Before our reivew for Mockingjay, we must announce the winner to Beautiful Darkness ARC contest!
The winner iiiiiiiissssssssssss…
Lauren! (twitter name: mylaurel) Congrats! I hope you like it! Please contact us with your info so we can send you your fabulous prize!
And now Christine, Kate and I bring you our review of Mockingjay.
Caitlin: So my midnight release was superfun! I won a book and they dropped silver parachutes with goodies on us. OH! And we got to decorate cupcakes!
Kate: Shut up! There weren’t any midnight releases here. I had to buy the eBook to fulfill my need for immediate gratification. Though I almost wish I’d waited and savored it more.
Caitlin: Are we holding back? Or are we letting lose with the spoilers?
Christine: Is there a way to talk about the book without revealing any spoilers? I don’t think it’s possible. Maybe we should try to avoid them here and then let them lose in the comments section.
Kate: We have to spoil it. Because everything about this book is a spoiler. We can just break our usual posting scheme and go with a convenient cut and a HERE THERE BE SPOILERS warning.
Caitlin: Now that we’ve got that out of the way….PRIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Christine: *depressed sigh* Prim. Undoubtedly the biggest blow to readers since this all started because Katniss sacrificed herself to save Prim from the Games. Then Suzanne kills her!
Kate: That’s exactly what I said! It made everything seem futile, everything Katniss had been through. But in the end, the more I think about it, the more powerful it is. Because it was all bigger than Katniss in the end.
Caitlin: Okay, lets talk about something other than the deaths, otherwise we could be here all night. Er…..ah…..what did you think of….something.
Kate: Can we please talk about Peeta? Pleeeeeeeease?
Caitlin: Fine. I feel I look bad no matter what I say here. But, please, go on.
Kate: Peeta was such a surprise this book. I loved him so much in both Hunger Games and Catching Fire. But he took this giant leap forward in Mockingjay. He was strong and determined and lovable even in his bitterness and even with his warped mind. And he grew so much as a character.
Christine: I completely agree. It was saddening to see him during the Capitol “press conferences,” especially once it was clear he was being tortured. Even worse right after he was brought to District 13, but the person he became from all of it was someone he needed to become. He couldn’t be the optimistic boy anymore. He had to become a man. I loved him for it.
Kate: He broke my heart. The things he did for Katniss in the other books paled in comparison to this. I can’t imagine that kind of strength. Sometimes I think he’s the strongest character in the books and also the most vulnerable because of how much he loves her. Much like Katniss. Does that make sense? I don’t know.
Caitlin: I was the only one of us that was on Gale’s side in the whole love triangle thing. Collins made it clear early on that it just wasn’t going to happen. And I must say, my biggest problem with Peeta previously was that he didn’t have much growth, but as you say, he had a lot of it in this book. And when we finally got to the end, I didn’t care which boy she chose. It was such a non-issue. And I liked the reason she ultimately gave for not picking Gale.
Kate: God, I cared. I didn’t like Gale much in this book, because in my mind I associated him with District 13. I think Peeta had a lot of growth in the other books, but we didn’t see it because he hid so much from Katniss. And I liked the ending she gave Gale. He wouldn’t have been happy hidden away in District 12 and he was doing important stuff, which is when Gale is happiest.
Caitlin: Yes, I agree. And whether it was Gale or Peeta, I was just glad we got a conclusive ending. I was very afraid that it was going to be “the war ended, Katniss lived, but she didn’t know what to do with herself.” Which is pretty much how Collins’ Underland Chronicles end and Mockingjay had a lot of similarities to that series.
Kate: The way the war ended…it was amazing. I can’t even express how amazing it was. When Katniss fired that arrow and I knew where it was going…so intense.
Christine: I didn’t think she’d go through with it. I knew Katniss hated Snow, but he was already dying, and I kept having the thought in the back of my mind, what’s to stop Coin from being the next Snow? I’m glad Suzanne had Katniss do what she did. I don’t know if I could’ve tolerated the books after everyone expended all this effort to overthrow Snow, just to have Coin step in his place.
Caitlin: I knew Coin would die. She is basically a carbon copy of a character in the Underland Chronicles. Still though, when Katniss walked out with that bow, I was chanting to myself, “Shoot Coin, shoot Coin, shoot Coin.” Because if she didn’t shoot Coin I would have to hate her forever for voting yes in continuing the Hunger Games.
Christine: But it was just the one last Game. Right?
Caitlin: Do you really think it would have stopped at one last Game?
Christine: Hmm. Probably not. I can’t believe Katniss voted the way she did, after what she went through. But then, maybe she voted the way she did because of what she went through.
Kate: I thought she voted the way she did because she knew she was going to kill Coin? She was doing it knowing that she could cast her vote for Prim and against the capitol and then go out and make sure the game never happened.
Caitlin: Yes. That is what I meant. That is why she had to kill Coin.
Christine: Okay, I can see that. …Can we talk about Finnick now and how utterly depressed I’ve been all day because he DIED??
Caitlin: I almost threw my book at the wall. When Katniss looked down that ladder, I don’t know, I guess I just wasn’t thinking about it because right then was the first time I thought Finnick could die. All I could think after was, “What about Annie? What is she going to do now?”
Kate: But Finnick lives on, in a way. I thought Finnick was going to die. I thought it was going to be Finnick and Prim and Haymitch. But Finnick was so strong and full of hope in this book that it was still heartbreaking.
Christine: It was very heartbreaking. I sobbed. I couldn’t even begin to consider that Finnick might die, especially since things were actually working out for him after being Snow’s puppet for so long. IT WASN’T FAIR! It’s the one thing that makes me want to repeatedly hit a wall.
Caitlin: Yes. Exactly. And after learning his backstory. His life was so tragic. And he was finally happy. Now I’m sad again and I’m in public so let’s not make me cry.
Kate: I was trying to think of something that would make you not cry, and the only thing that came to my mind was Haymitch. His reunion scene with Katniss was perfect. I loved Haymitch in this book. He really was a good mentor for Katniss, whether she’s all that capable of taking direction or not.
Caitlin: Yes, this was really Haymitch’s book. We got to see the real Haymitch for the first time and have him and Katniss interact as equals. I can’t even put my finger on it, but I just loved Haymitch in this book, and learning more about him made me love him even more in the other two books. Since all my favourite characters died or became unrecognizable, Haymitch and Buttercup are now my favourite. Hrm.
Kate: Katniss wasn’t unrecognizable.
Caitlin: I was referring to Gale.
Christine: I’ll begrudingly give Haymitch respect, but that doesn’t mean I like the man. He left Peeta behind. He’ll forever be one of the bad guys, in my eyes. Although he did come through at the end.
Caitlin: He apologised for that!!!!!!!!!!
Christine: Apologies are only words, it doesn’t change what happened.
Kate: Haymitch didn’t mean to leave him behind! He meant for Katniss to bring him along!! He was even all put out with her over it.
Caitlin: Well, all in all, did you like the book?
Kate: I loved the book. I thought it was a perfect end to the series, and I can’t imagine what I would have changed. The Hunger Games Trilogy are (aside from Harry Potter, which shouldn’t even count because no one can compete with those books, it’s the law) the best YA books out there, hands down.
Christine: I have to agree. I’ve been telling everyone I know about these books, especially since I’ve had to explain why I’m so exhausted today. I would have changed Finnick dying, but (unfortunately) I didn’t write them. I liked what Suzanne did with the ending. It was fitting, in a way. I’m satisfied with how everything turned out, too. (Team Peeta FTW!)
Caitlin: I think I liked it. Now that I’ve had all day to mull it over I can almost say for sure that I did. It just left me sad and upset all day so I have issues separating those feelings from the book. But, I do think the ending was perfect.
Kate: So we highly recommend Mockingjay, then. Woot for unanimity. But, of course, if you disagree and, as I said in my reaction post yesterday, had a Hulksmash moment, tell us. Or tell us how right we are.