I pick up my copy of Mockingjay. Anticipation. Excitement. I read it with my wife. I sit down with my laptop and write a review. In the style of Suzanne Collins. Periods. Where there should be no periods. Short, first person sentences. It doesn’t really bother me. I’m used to her writing style.
I love the first two books so much. I know this one will be great. Mistaken. Frustration. Sadness. Disbelief. Anger. Why Suzanne? Why?
Poor Katniss and Peeta. By the end of book one the characters that I have come to love, have been through a horrible ordeal. But they survived it. Their trials have changed them in ways that only made them stronger, wiser, more endearing to me.
By the end of book two, they have been through more horrible ordeals. Peeta - captured. Katniss - really ticked off. But I feel that once again, they have survived it, and come out stronger. I can’t wait until they get their revenge on the Capitol and President Snow.
By the end of book three, they have survived the toughest trials yet. Gale has died in a very heroic act saving Katniss and/or Peeta from sure destruction. Katniss has killed President Snow, and Peeta is the new President of Panem. Katniss and Peeta move their families to the Capitol, are married, have kids, and visit Gale’s grave semi-annually. Joy. Renewal. Triumph. Justice. Reflection.
That is how this story should have gone.
Instead, there is no joy for me at the end of Mockingjay. Instead there is only sadness. Loss. Longing. For what might have been. This time the trials have been too much for the heroes. The violence. The loss. The torture. The grief. The pain. Have left Katniss and Peeta broken beyond repair. They are no longer the people I love. Now they are the people I feel sorry for. The people I pity.
It’s "The Book Thief" all over again. No matter that the main character survived. All she loved is gone. Nightmares of her brother dead on the train. Nightmares of her mother’s abandonment. Nightmares of picking through the blown up body parts of her friends and family. Scarred. Forever. No matter that the Jewish guy survived. His life of captivity, torture, seeing the worst in humankind, has left him damaged. Forever.
Peeta: Drugged. Torutured. Brainwashed. Images of body parts being hacked off. Nightmares. Real or not Real? Deal or no Deal? NO DEAL. Burned. Scarred. Damaged. Forever.
Katniss: Burned. The girl on fire – Literally. Gale gone. Mother gone. Prim Dead. Cinna Dead. Finnick Dead. Married to Peeta. Not because she finally realized he was the man of her dreams. Not living happily ever after. No. They keep each other from committing suicide. They make awaiting the sweet release of death somewhat bearable.
Nightmares. Scarred. Damaged. Forever.
Prim: DEAD! The sister that Katniss sacrificed all for. The sister who’s happy future would have made all the suffering worthwhile. Innocence lost. Burned. Dead.
Gale: Created the bomb that killed Prim. NOT dead. But living apart from the girl he loves. The girl who is now with Peeta; but not happy. Instead, damaged. Gale: Living forever with the guilt that he is partially responsible for Prim’s death. Scarred inside. Damaged. Forever.
Haymich: Still drunk. Still scarred. Damaged. Forever.
President Snow: Coughed to death. Evil eradicated? No. Evil is everywhere.
Mockingjay Cake: Flour and water. No sugar. Frosting the color of black Texas crude.
Markie: Sad. But not damaged forever.