At first, I was POSITIVE I was not going to like this book anywhere near as much as I did the first two. From the mediocre reviews, the hinting suggestions from friends that it just didn’t live up to others, and my own doubts about how Suzanne Collins was going to be able to end the series, let’s just say I was afraid for this book’s safety. I was positive I was going to give it 3 stars, say, “that was decent” and move on. Well…
At first I WAS disappointed. I was disappointed in Katniss. Couldn’t she pick someone and stick with them? I was disappointed in Haymitch. Couldn’t he sober up and help Katniss when she needed it? I was disappointed in the Capitol. Couldn’t they get over their greed for power and realize that so much life was going to be wasted in the coming months? Let’s just say, I was disappointed.
After the original disappointment wore off, what came next was bitterness. I could feel how Katniss had changed since her time in the games. I felt like I understood her — she said something to the effect of not liking anyone that she didn’t have a lifetime to decide about — I felt so similar to her (is that a bad thing?).
Although this book is much more centered on the political rebellion aspect of the world of Panem, I enjoyed it (almost) no less than the other two in the series. There were parts in the first third of the book that felt jumbled to me, a weird mix of long stretches of introspection with sharp bits of action thrown in. It was jarring, to say the least.
I want to say I have not devoured a series as quickly as I did this one (minus the brief break before I got my hands on the other two books– I decided to treat myself on my birthday) in a long, long time. Some may say this book disappoints as a finishing touch to the series. My bitter/angry/desperately sad tears for the last twenty pages beg to differ.
Again, my call is that if you liked The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, you HAVE to read this book. Even if it doesn’t give you the ending you want, you must. I was initially angry about the wild turn of events, but then I realized it was completely realistic and fitting to each characters’ personality. I think Collins knows her characters very well to finish the way she did. I hope you read and enjoy this series as much as I did. It certainly has my stamp of approval.
P.S. I cannot wait for the film version of The Hunger Games!