Why I DNF Mockingjay

You read that right. I did not finish reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I couldn’t even get past a quarter of the way through. I remember it all clearly. I’d read and LOVED Hunger Games. I liked Catching Fire. But couldn’t finish Mockingjay, and not because it was bad. It wasn’t bad. It was actually really good. It was so well written, in fact, that it was affecting my sleep at night and my mood during the day. Since I invest so much of my emotions in the books I read, Mockingjay took a great toll on me in a negative way. I read for an escape, and this was NOT an escape for me.

So I stopped reading. 

I saw Mockingjay Part I in theaters (because I was still curious as to how the story ended), and liked it, but not enough to go back and watch Part II in theaters when it came out. So I watched Part II after it came in DVD.

And I’m am so glad I waited.

Because the movie had the same effect on me as the book did. In the two hours it took to watch the movie, I got depressed. I had weird, unsettling dreams that night. I just felt kind of down for days. I mean, the whole story is intense. There are a lot of psychological factors involved. The brainwashing of Peeta. The memories of the Avox in the underground tunnels. The war. The bombs…. *sigh*

I don’t know why dark things like this bother me so much. The books I write are by no means light and fluffy. I guess I just like to have hope at the end of the tunnel—er—book, and there wasn’t much hope in The Hunger Games. I need equal good and bad things happening, and everything just kept going from bad to worse to worse.

Maybe the story was just a little too close to reality.

Because war sucks and there is a lot of death and brainwashing and injustices being done to the innocent and why would I want to escape to a fiction world if I’m just going to read about the same stuff that I see in the news? I mean, I know we don’t have Hunger Games. But there are child soldiers in Africa who are brainwashed and trained to kill, so that’s kind of the same thing, if not worse. And that’s just a fraction of what’s going on in the world.

People told me that when I watched the Mockingjay movies, I would want to finish the book, and I have to say that, um, no. If anything, I am GLAD I didn’t finish the book. Because why would I want to put myself through that? At least in movies, it’s temporary. It’s a two-hour thing. Books usually take me a couple days to a couple weeks to read, and take a much bigger toll on my emotions.

All this isn’t to say The Hunger Games are bad books. Nor is it to say Suzanne Collins is a bad writer. If anything, it’s saying how GOOD she is, because she can affect me so deeply with her words and she does make people think about real life issues.

All this IS to say that I love YA books. I love the dystopian genre. But not every story is for everyone, no matter their tastes.

QOTP: What about you? How did Mockingjay affect you? Which is your favorite/least favorite book in the Hunger Games Series?

12 thoughts on “Why I DNF Mockingjay

  1. I finished the book – but I totally understand what you’re saying! I can’t watch the movies without feeling awful afterwards. All that doom and gloom for 2 hours straight. And you’re right – things like this (little kids dying, war, famine) happen every.single.day. And it sickens me that we copy it and make it “entertainment.”

    That being said – the anti-war message, and the awareness raised by The Hunger Games is awesome. But still. Something about it feels… off.

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  2. I skipped Books 2 and 3 and DNF’d the whole rest of the series! I enjoyed The Hunger Games a lot, but ultimately didn’t feel like I cared enough about the characters to invest that many hours of my life reading Katniss’s POV. I enjoyed the first three movies a lot, but the fourth to me felt like a flop… I didn’t buy the kinda-happy ending, and the climax just fizzled. It was certainly intense, though! At one point (I think during the tunnel sequence where they were about to be attacked by the mutts) I couldn’t breathe very well! O.o

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    1. I kind of feel like Hunger Games could have been a standalone, maybe even leaving the ending open for interpretation. But maybe the author felt like she needed to tie up all the loose ends, which resulted in a rushed, unbelievable ending. 😦

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  3. You got further than me. I read 2 chapters into Catching Fire and had to put it down, for the same reason you did. This is why I have issues reading Dystopian and Post-apocalyptic genres. They get into my head and affect my mood and thoughts.

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    1. Haha! I honestly don’t even remember Catching Fire that well, apart from maybe two scenes. I like the dystopian genre, but only the ones that have hope in them. So far Divergent and Hunger Games (The two most popular ones, of course) are the only two that left me depressed.

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  4. it’s funny because I absolutely loved Catching Fire. I think that it was more intense than Mockingjay. Yes, I agree, Mockingjay was depressing. So was Catching Fire. I felt so bad for everyone. I think what made me read Mockingjay was the killer cliffhanger ending to Catching Fire. I personally did finish Mockingjay but I refuse to watch the movies. What I took away from Mockingjay: I felt like I couldn’t trust Katmiss’ POV. She was so traumatized that it was difficult for me to trust or agree with any of her decisions. It was fascinating really, the downward spiral of her character. I agree, Collins s a great writer. And any book that can affect your emotions and make you contemplate life is a good read. I prefer books with a happier ending now a days. I also despised the ending it was like a bad movie montage and it didn’t work for me. It felt horribly rushed and not nearly as well written as the rest of the book. I felt like, it tried to paste a ‘there’s still hope’ sticker on the end of the story that didn’t work for me. I’m thinking about rereading it b/c maybe i misjudged or misread or didn’t understand it all ‘shrugs’

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    1. I agree… even in the movie it felt rushed and non-believable. Like Katniss and Peeta could just live happily ever after after everything… *sigh* Also, I didn’t really like Katniss from the very beginning. I think she should have chosen Gale. 😉

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      1. Awww I love Gale. I think in the book I liked both characters. Nothing wrong with Peta. but I agree. Gale was better for katmiss. I think I would have liked a dual point of view. But I am always wanting dual Pov lol

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  5. I tore through all three books in a fEw days. Once I finished Hunger Games, I bought the ebooks of the other two so I wouldn’t even have to leave the house. My husband (military) read through HG & Catching Fire, but I warned him that Mockingjay was a downward spiral into PTSD, so he avoided reading it. We did watch the movies but besides The Hunger Games, we waited until they came out on DVD and rented them. I knew what happened in Mockingjay, so I put off watching both parts until part 2 was out on DVD–I didn’t want to be that emotionally wrenched for a whole year before part 2.

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    1. I think that’s awesome that you warned your husband about Mockingjay. A lot of people might not consider how it would affect those in the military.(It didn’t even cross my mind, even though the books affected me on a deep, emotional level.) However, Mockinjay is the favorite of my husband and niece and sister and a lot of other people I know, so it definitely has a place here!

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