My Thoughts On MOCKINGJAY By Suzanne Collins (Complete With Spoilers And An Overuse of Caps Lock)

*WARNING*

I do not usually include spoilers in my book reviews, but this time, I CAN’T HELP MYSELF because there are so many things I want to talk/rant about, and I’m also terribly interested to see what you thought!

SO: If you have not read Mockingjay yet, or you haven’t read any of The Hunger Games trilogy but think you might want to, STOP READING RIGHT NOW AND GET OUTTA HERE! QUICK!

Are you gone?

Okay, good. So I am guessing, since the only ones of you left have supposedly read the books and therefore know what the plot is, I’ll skip my normal “Plot Summary” section and get right to it.

There are a few things I’d like to talk about, which I have broken down into categories below because, honestly, that’s the only way to manage this task.

Katniss

On the whole, I’ve been impressed with the way Collins has developed Katniss as a protagonist. I think her no-nonsense, tough girl attitude is pretty consistent with her background growing up in District 12. This girl has had to step up and lead her family, making sure they had enough food and somewhere to sleep every night – of course that would make her responsible and capable as a leader.

However. Does it bother anyone else that she never seems to make a mistake? Like, EVER? Sometimes she’ll think maybe she’s done something terribly wrong, but it never turns out that she has. It always seems to end up being the best possible thing she could have done.

Hmm.

Gale

Gale was a little weird to me in Mockingjay. His character seemed to change dramatically from the previous two books, didn’t you think? I mean, all along he’s been the epitome of goodness and purity, taking care of Katniss’ family while she was playing in the Games and all that. He’s always been self-sacrificing and willing to do anything for the good of those around him.

But then in Mockingjay he seems to develop this strangely sadistic (or is it masochistic? Which one hurts other people?) streak. It’s not a big, glaring change, but somehow he seems more inherently okay with hurting innocent people – like the whole bomb thing that goes off when the rescuers come to help the injured.

Hmmmm.

Peeta

Was it just me, or did he seem to recover pretty quickly once they were back at Katniss’ house in the Victor’s Village? I thought he was “never going to be the same”?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Finnick

For this section, I’ll be adopting the format of the “Really?!” segments from Saturday Night Live.

Really, Suzanne Collins? Really?! You killed FINNICK? After he’d gone through all that, waiting for the love of his life, and he finally got her and married her? REALLY? You pick HIM to get killed by the nasty lizard/human hybrids? Why not someone else we cared less about? I mean, really! Why not Pollux? I mean, I liked Pollux and all, but COME ON! He hadn’t JUST GOTTEN MARRIED to a girl who was already a little off her rocker and didn’t need this to push her further over the edge. *snarl* NOT A FAN OF THAT MOVE.

This has been “Really?!” with Anne Riley.

Gale/Katniss

I did not understand how their relationship ended so quickly. I mean, I get that Katniss suspected it might have been one of Gale’s bombs that killed Prim, but doesn’t it seem a bit weird for her to completely write him off without even checking to see if it actually WAS one of his bombs?

I also get that it was his idea about the bombs that go off a second time to kill the rescuers, and maybe if it hadn’t been for that idea, Prim wouldn’t have been killed. But she seems a little too ready to just lose her relationship with him – especially since he’d basically kept her family alive while she was gone to the Arena. I dunno, something about that just didn’t sit well with me.

And also, Gale just ACCEPTS it. He just leaves and gets a fancy new job in District 2. Would he really have given up that easily and just accepted her rejection of him? I don’t know.

Peeta/Katniss

I didn’t expect them to end up together – but I’m glad they did. I like Peeta.

Now: What do YOU think?

*Edited to add: Many comments are saying that Katniss did little of consequence in this book, which I agree with.  Here’s a thought-provoking question: Would the book have been better if Collins had used multiple viewpoints (Katniss, Gale, and Peeta?) instead of sticking with Katniss the whole time?

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23 thoughts on “My Thoughts On MOCKINGJAY By Suzanne Collins (Complete With Spoilers And An Overuse of Caps Lock)

  1. Melissa Garrett says:

    I thought Katniss made quite a few mistakes in the series. How many times did she almost die and relied on others to rescue her?

    I think I must’ve reread the part where Finnick dies five times thinking I’d somehow read it wrong. It affected me more than I thought it would.

    Gale – I was never very attached to him, mainly because I think Katniss was sure from the beginning they were never going to be more than friends. I was all about Peeta from the get-go and was SO afraid Collins was going to kill him off. But it did bother me that there wasn’t really any resolution between Gale and Katniss at the end of the book.

    I read all the books in this series back-to-back and was mentally/emotionally exhausted when I finally finished. I had to lock myself in the bathroom for a good, cleansing cry!

    Fantastic series, I think!

  2. Harley says:

    Girlfriend,

    We could talk a long, long time about all of this.

    Katniss. I really did love her, but thought in the third novel she became a shell of a person. This war and the games defeated her through and through and (to me)she just seemed to give up, especially there at the end. BUT this was a realistic turn in climate of the Games and War.

    Gale. You said he changed drastically in this third book from the first two. HE WAS HARDLY IN THE FIRST TWO. You know? What I knew of him, I loved, loved, loved. I always understood him to be darker/anti-Capitol while Katniss tried to keep him rallied. For me, they were never meant to be together. Like I said before, I loved him and his strength. I wanted a happier ending for him (or for him to even have died a champion’s death). His ending for me was the saddest. I don’t see how he and Katniss could have recovered after the Prim bombing question. They’d always wonder. They’d always have things left unsaid. That would be that.

    Finnick’s death was tragic. TRAGIC. I CRIED. But it was realistic. I think Annie’s saving grace will be their child. I’d like to think that.

    Peeta and Katniss ending up together was right on in my opinion. They went through the games together. They alone have the ability to salvage one another’s humanity.

    I though the wrap up with grief-ridden but true and realistic. The only thing I wanted was Gale happier (but again, how could you recover from all of that?). His ending was real.

    These are my thoughts.

  3. Stefanie says:

    Okay, here are my thoughts…

    I thought Katniss didnt really do anything that amazing in this book. I mean, she was out of it half the book!

    Im not gonna lie, I was definitely on team Gale. I agree that his character was different. I thought that he would have fought to be with Katniss, made some sacrifices, stuck around. Instead he just leaves and is fine with not ending up with Katniss. Lame!

    Now, on to Peeta. I like his character and throughout the book I knew that Katniss would end up with Peeta cause of the way Collins was portraying Gale, but that doesn’t mean I liked it! I also dont think he did anything that amazing in this book either.

    Overall, I was a little dissappointed with this book. I liked it but I thought it could have been better. And those are some of my thoughts on that topic.

  4. J. Leigh Bailey says:

    Katniss definitely went through a lot of growth and change, but in the end, I didn’t like her as much.

    Gale…I don’t necessarily think he changed too drastically, but I think he grew more defined in what he expected and what he was willing to do to get what he expected…I think we were given a little clue in Catching Fire, and the beginning of Mockingbird that he was going to be a little more inclined to fight/rebel, no matter who it hurt.

    Gale/Katniss…I thought there was definitely something missing in the way that ended up. Very strange that they sort of cut all ties without any kind of closure.

    Finnick…THAT MADE ME SOOOO MAD. I, too, had to read it several times before I believed that it had really happened (same with Prim, but mostly because I thought it was a kind of dream sequence at first).

    I was happy, though oddly unsatisfied, in the way the Peeta/Katniss thing ended up. It was how I hoped it would end, but seemed very…undefined. Though, my favorite line/part of the whole book was when he said to her: “You love me. Real or Not Real?”

    Mostly, I disliked how passive Katniss was throughout. I wanted her to take (as unrealistic as it may have been) a stronger, more active role in what was happening to her.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who questioned some of this.

  5. NaTahsha Ford says:

    I agree with you on every account. Here’s the thing that bugged me the most. Katniss was unconscious for almost every big, climactic, epic scene. Saving Peeta? They drugged her up and went with out her. Katniss is almost to the capital, to pres. Snow. The bombs go off and she goes unconscious and they did it all with out her. They execution? She makes a stellar move, and kills Cion, then they drug her up, and everything happens with out her. Ummm….I don’t want to be TOLD what happened in all those scenes, I want to SEE it! And I want KATNISS to do it! Thanks for your review.

  6. Anne Riley says:

    It’s so fun to read everyone’s different issues and opinions! After seeing some of these comments, I’m amazed at how characters can be perceived in such different ways by different people. It’s VERY cool! Keep it coming!

    By the way, y’all are right about Katniss – she didn’t really DO anything much in this book. Mostly she just kept getting drugged or knocked out. And I guess she does make mistakes, but I just felt like she never had to suffer the consequences of those. I guess in this book, lying about her mission was the big one because it got so many people killed – but even so, when she finally confessed, everybody was like, “It’s all good, we love you Katniss!” I just didn’t get it.

  7. Kristy Colley says:

    I don’t even know where to start, so I think I have to with where you did.

    Katniss — I was angry with Katniss for the first half of the book. Did it bother ANYONE else that she just sort of accepted that Peeta was taken or perhaps killed, and it took someone ELSE suggesting his rescue for her to even think about it? Peeta would’ve been devising any plan possible to make sure she was safe, or at least to know she was dead and there was nothing he could do.
    She gave up on him, I think. She gave up on a lot. Her being so out of sorts was probably very accurate war-wise and what she’d been through, but for goodness sake, it’s a book! By page 50 of THG, I was already swirling with emotions. In Mockingjay, the only thing I was at page 50 was frustrated and/or pissed.

    Peeta — Yeah. Wth? All the sudden he’s just okie dokie?

    Gale — Never was a fan of him. The character inconsistency, to me, was terrible. To the reader who said he wasn’t in the first two books, I disagree. We learn all about Gale through Katniss’s eyes. No, perhaps we don’t hear dialogue, but I think many people felt they “knew” him because of Katniss’s inner dialogue and memories.
    To me, their departure made sense. Sometimes when tragedy strikes like that, there’s just no going back. The past lives together don’t matter, because the scar tissue is so thick. But, I agree, that I would’ve loved to see a better ending for him.

    Prim — Was I the only one not really affected by her death? I mean, it was sad, but not powerful, to me. The only time I felt something was after Katniss returned to the Victor Village and finally had her outburst at Buttercup. That felt real.

    Finnick — Wth. NOT.COOL.

    Johanna — I know a lot of people liked her. I really could’ve done without.

    Haymitch — I’m glad he ended up somewhere with Katniss. That felt right.

    Prologue — I could’ve done without that, too. The Real/Not Real had me crying. I don’t really want to see Katniss with kids she swore she never wanted to have. I wanted to imagine my own future of the two of them.

    Coin – I’m so glad she died.

    I could go on forever. I really need to end this here.

  8. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    Anne–Thanks for writing about this. I looked at Mockingjay in more of a structural context and had the following reaction (originally posted on Trisha’s blog, but still relevant here):

    I loved The Hunger Games, enjoyed Catching Fire, and was bored and disappointed by Mockingjay. The key for me was that Collins structured the book so that people were always waiting for something to happen.

    On one hand, that’s fairly realistic. A lot of wars are fought by waiting. Waiting for the enemy to come to you. Waiting for insurgents to strike so you have something to respond to. Waiting for someone to throw the first punch.

    The trouble is, even if Collins was trying to be realistic, it makes for a really boring novel. She did very little to propel me forward from chapter to chapter. I think the only chapter that left me hungry to keep reading was the one where (spoilers) Katniss gets shot. But even then, within a few paragraphs you find out that she’s fine.

    Most of the book is spent waiting for something to happen (more spoilers). Katniss waiting for the revolution to happen. District 13 waiting in the bunker to be bombed. Katniss waiting for Peeta to not be crazy anymore. Katniss waiting for her ribs to heal. Katniss and crew waiting for the black wave to solidify. Katniss and crew waiting in the secret room in the fashion boutique. For days! Katniss waiting to heal after catching on fire. Even in the epilogue, Katniss waiting to marry Peeta. (Several other commenters above noted this, that things happen TO Katniss, but she actually does very little.)

    To make matters worse, in many places where there should be action, there is nothing. Gale saving the people of 12 happens “off screen.” The entire revolution (besides District 2 and the Capitol) happens in a few sentences. The destruction of the mountain in District 2 happens in a single paragraph. The rescue of Peeta and friends isn’t even described at all. Katniss gets into the action in District 8, and kind of in the Capitol, but she’s still isn’t given much to do there. Multiple times she gets injured, and then we cut to the next chapter when she’s healing.

    This should have been a book that I read from cover to cover in one sitting. Instead, I found it all too easy to put down. I feel like Collins forgot how to write an entertaining story, a story that propels the reader forward. Or maybe her editor is at fault, I don’t know. All I know is that The Hunger Games draws you in, leaves you on the edge of your seat (even when Katniss is waiting in that book, the stakes are so high and the danger is so close that you can’t wait to know what happens next). Mockingjay failed in those regards.

    At least, that’s my opinion.

  9. Anne Riley says:

    Kristy: I wasn’t that affected by Prim’s death, either! And I think it’s because we don’t really know her that well. To be honest, I always forgot about her and Katniss’ mom until they were mentioned.

    And YES – the whole Buttercup thing made me cry so hard. Ugh.

  10. Anne Riley says:

    Jamey: OMG I totally, totally agree. The first two books consumed me. This one did not. It took me more than 2 weeks to read, which… yeah. That’s a long time for this series. Sometimes I would look at it and go, “Eh, I think I’ll just go to sleep.” And you’re right, there is an awful lot of waiting, and most of the action takes place off to the side where we can’t see!

    Here’s a thought: Would this book have been better if Collins had used multiple viewpoints instead of sticking to Katniss? I think I might go ask that question in my post…

  11. Kristy Colley says:

    I don’t think Collins needed multiple viewpoints. In fact, I probably would’ve disliked that because, to me, it would’ve felt lazy. I think she could’ve done more, but she just let Katniss be one big passive voice. And what Katniss do we know who just sits around and lets things happen? I don’t care if she’s exhausted–this is her one, final war! She should’ve been more involved and less *cough* . . . EMO.
    Just my opinion.

    I forgot to mention, did the overabundance of unnecessary fragment sentences bother anyone else? The writing felt so choppy and disorienting compared to the first two. What’s up, David Levithan?

  12. Alexandra Shostak says:

    Gale, and Gale/Katniss disappointed me. I thought Gale gave up on Katniss too easily–he seemed to have given up before the book even started, so we were treated to views of Gale halfheartedly trying to win Katniss, but never REALLY trying. And, yeah, I noticed the small character change, too. It seemed like Collins just needed to give Katniss a reason not to choose him, so she gave him something that Katniss wouldn’t be able to live with.

    Also, I can’t believe they both just accepted their parting. I expected a screaming match, or begging, or something emotional. I wanted emotions–I felt a little taken advantage of. We were supposed to believe that Gale was a viable romantic love interest, completing the triangle, as it were, and then he just leaves like that… well, I was on Team Gale, so of course this would upset me 😉

  13. Anne Riley says:

    Kristy: There are often things about her writing that I love, and others I don’t love. She uses fragments too much and, while a well-placed fragment can be great, too many of them start to seem like… bad writing. And that’s interesting that you don’t think you would have liked multiple viewpoints. In my opinion, I think it could have added a lot of much-needed depth to the whole thing. But YES! Katniss should have DONE more!

  14. Anne Riley says:

    Alexandra: We definitely think a lot alike here… although I was never too sold on Gale. I kind of agree with Harley in that he just wasn’t present enough in the first 2 books for me to really get into his character.

  15. Maribeth says:

    I felt the same way about you on most of the things above.
    I hated that she seperated Gale and Peeta from Katniss right at the pivotal moments in the book. We followed the three of them for three books and right at the end with the bomb neither one was there with her.I was expecting her to at least make eye contact with one of them. It was as if her relationships with them stopped short and then we were told what happened to them instead of experiencing it for ourselves. I wanted to see Gale’s reaction to the bomb. I wanted to experience Peeta’s reaction to her killing Coin. For me it fell flat at the end.
    I did love that she made a book of the Hunger Games. I could go on and on but that’s what’s on my mind at this moment.

    Great Post.
    Maribeth:)

  16. Adelyn says:

    I never was a big fan of Gale. I’m Team Peeta all the way, so I was incredibly happy when they got together. 🙂 I didn’t entirely get Prim’s death scene. I had to go back and reread it. The second time through it still seemed a little off. The fact that Prim died was horribly sad, but her actual death didn’t affect me much.

    The hardest part of the entire book, though, was definitely Finnick’s death. That shocked me. I could hardly believe she killed him after all that. He barely had any time to be remotely happy! And the final part of the book irritated me in that it was all “This happened. Then this happened. Then this. The end.” She just told us how the story ended, but I wanted to see it. It felt like she was on a deadline and didn’t have time to fully write it out, so we just got a well-written timeline.

    Overall though, I loved it. There were so many suspenseful parts where she propelled you into the next chapter. It was a good ending to a great series.

  17. Harley May says:

    I don’t know about the multiple view points, Anne.

    If she’d done it the entire way through-okay but just to show up in the third and do it I wouldn’t have cared for.

    This was a realistic end to the trilogy. I wasn’t expecting rainbows and kittens. This was a story of people surviving (even waiting) incredible evil. You don’t always come out on the other side whole.

    One more thought, I did like Gale’s character. I did get to know him through Katniss, but didn’t think they should end up together.

  18. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    Anne–That’s a great question. I’m not sure if multiple viewpoints would have been necessary. But maybe they would help with all the “off screen” action that took place. Collins had cameras everywhere in her world–why didn’t they show more? Why didn’t they show the evacuation of 12 or the raid to get Peeta or the rebellion?

    That’s only part of the problem, though. The other part was that there was so much waiting around for stuff to happen. Although, now that I think about it, maybe it only felt like that because we weren’t able to see what Katniss was waiting for. If our perspective could roam outside of her, we wouldn’t feel like we’re waiting for stuff to happen.

    And Harley, I also wasn’t expecting rainbows and kittens (well, more kittens could have helped. More kittens = better)…that’s not what this is about. This is about story structure. And I honestly think that Collins failed miserably (as did her editors) in the structure department in this third book.

  19. Anne Riley says:

    Yeah, I wasn’t expecting kittens either, although I agree with Jamey that kittens do make everything better. And honestly I think, if she wanted to leave the entire plot the way it was, multiple viewpoints could have really helped the intensity of the story. Just my humble opinion of course, and most of you probably know I love me a good book with multiple viewpoints (The Help comes to mind). And I would not have minded if she did it only in the third book, either, because at this point (theoretically) we know all three characters well enough that it could be really interesting to see the story from more than one viewpoint.

    For the record, and I may have already said this, but I did not really care about Prim’s death. I cared more about the fact that Buttercup missed her so much. Is that weird?

  20. Melissa says:

    Great points, Anne!

    I don’t think multiple POV would have done anything more for me, though. I’m not a fan of when an author switches their style like that in the middle of a series. This happened with Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty. Something about the last book felt so off to me because of the change in format.

    Anyway, back to Mockingjay. I didn’t care about Prim’s death until Katniss had her breakdown with Buttercup. That was the part that made me cry.

    I think Gale gave up on Katniss so easily because he knew they weren’t meant for each other. He left because he couldn’t face her knowing what his bombs did, always judging him. He still cared about her and wanted to give her the space she needed and deserved. I was glad it ended up this way. Through the whole book I felt like Gale was sort of exploiting her. Like when they kissed and he said “I knew you’d do that”. It felt like everything he did had an ulterior motive.

    Overall, I didn’t think it was a great ending to the series, but it was the RIGHT ending.

  21. Christie Moore says:

    The first two books were so enthralling that I (for the first time in my life) had to skip to the end to see who lived and who didn’t in order to be able to concentrate on the story.

    The third book had none of this for me.

    As for Katniss, I think the idea of having her out of commission for so many important things was reflective of just how little control she had over events. She was the captain of her own ship in the first and second books. In the third book, she was taken over by Haymitch, Coin, etc. She even almost fell for Coin! It was also symbolic of how, once you agree to be the public face of an institution or effort, suddenly you are little more than a talking head. I liked the times that she tried to take action and wound up getting knocked out of commission because it reflected the fact that once she decided to take action and become the Mockingjay she was given very little of substance to do.

    I saw a change in Gale from the young man who risked his life to save Prim & Mrs. Eberdeen from the bombing of District 12, putting them on the same level with his biological family, to knowingly putting together the bombing that killed Prim and could well have killed Mrs. Eberdeen. He had to have known, given their skills, that they would possibly be there. And even if Prim hadn’t died, I think Katniss would have rejected him. He had come too far from someone who was willing to fight the rebellion – he was turning into someone like Coin who was willing to say that the ends justified the means. Coin would have turned out to be more like Snow than anyone could have imagined. I’m happy that Gale wound up as some robot. He didn’t deserve Katniss.

    Peeta – He was always a bit of a red shirt, to be honest. I never felt that the character was fully fleshed out other than as a boy who had been in love with Katniss since he was six or whatever. He was the typical “Golden Boy.” I was happy that Katniss wound up with him, because I wanted to see him happy (i.e., getting her) and I couldn’t see Katniss with anyone but him after the two Hunger Games and the experiences in District 13. And I really didn’t want Katniss to die, all alone save for Haymitch until his liver jumped out of his body.

    Finnick – This was sheer stupidity, in my opinion. As stupid as Rowling killing off one of the twins in the final Harry Potter. Rowling could have killed off Percy and it would have been almost as sad because he had just seen the light, been reunited with his family, etc. Rowling just wanted to make a big bang by tearing her readers’ hearts out, which is almost abusing fans. Same thing with Finnick … Collins could have killed Johanna, who had just started to show her vulnerability, or a score of others. Really bad choice.

    As to the rest… eh. The third book just didn’t float my book. Not as compelling as the first two, but an OK wrap-up for the series.

    • shan says:

      Okay. I think this is, by far, the most disappointed end to a fictional series that I have ever read. EPIC FAIL on Collins part, and also, while I’m at it, a big fail on behalf of her editor.

      I could write a thesis on this subject, but I’ll keep it brief.

      1) Finnick’s death. Horribly handled in this story. Finnick becomes a crucial character to the third book. Not only does his narrative become crucial to the plot of the story, but his vulnerability, his willingness to be frankly honest with his situation and his deep love and compassion for Annie make him one of the most loveable, understandable and fully-developed characters in the plot. His death deserved more dignity and a longer explanation. I’m not against killing him off per se, but the fact that she kills him with little to no description of the incident and its effects upon the other characters is horrific. I would go out on a limb and call Collins flat out lazy for not figuring out a more developed way to handle this situation. Then, in the end, we have no explanation about Annie (probably the most sympathetic and innocent character in the entire series) and how she is going to handle the loss of the one person who can keep her sane. There is a very brief line about a child, but it does not do such an important character justice.

      2) Death of Prim. There may be some disagreement with my position on this, but I’m going to say that it was completely unnecessary and actually took away from the books as opposed to adding to it. I understand that Collins was trying to hint at a larger philosophical question regarding the limitations of war, but the same lesson could have been accomplished (and was accomplished) by the very principle of bombing the children. The act of bombing the children alone was horrific enough to demonstrate how evil Coin really was. Further, Prim was the single most important person/thing to Katniss in the world, and her death was handled with little more than a few sentences. With the long drawn out death scenes of other characters – namely, Rue – I think Collins could have done a much better job at handling this scene then by simply taking the easy (and pathetic) way out by simply dismissing it all together and then having Katniss go mad for a while.

      3) Death of Coin. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy she died. I’m also happy that it was done publicly and by Katniss. However, Coin’s death and the bombing of the children points to some very significant issues regarding war. There was also the serious (and politically relevant) issue of fighting one dictator only to replace it with another. Instead of addressing these serious issues, Coin is never held publicly accountable for her actions. Further, Katniss is put on trial and only gets away because she is “crazy.” Despite the fact that it is beyond wrong that Katniss was not able to attend her own trial, but the trial never addresses the fact that Coin had committed war crimes that would have warranted her execution. This could have been one of the most significant parts to the story, and yet, Collin’s lazy, under-developed style fails to reach a bigger picture.

      4) Gale. I was shocked at how poorly she treated Gale at the end. First, Gale was the one Katniss loved from the beginning, and despite everything she went through in the first two books, he was always on her mind (much more so than Peeta ever was, even when he was in her presence). Katniss never doubted her love for Gale and also never doubted her physical attraction for him. They also understood each other more than anyone else. So, I cannot for the life of me understand why Collins just disposes of him at the end of the book with little or no explanation. Tosses him off to district 2 without any regard for explanation. First, I think they should have ended up together. Secondly, the whole bomb discussion was RIDICULOUS. Who cares if he created the bomb? Creation of a weapon or the technology for a weapon is not the same thing as the choice to use a weapon and the choice on whom to use it. Case in point, Albert Einstein worked directly with the Manhattan Project and worked directly to create the first atomic bomb. But no one blames him for the choice to use that bomb against the Japanese killing thousands of civilians. The same is true for Gale. Just because he was brilliant in trapping does not mean he had any say or control on how his weapons were used. Not only is it morally unfair for Katniss to blame him and not forgive him, it’s hypocritical. For someone who was “the fact” of the war, she is in moral position to chastise other people for their role in the same war (unless their actions went so far as to constitute war crimes – i.e. Coin).

      5) Mother. What is the deal with her relationship with her mother? It doesn’t make any sense that Katniss’s mother just wants nothing to do with her after the way. Collins states that her mother wasn’t able to care for her when she was young because she was completely debilitated by mental illness and depression. But during and after the way, her mother doesn’t suffer from the same problems, and therefore, there is no real reason for their distance. But her mother just goes to district 4 without any thought about her only remaining family member?? This seems to be the complete opposite of what she would want to do, but instead she treats Katniss as if she means nothing to her.

      6) Peeta. Okay. Not once…. not one time in the entire series does Katniss ever truly fall in love with Peeta. Sure, there were times that she “didn’t know” how she felt, but that is NOT the same as falling in love with someone. Also, Collins seems to imply that she only loves Peeta because she feels badly about the situation – feels badly because she doesn’t love him back, feels guilty because she uses him, ect. But she never affirmatively loves him. In the end, she settles. Not because she is madly in love but because her relationship with Gale deteriorates and she’s left with Peeta. WHAT A HORRIBLE MESSAGE FOR YOUNG GIRLS. Seems to be saying: He’s safe; he’ll love me no matter what – so I might as well just throw in the towel and love him back and have children that he wants and I don’t because I have no other option. It would have been a MUCH stronger ending for her to just be alone and free to be herself without any lack-luster romance driven by the need to “not be alone.”

      7) Role of Enduring Love – so much of these novels is about the endurance of love. All of the characters are driven by love – Finnick for Annie – Peeta/Gale for Katniss – Katniss for her fmaily and friends – so much so that to see their loved ones in pain or loss can cause mental insanity. Everything Katniss does is driven by a love of others in her life and a want to protect them and shield them from harm. However, in the end, Collins strips everyone she loves from her – either by killing them off or by causing rifts. Readers are then left with her settling for a boy whom she never really loved the entire series. This is a horrible testament to love because, despite the horrors that they all go through to preserve their loves, the end of the story only sends one message: Love fades and dies; nothing is permanent; so settle for second best.

      UGH. Horrible. I think a 10th grader could have written something with more clarity, more character development and more philosophical importance. In the mean time, Collins, go back to school or pick up a book that has one a significant prize because your writing could really use some work.

      Also, did anyone else notice several grammatical typos in the book? It may be just my Kindle version, but there were several.

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