Rapid Review: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part II (2015)

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the hunger games mockingjay part 2

“Our lives were never ours, they belong to Snow and our deaths do too. But if you kill him, Katniss, all those deaths, they mean something.”
– Peeta Mellark

SYNOPSIS: As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance. – via IMDB

finnnick mockingjay mutts

GRADE 7I was excited for this, I really was. I was unhappy with the split of this book into two movies, and it seems that that was justified. I just don’t quite get it… you all know I was not really a fan of Mockingjay Part I. It felt unnecessary, though it was interesting to explore some of the political issues there. Then there is Mockingjay Part II, and it is uneven, and a mess, and somehow manages to feel so rushed. I don’t get it. There are also things that really irritated me. The main two offenders being SPOILERS that Finnick’s death was not done more justice – because it was really just glossed over in the book, and that Prim barely featured, so her death  meant absolutely nothing here. The movie felt cluttered, and it was not nearly as smooth as Catching Fire, which remains the crowning moment for this franchise. I maintain that Jennifer Lawrence succeeded in making Katniss Everdeen far more likable than she ever was in the books (ask anyone – Everdeen is a total pet peeve of mine, ugh, whiny brat). This is not the worst way to end out the franchise, but really less oomph than I was expecting. Visually, of course, the movie was great to look at, but I was extremely disappointed in the pods at the outer edge of the city. Way less bang for my buck than I was expecting. The conclusion is also portrayed in a far more upbeat manner than the book, which is much better for me because the book made me want to throw it out of frustration because Katniss is such a selfish child. The trailer contained all the really good things, unfortunately, so there was spans of filler stuff (for me) while watching this. I feel that the cast again did a fantastic job with their characters, bringing all of them to life, though many characters were glossed over. Sam Claflin is still fantastic as Finnick Odair, Josh Hutcherson is precisely what you would expect Peeta to be, and Liam Hemsworth is a really good Gale, exactly what I pictured him to be (don’t know why he gets so much hate – but then I have only ever seen him in this franchise). That’s just glossing over the main cast, as it really is just too large to talk about them all, but just know that they all worked very well with what they were given. I liked this alright, but I did not love it – it just feels like it never really took off like it was supposed to. It felt unpolished, unfinished, and uneven. That being said, it is still a fun franchise, and I am totally looking forward to a nice box set to add to my collection!

Review: Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

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mockingjay book cover

Hunger Games #3

SYNOPSIS: My name is Katniss Everdeen.
Why am I not dead?
I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans–except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay–no matter what the personal cost. – via Goodreads

GRADE 7I am so over Katniss being this tortured soul, though I understand certain aspects of it, this is war. Also, this thing with her, Peeta and Gale is madness. Gale understands that she will only ever pay any attention to him when he is in pain, and it seems the same holds true when it comes to Peeta. It is almost like she then feels obligated to satisfy and love one of them. Again, I agree with Haymitch’s assessment that she would never deserve Peeta, no matter what. I really wish we had a better understanding of what Gale did later on in life when the book ends. It was a typical and classic Suzanne Collins ending, quick and rushed. However, this is the one time I don’t feel that she could get away with it seeing as there is not another book to pick up the pieces and bind them all fairly again. I honestly feel that some more explanation was required for us all to be one hundred percent satisfied, not only partly. Katniss also seemed to slot into killing people rather quickly, though she fights tooth and nail with Gale about it all the time. Had me wondering a bit there. I understand the circumstances that surrounded that, but really, if you get complicated about it, Gale is thinking of that feeling all the time he is making plans, not just when it is actually happening. Suzanne Collins may not be my favourite writer in terms of style, etc. but I have to give her credit for a great story, one of the better ones we have seen in years. I loved this trilogy.

SPOILER: I find it unfair of readers to hate on Gale because of the unfortunate bombs in the Capitol that killed Prim. This is war, and there are casualties. It does not make it right, but he was not even aware of the use of his concept weapon. Also, it really got my goose how Katniss made it seem like she was sacrificing so much and doing Peeta a favour by being with him and having his children right at the end. Even then it was almost like she was not entirely happy.

Review: The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

5

the hunger games book cover

Hunger Games #1

SYNOPSIS: Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature. – via Goodreads

GRADE 7I understand the concept of it being a book for young adults, but it was pretty decent. I know there are people that are comparing this to Battle Royale, but I never read that, so for me this was new and on it’s own. I did not like the way the love component was written in, it seemed a bit childish and flaky, but at the same time I need to remember that this was a book aimed at a younger generation. I liked it in a sense, but became very frustrated at other times. I was rooting for Peeta and Gale both at the same time, but you can see that Katniss is confused about them, and thinks purely about herself first, she is rather selfish in that sense. Both are good men, but who does she feel for? The story was refreshing, something new, and the books really were very easy to get into and get hooked on. The only thing I had to get used to was the fact that the book was written in the first person and present tense, which for me is very different from my usual stuff, and every now and then it throws you. I did not suffer from that reading it the second time around, because I knew how the writing  style worked. I must say, you can see that it is a book written by a woman and about a woman, there is a lot of fashion and beauty stuff that goes down that the average man is not overly familiar with, but it is bearable and you can overlook it the moment Katniss enters the arena. Suzanne Collins wrote it well that every now and then the full force of the injustice of murdering children for sport and punishment smacks you squarely, and again I was reminded about how terrible people can be to one another. A pretty decent read, I must admit.

SPOILER: I wish that Katniss would have been honest with Peeta on the train on the way home and told him how she felt, the last few paragraphs on the train that Collins wrote about. I really think that that would have changed the dynamic between them completely, made things more bearable. Again, her selfishness wins out, however, and Peeta is left to flounder about what happened with them in the arena. If he knew where he stood with her, everything would have been so different.