Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Team Peeta AND Team Gale

PART 1: Rocking Jay!

MOCKINGJAY was released at 3 am EST. Nine times out of ten, being in Japan makes international stuff a pain. When critique partners are having Skype meetings on Saturday afternoons, it's some ungodly hour of Sunday morning here. But for once, the game played out in my favour. 3 am Eastern Time just happens to be 4 pm Japan Standard Time, the exact time I get off work. (Due to technical issues, I wasn't able to start reading until 5.30 pm.)

I devoured the book. But since I appreciate the fact that most of you have probably been asleep for half the time I was reading, I won't issue any spoilers.

What I will say is this:

There was a death that brought tears to my eyes (It will not be the one you think)
I love the ending sentences for the book AND for the epilogue (Don't blame me if you read ahead!)
The not-so-subliminal social commentary is DEEP

And everything else is spoiler. Read fast, so I can rave!!!

Part 2: Decisions, decisions

It's hard to say which was anticipated more: The culmination of the Capitol vs the districts or the outcome of the war between Peeta and Gale

Even before I'd read the Hunger Games, in fact before I'd heard of them, I heard about Peeta and Gale. (Amazing characterisation when you consider that Gale is not actually present for maybe 90% of Book 1!)

When I started reading, I felt like I had to pick one. Gale? Peeta?

I'm bad at decisions.

The only reason I'm Team Jacob is because he loses, and I have this thing about underdogs.

But I really identified with Katniss' choice. Not just her final decision, but the entire process.

The hunter or the baker?
Action or words?
The one with whom you laugh or the one with whom you can cry?
The sentimental or the practical?
The one you need to be strong for, or the one who's strong for you?

Essentially, the counterpart or the complement?

Because Gale is a counterpart. An equal. A mirror. One who can finish her sentences because they are alike.
And Peeta is a complement. A supplement. Additional. One who is strong where she is weak.

It's an argument that I see both sides of. If I were in those shoes, I don't know which I'd pick. After all:

Birds of a feather, flock together.
Opposites attract.

I started out on the winning team. And after flipflopping several times, I ended up on the winning team- ironically for the very reason the loser mentions in the book!- but it's not to say I wouldn't have crossed over again if the book had been a little longer or shorter.

Anyway, I really should get some sleep. I've got to teach all but one of the class periods tomorrow, and I'm supposed to be up in 5 hours.

NOTE: In case you've been hiding under a rock for - oh, a couple years or so- MOCKINGJAY is the final installment in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy


Marsha Sigman said...

I have not read The Hunger Games...can you believe it? But I must. Especially now that I just received my son's English plan and in a few weeks he is required to read it!!!! Someday he will be required to read

Nicole MacDonald said...

....mmm haven't actually heard of The Hunger Games - off to find it!

Claire Dawn said...

The two of you are tempting me to add it to the giveaway...

Alleged Author said...

Cannot wait to read it!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh boy, just finished reading it. I have to say I leaned toward Gale because they understood each other, but as the the three books unfolded, I began to think Peeta was better for her. I loved the ending, as well. I've heard some people are complaining it's too sad, too dark, but I think it's real and shows just how hard we have to fight repressive government and how love can survive when it seems impossible. Extraordinary books.

Anonymous said...


Okay, for the majority of the book, I really was liking the whole thing, mostly because I felt like Collins was inserting good tidbits of emotional dynamic that were SEVERELY missing in book II. While she really kept almost everybody guessing as to which guy would come out on top, in hindsight I really should have known that Peeta was destined to triumph. The whole trilogy is basically "Peeta and Katniss's story," and I think the sooner I'm able to accept that the sooner I'll forgive Collins for ending it the way she did. As much as Peeta seems to be a good choice, I don't think Collins really did a great job proving to me, making me believe their chemistry and their bond. Katniss's indecision about the whole thing really bothered me too. *sigh* All in all I loved the last sentence as well though :) And the whole book. LOL it was beautiful writing and a great improvement over the last one ;)