I finished Mockingjay almost two weeks ago but have been unable to force myself to sit down and write a review for one reason only: I did not like it. I am an avid fan of the first two books in The Hunger Games series and had been looking forward to this book for over a year. The end of book two left so many possibilities! As a YA series it had been particularly gruesome- think Ender's Game to the nth degree but I thought, I hoped, that the third book would bring some peace to a society so deperately in need of it. Instead Mockingjay felt more like a piece of anti-war, anti-government propaganda. I felt like Ms Collins chose the absolutely worst possible route to resolution for the series. If resolution is what you can call it. While I appreciate her anti-war sentiment and the fact that she worked her charcters through the emotions of shock and trauma that accompany war, she did it in such a way that I lost almost all of my enjoyment of her main characters and the story itself. I found Katniss to be self-absorbed, indecisive and willfully ignorant (which is one of the worst traits anyone can have if you ask me!), Gale was obsessive and cruel and Peeta only a shadow of his former self. Of course, that was all intentional on the author's part. About halfway through the book I reached the realization that Prim was going to die. I was so upset that I almost put the book down and didn't finish. (I had the same sort of realization with Grey's Anatomy when they killed off Denny- but that is a whole 'nother post.) Can someone please explain to me the virtue of killing off Prim? Granted it was a way to finally put the kabosh on the Gale/Katniss relationship. Granted it was a surefire way to get Katniss to kill President Coin. But didn't it also negate the whole point of the first book in which Katniss sacrifices her own life to keep her sister alive? I thought it was totally unnecessary and cruel to the readers to kill Prim. I actually did put the book down after it happened. It took me a day to go back to it to finish the last few pages and quite frankly, at that point, I didn't care what happened. In general I was and still am horrified by the callous way in which the author unceremoniously killed off so many of the main characters. I am all for creative license and following your heart where the story goes. But at some point as an author you have to sit back and think about the impact of what you write will have on your readers- as far as I'm concerned this goes for fiction and non-fiction alike, especially when you are writing for young adults who are particularly impressionable! While I appreciate that the author had some practical applications to her story, especially in today's tumultuous hyper-political, war-ravenged society: sometimes the best choice is the lesser of two evils (or neither as the case may be), I feel like there are other ways she could have gone about it. There must have been some way to maintain at least a little bit of the characters we loved and still acheive her goal. For me Annie and Finnick's baby and a much altered Peeta/Katniss relationship doesn't really count as a happy ending.
I will probably reread this at some point to see if I can regain my love for the series. In the meantime, "May the odds be ever in your favor."