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 22, 2010

Hunger Games Chapter 22

In which Katniss wakes, thinking she's at home with the flu.  Aww, Katniss!  Then she opens her eyes and smells blood.  Eww, Katniss!  She totally passed out last night next to the person she drugged to stay asleep.  It's kind of a miracle she's alive, but she's a fighter!  Except that she can't sit up.

Peeta's well, though.  Whatever the Capitol sent him was some kind of freaky cure, because he's fully functional, and eating, and all the swelling is gone.  The tables have turned and he's taking care of Katniss now.  But they're out of food, and Katniss can't hunt.

It's storming out, and Peeta wonders what, meaning who, brought this on.  Katniss tells him Thresh got Cato's bag, and the storm is certainly for them (although since the Gamemakers can certainly control where the rain falls, it seems like they're just being malicious having it fall on Katniss and Peeta, too).  Katniss tells him what went down, and that Thresh let her go.  Also that they might have been friends if he lived in 12.

Katniss finally, after what, 5 years? confronts Peeta about the bread he gave her.  She was never sure if he knew it was her, and he's like "What?  From when we were kids?  I think we can let that go."  But Katniss is persistent and he says "Haymitch said you would take a lot of convincing."  Then he goes all evasive.

Katniss doesn't want anyone else to die.  But she know she can't say that, so she cries and says she wants to go home (which isn't untrue).  She sleeps.  Peeta wakes her, and has been waiting until she's awake to eat (aww, Peeta).  Katniss votes tomorrow as a hunting day.  "I'll kill and you cook," she tells Peeta. He wishes for a "bread bush" (and that's totes adorable).

They talk about Thresh and the far side of the Corn, which is all Amber Waves of Grain.  Peeta's scared of it, and Katniss understands that Thresh knows it well enough to use it as a food source, a "bread bush" if you will.  Katniss thinks about the easy way Peeta's had it since he grew up in a house that smells like fresh bread (don't you wish you did?).  She wonders how he'd feel about her and Gale's convos about the Capitol.  She thinks about what they have to do to get another gift from Haymitch.

Peeta gets all emotional telling Katniss not to be a hero and Katniss "pretends" to be all worried and defensive.  But she sucks at words (I know the feeling) and "fumbles."  But also, she does "not want to lose the boy with the bread." She wishes they were truly private because that's what her feelings are.

First kiss where both are totally sober/healthy/withit!  Katniss likes it, but she's bleeding again and Peeta makes her lie down.  Bedtime.  She takes first watch but gets in the bag, too.  He holds her so sweetly.  She wears the night goggles and drifts off several times, and it's Peeta's turn to watch. The weather still sucks and Katniss knows the only way to get food is from Haymitch.

So she asks the big question, "When did forever start?"  Peeta tells a story of Katniss and his father pointing her out as the daughter of his love.  She sings in a plaid dress and he remembers every beautiful, romantic detail (and I'm thinking of my 4th grade crush).  Peeta is very romantic and believable, and even I crush on him a bit.  Katniss takes the bait and is "honest" and they end up with a giant basket of rolls and cheese and apples and Katniss's favorite lamb stew.

So, if Haymitch knew he could afford this feast, let's go back to Allison's question:  why didn't he just send the medicine Peeta needed?  Because he's manipulative, that's why!


  1. Hey, I could use a bread bush this morning. Particularly if a butter-and-jam shrub grew near it.

    Can we talk about Peeta? I keep flip-flopping between thinking that his feelings for Katniss are authentic and that he is just a really, really good actor and sly about the game.

    What about "Haymitch said you would need a lot of convincing"? I read that as Katniss would have trouble being convinced to play up the love story. As in, Peeta did not need convincing, either because he already loves her or he's sly like that.

  2. I agree about Peeta, Rebecca, although on this read, I'm having a very hard time finding him sly. Especially when he digs up all those details about Katniss from the first day of school (ask me what Travis-the-fastest-runner was wearing on the first day of kindergarten...it was a snappy Western shirt and grey jeans with navy Nikes. I'm over him now).

  3. I second the notion of a butter-and-jam shrub! Katniss and Peeta are really aiming low with a simple bread bush.

    I think Peeta is TOTALLY and completely in love with Katniss! I don't think he's quite swift enough to fake his intensely emotional reactions to her. And Haymitch's comment may have been an attempt to let Peeta down easily -in that he'd most likely have to kill Katniss afterall since she'd never fall in love with him or trust that he's really in love with her. But, really, who knows... Maybe I'm just a sucker for men who communicate their feelings. The ever-present question, however, remains: are those feelings sincere?

  4. Heather, you crush on Peeta a bit? I'm so totally HEAD OVER HEELS in love with him. He's so sweet...and he can bake me things. Who doesn't love a man who can bake?!

    I don't think Peeta is sly, but I think he is "swifter" than we give him credit for. In the case of Katniss, though, I don't see him lying about love. He seems like a sincere person (I realize he could be an insincere person and lie about love and seem sincere but I don't like that idea!). I think he would see lying and manipulating like that as losing himself or playing into the Capitol's games, which he doesn't want to do.

  5. Chloe, do you think Peeta sees this as his last chance to tell Katniss all of this and share time with her?

  6. I'm also taken by Peeta, and took his line "Haymitch said you would need a lot of convincing" to mean that K will take a lot of convincing to believe Peeta is in love with her. I didn't even question it until now.

    How about that comparison K draws between Peeta and Gale, when she says "But there are things you don't question too much, I guess, when your home always smells like baking bread, whereas Gale questions everything . . . Would it shock him? The things we say about Panem? Gale's tirades against the Capitol?" It's a reasonable question, and in Gale's favor. There's that classic divide of the classes between Peeta and K, and it has some significance to K. Can Peeta understand her feelings towards the Capitol?