Welcome to the Hunger Games read-along! Beginning July 1st, 2010, we will be reading and chatting about one chapter a day of both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins in anticipation of the release of Mockingjay on August 24th.

In the unlikely event that this is your first read of these amazing books, welcome! And more importantly, beware of spoilers! There will be spoilers.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Love Ya, Tomorrow

That's right folks, it's only a day away!  Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I'll post the post for the first chapter of The Hunger Games, and a lively discussion will (hopefully) follow in the comments section throughout the day.  Post reactions, questions, thoughts about how much you love Prim's goat, whatever comes to mind.  I'm going to try very hard not to lead opinions, so feel free to call me out if (when) I do it.  And just so you know ahead of time, I'm a Gale Gal all the way.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Power of Three

One week to go!  I can hardly contain myself!

Here's something very interesting, y’all.  Both Hunger Games and Catching Fire are 27 chapters.  Furthermore, they are both three sections.  FurtherMOST, each section is 9 chapters.  So if Mockingjay divides up this same way, and I’m assuming it will, that means that we will have three books of three sections.  9 sections of 9 chapters each.  81 chapters.  What does it all mean?  Uh, that Suzanne Collins likes threes?  It’s an homage to Diana Wynne Jones's Power of Three?  Maybe she likes to set limits to each section to keep her writing snug?  Beginning, middle, end.  Or is it something even more significant to the story?  24 tributes, also divisible by three.  12 districts, divisible by three.  Quarter Quell (75th annual Hunger Games) divisible by three.  Three people in Katniss’s family.  Three people in a love-triangle. Three people on Katniss’s prep team (not counting the singular Cinna). 3.0=Haymtich’s blood alcohol level.  WHAT ELSE?  Am I missing something obvious?  Am I way overthinking this?

Also, it seems that we are going to have several first-time readers.  So I just want to ask everyone to please do your best not to include spoilers, and if you do, give a big heads up.  Think of it this way:  with no spoilers, it will be like we're all reading this for the first time!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Two weeks to go!

It is a mere two weeks to go until we can start group-obsessing.  I hope you're all dusting off your copies (as if they've had time to gather dust) and finding a good, sturdy bookmark to keep your place when you stop reading after only a chapter.  It will be tough, but it will also be worth it.  Promise!

In the interest of this project, I have recently re-read Catching Fire.  Guys, I'm psyched.   This wasn't my favorite book on the first read, but the second read was completely excellent.

So, as we gear up, I put it forth:  what kinds of things are you hoping to see here?  Do you want polls? (Gale vs. Peeta?  Pssh. Amateur.  What about Rue vs. Prim?  Personally, I love Rue, but I'm pretty sure Prim could take her.)  Do you want a place to voice your theories of what will happen in Mockingjay?  Do you want to keep track of who killed whom?

Consider the suggestion box open.  And don't forget to tell everyone you know to join us!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dystopian YA as Seen by The New Yorker

Hello, premature readers.  From time to time in the next three weeks, I thought I might pose a few questions to maintain the manic anticipation of re-reading.  Sometimes it may be a simple poll, sometimes it may be a bit more though provoking.  Today I read an interesting article in The New Yorker called Fresh Hell by Laura Miller about YA dystopian literature and its general popularity.  Putting her theories aside (although the whole article is tres fascinating) I felt compelled to pull this particular bit out:  Ms. Miller writes, "Given that the winning tribute’s district is 'showered with prizes, largely consisting of food,' why isn’t it the poorer, hungrier districts that pool their resources to train Career Tributes, instead of the wealthier ones? And the practice of carrying off a population’s innocent children and commanding their parents to watch them be slaughtered for entertainment—wouldn’t that do more to provoke a rebellion than to head one off?"

This is delicious brain candy, and questions I have yet to hear discussions about.  So, readers, why do you think the citizens of Panem submit to the oppression of the Hunger Games rather than rising up against it (at least for now)?  And why do you think the poorer districts don't train up their tributes?  Look at that wide open comment space, just waiting for your ideas.