05 September 2010

Day 162: Mockingjay

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.  ISBN: 9780439023511.

Holy crap.  That was not the ending I was expecting, despite all the griping from other book bloggers I've been reading, or skimming really in an attempt to avoid spoilers.  It's definitely a worthy ending to the series, and I think will be appreciated much more once people calm the fuck down and get over the hype.  I will agree that the tacked on epilogue was very end-of-Harry-Potteresque and I hated them both.  They were unnecessary, the story was over, I don't need to know what happens after everything is wrapped up.  That's what fan-fiction is for.

Now I'm going to get on a soap box and start yelling at people.  Here we go.

Cut out the Team Peeta, Team Gale, Team Whatever bullshit!

Ahem.  Thank you.  Seriously, you have no idea how much this annoys me.  Sure, it's cute when they do the sketches on The Daily Show.  However, it is obnoxious and insulting when grown women (in particular) do it and not much better when teenager girls do it.  You wanna know why?  Of course you do, because I'm ragey and hatey and it makes for good blogging.  It's insulting because it assumes that (in this case) Katniss only has two options and that she can't make valid decisions for herself, so we, the audience, ought to barge in and make them for her with yelling and shouting and fan-girling all over the place.

Oh, but she's a fictional character, so it's okay to have a little bit of fun with it, etc.  Okay, so it doesn't have a direct influence on a real person's life, but I don't think this is behavior we ought to be encouraging women to participate in.  They may end up distrusting their own judgment regarding their selection of mates, and the idea of using a system as childish as Team X or Y kind of makes me sick to my stomach.  It also removes any sort of autonomy or power or even responsibility from the person in question to make her own decisions about her future.

Without giving away too much about the end, I think Katniss made the right decision for her, because it was probably the first and only decision she actually made on her own. In fact, I think Collins tried to slip in some "OMG STFU about the Team shit" herself when she has Katniss make this statement very early in the book: 

"The very notion that I'm devoting any thought to who I want presented as my lover, given our current circumstances, is demeaning."  Page 40.

Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.  Yes.  For the first two books Katniss was consistently told us she had no interest in getting married regardless of how she felt for anyone because she didn't want to bring children into a world with the Hunger Games.  Rather than applauding her maturity in this decision (when she seems to avoid being mature about much else, granted - teenager), people are yelling and screaming and fawning and pressing for her to choose one or the other and right now.

They're fictional characters and they're going to end up with who the author wants them to end up with, but they're also stand-ins for real human beings and we need to respect who they are and who they represent as people.  Don't get pissy when they make the "wrong" choice, it's not your decision to make and we read to grow.  Watching other people make the wrong choice is often more helpful than having them live perfect lives, and often a lot more exciting.

I am decidedly Team STFU, by the way.  And maybe a bit Team Buttercup, but who can go wrong loving a cat?

An excellent spoiler-free review can be found over at books i done read.  I have previous posts about Hunger Games and Catching Fire.  Click the shiny links.


  1. I've got the first two but I haven't read them yet. Looking forward to it though.

  2. Aw, Dayna, I'm blushing.

    Tink, they are definitely worth the read.

  3. Aww, I hated the ending of Mockingjay because I hated the message. I think for most of us the team Peeta /team Gale business was a bit of fun; I doubt many of us in the book blogging world cared all that much.


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