This is FULL of spoilers... If you do not want the book "spoiled" for you, do not read this. :)
"My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead."
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.
Now that I have had a good, LONG think on this book, I feel like I can review it.
Let me start off by saying that this book was not ANYTHING like what I was expecting. I don't really know what I was expecting, I just know that this was not it. After reading my review you can decide for yourselves if that's a good thing or a bad thing. :)
After loving The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I was stoked for the final intallment-- Butt-kicking Katniss, smooth-talking Peeta, cynical Haymitch. So I was
VERY a bit disappointed that the opening scenes were crazy Katniss ready to kill Haymitch and Peeta nowhere to be found. Flirtatious Finnick is even pretty nuts. It takes FOREVER for the story to start, I felt like. While the Capitol is torturing Peeta (which you hear nothing about) and the other people pulled from the arena after the Quarter Quell, Katniss agrees to be the "offical" face of the rebellion as the Mockingjay. Cinna, who was in fact killed, just happened to make Katniss an awesome outfit, that I felt like she never really deserved. She went from being a survivor and a fighter to being more than a bit pitiful. Granted, she did lose Peeta-- whom she swore to save. But even when he is rescued (and also CRAZY!!) she gives up on him. She chooses Gale over Peeta as an easy out. I think the more I read, the more frustrated and upset I got. When she finally does "man up" (or "boy up" as my 3 year old says), I felt like it was too little, too late. Finnick dies (and it was insanely UNDERPLAYED for how big of a character he was in this book) trying to keep Katniss alive so she could assasinate President Snow, Prim is blown to smitherines trying to save children (which defeated Katniss's entire purpose of going to the Hunger Games in the first place! But I also think it was necessary and wouldn't have changed it.), and the book ends (in a TWO PAGE SUMMARY! GAH!) of what happens to Katniss, Peeta, and the (FEW!) people who are still living at the end of the book.
While I felt like the book was one huge killing spree for the author, some of the deaths I felt had to happen, namely Prim's, while others I didn't think were needed--Finnick.
Some other points I feel need addressed:
I've read, and heard, A LOT of reviews that people hated how it ended with Gale. That there was no goodbye, etc. I thought it was perfect. While I liked Peeta better, I always liked Gale until this book. You really see who he is and how is mind works in this final installment. When Katniss realized that the bomb that killed Prim was a design by Gale, and she asks him about it, he replys that he doesn't know if it was his-- "but you'll always wonder." I thought that was a fitting goodbye. What else is there really to say??
I also know a lot of people were not happy with not having a side of the story from Peeta. To these people: did you forget that this series is about KATNISS? Not Peeta? It's been about her from book One. Why are you now surprised that it has no "Peeta-perspective"? Believe me, I am disappointed too that there wasn't any romance blooming and that their story got "summarized" in the last few pages. But I didn't expect a Breaking Dawn-like ending where there was a "Peeta Section" squeezed between two "Katniss Sections", and I am so glad she didn't do that. It wouldn't have felt as real.
Leave Haymitch alone! If he wants to drink himself into a stupor on a daily (or hourly) basis, let him! He's been through more than pretty much all the characters combined and he was the only one that was ALWAYS on Katniss's side. I always liked Haymitch. :)
I was SHOCKED when Coin suggested the Final Hunger Games. AND THAT KATNISS AGREED. It wasn't until later that I understood why she did-- when she kills Coin instead of Snow, when she realizes that things will never change if Coin is president. And then, oh yeah, Snow coughs himself to death. Oh brother... Her enemy of the ENTIRE series dies of COUGHING?? Yikes.
I hated the ending. I was mad that even after 20 years, Peeta still has urges to kill Katniss. I am glad that they ended up together and they had kids, but it just isn't the same. They are both so broken that it kind of negates the whole marriage/family storyline. And I am SO MAD that it felt like an "by the way-- they end up together." ending. Really?? After all I've invested in this series. that's all I get? And really-- I don't know that I'd sleep next to someone every night that has insane, uncontrollable urges to murder me. I'm just sayin... Athough the "Real, or not real?" line at the end made me sob. :) I love, love, love Peeta, even if he is nuts.
Overall, I really did like this book. I know it doesn't sound like it from all my ranting and raving, but I was just a little disappointed with how the ending played out. I really don't think it could have ended any differently, I just WISH it could have. I'm just... unsatisfied, I guess. I still recommend this series to anyone and everyone, but now I need to move on to a new series to obsess over. :) Any suggestions?