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.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hunger Games Chapter 13

In which we have no time to enjoy the relief of Katniss having found a source of water because she has to get herself out of last night's tree and RUN.  Katniss is certain this has been devised by the Gamemakers because of a boring day, and to flush the players out into the open for some more hand to hand combat (at least face to face).

Katniss's jacket catches fire and takes her jacket off to extinguish, and shoves it in her bag.  Suffocation is happening fast, due to massive smoke inhalation.Katniss gives herself one minute to rest, which she uses to repack her stuff.  Are the Gamemakers driving her back to the lake?  Who knows.  But they ARE most definitely shooting fireballs at her in what might be the worst game of dodgeball ever.  She reflects on a lifetime of watching the Hunger Games, and so understands that if she gets away from this part of the forest, the fireballs will stop.  She's running and puking and dodging menacing fireballs, but one hits her.  Katniss, the girl who was on fire, indeed.

The attack abates, and Katniss reasons that this is because there is at least one other tribute nearby.  Her hands and leg are badly burned, but she carries on.  She finds a pool to soak her sad leg in and she thinks of timid Prim who helped her mother attend to a terrible burn victim while Katniss ran away.  The leg is bad, but Katniss mustn't show her pain, in order to gain the affections of the sponsors who could send her a remedy.

She tends to her wounds, then drinks some water and eats a cracker and some rabbit and some plants.  She decides to stay put, and good thing she's fast because those Careers are coming!  She splashes out of the pool and heads up a tree.  They totally see her.  So she tries some disarming banter, playing to the audience yet again.  BD2 (Cato!) starts climbing, but is too heavy and bulky to get too far.  GD1 (Glimmer!) has the bow and arrows!  Glimmer gives the climbing a whirl.  Then she shoots an arrow at Katniss, making it obvious that she doesn't know what she's doing.  And now Katniss has an arrow.

Katniss ties herself up into the tree with the Careers below.  She looks through the trees and spots an animal looking at her.  That's no animal, that's RUE!  So quiet and stealthy.  And without a noise, she points at something above Katniss's head.

SC, these are the best/worst chapter breaks ever!  No wonder I read this all in one sitting the first time through!


  1. Oh no! Not the Careers! I was dreading this moment. Who knows what they’re armed with from the Cornucopia. Wonder if there were any firearms in there? Then again, it seems the Gamemakers like to have a heavy hand in how this game develops—what with the fire attack and very limited water supply—and a firearm might give a player too much power.

    I’m wondering about Glimmer’s inability to shoot an arrow. I thought the Careers were trained for the games, and her only talent seems to be sexiness? K told us in the first pages that most people in District 12 don’t have weapons, and if her dad had tried to sell his bows and arrows, he would’ve been executed for inciting a rebellion. What weapons and training are allowed in which Districts?

    How far are we into the games? I think by the end of the chapter, we’re on day 4 just before the evening anthem plays. Is that right?

  2. I'm surprised that there aren't more alliances. There seems to just be the careers and everyone else. Shouldn't the other tributes team up to fight the careers? I feel like the mentors should realize how much more powerful the tributes from the other districts would be as a team, and spend more time scouting out potential allies during training.

    On an unrelated note, Katniss is so lucky that this arena is in the forest that happens to really really resemble where she goes hunting in district 12. If the arena was a desert or somewhere without trees and rabbits, she would have been dead so quickly.

  3. Allison, I actually have been wondering about that a lot this read. IS it a coincidence? No one knows anything about the arena beforehand and HUGE MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!! LIKE, NOT EVEN FROM THIS BOOK SPOILER!!! the guy from the punchbowl incident seems to be in on something. What does he know? Did he have a hand in directing things? Has this been plotted well before we even know? Don't answer that. Let's get lunch and discuss. Sorry, new readers.

  4. Well, Katniss does say that the arena often has trees to make things interesting because otherwise the tributes all die of exposure, so maybe trees are a usual thing? I would guess that a mild environment leads to more exciting tribute on tribute action (ugh! how can that be entertainment?!). If a tribute doesn't have to fight as hard to survive his surroundings, he can put more energy into being entertaining when he kills and/or dies.

    Sarah- Maybe that's why Glimmer isn't good with a bow, because it's a weapon. The Careers could easily learn to fight with other weapons through things that aren't weapons, like using sticks to learn swordplay. Or maybe the rules on weapons are different in the lower Districts, where life is better and they may be less likely to rebel?

  5. Chloe, but remember the Games that had no wood for fire, the one in which the tributes were dying of exposure? I guess the Gamemakers learned from that one...