Tag Archives: mockingjay

The Problem With Fictional Deaths

27 Jul

Via cnbc.com

*WARNING: Spoilers for various books like Mockingjay, Forever, the Iron King, and Death Note*

I’ve always had a certain disbelief whenever I read a characters death in a book. Almost half of the time, it was just a close call and the character is suddenly back, arriving right at the height of a big moment. It adds suspense, but books (and movies) have done it so much that it’s ruined my ability to take a death seriously. I’m almost always convinced it was a trick or misunderstanding. In the book Forever (from the Mercy Falls series), I went a full chapter believing with full certainty that Cole St. Clair was not dead. I finally admitted that it could be possible when they went looking for his body; kind of a strange reaction since them not being able to find his body should reinforce the belief that he’s not dead. But I should have held on to my belief; Cole was revealed to be alive. I responded with relief AND excitement; perhaps a weird reaction for someone who’d known it all along.

The same happened in The Iron King; the Winter Prince Ash sacrificed himself for his love, Meghan. Except no one sees him die, since he tells Meghan to run while he fights back their enemies. Sure enough, Ash ends up being a prisoner to the enemy but fully alive. You can see why it’s hard to take any death seriously anymore. Which is a big problem, since now it hurts so much more when it isn’t a ploy. Instead of feeling the pain and grieving with the main character immediately after, we fill ourselves with disbelief and float through the next few chapters waiting to see when they will reveal themselves to be fine. When we slowly realize they’re actually dead, we have to cope with it during a random part of the story, after the other characters have already moved on.

A prime example of this is in Mockingjay, when Prim dies. That was more believable but still, there’s always a hope that she wasn’t caught in the bomb blast. We had to slowly realize that she was gone. And death note? I was COMPLETELY convinced that L was alive, he was just pulling a move on Light. I mean L, the greatest detective in the world, killed just like that? I had to ask my friend “Wait, he’s not really dead, right?” before I could even begin to believe it.

This just goes to show that “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is right; authors have used this manipulative writing technique too many times for me.

Review of Mockingjay from Hunger Games Series

28 Mar

From Google Images

I have a Goodreads Account and so far, I’ve only reviewed two books. One was Twilight, and the other was Mockingjay. I gave Twilight a complete bashing even though it could pass for 2 and a half stars, and Mockingjay got 5 stars. Here’s my review of it. **BEWARE: SPOILERS***

This book is very powerful.
The third in the Hunger Games Trilogy, it ends the series in a much different way than it started. This ending was not satisfying, yet it did not leave me disappointed. The book ended leaving me with dull, aching pain, but not the same as the fresh pain I felt as I experienced some events in the book. I’m sure none of us were expecting a nice happy ending; I wasn’t, being familiar with the beloved Gregor series and how Collins ended the entire series with a never to be revealed cliffhanger. But this is far from what anyone could have guessed.
I, and I’m guessing many others, felt the tension from romance and politics build up in the last two books. So for this final one, now that we have a balloon full of air near bursting point, shouldn’t we get an ending with a bang? A pop, maybe with confetti hidden inside the balloon? Instead the balloon deflates without us realizing; when Prim dies, the balloon suddenly just goes out and leaves us empty.
I could feel Katniss’s pain alongside her, understand her madness as it came alive. I teared up when Prim died and read the next few pages in a daze, similar to Katniss’s. I was a little disappointed that the defeat of the Capitol was rushed, but since it’s in Katniss’s point of view I can’t argue, because of course she’s grieving. The next chapters were surreal as Katniss slowly lost her mind and later awoke into her new life with Peeta. Katniss has forever changed, and so has Peeta, and so has this series. It’s not an ending to make you angry, but more shocked. Collins has created it with raw emotional power, so unlike the last two paced by adventure. I would use bittersweet to describe it, but it’s not even that sweet. It’s more like, settling. As if the worst has occurred so you just go through life drudgingly and take whatever happiness you can.
Some things others have complained about is Gale and Finnick. I too felt that Finnick was overlooked, and deserved more grieving. Sure, after Prim died how could Katniss think of anything else? But when they were camped out in Tigris’s store right after he and the others died, I wish they could have shown some sadness. And as for Gale, I get that she didn’t end up with him because he had too much of an aggressive nature for her after she had gone through what she had. But I hoped for her to mention them being friends again instead of apparently growing old in separate districts with no mentioned contact.
Ah, this book makes me emotionally drained. But this is the kind of story that inspires me to keep reading and writing.

Okay, that’s it! Let me know what you think. Also, if you want to read said mentioned Twilight review, let me know ^_^