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.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hunger Games Chapter 3

In which Katniss and Peeta are whisked inside the Judicial Building to say their goodbyes.  She resolves not to cry, ever-mindful of the cameras.  She recognizes the velvet on the couch because her mother used to have a dress with a velvet collar. Katniss talks to her family as though she's the adult, telling them how to stay alive after she's gone.  She yells at her mother, telling her not to become debilitatingly depressed again, and her mother says she's on meds now.  Katniss promises Prim she will really, really try to come home.  Peeta's father comes in, bringing cookies.  He's much nicer than his horrid wife, and says he'll keep an eye on Prim.

Next up, Madge:  she brings Katniss a token from their district, a pin, and gives her a kiss on the cheek.  Last, Gale arrives.  He goes over some strategy with Katniss, and we find out about some past games.  One year there were only maces for weapons, one year only boulders and scruffy bushes, one year there was no wood to burn.  Gale is removed from the room, shouting, "Katniss, remember I--" and that's it.  In my opinion, he was declaring his undying love for her and her family, but maybe that's too obvious.  What do you think he was yelling? 

SO, Katniss rides in a car for the first time, to the train. She remembers Johanna Mason, who faked that she was weak, and then won the whole games.  She thinks Peeta might go this way, but then thinks he's too big.  The train can cover 250 miles an hour, and we find out that the Capitol was built in what was once known as "the Rockies" and that District 12 is in what was known as Appalachia (does anyone else have an urge to sing Loretta Lynn?).  If that's accurate, my magical map thing and time converter says it should take them somewhere around 6 hours to arrive, cutting through states formerly known as Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado.

We also find out that Katniss doesn't pay attention to the account of what happened during the rebellion (curses!).  Katniss has her first hot shower, and we find out the background of the mockingjay, "a slap in the face of the capitol." Her father loved them, and he had a lovely singing voice which he used to interact with the hybrid birds.  Katniss hates on Effie a little, eating with her hands, and eats lots of delicious things.  They watch the reapings.  A" monstrous boy" volunteers for District 2, a fox-faced girl is picked from District 5, a crippled boy from 10.  And a lovely Prim-alike from 11.  Everyone laughs about Haymitch, and his comic timing is perfect.


  1. Yep, K acts the adult doling out survival instructions, but she's such a child too with her unbridled emotions. She's unforgiving (understandably) and unsympathetic of her mom's depression. Guess she didn't learn about brain chemistry in school.

    In a previous game players only had maces and bludgeoned eachother to death? omg, gruesome. I don't know if I can keep reading this book. (I did in fact keep reading the book. Through to the end.)

    Maybe Gale was going to say "Katniss, remember I will take care of Prim." Because we read that they made a pact that if either went to the games, the other would take care of all siblings. Is that less romantic than your guess, Heather? I think Katniss would have preferred to hear my phrase! (c;

    Yes! Loretta Lynn's "Don't Come Home A Drinkin'" might be a good one for Haymitch. I grew up listening to her Saturday nights on the Grand Ole Opry down in Appalachia. Katniss has traveled further West now than me. I wonder where District 13, er, was? I also want that Panem history lesson that K could've cared less about! "Whatever the truth is, I don't see how it will help me get food on the table." That's alright, K. I wasn't much for history lessons either.

    So no brain chemistry or history in school for K, and yet she takes precious time to tell Prim to stay in school? Does education get you anywhere in District 12?

  2. Excellent points, Sarah. Although, I have to disagree about Katniss being childlike in her emotions. I find her to be so emotionally remote and calculating, that she never lets emotions get in the way of what needs to be done. And in this case, she is trying to impress the same on her mother.

    Hmm, where DOES school get you in District 12? Excellent question.

  3. School is a good question. It doesn't sound like there's much room for social mobility, unless you marry down like Katniss's mom. I'd say school is kind of a propaganda machine, a way the Capitol thinks it can control the people.

    I also sort of adore Haymitch. Do you think he fell down on purpose at the ceremony, to draw attention away from Katniss? He does kind of fall down a lot, though... ;)

  4. Chloe, why do you think Katniss was so adamant that Prim stay in school, then? What do you think would happen if she dropped out?

  5. Gale was DEFINITELY going to say "Katniss, remember I LOVE YOU FOREVER AND ALWAYS!" :)

  6. I don't know, that's such a weird thing for Katniss to want...unless she just wants Prim to fly under the radar? Maybe if if Prim dropped out, the Peacekeepers would get involved and take Prim away to one of the homes discussed earlier?

    Or, maybe it's just SC's PSA. "Stay in school, kids."

  7. I totes thought/hoped Gale was going to say "Katniss, remember I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU!" Because I am cheesy like that.