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.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hunger Games Chapter 2

Wow, that was some heady stuff yesterday!  You people are ess-em-ay-ar-teee! I'm proud of you guys!  Also, we had over 125 hits yesterday!  How thrilling!  So, on with the good stuff:

PRIM!  NOOOoooooo.

First, I love that SC lets it sink in for a while that PRIM was called.  This really exaggerates how it must feel to Katniss that time has stopped.

So, this chapter is MAJOR.  Right? Katniss volunteers for her sister, which hasn’t been done in decades.  The mayor tells Effie to dispense with the formalities and get on with it.  The audience remains silent and puts the three fingers of their left hands to their lips and holds them out to Katniss, an old and rarely used gesture of their district meaning respect and thanks and admiration.  Haymitch causes a scene.  Haymitch equals love.

Stocky, wavy-blond-haired Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son, is called as the boy tribute.  (Did Gale buy the morning bread from him?)  Katniss feels awkward around him, because when she was starving to death after her father died, in a desperate moment trying to keep herself and Prim out of the community house, she went through his family’s garbage, which he saw, so he (accidentally-on-purpose, maybe) burned some bread to throw out into the garden for her.  His moms gave him a black eye for that little stunt.  Ever since then, she’s wished she could thank him, and also sees him sneaking peeks at her in school.  He saved her life and now she has to kill him.

Riveting!  Did you see any of this coming?  Who read ahead, besides Sarah who read ahead the entire book?  Be honest!  And notice a new feature a the top left:  a poll!  I'll be changing this whenever the mood strikes, so be sure to cast your votes so we can capture your opinions for future generations!


  1. Srsly, who here did not immediately proceed from chapter 1 to 2? The story had me in a vice grip! OK, maybe I figured one of our central characters might be drawn, but itty bitty helpless, 12-year-old Prim? How gruesome is this story going to get? Fights to the death, extreme poverty, hunting, and Kat almost drowning that mangy Buttercup?

    Kat’s memory in the first paragraph is so visceral, and it threw me to the ground underneath some monkey bars I was climbing across when I was 9. Glad I don’t have any more severe memories to recall here.

    K’s story of Peeta and the bread is a narrative heavyweight. Not only do we get the K-Peeta meeting, but also the story of her mom’s despondency after dad’s death, and the story serves to endear us to K through her struggle to survive and provide for the family. Now that I feel for Katniss, I’m on board with her, and wondering whether she’ll kill in the games? I’m not on board with that. The chapter wraps up with K wondering whether she’d kill Peeta. Day-um!

    btw, Peeta sounds like "Pita." As in the bread. Heh.

  2. Glad you mentioned this, Sara. The issue of getting on Katniss's side and staying there, even when she is forced to do the unthinkable, is one of my main quandaries reading this book. Can't wait to bring it up again and again.

  3. You know, it occurs to me that if I lived in any of this world, Hunger Games or not, I would so be dead by then. It's just ridiculous: Suzanne Collins is an evil, evil woman. And I love her.

    It blows me away how cruel Peeta's mom is. I suppose District 12 is large enough that she doesn't know who Kat is and what happened to her father. But how can you see a starving 11 year old and not only not help them, but yell at them? Is her behavior the norm? It seems like she could afford to be slightly gentler, since she's in the merchant class, but it's interesting to think about her and what she represents of District 12's society.

  4. Welcome, Chloe! Yes, Peeta's mom is cruel, and how can a mom be cruel? My boyfriend and I brainstormed other stories where a mother treats a poor child heartlessly: Cinderella, Harry Potter, and Matilda. Anyone know of other famous ones?

  5. I like your points about Peeta's mom, Chloe and Sarah. All the moms we've met so far are pretty bad--although we've only met two, right? It's interesting how Peeta's mom is actively abusive but appears to be providing for her children. Katniss's mom (whether intentionally or due to factors beyond her control) seems neglectful and willing to let her child lead the family. Maybe the society is so harsh and oppressive that it has kind of suppressed people's parenting/nurturing instincts?