Here's a series of thoughts that I had on Mockingjay while reading it and then my final review. Most of them were written in an email to my younger sister, Abby, who introduced me to the series and finished the book before me. Contains major spoilers.
OH MY GOSH! I'm in the second half of Mockingjay. Everyone is in the bunkers and there are bombs coming down. AND PEETA. His blood splattering the camera lens! IT'S KILLING ME. REALLY, TRULY, DEEPLY. Something is very, very wrong with Peeta. Very, very wrong. I want some Peeta/Katnis reunion love (and some kissing hopefully!) I'm really liking it so far. And something is very wrong in District 13. That thing Peeta said was very ominous...
OH MY GOSH! I'M IN THE THIRD HALF! PEETA HAS JUST BECOME A SOLIDER IN THE 451 UNIT OR WHATEVER. He's totally in love with Katniss and just doesn't know it yet. Gale knows it. That's right. I hope they fall in love again while fighting against the Capitol! I want things to go back to normal. This hijacked Peeta has totally made Katniss realize how much she really loved him. So, either this move is brilliant and will make their eventual confession of love even more awesome or It'll be devastating and sad and it's going to be Buffy and Angel all over again. This book is so good though, really. I'm on the edge of my seat, devouring it. Here's to hoping I like the ending!
I am so traumatized. I just got to the part where the 451 is hiding in in the underground tunnels and she hears the "Katniss" voice hissing through the air. Oh Peeta, I am just dying inside. I really hope I like the ending! My cousin Annie was like, "I'm scarred for life. I hated that book." I'm really freaking out, cause I really want to like it! I had to stop reading because I couldn't take the heart wringing action anymore. It just hurts so much. I can't wait to continue our discussion of Mockingjay when I call you next (hopefully I'll have finished it!) I love the book so far, and I'll be devastated if I don't like it. I just need SOMETHING GOOD TO HAPPEN.
FINNICK IS DEAD. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I screamed. I was stunned. She killed him! He was eaten by white lizard mutts! And that "Always" bit Peeta says when he's transforming and Katniss kisses him to stop him 'cause his pupils are all black and she says, "Stay with me." I screamed there too. The PAIN, ugh, I felt it in every fiber of my being. This aching. I just feel like going, "Peeeeeeeeeeta," in this semi-whispered hysterical way. Dude, the noises I make when I read that book scare the people around me. HOW IS EVERYTHING GOING TO BE ALRIGHT!? I'm totally loving it though. Have to do homework, BUT I can't wait to read more. It's becoming an essential along with sleep, water and breathing.
There is a special beauty to this book, this conclusion, that left me speechless (Literally. I hyperventilated for five minutes after reading those last four words before the epilogue) The book is bleak and contains grizzly, uncomfortable elements, but Suzanne Collins handles these elements with such raw power and honesty that it illumiates the eventual silver lining with such sincerity, eloquence and tenderness that I was close to tears. What a perfect story, and the ending proves this.
I would have liked a little more detail about how Peeta and Katniss fell in love again, but it's really just a frosting-kind of thing. The cake is perfect by itself. Favorite things: The Hanging Tree song, when Katniss kisses Peeta when he's transforming and he says, "Always" when she asks him to stay with her, the hospital scene in district eight, Katniss visiting the destroyed District 12 for the first time and finding the white rose, Peeta planting the Primrose bushes, Haymitch comforting Katniss when she breaks down in front of one of the justice building, Finnick's underwear moment and his storyline, Katniss's hullucination after she gets burned, her time in her old living headquarters in the training center, Katniss stroking Peeta's hair in Tigris's shop before going to bed, Peeta's cake for Annie and Finnick, the meadow song at the end, her gift to Johanna and the development of their friendship, the last line in the epilogue and because I'm a romantic, the "Real or not real?" moment at the end with Peeta with the preluding explaination.
I love this book dearly. Katniss is now my favorite female heroine ever, because she's imperfect and awkward without being an anti-hero cliche. She struggles with issues of morality/ethics more than typical heroines to the point that it almost makes you uncomfortable to call her a heroine somtetimes. It's all about her trying to work out what's right and wrong from the gray area (and you're not always sure whether Katniss's selections are right, but she tries and that's what truly makes her heroic) And Peeta is as much as a hero as Katniss is, but in different ways. In alot of ways, he's the person you want Katniss to be (which is why they are so perfect together - they complement each other in such a way that they both satiates different needs within each other and inspires the other to be something better) I love him so much. Really. They're both such rich characters, they feel like a tangible presence.
"Mockingjay" emulates all that I hope my stories will someday be. The book wasn't anything like how I expected it to be, it was better. All I can say is thank you, Suzanne Collins. Thank you.
I am madly, truly, deeply in love with this song. When I got to the part in the book where this song is introduced I fell in love with the book. I knew it was going to be amazing from then on, beyond my wildest dreams, really.