Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
And here we are, not even a week later, at the end of our Hunger Games journey. What is there to even say aboutMockingjay? Half the people I know loved it and half hated it, everyone cried at one particular death at the end, and everyone was outraged by the told-not-shown trial of Katniss. I noticed a lot of things about this book that I didn’t when I was rushing through it the first time around. I noticed how often people wondered if the odds were in someone’s favor. I noticed how often Katniss compared Plutarch’s machinations in the rebellion to his schemes as a Gamemaker. I noticed that, no matter how much the fandom made of him, we never really got to know Finnick. And finally, I noticed how much this book is about Peeta. Sure, Katniss is the narrator and she remains the same brave, oblivious, lovable moron she has always been, but this book is about rescuing Peeta and his recovery. The infiltration of the Capitol goes on for like thirty pages. That’s nothing. This book is almost 400 pages long, and the majority of it is spent with Katniss suffering from PTSD and wondering how to get Peeta back from Snow.
Peeta has long been my favorite character of the series, so reading about his torture and the propos aired by the Capitol was really painful the second time around. I mean, I knew what was coming, but that almost makes it worse. I am willingly going back to read about the torture and brainwashing of my favorite character, you know? But it was worth it, because it made me see the journey that Katniss and Peeta took a little more clearly. And this reread made me like Gale a whole lot more than I did before. I just told Lauren the other day that I disliked Gale to the point of never being able to reconcile his good with his bad, but… I don’t hate Gale anymore. I like how self-aware Gale is, I like how he understood Katniss better than she did during his late-night conversation with Peeta, I like that Gale can put aside his feelings and work for the cause, and I like how he knew that Katniss would never be able to forgive him for Prim’s death. He didn’t cry or beg or insult her, he just knew and he accepted it with more grace than Jacob “Nice Guy” Black ever did. So I respect Gale and, in another universe, under different circumstances, I would be okay if he and Katniss were together.
This book is also real, which follows considering the first two were so realistic as well. When they’re in the Capitol and some rebels kill that little girl’s mother and then the little girl, I had to put the book down. I forgot about that part, the rule that says there will be casualties of the greater cause. Some will die to save many, and some that die will be young. Is there any way to prevent that? Is there really such a thing as a Glorious Revolution when the Capitol has been reaping and killing children for seventy-five years? While I don’t agree with Coin’s (or Katniss’) judgment that Snow’s granddaughter should be a tribute, sometimes there’s just nothing that can be done. All is fair in war, even if we can’t stand it, even if it offends us, or breaks down our morals. What this book teaches us is that if we win, and we did in this novel, then we have to rise above. What’s the point of wresting power from Snow if he’s just going to be replaced with a female version of himself? Can we really abolish the Hunger Games, except for just one more, using children who were unfortunate enough to be born to the wrong people? Sound familiar? It’s outrageous.
So I know that for some people this book was a huge disappointment because of the ship and the epilogue, but I got so much more out of it than just ship fulfillment. This book is about war, plain and simple, and Collins does such a good job of getting that across, and making us see things in a critical way through Katniss’ eyes. The only reason I dropped a star is because of the missing trial. I wanted to see that trial, and it would have been awesome, I’m sure. So that’s that, my very own Hunger Games reread. I’m so psyched for the movie now that I can hardly contain myself!