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 1, 2010

Catching Fire Chapter 5

HooooowwwwDIE!  I'm just so proud to be back!  Holy schpilkes, Narwhal!  Everyone, let's give Andrew a long and loud round of applause because he kicked my arse as blogger.  Too bad for y'all (I learned things in the South!), I'm back to stay (crazy laugh).  Sursly, thanks a jillion.  AND thanks for the new format!  I'm a big fan, and I think it will save me days in typing!  Hoorah!

So!  Here we are in the middle of the first section of Catching Fire already!  Smokies!  We were still in the arena when I left.  How did the time pass so fast?  Oh, I remember, I was in Appalachia, in the Smoky Mountains, trying to buy legal moonshine without an ID (it didn't work.  Does Haymitch have this problem in the Hob?)  I'll jot down separately a few of the thoughts I had, and if I feel up to it, share with you a "District 12/Arena vs. Great Smoky Mountains National Park as Visited by a Capitol Resident" post.

Anyhooooo, let's get on with it, shall we?  Chapter 5, in which Katniss watches the old farmer man crumple to the ground.  Haymitch, Portia, Cinna, and Effie don't know what happens, although the latter seems the only truly clueless one.  Two more shots.

Haymitch hustles the kids through the D11 Justice Building (justice, ha!) to the dome, which he may remember from when he was there what, 30 years ago?  Katniss finally tells them about blood/roses Snow, and Peeta sees his role clearly, as the speaker of the rebellion whether he wants it or not.  Katniss and Haymitch promise not to keep anything from him anymore, and Peety promises the same.

They rush through the other districts, dinner, ceremony, train.  Districts 8, 4, and 3 seem to roil with anger (see sidebar...known rebel districts will appear in blue).  Katniss suggests a public marriage proposal, then goes to her room to think about Gale.  P. Snow says "not good enough" with the slightest of head shakes.

Firestarters!  (I hope I can carry this off, y'all.  The Narwhal is just sooo smarter.)
Haymitch says that Katniss will see "the choices you have to make...If we survive this, you'll learn."  What do you think Haymitch means by this?  Do you think Katniss (and therefore, we) should have been paying a lot closer attention during history class?  Haymitch lives a really sad, solitary life.  What choices do you think he had to make?

Katniss and Peeta start sleeping together (not like that, you guys).  It seems that Katniss is agreeable because it's comfortable and good, and Peeta, seemingly, came to her room out of his desire to make her feel better.  But do you think Peeta (specifically) continues it because he likes it, or because he sees that they're feeding the gossip mill for the better?

Peety wanted the proposal to be real, according to Yaymitch (awwww, Peeta's a little pathetic, non?), but it was Katniss's suggestion.  She readily accepts it, as she says, of course.  Do you think a. that she would have agreed so readily if it had been sprung on her?  And b. that she thinks of this as protection and a real proposal, or false and merely an out with Snow?  She's a terrible liar, yet both options are lies, in different sorts of ways.  Thoughts?

Effie got poked with a gun.  Teehee.
Katniss acknowledges killing Glimmer!
Also, I wanted to bring this up, but the chapter belonged to Andrew.  At one point at the end of The Hunger Games, Katniss is looking for Peeta (banging on the window?  Later?  I'll have to go find the reference) and SPOILER ALERT BUT JUST THE NEXT EIGHT WORDS it comes up later in this book, too:  Katniss says something about the Games being on TAPE.  She can whisper movie popcorn (okay, maybe that's just me) and have it arrive within seconds, and Octavia can dye her skin blue, and Katniss can be rendered entirely perfect, and the muttations and all, yet she's worried about being captured on TAPE, a long-obsolete 20th century device.  As an older-ish person (meaning I know how to make high-speed dubs of mix-tapes), I often find myself saying "let's tape that!" when what I really mean is "let's record that digitally!"  Do you think the tapes were an oversight by the author and editor, who, undoubtedly, are a bit older than (gasp!) even me?  Or do you think this was a conscious decision by the team and will come up as something important in Mockingjay?


  1. Welcome home, Heather! Did you spot any katniss growing wild in the Smokies? Set up any snares for rabbits? Poor raskly rabbits. Must admit, don't know if I could pull off this vegan diet in D12.

    Oh my, to imagine the life of solitary, tense, alcoholic Haymitch. He has no children, ostensibly because they would likely become tributes and suffer the same Hell he saw in the Games. (Again, can we get these people some professional help? Haymitch isn't so great at self-medicating.) That doesn't explain why he has no partner. Is the attention of the press just too much for prospective partners? I would say I'm glad Peeta and Katniss will have eachother, but K has no choice in the matter, and that casts a shadow over it all.

    Peeta and K are sharing a bed, and I'm wondering if it's driving Peeta nuts? He must be very patient. I can only imagine that he's doing it to add to their great romantic story, and if that's just a construction, it's something he's dedicated to working at. That's good enough for me.

    As for the proposal, I'm trying to imagine a proposal that Peeta could spring on her and be accepted. I want to believe it could happen! Now we'll never know? Or will we?!

  2. Wow, they really got through the victory tour in a blur. So little about the other districts! And Katniss afraid to look at Marvel's family, so we'll never know how they see her. Do they hate her? They must have known when he volunteered that there was a 23/24 chance of him NOT coming out alive. Can you really hate someone for killing your son after your son killed several people and would have killed her?