September 8, 2010


It's hard to write about a book everyone is reading but not everyone has read.  Give too much away and people get chapped.  Be too vague and people get chapped.

Plus, everyone has something to say.  So there's probably not much to say you haven't heard or thought already.  I'll just say if you liked the first one and haven't read the other two, you probably should.  The themes, not always the characters, but the themes become deeper and more rich and wonderfully entwined.

I never had much invested in the whole, slight "romance" thing and it was pretty clear by the time you get to the third book that Katniss has more things on her mind and might settle for one of these two, but only one of them is empathetic enough for her to create any long term meaning with somehow.  We're talking some seriously damaged people here, people, so "romance" is hardly in the equation.

No, it's about empathy and war and how easily we can lose our humanity and how sometimes it's hard to hang onto it.  It's about the horrors of war and how we put our youngest and most promising generations on the front lines of our often muddled conflicts.

It kept bringing to mind Bruce Sprinsteen's Live 75-85 version of "War" in which he says to the audience before the song, "Blind faith in your government, or in anything, can get you killed."

That's one of the best parts about this final section of the trilogy.  Katniss hates the current government, but doesn't automatically embrace the rebels either.  She's playing out these final games on her own terms.  Which is as it should be.  Powerful stuff.  I'm glad it's popular and I hope it gets kids thinking in the same war other anti-war novels have throughout the years.