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12 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Mockingjay... · 0 replies · +3 points

Reading it a slower pace greatly improved my enjoyment of Mockingjay, but, even before this reread, I came to this conclusion: I liked what it said, not what it was.

I've been trying to figure out how to express how I feel about this book for about a month now, and you just said it perfectly. After having some time and rereading it here, the book grew on me a lot, but I know exactly what you mean. A book that could leave me feeling absolutely devastated must be doing something right, and I felt that reading it was a meaningful experience that left a lasting impression, so I can't say that it wasn't a good book or that I disliked it. But as much as I really don't want to be one of those people who demands that everything be entertaining and enjoyable, I'm sorry to say I don't think I can get 100% behind something that ended up hurting as much as this did. I still have mixed feelings about it.

12 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Mockingjay... · 0 replies · +17 points

I love the line about Peeta telling her they can make the children understand in a way that makes them braver. Just that one line was enough to give the feeling that he’s coping in his own way. And if anyone could manage that, it would be Peeta. I want to hear exactly how he pulled it off though, explaining their personal involvement in a way that wasn’t terrifying. You know, I’m sure there would be plenty of books written and documentaries made about the Hunger Games and the revolution by now, and when they’re older it might not even be that hard for them to find the original footage. If your parents were in the Hunger Games, how much would you want to know? I would imagine that most children wouldn’t want to see their parents that way, or they might feel like it was an invasion of their privacy. But I think the curiosity would win out at some point, especially if they’re struggling to understand why their parents are the way they are, or if they never even got a chance to know their father like poor Finnick Jr.

I loved the way the epilogue managed to be somewhat hopeful without breaking from the tone of the rest of the book. That’s hard to do, showing that people can carry on after something so traumatic, that they can have meaningful relationships and lives worth living, without making it look easy and ignoring the lasting impact it would still have. Maybe a very brief epilogue many years in the future is the best way to do that; it lets the readers fill in the details of how much Katniss and Peeta are still suffering, how they’ve learned to cope, and how well they’re able to function now in a way that feels realistic to them.

I can understand why some people might not like the epilogue because “and she lived happily ever after even though she never had any babies” really is frustratingly rare. But I think she’s been setting up for this since the beginning of the first book. Every time Katniss mentioned that she didn’t want children, I got the impression that it was because she didn’t want to bring them into that world, not just because of the Games, but because of all the oppression and poverty, because people couldn’t even speak freely and children dying of starvation wasn’t even unusual there. In Catching Fire, it felt to me like she saw it as an opportunity the Capitol had taken from her, that she had a real sense of loss and anger when Peeta announced their fake pregnancy. I think her having children was a quick and effective way to signal that the world had changed enough for her to even consider it an option.

12 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Mockingjay... · 0 replies · +6 points

Wow, I totally missed that, thanks! I guess I was just so used to Katniss being unconscious and waking up somewhere else by now. Or I was too busy SOBBING FOREVER. That's a nice thought though. Oh Peeta.

12 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Mockingjay... · 0 replies · +5 points

I hadn't thought about it in quite that way before, but I really like your analysis of Katniss and her relationships.

That was exactly how I felt after I finished the book, just a wrecked shell of a person, and it was what led me to accept Prim's death as necessary. I think if she hadn't died, I would have said "well that was a sad book" and I would have moved on. Prim being killed and what it did to Katniss was what left me devastated, which is probably how a book about a war should make you feel, really.

12 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Mockingjay... · 1 reply · +12 points

I love the whole thing, but #8 still cracks me up. I can't read the scene again without thinking of it. You know, I don't blame any author for not wanting to write a sex scene, but just how vague Collins manages to be here is truly impressive. "I know this would have happened after..." is hard to top.

I'm choosing to believe in the magic island party.

13 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Mockingjay... · 0 replies · +4 points

Couldn't agree more. It made me so happy that Collins let her be strong, especially after a book and a half of her being the "poor mad girl." It's easy to underestimate someone who has that kind of illness (really, it's incredible how patronizing people can be) and I was pretty impressed that Collins turned it around and made her someone you could respect.

13 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Mockingjay... · 0 replies · +12 points

I read this on the computer, and this was my exact reaction when I realized Prim was really dead (why yes, of course I look like Sofia Vergara).


This was the point where I wanted to give up on the book and somehow unread what I had read. Oh Collins, WHY WHY WHY?!



If there was one person I’d have guessed was safe, it would have been Prim. That she was so underdeveloped as a character in the first two books was actually a big part of why this was so awful for me. She was more a symbol than anything. She was everything that was innocent and good and worth fighting for. Even in Mockingjay after she became more of a person, she was still the best reminder of why it might actually all be worth it, how she would have opportunities now that she never would have gotten in District 12. I had no idea how much Prim surviving mattered to me until she died, and then I remember thinking that there was no way this book could end with anything other than pure tragedy. Felt like a stupid thing to think, like I don’t know what I was expecting, a happy ending? But still. After all the shipping and jumping on any small sign that Peeta was getting better, at that point I just didn’t even care anymore.

Also, what Collins does to your expectations:


13 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Mockingjay... · 2 replies · +8 points

Late response to your excellent post, but I was wondering what your thoughts are on whether most of Finnick’s buyers knew he was being forced into prostitution. Some of them must have known and some of them probably got off on it, but I got the impression that most of his buyers were typical rich Capitol citizens, and I figured they just assumed he was doing this voluntarily and didn’t give it too much thought or ask too many questions. I can definitely imagine how even someone who knew Finnick was doing this against his will could find a way to justify it with the kind of reasoning you described, but I think they could also convince themselves that the money and perks would be enough to lead someone from the districts to actually agree to it, and of course the victors would have to do whatever they could to support that belief because that’s Snow’s thing. Either way I'm impressed with Collins for not making them mustache-twirling villains, but I give people a lot of credit when they manage to show that things as mundane as willful ignorance are enough to make average people complicit in terrible acts.

It occurred to me that most of this seems to happen during the one time of year that victors can least afford to alienate the richest people in the Capitol, and I wonder now if that’s why it’s only the mentors who can get sponsors. I remember thinking in the first book that it was odd Effie couldn’t, but that would be a pretty clever way to force the victors to keep sucking up to these people for the rest of their lives if they want their tributes to have a shot at surviving.

13 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Mockingjay... · 1 reply · +3 points

Thank you! That happens to me all the time when people use gifs and it's sweet that you would think to say something. I almost used "sweetheart" but Haymitch has ruined that word!

13 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Mockingjay... · 0 replies · +2 points

:D I think I've adored Troy ever since he said that there was an episode of happy days where a guy literally jumped over a shark and it was the best one! I THOUGHT SO TOO TROY. It's such a mystery to me why more people don't watch these shows.