my initial, gut reaction to mockingjay (non-spoilery)

So I caved today, and read Mockingjay in the bookstore because I just couldn't take the suspense anymore. I finished a hour or two ago.

Usually, it's a terrible idea to write a review only an hour or two after I've finished reading something.

So I'll just say this is my immediate reaction.

3-word opinion: Errm. Wow. Sort of?


While Collins maintains that engrossing style of hers that entranced readers with her previous two books, there was something that was definitely missing for me in Mockingjay. I don't know--reading the last book, I was expecting to love it, but it didn't feel like the conclusion to this epic trilogy--it felt like just any other book. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't take-your-breath-away material.

Of course, there were bits of the elements I'd loved in HG and CF--Collins inventiveness when it came to the gadgets in this dystopian world, the way the betrayals and twists in the book play out.


But then, there's Katniss, who's been sort of carved out from her former fierce self to something a lot more passive. I began to feel quite bad for her because the doom and gloom never let up for that poor girl--she's constantly on defense, constantly being pushed around, right up to the very last chapter. For me, I'd like to have seen Katniss come into her own for this book. Sadly, it' didn't really happen--that girl got destroyed repeatedly throughout the book, and by the ending, no matter what Collins wrote, it was just too late to restore Katniss from anything other than a complete mess.


And then, there's the deterioration of the book into little more than a bloody war scene. Sort of like in movies where bam, a whole hour of people killing each other just happens in front of you, but doesn't really have any meaning or evoke any emotional response other than "Wow, that's a lot of blood." (that was me for the half of Mockingjay.)


Also, the way Collins handled the love triangle was sort of strange, too--Katniss never really flat-out said anything straight up to Gale or Peeta, and her decision came very suddenly.


The epilogue (as so often with otherwise wonderful series *cough* HP *cough*) fell short, and just felt so completely wrong--doing nothing to prevent the shaky ending from just sort of collapsing in itself. To me, The epilogue was so completely at odds with the tone and Katniss' proclamations in the rest of the book.

I dunno. I think Mockingjay was mildly depressing, but I would never have dreamt of not reading the final book in this series. I'm just sort of feeling deflated right now :/ I guess it's just me not being a fan--in general--of so much battle/war/death without the emotional context. Still, I feel like such a downer amongst the Mockingjay fandom! If only I could love it more than I do right now.

Criticisms aside, I do think Collins is really awesome at storytelling, and I love her and her books A LOT A LOT A LOT. In retrospect, Mockingjay is a pretty respectable, un-put-downable book.

We'll see if it grows on meeee! (Hopefully it will.)