Literary Post-mortem: Mockingjay

Finished reading the third and final book in the Hunger Games series in the wee hours of yesterday morning and was in tears.

Had to re-read the last paragraph because it was so perfect. I bow down at the greatness that is Suzanne Collins.

I never imagined that I’d ever read an action novel, but I kind of did with this third installment. There’s always been a fair amount of adrenaline and action in the previous books but it all reached a whole new level in Mockingjay.

To say what happened without saying what happened,  I’ll say this:

I was not prepared for all the things that happened. This book picks up right where Catching Fire left off. So I still had the same indignant feels where Peeta was concerned.

For a long while Katniss goes on living a semi – normal life while preparing for what’s to come. For me she became someone I couldn’t look up to anymore. I don’t know if this has to do with her now being a flawed person, a real person. Who’s irrational, unforgiving and selfish. Which in retrospect was actually endearing and made everything all the more believable.

Even though she may have ‘shrunk’ somewhat for me because of the above she also grew a little. She finally found the words to describe what she felt for the men in her life and the words she used to describe her feelings were nothing short of beautiful. Because she knows what she feels she can find it in her to finally make a decision on who she loves and who she wants.

While the drama was a little extra, it was necessary and like I said very plausible for the most part. The narrative about war and freedom required it actually. Reading all the prep that went into training soldiers, the sacrifices that people had to make made me realise that I am nowhere ready for such fundamental change in my life. I do feel that change is needed in the world, but the magnitude of sacrifice required just never clicked. Perhaps it’s not even sacrifice as such but giving up small comforts for total and unequivocal freedom.

By the end of Mockingjay a lot has been lost but tremendous gains have also been won, both in the personal and political realm. Even though things have gone tits up, it does bring Katniss closer to the man she loves loves (<—-not an error). The epilogue reminded me of Harry Potter – both how it ended and how reading those books made me feel.

The Hunger Games trilogy felt like going back in time, to being that girl I was in high school who stopped living in this world for a few days and being right there at Hogwarts, or rather Panem.

In short, it was brilliant.

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