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  • Writer's pictureR. M. Waenga

Book Review: The Hunger Games (Mockingjay)

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Episode Three: The Grim AF one. Also, it's a drinking game!

Content warning: This review delves deeply into mental illness, including: PTSD, anxiety, depression, and suicide. Like all Hunger Games books, lots of bad things happen to children.

So, we've found ourselves at the end of The Hunger Games trilogy. A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is not part of the trilogy, it's a prequel. I may get around to reviewing it once I've read it, but it's not very high on my TBR (to be read) list.

I don't think I need an exposition section for this book, it's pretty straightforward. If you want some background, maybe read this exposition section from my last review.

The Drinking Game

It's pretty straightforward. Drink when the memes tell you to drink.

The Plot

Katniss is in District 12 a few weeks after it was destroyed, standing where her old house in the seam was. There are a lot of bodies, as only 915 out of the 10,000 inhabitants escaped. Turns out Gale knew something bad would happen (that hunting sense I guess?) and he got as many people out as he could. The power went out so they cut through the fence and ran into the woods. Peeta's family are all dead, as well as Katniss' friend Madge. It's pretty grim. "It's pretty grim" could have been the title of this book, but it's not very catchy.

Basically, everything in District 12 is burnt to the ground besides the Victor's Village. She goes to her old house there and finds their cat Buttercup (they hate each other), and a rose intentionally left by President Snow. The rose reminds her of President Snow and the mixture of his scent, blood and synthetically strong roses. Maybe GOOP should make that a scented candle?

Three drinks for knowing vagina-scented candles exist.

They're basically letting her do whatever she wants because:

  1. She has extreme PTSD; and

  2. They really really want her to be the Mockingjay.

The district token worn by Katniss in the first book has transcended jewelry and secret pocket watches to be a symbol of the revolution. The rebels want Katniss to be the face of said revolution. She just wants to sleep in supply closets. Me too, girl.

People critisise this book for being very slow at the start because Katniss is suffering through PTSD. As the only character we follow, we have to "endure" this. Some suggested Suzanne Collins could have branched out to other character perspectives in this book. After reading this done in the Divergent trilogy, I'm really glad she didn't (although she would have done it better). I like that we follow Katniss as she's slowly putting herself back together. As someone with PTSD who can suffer from acute bouts of depression, it's so relatable. I want to be alone and sleep a lot and ignore my duties. In District 13 they print your schedule on your arm and it washes off at the end of the day. That is grim, and not something someone dealing with extreme trauma needs. TL;DR let Katniss have some time to recover please!

My main man Finnick is also suffering some serious trauma. They kidnapped his secret girlfriend Annie Cresta after the Games. He just sits around and ties knots. Again, this dude has gone through some serious trauma (more to come on this). Let him play with his rope that's too short for him to hang himself with. Damn, that's grim.

Drink once when you see this meme.

Katniss never sees Beetee because he works down in weapons development. He's in a wheelchair due to permanent damage to his spinal cord (no fancy Capitol med tech in District 13). Speaking of District 13...

Sorry guys, this will be pretty quick. Everyone was told that District 13's trade was graphite mining. Though this was a small part of what they did, they actually produced the weapons for the Capitol. During the rebellion 75 years previously, they aimed their missiles at the Capitol and the Capitol did the same. They reached a stalemate where the Capitol bombed the part of District 13 that was above ground and let them be an independent nation in their massive underground facility.

You'd think they'd maybe keep the making of storage of weapons in the Capitol after the fall of 13 and the massive loss of weapons/hovercrafts, but nah, they let District 2 do it. Seriously people, you have Gamekeepers who develop weapons for the Games, just use them!

Back in 13, Katniss is called to command. This is where the President of 13 Coin and her posse make all the important decisions. The Capitol plays an interview with Peeta and he looks well and healthy. He calls for a ceasefire and people in the room start calling him a traitor. I mean, he's probably being tortured or threatened into saying that, but you do you 13.

Katniss is at a loss of what to do. Prim, her younger sister (you know, the once she volunteered for) suggests she makes a list of demands before she agrees to be the Mockingjay. That way she could ask for Peeta to be pardoned once the war is over. Katniss asks for the following:

  • To keep Buttercup. Pets are not a thing in District 13. If it can't keep to schedule, it's food. They agree as long as he feeds himself, so they put the Everdeens in a room with a window so that he can come in and out.

  • Hunting rights for her and Gale. This is agreed to if they stay within a certain radius. Anything they kill is to be sent to the kitchens, which seems pretty fair.

  • That all the captive victors from the 74th Games be pardoned at the end of the war. This causes a fight, but is eventually agreed to. Katniss adds Annie at the last minute but Coin kind of scoffs because she's "crazy" and not even District 13 are that ruthless.

  • That she kills Snow. Coin says she'll flip a coin on it.

Yay! Katniss is the Mockingjay. They go and get her prep team that they kidnapped from the Capitol. They've been chained in a prison cell together for stealing food. The cell is empty apart from, like, one hole for a bathroom. Do I even need to say it? Grim.

Drink for the prep team ✊

Katniss and Plutarch are pretty angry about it. Gale doesn't get why Katniss cares so much and they have a fight about it. This is where I have to note that all Gale and Katniss do is fight in the first half of this book. It's usually over some petty shit and one or the other eventually apologises. I will not be going over every fight otherwise I really will have to split this into two reviews.

Basically, their idea is to get Katniss to star in propos, propaganda videos made by the rebels. Beetee helped create the current television airing system, so he thinks he can hack it and get them played on air. All prepped and in her Mockingjay costume (designed by His Majesty, the Late and Great Cinna), they try and get her to say some lines in a studio. She sucks. Honestly, watching Jennifer Lawrence acting as Katniss acting badly was so meta and fun to watch. Haymitch chirps in for the first time in the book. Turns out he's been in rehab because District 13 doesn't have alcohol (grim). Honestly, District 13 seems like some weird food-obsessed cult at this point.

Too soon? Have a drink (not Kool Aid)

So they take off the make up and take her to District 8. Katniss likes her camera crew, so it's nice she doesn't hate everyone. Although, the camera crew are from the Capitol. Is it weird how many people Katniss likes from the Capitol? I don't think so, as she realises that you can't put everyone into one basket. Gale on the other hand has a really hard time liking them. Which is also fair, considering he watched their people obliterate over 90 percent of his district. The difference between Katniss and Gale comes down to the fact that he has never really interacted with actual people from the Capitol before. Also he lacks a lot of empathy. Also, he lacks a lot of character development *cough*.

They're accompanied on the ground by Commander Boggs, who appears to be second in Command and also very high up in the military. Much like some other real nations, all citizens of 13 are trained in military combat. They're wearing headsets and Plutarch and Haymitch are tuned in from the hovercraft. The mission is to go to the makeshift hospital that has been set up after a bombing by the Capitol. They meet the Commander there (I can't remember her name, but she doesn't show up again) and head on in. Katniss is overwhelmed by the devastation and begins to panic. Gale stays by her side as she walks in, which makes her forgive him for some petty fight they'd just had. Someone recognises her and she goes to talk to them. They ask about the baby and she says it died when she was electrocuted in the arena (grim).

Have a drink for fake bebe PeeNiss.

It's hot and filthy and crowded and damn if just thinking about it doesn't give me anxiety. Suddenly, everyone is touching her and calling her name and she shakes hands and kisses babies like someone running for President. When they leave Gale is shocked she went through with it, considering how grossed out she is about sickness. Um Gale, I think she got over that pretty quick when she tended to Peeta in her first Games.

As they're about to be picked up District 13 picks up signals of bombers approaching. Plutarch starts giving them directions to a bomb shelter because they can't land yet. They're almost there when the first round of bombs hit, the impact knocking them over. Either Boggs or Gale has jumped on top of Katniss to protect her. I can't remember which because it doesn't matter. I like that, because it means it hasn't been turned into a "sexy moment" for Kale. Bombings aren't times to have sexy moments in books.

Gale and Katniss (who have weird intertwined hunting senses that are the only really cool thing about their relationship) sense that it's the hospital being bombed. They run up a building (stomping on Boggs' face and ripping off their headpieces in the process) and start taking the Capitol's crafts down with... arrows? Yeah, kind of weird but Beetee designed them and they're actually a pretty cool idea. They notice they're in a triangular formation, so start taking them out like they would geese in the wild. They knock out a couple of the bombers and the Capitol stands down. Katniss likes her camera crew even more when she sees they've climbed up into danger to get footage. They go back to the hospital and Katniss does one of her amazing improv speeches, screaming "If we burn, you burn with us" in front of the demolished hospital. Iconic, but grim.

Finish your vessel when you see this meme. You know when you're going to see it again. Prepare for it now.

The video is quickly edited together, and they play it in the Districts. They have finally hacked into the Capitol's feed (they had previously just been airing propos using previous Games footage to the districts). At this point, Beetee maybe needs a break. He seems to be doing a lot of the work on new tridents, bows, and other weapons, as well as hacking the TV. That's like ten fulltime jobs, and recovering from a spinal injury is hard.

Beetee attacks the airtime while the Capitol holds another interview with Peeta. He is in a state, has clearly lost weight, and is twitching. He becomes confused when seeing the snippets of the propos and lets blab that the Capitol is planning on bombing 13. Coin is dubious but agrees on a drill. Everyone gets to the underground bunker safely (including Buttercup). How the fuck does Peeta know about the bombing? He's a POW, they don't get told state secrets!? Nope. Not buying it sorry. I know it's a plot contrivance to make Peeta no longer a traitor, but I'm not a fan.

While in the bunker, Katniss finally (FINALLY) realises that Snow is using Peeta to torture her. This is what broke Finnick, and this is what breaks her. Command realise she's going to be useless as the Mockingjay from now on because anything she says will hurt Peeta, so they stage a rescue.

Gale goes, but because we only have Katniss' perspective, we don't get to see the break in. Instead, Katniss and Finnick are sent outside in the debris to record a propos to distract the Capitol. Once outside, they find a dozen roses in the carnage. Nobody gets it, but Katniss knows they're for her and breaks down before being able to talk. Finnick, however, has a renewed sense of vigor. His logic is that Peeta and Annie will either die or be rescued, and that's more than they could have previously hoped for. Can I get a

Drink twice for the suspense.

So Finnick takes the stage, and he has something to bring to the propos table. Turns out he wasn't taking lovers for the hell of it, Snow was selling him as a sex slave. He had to do it or they'd kill his family. Oof. He turned it into a way to get secrets about Snow, and now is his time to SPILL THE TEA! The jist of it is that Snow poisons his enemies and those who get too powerful, often drinking from the same glass and taking the antidote. That's why he smells like blood, because of all the unhealed lesions in his mouth. The tea is so hot that even the people trying to stop the hacking pause so they can watch.

Have a few sips to represent the tea.

Finally, they find out the rescue mission was a success. Finnick and Annie have a beautiful reunion. Johanna is incapacitated. Peeta is in another room because they want to get his reunion with Katniss on TV (obsessed with the views). So Katniss goes in and Peeta.. almost strangles her to death.

A drink for each cool. That's seven drinks folks 🍸

This is where the first Mockingjay movie ends. Very climactic, but not a hell of a lot has happened.

Basically, they think Peeta has been "highjacked". They've injected him with tracker jacker venom and played distorted footage of Katniss so he thinks she's a mutt made by the Capitol. Katniss can't talk for three days so all we get here are other people talking to her. Gale tells her the break in felt too easy, like the Capitol would have eventually dropped Peeta off in 13 with her name on him.

Finnick and Annie are back together and they are a joy. Finnick won't let go of her hand ever and Katniss figures that Annie's not crazy, she just had a lot of trauma and is easily triggered.

Katniss asks to be taken away from 13 because being so close to this version of Peeta is traumatising. They send her to District 2, the only district still siding with the Capitol.

The rebels hold the majority of the dirtrict apart from the Nut, a mountain fortress that's proving to be a tough "nut" to crack. Gale and Katniss share a kiss one day but Gale says it's like kissing a drunk person because Katniss is too far gone in her sadness for Peeta. Way to be a jerk, Gale.

They eventually get called to District 2 Command for a big meeting about cracking the nut. Gale asks if they need to seize it (oh God it's so hard not to make dick jokes right now), or if they just destroy it. He recommends they cause an avalanche that closes all the entrances and air vents. This plan is agreed to, but it is agreed they'll leave the train line open so the people in the mountain can escape.

Katniss can't believe Gale would essentially trap people underground, considering that's how both of their fathers died. Two jerk points for Gale in District 2. Is it a sign? Nah, it’s actually pretty impressive he was only a jerk twice. Can I mention that Gale is so boring as a character the below GIF was the only one I could find of him?

Drink for every GIF I found of Gale. One drink folks!

It's not even a good GIF. It's just him looking at Katniss. Nobody could be bothered making any other GIFs of him because he's not Interesting or funny.

So they cause the avalanche and Katniss goes out on the stage to say a prepared speech. She starts it but then runs into the crowd to help someone from the Nut who's hurt. She makes one of her great impromptu speeches and then gets shot, right on a massive screen. President Snow must be quaking.

We're back in the hospital. Katniss' Mockingjay armour was obviously bullet proof. Since she was shot a close range, she loses her spleen and bruises some of her ribs. She wakes up in pain because Johanna has been stealing her morphling.

Fighting is now moving to the Capitol, and both Johanna and Katniss want to go. To do so, they must complete military training. With Katniss' bruised ribs and Johanna's fledgling morphing addiction, it's a struggle. When they get to shooting training, Katniss is obviously amazing. Everyone stops to watch her shoot.

Katniss and Johanna become good friends. Johanna gets discharged from hospital and they share a room together across from Prim and Katniss' Mum.

Plutarch decides to make a propos of Finnick and Annie getting married. Katniss takes Annie to her old house in 12 to pick a wedding dress from her Victor's Tour collection. They also grab one of Peeta's suits for Finnick.

Other than that it's all pretty basic. Someone from 12 can play some kind of flute so there's music. District 13 don't have instruments or music. Not even a drum for military marching? Grim.

A drink for the citizens of 13 and their lack of music and booze. A second drink for Greek God Dionysus because He must be suffering right now.

The attendees from District 12 all dance and Plutarch remarks on their spontaneity after being ignored by the Capitol for so long. Johanna tells Katniss to dance so that President Snow can see her happy. She dances with Prim and it's nice. Then the cake arrives. It's huge and has been decorated to look like the sea. Who could have made this? Peeta. Peeta made it. It's one of the three things he's good at:

1) Talking shit to the Capitol during interviews.

2) Lifting bags of flour.

3) Making cake.

I guess loving Katniss was another thing, but that's gone. Katniss has a classic "you don't know what you've got till it's gone" moment and realises how important Peeta is to her. He asks to see her and she agrees. She basically just gets mad at him and runs out crying. As someone who acts very similarly in traumatic situations, I feel really bad for her.

They start letting Peeta out of his room to eat in the dining hall (it does not go well) and she eventually sees him at military training. Slightly concerned to see the person who wants to kill her with a gun, Plutarch assures her that it's just for propos showing Distict 13 preparing for the Capitol assault. Hmmmm, ok 😒

Finally Katniss and Johanna are ready to take their final tests. They sit some exams then get taken to a room that simulates real combat. Here they test each individual on their biggest shortcomings. Katniss realises at the last moment hers is taking orders. Shocker!

Zero drinks for fucks given to orders given to Katniss before now.

She passed, she's soldier Everdeen now. Yay! Wait... How did they mark her exam so quickly? I guess not having music or fun makes for less distractions.

She doesn't get a haircut like all her other training squad and is sent to Command. There she meets up with Finnick and Gale, also bedecked with their luscious locks. They are told they are Squad 451, a sharp shooter squad. They quickly realise that they're basically reality TV stars who won't see real combat. Boggs is their Commander. Throughout the book, Boggs and Katniss have formed a nice bond, and she's happy to be working underneath him. Here is where we learn how the Capitol plans to protect itself. Built in to the majority of the buildings in the Capitol are traps called pods that hold any number of deadly tortures. Finnick and Katniss take one look at it and say

One drink for a Finnick GIF. Another drink for how restrained I've been with Finnick GIFs.

They fly out to the edges of the Capitol and then walk in and make camp. Because most of the Capitol's hovercrafts were stored in District 2, there's next to no chance of an air strike. Again, the Capitol really should have kept their weapons storage in-house after the first uprising.

Gale figures out pretty quick that Katniss' plan is to run off alone to kill Snow the second she can get her hands on a holo. A holo is a device the Commanders carry with a map. It also explodes of you say nightlock three times. The only problem is they work via voice command.

They are given empty streets to go down and shoot at random things to disable pods. Plutarch has a map of where they are, but is highly aware they have probably added more. All is going boring well until one of the members triggers a mislabeled pod and gets pinged in the head by a silver dart.

WARNING: people start dying pretty regularly from here. If you really don't want spoliers, finish your drink here and be done for the night (or day, I'm not judging).

She is quickly replaced by a new member of 451, Peeta. Everyone is pissed because he's still pretty fucked up. Katniss and Boggs go for a walk and figure he's been sent by Coin to kill Katniss. Coin wants to be President after the fighting is over, even if it will be a democracy. If Katniss' first pick for President isn't Coin, she's too dangerous to keep alive. Plus dying would be the last thing she could do for the revolution, being a matyr to fight for at the very end.

Was I shocked at this? No. Coin's District 13 cult gave me off vibes from the get go. No booze? No thanks. Gale is even convinced the only reason they let the 12 refugees in was because they needed new breeding stock.

One drink for how badass Rosa Diaz would be in a Hunger Games.

So they set up a roster for watching Peeta and they make up a game called real or fake where he can ask if his memories are, well, real or fake. I can't judge the game name, I come from a country that's two major islands are called North and South. The game seems to be working well and Peeta is given an empty gun for missions.

Then one day the shit hits the fan. Boggs stands on a land mine and his legs get blown off. Instead of giving command of his holo to Jackson, his second in command, he gives it to Katniss. Seeing all the bloodshed makes Peeta go into beast mode and he moves in to kill Katniss. Mitch, another member of the squad, steps in his way but Hulk Peeta pushes him right into a pod that triggers a barbed wire net. Someone knocks Peeta out in time for them to run from a giant black tidal wave. They put on gas masks and just make it to safety in a set of apartment blocks as it crests. On the way Mesalla, an assistant to the camera crew, is lifted off the ground and literally melts in front of everyone. Fucking. Grim.

Four drinks for the four dead members/staff of Squad 451.

Katniss lies to the survivors that she has a special mission from Coin to assinate Snow, and Boggs knew about so gave her the holo. Everyone is dubious but Katniss gives them a chance to go back and nobody does, including the camera crew and Cressida, the director. Peeta asks politely that they kill him but apparently the squad is pretty anti-euthanasia. They just put him back in his cuffs.

The TV turns on and they see images of themselves running from the waves on the Capitol news, who are claiming they are dead. This is a boon for the squad, because it gives them time to organize a plan. President Coin takes over the Capitol footage with a eulogy for Katniss that seems too well prepared.

They decide to carry on through the sewers. It turns out one of the cameramen used to work down there as an Avox. I haven't gone into the Avox in these reviews, but they're slaves of the Capitol who have had their tongues cut out. The Avox cameraman knows when all the shifts start and stop, and also knows how to avoid cameras. Basically, he's the Dues Ex Machina of sewers.

They're making good headway in the sewers and are sleeping in a supply closet when they hear something far away hiss Katniss' name. Katniss can smell roses and blood and knows the mutts will be trained to her scent. Just a warning, things are about to amp up a few grim levels.

They run from the mutts but are eventually found by them. They're giant freaky ass lizards with the sharpest claws you've ever imagined. A bunch of Peacekeepers also arrive to add to the carnage. The lizards have been made to kill anyone and everything, and start ripping off the heads of the Peacekeepers. Omfg.

You choose your amount of drinks. This stuff hits people in different ways.

Jackson and another squad member sacrifice themselves by staying behind to keep the lizards back as long as they can. They reach a ladder up to the surface, but not before one of the cameramen and another squad member dies. As they're climbing Finnick goes last, and he gets pulled off the ladder by the mutts. When they get to the surface, Katniss detonates the holo and sends it down the sewer to spare Finnick and stop the lizards.

Finish your vessel for Finnick.

Nooooooooooooo! Not Finnick! He'd just found some semblance of freedom and true love and then he gets killed in this awful way? Finnick and Annie deserved better. Fuck this book.

Cressida takes them to a store owned by an ex-stylist who sells fur. Her name is Tigress and she hates the Capitol because they dropped her like Katniss dropped that holo when her plastic surgery became too extreme. She looks like a cat, whiskers and all. Also, all she eats is raw meat. You know you've fucked up if even the Capitol thinks you're too much.

Tigress hides them in a hidden storage closet where they eat and then lie down to think about all the carnage they just witnessed. They figure they're basically trapped in the storage space, so nobody acts as lookout and they all go to sleep.

Katniss wakes up in the night to Gale and Peeta talking about her. They're talking about who she'll choose between the two of them. Ew.

Probably drink some water and rehydrate while I share my opinion.

Opinion time!

I would now like to announce that I ship team...

... Katniss. Katniss is a strong independent woman who doesn't need no man. How dare they assume she has to pick one of them. I hate love triangles.

Gale and Peeta agree that she'll choose whoever she needs to survive. Ugh, really? Katniss is justifiably pretty pissed, but pretends to be asleep. I would have been choking them with Peeta's cuffs, but whatever. You do you boo.

So a new day dawns and they decide to try and get into President Snow's house. The TV has told them that his mansion is taking in a limited number of refugees. Tigress gives them all a makeover to look like Capitol Citizens and they head out. Gale goes with Katniss and Cressida with Peeta. Because they're looking for four people this makes sense.

As they get close to the mansion someone recognises Katniss and she shoots them in cold blood. A bunch of Peacekeepers have arrived and her shot goes unnoticed in their gunfire. A pod is triggered and the streets starts to flop open to Goddess only knows what horrors below. Katniss and Gale get split up and he gets grabbed by Peacekeepers. He mouths the words kill me at her but she doesn't and now he's in their hands. She feels endless amounts of guilt, as they had a deal to kill each other before being taken. Katniss does have a suicide pill built into her suit's shoulder so she can bite it out if she gets captured. But Gale gave his to Peeta I think? I really should double check, but Finnick's death is still fucking me up.

Hey I got a Dr Who meme in! But it's a sad one about Doctor Donna. Why do I do this to myself? Two drinks please.

Katniss is almost at the gates when she sees a pen has been set up for children so they can be the first refugees in. Suddenly, lots of silver parachutes fall from the air and the kids know that silver parachutes are used in the Games for goodies. They start grabbing at them and then BOOM. They explode. What in the fucking fuck!?

Choose your own amount to drink. Dead children is bad. Wait? Isn't the whole premise of this series killing children? I can't.

A bunch of District 13 medics appear, including Prim. Katniss is running towards her and Prim looks at her when (FUCKING BOOM) a bigger blast goes of, right where Prim is. Katniss watches Prim die while catching fire herself.

Do you have any drink left? Finish that vessel!

Oof. Katniss started this whole rebellion by volunteering for Prim, all to watch her get blown up in front of her. Add in Katniss literally living up to her nickname "the girl on fire" and this book has come a satisfying, but fucking grim, full circle.

Katniss wakes up in a machine tending to her burns. She finds out they won. After the bombing of Capitol children all the support left for Snow diminished. He's now in captivity facing trial. Once healed, Katniss is given a room in the mansion but she is so traumatised she has gone mute. She wanders around and sleeps in closets and generally ignores everyone. Her therapist uses his hour with her to sleep, which suits them both. One day someone comes and tells Katniss that Snow has been found guilty, and has been sentenced to death. She'll be the executioner, killing him with a single arrow.

She wanders around the mansion until she comes to a guarded door to a glasshouse filled with roses. That Commander from District 8 comes back (whoops, I could edit this but meh) and tells them to let her in. She intends to find a rose to place in Snow's pockets before she shoots him but instead finds the man himself locked up amongst the bushes.

She finally talks. The jist of the conversation is that he didn't bomb the kids, because that would be stupid of course he didn't. Katniss realises that the way the bombs worked was very similar to a trap Gale and Beetee had been working on. Oh shit! Gale killed Prim. I guess this ship has well and truly sailed. Heh.

Execution day arrives. Coin holds a meeting with all the surviving Hunger Games victors, a pretty small party of Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Annie, Johanna, and Enobaria. Enobaria was being kept safe in the Capitol and is only alive because of Katniss' immunity rule. Coin has been named President while they rebuild and she wants to hold one ceremonial Games with Capitol tributes. She allows them to vote on it since they have been through it. Katniss votes for it, leaving Haymitch as a tie-break. He can see Katniss' vote holds ulterior motives, so he also votes yes.

Katniss marches out into the main square with Peeta and some other people essential to the success of the war to shoot President Snow. He's bound with ropes. As she's about to shoot him he shakes his head and she quickly turns and kills Coin instead. Clever Katniss is back (kind of). She goes to take her suicide pill but Peeta's one step ahead of her and she bites down on his hand instead. She looks over to see President Snow laughing and choking on his own blood as a crowd surrounds him before she's sedated.

She wakes up in her old room in the training center. Nobody tells her what's going on and she thinks about starving herself to death but she gets hungry and recants. I feel ya girl, food is good. You didn't survive two Hunger Games to starve.

Eventually Plutarch comes and tells her what's happened. There's been a trial for her and she's been found not guilty by means of insanity. Plutarch is now running things until an official election. She's to be sent back to District 12. In the movie they have Haymitch read a letter from Plutarch to her, as actor Philip Seymour-Hoffman sadly passed away during filming. I thought this was a nice touch, rather than just changing it to be Haymitch who told her straight up.

Katniss goes back to 12 and is sad. Buttercup comes back and she throws things at him and screams that Prim's not coming back. This is her first release of everything pent up inside, and she finally cries for Prim and for everything else she's lost. She doesn't change her clothes and eats whatever her caretaker (a lady Mags from the hob) cooks for her. She rips the phone out of the wall. Haymitch comes back but he just drinks and keeps to himself. She doesn't leave one chair except to use bathroom. This is the deepest of depressions and it is totally justified. Katniss has lived through so much shit she should have drowned in it, but she's treading water instead of swimming down.

After months of this, she hears a noise outside. It's Peeta, and he's planting primroses as a dedication to Prim. Katniss realises the state she's in. Cue a bit of a montage. They put together a book to remember their friends who have died. Annie has a baby and she sends them photos for it (I'm crying just thinking about, damn you Suzanne).

Katniss and Peeta start sleeping together again as therapy for their trauma. They genuinely fall in love and in the end have kids. The book ends with them playing in the meadow where hundreds of people died in the bombing.

Just finish whatever you're drinking.

At this point I'd normally add a character bit and reasons to read the book or not. If you've read the first two you're (hopefully) going to read the third. I think the characters are covered in this section.

Closing thoughts

Here are some of my final thoughts if you are still coherent enough to read them.

  • The ending is a bit meh to me, but it's satisfying enough that Katniss seems as happy as she could be.

  • Fuck Katniss' Mum. She couldn't handle going home so she went to live in another district and left her daughter to deal with the most severe case of depression I've ever read. She doesn't deserve a name 🖕

  • Gale goes to live somewhere else, knowing that Katniss will never forgive him for the bomb (they have a fight about it before she leaves). Bye bitch 👋

  • This book is my least favourite of the three. I think because it doesn't have a Hunger Games (pods don't count). But I really love its portrayal of mental health. It's ok to not be ok.

  • I would love to read a fanfic of an alternate universe where they did have a Capitol Hungers Games. If anyone can lead me to one that would be ace!

Alright. I'm done. Enjoy the rest of your booze (if you have any left) and I'll see you for my next book review. Here's a list of my planned reviews if you want to let me know which ones you want to see next!


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