So. You may have noticed that the countdown . . . you know, that one
is gone. It's always a little sad for me when the book comes out. Sure, I finally get to read it and it's awesome and all, but . . . what do I anticipate now? Sad day.
But can I just say, holy crap it's been a big old pile of drama getting this one. I ordered Mockingjay MONTHS ago on amazon - choosing amazon because it was the cheapest. And I don't think much of it, other than thinking about how it's so nice to know that the very day it comes out the book will be delivered directly to my door - yay! Because when I pre-ordered Harry Potter from Barnes and Noble that's what happened. And then my mom made me put HBP down and eat dinner with everybody . . . and no one was allowed to leave the table until everyone was done. There are not words to express the torture I was put through that evening. (not to mention it didn't make sense considering everyone else in the house - except Ashli, who's kind of lame and doesn't like HP - was waiting for that copy of the book too . . . including mom. Yeah, no sense at all.) Anyway. That's totally what I'm expecting to happen, because that's just what happens with highly anticipated, pre-ordered for months, topping most requested lists books, right? I mean, it's just logical. So when I got an email from Amazon on Monday saying that my book has just been shipped and the estimated arrival date is AUGUST THIRTIETH . . . yeah, that kinda doesn't fly. There was ranting, there was raving, and the anger has not fully dissipated yet because that is just not right. I don't care who's fault it is - amazon's, the printer's, the publishing company, or if it goes clear back to the author holding onto the manuscript for an extra day to tweak things. Heads are going to roll!!!!!!!!!!! Because if I had known they wouldn't be delivering it day of, I would have either ordered it from somewhere else or bought it in person.
Which is exactly what ended up happening. When Luke saw my reaction he insisted on buying a copy now and selling the amazon copy when it finally gets here. And I am sooooooooooooooo glad because the book? AMAZING!!!!!!! It took me about four hours last night to read it, and like all good books, I haven't been able to get it out of my head since. And I'm pretty much dying to know what everyone else thought, so here's what I thought.
(note: I'm keeping it spoiler-free as far as book 3 is concerned, so those poor unfortunate souls who are still waiting can feel free to keep going. Ian, Kayla - you might want to just bow out now. Along with anyone else who hasn't read the first two yet.)
(edit: changed my mind. I got into it and there's just too much I want to hear other people's opinions about. If you haven't read Mockingjay yet, stop here. Or at least consider yourself warned. But come back when you're done!!!!!! I want to hear what everyone thinks!!!!!!!!!!!)
Is there anything else to say other than awesome? I didn't necessarily like everything that happened but it all worked. It fit. It was pretty much perfect. Hit all the right notes and all that jazz. Very dark, and the ending is soooooooooooooooooooooo bittersweet it's almost too much. But the ending has definitely grown on me in the last 24 hours, and I absolutely love how real it is.
Couple of thoughts ~
~ I went into this one as torn as Katniss (as you might recall) over Team Peeta vs. Team Gale. Rather leaning toward Team Neither-Someone-Else or even Team Nobody. Definitely happy with how this one turned out. With the things that happened this time around - and mostly things that were said - my allegiance was quite solidly decided by the time this storyline finished. And with the winning side, yay! Specifically - Gale seems like a really great guy, but we only see him briefly before Katniss is off to the Capitol in the other books. We see them working together to survive, and their easy camaraderie, and it looks pretty great, and you (okay, I) want to root for Team Gale because she actually knows him and they know they can work together and are more or less compatible and all that good stuff. But now we finally get to actually know Gale a little bit. And . . . he's kind of a jerk. I'm all for being focused on the war and stuff, but you can't just turn off your humanity, you know? Unless you're Gale, apparently. He's frighteningly heartless about killing people, way to determined to punish people, and doesn't even seem to care about whether Katniss picks him or not. That scene when he's talking to Peeta? Really made me question whether he ever actually cared for her "that way" or was just so accustomed to her face, as they say in a song from a musical I can't quite place right now. Cursed tip-of-the-tongue-syndrome! And then he goes off to work in District 2 - the war district! - after everything's over without even trying to fight for her! Without even a word! Like he's moved on completely!! Grrrrrrrrrrr. Gale is the devil as far as I'm concerned. Gale is dead to me.
~ I would LOVE to see a spin-off book about District 13. I'm immensely curious about what they've been doing for the last 75 years. How they got to where they are as a society. How the people in power got there. Absolutely LOVE to see that. A prequel about the Dark Days seems the most obvious/likely/easy way to go, but unless it's told from the perspective of someone who was super young then and somehow still alive by the time these books hit and can therefore tell the whole story . . . gotta admit, I'm kinda not interested. Mostly because I most curious about how President Coin came into power . . . how things evolved from what surely couldn't have started as such a strict military establishment . . . how democratic those elections actually were . . . because, really, Coin is just as bad as Snow in her own way. When Katniss shot Coin? I might have cheered a little. Also - I was totally voting no on a 77th Hunger Games. But if they were going to go on anyway - totally putting Snow's granddaughter in, making him watch her play, and then executing him. But seriously - No. More. Hunger Games. That was the whole point of the war.
~ The brainwashing thing? So overdone. I'm still kicking myself for not seeing that one coming. The trackerjacker venom thing made it work . . . I guess. And I have to admit, it did form the setup for what might be my favorite moment in all three books . . . definitely top ten - the last couple of paragraphs of the last chapter, before the epilogue. Perfect.
~ I've spent the last the last 5 months telling myself that somehow Cinna lives. Still sad.
~ Still kicking myself for not seeing this coming either. Still so not happy that it happened. But I absolutely cannot help appreciating and admiring the irony.
Have you guessed it yet?
Prim. Holy crap, Prim. The catalyst. The whole reason the books exist. Think about it - someone else gets picked in that 74th reaping . . . Katniss doesn't volunteer . . . no star-crossed lover angle to play up . . . the tributes from 12 die . . . there is no symbol of rebellion . . . the games go on in perpetuity. Everything started because Katniss was determined to keep her sister alive. But every action she took - right down to merely volunteering to take her place - ultimately led to . . . one could even say caused . . . her sister's death. So obvious. So typical. Should have seen it coming. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo well done.
~ Clearly, her daughter's name is Primrose. Any guesses for the boy's name? I like Cinna myself. Maybe Finnick, but that seems like a stretch comparatively. Good thing he can't have a worse name than Albus Severus. Or Renesmee. (I just googled how to spell that name . . . someone has set up a facebook page for her. Not a fan page, a facebook profile. There are no words for how disturbed I am right now . . . )
~ Who else is totally reading all three again now?
I really need a new incomplete series to obsess over.
P. ost S. cript
This is my kind of Hunger Games. We're moving to Japan. For the game shows. :-)