Mockingjay Review

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Closing my eyes doesn’t help. Fire burns brighter in the darkness. Katniss Everdeen, p. 210

Today I finished Suzanne Collins’Mockingjay.” As I mentioned before, I needed some closure so I couldn’t just put this book down and ignore Katniss’ struggles. In these 232, Collins does a great job of keeping us on our toes with her unexpected turns. Collins, once again, impressed me with her character development and her thorough provision of detail to the storyline. The book starts by recounting the destruction of District 12 and the capture of Peeta and other victors. As if this isn’t tragic enough, we learn about Katniss’ internal turmoil and confusion as she faces the reality that she is the face of the Rebellion and will have to submit to the authorities of District 13 if she wants to give Peeta a chance of surviving. As we have already learned, Katniss has never been good at following instructions but instead is defensive and overthinks situations. These two traits cause a lot of trouble and many injuries. Despite all of this, I can’t say I blame her because, in the end, she had all the right to be suspicious. As if this isn’t enough, she goes on to describe a world in which there is no compassion, no empathy, and no limits – only endless fear, hatred and vengeance.  As in every war, death is expected, but some of these deaths are so unwanted, unexpected and heartbreaking that I can confidently say I don’t think I’ll read this book again. Though I already said this in a previous post, I’ll say it again: this is my least favorite book of the series. I was wondering if reading it again would help me like it more than the first time, and it did, but I still feel betrayed, shocked and indignant.

 

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

The true reason I dislike this book is Prim’s death. WHY!? This is so cruel and unnecessary. Maybe, in reality, it is a great plot twist, and I am just biased because I have a little sister I would volunteer for, but if you ask me, Prim’s survival was the only reason this whole journey started in the first place. Everything else is meaningless. Even though it is the most tragic part, there is a lot of emotional commotion outside of Prim’s death too.  I still can’t believe Peeta was high jacked! It is heartbreaking that all of Peeta’s sweet memories of Katniss are corrupted and distorted. On the bright side, there is a deep sense of satisfaction when Peeta recovers and returns to Katniss. Finnick’s death is despicable as well as the thought of his son growing up without ever knowing him. Even with all the unpredictability, the fact that Katniss and Peeta get married, have kids, and manage to have a life full of hope and love despite all the challenges seems like an overwhelming victory to me. I guess it’s pretty obvious I have a weakness for happy endings.

 

 

 

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It’s Monday, and I’m not freaking out.

Hello, everybody! It’s Monday again… yay. Last week was nice though, so I am not freaking out… for real this time. For Valentine’s Day, bae took me out to swing dance, and it was a lot fun! He also got me flowers and CHOCOLATE, which I can say with no shame that I had the chocolate as breakfast and lunch for a couple of days. Anyway, now I’ll tell you about food for the mind.

If you have read my previous posts, you will probably think this is super predictable. I have a couple things to say to you:

  1. I am sorry! I had to.
  2. There is something… unpredictable about predictability, don’t you think?

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In order to have some closure, I decided to read Suzanne Collins’ “Mockingjay.” This one is my least favorite book in the entire series, but after the cliffhanger in “Catching Fire,” I just HAD to. I know it will make me upset. I know it will make me have a tiny existential crisis. However, there is a chance I might change my mind and not find it so shocking considering it has been years since I first read it, and it will be in a different language. So, I’m crossing my fingers, and this far – 59 pages in – I have not been disappointed.

I told you we should have rescued the boy first.  President Coin, p. 11.

 

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On another note, I set as a goal for this year to read something spiritual every day. This far it has being going really well. Yay! I am almost done with the book “Back on Track: A 40-Day Journey to Spiritual Renewal” by Jimmy Allen. Today was day 39, and I can wholeheartedly say that this book has been a wonderful investment and has challenged my perspective in many areas, such as fulfilling promises to God, trustworthiness, and praying with faith. Once I am done with this book, I might pick back up “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis though I don’t think I’d read it every day. I am planning on starting a chronological New Testament reading plan, and I am really excited. Since I have previously only read the New Testament in Spanish, reading it in English feels as if I am reading it for the first time, which is really special.

 Sometimes I think I am radical because I compare myself to the religious people around me. God’s standard is not that. Jimmy Allen, p. 38.

 

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Catching Fire Review

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In that one slight motion, I see the end of hope, the beginning of the destruction of everything I hold dear in the world.  Katniss Everdeen, p. 75

Suzanne Collins’ second book in The Hunger Games series is “Catching Fire,” and like I had previously mentioned, it is my favorite. This 212-page-long book is about life after the Games: the political and romantic consequences of Katniss’ desperate actions as she struggles to save her life and Peeta´s. After getting back to her hometown, Katniss faces the magnitude of her defiance to the power of the Capitol by being threatened and manipulated into trying to pacify the anger of the districts that are eager to break free from their misfortune. Katniss finds herself trying to please the unforgiving President, subdue the violent districts, protect her loved ones no matter the cost and as if this wasn’t enough, pick between Gale and Peeta, who continuously drive her crazy with their mood swings and love declarations. Throughout all the events and parties, Katniss struggles to find a solution to her dilemma until finally, either by chance or as punishment, she is faced with something completely unexpected that hadn’t occurred even in her worst nightmares. She is going back to the arena.

Collins, once again, meets our expectations by developing the characters even further, providing a little more of Haymitch´s background and giving the audience a clue of who he really is – when he´s not drunk, of course. Reading this book again, I was surprised to notice how much content Collins managed to provide without compromising the detail and emotional depth.

As a Peeta fan, something else I had previously been unwilling to acknowledge is that Gale is a pretty good choice as well. It feels wrong to write this, but it is true. I had failed to see Gale as a passionate, loyal, selfless and brave man who is willing to fight for others to have the freedom he could seek for himself if he just ran into the wilderness with Katniss like she asks him to. That’s pretty cool. I still like Peeta the most, though.

Contrasting the book and movie was similar to the comparison in my first review. The most important parts of the book were included in the movie but had some slight modifications when it came to where things took place and the scenes that portrayed more of the Capitol than the book. On the other hand, details such as the extravagant clothing, makeup, decoration, feasts and even the shallowness of the Capitol’s citizens were very accurately represented. Although Katniss and Peeta´s romance wasn´t developed as much in the movie as it was in the book – some important romantic scenes are cut out – it was definitely more thorough than the first movie. In my opinion, the biggest weakness of the movie was the lack of Katniss´ internal monologue. Her perspective is what draws us and makes us feel invested in her battle when we read the book, but when we watch the movie, she sometimes just comes across as quiet, indecisive and cranky.

Overall, Collins did a great job of keeping us glued to the book with the unfolding of her creative and exhilarating story and faithful character development. The movie summarized the main parts of the book dependably, and the actors and actresses did a great job at portraying the characters´ personalities and struggles.

 

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