The Hunger Games Trilogy: my initial thoughts upon completion

I just finished Mockingjay, the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy. Spoilers ahead.

Like, seriously, the first sentence of the next paragraph is a major spoiler for the third book; if you haven't read them, leave this post now.


I can't believe Prim died.  The books were amazing, and I stayed up all night last night to finish this last one.  But that, I think, was one of the most depressing character deaths in fiction.  After everything Katniss went through, after all the horrible things that had happened to her, the reason the series happened at all -- the one person Katniss was consistently trying to save, the one person she consistently cared about throughout the book, is killed, in a ruthless political move of ambiguous origin.

It seems so pointless.  It hurts, I think the reason it hurts a lot is because I can see what Collins is getting at in these books.  They're books I want kids to read, because they teach important lessons about the ruthlessness of tyrants and the fragility of freedom.  They teach the lesson that if you stand up against injustice, the unjust will go after the things you love.  That people who don't deserve to will die, and that you should still fight.

It hurts because I don't want it to be true.  Because finishing this book, and knowing how brilliant the books were throughout, I'm forced either to convince myself that it's an error, a scar on an otherwise excellent book, or to acknowledge that Suzanne Collins is right about that aspect of humanity.  I don't want the world to be that horrible.  I don't want it to be possible.  But it can be, and it is, and that knowledge is painful.