There was a large gap between me reading Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Which I blame on no stores ever having a paperback version of the latter! Seriously, it took forever to find. But here I am, just having finished the third installment of The Hunger Games. Very enjoyable series I gotta say. And damn! It can be brutal at times. For a YA novel there was a lot of terrible shit happening from start to finish. But isn’t that a staple of oppressive governments? So I have to give it kudos in that regards. Also, the love story really punched me in my gut. Just because how much bullshit there was in it. I hate that! Bullshit when you just want somebody to love. I’m gonna go over all of this in depth, while attempting to spoil the least I possibly can. But there will be [SPOILER ALERT]. So yeah, read it first if you don’t wanna get spoiled. You can do that in a few days.
So it’s all out war when you first start. The rebels vs the Capitol aka the state. It’s pretty much a revolution. I dig it. In a way, it’s relatable. I mean, the obvious comparison to make is to the Roman Empire. The Gladiatorial Games, right? But, that empire just crashed and burned and then the Dark Ages happened. In this world, there’s a revolution that can potentially prevent any kind of Dark Ages. So that’s a nice contrast—hope and justice prevailing in the end. Albeit a bloody and morally ambiguous type of hope and justice. But when things are that dire, do you really see yourself living up to your ideal of morality? If someone you loved is killed before your eyes, could you resist going after revenge? As much as I believe that revenge is beneath me, I can’t say I could. Anyway, I won’t spoil who dies, but a lot of the characters you’ll get to know and like are gonna get the chopping block.
So (like in the other books) the love that triangle going on this book really fucking annoyed me. If you’ve read the books from the start, you’ll know that it’s obvious Katniss and Peeta should end up together. That sounds like me being a Peetniss fanboy, but you can obviously tell if you read it. Then, in this book, things get muddled up. You start to think maybe it’s Gale that’ll end up with Katniss. And why? Because the Capitol twisted Peeta’s brain. Tortured him and used mind altering drugs and techniques to make him think Katniss was his enemy. He ends up attacking Katniss when he and her reunite.
Before they saved Peeta from the Capitol, she was so worried about him. It was the thing that agonized her the most. So to relieve her of this, they gathered up some folks to go on a crazy mission to save Peeta. They do this, and when they return and realize that Peeta is screwed up in the head, all of a sudden she gives up on him. She thinks there’s no saving him. That really bothered me. I have to admit, I’m not the biggest Katniss fan. Peeta, Beetee, and Finnick are the faves.
Maybe if they didn’t know the reason he was acting the way he was, I’d understand her hopelessness. But they knew exactly what was wrong, and like they always say, if there’s a will there’s a way. They end up going on a mission to kill Snow together (actually, she kinda creates that mission to get revenge and the rebel president sends Peeta as a “surprise”), and although he made a lot of strides to improve his state of mind, she never seemed to have too much hesitation when it come to killing him if he proved a risk. He ends up resisting the mind tricks really well, with only one breach where he attacked someone else. Only once though. That was expected, they flooded his mind with false memories and a misguided yet overpowering urge to kill the girl he loved. Later in the novel, as Katniss went to bite her sleeve where a powerful poison was located in order to kill herself, he throws his body in-between, preventing her from doing so. He pushed against his urge to see her dead to save her. That’s devotion. So yeah, the two end up together, have kids, blahdeblahdeblah happily ever after (well, besides all the death, torture and destruction).
The whole love story in Mockingjay annoyed me quite a bit. Because I relate to it. The way Peeta constantly changed in behavior because of unknown factors. Feeling like you screwed up, and that you deserve an arrow through your chest because of it. Hoping for another chance to prove who you really are. And yet, it’s all I really ever wanted, the love Katniss and Peeta achieve. They went through so much bullshit, especially Peeta, but in the end they had each other. I’ve gone through quite a bunch of bullshit too. The only thing is though, I’m not sure I’ll get to the other side. Maybe this kind of love isn’t meant for me. It tears me apart inside. But as of this moment, I still have faith in it. Dammit The Hunger Games, why you have to go and make me feel all these emotions?
Yeah, this ended up being mostly about the love story. Woops, sorry ’bout that. Really thought, all in all it’s a great end to the series. Could have been longer, but if it meant stretching out that annoying love story, no thanks. I give it my mark of recommendation.