Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay': Chapter 27

In the twenty-seventh chapter of Mockingjay, I really need to be held. Tightly. Forever. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Mockingjay.

HOW IS COLLINS GOING TO WRAP THIS UP.

In the stunned reaction that follows, I’m aware of one sound. Snow’s laughter. An awful gurgling cackle accompanied by an eruption of foamy blood when the coughing begins. I see him bend forward, spewing out his life, until the guards block him from my sight.

I cannot believe she did this. I mean, it makes perfect sense, it just feels right, but…oh my god, it’s really happening. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As the gray uniforms begin to converge on me, I think of what my brief future as the assassin of Panem’s new president holds. The interrogation, probable torture, certain public execution. Having, yet again, to say my final goodbyes to the handful of people who still maintain a hold on my heart.

Well, this is how it’s going to end, isn’t it? Katniss has sacrified her life and well-being to assure that Panem does not have Coin leading the country. It’s a real testament to her personal integrity and her bravery. I was so upset at her for saying yes to allowing another Hunger Games that I never considered that she was playing us all. It’s even more ironic because she went to the Capitol to kill Snow, when it was really Coin who she needed to kill all along.

The prospect of facing my mother, who will now be entirely alone in the world, decides it.

“Good night,” I whisper to the bow in my hand and feel it go still. I raise my left arm and twist my neck down to rip off the pill in my sleeve. Instead my teeth sink into flesh. I yank my head back in confusion to find myself looking into Peeta’s eyes, only now they hold my gaze. Blood runs from the teeth marks on the hand he clamped over my nightlock.

Oh my god, Peeta, what have you done??? I don’t even know what to think about this. I know Peeta wants to save her, but is he guaranteeing her more torture and pain at the hands of the government? Oh gray areas, WHY ARE YOU SO PREVALENT IN THIS BOOK?

The guards lift me above the fray, where I continue to thrash as I’m conveyed over the crush of people. I start screaming for Gale. I can’t find him in the throng, but he will know what I want. A good clean shot to end it all. Only there’s no arrow, no bullet. Is it possible he can’t see me? No. Above us, on the giant screens placed around the City Circle, everyone can watch the whole thing being played out. He sees, he knows, but he doesn’t follow through. Just as I didn’t when he was captured. Sorry excuses for hunters and friends. Both of us.

I’m on my own.

After all this time, Collins still knows how to write these tense and frightening scenes with brilliance. If there’s anything that I already know I’m going to take from this series, it’s that Suzanne Collins’s greatest skill is in writing action. It’s a complete justification for having these books be in first-person present and it’s allowed us to live entirely in the moments of Katniss’s world.

In this case, we’re dropped into the uncertain and terrifying experience of Katniss after having assassinated Coin. She’s taken to her old room in the Training Center, dragged through tunnels and passages by a handful of guards, and deposited, blindfolded and handcuffed, into this room. Her cuffs are removed before she’s locked in and Katniss surverys the damage.

It’s a struggle to get to my feet and peel off my Mockingjay suit. I’m badly bruised and might have a broken finger or two, but it’s my skin that’s paid most dearly for my struggle with the guards. The new pink stuff has shredded like tissue paper and blood seeps through the laboratory-grown cells. No medics show up, though, and as I’m far too gone to care, I crawl up onto the mattress, expecting to bleed to death.

I said it before, but it’s worthy of being repeated again: I feel entirely helpless. Hopeless, too. Collins has created that sort of atmosphere with her story, where even a singular scene in which something good finally happens to Katniss would at least make me feel a little bit better. But it’s just tragedy on top of another tragedy here, and I can’t hardly stand it. And it only gets worse:

Jumping to my death’s not an option—the window glass must be a foot thick. I can make an excellent noose, but there’s nothing to hang myself from. It’s possible I could hoard my pills and then knock myself off with a lethal dose, except that I’m sure I’m being watched round the clock. For all I know, I’m on live television at this very moment while commentators try to analyze what could possibly have motivated me to kill Coin. The surveillance makes almost any suicide attempt impossible. Taking my life is the Capitol’s privilege. Again.

I’m very happy Collins makes this distinction at the end of this section, because I also think it’s important to note that even in the most extreme sense, the Capitol has absolute control over Katniss. She doesn’t even own her life, and despite that the war is over, it’s still very much a reality of her existence. And that’s terrifying.

Instead, Katniss decides that she can give up, that that is something the new Capitol can’t control. She resolves to not eat, drink, or take any of her pills, but once her morphling withdrawal kicks in, that plan is pretty much obliterated, so she surmises that it might be possible to die from an addiction to morphling. (Wouldn’t that take a really long time, Katniss?)

It’s at this point that Katniss starts singing. We’re not given much context to it, except that we know she does it often, remembering the songs her father had taught her before he died. It’s strangely…uplifting? I mean, the concept of her finding her voice and using it to recall such a positive memory is the first moment of calm I’ve had in a long, long time reading this book. But it’s shrouded in frustration, as it’s revealed that weeks have passed without anyone coming into contact with Katniss.

What are they doing, anyway? What’s the holdup out there? How difficult can it be to arrange the execution of one murderous girl? I continue with my own annihilation. My body’s thinner than it’s ever been and my battle against hunger is so fierce that sometimes the animal part of me gives in to the temptation of buttered bread or roasted meat.

We’re back to this being about hunger again, and I think it’s something I’ve sort of unconsciously avoided talking about. It’s true that food was much more steady in Mockingjay than ever before. (Well, except for Victory Village.) But now Katniss is willing rejecting it as a sign of protest. She hadn’t done this before, had she? Regardless, it’s a huge moment of independence for Katniss, who is sick of being pawns for everyone else.

They can fatten me up. They can give me a full body polish, dress me up, and make me beautiful again. They can design dream weapons that come to life in my hands, but they will never again brainwash me into the necessity of using them. I no longer feel allegiance to these monsters called human beings, despite being one myself.

Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifies its children’s lives to settle its differences. You can spin it any way you like. Snow thought the Hunger Games were an efficient means of control. Coin thought the parachutes would expedite the war. But in the end, who does it benefit? No one. The truth is, it benefits no one to live in a world where these things happen.

Thank you, 758 other people who highlighted this passage, for agreeing with me. This realization by Katniss is, while heavy-handed, monumental. IT’S TIME FOR HER TO BE A BADASS ON HER OWN.

After two days of my lying on my mattress with no attempt to eat, drink, or even take a morphling tablet, the door to my room opens. Someone crosses around the bed into my field of vision. Haymitch. “Your trial’s over,” he says. “Come on. We’re going home.”

But….but…badassery! Wait. WHAT??!?!?!?! There was a trial??? WHAT THE FUCK.

I have to complain a bit, y’all. It has to happen! I can accept the context of the situation, but this is now like…the third time something GIGANTICALLY HUGE has happened and Collins is all, LOL ALL U GET IS A SUMMARY LOL. Particularly this summary is a bit grating, considering….well, ok, let’s get to it.

Haymitch stays with Katniss as she is taken care of and prepped to leave the Capitol, where she’s taken aboard a hovercraft with Plutarch and Haymitch.

After I shot Coin, there was pandemonium. When the ruckus died down, they discovered Snow’s body, still tethered to the post. Opinions differ on whether he choked to death while laughing or was crushed by the crowd. No one really cares.

I love that no one cares, but wouldn’t it have been clear if he’d merely choked versus BEING CRUSHED TO DEATH. Those are two very distinct deaths.

Anyway, moving on.

An emergency election was thrown together and Paylor was voted in as president. Plutarch was appointed secretary of communications, which means he sets the programming for the airwaves.

Well…that’s nice, right?

The first big televised event was my trial, in which he was also a star witness. In my defense, of course.

And now comes my gigantic, huge complaint: WHY WASN’T KATNISS A WITNESS AT HER OWN TRIAL? It doesn’t even make any sense:

Although most of the credit for my exoneration must be given to Dr. Aurelius, who apparently earned his naps by presenting me as a hopeless, shell-shocked lunatic.

That’s it? So no one ever thought, “Hey, why don’t we let Katniss explain why she did it and she’ll tell everyone Coin murdered children and then that would be a much better defense than what we just gave”?

I mean…in terms of what these characters did to Katniss, it’s pretty fucked that they don’t even think she’s capable of defending herself. But that’s not my complaint. A lot of characters make poor decisions in this book and it honestly adds to the realism of it all. What I don’t like is that a moment so potentially huge for Katniss (her trial) is completely ignored. This feels sooooooooo lazy to me. I’m curious to know how all of you feel about this, since apparently the ending of this book is a bit contentious in the fandom.

But further on the point, I simply don’t get how they can all ignore the obvious. I would understand Plutarch not wanting to get involved in going after Coin’s reputation, so it makes sense that he’d step in to defend Katniss in a different way. But no one else thought that it might be good to say, “HEY THIS IS WHY COIN IS DEAD, MAYBE WE SHOULD LIKE NOT DO THIS AGAIN”?

Ugh. So yeah. I AM NOT A FAN OF THIS.

We learn Katniss is supposed to stay in District 12 for the near future as part of a condition of her acquittal, though others from the rebel team have jobs to do, which makes Katniss wonder if there’s more war coming.

“Oh, not now. Now we’re in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated,” he says. “But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction. Although who knows? Maybe this will be it, Katniss.”

“What?” I ask.

“The time it sticks. Maybe we are witnessing the evolution of the human race. Think about that.”

Well, christ, we can ONLY HOPE SO at this point. This book, guys. This book.

After dropping off Plutarch, Katniss wonders why Haymitch is coming back with her to District 12, worried that Haymitch is meant to watch over her.

“You have to look after me, don’t you? As my mentor?” He shrugs. Then I realize what it means. “My mother’s not coming back.”

Oh, fucking hell. I CANNOT TAKE ANYMORE SAD.

He pulls an envelope from his jacket pocket and hands it to me. I examine the delicate, perfectly formed writing. “She’s helping to start up a hospital in District Four. She wants you to call as soon as we get in.” My finger traces the graceful swoop of letters. “You know why she can’t come back.” Yes, I know why. Because between my father and Prim and the ashes, the place is too painful to bear. But apparently not for me. “Do you want to know who else won’t be there?”

“No,” I say. “I want to be surprised.”

It doesn’t matter that they war has been won. These people cannot win, and they’ll be haunted by the brutality on both sides for the rest of their lives. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but Collins isn’t willing to ignore that the events of this series have ramifications that are permanent. I don’t imagine there’s going to be a happy ending to this.

When they land in the Victor’s Village in Twelve, Katniss’s house is the only one with lights on inside of it, so I feared the worst: Peeta had stayed behind. Katniss, completely alone, heads inside to discover a fire built by…well, we don’t know until the next morning, when Greasy Sae wakes up Katniss while she’s making breakfast. Katniss doesn’t know if she’s being paid to do this or if it’s out of the kindness of her own heart, but Greasy Sae seems to come every breakfast and dinner for Katniss.

I have no idea how much time passes, but since Coin’s murder was during the winter, when Greasy Sae says that “Spring’s in the air today,” to Katniss, I have to assume that months just went by. Months entirely by herself. No mother, no Gale, no Peeta, no Haymitch, no one but Greasy Sae and her granddaughter. This may be the saddest ending to anything I have ever read. (Well, I can think of one book sadder than this, but I don’t even want to recommend it because then I’m technically spoiling it.)

When Katniss denies the chance to leave the house because she doesn’t have a bow, Greasy Sae directs her to the study. Hours after Greasy Sae leaves, Katniss’s curiosity gets the best of her:

In the study, where I had my tea with President Snow, I find a box with my father’s hunting jacket, our plant book, my parents’ wedding photo, the spile Haymitch sent in, and the locket Peeta gave me in the clock arena. The two bows and a sheath of arrows Gale rescued on the night of the firebombing lie on the desk.

I’m reminded of the opening of Deathly Hallows when Harry goes through all his possessions before he decides what he’s going to leave behind. These are pieces from all three novels, physical reminders of the journeys she has been on. And goddamn it, I WILL NOT CRY. I WILL NOT CRY.

I wake with a start. Pale morning light comes around the edges of the shutters. The scraping shovel continues. Still half in the nightmare, I run down the hall, out the front door, and around the side of the house, because now I’m pretty sure I can scream at the dead. When I see him, I pull up short. His face is flushed from digging up the ground under the windows. In a wheelbarrow are five scraggly bushes.

“You are back,” I say.

WHAT.

“Dr. Aurelius wouldn’t let me leave the Capitol until yesterday,” Peeta says. “By the way, he said to tell you he can’t keep pretending he’s treating you forever. You have to pick up the phone.”


oh my god OH MY GOD!!!!

He looks well. Thin and covered with burn scars like me, but his eyes have lost that clouded, tortured look. He’s frowning slightly, though, as he takes me in. I make a halfhearted effort to push my hair out of my eyes and realize it’s matted into clumps. I feel defensive. “What are you doing?”

“I went to the woods this morning and dug these up. For her,” he says. “I thought we could plant them along the side of the house.”

My heart has just exploded. Peeta. Peeta is back. PEETA IS BACK.

I look at the bushes, the clods of dirt hanging from their roots, and catch my breath as the word rose registers. I’m about to yell vicious things at Peeta when the full name comes to me. Not plain rose but evening primrose. The flower my sister was named for. I give Peeta a nod of assent and hurry back into the house, locking the door behind me.

I’m speechless. Not only is Peeta back, but he seems to be healing, as evident by his completely gutting act of creating a memorial to Prim. I can’t. I CANNOT. Don’t fucking cry.

The smell’s very faint but still laces the air. It’s there. The white rose among the dried flowers in the vase. Shriveled and fragile, but holding on to that unnatural perfection cultivated in Snow’s greenhouse. I grab the vase, stumble down to the kitchen, and throw its contents into the embers. As the flowers flare up, a burst of blue flame envelops the rose and devours it. Fire beats roses again. I smash the vase on the floor for good measure.

It doesn’t really need to be said again that Collins is heavy-handed with her metaphors, but at this point, I plain don’t care. This scene is so necessary for Katniss, to provide her with a physical catharsis for the way that Snow has ruined her life in so many ways.

Fire beats roses again.

That night we learn more about what’s happened since the end of the war from Greasy Sae.

Over the eggs, I ask her, “Where did Gale go?”

“District Two. Got some fancy job there. I see him now and again on the television,” she says.

I dig around inside myself, trying to register anger, hatred, longing. I find only relief.

Wow. So that’s it? Gale’s gone. And he’s not coming back. THIS BOOK IS SO SAD.

But it only continues to get sadder, despite that Peeta has returned. (Where is he right now, by the way?) Katniss finally decides to head out to hunt. On the way out to the meadow, she passes the mayor’s house, which has been reduced to rubble, and she asks if anyone was found.

“Whole family. And the two people who worked for them,” Thom tells me.

Madge. Quiet and kind and brave. The girl who gave me the pin that gave me my name. I swallow hard. Wonder if she’ll be joining the cast of my nightmares tonight. Shoveling the ashes into my mouth. “I thought maybe, since he was the mayor…”

“I don’t think being the mayor of Twelve put the odds in his favor,” says Thom.

Realistic, sure. Utterly depressing? Unbelievably so. But, yet again, as you all told me, I am perpetually unprepared.

The Meadow’s gone, or at least dramatically altered. A deep pit has been dug, and they’re lining it with bones, a mass grave for my people.

Seriously, Collins, what are you doing to me. After everything that’s happened, I feel as if Collins is giving us the pieces to understand how permanently these people have been changed, how their home was taken away from them and destroyed, and how war will live on in their lives. I felt stronger about this idea as Katniss heads out to her meeting spot with Gale, but knowing that he’ll never show up again. Even though I feel better about Peeta being around Katniss, I’m still sad for the way things have turned out.

There is a brief moment of joy here, though:

My head snaps around at the hiss, but it takes awhile to believe he’s real. How could he have gotten here? I take in the claw marks from some wild animal, the back paw he holds slightly above the ground, the prominent bones in his face. He’s come on foot, then, all the way from 13. Maybe they kicked him out or maybe he just couldn’t stand it there without her, so he came looking.

See? I told you that Buttercup was a thousand times better than you’ll ever be. Still, it’s a moment that is then completely sideswiped by the sadness of it all.

“It was the waste of a trip. She’s not here,” I tell him. Buttercup hisses again. “She’s not here. You can hiss all you like. You won’t find Prim.” At her name, he perks up. Raises his flattened ears. Begins to meow hopefully. “Get out!” He dodges the pillow I throw at him. “Go away! There’s nothing left for you here!” I start to shake, furious with him. “She’s not coming back! She’s never ever coming back here again!” I grab another pillow and get to my feet to improve my aim. Out of nowhere, the tears begin to pour down my cheeks. “She’s dead.” I clutch my middle to dull the pain. Sink down on my heels, rocking the pillow, crying. “She’s dead, you stupid cat. She’s dead.” A new sound, part crying, part singing, comes out of my body, giving voice to my despair. Buttercup begins to wail as well.

JESUS. CHRIST. NEVER. PREPARED. FOR ANY OF THIS. Ugh, I had tears in my eyes reading this part. THIS IS POSSIBLY ONE OF THE MOST DEPRESSING SCENES EVER. I am still shocked that this is a YA novel only because most things ever are not this sad. Collins has crafted a story about the horrors of war and she didn’t refrain from making it as uncomfortable as possible.

But this moment, beyond just being depressing, is a sign of a shift for Katniss. Well, for our characters in general, too. For Katniss, it’s a time to start healing herself, to accept those who are remaining in her life as people who can help her begin to feel better and move past the terrors of the war against the Capitol and the absurdity of the Hunger Games.

In the morning, he sits stoically as I clean the cuts, but digging the thorn from his paw brings on a round of those kitten mews. We both end up crying again, only this time we comfort each other. On the strength of this, I open the letter Haymitch gave me from my mother, dial the phone number, and weep with her as well. Peeta, bearing a warm loaf of bread, shows up with Greasy Sae. She makes us breakfast and I feed all my bacon to Buttercup.

In the series’ most evocative and heartbreaking scene yet, we get the absolute sign that Katniss has begun to heal when she speaks to us about the book she is putting together. It becomes a form of therapy for her, and a rather brilliant one at that, a way of her doing exactly what she did with Buttercup: it’s a way to realize history and to face what has happened.

The page begins with the person’s picture. A photo if we can find it. If not, a sketch or painting by Peeta. Then, in my most careful handwriting, come all the details it would be a crime to forget. Lady licking Prim’s cheek. My father’s laugh. Peeta’s father with the cookies. The color of Finnick’s eyes. What Cinna could do with a length of silk. Boggs reprogramming the Holo. Rue poised on her toes, arms slightly extended, like a bird about to take flight. On and on. We seal the pages with salt water and promises to live well to make their deaths count. Haymitch finally joins us, contributing twenty-three years of tributes he was forced to mentor. Additions become smaller. An old memory surfaces. A later primrose preserved between the pages. Strange bits of happiness, like the photo of Finnick and Annie’s newborn son.

THEY HAD A SON?!?!?! Oh god, it doesn’t end, does it? I did expect for a moment that Collins was going to reveal that the whole series itself was the “book” that Katniss put together, but I’m glad that she didn’t. It preserves the urgency of the experience for me and saves it from feeling gimmicky.

Peeta and I grow back together. There are still moments when he clutches the back of a chair and hangs on until the flashbacks are over. I wake screaming from nightmares of mutts and lost children. But his arms are there to comfort me. And eventually his lips.

You know what I love most about this? That Collins simply doesn’t say, “WELL WE GOT BETTER AND EVERYTHING WAS OK.” They are both suffering the emotional and mental effects of their pasts. She doesn’t erase it. She simply says they learn to cope in their own ways. Thank you for this, Suzanne Collins.

On the night I feel that thing again, the hunger that overtook me on the beach, I know this would have happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.

So after, when he whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?”

I tell him, “Real.”

Even after all this time, Peeta may still need to use this device to handle what happened to him. Regardless, it’s a way for Collins to communicate to us that this doesn’t disappear, that this world was ruined by human greed and sadism, and that the people who fought against it were harmed in ways we couldn’t imagine. It’s one of the most powerful statements, despite its pervasively depressing tone, because it doesn’t invalidate the story that came before it. If anything, it gives a legitimacy to the experiences of these people because Collins turns the story over to them. What happened to them, and all the people they lost along the way, is the most important thing about this all.

Ugh, only one more of these left. Excuse me while I cry myself to sleep tonight.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Mockingjay, The Hunger Games and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

362 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay': Chapter 27

  1. Anonymous says:

    THIS BOOK WRECKED YOU.
    REAL OR NOT REAL?!

  2. Heather says:

    *Holds Mark tightly. Forever.*

  3. aurorabora says:

    I love this chapter so much, particularly the last few pages. So beautiful and heartbreaking, and like you, I really applaud Collins for making it so hard and showing the realities of war. Lives are broken apart and things will never be the same, but you rebuild and make the best of what you can and try to find goodness and love. And that is why I will defend this book to the haters (TO THE LEFT) every time. Tears and hugs forever.

  4. FlameRaven says:

    BRB CRYING FOREVER.

    Seriously, I started crying all over again just reading this review.

    • Ronni says:

      This!

      And I'm sitting here at work. *must regain composure*

      • aurorabora says:

        SAME!

      • FlameRaven says:

        I know, I'm at work too. I was dabbing my eyes hoping no one walks in. D:Doesn't help that I'm also listening to a pretty tragic story on This American Life.

      • syntheticjesso says:

        Same here. SORRY BOSS, I'M CRYING OVER A REVIEW OF A CHAPTER OF A BOOK I READ MONTHS AGO, DON'T MIND ME.

      • elusivebreath says:

        Same here! And I have to read this on the sly, too lol

      • JackieDaniels20 says:

        I had to go to the car to fix my makeup. I forgot Friday’s mental reminder to wear waterproof mascara to work on Monday. Saddest chapter ever.

        I also just had a weird thought. I know Cinna cared about Katniss but what if he was also using her? Not in THG but in CF. I mean, he designed the wedding dress to transform into a mockinjay making Katniss the poster girl of the rebel cause and he must’ve been in league with Coin when designed the mockingjay outfit for her. Sorry! I’m not trying to tarnish Cinna’s name. RIP :(

        • Tempera Kale says:

          Jacki, I was wondering the same thing! I love Cinna, but Im just not sure he made that dress for all the right reasons… But perhaps it was because she wasn’t aware that the mockingjay was the symbol of the rebellion yet?

    • calimie says:

      Me too, I teared up reading Buttercup's part.

    • Saber says:

      Crying with a friend in the middle of the library. Everyone was staring at us. We didn't care

  5. stellaaaaakris says:

    So after, when he whispers, "You love me. Real or not real?"
    I tell him, "Real."

    THANK GOD. I needed a final moment of happiness somewhere in this book of despair. The last bit of happiness was Fannie's wedding, way back on Valentine's Day. And this chapter has new bits of sadness to reveal: Madge :'( and Katniss' mom isn't returning. I almost started crying again as the book of the dead was described. Buttercup's return and his and Katniss' breakdown. I don't think she has had a chance to really grieve over Prim's death up until then. But Buttercup has decided to adopt Katniss; that's nice.

    But back to Peeta. I think the way Katniss describes the personalities of all three love triangle members is important. By this point, she knows all 3 of them better than ever. She and Gale are so similar, they're always destined to clash. If we think back on the books, very rarely does a moment when the two of them are together (and not being BAMFs) not end in a fight. Fire feeds fire, so the two of them together would have led to some terrifying fights, ones that might have erased any good memories the two of them had together. But Peeta is more like the earth, steady. He can ground her and keep her calm. He sees beauty where she doesn't and she needs that. He's good for her and he's always wanted her, even with the false memories attacking him, he still wants to protect her and eventually becomes comfortable again with her. Good God, I love this fictional character.

    I'm holding on to the idea that the reasons we have so many summaries in this book is because she was required to keep each book under 400 pages and so we lost at least a glimpse of the trial and more interactions with Prim.

    Also, Haymitch raises geese lol…wut?

    • Hotaru-hime says:

      I imagine Haymitch gets along rather well with geese. I imagine he honks back angrily when they try to start something.

    • Karen says:

      But back to Peeta. I think the way Katniss describes the personalities of all three love triangle members is important. By this point, she knows all 3 of them better than ever. She and Gale are so similar, they're always destined to clash. If we think back on the books, very rarely does a moment when the two of them are together (and not being BAMFs) not end in a fight. Fire feeds fire, so the two of them together would have led to some terrifying fights, ones that might have erased any good memories the two of them had together. But Peeta is more like the earth, steady. He can ground her and keep her calm. He sees beauty where she doesn't and she needs that. He's good for her and he's always wanted her, even with the false memories attacking him, he still wants to protect her and eventually becomes comfortable again with her. Good God, I love this fictional character.

      BASICALLY I AM QUOTING YOUR WHOLE COMMENT BACK AT YOU BECAUSE IT IS TRUTH.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Your and Katniss's descriptions of the differences between Peeta and Gale are perfect! Katniss and Gale never made sense to me because they were too alike, and even if I didn't think that she HAD to end up with Peeta, I'm glad that Collins to the time to explicitly reflect on the natures of the three of them and why things ended up the way they did. And with Gale's intelligence and restiveness, I doubt he would have been happy to hang around in 12, anyway.

      I'd like to blame the editor and publisher, too, because I love the plot and I don't want to hate on Collins too much.

    • Gabbie says:

      A lot of fans have something they were disappointed with in Mockingjay, and honestly, mine's just Haymitch raising geese. Gale is a close second. I was like, "Oh, Gale… That's terri– wait ,what? Geese? REALLY?"

    • Tempera Kale says:

      Who required her to keep the book under 400 pages? I feel ripped off…. I wanted to see more of prim as well!

  6. Hotaru-hime says:

    Yeah, it's pretty devastating. The worst thing about it is that most of what happens is stuff that would be most like to happen if the situations were real. They would never put Katniss on trial- she would make the heads of rebellion all look bad. If Katniss said in front of all the Districts that Coin ordered the death of those children, everyone would ask why there was no one to stop Coin. And chaos would reign again.
    Something I find really sad is that we never find out the name of Katniss' mother. That seems really sad to me.

    • Saber says:

      I call her mom "Lillian" in my head. No idea where I got that, but it fits with D12 plant names thing. Lillian – Lily

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        I call her Penny. Because her family was from the town and ran the apothecary shop, I think. So, similar to how Peeta from the bakery is like pita bread, she is Penny…for penicillin. Yeah, I know, who names their kid Penicillin? Which is why I went with Penny. *shrug* Brain, why are you so strange?

      • canadadian says:

        OMG ANOTHER HARRY POTTER PARALLEL!
        Sorry. Can't help it.

    • Hanh says:

      Or Foxface. We can't forget about her.

  7. andreah1234 says:

    MARK, YOU NEED MOAR HUGS? I WILL GIVE YOU MOAR HUGS

    <img src="http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn135/dazzle_me90/GIF/cryinghug.gif"&gt;

    <img src="http://i1024.photobucket.com/albums/y305/CharacterMaster/Gif/bd7ce038.gif"&gt;

    <img src="http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o315/Pao_Meiks/Gif/Mannschaft-SuperHug.gif"&gt;

    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v39/Blaze2242/GIF/bigbanghug.gif"&gt;

    First things first. BABY FINNICK. BABY FINNICK. MY HEART. COLLINS HAS CRUSHED IT. Finnick will never see his son. Ever. And baby Finnick will grow up the same way Katniss did. Without a father. BRB DYING.

    <img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff431/andy930930/tumblr_lhhd3iieiV1qf9b41.gif"&gt;

    <img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff431/andy930930/tumblr_lgfj3r50dW1qapypa.gif"&gt;

    And after all that happened Gale just left? to a fancy job on 2? You know where he wanted to kill a bunch of people?

    <img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff431/andy930930/tumblr_lhh8kp2a1g1qaoh68.gif"&gt;

    <img src="http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff431/andy930930/tumblr_lhgvy9Klzj1qaq164.gif"&gt;

    And S.L.O.E CRYING WITH KATNISS. MY HEART. IT HURTS.

    <img src="http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll120/nextbestsuperstar_2008/GIFs/tumblr_lbzmzpkcR11qzllsr.gif"&gt;
    <img src="http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll120/nextbestsuperstar_2008/GIFs/tumblr_lbzn6mMRQM1qzllsr.gif"&gt;

    But, on a happier note: FUCK YEAH PEETA. MY SHIP WON AGAIN. PARTY. You are awesome Peeta I love you, And I'm glad Peeniss is finally on.

    <img src="http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii205/lassie_faire/GIF%20central/Glee/sinttulo15.gif"&gt;

    <img src="http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f9/Vanilla105/GIF/thmumble-1.gif"&gt;

    <img src="http://i1239.photobucket.com/albums/ff503/busybee6363/lololwhoseline.gif"&gt;

    <img src="http://i1239.photobucket.com/albums/ff503/busybee6363/sheldon.gif"&gt;

    • Kripa says:

      I think Gale went far away to deal with his guilt. Collins isn't obvious about it, because Gale's hella stoic, but he feels AWFUL about the fact that it could have been his bomb that killed Prim. He can't cope with the guilt and face Katniss. He needs to get away to sort out his self-loathing. That's how I saw it.

    • Gabbie says:

      DO I DETECT BIG BANG THEORY GIFS!?! You, my friend, WIN. xD

    • Lindsey says:

      Who's Line and the Big Bang Theory. *High Fives!*

  8. Stephalopolis says:

    I literally squeed out loud when it was revealed that it was Peeta who came back to Katniss.

  9. prideofportree says:

    I know you think you're nearly done… but, actually, you're still not prepared.

  10. Semalina says:

    Katniss is so badly damaged, *everything* is so badly damaged…
    SAD. TEARS.
    That is my summery of this chapter.

  11. momigrator says:

    I think it's worth saying that Haymitch probably knew that Katniss had something up her sleeve when he said, "I'm with the Mockingjay." Gives me back that feeling of love and respect for him.

    • bookling says:

      Oh, he knew. That's why Katniss said "see how well he really knows me" or whatever it was. She knew that he would understand what she was doing.

      • kellylea says:

        totally, totally missed that. I think you're right, though. There were undertones to that sentence that I didn't pick up on but it makes perfect sense in hindsight.

  12. MeasuringInLove says:

    "Don't fucking cry" was my mantra for the last few chapters of this book. I am sad to report that it didn't work. At all. Not even remotely close. There are no gifs to describe the sadness.

    • trash_addict says:

      This book really hammered home how difficult it is to keep reading through tears…

  13. Sophie says:

    I was so sad to learn that Finnick and Annie had a son. It's like Remus and Tonks all over again, y/y?

    Oh God, THIS CHAPTER. I love it so much.

    • blis says:

      Sad yes becuase i wonder if Finnick knew, but at the same time very happy. Annie needs some happiness in her life.

    • andreah1234 says:

      I was so sad to learn that Finnick and Annie had a son. It's like Remus and Tonks all over again, y/y?

      Oh. :( :( :( :( :( :(. I HADN'T THOUGHT ABOUT THAT. HEART BREAKING.

    • Kate Monster says:

      I wonder if baby Finnick has a super-cool rockstar name, too. Because let's face it, Teddy Lupin totally gets all the girls with an acoustic guitar and soulful lyrics.

      • Puel says:

        Well, District Four seems to give their kids less bizarre names than the rest, so hopefully the Finnicklet isn't called something hopelessly silly.

        (Annie, please don't name the kid Starfish or Octopus or something like that. BREAK THE CYCLE OF HORRIBLE DISTRICT NAMES.)

        • pooslie says:

          oh i am totally naming my 1st kid octopus!

        • Kate Monster says:

          Finnicklet. Hee. <3

          I think of other sea-related names for the baby and then I think "SHARK" and then I think "SHARK-KRUM" from Lego Harry Potter and then I think of the Finnicklet with a shark-head and then it just starts getting weird.

          Stream of consciousness, y so crazy.

        • Gabbie says:

          I imagined her naming it after her hubby. <3 He'll be Little Finn!!!

        • Saber says:

          Finnick Odair II
          Finn for short.

  14. Kaci says:

    Thank you, 758 other people who highlighted this passage, for agreeing with me. This realization by Katniss is, while heavy-handed, monumental. IT’S TIME FOR HER TO BE A BADASS ON HER OWN.

    At this point, after how much all these characters have suffered, I don't care how heavy-handed this part was, or the "fire beats roses again" part, or any of it, because I need it as much as Katniss does. It's cathartic, in a way, and I'll take a little heavy-handedness for that.

    Although I'm not a shipper with this series (there's way too much going on for me to even consider romantic entanglements beyond the political role they played), I do really love what she says here about why she loves Peeta–that because she is so angry and so full of fire, being with Gale could turn out rather destructive because he's full of anger and fire, too. It doesn't mean he's a bad person, not at all, and it doesn't invalidate what either of them felt for each other, it just simply says that they're not right, in the long run, because they're not what each other needs. I really like the way that's handled.

    • Agreed, I wasn't a shipper, but I loved that Katniss only made her decision after she had a real friendship with Peeta, unfettered by the confines of either the Crapitol or Dipshits 13. Yes, that was incredibly immature of me, but since they're all kid-killers, I feel a wee bit justified.

    • gfse says:

      "I do really love what she says here about why she loves Peeta–that because she is so angry and so full of fire, being with Gale could turn out rather destructive because he's full of anger and fire, too. It doesn't mean he's a bad person, not at all, and it doesn't invalidate what either of them felt for each other, it just simply says that they're not right, in the long run, because they're not what each other needs"
      yes exactly, thanks for putting it so eloquently.

  15. kajacana says:

    I was really upset about Collins' choice to keep Katniss out of all the action surrounding the post-execution chaos and trial. I felt cheated. Like… we've been with Katniss this long, waiting for the Capitol to fall for THREE DAMN BOOKS, and when it finally happens we don't even get to watch? On the one hand, I understand that this adds to the realism that makes these books so powerful in the first place. However… whipping out the "oh well, Katniss is unconscious, let's have six pages of metaphors" trope RIGHT at the critical moment feels incongruous and lazy. I mean… at the end of the day, this is still a novel. I'm annoyed that, as a reader, I was dragged through a whole series of buildup for an event that never even made it to the pages in real time. I'm all for Collins turning our expectations on their heads — I just wish she had done so in a more satisfying way. (And for the record, by "satisfying" I don't mean neat and tidy and perfectly making sense — I just mean satisfying in a literary way, like, all right, "this happens in this book and I can believe it." The sudden cut from the action really pulled me out of the story, and that was frustrating.)

    • monkeybutter says:

      I agree, it's really frustrating how different this chapter is from the rest of the book, and the falling action is a bit lacking. There's not a good enough cushion between the climax of defeating Snow and Coin, and Katniss putting her life back together.

    • ShiiShii says:

      I definitely agree. This was the fastest conclusion I have ever read, and I wasn't satisfied in the literary sense. For one thing, I adored Gale because he was like a sturdy wall for Katniss, having brutal honesty and all that. I loved it. However, watching him just disappear to District 2 where he WANTED TO KILL PEOPLE, I was like, "What. How the fuck does that make sense?" No. Closure. At all. Same thing I said with Finnick. Finnick just…died. No remembrance paragraph or anything, and now Gale is just…gone. "He's working for D2! LOL KAY!" NO THAT'S NOT LOL KAY, THAT IS NOT HOW YOU CLOSE OUT A CHARACTER. IUHDSLFKJBDLG
      I was also really pissed that they didn't go more into detail with the trail. Collins, it's YOUR book, something as important as a TRIAL THAT DECIDES KATNISS'S LIFE can be put in without exploding everything you've built. No, really, it won't destroy the sadness.

      Basically, Collins has got to do better on closure. I don't mind the tragedies being made here, but seriously, I wanna feel like the character's had a good departure. CARE ABOUT YOUR CHARACTERS EVEN THOUGH BAD STUFF KEEPS HAPPENING TO THEM. Gawd, I can't stress that enough.

  16. andreah1234 says:

    ALSO: MADGE. SHE'S DEAD. FUCK THE WORLD.
    <img src="http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm304/zKrXiTa/NS201-new.gif"&gt;
    <img src="http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j396/ashyemarie/GIF/crying.gif"&gt;

    And on a less shallow note: I think you're last point it's great, Mark. I do think the war and the games will always be with this characters and that they have scars that might never heal. It really is deppresing to think about the future, if there is a future at all. When I read that I didn't want to think about it because, OMG THE SADS, and right now… Oh fuck it, I still don't want to think about it. OMG THE SADS. I CAN'T TAKE IT.

    <img src="http://i805.photobucket.com/albums/yy334/lifeinautomatic/Gifs/summer-crying.gif"&gt;

  17. Lynn says:

    Here is what I thought about the trial. It reminds me a little of a couple of things. For one, it is once again representative of how Katniss was more a pawn to the different sides than her own agent. Her trial, by not having her even be a witness to her side, continues this theme. I think it was Collins' way of reminding us that even with the change in government that Katniss still is at their control.

    It also reminds me of how some of the "criminally insane" in our country are treated. People with disorders such as Schizophrenia are withheld medicine so that they appear more unstable even though in some cases when you withhold medicine for long periods of time it makes it harder to get them back to a "normal" state. They are treated as pawns without regard to how it will effect their mental wellbeing long term. Now it can be ethically ambiguous and I don't want to go into that, but there was a slight parallel.

    The thing about the trial is that I doubt very few people would have known about Coin's true atrocities, and it might have been considered top secret information not to be released to the public in the name of the "greater good". It seemed right in line with what had been going on. For these reasons I think that it served the narrative better not to have Katniss at her trial. It would have been distracting from where we are in the story as well as missed the ability to reiterate the themes of the series..

  18. xghostproof says:

    I wish there could have been at least some of the trial too, I just still get the feeling that all three books had to be chopped and condensed in areas to fit a length requirement. I kind of pretend that the original draft contained more info on all that even if I will never get to see it and that Collins was forced to get rid of it to make the page count a little less.

    • Alanna says:

      Another possible reason is that she follows a very strict structure in all three books: 27 chapters broken into three parts, and even the page counts are fairly consistent. It wasn't as much of an issue in HG and CF because the stories didn't feel as rushed, but here it really does seem like she's cramming a lot into several sections throughout the book — especially these last couple of chapters — just to make sure she sticks to the pattern. (That said, Collins is a good enough writer that I'd prefer to believe she was forced to keep them under a certain number of pages.)

  19. PatR says:

    Just tears, no words, tears. Real or not real? Think about the rebels in Libya today pushing toward Tripoli. Lives changes forever.

    tears – I'm going to go hug my cat.

    • iolchos says:

      well, not just Libya, several places are in revolt or are sources of violent political strife, like the Ivory Coast,. And it's not just now, that things are happening, but in general through history – I really liked that part of Plutarch's speech, cliche in a way though it was, because it gave perspective. Also, after everything the characters go through I kind of want there to be some absolute indefinite peace and propserity :/ (I think that was Collins's larger point, anyway, not to write to entertain as much to instruct).

  20. Julia says:

    I think it says something important about the nuclear-level emotional knock-out power this book has that by the time I finished Mockingjay, I was looking back on The Hunger Games with a kind of fondness for how happy it was. Like, "Hey, look! Kids camping out in the woods! A little girl covered with flowers! Singing! And yeah, a little death, but only 22 children, I mean, come on, that's like NOTHING." The Hunger Games looks like Disneyland in retrospect, and that's saying a hell of a lot.

    • castlejune says:

      I know! I thought the exact same thing. I recently was talking about the books to a teaching colleage, and my point was "Oh, 6th graders could definitely handle the Hunger Games, but I think they are too young for the other two books in the series."

      • Lynn says:

        I read out loud the first two to my 11 year old son so I could be sure to gauge his reactions and talk about everything. He had really wanted to read them. But when I read Mockingjay I decided to put this one off a little. I will probably read it out loud to him this summer so once again I can gauge his reactions and talk about everything. That is the only way for me to feel comfortable with him reading it at 12. Luckily he is mature.

        I have him reading Collins' first series The Underland Chronicles in the mean time. I already read them so that when he is done with each book we can discuss them. THey deal with a lot of the same themes and ideas. He is half way through book 3 and loves them. I highly recommend them to this age group.

        • Gabbie says:

          Yeah, TUC is a better place to start than THG. It has the same themes on politics and war and how it affects people, and it's just a generally happier series than THG. :)

    • kellylea says:

      I TOTALLY KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN. As soon as I had recovered from Mockingjay, I turned around and started reading The Hunger Games again because, for as effed as that was, it was, like, simpler, happier times. If that is possible.

  21. tethysdust says:

    About: I love that no one cares, but wouldn’t it have been clear if he’d merely choked versus BEING CRUSHED TO DEATH. Those are two very distinct deaths.

    I took it to mean that both things happened. He was choking, then he was mobbed. So now they just have a mashed up corpse. In the end, they weren't sure which actually caused his death.

    Also, I agree that it was a little messed-up that they didn't let Katniss defend herself. But then, they used an insanity defense for her, so they were claiming she was not credible. Now that I think of it, that in itself is kind of awful. I wish they'd let Katniss testify, and gone with the truth.

    Past that, I think this chapter was beautiful and tragic, and an incredibly emotionally moving end to the series.

    • castlejune says:

      Honestly, I think that Katniss WAS insane at that point, in the basic sense of the term. She was sucicidal, and it looked like she couldn't even form coherent thoughts or sentences if they put her on the stand. I don't like that they didn't even give her the option, but at that point I don't know if it would have helped or hurt her to put her on the stand. Also, the last thing they want to let the public know is the truth: the rebels are just as bad as the Capital. Christ, they just finished a Civil War, they don't want to start another one. The rebels need to stay "the good guys" in the eyes of the people to avoid further bloodshed.

    • blessthechildren says:

      Yea for snow being a "mashed up corpse!" (loved your phrasing there) *grins wickedly*

  22. Puel says:

    And this is why I think that Mockingjay is, though brutal and uncompromising and ungodly depressing, ultimately a testament to endurance and survival and even hope. It's more powerful than a "they all got better and lived happily ever after" ending, too, because it acknowledges the pain these people went through and acknowledges that no, it never goes away entirely — but that there's the possibility of life beyond that. Even after so much has been lost, things can grow again.

    This is, by the way, why I love the dandelion in the spring passage so freaking much. Heavy-handed? Maybe, but it illustrates why the whole Team Peeta versus Team Gale thing misses the point. It's never really been about the boys; it's about the worldview Katniss wants to adopt, and how she wants to conduct the revolution and her life. I've seen a few reviews that complain about Katniss ending up with Peeta randomly or because there were no other options, and no. From a thematic perspective, it makes a perfect sense. Katniss has seen the kind of destruction wrought by the anger and self-interest and violent retaliation (and yes, pain) that Gale embodies. Heck, that's where she started at the beginning of the series, and understandably so. But she grew past that over the course of the books, learned to recognize and validate the pain of others, and decided that rebuilding was more important than retaliation. (That's one of the places where I can most clearly see how Collins was inspired by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I think it's an immensely valuable thing for younger readers to think about, given the way so much of the media glorifies retaliation and revenge.)

    No, Peeta and Katniss won't be the same. None of the characters in this series will be, and neither will their country. But their lives still have meaning, and they're finding ways to connect to each other even when it's damn difficult and doesn't always work, and they haven't given up, and that is one of the most uplifting statements you can make, I think. Recovery is a neverending process, and there isn't an endpoint after which everything becomes magically okay, but it's a struggle and a journey worth engaging in, and sometimes the most important thing isn't the progress you've made but the fact that you're trying to move forward at all.

    (I started bawling when I found out about Finnick and Annie's son. I know it's kind of a cliche, but I seriously do not care, I needed Annie not to be alone in this world. And I like to think that she's going to try to pull herself together, too, for his sake. Like everyone else in this series, she's been changed irrevocably by what happened to her, but that doesn't mean there isn't hope for the future.

    …god why I am I so ridiculously invested in the secondary cast for this series. I can't even.)

    I fucking love this series. I really do.

    • andreah1234 says:

      This is a very good comment and you should feel good.

      (Baby Finnick. That's how he's called and nobody will make me think otherwise. It's okay, you know when you have a good series if you care about the background characters as much as the main one)

      I fucking love this series. I really do.
      I second this.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Perfect comment. You just summed up why I love the content of this chapter, even if I don't like the way it was presented. It's sad, but it's realistic, well-supported by the rest of the story, and Katniss is moving in a good direction. Even if everything isn't rainbows and sunshine, she's improving and becoming herself again.

    • Eponizzle says:

      "It's never really been about the boys"

      ALL THE TRUTH

    • Gabbie says:

      For me, a book is great if its characters are great. It could be the coolest story in the world, but if the characters are flat, I just won't like it at all.

    • SophiePatronus says:

      "Recovery is a neverending process, and there isn't an endpoint after which everything becomes magically okay, but it's a struggle and a journey worth engaging in, and sometimes the most important thing isn't the progress you've made but the fact that you're trying to move forward at all."

      Um… you win all the things. This is so eloquently phased and fantastic.

    • Kelsey says:

      I agree.

      In the first two books, I felt very conflicted between Peeta and Gale. But Collins resolves it in a way that just feels so natural and so **right** without really drastically changing what's at the core of either character. Bravo to her.

  23. theresa1128429 says:

    "And now comes my gigantic, huge complaint: WHY WASN’T KATNISS A WITNESS AT HER OWN TRIAL?"
    Agreed. I didn't have much of a problem with all of the other summaries we got throughout the books, but the lack of a trial was too much.
    On a better note, S.L.O.E. Buttercup is back!!!
    Where the hell did wifey go?

    • No doubt she's with you in a tropical resort, sipping Mai Tais and reading "Chicken Soup for the Tribute's Soul".

      In the meantime, I'm trying to convince Haymitch that the only geese I will allow in the house are those on a bottle of Grey Goose.

  24. Alanna says:

    TL;DR alert! I don’t comment much because I tend to be a lurker, but I’ve been mentally composing this comment for a while. Hell, I’ll admit that I composed it yesterday since I don’t have much time during the day to read/comment here, and I didn’t want to wait until tonight to blather on about the end of the book!

    I’ve been reading Mark’s posts (love ‘em, thanks!) since chapter 5 of THG, and many folks have bashed the love triangle. I always generally liked it, though I wasn’t heavily invested beyond just wanting some happiness for Peeta. The ultimate resolution doesn’t provide us with a grand romantic scene, but I think Collins handles it beautifully. For Katniss, romance was always a distraction, a means to an end. Having her fall into Peeta’s arms right after the war wouldn’t have been in character. From a meta standpoint, I really appreciate how it’s almost an afterthought. And especially Peeta’s pitch-perfect entrance with the primrose bushes, then him just slipping back into her life — her rock once again, waiting until she’s ready.

    (That said, although I did really like the end of the chapter, I do wish we’d seen a bit more of what Peeta himself went through. Granted, Katniss is so lost in her own misery, and everything in the trilogy is filtered through her perspective. I fully believe that Peeta could overcome the hijacking given some time and visits with Dr. Aurelius, but I would’ve liked to hear more about his own healing process since I’m even more invested in him than in Katniss. Ah, well. That’s what fic is for, right? *g*)

    Many of my friends were upset with how Katniss supposedly scuttles off to District 12 and fades into obscurity, lost in her own head. They wanted something more epic, or at least more proactive in keeping with all she has accomplished over the trilogy. One thing that’s often overlooked is that she was banished to District 12. It’s easy to miss since it is only one line, but after the trial she is “confined there until further notice” (p. 378). In essence, that’s her prison/punishment for killing Coin. That said, I think it’s what she would’ve chosen anyway. District 12 is her home, even as a haunted graveyard. As much as I’d like for her to do something with all the strength and power she’s accumulated, she never really wanted that herself. Nearly all of her actions throughout the series have been forced by circumstance. Now that Panem is safe (or “safe”) again, I can buy her wanting to just go home, attempt to heal, and live her life on her own terms.

    Yeah, this whole sequence is dark and awful, especially realizing that they’ve stripped her old training center room of everything that could be used in a suicide. Part of me doesn’t like that she was tried in absentia, but the writer/reader in me appreciates it because of how Collins tends to tell every event in real time; a long passage about the trial itself would just be too much. Despite all that, I find something almost refreshing and hopeful about those last couple of pages, when she finally begins to learn how to live that life. On her own terms.

    • kellylea says:

      I can see where the ending would be sort of anticlimactic… but that's the way it works, isn't it? They used her for what they could, and then discarded her because her "mission" had run its course. I think it was actually the best possible outcome for her, because what she needed more than anything was to be able to heal.

  25. Mowgli3 says:

    1) The choking vs. being crushed to death– I think Collins was trying to say that his body had been trampled by the crowds, but we don't know the exact point at which he died. He could have died from the choking or from the trampling, but either way he is dead, and FINALLY. (Also, no victory there. Just…another thing that had to happen.)

    2) I like that Collins didn't drag out the trial. When I first read it, I wondered why they didn't bring Katniss in for the trial– but I think the new Capitol might be afraid of Katniss's power. I think the people who pulled for her (Plutarch, her doctor, etc.) wanted to perpetuate this image of this broken girl-child who is so fragile that she can't even sit in a room and defend herself without going mad and killing people at random. That way, no one would drag her up again to be the spokesperson for any campaigns in the Capitol after that. While it's kind of really ableist, it's also kind of….nice that they're trying to stop Katniss from being used by anyone again. They just want to let her rest and heal in peace. At least, that's my thought. The few weeks where Katniss is just trapped and the trial is going on (without our knowledge) just reflects how little Katniss has to do with this and I think is a metaphor for how it really ends. Katniss has no control and can't really do anything– she just has to deal. Does that make sense?

    Also, so, SO much love to Collins for not doing the "AND EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT" ending. The horrors Katniss (along with everyone else) leave permanent scars, no matter what kind of fancy medicines the Capitol has.

    But what a great way to start the day, tears from this review. :)

  26. Mary says:

    No matter how many times I read this book, that passage with Buttercup makes me tear up. :(

    • ldwy says:

      Buttercup forever. That passage totally made me cry. But having a cat to take care of and cuddle with now that Buttercup has "adopted her" must be really good for Katniss.

  27. SecretGirl127 says:

    Of course there could be no trial. That would mean the truth would get out and the Districts would question the new government. Instead, make Katniss crazy and let her live out her life in 12. This allows all those folks in power from 13 to retain their positions…including Plutrach, witness for the defense.

  28. lily says:

    it all started with buttercup. it all ended with buttercup.
    KITTY CAT FTW ;D

    this book. THIS BOOK.
    ugh. DDD':
    i love it. i hate it. i’m so addicted.

  29. You know, with the way Gale chose that job in District 2 it's almost as if he openly gave up on what he told Peeta about KATNISS choosing who she would want to be with. HOWEVER! Peeta makes so much more sense for Katniss. He better understands the pain she suffered through, as well as he's all the parts of a person she needs the most.

    • Andrea says:

      I don't think Gale gave up on Katniss choosing who she would want to be with. I think they both came to the understanding that Katniss could never choose Gale when they discussed the parachute bombs and how Katniss could never separate Gale and Prims death. It seems to me, Gale had excepted that whether or not Katniss chose Peeta, he was no longer an option for her.

      • Clare says:

        "Gale had accepted that whether or not Katniss chose Peeta, he was no longer an option for her. "

        Of all the things I didn't like about Gale, I liked this about him. At the end, he understood.

        Besides I never really got the feeling Katniss loved Gale in that way anyway. They were best friends, and he was there when she needed him, but there never seemed to be any romance or sparks between them.

  30. ldwy says:

    I was a little conflicted about the previous chapter. I just wasn't sure if I liked it.
    But this chapter was perfect. Heartbreaking, but perfect. It moves the story forward without ever every erasing the past. It keeps me in the characters shoes and reminds us that even though this is "all over" it's never ever going to be all over for any of the people that lived it. Even the moments of hope and potential for the future are tinged with sadness and memory. But all of that is exactly how it should be. I agree with you that Collins writing shines most in the action scenes, and tension building, but I think it was exemplary in this chapter too.

    I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction.

    Although she's sort of spelling this out for us, as she does, I really like this sentiment, and I've been thinking just this for awhile now. That the differences between Katniss and Peeta make them quite suited to each other. That their respective strengths will be supports for each other. But unfortunately, the only thing I could think of when I read "bright yellow" was that Peeta is the blonde one. He's pale and blonde and bright (more bright before all this maybe, but still) while Gale was the dark, broody, swarthy one. Peeta you are the dandelion! But as much as this is sort of ridiculous, it also entirely works.

  31. Karen says:

    I think the reason that they didn't let Katniss defend herself was because there's not proof of what Coin did. I would put good money on the fact that Coin made sure that everyone who knew for certain (and not just suspicions like Gale) about bombing the children being a Rebel Attack didn't make it out of the rebellion alive. Katniss could tell people why she killed Coin, but why would they believe her? And there are probably still powerful people in rebel leadership to whom it'd be important that those attacks still be seen as perpetrated by the Capitol. SO. I think that Haymitch and Dr. Aurelis (and whoever else was in charge of defending Katniss) basically decided that pleading insanity was going to be Katniss's best shot at coming out of it alive.

    But I do think that it makes some sort of sense that we don't even see Katniss at the trial from a character standpoint. I mean, Katniss is severely fucked up. I just can't see her giving a shit about a trial. She's just not mentally there. She tried to kill herself right after assassinating Coin and she tries to think of ways to kill herself while waiting in the training center. It feels like she's given up, so yeah. I just couldn't imagine the character actually caring about or being involved in a trial.

    On the night I feel that thing again, the hunger that overtook me on the beach, I know this would have happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.

    So after, when he whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?”

    I tell him, “Real.”
    ~Steamy YA fiction sex scene~ haha.

    But I agree with you that I love that Collin's shows that while Katniss and Peeta are getting better and they'll be ok, it isn't easy and they've been forever damaged by the events of the series. I love that it's not a happily ever after. I mean, it's not tragic. Katniss and Peeta have each other. They'll be ok. They can find happiness again. But there will always been moments when Peeta has to fight off the insanity and Katniss will always be haunted by nightmares.

  32. Easily the most painful thing to me was S.L.O.E. Buttercup's return to Katniss. Considering the very first few pages of The Hunger Games detailed how Katniss wanted to drown him because he was a burden she didn't think she could feed, it's terribly poignant that he became the catalyst for her healing. Excuse me while I hug my dog Hobgoblin and sob into his mushed little face. :: loudly blows nose ::

    • theresa1128429 says:

      This just happens to be the only day that neither of my cats are trying to cuddle during mark reads time. :'(

    • andreah1234 says:

      *Passes the Astral Plane kleenex* *and hugs*

      It really is awful that after all the horrible things that have happened Buttercup is the only remainder of her life before the Games (Prim is gone, Gale is gone, her mom is gone, Dictrict 12 is gone, Madge is gone, :( :( :( ). And ironic how she wanted him dead in the first place.

      PLEASE BE STRONG S.L.O.E, PLEASE! :( :( D: D: D: D: :'( :'( :'(

  33. zuzu says:

    Fire beats roses again.

    I did not even see the glaring metaphor there but you go Katniss.

    The excerpt with Katniss and Buttercup- I don't remember this at all but tears, I cried a bit at my computer.

  34. Karen says:

    ALSO, I forgot to mention. The other reason why I am A-OK with the trial not being a part of the story because I feel like it would have been too plotty for what I think Collins was trying to do with Mockingjay. The first time I read Mockingjay, I felt a bit let down, like I didn't get all the answers that I wanted.

    But now I think that it might be my favorite book of the series because now I see Mockingjay as being more of a study of Katniss's psychological journey instead of a story about a revolution. The revolution is the setting for the exploration of Katniss. So to me, it is in the end more satisfying to spend the time in Katniss's head and seeing what she is going through instead of bogging everything down in a trial, if that makes sense.

  35. andreah1234 says:

    Oh and (another) Also: WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO JOHANNA?!?!??!?!??!?!? I NEED ANSWERS. NOW.

    Maybe, she's getting drunk on 7? Maybe? Or maybe she's helping Annie with baby Finnick…

    ^^ This fanart. Beautiful and heartbreaking all at once. I LOVE YOU JOHANNA. Credit goes to the ever talented Regendy on Deviantart.

    I clearly fail at the internet. Here's the link

    • ldwy says:

      Aww, someone on page one imagined that Mrs. Everdeen helps Annie with the baby. I love both of these ideas so I am adopting them into my mind as real and true. Mrs. Everdeen can be the adoptive grandma figure, and Johanna and Annie can devote themselves to the darling baby, and it will help everyone heal.

      • andreah1234 says:

        Johanna, Mrs. Everdeen and Annie with a cute baby?. That image is wayyyyy too adorable. And I do think it would help them heal, though the lack of Finnick might be a little hard to get over.

    • fizzybomb says:

      You go like this (replacing [ ]'s with < and > ):

      [img src="image url goes here"/]

      Though I wonder if it would even fit here…

      <img src="http://th04.deviantart.net/fs71/PRE/i/2011/052/a/9/comic__the_pact_by_regendy-d31lou7.png"&gt;

      Okay, it's readable. That's good.

    • Puel says:

      That is totally my headcanon, too. And Annie can help Johanna get over her fear of water! It would be so cute, seriously. Well. Cute and kind of volatile, considering, but.

    • Kripa says:

      She's comforting and being comforted by Gale who's going through all sorts of guilt and self-loathing over Katniss and Prim in District 2. Also, kicking Enobaria's ass.

    • RainaWeather says:

      It is my head canon that Johanna and Annie fall in love and raise the baby and honor Finnick's memory with fishing trips and swimming lessons (because Annie helps Johanna overcome her fear of water).

  36. Oh, and on the subject of Peeta…

    I was never into the shipping of this book, except to loudly bellow, "HORMONES CAN WAIT, KIDS, WE'VE SORT OF GOT A WAR ON!!"

    I think the most beautiful thing to me was that Katniss didn't "choose" Peeta until she healed enough to make a good decision, and until they were both free of outside pressures. They weren't pushed into it, but they did grow closer through mutual experiences. I'm a bitter soul, but even I was touched.

    In the end, I only pity Gale. I think he's far more alone than anyone else in the book, in a way.. Johanna doesn't have anyone left, but Gale has to live knowing that there are people he loved in the world whom he can never be close to again. Can we send him a Winni-the-Pooh stuffed animal to hug?

    • andreah1234 says:

      In the end, I only pity Gale. I think he's far more alone than anyone else in the book, in a way.. Johanna doesn't have anyone left, but Gale has to live knowing that there are people he loved in the world whom he can never be close to again. Can we send him a Winni-the-Pooh stuffed animal to hug?

      WOW. I never really say it that way. From that perpective, I do feel bad for Gale. *cough*maybe he and Johanna can get together*cough*. :: shifty eyes :: Oh hai there awfulness how are ya?

    • Saber says:

      At least he's trying to make it better? I always saw him going to two as Gale realizing just how many people he's hurt and going to try and help. Because really, why two out of all places? Why would be move to two? Beacuse that's where he collapsed a mountain and killed innocents.

  37. jennywildcat says:

    All tears for the Buttercup scene.

    <img src="http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y194/Jenny_Wildcat/Sad%20Gifs/sadddness.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Sad Dog from Up">

    I think this is the first time Katniss has admitted out loud that Prim is dead. And it's to that awesome, awesome cat.

    I love this chapter. I love that there is an element of hope to the characters' lives – even though there is no way things will ever go back to normal entirely. In some ways, things are worse but in many ways things are so much better (for starters, there are no more Hunger Games). I don't know how Collins could have ended this book any other way and kept the integrity of the story. It's beautiful and gorgeous and realistic and I love every word of it.

    <img src="http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y194/Jenny_Wildcat/Applause/tumblr_lflgfg8csS1qdufy3.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension">

  38. lebeaumonde says:

    This book. This fucking book.

  39. SusanBones says:

    The first time I read this book, I found this chapter to be so horribly depressing, that I couldn't do much more than really hate this book. But now that I've been following along with Mark, I've gained a little distance as well as perspective. I've come to see this chapter as a pretty accurate description of how a person would deal with tragedy like this.

    But the way they treated Katniss during the trial was unforgivable. Leaving her isolated was cruel and unnecessary. I can't forgive them for that.

  40. theupsides says:

    The last paragraph of this chapter is my favorite thing ever. I'VE READ IT A THOUSAND TIMES. I'm just so happy that Katpee exists, okay. They really deserve some happiness.

  41. sdempster1016 says:

    Hot damn this book. It just never fucking ends does it?

    Not much I can say about your post or this chapter (you summed it up so beautifully) so I will just comment on Snow's death and your confusion over "HOW DO THEY NOT KNOW HOW HE DIED, CHOKING AND TRAMPLING ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT THINGS."

    I think he was trampled by the crowd in the confusion and pandemonium after Coin's death, they just don't know is he choked to death first or if the trampling of the crowd is what did him in.

    /is admittedly a very minor thing to talk about but I have nothing else to say because MY CREYS

  42. monkeybutter says:

    HAYMITCH'S TALENT IS RAISING GEESE! Damn. I've been holding that one in since the first book.

    Okay, so while I like the content of this chapter, and the way it ends, I hate the summarizing. This complaint goes back for the past several chapters as well: it feels like Collins was rushing to cram everything into a certain amount of pages, and linked it all together with Katniss's dissociation. It makes sense for her to be withdrawn, but it seems like Collins wrote these last few chapters (with breaks that screw up the narrative flow just to create ~intensity~) in a rush.

    Katniss's trial in absentia bothered me for so many reasons; not only did it feel like a repeat of Catching Fire where Katniss is knocked out and everything has to be explained to her, but this is the world they've created? One where the accused can't even know her charges, let alone stand in her own defense? It would make sense for the people in charge to deny Katniss the opportunity to get up and call them on all of their abuses and how she has been used, but I was disappointed. Honestly, I would have loved to see Katniss give shit to the judge? tribunal? Baader-Meinhof style, but I guess not.

    This chapter feels more like an epilogue than a continuation of the actual story. For the most part, it details her ceasing to be the Mockingjay and returning to being Katniss. It's tying up loose ends, so it's totally necessary, and I like what happens with Katniss, but it just doesn't fit nicely with the rest of the book.

  43. OmarB says:

    Oh Mark,

    *hugs forever*

    This chapter started out by annoying me so much. I remember reading it and thinking "what the heck is going on?!?!" because we went from Coin getting killed to Katniss all alone in a cell doing nothing for weeks. And I started just speed reading all the way through the chapter because I needed to know how it ended!!!!!! Honestly, although I had feared throughout the whole series that either Gale or Peeta would have died, effectively ended Katniss' chance with the survivor, at this point I was worried that Katniss herself would be killed. And then she ended up back in D12 and I was just so lost….. it all felt so anti-climactic. But Mark, you brought up a good point that these characters were massively f*cked up by the war and it would quite literally take them months if not years to heal from all that.

    And then, Peeta. Those final lines. I truly had to force myself to CALM down and SLOW down as I began reading the last few pages of this chapter. Literally, I had to force my eyes to stay at the top of the page each time BECAUSE I NEEDED TO KNOW how it ends. And then, the minute I read "So after, when he whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?”" my brain already knew what was coming next. And when I hit Katniss' response of real, OMG OMG OMG. I practically died. This whole series had almost made me cry a million times, and I'd gotten teary eyed at Rue and Finnick's deaths. But here? "Real"? OMG. I cried. I just plain out dropped the book, held my head in my hands, and cried. I literally bawled my eyes out for 20 minutes. Then I cleaned myself up and read the whole last chapter all over again. I was never ever prepared!

  44. OmarB says:

    OH! A hundred million points to you for the lobster reference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

    "See? He's her LOBSTER!!!!!!!"

    Yes, KatPee ship FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. Gamesfan says:

    Collins sure is stingy with details about Katniss' trial, isn't she? I hope Collins isn't simply being lazy, although that's certainly possible. Maybe she was in a rush to finish the book? I prefer to think that, at the end of the day, Katniss simply didn't give a damn what the Capitol did to her, and since the book's from her point of view, it's justifiable – however frustrating – for Collins not to give details about the trial since Katniss herself wasn't interested.

    Interesting, Mark, that you think Katniss voted for one more Game because she knew she was going to kill Coin? If that's what you meant about Katniss "playing us all" I respectfully disagree. It seems to me that killing Coin was a last second decision. And Collins makes no comment about whether or not that last Game was played.

    Great analysis of how the war has affected these people. This blog has been fun and informative. Thanks.

  46. bookling says:

    <img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_3lVOb8wvDlE/TKAl1Ppq9rI/AAAAAAAAAPI/i1AZvqXmL6U/lionking_cry.gif"&gt;

    <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_3lVOb8wvDlE/TKAe5fUETNI/AAAAAAAAAHw/cMWhOWIwOmo/glee_willcry.gif"&gt;

    <img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3lVOb8wvDlE/TTnNbw2P95I/AAAAAAAABH8/VfK6hnPPChQ/tumblr_lfazbcfWfo1qb064c.gif"&gt;

    UGH THIS CHAPTER. I lost it when Katniss found Buttercup and started yelling at him about how Prim wasn't coming back. It was the first time Katniss seemed to really acknowledge Prim's death, and it was the first time I did as well. The chapter after the bombing was so weird, the whole thing was almost dreamlike, I guess because of Katniss' mental state, but it meant that everything was very vague. But now Katniss is dealing with the reality of Prim being gone.

    Beyond being UTTERLY HEARTBREAKING, this is interesting to me because the way Katniss acted in her grief is really similar to how her mother acted after her father died. And Katniss was so hard on her mother for it, but maybe she can understand now. It's especially sad for me that her mom's not there to help her through this, but who can blame her for not coming back?

    I also love Peeta in this chapter. I love how they're both still really fucked-up, they're not okay, but they're helping each other through it anyway. There's finally some hope that they might be okay, sometime in the future.

    • ldwy says:

      Beyond being UTTERLY HEARTBREAKING, this is interesting to me because the way Katniss acted in her grief is really similar to how her mother acted after her father died. And Katniss was so hard on her mother for it, but maybe she can understand now. It's especially sad for me that her mom's not there to help her through this, but who can blame her for not coming back?

      Wow, thanks so much for making this point! I didn't think of it that way, but the parallel is really striking. I like to think that it will help Katniss and her mother mend their relationship even further than they have, that Katniss can now understand better.

  47. Shannon says:

    Not sure if anybody as shared this with you yet or not, but here is a link to music inspired by this series of books. All this music at this link was written before ‘Mockingjay’ came out so the only spoiler are for events that happen in the first two books.
    http://alexcarpenter.bandcamp.com/album/freedom-in-panem-2

    And here’s a music video by the band ALL CAPS for their song ‘Real or Not Real’ which was also inspired by this book.

  48. Luthien says:

    Hopefully this will work, but we shall see….

    Whaa! Finnick and Annie= twu luv foeveah1!!!!!111!!!!!!!!!

    <object width="450" height="578"><param name="movie" value="http://backend.deviantart.com/embed/view.swf&quot; /><param name="flashvars" value="id=186788374&width=1337" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://backend.deviantart.com/embed/view.swf&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="450" flashvars="id=186788374&width=1337" height="578" allowscriptaccess="always"></embed></object>Wherever you are…-spoilers- by ~<a class="u" href="http://peibee-an-jay.deviantart.com/">Peibee-an-Jay on deviantART

  49. Dobby's Sock says:

    Gahh. Clearly I am a twelve-year old girl on the inside, because the first time I read this book, I literally cared about NOTHING except the fact that Peeta was hijacked. He was pretty much the fictional love of my life, and the fact that who he was had been completely messed up just killed me. Like. Every time I read a part where Katniss compared his current self to his past self… I cried little baby tears. And when I realized this was the last chapter of the entire book, I freaked out. How in the world could Katpee be resolved in such a short space. THEY COULDN'T. THEY JUST COULDN'T. And then Peeta showed up and I went D'AWWWW. But then Collins started talking about Katniss's mental issues again! Which are very important! But not as important as Peeta to someone with screwed up priorities! I was literally on the verge of a meltdown in the final pages, because I just KNEW that Katpee would never be together. But then they were. And she articulated all the reasons for loving him so much better than I could in my head, and I started sobbing loudly and pathetically, more than I did in any other scene in this series.

    So, there were other plots in the HG series besides romance? Hmmm. I'll look into that.

  50. hpfish13 says:

    So, I meant to post this several chapters ago (when they decided to travel through the tunnel underground), but I forgot. Plus, its excessively silly, which I'm sure we could all use right now.

    <iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JmtD4-WfhMw&quot; frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  51. Luthien says:

    FUUUUU.

    I'll never get this to work.

    oh well, here's the direct link to utter Finnick and Annie sadness. http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/324/2/a/wh

  52. mugglemomof2 says:

    Ugh. So yeah. I AM NOT A FAN OF THIS.
    Yeah. This was a huge letdown for me as well. This chapter- is really the main complaint I have with the first person telling. I wished we got to witness all that went on. It was a bummer.

    <3 <3 <3 <3 Peeta till the end of time <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  53. Katherine says:

    I love that no one cares, but wouldn’t it have been clear if he’d merely choked versus BEING CRUSHED TO DEATH. Those are two very distinct deaths.

    I expect the uncertainty is over which happened first, i.e. did he finish choking to death and then his body was trampled, or was the trampling what killed him.

  54. scholastika says:

    It was at this point that I finally got on board the Peeta-Katniss ship. I'd never felt it before. In the earlier books Peeta just seemed to starry-eyed over Katniss and she was just playing him, then in Mockingjay I felt the romance plot was an irritating subplot that seemed to distract from the very real horrors of the rest of the story. I was desperate for the book to end with Katniss choosing to not be in a relationship. But then this chapter came along. Nuff said.

    I was annoyed by the lack of the trial, but the section back in 12 more than made up for it. The Book of the Dead=Heartbreak Overload. I was crying in a cafe while reading this. Got some very funny looks.

  55. calimie says:

    I don't see Dr. Aurelius like that. He knew she had PTSD but what she needed was time to heal on her own (hence the napping) and he knew the only way to save her life was to present her like a hopeless case to an audience who would feel sorry for her and not demand her head.

  56. bookling says:

    Yes, but they did it by taking away her agency. She wasn't able to consent to any of it. Of course they were trying to save her, but part of the tragedy of this story is how Katniss has been used and manipulated without her consent by both sides, and here they are doing it again. Katniss is never allowed to make her own choices.

  57. karadudz says:

    When the really sad scene with Katniss and Buttercup happened, I kept thinking Doesn't anybody hear her wailing? Where's Peeta? Not even Greasy Sae? But I realized that it was a good thing that Katniss is just with Buttercup. It's a sign of how strong she is, of how capable she is of dealing with her own emotions and troubles. And most of all, she dealt with it with a cat she completely hates. But because of this scene, we see how strong she is. So strong that she disregards the fact that she hates the cat and lets herself grieve and mourn with him. Even if she's at her most despairing condition she still remains a BAMF.

    And Gale? Why didn't he come back? Not even for a little "Hey Katniss, I'm just popping by D12 to check up on you because well I care about you…" Nope. Why? No idea. That's also another reason why I don't like Gale. But the whole situation in itself is pretty darn depressing though. Who knows maybe he's got some issues as well or maybe he just couldn't face Katniss with the weight of the possibility that he "killed" her sister. Very depressing indeed.

    FINNICK AND ANNIE HAD A SON?! Seriously, just when things were sounding slightly happier and calmer, Collins decides to tell us that Annie is not only a widow but, a widow with a child. A Child who didn't get to witness how freaking awesome his dad was. That makes me sad.

    I've also wondered what happened to Pollux and Cressida, Johanna, Beetee, Tigris (seeing as there was war a couple blocks away from her home and OH YOU KNOW the earth opened up and ate people), etc… Whatever happened to all the other characters that we met by the end of the book and all that? That's why sometimes I hated the whole summarizing because it just felt like there were holes and gaps and not all questions were answered.

    All in all it's true how Collins portrays war and the aftermath of war pretty well. Because there is no such thing as a war that ends with everything surrounding it in perfect condition. Places and homes will be gone and different, people will be scarred and different from the way they used to be, etc… That's why I like the end of THIS CHAPTER and only this chapter (for the whole book, not including the actual last couple of pages of the book) for the series because it's not one of those HAPPILY EVER AFTER kind of endings. It's just enough good to make you feel warm and calm and most importantly content about everything that's happened. It's not too happy it's not too sad, it's just perfectly well ended.

    • Ana says:

      There’s a reference that Katniss passed out on the floor downstairs after crying with Buttercup and later woke up in her bed. I think Peeta checked on her and carried her up but wanted to let her grieve on her own.

      • karadudz says:

        That makes a lot of sense. haha =) Thanks
        I must have missed that part (even though i read the ending of the books thousands of times…)

      • StargazerLilies says:

        Wow, I totally missed that, thanks! I guess I was just so used to Katniss being unconscious and waking up somewhere else by now. Or I was too busy SOBBING FOREVER. That's a nice thought though. Oh Peeta.

    • t09yavorski says:

      I expect that they kept the footage filmed by the star squad so it is possible that Finnick Jr. could get to see some of Finnicks awesomeness.

      • karadudz says:

        OOH! I didn't think about that.

        Especially the part where Katniss and Finnick cover themselves in that green goo and scare Peeta LOL (The Capitol probably didn't show it but I'm pretty sure with all the technology they have they can find the footage somewhere right? lol)

        It's still pretty sad though…

    • Saber says:

      There's probably hours and hours of footage of Finnick.
      I'm just not sure his son should see him like that. :'(

  58. pennylane27 says:

    This book. THIS BOOK.

    I just wanted to comment on the trial thing, because the rest is TOO MUCH SADNESS.

    I think it makes perfect sense for them not to involve Katniss in her own trial. People don't change that easily, they weren't going to suddenly see the light and decide that they should go with the truth.They wanted to keep appearances, and they did it at the expense of a girl who just wanted peace and to disengage herself from them anyway. It doesn't mean I like it, especially after Kat's sort of epiphany about the human race.
    I know it might seem rushed and yet another summary, but I think it's fine. It's realistic. I think.

  59. Ashley says:

    Does anyone have a good theory on why we never find out the names of Katniss and Prim's parents? Is it to distance the characters and the audience from them?

    This is an amazing series. I think I read Mockingjay in two days. Love the characters, love the story. I've loved post-apocalyptic stories for at least 7 years now, and this is probably the most well-done. Great characterizations and story and psychology. Well thought-out oppressive government. And I cannot watch American Idol without thinking of the Hunger Games now. Thanks, Collins, for tainting what little reality tv I watch. But maybe that's ok. Reality tv is crap anyways.

    I can't wait for the films! But oh crap, they're gonna be craaaaazy violent :/

  60. Baz says:

    (Well, I can think of one book sadder than this, but I don’t even want to recommend it because then I’m technically spoiling it.)

    NOT FAIR!!!! WHAT IF I WANT TO BE REALLY SAD AND A LITTLE SPOILED?!?!

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.

      Hoard every box of Kleenex ever.

      • shelly says:

        Dude, where the red fern grows. Whyyyyyyyy! They made us read that in 3rd grade. Complex forever thanks.

  61. Eponizzle says:

    This book totally wrecked me, and I was an empty shell of a person for about a week after finishing it, because I just *couldn't stop* thinking about it. The tragedy, tragedy, tragedy just killed (and still kills) me.

    But I think the thing that stuck with me most, and my favorite theme from Collins, is the idea that love is not predestined. I think, from the very beginning, that Katniss has two great guys in her life, and I honestly would have been happy to see her end-up with either one of them. She isn't a helpless girlie in an OTP – she's a woman with priorities, and for a long time, she has two great guys by her side. But Gale fucked-up – if he hadn't designed the bomb, he and Katniss may very well have ended-up together. It just crushes my heart – he loved her so much, but the choices he made pushed her away. It has to be the most realistic romantic plot I've ever read in a YA novel. Normally characters are ~meant for each other~, and in the case of Twilight, they love each other DESPITE the awful things they do to one another. That isn't real-world romance. Real love grows and changes based on the choices people make, and all actions have consequences. I think Peeta and Katniss are well-suited for each other, and in my head-canon, Gale finds someone who needs his fire (but he stops designing weapons).

    • kellylea says:

      I'm glad I'm not the only one who wasn't a mess for a while after finishing. People I work with are all "these books are great yay" and I'm like "THEY EMOTIONALLY TRAUMATIZED ME FOREVER" and I think they think I'm strange. Whatever. I have a soul.

    • StargazerLilies says:

      I hadn't thought about it in quite that way before, but I really like your analysis of Katniss and her relationships.

      That was exactly how I felt after I finished the book, just a wrecked shell of a person, and it was what led me to accept Prim's death as necessary. I think if she hadn't died, I would have said "well that was a sad book" and I would have moved on. Prim being killed and what it did to Katniss was what left me devastated, which is probably how a book about a war should make you feel, really.

  62. Kate Monster says:

    UNPOPULAR OPINION TIME? I didn't miss the trial. Part of me feels like it was a show for the Panem citizens who lost two leaders in one day. I sense that the people who eventually took control were the ones who ultimately wanted (/needed? I hope?) to be in power, anyway. Maybe it's because I haven't actually read it in awhile, but wasn't Putarch sort of distrustful of Coin anyway? I might be remembering that incorrectly, so someone please tell me if I am, but I feel like Coin was never touted as the "right" leader– she was against Snow, and that's all the rebels really cared about at the time. When I read Mockingjay, I came away with the sense that Coin was just as much of a pawn as Katniss, only she didn't recognize it (or choose to recognize it). When I really thought about it, Coin was a woman of great ambition, and she had the drive and mindset to carry out the rebellion. In a lot of ways, I don't think Plutarch or Paylor could have done it as ruthlessly or efficiently as she did. But again, this is probably unpopular opinion. Though Katniss killing Coin was certainly unexpected, I have the feeling that the other people behind the rebellion sort of looked at each other and said, "Well…we can work with this too." Does that make sense? I'm feeling incredibly inarticulate this morning, so I don't know if I'm phrasing this correctly. Anyway, for me, Collins skipping over the trial was a sign of how pointless it really was. That's all, I guess. < / unpopularopinion >

    • Clueless says:

      I agree 100%. I really didn't even expect a trial for Katniss. The trial itself would just be a recap of what happened during the novel and to me, that would be worse. While Katniss was waiting I never once thought she would be found guitly, simply because what she did WAS right. And yeah, I'm sure more than a few people said "yessssss" under thier breath when it happened. The trial (or rather lack of) never bothered me. It was just a way of going throught the legal motions, nothing of actual importance.

      • RainaWeather says:

        I wrote "YES!!!!!" in giant letters under the last paragraph of chapter 26. Early in the book, when Katniss realized breaking her deal with Coin might cost her life, I thought "Katniss gon hafta kill this bitch."

    • RainaWeather says:

      Your whole opinion is correct.

    • erin says:

      Glad I'm not the only one! I got so caught up in Katniss' sorrow and trauma that skipping over the trial made perfect sense. Like Katniss, we're meant to feel a disconnect from the rest of the world. She doesn't care what happens to her, so the news is less "There was a trial??! Arrgh! I can't believe they didn't let me defend myself!" and more like "Oh. There was a trial. Okay… Great."

      She wouldn't have had the energy to stand up and fight her piece, like we would have wanted her to, and ultimately I think that Collins bringing Katniss to court would have been really dissatisfying.

  63. Penquin47 says:

    One thing about Katniss not being allowed to testify at her own trial and them going with an insanity defense: Does anyone KNOW why Katniss shot Coin instead of Snow? Haymitch probably figured out what was going on at some point, and Gale can probably guess, but Plutarch or Paylor or any of the ones who would be making that decision? Other than Haymitch, Gale, Peeta, and possibly Beetee… who took the time to get to know Katniss and try to figure her out? And then, after Prim’s death, she was already under a doctor’s care and clearly broken badly.

    The new revolutionary government is still new and fragile; what happens when they learn the truth about how they gained power? What stops some of the District 2 or Capitol folk from putting together their own counterresistance and supporting a new government? They can’t ever admit what Coin did or even acknowledge that it MAY have been Coin, or their government loses the support of a unified population.

    Then there’s the victim angle: “Oh, poor Katniss has been through so much, how can we ask her to stand trial? We all know it’ll end with her being declared mentally incompetant and therefore not responsible for her actions, so why put her through the trial? It’ll shorten things a lot, I bet, if we claim she’s so messed up she can’t even face the courtroom.”

    It’s another case of moral right thing vs. pragmatic right thing with pragmatic right thing winning.

  64. Epilogue

    I sit and stare at the nuclear bomb Beetee rigged for me. The counter counts down from 13.

    The district was happy to lend one to their loyal Mockingjay.

    12.

    They are set up, everywhere, ready to be part of a chain reaction.

    11.

    We humans, we monsters, we don't deserve to live.

    10.

    All of Panem will be destroyed.

    9.

    Perhaps something better will rise from the ashes.

    8.

    Peeta lies beside me, his throat slit. He won't feel a thing now.

    7.

    I died the moment Prim died. Real or not real?

    6. 5. 4. 3. 2.

    Maybe Buttercup will survive.

    1.

    All is well.

  65. milou says:

    I love that no one cares, but wouldn’t it have been clear if he’d merely choked versus BEING CRUSHED TO DEATH. Those are two very distinct deaths.

    I think they just didn't know if he was already dead when he was crushed. Like when someone could be drowned or been dead and then dumped in water.

  66. eeshannon says:

    "But further on the point, I simply don’t get how they can all ignore the obvious."

    I really can. The entire population of Panem, except maybe a dozen people, has never actually met Katniss. They've only seen what was on television and heard what Snow and others have had to say about her. The closest she came was meeting people and having them see her for real, was when she was in that hospital. But they all got blown up, so… they're not here.

    Point is, if a "legit" doctor comes and says NOPE SHE'S TRAUMATIZED AND INSANE, who's going to argue? It's not like anyone has any evidence to the contrary. Katniss has been through horrible, traumatizting, life-changing things, over and over again. Even Peeta and Gale, who could be said know her best, might think she could've just snapped when she killed Coin. It's not like Katniss told them her thought process.

  67. shortstack930 says:

    I loved the ending to this book. It was so realistic, not just everyone lived happily ever after. The scene with Buttercup was heartbreaking but beautiful at the same time. And I loved how Katniss described Peeta as being her hope and her promise that life can be good again. Because wasn't that what she had been fighting for all along?

  68. Winged says:

    This chapter brought me the closest to crying for reading a book than I have been for years. (This is not because I don’t WANT to cry over books and movies, I just… can’t. I don’t know why, and it’s annoying.) And just reading the passage you quoted with Katniss screaming at Buttercup brought up all the emotion again and I nearly started crying in the middle of a room full of strangers. Congrats, Collins, you have broken my heart FOREVER. *sob*

  69. Ana says:

    I have read and re-read these books several times now and enjoyed finding this website and an excuse to read them again with you. There were things that bothered me about this chapter but I think I’ve resolved them now. I was very upset about Katniss being portrayed to the country as “insane” after all she gave and tried to find a way around that since so much detail is left to our imagination. However from Katniss’s perspective she was prepared to and expecting to die and simply did not care about what is happening to her. In fact, later when they tell her about it she doesn’t ask a single question about the trial. Her world has crumbled far beyond caring about her trial. My creative license believes that Paylor (love Katniss ensured the election they were supposed to get) struggled between uniting the country, being forced to punish the assassin of the new president (the war was clearly over & Katniss was supposed to execute Snow) against a respect for what Katniss had done. Paylor would have known what really happened and that Katniss knew as well–maybe Paylor even schemed this all up with Katniss’s inner circle (Katniss would want to be in District 12 which is exactly why they sent her there, etc.). I think that this is the best Paylor could do for Katniss given the circumstances and could not call Katniss as a witness at the trial because the focus was on healing the country. I think they can’t disclose at the trial (or risk having disclosed by Katniss) that Rebel forces bombed the children and Rebel medics but they could explain that Coin (on her own) made the victors vote for another HG and that Katniss quite understandably snapped after all she had been through. I love that Katniss begins to heal when Peeta returns and that she is finally able to grieve Prim when Buttercup returns. Still sobbing. I love that Peeta/Katniss come full circle in their relationship–he averts her eyes like in school when they are voting on the Games, he saves her life by stopping her from taking the Nightlock, and he returns to 12 and into her life seamlessly and even brings her warm bread again to breakfast with Sae as he saved her life at the beginning. Love that Katniss finds hope and healing back near her Meadow that was an ideal since HG and her dream for Peeta in CF and am not bothered like some that she didn’t take a power position in the new government. That’s Gale not Katniss. I love these books and all of the characters.

  70. BradSmith5 says:

    Oh man, the first half of this chapter was so bad; seeing Katniss shut inside empty rooms while other things happen is not entertaining to me. She broods in the training center, she broods out by a rock––ENOUGH. Collins should have condensed those scenes into one and shown us the trial. And speaking of that: Why in the world didn't Peeta or Beetee speak up about Coin's Hunger Games plot!? Did those two even come to Katniss' defense!? Did Uncle Pennybags just show up with a 'Get out of Jail Free' card!? Oh, who knows! We can't spare sentences for important details; Brad wants to hear about every nightmare Katniss has.

    But at last Buttercup shows up, and the ending gets awesome. Holy crap, THE CAT breaks Katniss out of her daze! And then they all make scrapbooks about how amazing Cinna was. Life is not ALL DESPAIR all the time; thank you so much for ending on something positive, Collins. And thank you for NOT using the pearl to break Peeta out of his hijacked funk. I now look forward to Mark's wrap-up of the series: one that won't involve throwing this book in the trash, I guess. ;)

    • SecretGirl127 says:

      Amen to not down the magical pearl route.

    • lossthief says:

      Oh god the nightmares!

      I HATED every time (which was a LOT) that Kat described her nightmares to us. It was always the point where Collins would take us out of the story completely, use long sentences with basically no description, and then just assume I would find it terrifying. The "burying me in ash" thing was completely uninteresting, and felt like Collins was trying to construe Kat's guilt in a way other than having her tell us she is. Kudos for trying, admirable effort, but the weakness was in the execution.

    • hassibah says:

      Hey Brad, I'm going to drop my reactions here since this seems like the best place to do it:

      Chapter 1:
      First thought: uh wow Katniss visiting her home city definitely won't go wrong and nothing could backfire here and obviously there's no way they could be tracked. Nope.
      I know some people hate info dumps but I was totally fine with this one. So she's being drugged and ummm what's the deal with Plutarch? We know he's on the rebel's side but he wasn't given a JK Rowlingesque "look at me I'm evil" name for no reason. Unless Plutarch just happens to be a really popular baby name in the capitol, which would be pretty funny but THG doesn't strike me as this kind of satire so it seems intentional-but WHYYYY.
      Finnick sounds drugged too, upset as he would be about his girl the guy has a good survivor instinct and I can't picture him spending that much time in bed otherwise. If that's not the case then I think it's weird characterization.
      So now there was no real rebellion outside disctrict 13 and it's all their doing? Or that seems to be the implied here. Maybe I'm reading too much into it and we'll see in future chapters…

      Chapter 2:
      What is this mysterious land where they have 12 invisible hovercrafts but wasting paper is a capitol offense?
      Sooo the cold war's back. I figured they'd have Peeta be a spokesperson for the regime, it's the only way they could justify not killing him on the spot or doing something horrible to him to scare people away from rebelling.
      I don't get why they would let him on TV if not to dictate every single word he said. Why are they letting him defend Katniss to the world? Shouldn't they be churning out propaganda against her, either saying she died in an "accident" or that she's a bitch and a horrible person that cheated on him, tortured puppies and did heroin while she was pregnant? Why is P getting so much leeway in his interviews? Or is the capitol wanting to imply that K's on their side all this time and is taken hostage by the rebels and forced to work for them?

      Chapter 3:
      Damn for a second I thought Cinna's alive but apparently it's all up in the air. Not really a lot to say about this chapter but it's good to see they developed Prim some and I-oh shit cliffhanger!

      Chapter 4:
      Oh here we go with the evil of Plutarch. Except it's not 100% clear how much he knows about what's going on at this point. I was expecting a lot worse tbh but I guess there's plenty that can happen by the end. And they're mentioning Cinna again which gives me a bad feeling about where all this namedropping is going, I'm not sure I want to know. Gale and Prim both seem to have the same attitude and I want more backstory on that so I hope we learn more about life in 12 before it was bombed.
      I don't get why COIN (I don't know if this name referencing something or if I'm overthinking it) would state all the terms of Katniss' demands in a public speech, epspecially if it's pissing people off. That's not the kind of info you break out for your celebratory ally, that's the stuff you hide forever. Does no one in this universe know how to run a totalitarian state (or any state) cause usually you don't let teenagers subvert your propaganda campaign any time they want.

      Chapter 5:
      Not a lot to say here, it's good to see more character stuff but I hope they develop Gale a lot more to explain why he thinks the way he does. OMG that last line, must keep going.

      • hassibah says:

        PART 2

        chapter 6:
        Ugh Finnick stop making me so sad.

        Chapter 7:
        Holy shit shit's real. I like the way they're writing Gale in battle here too, those friendships that get to the point where you can communicate without having to say anything. And so much politics! Dist 2 being mercenaries makes so much sense. Man I hope they get to district 11-and we eventually find out what 3/5/6/7/9/10 do. Or maybe we did and I don't remember-I hate not being able to google things cause I don't want to run into spoilers. Haha and the whole "if we burn you burn" speech. Wow.
        I think I know where this story's going now :(

        Chapter 8:
        Is nobody on Coin's side? It's kind of weird that it's so easy to get everyone to keep her in the dark. And Haymitch is only threatening Katniss with headphones? That's the best he can do?
        Ohhh more secrets, time to keep reading..

        Chapter 9:
        Oh OK so apparently dist 12 is secure? Or it's not according to menacing flowers?
        Why is Plutarch obsessed with arms he managed a game show in his past life? I want Plutarch backstory now!
        This scene could have been repetitive and boring but christ the character stuff is some of the saddest EVER and the song was totally cool(I realize that for some people this actually qualifies as boring but hells no not me.)
        So I was kind of confused about why they were keeping Peeta a secret from Katniss? Did they think she'd make them all go rescue him? I mean otherwise wouldn't this strengthen her resolve and make her hate the capitol.
        I just hope they give the guy some agency and something to do besides being the eternal victim/pawn of the state. He's too smart to not get more.

        ON TO SECTION II

      • hassibah says:

        PART 3

        Chapter 10-11:
        Wow, things really slowed down for a while, I'm glad it eventually paid off.
        There's a rescue happening, but there's something fishy about it. I was suspicious of Gale at first cos we never heard about him after the bomb shelter doors closed but, uh, things have changed since chapter 10 so I guess we'll see.

        Chapter 12:
        A lot happens while you're chilling in the basement waiting for stuff to happen. I just hope the next 10 chapters aren't like this.
        What is this Finnick backstory I don't even know how to process it. jebus, that's horrifying.
        UGH CLIFFHANGERS AGAIN

        Chapter 13:
        Snow you are dead. I guess the thing I was dreading sort of came true, and I'm guessing this is why some people really hate this book :/ but I dunno there's still 1/2 the book to go and a lot can happen and I don't see why the process can't be reversed if they kow for a fact there's a plant antidote to what those bugs do? But for the purposes of this book that doesn't seem to be the case.
        I have literary claustrophobia, holy crap, can we have non-basement setting for a chapter plz.

        Chapter 14:
        Least favourite exchange between Gale and Katniss ever. I felt really sorry for him the first time this conversation happened but why is it repeating itself? Is this going to happen everytime they see each other now?
        GET ON WITH IT COLLINS. Hopefully more will happen to Gale than making him a one-note angry dude. Especially when there are so many important revenges to be planned that will be way more important than makeouts.

        Everybody in this book is so damaged :/ but I guess they always were, it's just now really starting to show.

      • hassibah says:

        PART 4

        Chapter 15:
        awkuflakuafla saddest thing ever brb.
        This part is excellent and makes up for all the slowness of the last 5 chapters and the flaws of all the books combined.

        Chapter 16:
        The Katniss/Johanna bromance is the only relationship that matters in this book.
        Wow at the "Katniss is a coldhearted b" propaganda campaign actually happening – worst relationship development ever :(

        Chapter 17
        Exact same comments as the last chapter! It's all a metaphor for her identity crisis, I get it!!

        Chapter 18:
        my thoughts in this order:
        ugh Johanna nooo
        lol it figures the final battle would be reruns. of course he'd developed the HG weapons.
        OH SHIT. OH SHIT NO.
        aaaand scene.

        in conclusion: I really appreciate what part II of this book was trying to do with showing everyone's lost innocence and their general fucked up-ness but it really this section of the book could have been like 1/3 shorter because damn some parts were slow.

      • hassibah says:

        Chapter 21:
        "but people don't need wings to survive"
        "mockingjays do"
        DUN DUN DUNNNNN
        Oh and there's the song AGAIN.

        Conclusion: Collins needs a hug.

        Did Sylvia Plath write this ending? Wow, that was heavy and kind of out of the blue last 20 pages. Not that the rest of the book was lots of fun but wtf? Objectively despite all its flaws I think it was a good book and my favourite but god help me I hope I'm never that miserable again in my life.
        TBH I think it's kind of shitty that the series will be judged by what is a very small percentage of the story just because it's the part that people read last, because I otherwise really appreciate what the book was trying to do.

        The thing was, we'd already seen the results of the trauma of war in 10,000 heartbreaking ways on every single character throughout this book. The book had already done a wonderful job of doing that and could have treated Katniss breakdown in the same way. I just can't appreciate the way collins chose to show it and somehow the silver lining parts that show her healing and making the book just made me 1000x MORE depressed after having to plow through everything else she'd gone through before. But I'm kind of biased.

        • BradSmith5 says:

          Yeah, Collins' home must have about twenty of those "tragedy" masks hanging on every wall. I wonder if going through all of this in one night like you did is any less depressing than day-by-day. I think it might be, but I had all of these great comments to keep me balanced. Man, did you see Spectral Bovine's fake epilogue up there? What makes it so hilarious is that I could totally imagine Collins GOING for that ending.

          • hassibah says:

            Haha I did!
            Yeah I actually liked how the book handled depressing up untill the final chapter but that final stretch was just unbearable. I mean I found some of it kind of odd, 12 is too tramautic for her mother to visit but they take Katniss who's the most traumatized person ever and leave her there all by herself? Why not with her mum in 4? What happenened to her friendship with Johanna ie the best person ever? They just never see each other again?
            I get what the ending was trying to get across artistically but I definitely think there are ways she could have communicated that the exact same things happened without wanting to make me die that much, and I say this as someone that has both dealt with depression and buried a LOT of people.

            I just need to read a book that's the oppososite of this, stat.

            • lunylucy says:

              I just need to read a book that's the oppososite of this, stat.

              You just need to marathon all of Parks and Rec, stat! IT WILL FILL THE HOLE IN YOUR SOUL.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        I think you need to go back, and put each thought in the review it belongs in. ;)

        No, no, I'm kidding. Thank you Hassibah!

  71. t09yavorski says:

    "Entrails. No hissing. This is the closest we will ever come to love." Hunger Games Chapter 1

    Now remember this line and try not to cry all the tears forever. :( Collins makes re-reads soooooo hard.

  72. ruroken says:

    Actually, the missing trial scene didn't bother me too much, because I didn't expect anything as fair as a "trial" at all. I mean, in the old Panem, I'm sure Katniss would have been executed immediately without any debate at all. In her own words, she expected an "interrogation, probable torture, certain public execution." So, having a trial to determine someone's guilt and punishment is a huge step forward already. There might not even be this concept that the defendant should have a say about his/her fate – after all, a murderer is a bad person and a bad person shouldn't even be allowed to talk – they're lucky just to be alive and they're definitely not trustworthy. How can anyone believe what someone says in their own defence? Etc., etc. I know this isn't how our society and justice system works, but it never even occurred to me that Katniss should have witnessed her own trial, and I don't think it's really the point of the book. Collins can't make this book a commentary on both war and the court system without detracting from the effectiveness of both messages. I also think if we were actually privy to the trial, we'd be severely disappointed by how some lessons are never learned ("it's war, Coin's decisions were necessary ") or by how Panem will brush things to the side ("it isn't Katniss' place to judge Coin"). Because it's not Collin's way to make things all fluffy and neat, and have everyone applaud Katniss' act of heroism and talk about how the Games must never happen again. Instead, it'll most likely be extremely unsatisfactory arguments about how they can't set a precedent for condoning murder, presenting Coin as a martyr/hero, and showing how technicalities interfere in a the court system. Finally, if Collins has no interest in courtroom debates, I'm just happy that Katniss is [we are] left out of it instead of having to suffer through 5 chapters of a deadpanned trial.

  73. accio doublestuff says:

    this chapter (on top of all the chapters that came before it) changed how i felt about this series. i totally respect collins for everything she managed to accomplish with this book, but it made me so depressed while reading it that i kind of regretted reading it. despite my huge respect for collins as a writer, i did not enjoy reading this chapter. not saying that everything i read has to make me giggle, but this book is too sad for me. literally the most depressing thing i have ever read.

  74. Sizzlelucid says:

    Is it not true that Katniss and Peeta TOTES got it on at the end?

    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/2quqfqr.jpg"&gt;

    Also Finnick and Lupin sadfaces forever.

    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2s65aa0.jpg"&gt;

    Both of these are from Deviantart, the second one is part of a bigger meme but I thought I'd share it with y'all!

  75. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    AW GOD DAMN IT :(

  76. michelle says:

    I really didn't like the summary thing either. it could've been a great moment if she wrote it differently, but she just rushed through it.

    also the buttercup scene is the saddest of all the sads.

  77. kellylea says:

    No book or movie or song or anything, has ever made me cry so very hard as the scene with Katniss and Buttercup. I was literally SOBBING. Especially when Buttercup sat there and guarded Katniss as she slept. My heart broke all over again into a hundred thousand little pieces.

    I love the last line of the chapter. Honestly at one point I totally cheated and looked ahead because I had to know that at least Peeta survived and if they were reunited because otherwise I wasn't even going to bother. I love that they have each other, that they can help each other heal. The last part of this chapter was, to me, perfect, after the shitstorm of awfulness that we had to go through to get there.

    Seriously, though. This chapter made me cry SO MUCH and I almost started tearing up just re-reading this review, now.

    Sending you a giant e-hug.

    • In a way, S.L.O.E. Buttercup treated Katniss better than anyone else in the series. He never BSed her, never manipulated her, and was always 100% honest. Animals so top humans, everytime.

  78. Elisa says:

    This is why I hate this series. Everything of monumental importance happens in a rushed summary of flashback. That is the worst writing ever, with brief moments of brilliance that comes from her action scenes. UGH. So disgusted with this series and this author as a whole.

  79. erin says:

    I actually sort of loved the way Gale just disappeared without any fanfare or one last, dramatic goodbye. Throughout the entire book you could see the way their friendship was slowly degrading after need stopped forcing them together. Finally, they just didn't have any common ground. Having "broken up" with one of my best friends in a similar way (minus the war and death and promises to kill each other, of course) I appreciated the realism. Gale and Katniss meant something to each other… once. Just not anymore.

    • ShiiShii says:

      I certainly see where you're coming from with the realism, and I respect your opinion. I did enjoy the fact that the friendship was degrading from such a strong bond throughout the story, but I just think from a literary point of view, Gale's departure in itself is bogus. Even something simple like a goodbye letter saying, "I'm sorry for everything." Gale's final word as a clarification. From the last two chapters, Gale was like, "All I had left was taking care of your family," and then poof? He loved Katniss and known her for so long, just poofing wouldn't settle right with Gale from the way he's developed through this story. It would be like Jacob focusing his attention on Renesmonster and just leaving his devotion of Bella in the dust a split second later.
      Personally, I never feel right with myself until I settle a steady break with someone, you know? As a character, Gale should not just drop off the face of the earth; he needs some sort of closure. Maybe I'm just speaking as a Gale fan, but those are my thoughts.

      • Hanh says:

        Actually Gale said his goodbye right at that moment you quoted. He knew it was ending right there and tried to tell her that as best he could. As someone with a similar personality to Gale, I don't like to make goodbyes, and when dealing with a very meaningful goodbye, I'm even less likely to make it a clear goodbye. Typically I just up and leave and disappear without a word. The closure Gale needs right now isn't to end his friendship to Katniss. It's to reconcile his guilt over possibly killing Prim. I don't blame him for what happened, but like Katniss, they both seem bent on blaming themselves for things they indirectly caused.

  80. kellylea says:

    HE'S HER LOBSTER.

    OMG, yes yes yes. !!!!!!!!!!

  81. potlid007 says:

    I felt sort of empty after this chapter. It went on, and on, and on, and explained things rather than showed them which was boring and kind of depressing. And then it got sort of sappy and weird, which was cute for awhile until it got kind of obnoxious. and now i'm pretty set for it to end. depressing shit is depressing.

    NOW ALMOST BOOK THIEF TIME!!!
    <img src="http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii205/lassie_faire/GIF%20central/Glee/hug.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Hug Rachel Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  82. Depths_of_Sea says:

    Fanart picspam time! Have some happy(ish) Peeta/Katniss.

    <img alt="" src="http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h90/TariElensar/PeetaKatniss133.jpg&quot; />
    by timetofrolic
    <img alt="" src="http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h90/TariElensar/PeetaKatniss145.jpg&quot; />
    by ribkaDory
    <img alt="" src="http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h90/TariElensar/PeetaKatniss179.jpg&quot; />
    by kckat

    <img alt="" src="http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h90/TariElensar/PeetaKatniss220.jpg&quot; />
    by The-Masked-Maurader
    <img alt="" src="http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h90/TariElensar/PeetaKatniss229.jpg&quot; />
    by &nbsp;viria13
    <img alt="" src="http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h90/TariElensar/PeetaKatniss230.jpg&quot; />
    by KayKras
    <img alt="" src="http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h90/TariElensar/PeetaKatniss253.jpg&quot; />
    by sallysacrifice
    <img alt="" src="http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h90/TariElensar/i_tell_him__real_by_palnk-d3azuo6.jpg&quot; />
    by palnk

    On another note, I have this strong suspicion that Collins was under contract to keep her books under a certain word or page count, and that's one of the reasons for the summarizing and the slightly rushed feeling of this end chapter here. It felt like to me Collins checked her word count and was like, "Crap! I gotta finish this in X number of pages or my editor will murder me in my sleep! Uh… uh… *summarizes* There, it's done." I mean, all three books clock in at around 25-27 chapters right?

    That being said, I still love how much emotional punch she was able to pack into that short half-chapter of Katniss's healing process. The memory book and "Real or not Real"/"Real." gets me every single time.

    • ldwy says:

      Wow, those are beautiful. I love many of them, but I especially love the last one, how they look a little haggard, and the scarring of Katniss' skin is shown, but they look peaceful. I liked that they ended up together, but I really liked the way that they ended up together.

    • Gabbie says:

      Love the last one. It actually shows her burn scars..

  83. tinybit92 says:

    The part with Buttercup was where Prim's death, and everything else, finally became real to me. I Broke down sobbing along with Katniss. I even started tearing up a tiny bit just rereading that passage here. This book, Mark. THIS BOOK.

  84. potlid007 says:

    PREACH IT.

  85. Megan C says:

    God, okay, even reading this review has reduced me to tears. You are not the only one who totally lost it with that Buttercup scene; it was just brutal.

    I understand what you mean by your complaint with how Katniss tends to be unconscious for a lot of developments, leaving Collins to tell us about it after the fact. It's a criticism a lot of readers had for this book, but I honestly didn't see that much wrong with it – I thought it was unrealistic that she would be able to be everywhere and see everything, and it's definitely not plausible that she's immune to gigantic explosions or being knocked unconscious. Collins could have, I feel, handled it better, and made it feel less like an "oh btw" post-it note summary. So yeah. But I actually rather liked it.

    And can I just say that I'm so glad that you're reading The Book Thief Next? I just finished it a few months ago after years of my friend's pestering, and oh god. So beautiful and amazing and flawless. Unlike absolutely anything you will ever read again. Cannot wait to read your reviews. :D

  86. DIE SNOW DIE I'M GONNA PUT WEEDKILLER ON ALL YOUR FLOWERS—-I mean, yeah, it's a winter storm here too. >_>; That book has given me a complex..
    :: noms thin mints and tries not to twitch ::

    I need to go hug a goose.

    • theresa1128429 says:

      I think I'll go hunt down the kitty cats and cuddle until everything melts. That will make me feel better—

  87. He sees, he knows, but he doesn’t follow through. Just as I didn’t when he was captured. Sorry excuses for hunters and friends. Both of us.

    I’m on my own.

    ALL BY MYSELF

    DON'T WANNA BE

    AAALL BY MYSELF

    WHAT HUH OH SORRY GUYS I SING CELINE DION SONGS WHEN I'M IDK FOREVER IN PAIN

    Jumping to my death’s not an option—the window glass must be a foot thick. I can make an excellent noose, but there’s nothing to hang myself from.

    COLLINS YOU JUST TAKE HAPPINESS FROM MY PAIN DON'T YOU I BET WHEN I CRY YOU TAKE THOSE TEARS AS DROPS FROM THE RAINBOW AND YOU DANCE ALONG

    DON'T YOU
    <img src="http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/vv255/tarnisheddesire/DONEWITHYOUendofconvoangrypoint.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    What are they doing, anyway? What’s the holdup out there?

    OMG YOU'RE RIGHT BB KATNISS SOMETHING INCREDIBLY AWFUL IS GONNA HAPPEN OBVS
    <img src="http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/vv255/tarnisheddesire/comeatmebro.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    WELL I'M READY FOR IT BRING IT

    They can fatten me up. They can give me a full body polish, dress me up, and make me beautiful again. They can design dream weapons that come to life in my hands, but they will never again brainwash me into the necessity of using them. I no longer feel allegiance to these monsters called human beings, despite being one myself.

    YOU GO KATNISS COCO

    THAT'S HOW WE DO IT IN LIMA HEIGHTS
    <img src="http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/vv255/tarnisheddesire/ANDTHRUSTbigger.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    the third time something GIGANTICALLY HUGE has happened and Collins is all, LOL ALL U GET IS A SUMMARY LOL.

    <img src="http://i56.tinypic.com/2qimfr6.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    “You have to look after me, don’t you? As my mentor?” He shrugs. Then I realize what it means. “My mother’s not coming back.”

    ALL BY MYSELF DON'T WANNA BE ALL BY MYSELF

    “You are back,” I say.

    And you, Katniss, need to go in detail. I don't know who this 'who' is and you are leading me on to assuming what should probably not be assumed because everything ends in heartbreak and tears and ect.
    <img src="http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/vv255/tarnisheddesire/facialjshmm.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    “Dr. Aurelius wouldn’t let me leave the Capitol until yesterday,” Peeta says.

    <img src="http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/vv255/tarnisheddesire/GaspYou.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    • SophiePatronus says:

      omg that is excellent gif useage. Especially the Hermione one. That was fabulous.

    • blessthechildren says:

      BOY MEETS WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I need to rewatch that entire series. :D

  88. thatonegirl says:

    This chapter. I loved it, even if I didn't love everything about it.

    I think it's sad that the rest of the country doesn't know what really happened with Katniss killing Coin, but I'm happy that Katniss finally gets to be left alone and not a pawn. I don't think anyone is coming around to check up on her to see if she's actually "a lunatic" like she was being presented. And I don't think the people who presented her that way thought that was true, because they're not checking up on her, either. She gets to do her won thing (eventually)!

    As sad as it is to see Katniss alone I thought it was great that she had time without pressure from either Gale or Peeta. And then I cried like a baby when Peeta showed back up. (And I totally feel justified by the sexy tiem fanart… I was reading this with my husband and was all "they finally and sex" and he was like "what? no." Collins isn't blunt force obvious with everything)

    Gale not coming back is sad but I think fits perfectly with his character and everything that happened in the books. He's kind of an all or nothing guy, and his and Katniss's relationship was breaking up all book. Add to that the whole repeating thing about how miners only abandon something when it's hopeless, and it makes sense that he would think the best thing to do was move on. Plus he's in 2, and that's a mining district, isn't it? There's probably slag heaps. He'll be fine. I don't think Collins intended for the reader to hate Gale.

  89. Maybe she should sell Gale and buy a rabbit INSTEAD.

  90. maliarushall says:

    God, I was sobbing even as I read this review. WHEN WILL THE SAD END?? I first lost it when Buttercup came back, and the tears just got worse from there.

    Y'know, the end of this series really reminds me of the last line of the Great Gatsby: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

    And don't worry, Mark. You've still got more pages of unprepared-ness coming at ya.

  91. Jaria says:

    I remember so many times on the playground playing rock, paper, scissors, fire, and roses.

    I was so wrecked after this book I mean The Last Unicorn, fleece blanket, lifetime movie, and ice cream forever wrecked. I finished it the night before I went to Harry Potter Universal Studios and my friends were like "Let's get butterbeer!" and I was like "What's the point? Prim is gone." Total Debbie Downer.

  92. trash_addict says:

    I got all teary again just reading this :( (at work! I would complain about indignity but I am *sick*, there vulnerable, okay???).

    Slight dissatisfaction with the lack of trial (and Collins' tendency to summarize important things will always grate on me) but I don't think it's enough to justify all the complaint about the ending that apparently happened in fandom. This is pretty beautiful. Brb going to cry some more.

  93. Flumehead says:

    I am crying rivers just reading the extracts in your review I have read this hundreds of times before what is wrong with me?

    I think what they mean by not knowing whether he choked or was crushed is that he was both choking and being crushed, but don't know for certain which was the actual cause of death. The battered corpse of a man who choked to death is rather similar to the corpse of a man who was crushed to death whilst choking and, as nobody really cares, they can't be bothered to perform an autopsy either.

  94. Quizzical says:

    felt extremely ripped off at the trial thing. she could have been dragged there and stood in a stupor, it still would have showed the process. lazy.

    but the way she comes out of it gradually, still full of pain and grief is gut wrenching and beautifully done.

  95. liliaeth says:

    There's something that surprises me that no one else has mentioned it yet.

    Think about it, who allowed Katniss to see President Snow, giving him the opportunity to tell her about Coin being responsible for the bombs that killed Prim and the other children.

    And who ends up the new President.

    I'm not sure if she used Katniss as an assassin to get in power, or because she realized what Coin had done and she knew it was the only way to stop her from becoming the next dictator.

    But either way, it is rather interesting that Paylor was the one who allowed Katniss to enter Snow's quarters.

    • RainaWeather says:

      That's cause she's a bamf. And I did always get the feeling that she knew more than she was letting on.

    • CuriosityShoppe says:

      I'm not sure if she used Katniss as an assassin to get in power, or because she realized what Coin had done and she knew it was the only way to stop her from becoming the next dictator.

      I'm choosing to believe it's the latter, mainly because I cannot handle any more sadness in this book I need some happiness.

      • Guest says:

        On a half-unrelated note….correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I read somewhere that Collin's husband's name is Paylor….??? Or did I hallucinate that….

        ~e.k.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      Only now reading the comment because I was sick yesterday, but I actually predicted that Paylor would become the president based on that. Collins made it a point to say that the soldiers who were guarding the room were "Paylor's, not Coin's," and I figured that was foreshadowing Paylor either siding with Katniss in a coup against Coin, or becoming the president in some other way. Didn't think it'd happen without Katniss endorsing her, though.

      And then someone in the Chapter 26 review posted an article that spoiled it. :(

  96. Silverilly says:

    I wish I could say something more insightful than "Oh look I keep crying," but I pretty much sobbed from Chapter 24 on. And just when I thought my heart had mended, Collins threw in the Buttercup scene.
    Tears forever.

Comments are closed.