!!!! I cannot believe that, in my drunken state, I thought "15 sounds like a well-rounded place to stop for the day. Let's stop there!" WHAT WAS I THINKING.
You guys all know the drill: we're discussing the first fifteen chapters of Mockingjay right now. ONLY the first 15 chapters! If you've finished the book, either keep it in your pants or go find Chapter 15 and hijack all memory of what happens after it. STOP HINTING IN THE COMMENTS.
Seriously. Stop it. I have already been spoiled twice by comments to our previous posts. WE WILL DELETE ANY SPOILERY COMMENTS. If you can't keep it in your pants, don't comment at all.
I echo Henri:
Okay, let's pause before we talk about The Nut, Gale and revenge, Peeta and hijacking, Finnick and his awesomeness, and let's focus for a bit on the things that make me undeniably happy, without any reservations:
Prim (and Buttercup)
How fucking awesome is it that Prim has come into her own? We got hints of it, of course, in Catching Fire, but now that she's been given more of a voice, I just love her. Prim! I always wanted you to be awesome! And now you are! But next time, PLEASE rescue the cat BEFORE the doors lock on the shutdown, mkay?
And, as a person who abides by the will of my own very fat cat, I love that Buttercup has united the people of District 13. Win or lose this war, I have a feeling that a lot of people are about to become cat people in that District.
Suzanne Collins always manages to introduce at least one character in her books that makes me wish I could go back in time and have that character around in the book before the one I'm reading (if that makes sense). And this time, it's Boggs. OH BOGGS, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. I just love his little sighs anytime Katniss does something that he knows will probably get him killed.
Finnick, Finnick, Finnick. I love you so much. I want you to endlessly parade around in your underwear, tying and untying your knots.
How heartbreaking - and for me, completely shocking - was the reveal that Finnick, and many other Victors, were sold as sex slaves by President Snow? I mean, I don't know why I was so shocked - it's not like President Snow is known for his philanthropic work, but WHAT. That made me so angry and sad on Finnick's behalf that I started doing some sort of scream-crying and I had to put the book down for a few minutes. Apparently, my tolerance is high when it comes to dropping tracker jackers on people, or whipping people in the public square for hunting turkeys, or mine explosions, but my limits are reached when it comes to child prostitution. Well, it's always good to know one's boundaries.
Okay, moving on. Let's talk about Gale for a minute. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but . . . Suzanne Collins, I do not agree with your choices in life.
The one thing I hate in romantic triangles - actually, I hate romantic triangles, full stop; stop bogarting all the available men/women, protagonist! - is when the writer deus ex assholica one of the romantic interests, i.e. when a character who previously was portrayed as good turns out to be a pedophile or something, nottonameanynamesJacob. And I feel like that's going on, somewhat, with Gale, and that is WEAK SAUCE. I want Peeta to win Katniss's heart because Peeta is the best! Not because Gale is the worst!
But, beyond the romantic implications, I have to say that I kind of like what's happening to Gale. In a way. I would not want to be friends with the guy right now, but I do think it's interesting, on a character level, the change he's undergoing. We always knew that Gale had a hard streak, just as Katniss has. But whereas Katniss tends to resort to manipulation or grief when her hard streak is tested - taking care of Peeta in the Games, covering Rue with flowers, etc - Gale has gone the other way and turned cold. His takedown of The Nut was, frankly, brilliant military strategy. And it was probably the right thing to do in order to secure District Two. But, man, it is not likely to get him invited over for dinner anytime soon.
I feel in some ways that Gale's now replaced his need/desire for Katniss with a need/desire for vengeance and bloodshed. If only Madge were around to knock some sense into him!!
And, last, but certainly not least: Team Peeta
I'll disagree with Henri (shocker); I think the hijacking was a brilliant move on Collins' part. She had a few different options, I suppose: having Peeta tortured and come back broken and in need of Katniss to nurse him gently back to health, etc. But I've seen The English Patient; it blew, and I'm not interested in revisiting it in book form. And, of course, having Peeta hate Katniss is actually pretty freaking great. Because I love Katniss and all, but she's: selfish, short-sighted, hotheaded and manipulative (and this is what makes her amazing). The fact that Peeta is going to have to work from scratch - if he chooses to do so - in order to not want to actively kill her is kind of awesome.
I also disagree that it's a "Romantic Stalker" trope, because lord knows, I hate that shit. (Eat it, Lloyd Dobbler.) But I do think it's very much a "Reform the Bad Boy" trope, which is almost as annoying. Unfortunately, unlike the idea that women should fall for abusive stalkers, I have to admit that at least I have been suckered into the "Reform the Bad Boy" relationship many a time. "Ooh, look at that guy. He's rude, and he hates me, and he treats everyone like shit," I think. "I can fix him."
It remains to be seen whether Peeta can be fixed, or whether Katniss will even want to try. And, if she does try to win Peeta's good graces again, I wonder what her motivation will be. Out of love? Or out of a selfish desire to be loved?
Some questions I still have: when was Cinna drafted to the cause? Before the first Games? After? Before the Quarter Quell was announced? After? He seems to have had a lot of time on his hands to design all these outfits.
Some questions we got answered: Why President Snow smells of blood. Awesome.
That's it for this round, folks. Check in tomorrow, as Henri and I will be discussing THE ENTIRE BOOK. Oh my god, KATNISS BETTER BE OKAY.
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