Saturday, November 28, 2015

Book to Movie Review: Mockingjay pt. 2

The Hunger Games - Mockingjay part 2
Book by Suzanne Collins

As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.

I just. How can it be over?? Remember when we all anticipated the first movie? No one knew who Jennifer Lawrence was, we heard Rue's eerie whistle for the first time. It's been a great four years. You can read my reviews of the previous movies here.

Like the book, the Mockingjay movies are not as colorful and crazy as the first two. They're more serious, and are much closer to real life. That's also the reason I like them (book and movies) so much, though Catching Fire remains my favorite. 


First item of praise, is that the makers of THG movies know all the Hollywood cliches and they use them against you. There's that scene in the tunnels before the mutts attack when the silence and the cameras just let you KNOW that something is about to happen and you brace yourself for a heart attack that doesn't come. But then it does and you fall off your chair. 

And the general problem of knowing what's going to happen just makes this more painful- waiting for Finnick to die, and Prim. And even the ones I had forgotten about wrenched my heart strings deeply- Boggs, the Leeg sisters. 

The actors continue to delight, with all the new people really bringing some great stuff to the table. I just wish we had more Josh Hutcherson - Peeta had a much stronger presence in the book than he did here, though granted that was in Katniss's thoughts. 

Overall, this installment and the series in general were very faithful to the source material, a fact for which I am eternally greatful and wouldn't have been able to forgive if it hadn't been true. The only little piece I wanted but didn't get was the cake at Finnick and Annie's wedding that tips Katniss (and us) off that Peeta is getting better. (ETA: also the memorial book K&P make in the end)

The scenes were truly glorious: 

Haymitch reading Plutarch's letter to Katniss
Katniss screaming at Buttercup the cat
Effie saying goodbye to Katniss - finding the life of a victor
my name is Katniss Everdeen
it's primrose
the scene of the symbolic Hunger Games
shooting Coin
my dear Katniss we agreed never to lie to each other
the Avox and his brother

And so many scenes that packed subtle punches- in the end, when Haymitch, Katniss and Peeta are eating back in District 12 and watching Paylor become President with Plutarch looking on, and Haymitch says " And they say no one ever wins the games". I loved that - it continues the implications that the whole war on the Capitol was also a game in a way (a game of thrones?), and Plutarch remained a gamemaker all throughout- somehow always on the winning side, and always influencing. It also shows how tyranny repeats itself, as do all human mistakes (This much is said explicitly in Plutarch's letter). 

The only thing I'm truly upset about: the distortion of Gale's character. They made him just SO DAMN ANNOYING. Everytime Peeta did or said anything relating to Katniss Gale had some stupid jealous comment about it. It was so irrelevant and unimportant, and book Gale was better than that. Also, the thing I ultimately respected most about Gale and in general about The Hunger Games is that Katniss didn't get to choose her beau in the end. GALE PICKED UP AND LEFT. He gave her an arrow, told her to shoot straight, kissed her forhead and scedaddled off to live his life. It was amazing, and cemented my love for him despite me being firmly Team Peeta. And while the double bomb was his idea, and as much as the book tried to make it seem otherwise, PRIM'S DEATH WAS NOT GALE'S FAULT. "Goodbye Gale" is not how Katniss and Gale should have ended, after all they'd been through. 

If you read up until here, with all my disregard for grammar and thousands of run-on sentences, YOU ARE AWESOME AND I LOVE YOU. Rating:

Monday, November 2, 2015

Review: Destroy Me

Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5)Destroy Me (Shatter Me 1.5)
Tahareh Mafi 
Companion to the Shatter Me trilogy

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .
Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.
Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me,Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

You can read my reviews on the Shatter Me books here.

Ahhhhhh this was exactly what I wanted from Tahareh Mafi. Warner in all his glory!

What a sweet, smart, and DAMN SEXY man he is. You watch as he goes from running the world to an abused child in the presence of his father. You feel his pain as reads Juliette's words and knows all too well how she felt. How he slowly, but then all at once, falls in love with a girl he thinks can't love him. GOD IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL TO READ.

Being a short story, there isn't all that much more to say - so, behold my favorite quotes that I hope will inspire you to pick up the series/novella:

“And I've fallen.
So hard.
I've hit the ground. Gone right through it. Never in my life have I felt this. Nothing like this. I've felt shame and cowardice, weakness and strength. I've known terror and indifference, self-hate and general disgust. I've seen things that cannot be unseen.
And yet I've known nothing like this terrible, horrible, paralyzing feeling. I feel crippled. Desperate and out of control. And it keeps getting worse. Every day I feel sick. Empty and somehow aching.
Love is a heartless bastard.”

“I’ve come to believe that the most dangerous man in the world is the one who feels no remorse. The one who never apologizes and therefore seeks no forgiveness. Because in the end it is our emotions that make us weak, not our actions.” 

“These letters are all I have left.26 friends to tell my stories to.26 letters are all I need. I can stitch them together to create oceans and ecosystems. I can fit them together to form planets and solar systems. I can use letters to construct skyscrapers and metropolitan cities populated by people, places, things, and ideas that are more real to me than these 4 walls.I need nothing but letters to live. Without them I would not exist.Because these words I write down are the only proof I have that I’m still alive.” 

“My opinions,” I say to him, quietly this time, “should not so easily break your own. Stand by your convictions. Form clear and logical arguments. Even if I disagree.”