alexandral: (Star Wars - Leila fighting)
[personal profile] alexandral

I am through about 40% of "Mockingjay", and dear friends list, I am getting seriously annoyed. Katniss is undergoing what is probably the worst ever character development in the history of fiction.

Where is Katniss that was a strong survivor? Where? When was she replaced by this whiny clueless mess:

- "No-one is telling me anything! My life is a woooooooooe!" Me: no-one is telling her anything because she is naïve beyond any belief (to the point where her naivety has become brain-deficiency) and throws tantrums all the time?

- "EVERYONE IS EVIL! Capitol is EVIL! Rebels ARE EVIL! Everyone is evil! Even Haymitch! How dares he to try to keep me alive! Even cats are evil!". Me: I am eye-rolling so hard my eyes are in danger.

- "Everyone died because of Meeeeeeeeee! I should have died! Died!" . Me: Katniss, get a grip on yourself. Please get a grip.

- "Oh no! Look at poor me suffering so much when watching Peeta tortured on TV! I passed out! And I raged! " Me: Peeta is tortured. PEETA. How come it is all about YOU?

Leaving my "I am so annoyed at this" feelings aside and trying to be rational: the character development of Katniss is that of Sansa Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire) in reverse. Sansa starts as young and terribly naïve and grows into a survivor. Katniss starts as a survivor and disintegrates into a puddle of jelly with no brains.

Please tell me this is going to get better. As it stands now, I think Katniss is as good a role model to young girls as Bella (Twilight), just in a different way (no brains, tantrums, "me me me" attitude)! I am so horrified that this is supposed to be "a feminist book for young adults".

PS: Shall I keep listening? There are 6.5 more hours of this! Or shall I give up, find the spoilers, and move on to some better books?

Date: 2011-12-19 02:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Can you lj-cut your spoilers, my dear? I haven't read this one yet!

Date: 2011-12-19 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My sincere apologies! I am really sorry! I will!

Date: 2011-12-19 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Done! Please let me know if this is fine or if you prefer everything to be under the cut.

Date: 2011-12-19 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh oh you hit those parts.

I think Katniss just has a meltdown since her return from the second Hunger Games. While she could manage at the beginning, she can't anymore. I know she might be annoying on some point but in the end she is just a teenager trying to manage and asking her to be a role-model, a symbol for an entire revolution might be too much. Sansa isn't a good paralell in this case. Take more Robb. Because he was the one to be asked to fulfill a new place. To enbody a huge symbol: King of the North, rebel against King's Landing. And in the end, it's too much for him too somehow. He makes a bad decision out of what might be considered as an egoist choice.

I don't really had trouble with Katniss because I could see where it was coming from. She always has been quite egoist. The only person she finally truly cares for is not even her mother but her sister Prim. Peeta is second. And then Gale. This is her direct world. Rest is not relevant and yet she has to become something she is not in order for everyone to just be free. It's gigantic. It's a very heavy responsability even more when it's unwanted. In the end, she never truly chooses anything. But she tries. She keeps telling everyone she is not fited for the role and as a matter of fact: she isn't. It's a truth everyone also in direct contact with her aknowledges.
And I do like that thematic about what is real, what isn't, and what appears. What the people wants to see is a girl in fire when really, all is left is a girl in ashes.

Yes you need to finish it ^^. Only because my only real complain about the plot is coming and I want to discuss it with you XD.

Date: 2011-12-19 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I meant she is Sansa in reverse, not Sansa proper. :D I like your comparison with Robb , it is quite fitting! Love it actually. but I don't like Robb (well, I don't hate him but he is such a silly boy).

I don't mind her not wanting to be some silly banner for revolution. But what I DO mind is her total "me me me" attitude, and her not noticing anyone around her. Things like her whining : "Haymitch, I hate him. Why did Haymitch rescue meeeeeeeeee? Why didn't he tell me the plans?" . I mean - SHOW A BIT OF GRATITUDE! You are alive and Peeta is alive, and you could have been dead!

It is clear that no-one is telling her any plans because she has no brains to understand? And everyone is manipulating her because she is so easy to manipulate?

Oh, and the lack of brains. It is subjective dislike, but I do dislike the "brainless girl" stereotype. i hate it much more than I hate "damsel in distress" stereotype. People, there is no evidence that girls are less brainy than boys. NO EVIDENCE AT ALL.

GRGRGRGRGR. I am so angry lydzi, I am not ever fair, I know, but at the same time - this is not a feminist book, not by a long shot, not even when I calm down. I feel as if I was looking forward to a nice chocolate in a nice wrapping and when I unwrapped it.. it was something else. I am glad now that some actress I don't particular like is playing Katniss.
Edited Date: 2011-12-19 04:02 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2011-12-19 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lmao. Does it get better? I can only say what i thought but i will hold off on that for now. But please finish! I am looking forward to having a great discussion with you about this. In fact, I replied to your last comment about catching fire. I really love hearing your pov :)

I will say that I had exactly the same reaction as you to the parts you've mentioned. I kept wishing for the old catnip.

Date: 2011-12-19 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am so glad it is not me! ** bonds ** I really don't have any patience for tantrums that fit 5-year old in 16-year old girls. And more importantly - I don't want to hear that this is just because she is a teenage girl. NO. NOT ALL TEENAGE GIRLS ARE LIKE THAT. This , in fact, is one of terrible stereotypes about teenage girls that I don't like.

YAY! I am writing a long response to your wonderful comment, but I haven't had time to finish it properly. And I want to write a good response!)

PS: I am just dramatic. I will get through. :D

Date: 2011-12-19 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am one of like 2 people who love Mockingjay.

And honestly, it's kind of offensive that you're calling her whiny. She's dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She's not upset because her boyfriend didn't ask her to a dance. She's mentally shutting down and unable to deal with the world around her because she's been through hell. Do you find soldiers coming back from the front who have trouble adjusting to being back in the real world whiny?

I LOVE Mockingjay because as I said earlier, for me the books aren't about the games or the rebellion or the Capitol. Those are just the setting. The books are actually about Katniss and her psychological and emotional journey. This book is all about Katniss and the psychological trauma that she's been through, and how that's affected her.

I love Katniss as a character because she's allowed to be flawed. She is allowed to not be a superhero. She IS strong and as you can see in the first two books she asserts her own agency over the Capitol's machinations (I won't say more about the third book until you finish) and refuses to be someone else's pawn. But at the same time, she's been put through some truly traumatic experiences and she's allowed to act like a real person and have it affect her. And THAT'S why I think she's a good role model for girls. We don't have to act strong all the time even when we don't feel like it. It's ok to be upset. Katniss IS strong, but that doesn't mean she can't be affected by the world around her.

Date: 2011-12-19 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Completely agree.
Edited Date: 2011-12-19 07:19 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-12-19 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
** thinks ** I think the difference Katniss/people coming back from the front for me is:

1) that Katniss' "front" doesn't feel real for me (at all - We already discussed the worldbuilding). It is some kind of make-up made-believe situation, which is for me, sorry - NOT REAL FRONT. To compare with ASOIAF: there I feel the danger and the stress and the horror. In Hunger Games, forgive me, but the descriptions of beautiful dresses Katniss had to wear and gorgeous food she had to eat are described much more vividly than her "Horrors". So for me? Not REAL FRONT. :D

2) Everyone around her came from the same situation, so they also are having PSTD. Why is no-one else having tantrums and a bad case of cluelessness?

3) PTSD doesn't explain as to why Katniss is so clueless/oblivious/blind. As the person below commented "it's always delicate when the only narrator is a bit blind and unaware of what goes on around her (and you, the reader, are perfectly aware of how oblivious she can be, which is intensely irritating)"

4) PSTD doesn't explain why she is so selfish. We might be of different opinion but for me selfishness = weakness. If I do dislike something realy strongly it is selfishness.

Plus, don't misunderstand my meaning. I don't dislike Katniss. She is just a fictional charcter. I dislike the author who picked one female charcter out of them all and turned her into this jelly-like mess when all the male characters seem to be coping with their dose of horror just fine (in the same circumstances)? I haven't read so far, but I bet Peeta will be un-brainwashed pretty quickly and will turn into the same hero-like perfect Peeta. I BET ON IT.

This is my main problem with the trilogy - I have seen it hailed as "feminist fiction", where in reality it is not. It is the same old story with teenage stereotypes : "teenage girls are weak, they throw tantrums, they have no brains, they are all about themselves etc. etc." . STEREOTYPES.

PS: I have to say "I am sorry" (just in case) because I feel really quite angry about Katniss' charcter development in this trilogy. I might say/do things that are not entirely rational, and this very rarely happens to me. But I feel real anger towards Collins: Katniss had such a great potential, and turning her into a teenage stereotype si baaaaaaaaaad! :D
Edited Date: 2011-12-19 08:14 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2011-12-20 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am one of like 2 people who love Mockingjay.

Heh! You can make it three. I feel so alone in fandom - even the friends who introduced me to the series HATED Mockingjay and I honestly don't get that. I feel like its events were completely foreshadowed early on, and I loved what transpired at the end (trying not to be spoilery.)

Date: 2011-12-19 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't think it got better, sorry. Katniss didn't get less blinkered and that book had serious pacing issues to boot. It was a potentially interesting story, but it's always delicate when the only narrator is a bit blind and unaware of what goes on around her (and you, the reader, are perfectly aware of how oblivious she can be, which is intensely irritating), and that's definitely not something that improved.

Date: 2011-12-19 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I am getting a bit frustrated with the fact that nothing new seem to have been shown to us about the Hunger Games Universe. Seriously, my suspicions re: Hunger Games is a rip-off from "Battle Royale" are rekindled because both book 2 and 3 (the books that deviate from "Battle Royale") are not very good and wouldn't have been able to stand on their own.
Edited Date: 2011-12-19 08:19 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-12-19 08:52 pm (UTC)
ext_15392: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I was pretty underwhelmed by both follow up books. Mainly because the worldbuilding did not really work and they always had to return to the arena scenario to get the story working again.

It was a bit of a pity, because I thought there were some great ideas, but it did not really grow into it's shoes.

Date: 2011-12-19 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree.

You see, looking back, it seems that all the good ideas was actually the stuff that was "borrowed" from various sources. Collins managed to spoil the single good thing that was her own, the charcter of Katniss.

Date: 2011-12-20 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I actually found it clever that they find themselves back in the arena. I actually thought they'd be in haymitch's shoes in catching fire at first.

But I agree the worldbuilding was very weak. Again, I really don't think Collins cared about Panem. Just her message.

Date: 2011-12-20 12:06 am (UTC)
intermezzo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] intermezzo
Oh man, I'm not up for a discussion that requires thinky thoughts and articulate answers. Not now anyway.

i didn't find Katniss particularly bad in Mockingjay. I mean, yes, she suffered from a meltdown or whatever you want to call it in the beginning of the book, but I guess it was understandable after what she went through. Was I annoyed at her? Every now and then yes, but I never particularly liked her character, not even in the first book. I was more annoyed at her indecisiveness re: Peeta vs Gale. Now, that was annoying imho.

If you want strong layered female characters, do read The Inheritancy Trilogy. It's AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMAZING!!! I've read all 3 books MULTIPLE times and every time, I swear, EVERY TIME, I fall in love with them a little bit harder and also? I notice more details and more awesomeness. There's no gender/race/[insert topic] fail in those books whatsoever. I LOOOOOVE that they tackle issues like biraciality in concrete ways and...there are awesome, awesome characters and the worldbuilding is incredible and alskdjkalhflkjahsdl Did I mention there are female warriors who kick ass in sooo many ways? And terrible gods that struggle and hate and love? And also gay love stories although----okay, not saying anything else cos I don't want to spoil the books for you. And hahah, omg, now I need to re-read them aaaaaall.

Date: 2011-12-20 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
jumping in here (sorry alexandral)

I thought you meant that dragon book Inheritance trilogy at first, but those actually look really interesting so I might just check them out, thanks!

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Date: 2011-12-21 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, don't start me on Peeta vs Gale. I just thought "one rant at a time". :D Where in the book 1 I was semi-ok with Katniss using two boys at once thinking "she was just trying to survive", by Mockingjay I am really NOT HAPPY with this.

THANK YOU FOR THE REC. Now that I sorted my reading speed via audiobooks, I will most definitely read this one soon. Your recs always work well for me.

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Date: 2011-12-20 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Totally agree with what your saying, I really disliked Mockingjay too but I think you should still finish it. I don't think its completely fair to critique a series unless you've read all of it (and it will give you a lot more arguing points :p).

I really couldnt stand Katniss in Mockingjay, I wouldn't say I found her selfish, just obnoxiously self-righteous. Most of it had to do with the failure of the author though, the world building is a total fail, I feel like you have just a faint taste of who the people of District 12 are and why they act like they do. I think its totally unfair to them tbh. Also she completely failed at portraying PTSD imo, she puts Katniss through so much torture but then the way she makes her seem after is just wrong. She does seem selfish at points, yes, but I think that is just the authors failings at showing her coping. It might also have to do with it being a young adult book instead of an adult book, but if that is the case I would say she should not tackle such dense subjects if they arent going to be handled right.

Date: 2011-12-21 12:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Absolutely agree with your every word. Personally I think it is more important to get all the points you mentioned right in the young adult book because there is more chance that the book will affect the minds of young adults who are still in formative stage.

Date: 2011-12-20 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Katniss's naivete was my main problem with "Catching Fire", I am glad I didn't read Mockingjay if she only gets worse.

Date: 2011-12-21 12:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It gets much much worse. I really did like the first book, but now I am afraid the whole series are spoiled for me.

Date: 2011-12-20 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't get any better.... by the end of MockingJay, I pretty much lost all my initial goodwill of Hunger Game.

Date: 2011-12-21 12:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am almost at the end too, and as you - I think the trilogy overall doesn't get much good feelings from me.

Date: 2011-12-20 07:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i'm so enjoying your comments on these books, because they are so like mine. literally everyone else i know really lovved it. the endings okay, i'd say finish.

Date: 2011-12-21 12:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
** bonds ** I really didn't expect this to go so wrong. Now I got to the part where Collins is using the "games" scenario again. FOR HE THIRD TIME.

Date: 2011-12-20 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It gets marginally better for a wee bit but not enough to save this book. Too bad! Very disappointing end to an intriguing series.

Date: 2011-12-21 12:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Seriously, this is a train wreck. I am feelings this fast because I want to know the material so that I can criticise it.

Date: 2011-12-20 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm, I loved Mockingjay, actually, and I thought the ending was perfectly fitting and foreshadowed in the earlier books. But it seems that you don't like the series very much anyway, so perhaps you should just quit and not waste your time further?

Date: 2011-12-20 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Honestly, QoT, I am about too. This series is probably the worst possible case of wasted expectations (and misrepresentation: I will debate to death that this series is as close to feminist fiction as Twilight) I had for a while. The lesson for me: always check the ending. :D I usually do check the ending, as you know,, but here I thought: oh, this is such a winning formula, what can go wrong?

One and only positive thing is that I am looking at Harry Potter in completely different light. HP is much better series, and on many many levels.

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