What Jenny's Reading











{October 30, 2015}   Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 3

I know.  I KNOW, okay?  What can I say?  I swear I’m not abandoning this blog!  We had a couple of major family emergencies in the last couple of weeks and it’s been difficult to motivate myself.  October is my favorite month!  Why does crappy stuff keep happening????

Anyway.  So I have a TON of Halloween nail art for you guys, and I’d actually have even more than I currently do except my stupid formatting on my camera isn’t working so I can’t crop pictures properly.  But that’s a problem for another time.

But tonight I have Part 3 of Mockingjay.  I don’t even remember when I last covered this book.  I really need to schedule these things better so it doesn’t go so far between reviews!  I do think the search feature should help, though, since I put each book under it’s title for categories.

This review is longer I think than the others.  There’s one more part left that’s pretty short, but I had a lot of thoughts about Katniss and Snow’s conversation and there wasn’t a good place to just cut that off.

Peeta starts training too, Katniss notices, with a less experienced class. She’s assured that he’s heavily guarded.

Anyway, Katniss gets tested and realizes her “weakness,” according to the army, is that she refuses to follow orders. So she follows orders and gets herself assigned to the “Star Squad,” which includes Gale and Finnick, among others. Honestly, the rest of them barely matter, so we should just call them the “Cannon Fodder” Squad. They discover that Johanna freaked out because her test was a flooded street, and the Capitol tortured her specifically by drenching her in water and then electrocuting her. So she’s out of the war effort. She and Katniss share a moment in the hospital before Katniss leaves, though.

There’s more training with her new squad, and they find out that they’re tapped for a special mission – essentially, all propos, all the time. They won’t see any real combat, but rather will be filmed to show off to the Capitol citizens. Understandably, they are all pissy about this till Plutarch snaps at them and Katniss thinks it doesn’t matter anyway, since she’s going to take off on her own special assassinate Snow mission as soon as she can.

She has a not extremely emotional goodbye with her family, and considers saying goodbye to Peeta, but decides it would be bad for them both. She does bring the pearl he gave her from the Arena, tucking it into a pocket of her uniform.

We really don’t see much of the war. It’s okay, because it’d probably be boring and repetitive. Just thought I’d point that out.

So our band of less-than-merry propo-makers ends up at the rebel camps near the Capitol. They spend a lot of time filming silly fake war propos. They’re only allowed in places where the rebels already know what the “pods” are, so there isn’t supposed to be any danger. Boggs, the group leader, has a “holo” that tells him what the danger areas are. Supposedly, they already have figured out what the pods contain, so while there’s a small amount of danger, they should be prepared for it. But the holos are a bit out of date or something, because one day they hit one that isn’t what they thought and one of the soldiers ends up dead. She was a twin or something, and I think her name was Leung.

So because the one girl died, they need another member of their squad, and Coin sends them Peeta. Boggs is PISSED, and has an offscreen conversation with Coin about how maybe Coin wants Katniss dead. He and Katniss confab about it, and he explains that while Coin promises she doesn’t want Katniss dead, he has his doubts. He thinks Coin thinks she’s too powerful, and that since she and Coin don’t get along, could be trouble once the war is over. Coin wants to be leader of everyone.

So Peeta joins them and is still being mean to Katniss, and she responds in kind, till Haymitch bitches her out about maybe trying to be a bit more understanding of what Peeta went through, and try to help him remember himself.

I really feel for Katniss here, even though I agree her behavior toward Peeta pretty much sucks up till now. But I’m like Katniss; I’m not so great with the comforting words or the helpful suggestions. I am mechanical in a crisis; I will make sure everyone is physically fine and their basic needs are tended to, but if you want me to listen to you cry and offer you reassurance I just sort of freeze up. I don’t know what to say and it comes off as cold when really I just have no idea how to comfort someone. I have been yelled at more than once because of this. And Katniss is the same. She has no idea how to get through to Peeta or what to say, till they have a discussion about their favorite colors and she spills out a bunch of stuff about him, like how he’s a baker and a painter and sleeps with the windows open. And it almost makes her cry. Aw, poor Katniss.

The squad devises a game, “Real or Not Real,” in which Peeta will say something he thinks is true and someone will tell him whether it really happened or not. If it didn’t, they explain what really happened in its place. We also find out what happened to Darius, and to the redhead girl from way back in book one. They were both Avoxes, and were tortured in front of Peeta to get a rise out of him.

Peeta and Katniss are still wary around each other, but it looks less like he’s liable to go nuts and murder her or anyone else.

Of course, this all changes when they go to film another propo, and end up on a street that’s been reconfigured since the Holo. Boggs ends up dead, his legs blown off, and a giant tarlike wave crests over the street. Peeta goes crazy and tries to kill Katniss, and then accidentally tosses another member of the Cannon Fodder Squad into a trap.

The squad regroups in an abandoned apartment. Boggs, of course, is dying, which is sad because he was a great character and sort of father figure for Katniss, but since I keep spelling his name wrong I guess I’m not too broken up about it. (I keep typing “Boogs” or even “Bogss” like WTF is my deal I don’t know.) Peeta gets handcuffed and Katniss tries to tend to Boggs, but he knows he’s done for and signs over the holo’s command to her. He also tells her not to go back (to 13, I guess, or the camp), and to kill Peeta. Then he dies.

As the squad tries to figure out what to do, an argument breaks out between Katniss and Jackson (the second in command). Jackson wants the holo, and doesn’t believe Katniss when she says Boggs signed it over to her. She should just turn it on then, since it’s supposed to respond to the right person only I think. But Katniss lies and says she’s on a secret mission to assassinate Snow. Finnick and Gale back her up, obviously, but so does Cressida, the director, who says she’s supposed to film it because Coin thinks the Mockingjay assassinating the president will end the war. Cressida also lies about Peeta’s presence, saying he’s there because he knows the presidential mansion and they thought he’d be helpful in breaking in.

They leave the first apartment and head down the street, and end up in a second apartment nearly identical to the first. The television comes on to show an emergency broadcast. It’s essentially an announcement that Katniss and her squad are dead, and that Snow will be making an official statement later on.

Peeta asks the squad to kill him then, because he went crazy, tried to kill Katniss, and did kill someone called “Mitchell” who maybe should just be referred to as “Cannon Fodder #1” or whatever. Anyway, he tries to make his arguments. Katniss and Finnick argue loudest against this idea. Gale’s all, well, don’t worry, good buddy, if it happens again, I’ll kill ya! Like what a fucking sacrifice, I’m sure, Gale. Peeta doesn’t think this is good enough, and demands a “nightlock” pill which I probably forgot to mention before. They’re suicide pills tinted dark purple, named after the berries he and Katniss tried to eat during the first Games. Everyone has one except Peeta.

Katniss relents, but Peeta also refuses to not be handcuffed, since he’s dangerous. Katniss takes the key. They find food in the apartment and eat it, waiting for Snow’s broadcast. Peeta specifically digs out a can of lamb stew for Katniss, which makes her sad, remembering their time together in the first arena.

Now it’s the broadcast. It’s Snow, announcing the Mockingjay’s death and mwa-ha-haing over the whole thing. Personally, I think it’s pretty premature, as he even admits they need to dig the bodies out (from the collapsed apartment building and the black wave stuff). Then 13 disrupts the broadcast and Coin breaks in, all HEY EVERYBODY! I’M THE REBEL LEADER! PLEASE LIKE ME EVEN THOUGH YOU’VE NEVER EVEN FUCKING SEEN ME BEFORE! OH BY THE WAY HERE’S A NICE EULOGY ABOUT KATNISS BECAUSE SHE AND I WERE TOTES BESTIES, JUST IF YOU WERE WONDERING.

They decide their best bet at getting closer to the mansion and to Snow is to go underground. They have an Avox who used to work underground, so he can be their guide. Peeta is nice to the Avox, and Katniss realizes later on that this reminded her of the Peeta of before, how he used to act toward other people and toward her.

Everyone heads out. They walk for a really long time and finally take a break in a utility closet. At one point, Katniss wakes up to find Peeta still awake. They’ve chained him to a radiator or something. She gets him some soup and they talk a little, and she urges him to sleep.

Of course, the next thing that happens is Snow sends a bunch of mutts, like humanoid rats or something, after them. Katniss hears Peeta whispering like the mutts and readies to kill him, but before she can, he wakes up and yells at her to run, and to leave him. The group takes off, and they lose several members to different pods, such as a “meat grinder” and something that peels off one guy’s flesh, like GROSS. Anyway, Katniss gets distracted and freaked when she realizes the creatures smell like roses, and this distraction seems to be enough to allow them to catch up, and it also maybe gets Finnick killed. Which is super sad, because Finnick is awesome and a great friend to Katniss. While he’s dying, Katniss somehow sees his last thoughts. This is something that I think has happened before, or at least been mentioned that a character could do this, and it’s never mentioned again. I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean.

The survivors are Katniss, Gale, Peeta, Cressida, and the Avox, Pollux. Katniss buys them time by destroying the holo. She and Peeta also have a bit of a moment, where Peeta begs to be left behind because he knows he’ll turn on them, and Katniss kisses him and begs him to stay with her. This calms him down, and they set off, taking refuge in another apartment. Katniss kills the girl who lived there. It sounds more heartless than it is; the girl was coming out and saw them, and was about to yell, and so she killed her to keep her silent. I guess that is a little heartless.

They dress themselves up as Capitol citizens to blend in, and Cressida takes them down a side road toward a dingy little shop that sells outlandish fur clothing. The shop’s owner, Tigris, is a former Games stylist who is apparently now one of Plutarch’s people. She leads them to a safe room in the cellar, which gives them the chance to sleep.

At one point, Katniss wakes up to hear Gale and Peeta talking about her, almost like they are friends. Maybe my Geeta hopes will come true???? No, of course not. They are discussing how much they both love her, and both boys are convinced that Katniss loves the other more. They decide that she’ll just have to decide which one she wants to be with once the war’s over, like way to put her on the spot, you jerks. Gale thinks that she’ll pick the one “she can’t survive without.” This pisses Katniss off, because she thinks Gale’s referring to which one of them can keep her alive the longest. And maybe that’s what Gale meant, but I don’t think so. I think Katniss is misunderstanding him. I think he means she’ll pick the one she loves the most.

So then they all find out that the president’s mansion is letting evacuees gather there, and Katniss and Gale devise a plan to head out. Peeta’s all, awesome, I’m going too, and they’re both like, uh, remember how you go crazy sometimes? So it’s decided that Katniss, Gale, Cressida, and Pollux will go together, and Peeta will go alone, and create a diversion if he needs to. I’m not sure what kind of diversion, but okay. This is a stupid plan and they are lucky it doesn’t end up blowing up in their faces.

Oh, and they’re leaving because all shopowners and those with extra floor space are told they need to let in evacuees. So Tigris wouldn’t be able to hide them anymore. Whatever, it’s still a stupid plan.

They head out and blend with the crowd, and end up getting seen almost immediately by a little girl, but the little girl ends up dead before she can say anything. All the streets are laced with pods and they keep being triggered by the terrified Capitol citizens. One major one is a giant crater that opens up and nearly swallows Katniss and Gale. I have no idea where Cressida and Pollux are. But Katniss and Gale get separated, and Gale ends up being pulled into a doorway by I guess Peacekeepers. Katniss feels bad because she didn’t shoot him before this happened, as they had promised each other. She continues on.

At the president’s mansion, there is a large group of children clustered on the front lawn. Katniss thinks Snow will use the kids as shields, because rebels would be less inclined to kill kids. Well, maybe Gale would be okay with it. Hey, don’t bitch at me, I don’t remember him ever having a problem with Capitol people dying. Anyway, Katniss watches from across the square and sees a bunch of silver parachutes drop on the kids. The kids grab them, and they explode. Then a bunch of rebel medics, including Katniss’s sister, flood in to care for the kids.

Katniss knows what’s going to happen before it does, because she remembers Gale and Beetee talking about it. She runs across the square, screaming for Prim, but she’s too late. The rest of the parachutes explode.

We then get a long bout of Katniss burning up, but it’s way shorter and way less annoying than Bella Swan’s burning time. Katniss is taken to the mansion and cared for, and I guess in this future they have skin so they give her new skin from where she was burned. She is crazy at this point, essentially.

Her mother is sort of there for her. Okay fine, I’ll just say it: Katniss’s mother is a fucking useless parent. She means well, and I know she suffered from depression after Katniss’s father’s death. But come ON. One daughter is dead, the other is maybe dying, and your ass can’t be bothered to spend time with the living one? Haymitch is also there, and again, drunk all the time, so he’s useless as well. Peeta’s somewhere in the mansion-slash-hospital, also suffering from his own burns, as he was close to the square when it exploded too.

We get a lot of crazy mute Katniss, and I’m sorry but this is less than interesting. So blah blah blah, she goes wandering in the mansion and finds a special room which is obviously where they’re holding Snow, and is allowed inside because she’s looking for a white rose. She and Snow have a conversation where he makes it clear that he’s dying and also that he wasn’t responsible for the parachute explosion thing, I mean did anybody even think it was the Capitol?

I just…their conversation makes no sense to me. We already know that Coin wants to be president. Boggs (motherFUCKING dammit, I keep writing “Boogs”!) told us already. We also know she wanted Katniss dead, or at least would’ve been totally okay with her dying. Why is the bomb such a fucking surprise? Why is it even up for debate who did it?

I know a Capitol symbol was painted on the hovercraft that dropped the parachutes. I know they were playing it like Snow, evil cartoon villain that he is, did it. But Katniss had to know what really happened.

I’m really not clear on what Snow is talking about, if that’s not completely obvious. What did Coin do that was so evil again? The parachutes bomb? I mean yeah, that’s despicable, but the way Snow was talking made it seem like she had some sort of evil hidden agenda. Which, what? We knew from when Boggs and Katniss talked that Coin wanted to be president. I thought it was fairly obvious from the exact moment we met her, but okay. We knew from her making that bitchy announcement about “I’ll murder all those POW tributes if Katniss steps out of line, so CHECK YO’SELF” and the kidnapping and torture of the prep team that she wasn’t exactly friendly. So what’s her surprising hidden evil agenda again? Was the whole Hunger Games with Capitol children the indicator? That she’d keep the Games going on, but with a different pool of kids? I don’t even think that’s an option, given how much discussion there is of killing off too many people and the human race (at least on Panem) dying out.

Maybe it was the fact that District 13 just kept themselves hidden after the Dark Days? But they do have some pretty logical explanations for that. Population issues. Possibly a lack of tech, or understanding how that tech worked. I don’t know. It’s not like I wanted Coin to be some kind of cartoon villain or anything, but I would’ve liked a bit more explanation here. I feel like the entire book started going off the rails when Katniss and Snow had their talk, and it didn’t ever really get back on.

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