Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins: Reactions

‘My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.’

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Though she’s long been a part of the revolution, Katniss hasn’t known it. Now it seems that everyone has had a hand in the carefully laid plans but her.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay – no matter what the cost.

Goodreads

Like The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I’m not sure what I can say about this book that hasn’t already been said, so I’m going to provide my reactions, as they happened. I’m reading the series with a crew who has already read the original series and we’re discussing the books on Discord. Here were my reactions as I read Mockingjay:

(I took far fewer notes for this one…was getting tired of stopping every few minutes to type out my thoughts.)

I knew it! I knew District 13 was still going. And I knew they were using old footage in all of their stupid propaganda.

And it seems kind of…shitty. Not much better than the Capitol, rules/government-wise.

Katniss is written too…contradictorily. She’s fucking clueless until all of a sudden, she’s not. (I already mentioned this in my reactions to Catching Fire, but apparently it really bothered me in this one, too. Heh.) In Mockingjay, I was quite annoyed with Katniss not knowing that she could make demands if they wanted her to be their Mockingjay so badly. DUH. Her younger sister had to tell her it was possible. Sigh.

And then clueless Katniss says her prep team “isn’t smart” (“clueless”!) and compares them to children. Hahaha! Ugh.

Relevant:

“Frankly, our ancestors don’t seem much to brag about. I mean, look at the state they left us in, with the wars and the broken planet. Clearly, they didn’t care about what would happen to the people who came after them.”

President Snow’s blood-breath is from mouth sores…due to taking the same poison he used to kill someone else. Gross. At least my question about this from Catching Fire was answered.

Of course Peeta’s brain was being hijacked. Why did no one else see it? I know I’m on the outside looking in, but this seemed so obvious during the broadcast in which he warned District 13 about the impending attack. He was quite obviously struggling to say things they didn’t want him to say. Before it even became apparent, I assumed they’d be brainwashing him or something.

PEETA CALLING OUT KATNISS ABOUT HER SELFISHNESS. Now that Peeta has been hijacked, he can’t coddle Katniss anymore. Heh.

NOT FINNICK. FUUUUUUCK. Poor Annie. Dammit. Finnick was one of my favorite characters of the whole series.

I know I wouldn’t be thinking straight if I just saw someone I loved killed by a bomb, but how does Katniss not see that it was District 13 who bombed those children? Again, I get it–how do you think straight and how do you come to terms with the fact that the very people who are overthrowing the Capitol are the same people who would bomb a group of innocent children, but come on. She saw Gale working on that bomb with Beetee. Wake up, Katniss.

I was more upset by some deaths than others. I wasn’t as upset about Prim as I probably should have been, but I think that’s because her character was more of a plot device than a fully thought-out character (which is unfortunate). I was more worried about Buttercup, to be honest.

Having Hunger Games for Capitol children is just as disgusting as having them for District children, and of course Katniss voted yes. Of course she did.

Overall, I really enjoyed the original trilogy and I’m glad I finally read it.

(As of this post, I have finished the newest book in the series and a joint review of that will be coming soon.)

6 thoughts on “Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins: Reactions

  1. I can’t wait to see what you think of the new book in the series; I haven’t decided if I want to read it or not. Your thoughts are spot on though I felt sad about Prim’s death.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had the same initial reaction you did about Katniss voting yes. But someone suggested to me that she wasn’t voting honestly or freely; she said “yes” because she was already planning to kill Coin and needed to appear as unsuspicious as possible. Katniss wanted Coin to think she was blinded by grief so Coin would stop paying attention to her. If she’d said “No,” she’d have no chance to actually stop the Symbolic Games.

    I do agree Prim was more of a plot device than a full character; her death is the ultimate irony. Katniss got into the Games to save Prim, and the rebels are the ones to kill her in the end.

    Here are my thoughts on Katniss/Peeta: I thought it made sense, at least more than Katniss/Gale, because Katniss was always more passionate about Peeta. Half of Book 3 was Katniss freaking out over getting Peeta out of the Capitol, and in terms of long-term healing, he really was a better complement to Katniss than Gale — Peeta was a calming influence, while Gale would’ve kept Katniss perpetually “on fire.”

    I do think it was shitty of Peeta to push her into having kids when she really didn’t want to. In the end, she couldn’t even think of them as individuals with names. They were just “the boy” and “the girl.” That’s freaking depressing.

    I’d be interested in reading your thoughts about the tone of the movie epilogue vs. the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To the first paragraph…maybe? But it also fits with her character, so…

      I don’t really think Katniss was “passionate” about Peeta, though. Sure, she liked him, but not enough to be passionate about him. And I personally think that while, yeah, she didn’t want him getting tortured by the Capitol because they were friends, some of that was also guilt. That’s how I see it, at least.

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      1. Hmm… I could see Collins making a point about how the war corrupted even Katniss. That losing Prim (i.e. her only reason for resisting the Games in the first place) was the thing that could break even Katniss’ morals and make her instrumental in perpetuating the dystopia. If Prim wasn’t chosen in Book 1, Katniss would’ve just gone on keeping her head down and resenting the status quo without actually fighting it.

        Then again, at that point, Katniss knew Coin was the one responsible for the bombs, so she wouldn’t have had any reason to want to punish the Capitol children — especially since bombing them was what got Prim killed in the first place. And judging from the narrative/thematic convenience of Katniss’ lucid vs. clueless moments, I feel like this was meant to be one of the savvy moments. Plus, why kill Coin if Katniss truly agreed with the Symbolic Games?

        Overall, it’s a funny thing about teen heroes in modern literature…there’s this struggle between writing a badass action hero while also being realistic about how much a teenager can/should handle. Those moments when Katniss seems clueless or selfish may make more sense considering she’s a seventeen-year-old who’s being forced to act like an adult war hero who’s never given time to admit she has PTSD until she’s totally broken…can we really blame her for not being a fully likable character?

        As for her feelings about Peeta, maybe I’m thinking about movie Katniss — they make her seem more obsessed with protecting him out of love rather than just guilt. Now that I think of it, in the book, it may have been more that she couldn’t stand to be alone, and Peeta was the most viable choice. He could keep her from getting lost in her nightmares and panic attacks, since he went through the same things. I think she did love him in some way, and it was enough to keep her going.

        Liked by 1 person

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