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.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hunger Games Chapter 7

In which Katniss has nightmares of her mother and the Avox, and wakes up having bitten her cheek and tasting blood.  How ominous!  She dresses in an outfit that Cinna picked for her, which she likes, and eats about 5 breakfasts including more hot chocolate, which she has Peeta-style (dunking a roll into it).  It has been only two days since she left home.

Peeta arrives wearing the same outfit as Katniss, which pisses her off.  Haymitch asks whether they prefer to be coached together or separately, and they choose together, because they can't think of any secrets they need to keep from each other.   Peeta talks up Katniss's hunting, mentioning he's eaten lots of squirrels.  Turns out Katniss has noticed Peeta flinging 100lb bags of flour around, and also wrestling.  The discussion of who is better gets heated, and Peeta reveals that his mother said District 12 might have a winner this year, meaning Katniss, calling her a survivor.  Katniss finally acknowledges the help Peeta gave her 5 years earlier.  When Peeta compliments Katniss ("She has no idea.  The effect she can have."), she freaks out in her head (something else SC is so talented at), sure he meant to insult her.

Haymitch makes them promise to be side-by-side all the time, and Katniss slams her door.  In a bit, they meet Effie to be escorted underground to the training rooms for the first of three days of training.  A tall, athletic woman named Atala runs the show there.  1, 2, and 4 are known as "Careers" because they train for their entire lives for the games (why not 3?).  Katniss realizes she has a small advantage, being strong and fit from hunting, but that she's smaller than most of the tributes.  When Atala lets them go, the Careers head for the deadliest weapons and "handle them with ease."  Tres intimidating!  But Peeta and Katniss choose knot tying first, so as not to expose their strengths.  Peeta shows a particular talent at camouflage, because he decorates the cakes at the bakery.  They learn some new skills and hide their strongest abilities.  Smarties.

Lunch is like a high school caf.  The Careers stick together, the other tributes sit alone.  Peeta points out how the breadbasket at lunch contains all the local breads from each district.  The bread from 4 has seaweed, and 11 is crescent shaped and has seeds.  Peeta holds the convo together, making them both appear friendly and charming.

The tiny, birdish Prim-alike, Rue, follows them around during training a bit.  She has dark eyes and "satiny brown skin" and talent with a slingshot.

Peeta makes a joke after dinner, and Katniss shuts him down again, saying "Don't let's pretend when there's no one around."  Peeta replies tiredly.

The third day of training, everyone gets pulled out, one by one, boys first, starting with District 1.  Katniss is last, and the Gamemakers are drunk and not paying attention when she goes in.  She shoots some awesome arrows, but they don't notice.  So she shoots the apple out of their roast pig's mouth, pinning it to the wall, and leaves without being dismissed.  Boom.


  1. Again, SC with the food writing! This one really made my toes curl: batter cakes (why does that sound better than pancakes?), pale purple melon (exotic!), rolls and hot chocolate. While mom and Prim are eating “mush.” How’s that for contrast? I don’t even know what mush would be—tasteless cream of wheat, grits, or oatmeal?

    P and K took notice of one another over the years, even though they never spoke? Ooh-la-la! And I was impressed to learn from P that K shoots her kill through the eye. K, why didn’t you tell us?

    When K bristles at P’s “She has no idea. The effect she can have.” we see that K’s rather upset by the suggestion that anyone pitied her. No, Katniss wouldn’t need or want pity.

    I ached for these two at their 3 awkward lunches at the training center. Did you share my relief when Peeta broke the silence with the talk about the district breads? K even offers up a tease at the camouflage station when she compliments Peeta’s work with “It’s lovely. If only you could frost someone to death.” Way to be civil, reap-ees!

  2. Oh, Sarah, I like that you read that as a tease. I read it as hostility.