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.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Catching Fire Chapter 12

In which Katniss sits around very queenly, stuffing herself with cheese buns and waiting for Haymitch to bring her news of people dying of starvation.  Venia, Octavia, and Flavius arrive for Katniss's bridal photo shoot, and Octavia reveals that District Four has been having "bad weather" and so she couldn't get shrimp.  Katniss, always one to pick up on subtle cues, figures this means they've rebelled.  She finds out that 3 and 8 have also rebelled.  This is all followed by an exhausting photo shoot.

Katniss goes in search of "a confidante" and seeks out Haymitch.  This is the chapter in which I start to believe that Haymitch may exaggerate his drunkenness for effect.  Because of their size, 12 needs to have a 100% compliance rate for rebellion, and Haymitch thinks the Captiol would need little provocation to kill off an entire district.  Could the Capitol be researching more energy efficient fuel than coal?

Katniss's photo shoot airs, and they announce the third Quarter Quell.  It's the "reading of the card."  Katniss's mother reveals that she had a friend who went to the games during the 50th anniversary (the second Quell).  Maysilee Donner:  her family owned the sweetshop, and Maysilee had a canary that her family gave to Katniss's mother (do we know her name?  This is driving me nuts) after the games.  (So, if Haymitch was 16 or 17, that makes him in his very early 40s now.  Huh.  I always imagined him older than that.  In this Quell, "as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol" they will pick tributes from the victors.  Katniss, Haymitch, Peeta, nooooooooooooooooo!

Howdja feel when you first read this?  I was pretty pissed.  Then I got over it.


  1. I may have angrily slammed the book shut. I wanted to throw it across the room, but I wanted to know what happened first.

  2. Way to go Chloe, for checking your anger with your reader's curiosity!

    As for me, I was kinda relieved to finally know where this book was going. I made a note in my reading of chapter 7 that I want to know where we're headed after the completion of the Victory Tour. (Anyone else sad that we fast forwarded at start of chapter 7 past D12's Harvest Festival?) Would I see a rebellion? (Hope not, too few pages remain to really create a satisfying rebellion.) Would we read of K's escape from D12? (Go forth, K, and finally explore the other districts!) Now I know we're headed back to the Games, and I groan as I welcome the familiarity.

    I need to know more about D13. What remains of history? Do you think they know of the Cold War?

    When they make the movie, there are a few things I absolutely cannot wait to see:
    * K and Rue jumping through trees (don't we all love "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?")
    * Cinna's fashion designs
    * Accompanying websites. I want to vote on K's wedding dress and accessories with the rest of the Capitol!

    I was so pleased to learn Cinna is a star in the Capitol owing to K's dresses! Too bad he's going to get knocked off in the rebellion. He's the wise, powerful one, just like Dumbledore, and we all know what happened to him. I'm starting to cry already.

    Heather, thanks for sharing Haymitch's age estimate. I pictured him a little older--maybe late 40s? Let's blame it on the booze.

  3. I know you might be hoping for some fresh outrage from a new reader, but... Sadly, I cannot answer your question. Sigh. This was one of the things that I managed to spoil myself about in the 2 weeks between finishing THG and starting Catching Fire. :( I didn't even LOOK at anything that said "Catching Fire", just tried to get some reviews of THG. And read fanfics. Unfortunately the story descriptions often contained enough spoilers for me to see before I could quickly turn away. Stuff like "So-and-so was the first victor selected in the Quarter Quell" and "Katniss is back in the arena in the Quarter Quell". Oh fanfiction.net, how I hate thee...

    On the bright side, this should be like the greatest Games, ever. No half-starved weepy little children being slaughtered by a pack of well-trained Careers. Everyone in the arena already knows how to win. Everyone's a contender.

    I have the sneaky suspicion that this one won't end with 23 dead tributes though. (Or, 22). When I read THG the first time I thought there were only two possible resolutions: 1) Katniss wins and everybody dies, or 2) Katniss, Peeta and others find a way to break out and start a rebellion. Once Rue was killed, I figured it would be #1 (or #1a as the Rule change was announced). Now, for either Katniss to be the sole survivor, or Katniss and Peeta (or Katniss and Haymitch) to somehow come out alive would make this story too repetitive.