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    1. Susan says:

      this game is fabulous!!!!!

    2. Nelida says:

      This review is from: First, I want to esbitlash that I adored the first two books I’ve read them multiple times and recommended them constantly at the bookstore where I work; I read them aloud to my husband, gave them to friends and relatives, and I’ve looked forward to Mockingjay’s release for MONTHS! Once I got the book I didn’t read it for several days a little silly, but I realized I didn’t want the story to end. I should have kept to that instinct, because I have finished the book and now I just feel sick. I don’t want to own it and I don’t think I’ll ever re-read it. It wasn’t even well-written! I don’t say this off the cuff it wouldn’t be fair to criticize the book this way simply because I didn’t like the ending but it’s true, and here’s why: **********SPOILER ALERT*********SPOILER ALERT***********SPOILER ALERT*********** It was predictable and contrived. Collins created lots of expendable characters (Hi there, Team 451!) and then spent most of the book killing them off. It reminded me of the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, where characters whose names you don’t know are being killed left and right so you know this is SERIOUS without having to lose a major character it’s a cheap trick, and I expected better of Collins. And cheating like this doesn’t actually work; it was so unlikely that she was going to kill off Katniss, Gale or Peeta in the middle of the book that it didn’t really create the suspense she was going for. Prim’s death (and Finnick’s) could have been used much more thoughtfully; instead we had a blitzkrieg of constant attrition to remind us that THIS IS WAR. It wasn’t evocative it just made me feel numb. This endless dying is interspersed with even-more-endless strategy and technical details. I repeatedly found myself skimming, which never happened with the previous two books. But these passages were so boring(!), and I kept hoping to find that Katniss had figured out a purpose or an orientation or had reached out to Peeta or even just accurately assessed something but no luck. Which brings me to character development, relationships, and philosophical reflections on values and motivations. They were vital in the previous two books, but they are nearly nonexistent here, and the book is fatally flawed because of it. Peeta is barely present, and if you discount the time that Katniss spends crying in corners, injured and in the hospital, taking morphling, or being manipulated or controlled by others and wandering around confused, she isn’t really present either. And Gale is unfairly characterized in order to resolve the love triangle it’s baffling, because Katniss of all people isn’t in a moral position to judge Gale, and I thought that was part of the point. Ultimately, the story is hijacked hey, that’s a good metaphor! by anti-war propaganda and a damn-near nihilistic outlook. I understand that Collins wanted to communicate that war and violence aren’t glamorous. I think she’s right. But (ironically) she’s done real violence to her characters and the merit in the world she created in order to bludgeon us with that value. In a way, you could call this book more realistic . And yet I think a book that accurately reflects the gritty horrors of war would show how people use dark humor as a coping mechanism. This book had none of the wry humor of the previous two. And for pity’s sake, what was Collins trying to achieve with the ending? I agree with those who say that Katniss agreed to a renewed Hunger Games featuring the children of Capitol citizens in order to get the opportunity to stop Coin it’s the only thing that makes sense, given what Collins is clearly trying to convey, and it fits best with the character of Katniss. But it’s not made explicit in the text. Leaving this up to conjecture was a major error on Collins’ part, or very bad editing. It’s not wise to be subtle in the philosophical part of the book that is meant to put the heavy-handed part into some kind of context. And the last four pages, where we finally learn: Peeta or Gale? An afterthought. I think what is worst is that by making this choice, Collins makes the war the only important part, the only real part of Katniss’s life all the rest calls for is a brief summary. Almost all injury, very little road to recovery (those real or not real conversations were one of the few highlights of the book). It’s baffling to me that this tacked-on ending is still fairy-tale-esque (that is, Katniss did settle down with her True Love and have children). But why bother giving her this semblance of a fairy-tale ending when it’s so clear that she’s DEAD INSIDE? It could have been insightfully ironic though that’s a little sick but it’s not. It’s just empty. Apparently, once you’ve been in a war, nothing not even consummation of true love or the birth of your

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