What Jenny's Reading

{August 5, 2015}   Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

Happy middle of the week!  I guess that’s not really something people say.  I have part 2 of Mockingjay today, and I’ll have some other nail stuff the rest of the week too.  I recently got the Maze Runner series, so I think I’ll start covering that once Mockingjay is finished.

They go to film some more propos, this time in 12. That’s awkward, because it focuses a lot on Katniss and Gale’s friendship in the woods, and neither of them is feeling all that friendly at the moment, for obvious reasons. Katniss introduces Pollux, one of the cameramen, to mockingjays, and hums tunes and then at his request sings a song called “The Hanging Tree” so he can hear what the mockingjays sound like when they “sing.” We learn the song is an old one about a dead man trying to protect his lover by killing her, and that she learned it as a little girl from her father, but hadn’t sung it in a long time because her mother made them stop. Everyone loves it, and Plutarch had filmed it for future use.

They stay in 12 a bit longer, filming other propos that require Katniss and Gale to pretend nothing is wrong with their relationship. They film stuff in the woods and also the bombed out town. Katniss talks to Peeta while standing in his parents’ destroyed bakery. Then Katniss takes off, heading back to her house to pick up some things for her mom, such as medicines and so forth, gauze. Gale follows her, and they have the least passionate kiss of all time. Then Gale MAKES HER FEEL GUILTY FOR BOTH KISSING HIM AND NOT WANTING TO KISS HIM, HOLY SHIT YOU ARE JUST THE WORST, GALE.

Everyone goes back to 13 and they meet to watch Beetee try to break into the Capitol’s television feeds. Of course the program on is Peeta being interviewed by President Snow, and he looks really bad. Only Katniss and Finnick care about this, because everyone else thinks he’s a traitor, because again, it’s obvious he’s doing and saying these things about the cease fire of his own volition. It does manage to switch back and forth between Beetee’s recordings, so he found a way in.

So then Peeta tells Katniss that she’ll be dead by morning, and the program ends, except they all watch Snow’s people start to beat him, possibly to death.

Everyone in the command room starts shouting at the same time, till Haymitch tells them to shut up, Peeta’s obviously warning them about something. Luckily, they are able to convince everyone, and they begin an evacuation to deeper levels of the compound.

There’s a “tense” moment when it sounds like Gale and Prim might not make it to the compound before they shut the doors and lock them. But…they can just open the doors. They hear them coming down the stairs. That is just really dumb. Anyway, they are all fine, of course, and settled in when the bombs start falling.

Everyone’s stuck down there for a few days, but Katniss at least gets to spend time with her sister, which makes her happy. They’re going to train Prim to be a doctor, which is something she never would’ve had the opportunity for in 12. Katniss is excited by what kind of change a revolution can bring. She opens up with Prim about her fears for Peeta, and Prim tells her that Snow won’t kill him, since he can use him against her. So she advises Katniss that Snow will do whatever it takes to break her.

She figures it out a few days later, after a game of “chase the laser pointer” with Buttercup. Snow is holding Peeta just out of reach, knowing that she knows that whatever she does, will end up costing him some sort of torture. She seeks out Finnick to talk to him, and he says he didn’t tell her what he suspected because he didn’t realize she does love Peeta. They (all the tributes from book two) thought the romance was an angle that she was playing. But when Peeta almost died in the arena, Finnick realized that she does love him, even if she didn’t realize it herself. Katniss realizes that Snow, watching the feed, would’ve known it, too. Finnick teaches her how to make knots to distract herself from falling apart, as it takes too long to put yourself back together again.

The next day it’s determined that the assault is over, and Finnick, Katniss, and Gale are immediately called to Command. They want Katniss to film a propo to show the rebellion that she is still alive. Finnick gets Katniss to smile by being flirty, which Gale obviously dislikes, and Katniss ignores him because she’s too exhausted to deal with his shit.

She tries the propo but has a complete breakdown. Haymitch comforts her, but it’s useless, and she’s sedated. When she wakes up, she finds out that Coin or whoever has authorized a mission into the Capitol to get Peeta back. Gale, of course, volunteers to go. Because he’s bored, because he wants Katniss to see how heroic he is, or because he’s eager to kill as many people as he can? Probably a bit of all three.

While they’re raiding, Katniss and Finnick make up propos to air in the Capitol to distract the citizen and hopefully help the raiders. Katniss tells the bread story and how worried she is about Peeta. Finnick tells a different story, about how Snow is a pimp who prostitutes out victors to the highest bidder, and murders their loved ones if they refuse. Finnick, being very handsome, was extremely popular and also has tons of secrets about both the Capitol government and Snow himself. He’s evil, a murderer, likes to poison people, blah blah blah. None of this should be at all surprising, but I guess it is.

Katniss and Finnick then while away their hours waiting in her hospital room. Haymitch finally comes to say everyone’s back, and they head out to see everyone. Gale is injured but okay, and Johanna Mason is badly injured from her time in the Capitol. Boggs is okay too, and Annie is there, making a crazy show with Finnick. Katniss watches them embrace and is somewhat envious of how happy and complete they are.

Then she and Haymitch approach Peeta’s room. I’m not spoiling anything by saying that this doesn’t go well, am I? I mean, even when I first read it, I was like, yeah, this isn’t going to go well at all. And of course it doesn’t. She rushes to his side, and he strangles her.

The End! Okay, no, obviously just kidding. It’s just the end of the second part of the book.

Katniss and Prim wait in her hospital room, Katniss wearing a freezing collar to help her neck heal. Plutarch, Haymitch, and Beetee finally show up and explain they think Peeta’s been hijacked, injected with tons of tracker jacker venom till he doesn’t know what’s real or fake anymore. Prim totally owns the guys here too; they try to get her to leave, and she refuses, and says if they force her she’ll go interrupt the surgery their mother’s assisting with to tell her. The guys then meekly assure Katniss they’ll help Peeta, but they aren’t sure how successful they’ll be.

So begins an odyssey of trying to help Peeta, with very little success. Katniss drowns in her sorrow and spends some time in the development space with Gale and Beetee. We see some really scary weapons they’ve developed: bombs, mostly, designed to kill and injure as many as possible. She describes a couple of them; one forces the targets into an area which is the actual bombsite, and the other is a double system on a delay that captures new victims once medical help is sent in.

Katniss asks to be sent somewhere else, because she can’t stand the thought of Peeta not being himself. They decide to send her to 2.

We get a description of 2, along with the large mountain they’ll nickname the Nut, which is where most of the people work; it’s a quarry. Haymitch sends a bunch of people to help them, including Beetee and Gale. Ugh, fine. So she and Gale have a conversation about how she can’t let Peeta go, but that she always felt bad about being with him because of Gale. So, status quo as usual, then, except that Peeta’s now crazy. Then they have a sort of argument about how many other girls Gale has kissed, and Gale tells her that he decided six months – SIX FUCKING MONTHS – before her first Games that he liked her as more than a friend. I just…this is your stupid fault, Gale, all your own. If you’d said something to her, you likely wouldn’t be in this situation.

Well, they’d still be at war. Or maybe not. Maybe Katniss would’ve killed Peeta and just gone home. Maybe she would’ve died without the attention she got from sponsors because of the romance angle they played. Who knows. Oh, and Gale makes noises about Katniss and Finnick’s friendship, because he was jealous of that too. Honestly I’m surprised that he’s not pissy with Boggs, because he’s another guy she spends a lot of time with.

You guys, I think the second book was probably my favorite, because it had so little Gale in it.

Anyway. They go to a meeting to try and determine how to crack the Nut. Gale decides they should just disable it rather than storm it, and proposes they bomb it to create an avalanche, and then seal off the exits so that no one can get out. People protest, because most of the people inside are regular citizens rather than soldiers or spies, but Gale won’t have anything of it, because he wants their blood. I guess it’s a great idea to let a bloodthirsty teenager run your war effort.

Katniss tries to reason with him, and he retorts he’d be okay with it, if he were inside the mines and were one of their spies. She knows she would be too, but…anyway, they decide to call Coin, and she gives them the okay.

Before the horrifying thing can happen, though, Beetee wants to chat about the problems inherent with possibly killing off a species. Katniss and Gale aren’t invited to this conversation, probably because several paragraphs regarding the minimum viable population isn’t the most scintillating thing to read.

The bomb happens, and Katniss watches and flashes back to when her father died in the mining accident. She continues to think about her father when Haymitch tells her they had a small breakthrough with Peeta: they played the video of her singing and he recognized the song, because he heard her father sing it once. Katniss reflects on how badly she misses her father, and wishes Peeta were with her so he could explain why the bombing was so wrong.

Later, once most of the fighting is done, Haymitch says he wants her to give a speech to encourage surrender. She starts to give one, and then goes off book almost immediately, running into the crowd to try and stop some gunfire, and ends up at a crazed citizen’s gunpoint. She does get shot, but not by him.

Now we’re back in 13, with crazy Johanna and Gale and all the rest of the gang. Johanna’s addicted to morphling and Peeta’s still nuts. That about covers it, right?

Katniss and Gale have a conversation about the bombing of the mountain, yet again displaying their fundamental differences in the art of war. Gale thinks everything they do is justified because of what happened to them (the citizens, not just him and Katniss specifically). Katniss doesn’t entirely disagree, but thinks there’s a difference between offensive and defensive.

See, I don’t even think Gale’s entirely wrong here. I know! But the way he goes about it seems really, really bloodthirsty. Like, he really enjoys being at war and killing. Katniss and the others do it mainly because it’s a necessary means to an end, but Gale derives pleasure from it. That’s the part that Katniss doesn’t like, even though she can’t really articulate it. That’s what she’d wanted Peeta to explain to her, after the mountain raid back in 2.

Finnick and Annie get married, which is really sweet. They video the party to use as a propo, and Katniss dances with Prim. Peeta was apparently allowed to frost the wedding cake, and Haymitch and Katniss discuss how he’s a bit better and wants to talk to her.

I don’t have to tell you it doesn’t go well, right? Well, it doesn’t. He’s mean, and Katniss lashes out, and she’s mortified that he sees her the way that she thinks she is: manipulative and awful, rather than loving her as before.

She barely has time to reflect on this, however, because she finds out the next day that she’s not being taken to the Capitol. When she argues, she’s told she’s not trained properly and hasn’t bothered to even try. So she and Johanna start training and sort of become friends. The training part is a little boring, honestly. They train, detox from morphling, become roommates, Johanna is afraid of water, blah blah blah.

They all have dinner one night together, and Peeta comes up with his tray to join them. It goes about as well as you’d think, of course. He’s handcuffed and shackled together, and I don’t know why his captors decided he could pick where to sit. But anyway, he sits with them (Finnick, Johanna, Annie, Katniss, Gale, and a few others). Gale actually reproaches Peeta for his behavior toward Katniss, which is slightly surprising. He then gives Katniss a little pep talk, and promises that what Peeta’s thinking of her (that she’s awful) isn’t the truth. So I guess that’s nice.


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