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.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hunger Games Chapter 18

Hmm, something funky's been going on with the polls.  I've had lots of reports of votes not registering...I'll look into it, because obvs that's the most important part of this blog!

(Still sobbing:) In which Katniss sends an arrow through the neck of BD1 because he speared Rue.  Katniss knows she can't heal Rue, and I cry a little harder.  They hold hands and Katniss doesn't try to comfort Rue with words.  Katniss vows to Rue that she'll win (just like Prim!), and Rue asks her to sing.  Katniss thinks "If this is Prim's, I mean, Rue's last request, I have to at least try."  Sniff.

Katniss sings a song that her music teacher (!?) calls "a mountain air."  I don't know how she can sing, I can barely read it through my tears.  Everything goes quiet, and the mockingjays pick up the song.  Rue's cannon fires.  Katniss kisses her and lays her down.

The hovercrafts are on their way, and so Katniss shoves BD1 onto his face and steals his pack, and retrieves her arrow.  She takes Rue's pack, too, but not as roughly, and leaves the spear in her little body to be taken out of the arena.  But Katniss can't leave her like this, and she hears Gale's voice raging against the Capitol in her head.  How can she take revenge against the Capitol's cruelty here?  She finally understands what Peeta was talking about on the roof (gah, Katniss).

She gathers an armful of wildflowers, and slowly lays them all over Rue's body, weaves them into her hair.  This is Katniss's stand, and she hopes they're showing it on TV.  They'll at least show Rue when they collect the body.  Katniss says goodbye and uses the District 12 gesture:  three middle fingers of the left hand against lips and held uut to Rue.

A mockingjay signals the hovercraft, but another one bursts into Rue's melody, the one that means she's safe.  (SOB!  I am a snotty, red-eyed mess!)  Katniss wanders around for the rest of the day, and just as she's decided to make camp, my favorite thing in the whole book happens:  a silver parachute arrives in front of her, filled with a small, still warm loaf of District 11 bread.  She thinks how much this must have cost, especially to people who can't feed themselves.  This is the first time ever that a gift has been given from one district to another's tribute.  "My thanks to the people of District Eleven."  I can barely type.  Where are my golldurn tissues?  This is the fourth time I've read this, everyone, and I'm STILL a huge mess.

Katniss sleeps in a tree and has pretty dreams of Rue singing, and she wakes, "sadder and lonelier than ever."  After reorganizing packs, she realizes she must hunt because she's nearly out of food.  She takes out some grooslings and brazenly starts a fire, almost willing the other tributes to her.  Do they know her skills yet?  Do they think Thresh was allied with Rue?  Hey, where IS everyone?  Katniss finds that she wishes she could tell Peeta about Rue.  Her Rue-vow seems more important than her Prim-vow.  Is this because she now understands what Peeta was talking about?

Katniss counts BD1 as her first kill, even though she dropped the tracker jackers that killed GD4 and Glimmer.  Do you think those count?  I counted them.  She starts to feel bad, but efficiently puts that emotion aside.  No deaths today.  But what's this?  Trumpets announcing an announcement?

Claudius Templesmith congratulates the six remaining tributes.  Rule change!  If both tributes from the same district are the last to survive, they will both win!  Katniss screams out for Peeta.  Watch out, Foxface and Thresh!

End part two!  A third of the way there, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. If K has a music teacher, then perhaps some Appalachian music tradition remains!

    K's first direct kill--did she shoot BD1 to defend Rue or to avenge her? How do you feel about this kill? Would you have done the same?

    Looking back, I wonder why the Gamemakers let K adorn Rue's dead body with flowers. It seems within their power to bring in the hovercraft and remove the corpse just as soon as K steps away to pluck some wildflowers.

    "Her Rue-vow seems more important than her Prim-vow. Is this because she now understands what Peeta was talking about?" I think so, and does that mean K is more motivated by the idea of sticking it to the tyrannous Capitol than making it home to provide for her little sis and mom?

    Right, so K has that fire going and wants someone to come for her to shoot and make pay for Rue's death. Yikes. That's some misplaced aggression. K seems a little crazy right here, and I'm not on board.