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.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hunger Games Chapter 5

In which Venia of aqua hair and gold eyebrow tattoos, Flavius of orange corkscrews, and Octavia of pea green skin--all of whom speak with a high-pitched, closed-jaw, hissed-S, odd voweled, clipped-word, question-asking affectation that is impossible not to mimic--remove every hair from Katniss except her eyebrows and fancy braided 'do.  Enter Cinna (CINNA!), a simply dressed, naturally haired, quiet fellow with just a hint of gold eyeliner.  This is Cinna's first games, and he wants to rock it (quietly).

Their table opens up and lunch appears, followed by what is probably my favorite passage in this entire book:  when Katniss describes trying to recreate the meal of creamy chicken with orange over grain with peas, rolls shaped like flowers, and pudding.  "Days of hunting and gathering for this one meal and even then it would be a poor substitution for the Capitol version."  That whole description of trading squirrels for bread, and substituting goat's milk and turkey, y'all, that is some deft writing.

Anyhoo, Katniss gets into her outfit:  black unitard up to the neck, shiny leather boots up the knees, fluttering cape and FIRE.  Katniss, the girl who was on fire.  Cinna and Portia are geniuses.  (Genusi?  Whatever. I want to wear fire.)  Peeta appears in the same outfit, and they hold hands (at Cinna's suggestion) as they parade in their chariot around the circle of crazed Capitol onlookers.  They are clearly crowd favorites.  Even in front of President Snow's mansion, they are getting the most camera time.

Back inside the training center, the couple-on-fire are the center of all the attention and hubub, which draws dirty looks from all the other tributes.  When Peeta compliments Katniss, she realizes he is just buttering her up, and she kisses his bruise to play the game right back, which SPOILER KIND OF maybepossiblyperhaps could be misinterpreted.

Katniss, you wily woman!  Always strategizing.


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  2. When I read Harry Potter, I wanted to be Dumbledore. Reading The Hunger Games, I want to be Cinna!

    Love that passage about foraging and trading to make the lush lunch on the day of the opening ceremonies. Through it we see Katniss comparing her lifestyle to those who live in the Capitol. She makes no complaint about how hard her life is in comparison, she's just in aw, and I'm thinking, "omg, life in District 12 is too hard." Why does the Capitol prevent people moving between Districts? How much potential is wasted when these people are forced to live in their District's lifestyle? I don't think I'd make a particularly good coal miner or merchant.

    K kisses Peeta??? The kind boy who gave her bread? "Kind people have a way of working their way inside me and rooting there." Who she's considering killing?! (Don't make me come over there and "talk" some sense into you, K.) LOVE IT!!!

  3. I adore Peeta and Cinna. They're such amazing characters. And it's brilliant how SC can make us love Cinna in just a few paragraphs, with just a few words. BRILLIANT! I have to start now before I get ahead of myself and into CF with all this Cinna love ;)