Meanwhile, I wrote a short story that is loosely based on a situation I've found myself in. Last time I did this, it got published in the SpineOut Online Magazine. I think this might be one of my strong-points, so it's something I'm going to endeavour to do more often. Fingers crossed that this and all future attempts will be as successful as the first.
In the early hours of this morning, I finished reading Mockingjay, the third and final installment of The Hunger Games trilogy. I felt a rush of conflicting emotions, which were ultimately overridden by disappointment. Not a huge surprise as I was warned by a few friends and other trustworthy sources that Mockingjay was the worst of the three. Allow me to explain what when through my head while I was reading and when I finished. *SPOILER ALERT FROM THIS POINT ON*
I LOVED the new setting and the overall events that occurred in Mockingjay. Katniss and all of District 13, the visits to 12 both for filming the propoganda and for Katniss's own personal reasons. The visit to District 8, which ended in an unexpected attack from the Capitol and the relationships Katniss formed with Finnick, the love/hate feelings between Katniss and Haymitch, the fact that Gale of all people went into the Capitol to help rescue Peeta and the other captured victors, Peeta being 'hijacked'. The plot had potential to say the very least. It was great, but unfortunately, it was the potential that kept me hooked, rather than how beautifully written it actually was.
Overall, I'd say the disappointment and 'potential'-hook didn't hit me until the later parts of the novel when I found it became too repetitive with Katniss always ending up unconscious and back in District 13 for recovery, sinking deeper into insanity. Perhaps it's because the way it was written didn't communicate it right. I didn't feel much sympathy for her, when I think I should have. Especially towards the end of the book. Katniss had lead a revolution to victory and lost so much that she cared about along the way; her home and all of District 12, many friends who could not evacuate in time, friends like Finnick Odair and Boggs who were fighting alongside her in the war, and eventually even Prim, who Katniss had been protecting from the start. Yet all I could see by the end was a girl wallowing in self-pity.
And then the ending, when she ended up back in District 12 and eventually with Peeta again... those last few pages of the book felt like an absolute flop to me. It was more like they were forced together for the sake of comforting each other, rather than actually being in love. And we don't even hear anything from Gale. What was his reaction? Do they continue their friendship? I'm still largely undecided on which of the boys I wanted her to end up with, if she should have ended up with either at all. I felt like she was supposed to stay alone, like she always said she would before the uprising. Whatever the case, it just wasn't the ending the story deserved.
Of course, I still enjoyed parts of it. And not just because of the plot devises. After Prim's death, the beginning of the next chapter blew me away. I thought it was perfectly written, Katniss's feelings perfectly described. In that passage, I actually was able to appreciate Katniss and pity her. Peeta's hijacking was another pointer I liked, at least to an extent. His attempts to kill Katniss, and his attempts to control himself (although I found him a little 'Hulk'-like at times...), and the games of 'Real or Not Real?'. Then there's Johanna Mason. Well... need I really explain that little morphling-junkie to-be?
The Hunger Games trilogy overall was enjoyable, but I found it highly overrated. They're good books, but they're not the greatest thing in the world. I can see why they became popular, but they're still nowhere near my favourite books. I'm still astounded by how poorly polished and proofread they were (maybe I'll apply for a proofreading job at Scholastic) and stand by what I said about a slightly less simplistic writing style being beneficial to some of the themes and issues.
Who else has read the complete trilogy and would like to shoot me down for my criticisms? What were your thoughts on Mockingjay and The Hunger Games trilogy?