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Books I Love: Mockingjay

When I’m not writing, I make sure to spend some quality time with books–because my love of reading is what sparked my love of writing in the first place! Here are some of my favorite gems, originally posted on my review blog.

Mockingjay (The Depressing Finale in Which Everyone Dies)

by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games series as a whole is nothing short of genius. And don’t get me wrong, I loved Mockingjay. I enjoyed all the twists and the crazy events leading to an explosive (literally) finale. BUT. Out of the three books, I found this one to be the weakest. Let’s be honest, Katniss has had the world take one giant dump on her since book one. And I think everyone was hoping for a little bit of a let up for the bleakness factor in the third book. A little more triumph, fanfare, etc. Which is why the final book is so divisive for people. But, I gotta hand Suzanne Collins some props. She fervently clings to her bleakness and stark realism. And she makes a damn good story. Despite the overall despondency, the final couple pages of the book include some of the most beautiful writing I’ve seen in my life. So even though the majority of Mockingjay is a bleakfest, it’s worth skipping to the final pages just to read those bits over and over again.

***SPOILER ALERT***

All my friends are dead moment #1: Cinna’s death is finalized in this book. It was brutal watching him dragged away in book two and we knew the moment was coming. But nothing said grim like hearing that Cinna, the calm support throughout the other two novels finally bit the bullet. Cinna was just the beginning though and the other two deaths were the hard hitters that had people questioning the ending so much. And then Boggs dies, right as you’re really getting to like him. Way to drive the knife deeper.

All my friends are dead moment #2: Finnick. He just haaaaad to marry Annie only chapters before and we just haaaaad to get way too attached to him. His character was one of the best fleshed out through the story. In book two, we aren’t sure what to think of him until the ending. But his scenes in book three are so memorable and brave that you can’t help but love him. Between his selflessness with Annie and the way he helps Katniss through her difficulty knowing Peeta’s being tortured make him the stand out character he is. But what divides the fandom is the way he died. His character deserved more than lizard mutt chow. And he kind of gets glossed over as a toss in. Oh hey, yeah. Finnick’s dead. Realistic, yes. Unfair, hell yes.

All my friends are dead moment #3: Everyone knows this one. Because the ENTIRE series was built around saving her. Oh, Prim. We knew you were screwed the moment Suzanne Collins started building your character up a lot in book three. Her death was heartbreaking, not only because she was Katniss’s entire reason for living, but because it also splintered Katniss’ friendships and remaining family. The mother ditches her (way to go, deadbeat mom) and Gale, being the one who might’ve been responsible for the killing bombs, goes off to another district never to be heard from again. But. I see what you did there Collins. Symbolically, Prim was Katniss’ whole reason for living and part of surviving trauma is finding a new reason to live. So Prim ultimately had to die in Katniss’ transformation as a character as part of shedding the past and creating her own life.

If you haven’t read the trilogy, check it out on Goodreads!

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Author:

I split my time writing and working my day job as a massage therapist. If it’s a creative pursuit though, chances are I’ve dabbled in it. Hell, I’ve played around with soapmaking, beer brewing, cupcake baking, tea blending and everything else under the midday sun. At the end of the day, my constant is always reading, writing and editing. I’m an Aries-Taurus cusp–which to any astrology buffs should tell you plenty. I hit the East Coast convention circuit pretty hard and chances are, you can find me vending for Solstice Brews while simultaneously promoting my books.

8 thoughts on “Books I Love: Mockingjay

  1. It’s amazing how many people expected a happy ending from this bleak, bitter works hehe. I thought the ending was satisfactory, but agree with you that the third book felt much more like an extended denouement than anything else. Also Prim and Rue bear the names of flowers (Primrose is her full, and innocents/ingénues and blooms have been associated with an ephemeral nature/early death for ages.

    1. Ha, I didn’t realize Rue was named after a flower, but it makes a lot of sense. There’s an innocence noted about both characters that does seem to mark them for tragedy, because it’s something that no longer belongs in the world.

      1. Yup Rue is a type of flower. It’s one of the kinds Ophelia gives out before she kills herself. Added bonus for poor Rue is she dies by being impaled on a spear. You have to love that blatant symbolism.

      2. Or people associated with flowers. It’s a way to make a particular type of statement/symbolism without coming out and saying it, but it’s so blatant at this point (ha) that it could almost just be said. I watched a video the other day about the biggest ASOIAF/GOT theory R+L=J about how the sword Lightbringer/Dawn was hidden in Lyanna’s statue aka his sword is still in her. I audibly groaned and guess what…Lyanna is associated with blue roses *headdesk*

      3. The class I took on analyzing literature with a feminist slant would have a field day with that train. I remember I did a paper on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Cordelia gets impaled right after Xander betrayed her trust emotionally. Double whammy, but the symbolism is quite clear.

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