If I could only use one word to describe "Mockingjay," the third and final Hunger Games book, I would choose intense. Seriously. I finished it at 3 a.m., and even though I was exhausted, I couldn't fall asleep for another 10 minutes because I was still so pumped up from the book.
Here's the summary:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.
Okay, here are the things I liked about the book:
1. I like that the ending isn't a happy, everything-tied-up-with-a-bow, happily-ever-after kind. I like that Katniss and Peeta are still screwed up at the end. I mean, they went through really traumatic things, so I think a classic happy ending wouldn't have done them justice. But the ending is satisfying--and not completely depressing.
2. I like that Gale gets more face time in this book and that Peeta only comes in at the end. I felt like the other books focused way more on Peeta than Gale, so I was happy to see more of Gale.
3. I like that Peeta gets darker. In the other books he's just so optimistic and loving and willing to do anything for Katniss that it got a little tiring. I really enjoyed seeing another side of him--even if it was the darker, tortured side.
4. I like that Katniss ends up with Peeta. Admitedly, I was hoping the whole time that she wouldn't end up with either Peeta or Gale (she never seemed to me to love either of them as more than a friend), but since she had to end up with someone, I'm glad it was Peeta. I've had issues with Peeta in the other books, but I think after all they've been through, Peeta and his warmth and optimism are way better for Katniss than Gale's intensity and hate.
And things I didn't like:
1. I didn't like that Finnick and Prim died. I know that Collins had to kill off some of her characters, but Finnick and Prim were my favorites. I liked them more than Katniss, who I still never warmed up to.
2. I felt like Katniss and Gale's parting didn't have enough substance behind it. They've been best friends their whole lives, and Katniss's decision that she can never forgive him seems a little arbitrary. I also didn't like how Gale just fades out of the picture--it doesn't do him justice to just reassign him to a different district just to get him out of the way.
3. I didn't like that Katniss votes yes to holding another hunger games. It really didn't seem to fit her character AT ALL. She's been crusading against them this whole time, and all of a sudden she supports them? I don't buy it.
4. I thought the ending of the war was too quick and confusing. Cutting from them about to storm the presidential mansion to Katniss in the hospital weeks later was a little too jarring for me.