WARNING!!!! If you have not read the book yet, you probably don't want to read this because it is spoilery!!! Also, I warn that I wrote this right after reading the book, so it's probably emotionally jumbled... But it's pretty much exactly how the book made me feel, so... Here you go:
In one word: Devastating.
Now, I've heard from some people that they thought Mockingjay was too dark, and too bloody and um... Did you read the first two? It's a bloody story. It's a horrific story. As I said above, it was emotionally (and in my case) physically devastating. I can't explain to you how much I want to throw up and curl up into a ball and weep and retch. Mostly, because I don't think any of you want me to explain that to you.
Now, I don't like watching documentaries of war, I don't like watching war reenactments, but I've seen them. And when Collins was describing, toward the end of the book, the rush of the Rebels, the Peacekeepers, the innocents, all tangled in a mess of shooting and death... I wasn't thinking of Panem. I saw flashes of World War II, I saw the concentration camps, I saw every war that the stupid Human race has ever gone through...
I don't watch the news, I don't read the newspapers, I don't listen to the radio. Why? I can't deal with real life stuff, because I can't stop war, I can't stop people from dying, I can't do anything from my home here. But I can read about Panem, and I can read about their rebellion and I can retch and cry over them... And I wonder why that is.
Sitting here I'm tapping on a computer, a laptop, one that I own. My sister owns two laptops, my dad has one, my brother has one, plus we have two other computers. I'm listening to my sister douse herself in water, taking a shower- while people die everywhere because they don't have clean water. It made me see my life in a way I never, ever, wanted to see it. If my world were the same as the world that Collins describes, I would not be one of the districts. I would be part of the Capitol. Sure, I feel bad about stuff, but I'm okay staying where it's safe, and cold, and boring.
And that's the thing about books, about stories, about literature. It takes our world, re-names it, re-labels it, and shoves you inside to live in it. Really live in it. And it can either unaffect you, leaves you able to go back to life unchanged. Or a story can make you think, stays on the surface of your skin, but it fades after a few days. Or a story can completely ruin you, devastate you, cause you to fall flat on your butt and really look at life and ask 'Why?'
Another thing I did not expect from this book was the fact that it made me jealous. Yeah, go figure. But you see, Katniss lives in a world where it has already happened. The Capitol already took over, District 13 already rebelled... But I'm living in a world where that could easily happen, and there's nothing I can do to stop it. As far as I know, my children could live in a world very similar to that, and there's very, very little I can do about it. It reminds me of a quote I heard from someone around the blogosphere that I am not going to quote right, but he was saying that dystopian fiction is getting big right now not because it's a future that might happen sometime, but because it's a future that could be theirs.
So instead of being completely depressed (though, I still will be emotionally wrecked tomorrow, which is wonderful since I have to go to work), shouldn't I let this Story remind me to be careful about life? I still have my sister, I still have my family. I don't have to be psychologically ruined and scarred for life. I can still find a way to live my life with Meaning.
Katniss and Peeta, though severely mangled in so many ways, were still able to have some sort of decent life. And that's the thing. This story is not completely depressing, there is that ever-present light of hope.
It reminds me of the power of words, and I can only hope that one day I can do justice to that Power.
And though some would disagree with me, looking at the world through the eyes of Mockingjay, it leaves me ever more grateful that I'm not in control of the world. 'Cause even if sometimes God confuses my brain out, I still know He's in control, and I know He can use things like this book to wake me up and get me moving again.
Yup. Those are my rambly thoughts. Thanks for listening to me rant *smiles and nods off to sleep*