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.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hunger Games Chapter 12

In which Katniss sees Peeta, all bloody and bandaged, go back to kill the girl and is angry and confused over Peeta hunting with the Careers and is convinced his noble speech on the roof was an act.  She hears someone say Peeta is handy with a knife, and thinks he's been withholding information from her.

The Careers are talking about using Peeta to get to Katniss, not realizing she's 20 feet above them, hearing every word.  She sees Peeta helping them find her, although he hasn't told them about her archery skills.  A mockingjay whistles to announce the arrival of the silent hovercraft.

Katniss jumps from the tree, ever mindful to play to the cameras, knowing the audience will love that she was there the whole time.  She checks her snare, finds a rabbit, and cooks it over the idiot girl's fire. As she treks through the woods, she is mindful to check her emotions, since she's sure she's the main event on-screen.

Katniss is dehydrating fast.  She almost eats berries, but then realizes they aren't what she thinks they are, and tosses them.  She is becoming fatigued, but is determined to carry on.  She makes camp in another tree, and hears the anthem.  Only GD8 (x Peeta) was lost today.

Morning is rough.Katniss contemplates going back to the lake, but knows she'll never make it.  Then she remembers she can ask her sponsors!  Hooray for sponsors!  She says "water" but nothing happens.  She curses out Haymitch (and who wouldn't, really) but then thinks he might be sending her a message that she's getting close.  She carries on, so weak that even teensy Rue could take her out.  She tumbles to the ground, unable to get up out of the mud.  Yay!  Mud = water!  She drags her bum over to the pond, and in a show of impressive self-control, purifies it for a half hour before drinking it.  She drinks it all down over the course of a couple of hours, then makes another batch.

A few hours later, she hears a stampede and looks up to see a wall of fire descending on her.  Dang, SC, how are we supposed to stop THERE?


  1. I love the way Katniss plays to cameras that she doesn't actually see. Maybe it's just me, but I always imagine the moment where she jumps down from the tree and "smiles knowingly" as it would appear on TV's at home, and I am never convinced by her acting ability. I'm also always reminded of the way young adults today (myself included) really do often feel like their lives are played to cameras they can't see -- that when they're sad, they should look sad; when they're deep in thought, they should crease their eyebrows.

    Also, I love that Katniss repeatedly uses inductive reasoning to assume where the cameras are and what they will be interested in showing, based on what she's seen of past games. I love this because it's so consistent with the rest of her character and not just a convenient detail -- she *always* bases her actions on swift, staunch presumptions.

  2. I love how Katniss courts the audience, too. Andrew, you are so right that that's a very teenage behavior.

    What is going on with Haymitch's failure to drop in some water? I'm wondering if he is drunk and being neglectful or whether that was calculated for dramatic effect or if he is forsaking Katniss.

  3. lol, yes, after K jumped from the tree, I very loudly rolled my eyes and thought, "This is why I don't watch reality TV." Playing to an audience during day-to-day life is just too unbearably awkward to watch.

    Beginning that lifelong journey of knowing yourself and how you want to interact with the world is a big part of adolescence and early adulthood (hellooooo, quarter-life crisis!) We see K navigating this here. How is she going to behave there in the public eye as a tribute in the Hunger Games? She plays to her curious viewers with a knowing smile. Yes, let's give them something to talk about! And Peeta was grappling with this in chapter 10 back on the roof the night before the games: "I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not." He values his integrity and self. K has no clue why this matters to him.

    This harkens back to K's hang-up about being pitied. She wants respect for her hard work in providing for her family.

    On p164 K finds a rabbit in her snare, and I wondered if she found the animal dead or alive. I knew nothing about hunting snares until tonight when I tuned into this eHow feature on Wilderness Survival: Snare Hunting. Poor bunny wunny.

    btw, next time I'm looking to shed a few pounds for bikini season, I'm definitely going to pick up this rabbit-bone-sucking and pine-bark chewing diet. Sorry, Beyonce, your cayenne pepper water diet is so last season.

  4. Sarah, could you come by my desk later and show me how to roll my eyes loudly? Gross, yet, excellent party trick.

  5. I'll tell you, Heather, it's not really something I can fake. But if you have something to show or tell me that's rolly-eye-worthy, let me know and I'll see what I can do!