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nataliya

nataliya

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” 
― Stephen King, On Writing.

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"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."— J.K. Rowling

Mockingjay - Collins Suzanne All Katniss really wants is to not be "a piece in their games". But nobody apparently got the memo. Once again, she is a pawn in somebody's power games. Same shit, different day. Only the Gamemakers have changed.The above are synonymous in the eyes of the Capitol. Or District 13, for that matter.Even free from the clutches of the Capitol, Katniss still has a role to play - whether she wants it or not. This time it's Mockingjay, the face of the rebellion she unwittingly helped to bring. But the puppeteers now are the supposedly good guys - District 13. They rescued her and now have plans for her. Unfortunately, nobody asked Katniss whether SHE wanted to be steered and manipulated without her knowledge into ending up exactly where they needed her for the benefit of their cause. The makeovers, speeches, and roles to play are all waiting for the girl who is supposed to be their Mockingjay. Sounds eerily Capitol-like, right? If you expected a story where Katniss is the leader of the rebellion and kicks Capitol's ass, you will be gravely disappointed. This is NOT a story of war and revenge and justice. Instead, it is a story about suffering and pain of a young woman devastated and broken by horrendous things that have happened to her. It is quite PAINFUL and traumatic to read. Which is the entire point. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Katniss Everdeen is a badass, no argument here. She was "the girl on fire", after all. But she is not a fiery revolutionary destined to lead the rebellion. She never wanted to change the world. She did all her wonderful, brilliant, and brave acts of defiance out of the drive to help her loved ones survive and out of pure human compassion which is plentiful under her seemingly gruff and cynical exterior. She just wanted peace and safety.She is not a fighter - she is the ultimate survivor. "I guess there isn't a rule book for what might be acceptable to do to another human being." Badass or not, Katniss does not possess the conviction of every successful revolutionary - that the end justifies the means (the end being a better and brighter future. "But that kind of thinking... you could turn it into an argument for killing anyone at any time. You could justify sending kids into the Hunger Games to prevent the districts from getting out of line."SING IT, KATNISS, YOU AWESOME BRAVE HONEST GIRL. Therefore you'd be better off leaving changing the world and leading the uprisings to the 'real' rebels and visionaries. Like Gale, who also designed a deadly trapped exploiting human compassion. Like Coin, who successfully led her District to overturn Snow-led Capitol. You see, in order to be a successful leader, you need to be ruthless, to be willing to overlook small casualties and sacrifices for the sake of a bigger picture, the greater good. Katniss can't. She is too human for that. And that's why I love her. And that's why she is always a threat to everyone's plans.----------------------------------------------------------------------My favorite - because it's the most believable - thing about Katniss is that she is not invincible. Unlike many characters in other books, she does not bounce back quickly from extremely traumatic effects; she is terribly affected by them instead. "It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart."Katniss has been through more than most people can imagine. She experienced the worst nightmare of the world of Panem - the Hunger Games - twice. She was used and manipulated, sustaining mental and physical injuries. She blames herself for the deaths of thousands of her friends and neighbors. And she has almost nobody to rely on. Peeta was taken away from her. Even her best friend Gale is further than she can reach - in his dream world of the uprising, basking in the satisfaction of doing what he always wanted. And eventually whatever's left of Katniss' innocence gets completely shattered by Prim's death murder and realizing how she - and the rest of the country - been ultimately manipulated.And from all that comes her ultimate act of defiance - after all, what did you expect from a girl whose defiance was what started the whole thing? -------------------------------------------------------------------------And as for what occupied the minds of many a teenager reading this book - who will Katniss ultimately end up with, Gale or Peeta? Well, was it even a choice, really? It's not about these two boys, but - as very explicitly stated - about what they represent. Some, I know, were disappointed that she 'settles' for (to Katniss' own dismay) "whoever she thinks she can't survive without".Well, DUH. She is the ultimate survivor. And support, peace, understanding and trust are the founding blocks of any partnership. It's not all about the spark that kindles the fire, you know. It's about what makes it possible for you to keep going. Peeta knows what it's like to be used and broken, while Gale never did. She's had enough fire and hatred for a lifetime. That's all, folks. "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." Another sad - and realistic - thing that I love in this book is that there is no happy ending. Katniss survives, but it comes at a price. She remains haunted by the past, even twenty years later. She never completely recovers, and my heart breaks for her. "I'll tell them how I survive it. I'll tell them that on bad mornings, it feels impossible to take pleasure in things because I'm afraid it could be taken away. That's when I make a list in my head of every act of goodness I've seen someone do. It's like a game. Repetitive. Even a little tedious after more than twenty years.But there are much worse games to play."-------------------------------------------------------------------------This is a bleak and painful book about the consequences of war and manipulation, and about the mental devastation that comes with it. It is my favorite book of this series, and I love it. 4 stars. Despite a slight PTSD it gave me.