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.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Catching Fire Chapter 3

BEING the chapter that contains practically no action.

Snow leaves Katniss to her thoughts, and boy does she have a lot of them. How is she ever going to carry out such a grand deception? Who should she tell first? Who will take her to the prom?!? One thing's for sure, she will NOT tell her mom, whom she still has to protect with lies. Katniss takes a steamy, flower-scented bath and reflects on the time she spent swimming with her dad in the lake. The lake, which she never showed to anyone else, even Gale.

Then her prep team arrives in high gossipy spirits. Cinna dresses her in billowy black pants, a white shirt, and a blue-green knit sweater -- he will later add an ermine coat, red scarf, and earmuffs. Each Games winner is supposed to have a talent that represents what they're doing with their time (Peeta's is painting), so Cinna provides some designs that are his the product of Katniss's newfound fashion interest. As the crew films said designs, Katniss gazes lovingly at Prim, who looks like a bird and - BAM! Katniss pictures Rue and feels like crap.

Effie arrives and it's time to go! For their first on-screen moment, Katniss throws herself at Peeta, knocking them down into the snow, where they kiss passionately, full of "fur and snowflakes and lipstick." Yum.

Then, on the train, Katniss tells Haymitch what's up, and he's like, look honey, you're gonna have to keep this act up forever for all the reunion specials. She's like, DAMN, I didn't think of that in the past six months -- I'll have to MARRY PEETA!!! I'm like, Katniss, want to switch?

- Does everyone here really buy the idea that all of Panem's opinion rides on believing that K&P are in love? That if they're all thinking about insurrection, K&P's romance will suddenly change their minds? I tend to think Snow isn't so foolish as that, given what comes later...

- I realized for the first time in this chapter that Peeta's "winning personality" has become a bit blurry to me: is he so convincing because he's a natural charmer, because he's really in love with Katniss, or both? That is, it occurred to me during the snow-plow kiss, when Katniss is glad that Peeta fakes enthusiasm for her (or is he?), I started thinking back and reevaluating other moments when he was probably "turning it on," too. Is there a paradox or discrepancy in his character here?


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  2. Andrew, I buy the idea that an act of rebellion in the Games broadcast across all Districts could encourage the discontented people of the districts to finally rebel. Is that what you're asking?

    As for Peeta, I should look up examples to support this, but for now I'm just going to say that I completely believe he truly loves Katniss.

    omg, is Pres Snow a vampire? Can't wait for an explanation of his blood-scented breath.

    I have to point out a line on p33 that might have significance later: "Besides, Gale's already so angry and frustrated with the Capitol that I sometimes think he's going to arrange his own uprising." Right on, sexy rebel Gale!

    Does anyone think Urban Decay will have Flavius Purple™ lipstick on the shelves in time for the movie? And I still need to buy some gold eyeliner!!!


    And Haymitch won by outlasting 47 others???? I still don't get why Katniss didn't learn his story sometime during the training last year and get some ideas of strategy other than "pretend you're in love with Peeta".

  4. Also... Dear Katniss, you speak of marrying Peeta like it's the end of the world. You haven't even figured out if you like Gale more than Peeta yet!