People who think the deaths of Finnick and/or Prim shouldn’t have happened or were upset because the characters didn’t take the time to grieve.
Mockingjay was set during a rebellion, during a war. In war people die completely insensible deaths. There is no time to mourn when it happens. Yes after Finnick’s death they ended up camped out in the clothing store that same night but guess what? They still had to focus on staying alive the next day so it only makes sense that Katniss would be thinking about her choice between Peeta and Gale (something she’ll only have to think about if they all survive) and thinking of Finnick and death. Personally I’d rather think of life.
And Prim’s death. Although I liked Prim, she was a sweet girl, her death was necessary. Without it Katniss would not have taken a stand against Coin. And, what with the vote Coin had them make on having another Hunger Games, we can only assume that Coin would have been a horrible leader as well. Which leads me to my final point of contention.
3: People who thought Katniss voted for another Hunger Games and meant it.
The surviving victors were given a choice of whether or not to hold a Hunger Games with the Capitol children. This is after Katniss has already started to wonder what kind of person Coin is and it makes her realize how much of a tyrant Coin could be. The main clues are when she wonders if Haymitch will understand what she’s doing (meaning her yes doesn’t just mean yes) and when she says “yes, for Prim” (there is no way Prim would want the deaths of more children). That, to me, meant one thing: Katniss wanted to get revenge for Prim and so she says something that will ensure that she will be next to Coin and holding a weapon at what was supposed to be Snow’s execution. She said yes not because she wanted another Hunger Games but because she wanted to take out Coin.
And that’s part of the reason why I shouldn’t read reviews, sometimes I just get way into them and can actually feel myself getting mad. Maybe it’s part of being an English major, being trained to look deeper into things as I read.