I have sent a little bit of my thoughts on Mockingjay to a few folks, but thought I would put it out here as well. If you are one of the lucky hoards to whom I emailed recently, this will be a snoozefest. Sorry 'about that.
For me, Collins completely and utterly delivered on Mockingjay. I had high hopes for the ending and she did not disappoint. In fact, I believe that Collins has elevated herself to premier author and I will be following anything else she writes here on out. I am sold on her. Done.
I thought it was appropriate that she ended up in District 12 and that overall, the ending was brilliant. It made sense with keeping Kat in character and was written in a tone that was slightly melancholy and with that usual reservation about her that ultimately carried throughout her life. A person who has experienced such extreme loss at the hands of her own decisions should realistically not get a pitch-perfect ending because that would be trite and ultimately, undersell her experiences. She bore full responsibility for being the Mockingjay - with all of the loss and triumph that it entailed. But mostly, the loss.
Also, I was particularly touched with how Kat referred to her own children as "boy" and "girl". It seemed that even in motherhood, she held her emotions in check for fear of being hurt, too invested. Growing up in the era of Hunger Games shaped (or rather, squashed?) her maternal side and that did not change, even after peace was finally achieved and even after Peeta convinced her to have children. It could also be argued that with losing Prim, Kat was never willing to invest of herself that much again in a child. And who could blame her?
Ah, Peeta..... Yes, I was on Team Peeta and yes, I loved that she ended up with him - it just made more sense to me. He was the only person in her life who could bring her any measure of peace, I think (remember all of the rooftop scenes and "Peeta comforting her at night scenes" in Catching Fire? They were the few moments in the entire trilogy where Katness seemed to be anything resembling "happy".) Yes, happiness would be overstating it, but the description of "peace" fits for what Peeta could do for her. I did have more fondness with Gale this time around, but ultimately, I think he and Katniss were too much alike, both warriors both at war with their own hard edges. She was never fully content with herself, with anything, when she was with Gale. Even all of their times together in the woods were fraught with the background tension of them being caught or with the worry of the fence being turned on. So, Peeta was the better fit for her.
I am not even sure where to begin with all of the ethical/moral ramifications of this series - a high school English teacher could have a field day with this. I did appreciate Collins' portrayal of the Kat's inner dialogue and turmoil when it came to her decisions.
This series was emotionally brutal, yes brutal. But also brilliant. I am keeping this series and not selling it, I want my children to discover it someday as they thumb through all the other books I have kept for them.