My Feels for The Hunger Games Are REAL: My THG Reread & Mockingjay Part 2 Review

*Warning: Spoilers!*

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I’m really glad I decided to pick up this series again in preparation for the last movie (so sad!). When I read the trilogy for the first time in 2012, none of the movies had come out yet (though they had been cast). My only spoiler was that I had heard one of the male characters died, and I was so worried the whole time it was going to be Peeta (I realized later the reference was to Finnick). I adored him and wanted what was best for him, so I spent all of Mockingjay SO STRESSED. But this time, I was able to appreciate Katniss’ journey even more (though I liked her a lot in my first read too, obviously, since I named my blog after her)..

The first read of the series, for me, was all about the characters. This second time around, it was about the overall story, particularly its themes of war and PTSD.

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In my initial read, The Hunger Games was my favorite read of the trilogy. After rereading, I think Catching Fire might actually be my new favorite, but I will not deny that this is most likely influenced by the movie, as it is also my favorite of the movies (which I can say for certain now that I have seen Mockingjay Part Two). The nice thing about Catching Fire is that we already know the main characters and the world, but we get some new secondary characters and we delve deeper into what leads to the rebellion. Also, Katniss’s interactions with Peeta are more genuine.

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The first time I read Mockingjay, I pretty much hated it until the last page before the epilogue. The pacing seemed off and I was so concerned about poor Peeta’s state. This time, I was more relaxed and able to appreciate the book more, but at the end I was amazed that despite the fact that Katniss and Peeta end up together and even have a family, the whole thing still feels downright tragic. Not in a hopeless way, otherwise I wouldn’t care for these books the same way, but she loses her sister, her mother, her best friend, basically loses her mentor, and several others in her life – some through death and some due to purposeful distance (or in the case of Haymitch, he continues to lose himself to the bottle). No one comes out of this in good shape, and that’s scary. But sometimes, that’s real life. But we see that good can still come out of it.

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I know not everyone loved the first Mockingjay movie, but I have a deep appreciation for it, and my feelings are the same for the second one. They’re hard movies because we see Katniss struggling so much, see the dirty underbelly of war, see the horrors of manipulation and PTSD. And I appreciated some of the changes they made in the films, few as they were.

In the final Mockingjay installment, we get a little more closure with Effie. Haymitch seems to be in at least a slighter better state than he did in the book. And in the scene where Katniss asks Gale about the bombs, you know with certainty when she says, “Goodbye Gale,” she means goodbye forever. That hit me much harder than his sudden disappearance in the book.

And after everything has gone down and she returns to Twelve, we get the scene with Buttercup and then we see little flashes of her starting her life over again. I actually would have liked more of this, but the movie was already bordering on too long of an ending (due to staying faithful to the book in so many ways, I might add) so I forgive it. Katniss hunts, Peeta returns, and they start to spend time together. And at the very end they have apparently ended up in the same house, because she leaves her bed to come into his room to crawl into bed with him. I was a little sad we didn’t get one more kiss when she finally admits she loves him, but it was sweet nonetheless.

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Neither the books nor the movies pulled any punches, but I think that is a large reason why this is a story that will continue to endure. It carries themes and warnings that we can all take to heart.

What are your thoughts on the last Hunger Games movie, or the books and movies in general?

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Round-Up: Suzanne Collins, Justice League?, and Captain Kirk

Suzanne Collins

Good news for Hunger Games fans! Suzanne Collins is going to start writing another young adult series! Hooray! We don’t know what’s is about, but if these characters are as engrossing as those in The Hunger Games, it hardly matters. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what she has to offer us next!

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Justice League?

Though my favorite superhero is Batman, I have been really enjoying Marvel’s offering of The Avengers and the various movies for their characters. Justice League? Eh, I mean, it might be good, but I hard time imagining that I would like it as The Avengers. But let’s face it, if you attach Christoper Nolan’s name to it, my interest level will increase by 1000%. Many have wondered if Christopher Nolan would be involved with a Justice League movie should one be made, and/or if Zack Snyder (the director for the upcoming Man of Steel movie) would be involved. And all these questions have been answered! OK, not really, but they both did comment on the matter. And they were both nice and vague about it, saying basically, “Mmmm… maybe…” I won’t even know how much I care until I see Man of Steel and see if I enjoy Zack Snyder’s incarnation of Superman (since I’ve never been interested in Superman before). And then there’s the matter of Batman. Joseph Gordon-Levitt please. Or Christian Bale. But no one else would be right, not now, not so soon after The Dark Knight Trilogy. What are your thoughts on a possible Justice League movie?

MAN OF STEELNew Kirks Judged by Old Khans

This is an interesting article that compares Star Trek Into Darkness with original Star Trek films, as well as Abrams’ Kirk with the original. Does J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek betray what Star Trek stands for? Believe it or not, similar questions were asked about the second original Star Trek film over 20 years ago. And how is new Kirk learning lessons versus how old Kirk learned his lessons? If you read the article, let me know your thoughts on it!

kirkx2In other news, I finally finished The Book Thief. It is, without a doubt, the most heart-breaking fiction story I have ever read, but so amazing at the same time. The way it is written is beautiful, and just… wow. I don’t know what else to say. I’ll just save it for the review, which I hope to post later this week. My books from Amazon are supposed to come in later this week (finally… I think their shipping has gotten slower… and one of the books is the aforementioned The Book Thief now that I finished my library e-book of it… oops…), so I’m not quite sure what I am reading next yet until then.

Any book or movie news/points of interest been on your radar lately?