Jason Reads The Hunger Games

I'm reading The Hunger Games Trilogy for the first time. Laugh at my naivety.
~ Tuesday, January 10 ~

Catching Fire: Chapter 4

I wonder if President Snow will insist we have children. If we do, they’ll have to face the reaping each year. And wouldn’t it be something to see the child of not one but two victors chosen for the arena? Victors’ children have been in the ring before. It always causes a lot of excitement and generates talk about how the odds are not in that family’s favor. But it happens too frequently to just be about odds. Gale’s convinced the Capitol does it on purpose, rigs the drawings to add extra drama. Given all the trouble I’ve caused, I’ve probably guaranteed any child of mine a spot in the Games.

Ugh let’s just force these two people to get married and have babies because it’ll make our people happy. And you’d think that the children of the victors would have immunity or some shit from being put into the Games. But no. If anything, if Gale’s right, they have a higher chance of being picked. So of course Haymitch didn’t have children. Of course Katniss has ruled it out for herself completely. Why bring children into this fucked up world?

My mind searches frantically for a way out. I can’t let President Snow condemn me to this. Even if it means taking my own life. Before that, though, I’d try to run away. What would they do if I simply vanished? Disappeared into the woods and never came out? Could I even manage to take everyone I love with me, start a new life deep in the wild? Highly unlikely but not impossible.

And she’s trapped. She’s completely trapped. The Capitol can do whatever it wants to her and and everyone she cares about if she doesn’t do everything to please them. We already know they’ve been watching her, so they’ll be watching her every move, possibly for the rest of her life. How could anyone live with that?

“Doesn’t he need prepping?” I ask.

“Not the way you do,” Effie replies.


Not one of the boys grew a beard, and many were old enough to. I wonder what they did to them.

Made them look more child-like. Which, if anything, makes the Games appear even more fucked up, like it’s flaunting the fact that our children are in there fighting to the death.

As far as I can tell, they never get up before noon unless there’s some sort of national emergency, like my leg hair. I was so happy when it grew back in, too. As if it were a sign that things might be returning to normal. I run my fingers along the soft, curly down on my legs and give myself over to the team.

Hahahaha ugh ew what is this shit I’m sorry, I know it’s a different “world” full of very different circumstances, and I know I just bashed them a few paragraphs ago for implying that girls require more asthetic work than boys, but it’s still really difficult for me to wrap my liberal, feminist mind around a girl with hairy legs.

This sends Effie into a state. She pulls out her schedule and begins to work out how the delay will impact every event for the rest of our lives. Finally I just can’t stand to listen to her anymore.

“No one cares, Effie!” I snap.

Ahahaha yes.

“Look, Katniss, I’ve been wanting to talk to you about the way I acted on the train. I mean, the last train. The one that brought us home. I knew you had something with Gale. I was jealous of him before I even officially met you. And it wasn’t fair to hold you to anything that happened in the Games. I’m sorry.”

Wow, it’s nice to see Peeta acknowledging that Katniss basically kept them alive by pretending to be in love and shifting some of the blame. You know, considering he STARTED IT by confessing his love for her and Haymitch promo’d the shit out of it.

“Let’s start with something more basic. Isn’t it strange that I know you’d risk your life to save mine … but I don’t know what your favorite color is?” he says.

A smile creeps onto my lips. “Green. What’s yours?”

“Orange,” he says.

“Orange? Like Effie’s hair?” I say.

“A bit more muted,” he says. “More like … sunset.”

Awww, this is so adorable and it makes me feel all fuzzy and warm inside much like the mere mention of Cinna does.

Peeta has painted the Games.

Some you wouldn’t get right away, if you hadn’t been with him in the arena yourself. Water dripping through the cracks in our cave. The dry pond bed. A pair of hands, his own, digging for roots. Others any viewer would recognize. The golden horn called the Cornucopia. Clove arranging the knives inside her jacket. One of the mutts, unmistakably the blond, green-eyed one meant to be Glimmer, snarling as it makes its way toward us. And me. I am everywhere. High up in a tree. Beating a shirt against the stones in the stream. Lying unconscious in a pool of blood. And one I can’t place — perhaps this is how I looked when his fever was high—emerging from a silver gray mist that matches my eyes exactly.

Ugh. They’re probably really good and all, but. I can imagine Peeta using these pictures in an ad campaign to stop the Hunger Games, with some Sarah Mclachlin song in the background, showing pictures of Glimmer with an ugly furry snout and talking about how these tributes need you help.

“I see them every night,” he says.

I know what he means. Nightmares — which I was no stranger to before the Games — now plague me whenever I sleep. But the old standby, the one of my father being blown to bits in the mines, is rare. Instead I relive versions of what happened in the arena. My worthless attempt to save Rue. Peeta bleeding to death. Glimmer’s bloated body disintegrating in my hands. Cato’s horrific end with the muttations. These are the most frequent visitors.

Okay. These paintings are his therapy. Maybe that’s what these “talents” are supposed to help with? I mean, besides being another controlled segment by the Capitol. This is real PTSD shit right here.

It takes place before their Justice Building, a huge marble structure.

Which for some reason only now reminds me of the Hall of Justice.

As usual, a special platform has been constructed at the bottom of the stage for the families of the dead tributes. On Thresh’s side, there’s only an old woman with a hunched back and a tall, muscular girl I’m guessing is his sister. On Rue’s…I’m not prepared for Rue’s family. Her parents, whose faces are still fresh with sorrow. Her five younger siblings, who resemble her so closely. The slight builds, the luminous brown eyes. They form a flock of small dark birds.

No no no no, I don’t want her to have to face this again. MY EMOTIONS.

“It can in no way replace your losses, but as a token of our thanks we’d like for each of the tributes’ families from District Eleven to receive one month of our winnings every year for the duration of our lives.”


At this moment, it’s impossible to imagine how I could do any better. The gift…it is perfect. So when I rise up on tiptoe to kiss him, it doesn’t seem forced at all.

OH JUST GET MARRIED ALRE- oh yeah, right.

“I want to give my thanks to the tributes of District Eleven,” I say. I look at the pair of women on Thresh’s side. “I only ever spoke to Thresh one time. Just long enough for him to spare my life. I didn’t know him, but I always respected him. For his power. For his refusal to play the Games on anyone’s terms but his own. The Careers wanted him to team up with them from the beginning, but he wouldn’t do it. I respected him for that.”

I still wish he had been more instrumental in the grand scheme of things. What he did was still fucking awesome and badass and I loved every second of it, and I guess it’d be unrealistic to think that he’d get more action, considering that if the story were to progress, Katniss would have to win, which meant that everyone else would die, and every single one of their stories would end there (in a more literal sense).

I turn to Rue’s family. “But I feel as if I did know Rue, and she’ll always be with me. Everything beautiful brings her to mind. I see her in the yellow flowers that grow in the Meadow by my house. I see her in the mockingjays that sing in the trees. But most of all, I see her in my sister, Prim.” My voice is undependable, but I am almost finished. “Thank you for your children.” I raise my chin to address the crowd. “And thank you all for the bread.”

Wait shit hang on you guys, I have a branch in my eye.

I stand there, feeling broken and small, thousands of eyes trained on me. There’s a long pause. Then, from somewhere in the crowd, someone whistles Rue’s four-note mocking-jay tune. The one that signaled the end of the workday in the orchards. The one that meant safety in the arena. By the end of the tune, I have found the whistler, a wizened old man in a faded red shirt and overalls. His eyes meet mine.


What happens next is not an accident. It is too well executed to be spontaneous, because it happens in complete unison. Every person in the crowd presses the three middle fingers of their left hand against their lips and extends them to me. It’s our sign from District 12, the last good-bye I gave Rue in the arena.

That hand signal is even more beautiful the third time and I’m definitely crying now and I love the feeling of her being backed and supported by this huge group of people because it GMH.

If I hadn’t spoken to President Snow, this gesture might move me to tears. But with his recent orders to calm the districts fresh in my ears, it fills me with dread. What will he think of this very public salute to the girl who defied the Capitol?

Shit. Shit, shit, shit. God, as a reader, this rebellion-typey stuff is awesome, but it’s exactly what the Capitol, and Katniss, doesn’t want. These people, for once, have hope, but little do they know (or maybe they do) how angry President Snow is getting, just because they’re showing support for a tribute. More support than they “ought to”, considering she’s not theirs. It’s both beautiful and horrible at the same time.

We would be safe inside the Justice Building by now, if I hadn’t stopped, if I hadn’t left my flowers. Instead, from the deep shade of the verandah, we see the whole thing.

A pair of Peacekeepers dragging the old man who whistled to the top of the steps. Forcing him to his knees before the crowd. And putting a bullet through his head.


Tags: the hunger games jason reads the hunger games catching fire chapter 4 chapter book review analysis trilogy books katniss katniss everdeen peeta peeta mellark haymitch effie trinket cinna hunger games hunger games jason reads president president snow snow district 11 rue cf4
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