I’m never very good at predicting outcomes. Nothing I could’ve predicted would have been quite as good as this. Although I did get close (a very distant "close") on a few things, and I was right in saying that it wouldn’t be walking through a field of flowers and sunshine.
A book like this just couldn’t be.
It's good, and yet not good. Because it’s good in a very heartbreaking, chilling, haunting, intense way.
Katniss is a different person from the first two books. I found her softer, more thoughtful, and also more open (granted, she's still kind of a brat sometimes. But don't we all have our moments?). In the first two books, even though the story is told by her, she’s very closed off with us. This book is filled with more emotion, and I liked her best in this book, even though it's a tragedy of sorts.
As I’m stewing over the novel I read every word of yesterday, I think, “Did I really love it?” And then, “How could I love it?” I shake my head. I can’t love something so terribly sad and at times grotesque. Something so painful.
Truthfully, I don’t think I loved it. Love isn’t the right word. It was a fantastic novel. I don't think I can come up with any better way for a trilogy of this kind to come to a close. The perfect note of sadness and sweetness, pain and healing all mixed up in a jumble. This book was far more severe than the first two. Much harder to read, and with more emotional depth, I think. Sometimes I just had to close the book for a while and breathe because I needed to stop for a bit, to regroup myself so I could get through a certain part.
Collins wove in a few questions to ponder. Where do you draw the line? Do you give just what you got? Should you show mercy to those who haven’t shown mercy to you? Is it right to kill innocent people just because the leaders on their side of the line killed innocent people on your side?
Contrary to what some believe, this is not an anti-war book. Actually, I think Collins is trying to get us to ask ourselves questions about what justifies war, and where the line should be drawn between justice and vengeance. Not that we shouldn't fight, but that we know what's worth fighting for.
Several notable characters die. It’s painful, and it hurts to read it. Some believe that these characters didn’t get enough homage. But since this is told from first-person, maybe it’s just too painful for Katniss to dwell on those deaths.
The last three pages make all the heavy, intense, painfulness of the rest of the book almost worth it, in a strange way. Bittersweet is the perfect word. The sense of loss underlying the message that life really does goes on, even when we don’t see how it possibly can.
Sometimes we need a little help to pick ourselves off the floor and start again.
I wasn’t disappointed with the ending, but I am disappointed that it’s the end. It left me feeling emotionally drained and like I'd lost something. I'm not sure if I'm shell-shocked or simply worn out by the intensity of it all. I'm glad, in a way, that it ended like it did. I'm also sad, and a little confused. Not because I didn't like the ending, but because I simply feel emptied out for the time being.
I just wish...I wish that there could have been more happiness for these characters that I love so much. I think that unfulfilled wish is, at the end of the day, why I'm feeling this way right now. In time the feeling will pass, I know, but at the moment I'm sorry for it. No matter how I enjoyed this book (and I did, I really did), I'm in a sort of grieving state. Happiness was there in the end, but it just wasn't enough to compensate for all the sadness.
Then again, I think that was the point.
It’s a very rare thing to find a trilogy like this one, and I’ll always hold a place in my heart for the girl who was on fire