I finished this book in 36 hours. (And let's remember that I'm actually an incredibly slow reader, under normal circumstances.) I was completely engrossed by the non-stop action, even if its aftermath left me occasionally devastated. In fact, the high death toll and the resulting tally of survivors at the end reminded me somewhat of the final Harry Potter book. At the end, the ones who really needed to live did (with a few possible exceptions). And while each death was more gut-wrenching than the last, in the end, I was glad to see whose hearts were still beating.
As a huge fan of the first two books, I was very satisfied with this conclusion to the trilogy, although it was not my favorite book of the series. The one thing that was left wanting, in my opinion, was Peeta. We didn't get to see much of the real Peeta in this installment, and, frankly, that ridiculously-named stud is my favorite character (though Katniss is certainly a close second). Between being held captive by an evil dictator and being brain-washed beyond recognition, there was nothing but a glimmer here and there of the Peeta we know and love from the first two books. All-in-all, though, I was pleased with his fate, as well as that of Panem. Regarding the fate of the series, however, I am a little more dubious.
I am both thrilled and terrified by the comparisons being drawn between The Hunger Games trilogy and the Twilight series. (The Hunger Games is headed for the big screen, too.) As much as I'd like to see "Team Peeta vs. Team Gale" replace "Team Edward vs. Team Jacob" as the most popular battle-of-the-broody-boys among tweens, I'm faced with the selfish desire to preserve the sacredness of my beloved series. I'm not sure I want to share this obsession with the world.