by Suzanne Collins
First sentence: “I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather.”
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NO SPOILERS. Promise.
Like Hunger Games and Catching Fire, this book is very unputdownable. Thankfully, I set aside the day to sit and read, otherwise I’d have been biting my nails and obsessing over the book. Better to get it all over with in one sitting.
And, for the most part, I really really liked the book. I liked what Collins did with Katniss, and the rebellion, and Gale, and especially Peeta. I liked the direction Collins was taking the books, the whole Katniss-as-Mockingjay thing. There were touching moments, some kick-butt moments, she kept me guessing as to where the plot was going, and she generally laid foundation work for something absolutely incredible to happen. There’s a lot of good anti-war stuff in there, how rebellions don’t always work right, how killing ourselves isn’t always the answer.
There are some things I wished she would have done: I missed Cinna, I wished Haymitch had more to do, I wished she had done something more with the District 13 government. Those were minor quibbles, though.
Because, the book fell apart for me. Completely and totally by the last 45 pages. There’s a moment near the end — and if you’ve read the book, you know where it is — where I was on the edge of my seat, disbelieving. However, in the pages that followed, Collins made choices — with characters, with the plot, with narrative — that completely derailed the rest of the book. It would have been so much better if… but it wasn’t. The whole ending was anticlimactic, and took the book in a direction that felt forced. I ended up feeling dissatisfied with the whole book, in the end. I’m not sure what I wanted, really, but it wasn’t the ending that Collins gave me.
Which, unfortunately, left me with a less-than-stellar reaction to the book overall. (And am I the only one?) And that’s too bad. Because it’s a great series: thought provoking and intense. I just wanted something better to end with.