Thursday, August 26, 2010

There Is No Fourth Book In A Trilogy...otherwise known as another Mockingjay post

I've been avoiding this post. Yes. Yes, I have. But we all knew it was coming...
So. For all of you out there reading Mockingjay, or for those of you planning on reading Mockingjay, run along now. I mean it! Look away! I'm about to post some spoilers.
And in case you don't believe me...
Bruce Willis was dead in The Sixth Sense.
Leonardo DiCaprio is really a patient in Shutter Island.
Veronica Mars goes on to become a...Oh wait! I don't know the answer to that question because the show was CANCELED!!!! I know. I need to get over it.


I've been very excited for the final book of the Hunger Games to come out. I'm sure you've noticed. And thanks to the air conditioning/heating guys, who got my whole family up bright and early Tuesday morning, I was at the mall before Borders was even open. Luckily Target was. And so the reading began. I tried my best to drag it out. Four hundred pages. Should take a few days, right? Not so much. And not a word did I skim. Believe me, I tried. I was so desperate to get answers to my questions, so excited to find out who Katniss ends up with. I didn't want to miss a thing.
And then the book was over.
I looked at the clock and it was far too late for me to be up. But my mind was much to...what? Distracted? Overwhelmed? Confused?
You see I did miss something. The ending. And perhaps some events leading up to it. And. A whole lot more.
Now here's where I have to give Suzanne Collins credit. Believe me. I'm a huge fan. I think she could write circles around most writers out there. If she wanted to, that is. Perhaps in some kind of fight to the death literary competition.
But. Seriously.
Two days later I'm still feeling a bit unsettled.
And from the amount of reviews piling up on Amazon so are a whole lot of other readers.
I bought into Katniss. I really did. I get that she was an unwilling participant. She went about her life only worrying about her family and Gale. And when she's swept up into the Games she is aware that she has no choice but to fight. No choices whatsoever. Or does she? As a reader I fought the games with her. And thanks to Suzanne Collins I felt everything she felt. But the most important thing I felt was Katniss's spirit. Her fight. She was never one to play by the rules.
When I finished reading Catching Fire I was convinced Katniss was going to go from a strong participant to a warrior. How could she not?
Now, I get war is hell. I mean how could we not? We've seen it so many times. From movies to the news. Who doesn't know someone who's fought in one? War breaks you. Understood.
Katniss is seventeen.
Did we forget that?
And being seventeen and having endured two hunger games and a war and the death of loved ones...yeah, I get it. She's broken.
But. I expected more. I expected her to fight back. I needed her to. I didn't need Suzanne Collins to wrap the ending up in a pretty pink bow and frost it with icing but I did need Katniss to kick some ass. Sorry. But I did. Or at the very least KILL PRESIDENT SNOW!
What I really needed above everything else was for Katniss to live up to her potential.
Oh. And as for the whole love triangle thing. I'm so over it. In the end when you finally pick someone to love...make me believe it. I've been with this book for three years now. It was never about Team Gale or Team Peeta for me. I loved them both. And so did Katniss.
But in the end. I wasn't sold. Nope. Not one bit.
Still. Great writing. Incredible story. One of the most amazing trilogies I've ever read and will probably ever read. The sentiment, the pride. It's everywhere in this story. I don't know how Suzanne does it. She manages to assimilate their world into my head. Effortlessly. Evoke feelings for people that don't actually exist. While I am reading I am Katniss. A character whose life is riddled with horror and tragedy but I willingly walk beside her. Because she inspires me. From the moment she took Prim's place in the games I'm locked in. I couldn't walk away if I tried.
But. Last thirty or so pages...SO INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING! I'm not the author so I don't get to pick the plot nor do I get to have any input on the ending. And I guess that's okay. It was a fun ride. Perhaps one day I'll have to take it again. But right now...right now I'm done.


  1. allow me to articulate how i disagree with you.

    to do this, let us take a look at what the author has created for us to contrive her meaning from, because when writers like Suzanne Collins pick up their pen, they write with full intent, or they do not write at all.

    in the very beginning, we enter the world of Panem, this world which is after ours, where everything we know is decimated. we never hear of New York, or Washington D.C., or even of America, the great country that once was. as a reader, who is given to understand that this trilogy takes place on our north american continent, i spent the entirety of the series looking for a history, or a link between our time and theirs, but there was none at all, save for a bunker which is centuries old, and carries the memories of satellite lasers, missiles of legendary proportions and all manner of destructive weapons. there are no ruins spoken of, and no neighboring nations. as a newcomer to Katniss' world, which Suzanne shapes for me, it behooves me to think that massive weapons of destruction have become our legacy; that bunker is to them our parthenon, and perhaps the very womb that their society sprang from.

    so we have this picture which has been built for us, and we begin with a girl who loves, and is selfless, and when put on the spot will perform in the best of conscience. around her are two men who will enable her in one direction or the other - a man whose love, and good nature conquers abuse and horror, and then a man who is furious, and vengeful when protecting his ways and the ones he understands. this love triangle epitomizes the conflict of Panem, and the human condition.

    if you understand the direction that Gale will take Katniss, and how it relates to the struggle between President Snow and President Coin, then you should understand exactly why Coin should not inherit the reins of society, and likewise that Gale should not win the heart of Katniss Everdeen, whose plight would have been simple if she had given up her heart and only won, instead of solved.

    it would be perfect Justice for Katniss to be understood, and to be a hero for the choices she made, but because of the vengeful desires of society, she was seen as lunatic, and sent away to dawdle out the rest of her crazy life in a ruined spot of earth that only few remember. And so it is that Gale and his fury find a glorious job among larger society who don't understand the specific nature of Katniss' heroism, and are thus doomed to spin in circles of self destruction until their inevitable end.

    thank heavens we have an afterlife to look forward to :p

  2. Interesting argument. But sometimes we just need a hero. Someone to rise above both sides and prove that it takes an individual to make a change. And she did. She started a rebellion. Without even trying. She was simply herself. And that is the point I was trying to make. If Suzanne Collins had allowed Katniss to follow through with her true character development she would have been more than a broken victor. She would have been stronger than all of them.

  3. true, but i think she was going for a much more intelligent, anti-war and anti-violence sentiment than the typical hero story about a girl who starts a revolution and becomes strong. that's been done before, and i think that this is a much more mature message than bringing children readers up in the whole mentality of "it's okay to kill and to be okay with violence as long as they wear a different uniform with different ideas." when the truth is that it's never okay to kill. to kill is a horrible, gruesome act, and to make a habit of it is to lose your humanity. there are many steps that can be taken before murder is the only option.

    i think most of all i love the inside look into president snow that we get, when he is chained, and appears as actually a straightforward person, who is almost kind. you grow up in this series thinking that he is this super villain who loves violence and takes joy in hurting people and finds personal satisfaction in death and misery, but he turns out only to be a further evolved state of president coin, who makes many more justifications in the name of protecting his order, however unjust.

    definitely one of my favorite series of all time, though. it will be on my shelf forever.

  4. Nice Site- excellent choice of background.. I must say.

  5. Just finished the series last night. Here are my thoughts:

    First of all I enjoyed the series (most of the time), obviously because I finished them all in less than a week. But did I like them? I can't honestly say that I did.

    Katniss is too weak, too dramatic, too pessimistic, too dependent on others strength, knowledge, power, gifts, contributions, etc. I can literally count on one hand the number of times she really did something on her own without someone else pulling her weight, and helping her win. The sad thing is, these times mostly exist in the first book, which I feel is the strongest of the series. Katniss as a character kept getting weaker and weaker as the books went on, which I should give credit to Suzanne, because that's a path not many chose to take in character development. It's not hard to see why no one takes this route, because it sucks. This was the only unpredictable element in the book, because I kept foolishly hoping that she would pull her head out of her ass (normally I hate that figure of speech but it seems fitting) and rise to the level she's set for herself in book one.

    My second beef is with Suzanne's assumption in her audience. I was repeatedly irritated with her for assuming I was really going to believe bad things were going to happen for Katniss acting out. The strongest example I can think of relatively quickly is in the first book, when Katniss shoots the arrow into the gamemakers apple. She retreats and immediately starts to fear for the worst, I'm sorry Suzzane but this is not going to work, you're not going to convince me for one second that anything but good will come from that. Breaking free from the pack to shoot down the hovercrafts, etc. I would have to give her some credit if she deceived me by setting that trend, and then pulling that out from under me, and blindsiding me. Predictable.

    All this negative talk aside, I enjoyed going through the series, and I give her credit for keeping it an extremely dystopian series, true to the genre while leaving the ending mostly resolved. And apart from the rapid tie up, and slightly depressing ending, it at least tied up its looser ends. And finally, I'm very very interested to see how they try and make this series into a movie, all the nudity, violence, oh the extreme violence. I applaud her for creating a challenge for whoever wants to try and make money on this, by throwing it onto the silver screen. Perhaps after 19 years of writing for TV she wanted something to let out all the stuff she could never give to her producers.

  6. Not to mention... How many effing times do I have to hear about her unconscious dreams both real and drug induced, i swear... I almost wanted to throw the book (my phone) against the wall every time the book would be halted flat by some drawn out dream drivel. I'll keep going back to her time in TV.. Those writers have no idea how to finish, they're really good at crafting a fully engrossing set of chapters, and episodes, but how many tv series can you think of that ended well?

  7. I loved Hunger Games! I loved Catching Fire more! But Mockingjay. :( Very Disappointing. I think about it now and there was never ,in my mind, a defined plot. This it the summary of the book to me in a sentence. District 13 is lame, someone dies, district 13 is cruel, someone dies, district 13 is attacked, some people die, Peeta is saved and evil, a hospital of people die, Katniss cant do anything, people die, people die, people die, Katniss is weak, People die, Loved ones die, the war is over, people die, Katniss dies (not physically), Peeta saves her, gale was a waste, Peeta and Katniss, The end. My favorite part was the last page! I am disappointed because I expected so much more. And I think Katniss became a little of a BELLA! (concerning the boys) GAG ME! Oh well it is still my favorite series. Good job Collins I am ready for your next series!

  8. Late here, but I love this post! This is exactly how I felt.