Tuesday, August 31

Purge

For those of you anxiously awaiting the end of the Dani-reads-The Hunger Games-saga, I'm done.

Phew.

I'm ready to get back to real life.

I think taking longer than 24 hours to read Mockingjay will make you go crazy. I did it in in like 20 -- sandwiching eight or so hours of restless, Peeta-dream-filled sleep -- and three hours later my mind's still spinning and I'm hoping a stream-of-consiousness blog post will settle things down so I can get something done for the first time in several days.

So obviously this book is totally engrossing. Engrossing is an understatement..."consuming" might be better. I liked Catching Fire the best, except for how it ended leaving you dangling on a precipice waiting for the next installment. I'm just glad I read these when I did and not sooner. But back to Mockingjay...

**Alert: spoilers below**

First, what I loved. Mostly I loved Peeta (though not his name -- too close to pita bread). Not really like a character-crush, but like an aching for someone you care a lot about. At one point I felt like he was too good to be real, but I think his character gets rounded out enough to be painfully believable.

So I should be happy with the ending, right? At first I was. I almost cried. I was certainly relieved. Initially I was satisfied. Satisfied but depressed (like you said, Debra). But...

I needed more. More ending. I needed more...what did I need more of? I think I needed to see more of how Katniss changed, how she came around, how she recovered. Because two pages and a short epilogue weren't enough to counter the seemingly endless time(s) she spent in a drug- and/or grief-induced haze. And I wanted to see her final rebirth. There are so many times where she pulls through just to be crushed again, and each time we see her emerge stronger. But this time...she's down so long, longer than any of the other times, yet it takes just a few paragraphs to pull her out and suddenly we're supposed to see her living (mostly) happily ever after? The ending left me remembering her at her weakest, even though I was told she came through and learned to be happy again. I guess I wanted to see that.

Aside from that -- which I think is what's leaving me stomach-tied still (unless I'm catching a bug or something -- or wait, maybe I haven't eaten today?) -- I have a few other issues to process to try to purge it all from the forefront of my consciousness.

The last half of this series (half of Catching Fire and all of Mockingjay) is a rollercoaster. I started to feel manipulated. Like the plot twists begin to depart from plausibility and are there just to jerk your heartstrings in a new direction. [The torture/brainwash, for example. I almost couldn't take it. I thought, Seriously?] It's like a primetime drama-turned-soap opera (ER comes to mind), every episode has to be more intense, more incredible than the last. Just when you think things are on the up-and-up...crash. Again and again. Then all the battles and barely-introduced characters getting killed off and Katniss getting knocked out...it all started to blend together and I was tired of it, ready for the book to just end. Just tell me how it ends and let's get it over with. Yet I was anxious with the anticipation. It just felt drawn-out. It was...draining.

And yet some aspects felt almost too hasty...Coin's villainy, Prim's death, the Gale resolution, Peeta's recovery...

So I guess the bottom line is that I think...I think it was a great series. I still think a lot of it was contrived and sensational. But still, it engulfed me, and more importantly, really moved me. And I think that counts for quite a bit.

...

Wait.

It just hit me. The reason that the ending left me wanting more, plot manipulations aside. Katniss is impulsive, hot-headed, and even vindictive. But more than anything else, I think her biggest flaw is that she's selfish. She often fails to see the bigger picture or the view from someone else's perspective, and instead she sees only how things affect her. And we never really see her grow out of that. And that -- that maturity -- would be what makes her worthy of someone as good as Peeta. But do we see her grow in that way? I don't remember anything that would seem like we did.

What do you think?

6 comments:

Debra said...

I really agree with never getting to see her be selfless. Even whens she talks about the children, there doesn't seem to be that selfless quality about it, more Peeta is so amazing and HE wanted the children about it.
I never felt she completely rose from the last part, in the two pages the author gave it, you never were made to believe that they were whole happy people ever again. They always seemed almost mental hospital broken to me after that. I didn't expect them to never have any problems from their experiences but I wanted to feel that they were finally happy together.
I was actually quite depressed about Mockingjay. I was thrilled she ended up with Peeta and having children but like I said. They seemed so broken.

Angela said...

Okay. I think it was appropriate how Katniss was left portrayed. I think she's broken and will remain broken. Afterall, who could completely overcome what she went through? Her selfishness is part of what makes her her. I think it makes her human.
And Peeta. She might not deserve him, but without him she can't function. So maybe that makes her deserve him.
I can go on and explain my thoughts if you want to talk about it more. Because, of course, I would love to talk more about what you think. :)
Overall, I absolutely loved it.

Lindsey said...

I really wish there had been more resolution as well, I feel like after she shot Coin the author gave up a little, up until then there were pages and pages of detail of the events taking place, then after she was released she got a few sentences as to why she wasn't being executed. I wish haymitch would have filled her/us in on what went down with the trial and what happened. And I agree with you that there needed to be more about her and her changes, for all we went through in reading about the war we got shortchanged in the aftermath...

Jerelyn Dunaway said...

I completely agree. Overall, I felt let down, but satisfied with the ending.I wish it hadn't ended so hastily. I could have endured another 100+ pages for better development/resolution of Coin's villainy, Prim's death, the Gale resolution, Peeta's recovery... I also would have liked to see more growth/maturity from Katniss. I would have liked to see her overcome and heal, while still remembering.

Overall I think Katniss is an interesting heroin. She was kind of thrown into this role, without necessarily having earned it. Although seeing all of her dimensions makes her more likable. She is after all a teenager and I think deep down I was hoping for a more adult resolution.

Ashley Clark said...

finished it last night. UGH- i agree. It seems like she took so much time leading up to the ending.. and then it was over in 5 pages. I had to re read to figure out what happened to Prim. It was all so fast. Also... I didn't feel like Gale was resolved at all- yes she was mad about the bomb.. but like he just moved and it was over? no conversation? ugh. Also... Peeta is awesome. Peeta Peeta.

I feel like i'm missing a whole 1/4 of a book.

Nicky and Patrick said...

Agreed! I am so glad that overall you liked it. It seems like everyone I talk to, doesn't like it that much. I enjoyed it but agree with what you said. Hope everything is going well for you and your family. I think that your amazon experience is amazing too!