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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mockingjay

I can't believe it. I can't believe that it has come to an end! A little while ago I put my film comparison of Catching Fire online. It took me one more book before I was allowed to finish this fantastic series. You know what else I can't believe? That I waited this long with going into this series! Which means a thank you is in order. Fien, thank you! Without you, I probably would never have come around to read this series, and it would be a shame! I gladly present you my feelings towards the book: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My feelings on this book are still very raw and when I just closed the book I was shocked, confused but so happy. This end was really worth my time! I do warn that there might be spoilers in this, I'll talk about developments that have happened in this book and also tell how I felt with this series. If you haven't read Mockingjay, I strongly recommend not to read on and to go read my reviews on the previous books: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire


Katniss Everdeen closed Catching Fire with blowing up the arena and being saved my her mentor and the Head Gamemaker. Facing hard times with the Capitol, it's decided that Katniss will have to become the symbol of the rebellion: The Mockingjay. All that while there's no sign of Peeta and other tributes that weren't saved from the arena, Katniss is facing the problems and nightmares all by herself. It's not until there's an unexpected turn that Katniss realizes who the real enemy is...


First of all I'd like to tell that this book really showed me the most emotional side of Katniss. She's facing the capitol without Peeta which also means there's nobody to comfort her when the nightmares come. I really think this was a great asset to the book, over the three book we saw Katniss develop from a young volunteer to a strong woman that carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. And that not only as a tribute but also as a symbol: the Mockingjay. She never asked to become this symbol but she became it and that all because of the little things she did that were against the capitol. 

What I find most interesting is that most of the time Katniss didn't understand what she was doing or that she was provoking the Capital. Some may say it made her look foolish or naive but if all, I think it made her look innocent and this projects all the lives that have entered the Hunger Games. Each person was an innocent person. An innocent child who didn't know what would happen and didn't know how to provoke the Capital. And that innocence grew out to be a strong woman that has faced a million things.

I can't say that I always related easily to her since she's in a war and I'm obviously not, but I did find myself in her feelings at times. When she volunteered, I understood why, I could relate. There are definitely moments you can relate with her but there were also moments you can't understand her logic because it went against your own. That was something that I really liked because it gave you such a different angle on what she was thinking. She worked on her impulses and instincts and that made it all the more dangerous but also more thrilling while reading. 

Of all movies I was also the biggest fan of Mockingjay part I (I haven't seen part two, I had promised myself not to watch it until I read the book). And therefore it was also really amazing to read how it all looked and to see the differences. What a book has more in comparison are the thoughts of the character. It's the thing I missed in the movies but were, of course, strongly present in the book. I really enjoyed to read into the thoughts of Katniss while she observed District 13. How she saw it and how she felt in it. 

The first part really kept my attention because of District 13, because of the new things Beetee and Gale invented and because Katniss could relate a lot with Finnick. The emotional state they were in while Annie and Peeta were captured really pulled at me. Yet there was one thing I did miss and that was Effie. I know the movie mentions her but now there was no word of Effie. The uncertainty of knowing where she was and whether or not she was alive was really eating at me. In each previous review I told you I was a great fan of Effie and each time I said I wished we would see a little more of her but this time she was gone. We didn't know where she was or if she was alright. 

And yes, I'm going to say it again: I wish I saw more of Effie because she's always been so eccentric which I loved about her. She was always optimistic even though she felt the effects of the Capitol. And sure, you can say that she was as much as a puppet of the Capitol as the prep team but for me it felt differently. Above that it made me feel how Katniss must have felt while Peeta was gone: uncertain and incomplete. 

Speaking of the prep team, the moment they were found in the cells because they stole bread I knew there was something more dark to District 13. Something I hadn't seen coming while I read the previous books but in that instant I was completely sure that something wasn't right. Was it only the fact that the prep team was harmed? No, it was also Coin. Somehow I didn't feel like trusting her. She didn't say a lot, she didn't come around a lot and most of all she wasn't that open towards others. 

Many characters gave me the impression that I understood them, their way of thinking. I could see through them, but Coin... She was just different in a way I couldn't put my finger on it. Yet ever since that one moment, I knew she wasn't as innocent as I expected her to be. And after everything it became more and more clear she had her own hidden agenda. Now I wonder, if it's a shout out to our real world? Some of the previous leaders had their own hidden agenda's. It's just a thought that came in my mind while I read the book...

Meanwhile I really started feeling it for Haymitch. The moment he goes to Katniss in the hospital and tells her he'll glue the earpiece to her head or find a different way, it becomes more and more clear he really cares about Katniss in a way I wasn't prepared for. Also, we finally find out what happened to him, what the capitol did to his family and loved ones. It might sound weird but it felt like bonding with him. And if I can be honest... I secretly hoped he would get together with Effie... Whoops! 

Another character that really grew onto me was Finnick. Somehow between Catching Fire and him losing Annie, I really lived up to his character. The moment he dies, I didn't believe it. I couldn't believe it! I reread the page two times because I thought I misinterpret the passage but no. Finnick died just when I was so fond of him. I keep wondering why now, he was just married with Annie, he had just gotten her back and now she loses him. Above that the book never really gave me a satisfying answer on what Annie did and how she reacted. I wish I knew how she reacted. One time we see her again and she reacts so calm, all the while I remember her being confused very easily and a little crazy. I wonder if she went more crazy after she realized she lost him or if because of his death, she ever felt the need to kill President Snow herself. It might just be me thinking it and asking myself, this book is just this fantastic that it made me overthink a lot of the passages and then I form these sort of questions!

Of course there are also characters that bitterly disappointing me! Which, I'm sorry to say, was Gale. In the beginning of the book, he was my hero. I was still in the middle of choosing Peeta or Gale, but Gale started to irritate me more and more when I read on in the book. I didn't know if it was because he was always so negative towards Peeta or if it was because of his jealousy, I just didn't like it. Then we enter part two and he stuck with Katniss until the end, kept moving and kept helping. I felt good about him again, but already made my mind up to who I wanted with Katniss. 

But he was also the one who wanted to murder so many people in District 2. I partly got why he wanted it, they are close with the capitol and somewhat their puppets but I never saw Gale as someone who'd play as dirty as the capitol. The end of the book then tells me that Gale is in district 2, working there and he didn't return for Katniss. This stung a little. Gale was such a good friend to her, and he started irritating me but I thought their bond would be stronger. He's having such a good position now, which made me feel like he was now a puppet in the world after President Snow. So his character disappointed me during the last book, I just wish he stayed good friends with Katniss!

The good thing about is it that Gale was out of the way and Peeta could be all over Katniss but things didn't seem to go as fluent as we thought now, did it? Peeta has been tortured by the Capitol, as well as in the movie as the book I was really moved about it and very curious to if we'd ever get him back and in what state he'd be. The rescue mission comes along and I was so happy that Katniss and Peeta would be reunited but I guess it's safe to say Peeta was just not up for it. 

In that moment I really lived up to Katniss and her emotional state. She turned away from him because he wasn't himself anymore. I got that a lot, Peeta said things that really hurt to hear out of his mouth. Therefore the moment she decides she wouldn't go through with it and leave him alone because all he does is say hateful things, I wasn't really glad. I saw my ship shatter with each word Peeta said! The team then tries to get his memories back to the reality of it, this was something I was keen on but wished to see some more of. 


Speaking of helping him out with if his memories are real or not real, we're already in the Capitol by then and it's right at that moment the thrill comes alive even more. Johanna hasn't been able to come which is a sad thing because for some reason also Johanna began to grow on me. She's all alone but still very strong, in the beginning I thought she was stupid and harsh but eventually she's not the girl you see her for. Johanna has a thick skin but there's a big heart beating underneath it. 

It's only in part two that I realize that the end is really nearing. It's also in part two that I realize how big the damage will be after the war. The Capitol has prepared herself for attacks and has such a fine technique of harmful aspects that I was really surprised. I even got scared a little when the mutts came around, calling her name. That was terrifying but it's also where we lost most of the people I wanted to have around after the war. 

Which eventually brings me to the fact that Prim... also isn't around anymore. That was a big shock though I knew that it wasn't the Capitol that threw things out of the air. Somehow my gut told me that there was more to that than Katniss knew at the time. All of this eventually was confirmed by the one and only President Snow. More about him in a few, I just want to talk a bit more about the post-war time where Katniss was so in shock that she didn't talk and eventually met Snow. The time she didn't speak, I at least had wanted a little more empathy with Katniss but a lot of the characters, hello Gale, just weren't around that much or not at all. She's been the Mockingjay but nobody turns around for her? Luckily, there was Haymitch who eventually realized this wasn't anything to laugh about anymore. 

But it was also a time to find out that Effie was still alive, yet damaged. I can't tell you how happy I was that she was at least still alive! Just captured but also hurt by the Capitol. With Effie came also the biggest plot twist of the post-war part because Katniss does it again, she turns again towards the Capitol...

President Snow, captured in his rose garden which felt a little easy for him but as long as he died in the end I was happy, told her it wasn't him that killed Prim. He gave so many aspects that confirmed what my gut was telling me all the time: Coin is a threat. But Coin saw Katniss as a threat, my mind hasn't made up if she was all bad or if it was just because she didn't like Katniss. Then came the vote for a next Hunger Games which was so unexpected, especially because they fought for a country without them! Followed by Katniss turning towards the Capitol, towards the new power. I was glad, I was relieved and I was a little excited because after all, Coin wasn't my favorite and now she's dead.

The story doesn't end there of course, people think Katniss is just crazy and they lock her up which showed us readers how weak she was feeling and how much she was grieving. She wanted to escape and die, rather than live and have a trial. It's right in that moment we see that Katniss isn't the Mockingjay, she's the volunteer again. She's the child again that doesn't know what's going to happen but wants to survive and then decides to give in and let go of life. That was such a heavy part but it was followed by a much better part where she went back to live in her District and Gale never coming again but Peeta being there for the nightmares. 

If all I can say that this book was the most thrilling of all and it broke me the most. Many of my favorite characters died but it was also the book that made me realize how much I loved certain characters. Some people aren't happy with the ending because it's sad but it's as my friend Fien says: it's realistic. It shows the effects of the war, of being a leader in the war and seeing everything from the first row. The people with a ship got what they wanted, it was a very sweet ending but the reality and the grief did come through and that's something I really enjoyed. The last sentence that's being said in the book also made me realize that this isn't the end of them. It's just the beginning...

All together I think we can say that this book was amazing, the character developed more than I expected after already starring in two books, the thrill was there, the emotions all over the place and as a reader you're really pulled into the story and became a soldier of your own. You hated, you loved, you cried (admit it), you felt the end and started with a new begin. The series has it all! I'm really happy that I decided to read the books because I'm someone who tries to keep books that are highly spoken of on a little distance. But standing ovation for Suzanne Collins, she made me feel everything and nothing with this series. 



"If we burn, you burn with us."


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