Mockingjay discussion -- includes *SPOILERS*

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Mockingjay discussion -- includes *SPOILERS*

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aug 27, 2010, 8:20am

This discussion thread for the extremely popular Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins will contain SPOILERS for Mockingjay, and (of course) for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

Have at it!

aug 27, 2010, 12:23pm

Just finished! Still processing! I really liked it, though!

aug 27, 2010, 7:20pm

I'm on the fence. It was so grim. Also, my favorite character died in the space between books. Why do the guys I like in books always die? Poor Cinna. :-(

Redigeret: aug 27, 2010, 8:27pm

I was assuming Cinna was pretty much dead when they beat him up in front of Katniss. I know what you mean, though. I was starting to really like Boggs.

I was just happy she ended up with Peeta. If there were a midnight release party here, I would have worn this:

I did get confused about the whole breaking into "The Nut." It took me awhile to realize it was not the capital, but just a city in District 2. Also, I thought the capital was supposed to be so hard to get into because it was on a mountain. Did they just fly in on hovercraft?

aug 27, 2010, 9:20pm

#4 -- I thought maybe they were keeping Cinna to torture, or to use against Katniss (as they did Peeta, Johanna, etc.), though I gave up on him pretty quickly when he didn't show up.

I agree about Boggs! I started liking him when he was carrying her away from the hospital bombing in District 8, and she puked on him, and he just sort of sighed!

It sounded to me as if they managed to capture a train tunnel and the station at the end of it, and that's how they got into the Capitol. I agree, though, that it was kind of glossed over -- especially considering that when they're explaining why the first revolution failed, it was mainly because the Capitol was so defensible because of the mountains.

Espy says he could never picture Katniss ending up with Gale -- he's too much like a big brother or a cousin, and he and Katniss are too much alike. I fully expected one of them to die, and Katniss to end up with whoever survived. I'm glad it didn't pan out that way.

aug 27, 2010, 10:15pm

Yea I thought the whole getting into the city was a lot easier than was expected. Maybe she just felt too much detail would be boring, but it was just sort of like "oh the rebels are in" and that was that.

And thank god she didn't end up with Gale. After everything Peeta went through for her, protecting her, waiting for her, loving her, being rejected and hurt by her. He deserved to get her in the end, even if she didn't deserve him. I have to say, when he tried to kill her was the only moment that really surprised me in the book. It was kind of nice, not to have peeta just always running into her arms and forgiving her. Even if he was all twisted by Snow, it made me kind of proud.

aug 28, 2010, 10:21am

At first I wondered about how she and Peeta got to live somewhat happily ever after, after who she shot at the end. I.e., why wasn't she punished for it. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that those on the inside, including the new Pres., knew exactly why she did it, and accepted it.

aug 28, 2010, 11:53am

I also expected either Peeta or Gale to die. I'm glad they both survived. Poor Finnick, though. I was really liking him a lot more in this book.

aug 28, 2010, 11:38pm

#7 -- Good point. I read somewhere (I thought it was this thread, but maybe it was a review or something) that not only would it have been interesting to see what happened in Katniss's trial, but that it doesn't say much for the new government, having a trial where the defendant is not present.

#8 -- Yeah, Finnick and Annie were the Tonks and Lupin of this series (though at least Annie got to live to raise her child). I felt like Finnick's death was just put in to reinforce the point (War Is Hell) and I wish she had let him survive to the end.

aug 29, 2010, 12:08am

Well gale and peeta both had to live so Katniss's choice would be her own. If one or the other died, the readers would never be sure she decided on the one who lived because she loved them.. or because they were all that was left. This way, you know shes happy and neither of them had to die to make it that way.

Finnick's death sucked. After he got married and everything :( I wish he had lived, his death seemed like it was thrown away. Couldn't he have died doing something heroic, in a last-stand type of scene? I feel he deserved more.

jun 18, 2011, 1:35pm

Agreed, Finnick's death did suck. He became one of my favorite character by the end of the second book. Him and Peeta really grew on me. It just didn't seem necessary to me that he would die. I felt really bad for Annie, who depended on him so much to keep her sanity.

I can't say that this third one was fantastic like the first and second one but I do LOVE the ending! It's so cute and sweet that they grow old together.

The fighting part just seemed to drag on and it felt like a lot of people were dying for no apparent reason. Like Prim, what was the point of her dying? It didn't add any more suspense to the book since it was so far in the end. It just felt like it was totally unnecessary and pointless. I just think if the author was going to make her die she should have played it out more, like write about how the horrible effect was on Katniss or something. In the end, I mean she did go into the reaping for Prim so her death should have been a bigger ordeal.

jun 18, 2011, 9:08pm

I have a possible stupid question. Maybe Not

Are these books any good? I haven't read any of them. I've heard of them but never read them.

jun 19, 2011, 12:29am

they are really good... I made a couple of friends read them and they got hooked right away!

jun 19, 2011, 7:28am

#12 -- Based on the books you have in your library, I think you would enjoy them.

jun 19, 2011, 10:06am

Thanks I will check them out.

jun 23, 2011, 4:05pm

I really loved this one... almost more than the others, because I had always wondered where she was going with the end plot and where she went was so much more complex and deep than I even expected...

The whole "will the revolution be televised?" theme blew me away. It's so realistic and so twisted... or reveals the twistedness of people and life. Some blogger wrote an alternate ending in which Katniss becomes President after shooting, y'know, who she shot, and then making a speech for peace. It was nice but totally unrealistic... she'd never become President and she knows it; she's still just a teen, she doesn't even really know anything except survival, and just as she points out herself, she's not actually the world's best soldier--her leading an army would be ridiculous, for example... but what she's got is fame, dramatic skills with a bow, and a type of charisma and a story that everyone in the nation connects to. So what do they do? They put her on TV. They make her into a symbol... they dress her up and make her up and film her shooting at stuff, and try to get her to say just the right things to sway the mood of the nation the way they need it to go... they use her for propaganda. And the person at the top, the one who's pulling the strings, is just about as bad as the person she's fighting.

It's so real...

The only thing I really had trouble with was her saying yes to the new Games. It was not clear AT ALL to me that that was when she formulated her plan to do what she did... not even afterwards. One little mention, afterwards, that the Games didn't happen after all would have been nice. Or even a look back at what she really meant when she said "for Prim." It's like the book suddenly got too subtle there, when these books are not, and not meant to be, subtle.

I could go on. I love the ending. Hey everyone, a question: in your ideal version, would it have been Peeta or Gale? And why?

jul 4, 2011, 10:38pm

It totally HAD to be Peeta. Peeta is the one that complimented her and Gale was too harsh, she'd never really be happy with Gale. I think Prim died to throw her into the deep depression she was in. It seemed needed to make her really grow up and realize that what she wants and needs is Peeta by her side.

When Peeta was being "mean" to her, I was so happy that he was not just mushy and such and thought well that will get her to really want him, but I was also so sad because you just want Peeta to remain this perfect happy loving man. Loved that twist though and did not see it coming.

I was so sad when Finnick died and Boggs too, both those deaths made me cry, then i cried again at the mention of Annie and her baby.

I love how Katniss finally says I love you. The words are hard for her and I think will always be hard for her to say because of what those that she loves have gone through.

"you love me, real or not real" "Real" I thought that was beautiful. I have more to say. But i'll have to come back later to add it.

All in All I LOVED all 3 books!

jul 6, 2011, 11:54pm

Mostly my memory of this book is of reading it with newborn baby Lefty on my chest. Postpartum was probably not the ideal time to read a book like this. I sobbed through the epilogue.

But it was fantastic. I love this book, possibly even more because it is tied in with snuggling my baby. I should have written sooner so I had details to discuss. Right after finishing, I couldn't write about it. I had to digest it for a while.

Guess I need to reread so I can have details fresh in my mind again. :)

I did love the theme of media and its hugeness. Truth is gone, filtered through the media to become what They want us to hear. It is scary to think how true this already is here and now.

I'm glad Katniss chose Peeta. She loved her past with Gale, but I don't think she really loved Gale in the present, after all that happened. But it can be hard to disentangle past feelings for a person from present ones. It's hard to accept that oneself has changed and also that someone else has changed. Katniss and Gale were sort of stuck in their old relationship, with too much between their former and present selves. Peeta went through so much with Katniss. He deserved to have her love him back for real at last.

jul 7, 2011, 5:56pm

personally, i thought that Mockingjay was the weakest of the three.....

Redigeret: feb 23, 2012, 10:41am

Well, I finally read this series. Read Hunger Games a couple weeks ago and then got sick and couldn't concentrate on reading so I started Catching Fire on Tuesday. I finished Mockingjay last night. (Okay, really early this morning.)

I think Prim's death was incredibly important. Without it I don't think Katniss would have shot President Coin because I don't think that the trap would have effected her as much. Of course she would have been upset about the loss of life, but it wouldn't have been personal. It takes a bit of a push from President Snow but once she really starts thinking about it and realizes that it was Coin that gave the order for that drop it was a done deal.

I agree that I was confused by Katniss' vote on whether or not to hold a final Hunger Game. I would have liked a bit more there.

I have conflicting emotions regarding Katniss' love life. I never thought she should be with Gale and I was team Peeta all through the first two books. His attempt to kill her really bothered me though. I know we was hijacked and couldn't help himself, but then when my then husband tried to strangle me to death, he was mentally ill too. It doesn't excuse his actions and I have a very difficult time excusing Peeta's. I would have preferred that Katniss stick to her original plan of remaining single and childless all her life. But, I also know that this is a YA book and that's just never going to happen.

That having been said, I'm surprised no one's mentioned the importance of the conversation between Peeta and Gale in Tigres' cellar. Specifically when Gale said "She'll choose the one she can't survive without." It was true. Before Peeta returned to District 12 Katniss was simply existing, not surviving. She made no effort on her own to continue. She ate because she was forced to and didn't do anything else. It wasn't until Peeta returned that she chose to live. She finally let in the pain of losing Prim and anyone who's been through depression knows that sometimes you have to let in the hurt to begin healing. It was indeed Peeta that she couldn't survive without.

The end of the series actually reminded me a lot of the end of Ender's Game. The loss of innocence. Not knowing your place in a time of peace. The depression that comes with loss of everything you know. And eventually finding a way to deal with it. For Ender it was traveling and telling his story and the story of the Buggers. (Full disclosure, I haven't read any of the following books yet except for Ender's Shadow, so I'm just talking about Ender's Game here.) For Katniss it was a life with Peeta and eventually children, with whom she will eventually share her story and the story of the tributes.

I also have a friend who warned me before I started reading the Katniss would eventually remind of of everything I hate about Bella Swan. He was right. The problem, as with Bella, was living in Katniss' head. She and Bella share a lack of self-awareness that I found extremely grating. Sure, I probably have the same problem, no one ever really understands how they're viewed by the rest of the world, but it definitely had me desperate for someone else's viewpoint by the end. (I think Haymitch's would be interesting.)

In the end, I liked the series, but I don't know that it will make my list of regular rereads. If I want to feel depressed about children in war, I imagine I'll go with Ender over Katniss most of the time.

feb 23, 2012, 4:20pm

Amazing, amazing series. The thing I liked the most about it was its rather cynical take on human nature, especially at the end. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Katniss does lack self-awareness, but I bought into it because it springs from her background and circumstances. She has tunnel vision because she's been concentrated on survival for so long she can't think of anything else, which is really common among people from the kind of desperate poverty she grew up in and then the ordeals of the Games. Bella Swan's lack of self-awareness springs from her lack of character.

feb 24, 2012, 5:56pm

I agree with sarahy. I thought the series became progressively weaker. I'm surprised to read that so many professional critics thought the last book was the best.

Redigeret: feb 25, 2012, 12:24pm

I utterly agree, tuckea. The series got weaker as Katniss got weaker. Personally, I think that it was all right that Collins showed Katniss being affected by all the war going on around her, but Katniss still should've been the competent warrior that she was in the first book.

Instead, she went on a crusade to kill Snow, and she didn't even succeed. The majority of her platoon killed, which is inacceptable when you're a leader. Your job as a commander is to look after your men (and women) and make sure that they get to see their families at the end of the day. Katniss failed in her job. Inexcusable. And I'm supposed to think that she was the hero.

feb 26, 2012, 12:39am

Soldiers are there to kill or to die. Commanders are there to accomplish the objective, and if that is done by having soldiers die, even a lot of them, then that's what happens. I appreciated that the series did not sugarcoat this reality.

Katniss did have the opportunity to kill Snow, but she realized it was futile because his replacement was no better than he was.

feb 27, 2012, 11:47am

I don't object to the lack of success, or the loss of life of ancillary characters, so much as what seemed to me to be plot holes and character inconsistencies and an inability to create the suspense and passion of the first book.

I think it would have gone a long way to show us more moments of joy and tenderness in Katniss's life so that we have more of a sense of what she could lose. Instead, even in the down moments, we get a sense that Katniss would not be happy in any situation and that her relationships with all the people in her life are rather shallow. We're told how much various people mean to her, but rarely shown it. In the first book we were given enough to understand her feelings about Prim and to care about her, but it was difficult to get any sense of Katniss's feelings for Gale. In the second book I expected we'd get a lot more development with Gale so that we'd care about him (like Katniss supposedly does), but there was virtually nothing. How does Katniss feel about her mother? She resented her in the 1st book, she no longer does in the 2nd. Why? What changed, either in her mother or in Katniss's attitude? Why aren't we shown it? The mother never becomes anything more than a cardboard cut-out in the background. Even Katniss's relationship with Peeta doesn't seem to grow any more than where it was at the end of the first book. And no, I was not looking for this to turn into a kissing book, I would just like to have seen more to illustrate that these characters are growing and that their relationship is growing.

In the 3rd book the big change in Katniss's environment and, in fact, the change in her paradigm, all take place off stage. We don't get to see the emotional arrival in district 13 or the reunion with her family. We don't get to see her going from the perception of being protected by the rebels to the realization that she's being used. We don't get to see any gradual change in her perception of the rebel government. It would have made a far more dramatic story if she started off thinking of the rebels and their cause as heroic and believing it would make a difference, only to gradually (or suddenly) coming to realize that living under the rebel government is no different than living under the capital government. That could have been presented as a dramatic or poignant revelation when it eventually becomes plain that she's fighting for and her friends are dying for a sham. Unfortunately, we were pretty much told what to think about Coin and the rebel government from the first chapter, so that when it eventually comes to pass, I could only think, yeah we knew this already.

Even the biggest resolution of how Katniss feels about the most important people in her life is done offstage. Gale just goes away. Peeta just shows up. We're told Katniss gradually got used to Peeta being there and and being what she needed. Told, but not shown.

Even more inexplicable to me is the scene where the tributes vote on whether to continue the Games with children from the capital. That seemed so out of character. If we were supposed to see that as a sign that Katniss has changed, then I didn't get it. Is the takeaway supposed to be that Katniss now feels that killing children is justified? Really? Doesn't that negate the entire message of the series? And if Katniss has changed that much, so that she has that kind of vengeance and hatred in her heart, shouldn't we either end the series there and make it be a great tragedy, OR show the equally dramatic healing that brings her back to being a good human being again? I really found this scene inexplicable because Katniss's feelings about making the decision to continue the Games are never resolved or acknowledged at the end of the book.

I wasn't really sure what the take-away of this book was. Katniss fights against a fascistic government with inhumane practices and overthrows it in order to set up a new fascistic government, where she can vote to continue the same inhumane practices. Then she retires quietly outside the system she helped create.

I wanted to like this series because I did like the first book. But I found the method of telling the story in books 2 and 3 to be distancing and the resolution of book 3 to be anticlimactic.

feb 27, 2012, 3:29pm

I wasn't really sure what the take-away of this book was. Katniss fights against a fascistic government with inhumane practices and overthrows it in order to set up a new fascistic government, where she can vote to continue the same inhumane practices. Then she retires quietly outside the system she helped create.

I think that pretty much does sum it up. It's the anti-Lord of the Rings.