Jason Reads The Hunger Games

I'm reading The Hunger Games Trilogy for the first time. Laugh at my naivety.
~ Tuesday, January 17 ~
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Catching Fire: Chapter 11

What is going on? Has Thread turned on the fence as an additional security precaution? Or does he somehow know I’ve escaped his net today? Is he determined to strand me outside District 12 until he can apprehend and arrest me? Drag me to the square to be locked in the stockade or whipped or hanged?

My guess is the latter. Nothing that happens to this girl is by coincidence.

But today my family would never imagine I’d be in the woods. I’ve even taken steps to mislead them.

You know who else didn’t tell anyone where he was going? Aron Ralston. And look what happened to him.

I begin to skirt along the tree line, searching for a tree with a branch high and long enough to fit my needs. After about a mile, I come upon an old maple that might do. The trunk is too wide and icy to shinny up, though, and there are no low branches. I climb a neighboring tree and leap precariously into the maple, almost losing my hold on the slick bark. But I manage to get a grip and slowly inch my way out on a limb that hangs above the barbed wire.

JUST LIKE RUE OMG.

There’s the sensation of falling, then I hit the ground with a jolt that goes right up my spine. A second later, my rear end slams the ground. I lie in the snow, trying to assess the damage. Without standing, I can tell by the pain in my left heel and my tailbone that I’m injured. The only question is how badly. I’m hoping for bruises, but when I force myself onto my feet, I suspect I’ve broken something as well. I can walk, though, so I get moving, trying to hide my limp as best I can.

Oh, great, more injuries, awesome, as if I didn’t already have enough to worry about!

Two Peacekeepers, a man and a woman, are standing in the doorway to our kitchen. The woman remains impassive, but I catch the flicker of surprise on the man’s face. I am unanticipated. They know I was in the woods and should be trapped there now.

Yeah, that comfirms it. The fence was turned on to keep her out. Well, it didn’t work this time, Asskeepers! You have to get up pretty early in the morning to pull one over on Katniss!

“From Head Peacekeeper Thread,” says the woman. “He wanted you to know that the fence surrounding District Twelve will now have electricity twenty-four hours a day.”

“Didn’t it already?” I ask, a little too innocently.

Having stripped off my sock, my mother’s fingers probe the bones in my left heel and I wince. “There might be a break,” she says. She checks the other foot. “This one seems all right.” She judges my tailbone to be badly bruised.

GOD DAMN IT.

I’m further reassured when Peeta casually tells me the power is off in sections of the fence because crews are out securing the base of the chain link to the ground. Thread must believe I somehow got under the thing, even with that deadly current running through it. It’s a break for the district, having the Peacekeepers busy doing something besides abusing people.

Okay, two things/kind of predictions: what if, while the electricity is off in certain parts of the fence, the people of District 12 like, charged at the Peacekeepers and took down that part of the fence and escaped? To District 13 or something? And I guess to back it up, if the Peacekeepers are busy with the fence, what if the people of District 12 are organizing something? Are there any Peacekeepers left monitering the rest of the place?

One afternoon Peeta stops shading a blossom and looks up so suddenly that I start, as though I were caught spying on him, which in a strange way maybe I was. But he only says, “You know, I think this is the first time we’ve ever done anything normal together.”

“Yeah,” I agree. Our whole relationship has been tainted by the Games. Normal was never a part of it. “Nice for a change.”

Can I just point out how cute the two of them are in this chapter? Katniss wanting him to stay with her while she sleeps and then watching him draw the plants and just them spending time together that isn’t Hunger Games related?

My first sighting is in a news story referencing the Dark Days. I see the smoldering remains of the Justice Building in District 13 and just catch the black-and-white underside of a mockingjay’s wing as it flies across the upper right-hand corner. That doesn’t prove anything, really. It’s just an old shot that goes with an old tale.

YES IT DOES, KATNISS, I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO BE WRONG.

However, several days later, something else grabs my attention. The main newscaster is reading a piece about a shortage of graphite affecting the manufacturing of items in District 3. They cut to what is supposed to be live footage of a female reporter, encased in a protective suit, standing in front of the ruins of the Justice Building in 13. Through her mask, she reports that unfortunately a study has just today determined that the mines of District 13 are still too toxic to approach. End of story. But just before they cut back to the main newscaster, I see the unmistakable flash of that same mockingjays wing.

The reporter has simply been incorporated into the old footage. She’s not in District 13 at all. Which begs the question, What is?

YOU SEE? SOMETHING FISHY IS GOING ON IN DISTRICT 13 AND WE’RE GOING TO FIND OUT WHAT.

Tags: the hunger games jason reads the hunger games catching fire chapter 11 cf11 analysis review book books trilogy suzanne collins katniss katniss everdeen peeta peeta mellark haymitch thread prim primrose primrose everdeen thread mockingjay dostrict 12 district 13 the capitol hunger games hunger games rue gale
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~ Monday, January 16 ~
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Catching Fire: Chapter 10

Part II: The Quell

Okay wait, not I’m wondering, are we going to see another Hunger Games? Like, the Quarter Quell? I would think that we will.

“What is it? What does that mean?” I ask harshly, still prepared to kill.

“It means we’re on your side,” says a tremulous voice behind me.

OH HOLLER, they’re on her side! They’re good guys!

“My name’s Twill,” says the woman. She’s older. Maybe thirty-five or so. “And this is Bonnie. We’ve run away from District Eight.”

District 8! Then they must know about the uprising!

Yeah obviously. What’s more, they’re escapees! Fugitives! I just can’t help thinking that they’ll eventually go the same way as the Avox girl.

“We’re headed for District Thirteen,” Twill replies.

“Thirteen?” I say. “There’s no Thirteen. It got blown off the map.”

“Seventy-five years ago,” says Twill.

WAIT ARE THEY GOING TO HOLD THE QUARTER QUELL IN DISTRICT THIRTEEN? I don’t know what they’d do with it but I feel like it’d be really cool.

“Out of food?” I ask.

Bonnie nods. “We took what we could, but food’s been so scarce. That’s been gone for a while.” The quaver in her voice melts my remaining defenses. She is just a malnourished, injured girl fleeing the Capitol.

“Well, then this is your lucky day,” I say, dropping my game bag on the floor.

You see, Katniss, you’re a decent person!

“Oh,” says Bonnie. “Oh, is this all for me?”

Something inside me twists as I remember another voice. Rue. In the arena. When I gave her the leg of groosling. “Oh, I’ve never had a whole leg to myself before.” The disbelief of the chronically hungry.

It took months for Bonnie, who worked in the chilly inspection dock, to secure the two uniforms, a boot here, a pair of pants there. They were intended for Twill and her husband because it was understood that, once the uprising began, it would be crucial to get word of it out beyond District 8 if it were to spread and be successful.

Good thinking, District 8! This was essential, since the Capitol keeps all the districts divided and keeps information from crossing over about different districts. Katniss and Gale (I believe) are still the only ones in District 12 that know about the uprising in District 8, and all because Katniss accidentally saw it on television. If she hadn’t met Bonnie and Twill, she’d be entirely oblivious.

Then one night, as the whole district was on the brink of starvation, came the order to return to business as usual.

That meant school for Twill and Bonnie. A street made impassable by the bombs caused them to be late for their factory shift, so they were still a hundred yards away when it exploded, killing everyone inside - including Twill’s husband and Bonnie’s entire family.

It’s like the people who were late to work on 9/11! Well, it’s a good thing they survived. And the Capitol seems to think they’re dead, too, so no one’s probably searching for them.

“It’s nothing but rubble,” I say. “We’ve all seen the footage.”

“That’s just it. They’ve been using the same footage for as long as anyone in District Eight can remember,” says Twill.

“Really?” I try to think back, to call up the images of 13 I’ve seen on television.

“You know how they always show the Justice Building?” Twill continues. I nod. I’ve seen it a thousand times. “If you look very carefully, you’ll see it. Up in the far right-hand corner.”

“See what?” I ask.

Twill holds out her cracker with the bird again. “A mockingjay. Just a glimpse of it as it flies by. The same one every time.”

“Back home, we think they keep reusing the old footage because the Capitol can’t show what’s really there now,” says Bonnie.

JESUSCHRISTSUIBWECDCWHOLYSHITFUCKING the Capitol is covering something up! There’s something going on in District 13 that the Capitol doesn’t want anyone knowing about! WTF IS ITTT?!

“We think the people moved underground when everything on the surface was destroyed. We think they’ve managed to survive. And we think the Capitol leaves them alone because, before the Dark Days, District Thirteen’s principal industry was nuclear development.”

So they might have weapons? I guess now I’m wondering whether the Capitol is covering it up because they plan to use the weapons or because they just don’t want the other districts to try to use them.

“We don’t know,” Bonnie whispers. “Right now, we’re just holding on to the hope that they exist.”

That snaps me to my senses. These are delusions. District 13 doesn’t exist because the Capitol would never let it exist.

No, Katniss, I believe them, it must be true! It all makes sense! Isn’t the Capitol all about facades? It’d be just like them to hide the true District 13 from the other districts’ eyes. And they’d let it exist if it benefitted them!

In the fading light, the chain links look as innocuous as usual. But what makes me jerk back my hand is the sound, like the buzz of a tree full of tracker jacker nests, indicating the fence is alive with electricity.

Oh, for God’s sake, this girl can’t catch a fucking break!

Tags: the hunger games jason reads the hunger games catching fire chapter 10 cf10 chapter review analysis book books trilogy suzanne collins hunger games hunger games katniss katniss everdeen twill bonnie district 12 district 8 district 13 the capitol capitol gale gale hawthorne peeta peeta mellark rue quell
~ Sunday, January 15 ~
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Catching Fire: Chapter 9

Before I go down to face this new life, though, I take some time making myself acknowledge what it will mean. Less than a day ago, I was prepared to head into the wilderness with my loved ones in midwinter, with the very real possibility of the Capitol pursuing us. A precarious venture at best. But now I am committing to something even more risky.

a.k.a. SHIT’S ABOUT TO GET REAL.

It’s weird though. I feel like this whole chapter is like the calm before the storm. We spend about two pages going through Katniss’s head as she tries to sort out her thoughts and feelings. She’s weighing her options now and and really thinking about the outcome of both actions. It shows her development as a character to see her CAREFULLY make these decisions that not only decide her own fate, but the fate of those close to her, and even possibly the fate of Panem.

I can’t let the Capitol hurt Prim.

And then it hits me. They already have. They have killed her father in those wretched mines. They have sat by as she almost starved to death. They have chosen her as a tribute, then made her watch her sister fight to the death in the Games. She has been hurt far worse than I had at the age of twelve. And even that pales in comparison with Rue’s life.

And THAT is why the Capitol needs to go down!

Gale is right. If people have the courage, this could be an opportunity. He’s also right that, since I have set it in motion, I could do so much. Although I have no idea what exactly that should be. But deciding not to run away is a crucial first step.

I’m really, really glad that she’s not running away. I mean, I guess I would have been fine with either one. The dyanamic of characters that she would have brought with her would have been really, really fun to read. But I think each character will also be able to grow from the alternative, by facing the Capitol themselves. And I’m excited to see it.

Words. I think of words and I think of Peeta. How people embrace everything he says. He could move a crowd to action, I bet, if he chose to. Would find the things to say. But I’m sure the idea has never crossed his mind.

I like that she is considering Peeta to join her in her plan for the uprising. I think he’ll end up being an invaluable asset to her team, especially since he was also in the Hunger Games.

“Hey. I just wanted to make sure you got home,” I say.

“Katniss, I live three houses away from you,” he says.

lolpeetayusosassy

“I want to start an uprising,” I say.

Am I the only one who thinks this sounds so lame when it’s finally been verbalized?

“My plan is to make sure everything is just perfect for your wedding,” says Haymitch. “I called and rescheduled the photo shoot without giving too many details.”

A wedding?! There’s still going to be a wedding? What’s the point? It’ll sure make it easier for them to round up Katniss and her “gang” into the Capitol, but they could have done that anyway. Are they still worried about giving a good show? Do the regular citizens of the Capitol know about all the unrest in the other Districts? Do they know about the scene in District 11 during the Victory tour, or the riots in District 8? How would they react if they did?

“Haymitch.” I can hear the pleading creeping into my voice.

“Katniss.” He mimics my tone. “It won’t work.”

What won’t work? The uprising? Why not? I WAS COUNTING ON YOU FOR A PLAN, HAYMITCH.

Nothing much will happen during the blizzard. That’s what Peeta and I had agreed. But we couldn’t have been more wrong. The square has been transformed. A huge banner with the seal of Panem hangs off the roof of the Justice Building. Peacekeepers, in pristine white uniforms, march on the cleanly swept cobblestones. Along the rooftops, more of them occupy nests of machine guns. Most unnerving is a line of new constructions - an official whipping post, several stockades, and a gallows - set up in the center of the square.

Oh, they’re asking for it now.

Some streets away from the square, I see a blaze flare up. None of us has to say it. That can only be the Hob going up in smoke. I think of Greasy Sae, Ripper, all my friends who make their living there.

Shitttt all these people with nowhere to trade! How are people going to get supplies, food? How’s Haymitch going to get alcohol? It’s a good thing Katniss stocked up, but how long will it last? Are we going to see an angry Haymitch in withdrawal?

An uprising, I think. What an idiot I am. There’s an inherent flaw in the plan that both Gale and I were too blind to see. An uprising requires breaking the law, thwarting authority. We’ve done that our whole lives, or our families have. Poaching, trading on the black market, mocking the Capitol in the woods. But for most people in District 12, a trip to buy something at the Hob would be too risky. And I expect them to assemble in the square with bricks and torches? Even the sight of Peeta and me is enough to make people pull their children away from the windows and draw the curtains tightly.

What they need is hope! You can give it to them!

As the days pass, things go from bad to worse. The mines stay shut for two weeks, and by that time half of District 12 is starving. The number of kids signing up for tesserae soars, but they often don’t receive their grain. Food shortages begin, and even those with money come away from stores empty-handed. When the mines reopen, wages are cut, hours extended, miners sent into blatantly dangerous work sites. The eagerly awaited food promised for Parcel Day arrives spoiled and defiled by rodents. The installations in the square see plenty of action as people are dragged in and punished for offenses so long overlooked we’ve forgotten they are illegal.

These people can only bend so far before they break.

I feel like a pariah when I walk through the streets. Everyone avoids me in public now.

That’s so unfair! Katniss didn’t ask for any of this! She didn’t even want a rebellion when she had those berries! She just wanted to stay alive. And now she comes back home, and all she wants is to live normally again, try to forget the Games ever happened. But things have changed. The Capitol won’t let her forget. They want her dead, they think she’s goin to rise against them, and instead of her “people” embracing her, they almost turn their backs on her. They’re afraid that the cameras will follow them as well, that their families will be tortured or killed by the Peacekeepers. And it’s all Katniss’s fault, yet at the same time it isn’t.

I toss and turn in bed until I can’t stand it anymore. I have to get out of here. At least for a few hours.

Don’t do it, Katniss! Something bad is going to happen, I can feel it!

I am literally a few yards from the door of the cement house when I pull up short. And that’s not because of the smoke or the prints or the smell. That’s because of the unmistakable click of a weapon behind me.

My fingers have all but decided to release the arrow when I see the object in the glove. It’s a small white circle of flat bread. More of a cracker, really. Gray and soggy around the edges. But an image is clearly stamped in the center of it.

It’s my mockingjay.

WHAT! So she’s good? What does the mockingjay mean in this particular case? Has she met people who will help her in her cause?

Tags: the hunger games jason reads the hunger games catching fire chapter 9 cf9 chapter review analysis book books trilogy katniss katniss everdeen peeta peeta mellark haymitch gale gale hawthorne prim primrose primrose everdeen hazelle hunger games hunger games game district 12 capitol the capitol uprising
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~ Thursday, January 12 ~
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Catching Fire: Chapter 7

I have continued on through the cold, misty woods, breaking a path that will be unfamiliar to Gale but is simple for my feet to find. It leads to the lake. I no longer trust that our regular rendezvous spot offers privacy, and I’ll need that and more to spill my guts to Gale today. But will he even come? If he doesn’t, I’ll have no choice but to risk going to his house in the dead of night. There are things he has to know… things I need him to help me figure out…

I wonder how he’ll react to all this? Didn’t he want to fight back? Wasn’t he always rebellious toward the Capitol? It’d be a fine excuse to help give District 12 its very own uprising.

I look in his eyes. His temper can’t quite mask the hurt, the sense of betrayal he feels at my engagement to Peeta. This will be my last chance, this meeting today, to not lose Gale forever. I could take hours trying to explain, and even then have him refuse me.

Well, I mean, he really can’t blame her. She was only doing it to stay alive. I would think Gale would congratulate her on her resourcefulness! Though his jealousy for her and Peeta probably eclipses everything else.

He steps in and I feel myself lifted off the ground. The room spins, and I have to lock my arms around Gale’s neck to brace myself. He’s laughing, happy.

“Hey!” I protest, but I’m laughing, too.

Gale sets me down but doesn’t release his hold on me. “Okay, let’s run away,” he says.

Awww, I just think it’s kind of cute how excited he is about running away with her. Of course, it’s not like they’re eloping. It’s to keep them alive. Not romantic.

His voice drops to a whisper. “I love you.”

“Gale, I can’t think about anyone that way now. All I can think about, every day, every waking minute since they drew Prim’s name at the reaping, is how afraid I am. And there doesn’t seem to be room for anything else. If we could get somewhere safe, maybe I could be different. I don’t know.”

Can’t he see that? Maybe because he wasn’t in the Games, or maybe he’s just so driven by jealousy that he wants to get his Katniss back. I don’t know. It’s sad because it’s not even entirely Katniss not loving him back. It’s also Katniss not really loving anyone. Which should offer some comfort to him. I just feel bad that his only friend has changed so much from the Games and he’s developed feelings for her that might never be returned. And this whole star-crossed lovers engagement thing isn’t helping, either.

“I have to, Gale. I can’t leave him and Peeta because they’d—” His scowl cuts me off. “What?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize how large our party was,” he snaps at me.

Oooooh, he mad! It’s just sad to see his disappointment. I think he honestly thought it’d be just the two of them, together, forever. But obviously Katniss needs to get all these other people, Peeta included, to safety.

“Stop it! You don’t know what you’re saying. The Peacekeepers outside of Twelve, they’re not like Darius, or even Cray! The lives of district people — they mean less than nothing to them!” I say.

“That’s why we have to join the fight!” he answers harshly.

“No! We have to leave here before they kill us and a lot of other people, too!” I’m yelling again, but I can’t understand why he’s doing this. Why doesn’t he see what’s so undeniable?

Gale pushes me roughly away from him. “You leave, then. I’d never go in a million years.”

“You were happy enough to go before. I don’t see how an uprising in District Eight does anything but make it more important that we leave.

I’m really surprised that Katniss doesn’t want to help in the rebellion. I mean, she had to try to calm it down before, when she had the ability to, but now that she knows that it didn’t work, I would have thought Katniss would be all about it. She doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would just run away.

He throws Cinna’s gloves at my feet.

WOAH, HELL NO, BRAH, NO ONE DISRESPECTS CINNA.

Peeta shakes his head and gives me a rueful smile. “I bet he does. Sure, Katniss, I’ll go.”

I feel a slight twinge of hope. “You will?”

“Yeah. But I don’t think for a minute you will,” he says.

I jerk my arm away. “Then you don’t know me. Be ready. It could be any time.” I take off walking and he follows a pace or two behind.

At first I was like YOU DON’T KNOW KATNISS, SHE’LL TOTALLY DO IT. But then I realized that he really does know Katniss. He probably feels the same way I do. That Katniss would rather stay and fight than run away. And I also think that whatever Katniss decides to do, whether it’s to stay or leave, Peeta will do the same.

I lift my chin. I’ve been so consumed with my own worries, I haven’t noticed the strange noise coming from the square. A whistling, the sound of an impact, the intake of breath from a crowd.

“Come on,” Peeta says, his face suddenly hard. I don’t know why. I can’t place the sound, even guess at the situation. But it means something bad to him.

When we reach the square, it’s clear something’s happening, but the crowd’s too thick to see. Peeta steps up on a crate against the wall of the sweetshop and offers me a hand while he scans the square. I’m halfway up when he suddenly blocks my way. “Get down. Get out of here!” He’s whispering, but his voice is harsh with insistence.

OH GOD WHAT’S GOING ON. Is it Gale? Has he already started some sort of riot?!

“Get out of here, girl.”

“Only make it worse.”

“What do you want to do? Get him killed?”

But at this point, my heart is beating so fast and fierce I hardly hear them. I only know that whatever waits in the middle of the square is meant for me. When I finally break through to the cleared space, I see I am right. And Peeta was right. And those voices were right, too.

Gale’s wrists are bound to a wooden post. The wild turkey he shot earlier hangs above him, the nail driven through its neck. His jacket’s been cast aside on the ground, his shirt torn away. He slumps unconscious on his knees, held up only by the ropes at his wrists. What used to be his back is a raw, bloody slab of meat.

Standing behind him is a man I’ve never seen, but I recognize his uniform. It’s the one designated for our Head Peacekeeper. This isn’t old Cray, though. This is a tall, muscular man with sharp creases in his pants.

The pieces of the picture do not quite come together until I see his arm raise the whip.

Holy shit, he’s being whipped! For hunting? Or for trying to start an uprising? It all just seems weird because the Peacekeepers in District 12 are normally a lot more forgiving. And speaking of which, I’d like to know who this man is.

Tags: the hunger games jason reads the hunger games catching fire chapter 7 cf7 chapter review analysis book trilogy suzanne collins gale gale hawthorne katniss katniss everdeen peeta peeta mellark haymitch district 12 madge the capitol hunger games hunger games jason reads jason reads cinna
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Catching Fire: Chapter 6

So you would think that at this moment, I would be in utter despair. Here’s what’s strange. The main thing I feel is a sense of relief. That I can give up this game. That the question of whether I can succeed in this venture has been answered, even if that answer is a resounding no. That if desperate times call for desperate measures, then I am free to act as desperately as I wish.

See, Katniss, it’s liberating to realize that they’re going to hate you no matter what you do! Now you know how Kristen Stewart feels!

These are the people I must take with me when I escape into the wild. How I will convince them, where we will go in the dead of winter, what it will take to evade capture are unanswered questions. But at least now I know what I must do.

What the, you’re going to run away?! The Avox girl tried running away, Katniss. And look where it got her.

Apparently my mockingjay pin has spawned a new fashion sensation, because several people come up to show me their accessories. My bird has been replicated on belt buckles, embroidered into silk lapels, even tattooed in intimate places.

YOU GET THAT POOR BIRD OFF YOUR UNWORTHY BODIES, YOU SAVAGES. THAT AIN’T FO’ YOU! And besides, doesn’t the mockingjay kind of mock the Capitol (no pun intended)? Why would they want to wear it? Oh, right, they’re a bunch of morons.

I act delighted, but I have zero interest in these Capitol people. They are only distractions from the food.

Sounds like me at every family function.

Peeta looks at the glass again and puts it together. “You mean this will make me puke?”

My prep team laughs hysterically. “Of course, so you can keep eating,” says Octavia. “I’ve been in there twice already. Everyone does it, or else how would you have any fun at a feast?”

But often in the old days, there was nothing to give and the child was past saving, anyway. And here in the Capitol they’re vomiting for the pleasure of filling their bellies again and again.

#capitolprobz

He pauses, then whispers, “Maybe we were wrong, Katniss.”

“About what?” I ask.

“About trying to subdue things in the districts,” he says.

FUCK YEAH JUST GO WITH IT. It’s going to happen anyway!

I don’t want to dance with Plutarch Heavensbee. I don’t want to feel his hands, one resting against mine, one on my hip. I’m not used to being touched, except by Peeta or my family, and I rank Gamemakers somewhere below maggots in terms of creatures I want in contact
with my skin.

Hahahaha piece of shit.

“Are you planning the Quarter Quell Games already?” I say.

“Oh, yes. Well, they’ve been in the works for years, of course. Arenas aren’t built in a day. But the, shall we say, flavor of the Games is being determined now. Believe it or not, I’ve got a strategy meeting tonight,” he says.

What are they planning? I keep trying to imagine worse things than the regular Hunger Games, but I guess I’ll find out. Right? Right? Also, Plutarch has a mockingjay on his watch, which is even more disgusting since he’s a Gamemaker, but it’s different from the others, and Katniss takes note of it. I wonder what’s so special about it.

Haymitch is deposited in his room. Cinna orders tea and we all take seats around the table while Effie rattles her schedule papers and reminds us we’re still on tour. “There’s the Harvest Festival in District Twelve to think about. So I suggest we drink our tea and head straight to bed.” No one argues.

I have a bad feeling about this. I feel like something bad is going to happen when they go to District 12. Becaise there’ll be Capitol people there, right? And Katniss and Peeta’s families and friends will be there. It just does not auger well for Katniss, especially now that we know she failed to change the audience’s mind.

“It’s not necessary. My nightmares are usually about losing you,” he says. “I’m okay once I realize you’re here.”

Ugh. Peeta makes comments like this in such an offhand way, and it’s like being hit in the gut. He’s only answering my question honestly. He’s not pressing me to reply in kind, to make any declaration of love. But I still feel awful, as if I’ve been using him in some terrible way. Have I? I don’t know. I only know that for the first time, I feel immoral about him being here in my bed. Which is ironic since we’re officially engaged now.

Okay, first of all, that was one of the cutest things I’ve ever heard, and second of all, it’s only fucking Katniss up more. I just, things would be so much easier if Katniss loved Peeta too. Like if she had no doubt in her mind that she loved him. Then this arranged marriage thing wouldn’t be so bad. But it’s so messed up because Peeta actually loves her but Katniss is just doing it for the cameras but she doesn’t know if maybe she genuinely loves him back, but until she sorts that out, she hates the idea of pretending to be in love because she feels like she’s cheating Peeta as well as the Capitol.

But I like Mayor Undersee’s house, especially now that his daughter, Madge, and I are friends. We always were, in a way. It became official when she came to say good-bye to me before I left for the Games. When she gave me the mockingjay pin for luck. After I got home, we started spending time together.

Aww that’s good. Maybe Madge will team up with them in whatever they’re doing! She’ll like, defy her father and run away with the opposition, which will cause quite a stir because of her father’s political position, and her father will be ashamed and angry at first, but then he’ll have to accept his daughter’s decision and realize that maybe she was right and come around and help them, too!Am I looking too far into this? I probably am.

“Yes. But you don’t go to the Capitol unless they invite you,” said Madge unhappily. Even the mayor’s privileges are limited.

ONE DOES NOT SIMPLY WALK INTO THE CAPITOL.

I’m leaving the room when a beeping noise catches my attention. I turn back to see the screen of the television go black. Then the words “UPDATE ON DISTRICT 8” start flashing. Instinctively I know this is not for my eyes but something intended only for the mayor. I should go. Quickly. Instead I find myself stepping closer to the television.

Oh, shit, what’s going on?!

An announcer I’ve never seen before appears. It’s a woman with graying hair and a hoarse, authoritative voice. She warns that conditions are worsening and a Level 3 alert has been called. Additional forces are being sent into District 8, and all textile production has ceased.

Level 3 alert, what’s a Level 3 alert?

They cut away from the woman to the main square in District 8. I recognize it because I was there only last week. There are still banners with my face waving from the rooftops. Below them, there’s a mob scene. The square’s packed with screaming people, their faces hidden with rags and homemade masks, throwing bricks. Buildings burn. Peacekeepers shoot into the crowd, killing at random.

I’ve never seen anything like it, but I can only be witnessing one thing. This is what President Snow calls an uprising.

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL UPRISING: DISTRICT 8.

Ugh I’m so pumped uppppppp.

Tags: the hunger games jason reads the hunger games catching fire chapter 6 cf6 hunger games hunger games jason reads katniss katniss everdeen peeta peeta mellark haymitch effie trinket effie district 8 the capitol president snow snow chapter review analysis book trilogy suzanne collins madge mockingjay plutarch heavensbee
~ Friday, December 23 ~
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The Hunger Games: Chapter 9

Whatever triggered Peeta’s decision - and I suspect it had to do with my outperforming him in training - I should be nothing but grateful for it. Maybe he’s finally accepted the fact that the sooner we openly acknowledge that we are enemies, the better.

What did trigger Peeta’s decision? Was it just Katniss doing better than him? Or something else? Peeta was always more on board with the “pairing” idea than Katniss, so why the sudden change of heart?

"Well, try and pretend!" snaps Effie. Then she composes herself and beams at me. “See, like this. I’m smiling at you even though you’re aggravating me.”

You know, you are a real piece of work, Effie, seriously.

“They want to know about you, Katniss.”

"But I don’t want them to! They’re already taking my future! They can’t have the things that mattered to me in the past!" I say.

Yeah! Why does all this shit matter? Of course I know why, it’s all entertainment for the Capitol, right? It’s just sickening. I feel like all I talk about is how despicable these people are, but it just keeps getting more and more despicable.

The next hours are agonizing. At once, it’s clear I cannot gush.

That’s what she said.

"I should have tried to save you," I whisper.

She shakes her head. Does this mean we were right to stand by? That she has forgiven me?

I wouldn’t necessarily say “forgiven”. I feel like you can’t look at someone the same way after that. But she knows that it wouldn’t have helped. She knows that Katniss would have gotten the same fate as her, or worse, if she helped. It sucks, but that’s the way it is!

Cinna thinks about this a moment. “Why don’t you just be yourself?”

THIS

"What about me? Could you think of me as a friend?" asks Cinna.

Of all the people Ive met since I left home, Cinna is by far my favorite. I liked him right off and he hasn’t disappointed me yet. “I think so, but-”

"I’ll be sitting on the main platform with the other stylists. You’ll be able to look right at me. When you’re asked a question, find me, and answer it as honestly as possible," says Cinna.

Tags: the hunger games jason reads the hunger games chapter 9 chapter by chapter review book analysis katniss katniss everdeen peeta peeta mellark haymitch effie trinket cinna caesar district 12 panem capitol the capitol hunger games hunger games jason read jason reads jasonreadsthehungergames
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~ Sunday, November 20 ~
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The Hunger Games: Chapter 3

So we start off with Katniss being ushered into the Justice Building where she basically gets to say goodbye to everyone.

My sister and my mother come first. I reach out to Prim and she climbs on my lap, her arms around my neck, head on my shoulder, just like she did when she was a toddler. My mother sits beside me and wraps her arms around us. For a few minutes, we say nothing. Then I start telling them all the things they must remember to do, now that I will not be there to do them for them.

I wonder how Prim would feel if Katniss died in the Hunger Games. I know it’s not her fault, but the odds of Katniss winning are incredibly slim, so in a way she kind of volunteered to die instead of Prim. I’d feel terribly guilty, however undeserved it is. And the way Katniss can find the resolve and composure to, in what may be the last moments she’ll see her mother and sister, tell them what to do while she is gone and in the likely event that she does not return, just further shows the strength of her character.

"You can’t clock out and leave Prim on her own. There’s no me now to keep you both alive. It doesn’t matter what happens. Whatever you see on the screen. You have to promise me you’ll fight through it!" My voice has risen to a shout. In it is all the anger, all the fear I felt at her abandonment.

I feel like the hope her mother and sister have of Katniss living through the games and winning would drive them to live through it as well. They have to give Katniss someone to come home too, right? It’s a stretch, given the odds against her, but it’s all they really have.

I can’t win. Prim must know that in her heart. The competition will be far beyond my abilities. Kids from wealthier districts, where winning is a huge honor, who’ve been trained their whole lives for this. Boys who are two to three times my size. Girls who know twenty different ways to kill you with a knife. Oh, there’ll be people like me, too. People to weed out before the real fun begins.

WELL YOU CERTAINLY WON’T WIN WITH THAT ATTITUDE SWEETIE.

Someone else enters the room, and when I look up, I’m surprised to see it’s the baker, Peeta Mellarks father.

Not entirely sure what this is about, but hey, free cookies!

She holds out the circular gold pin that was on her dress earlier. I hadn’t paid much attention to it before, but now I see it’s a small bird in flight.

Madge gives her a pin to remind her of home, aww! I won’t say much more, since I know there’s a bigger explanation of it later. And here’s Gale!

"Even a weak bow is better than no bow at all."

Maybe it’s the RPG part of me speaking (where every character has a unique weapon or style of fighting), but how cool would it be if no one else in the games used a bow except Katniss? It’d be something to really distinguish her from the rest!

We spent one Hunger Games watching the players freeze to death at night. You could hardly see them because they were just huddled in balls and had no wood for fires or torches or anything. It was considered very anti-climactic in the Capitol, all those quiet, bloodless deaths. Since then, there’s usually been wood to make fires.

"Katniss, remember I-" he says, and they yank us apart and slam the door and I’ll never know what it was he wanted me to remember.

No no no no no, I hate unfinished sentences! I bet whatever Gale didn’t get to say will be the answer to the entire series. Also, MY CREYS. I hate goodbyes!

In school, they tell us the Capitol was built in a place once called the Rockies. District 12 was in a region known as Appalachia. Even hundreds of years ago, they mined coal here. Which is why our miners have to dig so deep.

Hahaha for some reason this amused me!

At the last minute, I remember Madge’s little gold pin. For the first time, I get a good look at it. It’s as if someone fashioned a small golden bird and then attached a ring around it. The bird is connected to the ring only by its wing tips. I suddenly recognize it. A mockingjay.

*Looks at book cover and flips the fuck out* But I’m going to summarize the history of the mockingjay here, partially for my own sake. So during the rebellion, the Capitol bred jabberjays, which were used as living, breathing, recording devices which could find the Capitol’s enemies and relay information about them. But the people found out and basically fed them bullshit until the Capitol was forced to stop using them. Then the jabberjays started breeding with mockingbirds to form mockingjays, which can mimic melodies and vocal pitches, but not actual words. Also, Katniss’s father used to sing to them, so she associates them with her father. I’m just loving all the symbolism!

The pair last year were two kids from the Seam who’d never, not one day of their lives, had enough to eat. And when they did have food, table manners were surely the last thing on their minds. Peeta’s a baker’s son. My mother taught Prim and I to eat properly, so yes, I can handle a fork and knife. But I hate Effie Trinket’s comment so much I make a point of eating the rest of my meal with my fingers. Then I wipe my hands on the tablecloth.

FOUR FOR YOU, KATNISS EVERDEEN, YOU GO KATNISS EVERDEEN.

And none for Effie Trinket, bye.

Now that the meal’s over, I’m fighting to keep the food down. I can see Peeta’s looking a little green, too. Neither of our stomachs is used to such rich fare.

This happened to my friend after he came home from military school. He ate such healthy shit all year that he almost threw up a slice of pizza!

We examine the faces of the kids who will be our competition. A few stand out in my mind. A monstrous boy who lunges forward to volunteer from District 2. A fox-faced girl with sleek red hair from District 5. A boy with a crippled foot from District 10. And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that, she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor. Only when she mounts the stage and they ask for volunteers, all you can hear is the wind whistling through the decrepit buildings around her.

Maybe Jo Rowling has turned me paranoid about possible foreshadowing, but I’m putting this here because I wonder if these characters will become more significant later.

You know your mentor is your lifeline to the world in these Games. The one who advises you, lines up your sponsors, and dictates the presentation of any gifts. Haymitch can well be the difference between your life and your death!

LOL SO BASICALLY YOU’RE BOTH FUCKED

Tags: the hunger games chapter 3 jason reads the hunger games hunger games hunger games jason reads jason reads katniss everdeen primrose everdeen gale peeta mellark haymitch abernathy effie trinket district 12 the capitol
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~ Wednesday, November 16 ~
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The Hunger Games: Chapter 1

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the reaping.

The reaping? It sounds like a mass killing or something. Katniss talks about it like it’s nothing. Or at least like it’s nothing new.

(Also, I admit that when I first started reading, I was like, “This is first person AND present tense? FUUUUUUUU-” But I’ll get used to it.)

In sleep, my mother looks younger, still worn but not so beaten-down. Prims face is as fresh as a raindrop, as lovely as the primrose for which she was named. My mother was very beautiful once, too. Or so they tell me.

I’m confused again. Her mother is sleeping right there, but she’s talking about her like she never knew her? That her only knowledge of her was conveyed by others.

Entrails. No hissing. This is the closest we will ever come to love.

YOU AND I BOTH, KAT. (Can I call her Kat? Or do we stick with Katniss?)

My father knew and he taught me some before he was blown to bits in a mine explosion. There was nothing even to bury. I was eleven then. Five years later, I still wake up screaming for him to run.

So her father is dead. And it appears that District 12 like the working class? Miners and such?

In the woods waits the only person with whom I can be myself. Gale. I can feel the muscles in my face relaxing, my pace quickening as I climb the hills to our place, a rock ledge overlooking a valley.

I smell a future love interest! Or at the very least, I bet there is a Katniss/Gale ship out there somewhere.

And you may as well throw in our mothers, too, because how would they live without us? Who would fill those mouths that are always asking for more?

So…her mother is alive? But she sounds very dependent on Katniss. Something happened that almost deteriorated her a bit. She was once beautiful, and now her daughter needs to feed her and take care of her. I immediately think of a drug addiction or alcoholism, but somehow I don’t think that’s it.

There’s never been anything romantic between Gale and me.

After the reaping, everyone is supposed to celebrate. And a lot of people do, out of relief that their children have been spared for another year. But at least two families will pull their shutters, lock their doors, and try to figure out how they will survive the painful weeks to come.

This marks the first time I have almsot been brought to tears in The Hunger Games (and if my information is correct, it certainly won’t be the last). I can only imagine what it must be like. While everyone is celebrating the fact that they got lucky and their family members are safe, two families are probably all sitting around the kitchen table, afraid to look at each other, wondering what they did to deserve this horrible, torturous fate.

You can see why someone like Madge, who has never been at risk of needing a tessera, can set him off. The chance of her name being drawn is very slim compared to those of us who live in the Seam.

Madge is the 1%. (If you don’t count the Capitol.)

I’m trying to get past rejecting offers of help from her. For a while, I was so angry, I wouldnt allow her to do anything for me. And this is something special. Her clothes from her past are very precious to her.

Something happened to her mother, like she had fallen from certain glory. And whatever it was, it made Katniss resent the shit out of her. This chapter has been so fast paced so far, I wonder how soon her mother’s past will be revealed? (Don’t answer that! :))

Two of the three chairs fill with Madges father, Mayor Undersee, whos a tall, balding man, and Effie Trinket, District 12s escort, fresh from the Capitol with her scary white grin, pinkish hair, and spring green suit.

Nope, I’m not imagining Effie Trinket as Rita Skeeter AT ALL.

The result was Panem, a shining Capitol ringed by thirteen districts, which brought peace and prosperity to its citizens. Then came the Dark Days, the uprising of the districts against the Capitol. Twelve were defeated, the thirteenth obliterated. The Treaty of Treason gave us the new laws to guarantee peace and, as our yearly reminder that the Dark Days must never be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games.

So The Hunger Games are one part punishment, one part entertainment for the Capitol, and one part reminder that the Capitol is in control and the Districts should not and cannot attempt to stand up to it again.

Then he reads the list of past District 12 victors. In seventy-four years, we have had exactly two. Only one is still alive. Haymitch Abernathy, a paunchy, middle-aged man, who at this moment appears hollering something unintelligible, staggers onto the stage, and falls into the third chair. He’s drunk. Very.

I would be too! I read somewhere that Suzanne Collins got some of her inspiration from the Vietnam war. These veterans saw true horrors. For Abernathy to make it through the Games (which I’m guessing means he had to kill at least one other human being) and then come back to his home District must have really hollowed him out. How bittersweet it must be to be a winner of the Hunger Games. And not only did he see and do terrible things, but no one else at home knows what it was like. It must be terribly isolating to be the only person in your town to have been in the Hunger Games and have no one who can relate to your experience. It’s probably something he carries with him every day.

The crowd draws in a collective breath and then you can hear a pin drop, and I’m feeling nauseous and so desperately hoping that it’s not me, that it’s not me, that it’s not me. Effie Trinket crosses back to the podium, smoothes the slip of paper, and reads out the name in a clear voice. And it’s not me. It’s Primrose Everdeen.

HOLY SHIT HER FUCKING YOUNGER SISTER GETS PICKED IN HER FIRST YEAR. That’s like…buying a lottery ticket on your 18th birthday and hitting the jackpot. Except it’s the opposite of that.

Tags: jason reads the hunger games the hunger games katniss everdeen katniss gale primrose everdeen primrose effie trinket haymitch abernathy the reaping tribute district 12 panem the capitol
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