What Jenny's Reading

{January 28, 2016}   Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 4

I cannot for the life of me figure out how to upload images to the wordpress media library.  It used to just let me do it by clicking “add” but I guess not anymore?  So there’s a continued moratorium on posting picture of manicures.  Or any pictures at all, come to think of it.

Anyway.  Today I’m going to post the final installment of my Hunger Games review.  I’m still (very grudgingly) working on the Maze Runner stuff, and I also downloaded the Vampire Academy series.  Can’t remember if I mentioned that in my last post.  I figure I should try and wrap up some of the old stuff before posting a bunch of new.

So anyway.  Katniss takes her white rose and leaves.  She tries talking to Haymitch, but he’s drunk and rude, so that doesn’t work.  He does try to find her and apologize, but she isn’t really interested in that.  She’s more interested in her mental breakdown, which I honestly don’t blame her one bit for that.  Poor Katniss.


At some point, Gale comes to see her.  I honestly can’t remember if it’s before or after the Snow conversation.  I think after.


Final Hunger Games pop quiz!  If your friend’s sister has died and it’s maybe your fault, do you: (a) apologize for her sister’s death and offer your sympathy; (b) not bother to go see her because you’re too ashamed; or (c) go see her and shit all over her issues with your own?  Let’s see what Gale does!


Gale: “So, Katniss, I’m not here to apologize about maybe a bomb I designed blowing up your sister.  And that’s okay, since I just designed it and didn’t set it off.  I’m not even going to say I’m sorry that the sister you loved and cared for so much that you volunteered to basically die in her place is gone and you had to watch her die.  Really I’m just here to subtly imply that the only reason you ever liked me was because I could help your family, and not the years of friendship and bonding that we’ve shared.  Apparently I’ve been waiting around for years hoping to touch your boobs, and now that I know that’ll never happen, I’ll just leave you to your complete mental breakdown and head off to my new fancy job.  Toodles!”


Okay, so that’s not exactly what he said.  But that’s how it came off to me.


And that’s the end of Gale.  Wahoo!  PARTY TIME!


It’s the big day (meaning Snow’s execution day)!  Maybe Gale and Katniss had their awkward conversation that morning?  I don’t remember.  That’s not important.  What is important is that somehow, the rebels unearthed Effie Trinket and managed to keep her alive and out of Coin’s war tribunal execution lineup, so she’s there to act as Katniss’s organizer.  Katniss finds out later that it was mostly due to Haymitch, and he had a lot of trouble keeping her alive.  So Effie gets Katniss’s prep team, who are also still alive, and they help her get ready to kill Snow.  They dress her up in her Mockingjay costume and she gets a single arrow to shoot him.  Then, she’s called into a meeting with Peeta, Haymitch, Annie, Johanna, Enobaria, Beetee, and Coin.


Coin honored her part of Katniss’s bargain: they drafted some legislation that pardons all the victors, including Enobaria.  Now Coin’s asked them to decide whether a final Hunger Games will be held, with children of the Capitol, as a means of ending the war once and for all and quieting the rebels’ so-called continued bloodlust.  She tells them they are to decide, it will be a majority vote, and while their singular votes will be kept private, the nation will know that it was the remaining living victors who voted to hold or not hold the Games.


Annie, Peeta, and Beetee vote no.  Johanna and Enobaria vote yes.  Katniss also votes yes, “for Prim,” and Haymitch’s vote follows Katniss’s.  Peeta argues rather strenuously with both Katniss and Haymitch, but it’s done.  Um, yay?


You know what literally just fucking occurred to me?  I know the best way to trap opponents in the arena!  You get a parachute, and then mock it back up and climb a tree maybe, send it back down and then pounce on anyone who comes to investigate!  I’m so mad I just now thought of this idea since there’s no more arena.


Ahem.  So they go to execute Snow.  Katniss goes out onto the mansion lawn to see Snow only about a hundred feet away.  She aims her arrow, and then remembers their final conversation, where Snow reminded her that they had promised not to lie to each other.  So she changes the arrow’s trajectory, and shoots Coin in the heart.


I mean, really, you fuckers, what did you think was going to happen?  The poor girl is nuts by this point.  I guess Coin just figured Katniss hated Snow more than her.  Clearly she was wrong about that.


Katniss tries to commit suicide via the little nightlock pill still in her costume, but Peeta stops her.  She’s carried away, screaming and cursing, and is left in her room from the first Games.  This part is, again, kind of boring and tedious.  She’s there for what seems like weeks, healing and being weaned from the morphling she was addicted to.  I mean, she was addicted to it mainly because they gave it to her for a painkiller, so technically it’s their fault.  But that’s not really all that important.


She tries to kill herself by not eating, but that doesn’t work either.  Well, of course.  I mean if food is provided, eventually your natural instincts are going to kick in and you’ll eat.


Then she starts to sing, which I guess signifies that she still wants to live.  Haymitch and Plutarch come to take her home, and she’s told all about the trial for Coin’s murder.  She was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and Plutarch was her star witness, he’s pretty proud to say.  This is a huge violation of Katniss’s due process rights.  She didn’t even know about it, and she wasn’t allowed to testify in her own defense.


I mean, not that she really has a good one, but still.


I’m starting to this this Panem government is maybe not all that great for its citizens.  I don’t know why I’m just now coming to this conclusion.


Anyway, Plutarch wants her to be part of some reality singing competition he’s putting together, like holy FUCK I wonder if the rebels would have been so pleased about their rebellion if they’d known that reality fucking television would continue.  Does anyone really want to watch Panem Idol?  Also there’s no confirmation as to whether the losers just fade into obscurity, or maybe they are put to death.  I mean, it’s not like there’s precedent for it or anything.


Haymitch and Katniss head home alone.  Katniss discovers that she’s pretty much confined to 12 for the rest of her life, but is okay with that.  Katniss’s mother doesn’t go with them, because, as I said, she’s a fucking useless parent.  Her mother has gone to 4 to start a hospital, and Gale is working somewhere in 2.  I bet he goes back to that mountain every day and bores people with the story about how he blew it up.  Like, he tells it like Al Bundy used to tell his “four touchdowns in one game” story.


Katniss spends a lot of her time – virtually all of it – just sitting in her house.  Greasy Sae comes to make sure she eats a couple times a day, but that’s it.  She wears the same clothes and just stares off into space.  Really thrilling and compelling, for sure.


One day she hears someone outside, and goes out to find that Peeta’s come home.  He wants to plant some evening primrose plants in honor of Katniss’s sister.  So she runs back into the house and cleans herself up, and I could’ve lived forever without reading the description of how her skin falls away from her body in sheets because it’s been that fucking long since she showered.  Anyway, so she’s clean and has exorcised Snow’s memory from her house.  She discovers Buttercup has somehow traveled from 13 back to her, and gets into a fight with the cat about Prim being dead.  And then she and Buttercup are allies, and Katniss decides to start living again.


She and Peeta end up getting back together.  They write a remembrance book for all the victors and those who died during the war, as part of her therapy.  It’s very like the scene from the second book where they were writing the plants entries; Peeta draws pictures, and Katniss writes out the words.  The book ends (except for the epilogue) with them having sex for the first time, and Katniss realizing that Gale was right, she did pick the one she couldn’t survive without.  She and Gale were too much alike, and she needed Peeta’s steadiness and strength to temper her fire.


The epilogue is set about twenty years after the war.  She and Peeta have had two children, a boy and a girl.  Katniss tells us she hadn’t really wanted kids because she was still afraid, even though so much time had passed.  But she had them and she loves them.  She talks about how they are learning about the Games and the war in school, and that the older child especially is asking questions about what her parents’ roles were in the war.  It’s a really bittersweet passage, showcasing that Katniss is still pretty broken by the Games and the war and everything that happened, but also that new life is beginning.  The Meadow where they all buried the bombing victims is blooming.


Also there’s no mention of that fucker Gale, so I count it as a pretty big win, you know?

Sorry.  This wasn’t as funny as some of my previous installments.  The book ended on kind of a downer, although I did like that it showed the lasting repercussions of Katniss’s participation in the Games, how she’s healing but will probably never be fully okay.  One thing I really hate in fiction is when actions don’t have consequences and everything gets wrapped up in an unrealistic way.  Like, Character A is nasty to Character B, and it’s justified that Character A maybe had a bad childhood, or a misconception about Character B, and then it gets brushed under the rug and Character B is supposed to just forgive and forget because of the extenuating circumstances of Character A’s behavior.  Like, sorry, that’s not how the real world works.  Character B’s feelings are valid and Character A still needs to apologize and earn Character B’s respect.

So okay.  You get what I mean, right, even though it’s a different scenario?  I appreciate that Katniss isn’t all happy lovey dovey wonderfulness because that would pretty much negate the emotional impact of the series.  So thanks, Suzanne Collins, for writing a realistic and believable ending!


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