Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 6

In the sixth chapter of Catching Fire, the effects of failing to convince President Snow of her romance with Peeta become much, much clearer to Katniss. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Catching Fire.

This is moving awfully fast. I know I said I didn’t like chapter five (I still don’t), but I’m willing to concede that I’m not seeing the full picture here, that when I reach the end of Catching Fire, I’ll understand why all of this was so rushed. I don’t want to seem as if I’m writing this all off with no hope of ever enjoying it. I’m reading this book unnaturally. No author intends for their book to be chopped up so much and I understand that. But right now, I’m still a bit bothered by the frantic pace this moves at. JUST A BIT. NOT A WHOLE LOT. But the pacing is throwing me off of the book, which I am enjoying so far.

Chapter six jumps right into the action after Katniss gets confirmation that she’s failed to convince President Snow.

In that one slight motion, I see the end of hope, the beginning of the destruction of everything I hold dear in the world. I can’t guess what form my punishment will take, how wide the net will be cast, but when it is finished, there will most likely be nothing left.

Ok, Ms. Hyperbole. Calm down. I realize that this is incredibly serious and that President Snow will most likely do something completely ridiculous, yet this language still bothers me. That being said, I would probably say the exact same thing so this is probably just me being hateful because I HATE MYSELF.

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.

This section ends poetically, but was anyone else bothered by, “Here’s what’s strange”? It sounds so out of place, as if Katniss is disconnected from the situation. Which…well, she just might be as a way to cope. I mean, after all she and Peeta did, they still didn’t convince him.

After mentally nothing who she should take with her to escape upon returning to District 12 (THAT’S A REALLY, REALLY BAD IDEA, FYI), we get  some more of Katniss’s brilliant sarcasm.

“Maybe if the whole country puts its mind to it, we can get you married before you’re thirty.”

“You’ll probably have to pass a new law,” I say with a giggle.

“If that’s what it takes,” says the president with conspiratorial good humor.

Oh, the fun we two have together.

HAHAHA WHAT. Ok, stick to just being serious, Katniss. Please.

I was talking to a friend on AIM today (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) and it’s clear that Collins has cleverly disguised these books as YA thrillers because they’re really just a chance for her to create food porn:

But the real star of the evening is the food. Tables laden with delicacies line the walls. Everything you can think of, and things you have never dreamed of, lie in wait. Whole roasted cows and pigs and goats still turning on spits. Huge platters of fowl stuffed with savory fruits and nuts. Ocean creatures drizzled in sauces or begging to be dipped in spicy concoctions. Countless cheeses, breads, vegetables, sweets, waterfalls of win, [AUTHOR EDIT: That should be “wine” but the typo is so hilarious that I am going to leave it in] and streams of spirits that flicker with flames.

I just ate dinner and now I suddenly want to eat again. I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to truly consider how much food is a integral part of these series, which is silly because CLEARLY THE NAME OF IT REFERS TO IT. The Capitol exploits the hungry, which is just another way to be an oppressor. So it would stand to reason that there would be an overabundance of food in the place where people need it the least: the Capitol.

Collins takes this up a notch with a scene that I am really impressed with precisely because she could have royally fucked it up, and yet she’s able to elaborate on it without sounding ridiculous. As Katpee make their way around the ballroom, eating as much as they can, they become full pretty quickly. Neither is that used to having food available to them in this manner, even after winning the Games. When Katniss’s prep team shows up and asks why they’re not eating, they say what any of us would say: they’re simply too full. It’s when Flavius offers them a very specific drink that things take a turn for the grotesque.

Peeta picks one up to take a sip and they lose it.

“Not here!” shrieks Octavia.

“You have to do it in there,” says Venia, pointing to doors that lead to the toilets. “Or you’ll get it all over the floor!”

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 else would you have any fun at a feast?”

In direct contrast to the life Katpee have known, the citizens of the Capitol purposely waste food for enjoyment. I’m not letting off the trio this time. This is revolting. But I worried that Collins was treating this as some sort of commentary on eating disorders being terrible in and of themselves, as if she looked down on them. For me, sometimes it’s the small things that matter.

And here in the Capitol they’re vomiting for the pleasure of filling their bellies again and again. Not from some illness of body or mind, not from spoiled food. It’s what everyone does at a part. Expected. Part of the fun.

I appreciate the distinction made here. There could be a justifiable reason for this behavior, but there’s not. They do it simply because they can. So. Fucked. Up.

Are you ready for some very obvious foreshadowing wrapped in a ball of weirdness? Then let’s talk about the strangest scene in the series yet: Katniss’s conversation with Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Head Gamemaker. Portia introduces them and Katniss is immediately revolted by him. (Understandably so. I wouldn’t want to be touched by a Gamemaker either.)

We chitchat about the party, the entertainment, about the food, and then he makes a joke about avoiding punch since training. I don’t get it, and then I realize he’s the man who tripped backward into the punch bowl when I shot an arrow at the Gamemakers during the training session.

WELL HOLY SHIT. This isn’t going to be awkward, right???

Strangely, it’s not really that awkward. They talk about Plutarch’s new job as the Head Gamemaker, the stress that comes with that position, and the work being done to design the Quarter Quell Games. That is when things get weird.

As Plutarch talks about how the Quarter Quell arena has been in the works for years, he mentions that he has a strategy meeting that night at midnight. He pulls out a gold watch from his vest and shows the face of it to her.

“That seems late for—“ I say, but then something distracts me. Plutarch has run his thumb across the crystal face of the watch and for just a moment an image appears, glowing as if lit by candlelight. It’s another mockingjay. Exactly like the pin on my dress. Only this one disappears. He snaps the watch closed.

“That’s very pretty,” I say.

“OH, it’s more than pretty. It’s one of a kind,” he says. “If anyone asks about me, say I’ve gone home to bed. The meetings are supposed to be kept secret. But I thought it’d be safe to tell you.”

OH MAN, WHAT JUST HAPPENED??? The mockingjay was a sign of dissent in the past, so WHY ON EARTH IS A GAMEMAKER SHOWING HER THIS? Even better, the fact that he tells her to lie about where he is and the way he emphasizes that it’s all a secret…holy shit, man. Is this some sort of hidden way for him to tell Katniss he’s on her side? (By side, I mean her inadvertent rebellion against the Capitol.)

I respond, but really I’m thinking about Plutarch showing off his pretty, one-of-a-kind watch to me. There was something strange about it. Almost clandestine. But why? Maybe he thinks someone else will steal his idea of putting a disappearing mockingjay on a watch face. Yes, he probably paid a fortune for it and now he can’t show it to anyone because he’s afraid someone will make a cheap, knockoff version. Only in the Capitol.

I’m done whining about Katniss’s cluelessness. Now it’s just funny. I thought it was a clear sign from Plutarch that there’s something more to his secret meeting, but this point flies right over her head. Oh, Katniss. Your naivete after all this time is just so precious.

They finally leave the epic party at the Capitol and hop aboard a train back to District 12. Katniss goes to sleep and awakes the next afternoon with Peeta in bed with her. The first thing he says to her is that she didn’t have a nightmare for the first time. Katniss relates the details of a dream she had about Rue and mockingjays; I’m thinking that the relief she felt about knowing the finality of her actions with Snow probably contributed to this, though on a subconscious level, I feel she is still thinking about the image of the mockingjay on Plutarch’s watch.

Katniss does realize that Peeta is always the one to comfort her after awaking from nightmares and not the other way around.

“You should wake me,” I say, thinking about how I can interrupt his sleep two or three times on a bad night. About how long it can take to calm me down.

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



EXACTLY, Katniss. Look, I empathize with Peeta a great deal, but only to an extent. I mean, that’s such an intentional thing to say and he knows it’s going to hurt her. Basically, dude, IT’S NOT HELPING. AT ALL.

Moving on. They arrive in District 12 just after this and we learn that Katniss is to head to the mayor’s house for preparation and the Victory Tour celebration. She makes a point to state that she’s glad it’s not going to be at the Justice Building, which reminds her of her father’s death and the reaping. On top of that, she gets to see Madge Undersee!

We haven’t really heard much about her since the beginning of The Hunger Games and here we learn that they are actually becoming better friends than they already were. I don’t know why I thought this, but it’s nice to know that she is making other friends. Perhaps I realize how lonely all of this is for Katniss and I feel bad for her. She doesn’t deserve it.

We don’t get to see much of what their relationship is like because Effie rushes Katniss upstairs to get started on her preparation. Katniss stops in the mayor’s study to say hello, but he’s not there. It’s just the sounds of the television that was left on.

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.

I have goosebumps right now. Oh man.

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.


They cut away from the woman to the main square in District 8. I recognize it because I was only there 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.

Jesus god up above, it’s happening. It’s happening RIGHT NOW. We are barely getting to chapter 7 and THE UPRISING HAS ALREADY STARTED?

Oh god, I wasn’t prepared. Like…the image of Katniss’s face waving in the main square will people are dying is just horrendous.


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Catching Fire, The Hunger Games and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

213 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 6

  1. Anon says:


    — most appropiate review ending ever.

  2. lily says:

    if you just HAVE to keep reading, does this mean there will be another review? (:

  3. barnswallowkate says:

    "waterfalls of win" <– best Mark typo ever?

    Now for some Katpee fanart!
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  4. Karen says:

    Yay! I'm glad this review went up so early. haha. I'm leaving in a few minutes to spend the day at Disneyland (and thus will be missing your Doctor Who reviews, woe, but you know… DISNEYLAND!), so I'm glad this was up before I left.

    But I worried that Collins was treating this as some sort of commentary on eating disorders being terrible in and of themselves, as if she looked down on them. For me, sometimes it’s the small things that matter.
    I really don't think it's that at all. I mean the books are called The HUNGER Games and the way that food is used by the Capitol (see also: the tessarae) is a pretty big theme. I just think that this scene was supposed to serve as a point of contrast, just another way of demonstrating that Capitol's decadence to the point of disgustingness.

    Look, I empathize with Peeta a great deal, but only to an extent. I mean, that’s such an intentional thing to say and he knows it’s going to hurt her. Basically, dude, IT’S NOT HELPING. AT ALL.
    Yeah… Well. He's not trying to hurt her exactly. I don't think that he would say it if the thought it would hurt her. But he knows it would make her uncomfortable. I just think that Peeta is just so honest and such and open book that he lacks a bit of a filter sometimes.

    Jesus god up above, it’s happening. It’s happening RIGHT NOW. We are barely getting to chapter 7 and THE UPRISING HAS ALREADY STARTED?
    DID YOU HEAR THAT? THAT IS THE SOUND OF SHIT GETTING REAL. I know that you feel like this is really rushed right now, but I think that's because you came into the book with certain expectations (that were certainly understandable based on the previous book). And Collins is just like "LOL NO". She's just taking the narrative in a really unexpected direction.

    Also, OT, but I got my friend The Hunger Games and also The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins for Christmas. lol. Collins and Collins! Get it? I thought I was clever. (The Woman in White is also an excellent book, btw. I think it's my favorite piece of Victorian fiction.)

  5. Andrea says:

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

    GAG ME WITH A SPOON. I love you Peeta, I do. But that is a shitty thing to say to the person who is being forced to marry you.

    • 1foxi says:

      hahaha some of his comments make me want to vomit. Peeta, for the love of god just keep quiet some times.

      • ilovebayonetta says:

        Peeta has become the new Jacob Black.

        He says inappropriate things at the wrong time and he just can't take the hint.

        • theupsides says:

          Ew, no. Do not compare him to Jacob Black. He is in no way close to being like that.

          • blessthechildren says:

            I second your comment. Peeta is really in love with Katniss, and he's being honest with her, which is more than can be said of her behavior so far in the book. :/

        • fantasylover12001 says:

          Peeta has become the new Jacob Black.

          Okay, that's unfair to Peeta. Yeah, he's not handling this well but at least he's being honest with her. He's not imprinting on toddlers, or keeping things from Katniss "for her protection" and certainly doesn't act like she can't take care of herself because she's a girl, or forcing kisses on her and then act like when she hurts herself trying to hit him that it's her fault and not his.

    • Trapp says:

      Y'know, in the Hunger Games, their fears were mainly about losing each other.
      We know that now they have nightmares and make creepy morbid paintings- they are traumatized.
      It's perfectly logical for Peeta to go to sleep and freak out whether Katniss will be there or not when he wakes up.
      They are still afraid of losing each other.

  6. Kimbo says:

    2 reviews in 1 day for 2 days in a row…or forever from now on. We won't mind!

  7. Cecamire says:

    YES I have discovered the one good thing about staying up ’til 2am.

    I’m glad you were amused by katniss completely missing the point there. I was annoyed, personally. That sentence really stuck out to me and reminded me of Bella’s continual use of dead herrings (Bella: “X couldn’t possibly happen!” X: *happens*)

    Not that Bella is in any way *near* the level of Katniss’s shoes.

  8. liliaeth says:

    Where Plutarch and his watch are concerned, I think that part of it is that Katniss can't understand why someone from the Capitol, let out a gamesmaker would even want to rebel. It's not like he has anything to gain from it. That and well… she doesn't see herself as all that special, so even if he did have something to gain from rebelling, why would he bother trying to hint at her about it.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      I don't think I would have had a problem with it if Katniss had thought of the possibility and dismissed it, but from the way it's written, it doesn't seem like the idea of Plutarch being a rebel even enters her mind for a second, and to me it makes what could have been seasoned cynicism instead come off as wooden obliviousness.

      And yikes, I wonder if I could add any more clauses to that sentence and turn it into even more of a syntactical clown car.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        add more. DO IT.

      • erin says:

        I dunno, I think I would have been annoyed if it had been totally spelled out for us. "Hmm, is he trying to secretly tell me something? Nahh that could NEVER happen." Only for it to be revealed later that he was trying to secretly tell her something.

        A hundred thumbs up for using the phrase "syntactical clown car" though. XD

    • Secretgirl says:

      Sadly, I missed this completely until Mark wrote about it. I just thought this was another example of a clueless Capital gamer riding a trend. Must re-read.

  9. greenbean says:

    would you argue that the vomitoriums of Rome or the Capitol are less a product of the culture as Bulimia is of ours?

    • monkeybutter says:

      I might be missing the joke, but vomitoria weren't for throwing up. If this is a joke that went over my head, I apologize.

      • greenbean says:

        sorry, I was obviously misled by the likes of Adolfus Huxley. The central point remains though. Though unrelated, apparently, to vomitoria, the practice of vomiting as a part of feasting was common in Rome, and is probably what this section was based on. It was part of a culture that was predicated on an absurd level of hedonism. Bulimia is a complicated disorder where among other things the cultural obsession with a particular idea of beauty preys on those with issues with insecurity, or disorders like OCD. But I can imagine that from the point of view of someone who rarely gets enough to eat Bulimia would be seen in much the same light, and the explanations of the struggle behind it may seem a lot like "poor little rich kid" whining.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          It seems that these two comments of yours don't seem to match up with each other. I think that Collins probably got the idea after the culture of Rome, since so much of her book is built off that, but added the second qualification in order to say, "Hey, I'm not saying bulimia is the same thing."

          Personally. But I've not had bulimia, so I could be completely wrong.

        • monkeybutter says:

          Your last point reminds me of an old SNL skit with Christina Ricci. If this were bulimia, I would agree that it's an issue of Katniss being on the outside looking in, but they're binging and purging for entertainment, which Katniss and Peeta are right to find grotesque. The people of the Capitol have disordered eating habits by our standards, but the abundance of food along with the prevalence of body alteration means that there's no conflict between eating and appearance in their part of Panem. It's normal. Their sole concern is immediate gratification and there are no consequences. I think their behavior is more akin to heavy social or binge drinking than bulimia, and that Collins isn't being dismissive of eating disorders.

          You're right that the important thing is the similar disconnect that the upper classes of Panem and Rome have from the rest of their societies.

        • Robin says:

          Not only rich people have eating disorders. The kind of things you're saying in the last part of your comment further the idea that only a certain type of person can have an eating disorder. Since coming to terms with the fact that the way you relate to food is unhealthy is a massively difficult thing regardless of who you are, type casting disordered eating means that a lot of people go "I can't have an eating disorder because I'm not a skinny, rich white woman". Which obviously isn't true and can cause a lot of pain when their struggles are ignored and dismissed because they don't fit the societal idea of what someone with an eating disorder looks like.

          Sorry to jump on you, but the parallels you're making are kinda hurtful, and I felt like they should be examined. :/

          • greenbean says:

            My experience with bulimia is as a good friend to a couple girls recovering from it, and as a high school teacher who saw that it was as much part of a poisonous teen culture as it was an individual struggle. Or at least, it often started as part of the culture that teens felt pressed into that then isolated those that got caught up in it often with ridicule and shame. It was an _ugly_ sight, and as a mother, one that scares me. I don't think Collins is being dismissive of eating disorders, but I wouldn't be surprised if she still had bulimia in mind when she wrote it. It isn't a disease to be dealt with harshly with those involved, but there are definitely aspects of our culture that feed it that should be excised. She has touched on the idea before that those in countries that cannot get enough to eat might envy those that are plump, rather than idolize thinness at all costs.

            to explain my comment on "rich kids" – My sister taught in Cameroon for years before returning here to teach for 6 months in the poorest area of our city. In material things, the kids in the inner city were immeasurably wealthy compared to the kids in rural Cameroon. Her Cameroonian kids spent three years complimenting my sister by saying "ah, you are so fat Miss!" (she's a size 8). I was imagining my sister trying to explain to her kids in Cameroon the problem of eating disorders. You are right though, type casting disorders makes tackling them much more difficult. My apologies.

  10. monkeybutter says:

    This section ends poetically, but was anyone else bothered by, “Here’s what’s strange”? It sounds so out of place, as if Katniss is disconnected from the situation. Which…well, she just might be as a way to cope.

    I actually loved that section, because if you've ever driven yourself sick with anxiety, finally having any sort of solution or certainty about a situation is so relieving that it can feel like an out of body experience. The weight that lifts off of you, even when you know you're fucked, is amazing, because you know that you can do what you want, and damn the consequences. It's my favorite part of the chapter.

    I'm also glad that Collins didn't make it the emetic a commentary about body dysmorphia and instead portrayed it as another symptom of the Capitol's frivolity and gluttony. It reminds me of people who make themselves vomit so they can keep drinking — really nasty.

    • stellaaaaakris says:

      I may be completely misinterpreting what Mark said, but I thought it was more a critique of the writing then the disconnect. The way I read it was the line "Here's what's strange" felt strange, like when Katniss got all conversational while being chased up a tree by Glimmer in THG or when JKR used the word cool to describe Bill after Harry first met him. It just feels weird to me. Don't know if that's what Mark's going for, but that's how I felt when I read each of those lines in the books for the first time.

      • Erica says:

        I had the same impression, it was too conversational.

      • monkeybutter says:

        That makes sense, but I still think it makes sense to have her step back from the narration because control of the situation is out of her hands. I get how"Here's what's strange" sounds awkward, but I like it as a sign that she isn't acting but reflecting. I like that's she conversational with the audience because at that point she has as much say in what's happening as we do. The tension evaporates for us all.

        To each his own?

        • stellaaaaakris says:

          Huh, that makes sense, I didn't think of it that way. I'm still not crazy about the line itself but it's interesting how it can be used to make the readers feel as if they're deflating along with Katniss. The conversational tone works here in a way it didn't with the Glimmer scene because that one, we were supposed to be somewhat worried that the Careers were going to catch her; tension was supposed to be very much a part of that scene. Cool. Thanks for pointing that out!

        • Many Rainbows says:

          Plus, it could just be the way her mind works. I mean, and I know this makes me sound absolutely loony tunes, when I am simply walking or driving somewhere by myself, and I am thinking to myself, I do it in conversational tones, as if I am talking to someone. Like, I would seriously think something along the lines of "You know what? I think I WILL go to the New year's party tomorrow. I know I am not much of a people person, nor am I much of one for parties, But if I go, I am sure I will have fun. But then, if I go, I will miss out on being with my husband and kids for the new year. what do you guys think?" like I am speaking to an invisible audience. I have done that for as long as I can remember- i KNOW there is no one there, nothing but my own brain and thoughts, but it helps me if I feel like I am talking to someone else, getting outside opinions. Maybe Katniss' thoughts work in the same way?

          Uh oh, here come the men in white coats with butterfly nets..

          • monkeybutter says:

            It's okay, you're not alone. I'll only start worrying when I have conversations with myself aloud.

            • Many Rainbows says:

              when i was being placed in foster care, I had to have a psychological evaluation… first of all, if I wasn't batshit crazy before, i sure was coming out!! But what really got me was the questions they asked me… "Do you ever hear voices in your head?" "Do you even hurt yourself?" and so on. I *so* wanted to give smart-ass answers but was afraid they would lock me up. I mean, if anyone answers YES to those questions, they WANT to be locked up.. perhaps because they know they have a problem and therefore are seeking help, but the fact still remains.

          • RainaWeather says:

            So it's not just me?

  11. starfish says:

    "And here in the Capitol they’re vomiting for the pleasure of filling their bellies again and again. Not from some illness of body or mind, not from spoiled food. It’s what everyone does at a part. Expected. Part of the fun."

    There is a common belief (I think it has been disproved by now) that people in ancient Rome tickled the back of their throat at banquets in order to bring up the food again, so they could eat more. When I read the chapter, I thought Collins was referring to that, I saw it as a comment on the decadence of the Capitol.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I could definitely imagine people eating and drinking so much that they make themselves sick, but as a societal trend, I don't think it's been proven or disproven. They definitely didn't do it in a designated place called a vomitorium, though. I do think you're right that Collins is referring to it, fictitious or not.

    • Warmouh says:

      Ooh, that makes sense since Collins said she took a lot of Roman elements into the Capital. I didn't really notice it until I looked at the names again.

  12. liliaeth says:

    Another thing I've noticed that you skipped, is that Peeta was the first to truly get angry when he found out about the vomiting. The most we've seen of him being rebellious so far, was his decision to stay himself in the games, to not let them change him.

    But now we see him actually angry with disgust over these people wasting food, while children in the Districts are starving.

    • shortstack930 says:

      Yes, it seemed like he has been trying to tolerate them as much as possible but he's finally reached his breaking point with these people.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        That's a good point. I sort of generally addressed it, but didn't pick up on that specifically. Thanks for pointing it out!

  13. Erica says:

    "Look, I empathize with Peeta a great deal, but only to an extent. I mean, that’s such an intentional thing to say and he knows it’s going to hurt her. Basically, dude, IT’S NOT HELPING. AT ALL. "

    Right?? Peeta had to know nothing good would come from saying that. Even if he was just being honest, I thought it was cringeworthy.

    To my fellow commentators…this is preemptive but I gotta say it: let's all continue to stay on track regarding the spoilers. You know you'd be pissed off if someone spoiled you! I enjoy reading the fresh reactions to this series from Mark and everyone else here reading for the first time, and I'd really hate for someone (whether accidentally or not so much o.0) to ruin the experience for them. Mm-kay? B)

  14. stellaaaaakris says:

    A part about this chapter that makes me giggle is when the Capitol citizens are showing Katniss all the ways they are incorporating her mockingjay into their fashion, especially the tattoos in intimate places. I just imagine some well-to-do man walking up to her in the president's palace (which in my head is a hybrid of the White House and Versailles), pulling down his pants, and exclaiming, "Look, I have your bird on my ass!"

    • LadyLately says:

      You know those not-trends (as in, Jennifer Love Hewitt is the only one who did it seriously ever) of 'vajazzling' and 'vatooing'? My brain= 'KATNISS WE'RE ALREADY THERE. WITH GLITTER.'

    • The Queen of Harts says:

      My mind is very extravagant, and I love palaces/mansions/manors, so I have a plethora of "big pretty houses" to go off in my imagination. That's actually not far off how I imagine President Snow's mansion, though (I think the whole "president" thing makes me tie it into the White House).

      Also: LMAO that is an awesome mental image XD

    • notemily says:

      Ahahaha I had the same thought. EVERYONE wants to show her their tattoos in intimate places?

  15. shortstack930 says:

    I understand Katpee's disgust about the Capitol guests throwing up so that they could eat more. Especially growing up in a District where people are dying of starvation every day, while these people are not only throwing out excess food but forcing themselves to throw up what they've already eaten in order to gorge themselves more. I liked that Peeta expressed his anger at this because usually he's the passive one, and evidently this really struck a nerve with him. But I agree with Katniss—they bring children there to watch them fight to the death, by comparison this isn't much worse.

    Also, I think the whole thing about Plutarch Heavensbee and his watch was just another show of Katniss being in denial. Even though in the back of her mind she thinks it might mean something important, she's not admitting it because she wants nothing to do with a Head Gamemaker and she has a hard time believing that someone in his position would ever be in support of her. And after what she saw that night at the party, I think she's just not in the mood to think that much into it.

  16. Sharon says:

    we are 6 chapters in the 2nd book and that description of Peeta’s nightmare just made me realice I still don’t buy Peeta’s love. I mean, I can understand Katniss and Gale, they’ve known each other since forever and everything, but Peeta? I feel he loves her just because plot conflicts sake, I just don’t see any other reason to this inside the book.

    idk, either way I still don’t care about the love triangle and for me everything else besides Katniss is much more interesting, I just want to know what is happening in the capitol (still mad because they glossed over every other district), I just hope there is a rebellion and that it is good and detailled.

    • I think Haymitch is the most fanciable bloke there, in a weird way. It's probably just me, though. 😛

      • Sharon says:

        Haymitch is fantastic, I want to know more about his past, he is clearly messed up but I mean that’s why he’s more interesting to me

        • liliaeth says:

          hmm, I find Katniss the most fascinating character in the book, but then again, she reminds me of my current fave character on television, aka Dean Winchester. She's just so much like Dean that I can't help but love her.

      • Gembird says:

        It's like Snape all over again. "You're so broken and weird, let me hug you!"

    • liliaeth says:

      well we already got information on District eight, aka the textile manufacturers.

  17. theupsides says:

    Yeah, Peeta saying that to Katniss about his nightmares is not his finest moment. The thing is, he doesn't really mean it in the traditional emo "I don't want to lose you way." I mean, his nightmares are about the games. It's just that his have to do with her getting killed in them, probably. It's such a heavy thing to drop on someone, but he probably views it as obvious. Like, duh, we've saved each other's lives, we're keeping each other alive now, of course my biggest fear is you getting killed.

    I love the moment at the party when Peeta is so disgusted with the Capitol, with them forcing themselves to throw up, and he just can't take it anymore. You can tell it's not easy for him to just go along and play this game. He hates the Capitol as much as Katniss does, as much as Gale, probably, he just is stuck in such an awful position.

  18. The Rome reference was fantastic. If you think about it, the idea of using gluttony almost in a "7 Deadly Sin" context is awesome, because it shows how the EEEEVIL Capitol abuses everything, especially food. Nothing asserts wealth and priviledge like going through a feast, vomiting at intervals so you can cram more in. Really, what could be more repulsive?

    Also: Peeta, I sort of want to slap you, because you remind me of a passive-aggressive ex I had who used similar phrases to try to guilt me into staying with him. Haymitch obviously needs to sit you down and have "the girl talk" with you. (I'm rather fond of Peeta, but this really ticked me off) Yes, Fictional Characters can hear what I say to them.

    I love Plutarch already. 😀

    • liliaeth says:

      And yet people in the last review complained that Peeta was too perfect, and thus boring 😉

      Thing is, Peeta does have flaws, he can be jealous, petty and say the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. Yet despite all that he's still a genuinely nice guy, as compared to one of those 'nice guys'(tm) It's just that no matter how nice he is, he's still a teenage boy who's in love with a girl that doesn't love him back the way he'd like her to.

      • I have to agree. I enjoy Peeta very much, since he has a lot of strength of character, and Collins is good at giving her protagonists flaws that make us want to slap them. It's very human. I can see how with the Capitol of EEEEVIL in charge everyone would probably be very passive-aggressive. Let's face it, how else can they express their anger/hurt/etc.?

    • blessthechildren says:

      Oh how I would love a scene where Haymitch tells them about the birds and the bees! I don't know if he would come out and say anything, or be one of those creepy adults who uses weird metaphors and disturbing euphemisms to describe sex.

      Haymitch: Okay kids, the engagement didn't work very well. The Capitol wants MOAR KATPEE. So I am going to unveil my final strategy.
      Katniss: Do I get to skewer someone with a poisonous arrow of death? **lurks**
      Peeta: Do I get to frost myself? I like frosting! **smiles**
      Haymitch: Nope. **drinks** I'm going to tell you how to play a different type of game. Katniss, you will lose this game. It is called "hide the pickle." **drinks moar***
      Peeta: I thought this new game didn't have to do with food. Can I frost the pickle?
      Katniss: Wait, why do I lose automatically?
      Haymitch: Maybe I need a new metaphor. Peeta, you're going to "frost" Katniss. Inside her… cave. Katniss, you will end up with a "bun in your oven" because of this "frosting." *drinks*
      Peeta: Wait, I'm the baker. Are you doing that thing where you don't tell me anything.
      Katniss: *has a long delayed moment of realization* Peeta, I think he's talking about f@cking each other. ON LIVE TELEVISION.
      Haymitch: Good, you figured it out, sweetheart. Cinna will be designing your outfits, and it will be broadcast in live time…
      Katpee: **runs away to have moar nightmares together**

  19. ::Snape Voice:: "Obviously."

    This is fantabulous.

  20. 1foxi says:

    Jesus god up above, it’s happening. It’s happening RIGHT NOW. We are barely getting to chapter 7 and THE UPRISING HAS ALREADY STARTED?

    When i got to the end of this chapter I was just like Jesus Christ, shit is about to start for real!

  21. bookling says:

    Oh, you are so not prepared for what's ahead in this book.

  22. barnswallowkate says:

    🙂 I should've given credit, it's from xckd

  23. DTDRC says:

    "Are you ready for some very obvious foreshadowing wrapped in a ball of weirdness? Then let’s talk about the strangest scene in the series yet: Katniss’s conversation with Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Head Gamemaker."

    HATE this part because it's so clunky. Seems like the author is purposely giving us a clue, but it doesn't really fit. I had to stop and reread, because it all feels like friendly chit chat, but then the clandestine comment confused me. I reread about 5 times, and yeah, I must be missing something.

    I also love Madge Undersee. I like that she and Katniss are friends and that they talk on the phone and visit with each other. Normally, I would think that the mayor's daughter would be a privileged "mean girl" since her father holds the highest position in the District. I like that Collins doesn't follow that typical pattern.

  24. blessthechildren says:

    I am terribly excited by this chapter. I realize the pacing is a bit off, but the reason I never expected much focus on the Victory tour is simply the fact that YA novels are generally written in a standard plot: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution – all driven by a clear conflict. The Victory tour is juts part of the massive conflict that has sparked between Katniss and President Snow. I, like Katniss, want to find out how Snow is going to punish her. And honestly, I have a sinking feeling that Katniss is not far off when she says:

    "In that one slight motion, I see the end of hope, the beginning of the destruction of everything I hold dear in the world. I can’t guess what form my punishment will take, how wide the net will be cast, but when it is finished, there will most likely be nothing left."

    The Capitol takes lives even in times of peace to prove how strong its hold is. If the hold feels shaky, won't they just tighten their grip until they crush everyone?

    Also, LOVE Collins use of the glasses. Bulimia was used in Rome not so much as the eating disorder we know it as today, but rather people vomited so they could go back and eat more food. Sometimes, it was so they could indulge and stay thin, but I read about Romans vomiting for the sake of going and eating MOAR FOOD. Kudos to Collins for her mastery in creating the character that is the Capitol. I see the Capitol as a character at this point, like Big Brother from 1984, it has become a being in Katpee's world that is always hunting them. The vomit drink, the glass of waste and ipecac syrup, or whatever the hell it is, totally embodies what the Capitol has done. It has used the lack of food to weaken and terrorize the poor citizens of the districts. Alternatively, it has used the overabundance of food to soften and weaken the sheep of the Capitol. They use food to keep every citizen weak in a different way.

    <img src="; alt="some_text"/>

  25. Anahera says:

    Im reading along with you so this wont be a spoiler. But really, when I first read about Plutarch here my immediate thought was that he's on Katniss' side and maybe there's some underground movement going on in the Capitol?

    And the puking is referring to ancient Rome, right?

  26. Randomcheeses says:

    Okay, speaking as someone who suffers from an eating disorder I am incredibly glad that Collins made the distinction between real serious illnesses and the sickening waste of food just for fun while 12 districts of people are starving.


    • The Queen of Harts says:

      Yeah I liked the "sickness of body or mind" line that clarified that the capitol is wrong because they're just being wasteful bastards, not because there's some kind of true, genuine disorder or problem.

  27. markiscool says:

    I hope that this means we are having another double review day 🙂

  28. knut says:

    I really hate how Collins just speeds through these chapters. I want to know more about the other districts and Panem!

    Oh Peeta. I'm all for you until you say SAPPY THINGS LIKE THAT. Not helpful or romantic at all.

  29. Mauve_Avenger says:

    The "here's what's strange" thing sounded way too conversational for a paragraph about dire consequences and fatalism. Plus, it heavily reminded me of Adrian Monk with his "Here's what happened…" refrain. And Katniss's "[I'm] so beyond worrying about manners" just made me think of Alicia Silverstone's character in Clueless, though I'm guessing that's probably just me.

    I caught the bulimia parallels, as well, but (possibly just because I'm a cynic) I saw the "not from some illness of body or mind" part as something of a hand-wave dismissal of the Unfortunate Implications.

    The mockingjay watch made me think that perhaps my theory about Katniss's pin being a spy/communication device has some credence, since the Head Gamemaker appeared right after Peeta makes his comment about not wanting to subdue the districts. I tend to doubt it, but still.

    And something I realized just now: Katniss has been taking Madge hunting in the woods since she got back from the Games, but Katniss is being surveilled by the Capitol, and possibly the woods themselves are bugged. So, if Madge tries to help Katniss in any big way, the Capitol has a built-in excuse to execute her. Either that or she won't get punished because she's a plant (why do I keep hoping that there's a plant).

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      That's also a good point. It could be something dismissed not because Collins understands, but because she didn't want people yelling at her.

  30. NopeJustMe says:

    I think things are moving fast because Collins is doing a sort of run up to something really big- which I think is going to be some kind of Civil War- because at this stage, I'm ready for Katpee to stop doing what the Capitol wants and start kicking ass.

  31. paulineparadise says:

    Katniss' naivety never bothers me while reading the book. When I read a book for the first time, I read it like really really fast, like turning-the-pages-with-the-speed-of-lightning fast. Therefore, I don't stop and think 'I think this means that' I just follow the story. I think the same way as the main character. So when Katniss is like 'oh could it mean he doesn't want it to be stolen', I think the same thing.

    At my re-read, however, I start to, you know, take my time and think about it.

    (That's why I -shudder- liked Twilight at my first read. Because I wasn't thinking while reading. -shudder-)

    • erin says:

      Ha. I do the exact same thing. "Mysterious watch with the alleged symbol of the rebellion on it? Huh, yeah, must be part of the fad. Stupid Capitolites. Moving on…"

      And then: "D'oh!"

  32. lunylucy says:

    I’m done whining about Katniss’s cluelessness. Now it’s just funny.

    I'm glad you feel this way because IT NEVER STOPPED BOTHERING ME. Oh Katniss, plz be more genre savvy.

  33. Enigmaticrose4 says:

    Lol, he had quite a few typos in there this time. Usually it's just one or two, that must mean he was really excited when typing this.

    Right? 😀

  34. monkeybutter says:

    Oops, forgot
    <img src=""&gt;
    I apologize for nothing.

  35. ravendaine says:

    It's really strange reading your thoughts on each chapter, because I flew through these books and didn't really take the time to pause and reflect. It's an entirely new way of experiencing the story. Although, I remember reading and thinking that Katniss is SUPER-naive throughout. The whole Peeta misunderstandings from the first book and on and on. Oy. However, it does serve to make me feel superior–like, "If I was there, I would totally know what was going on." …..When in actuality, I would be deader than dead in two minutes…..

  36. albusseverus says:

    Okay, now i'm intrigued by Plutarch but frankly Collins could be a little subtle about this. as a first time reader it's already apparent to me that Plutarch will play a role in the uprising. the real question is how; will he somehow influence this year's Hunger Games to help the districts?

  37. Blabbla says:

    Of course Plutarch Heavensbee is rebelling. Wouldn't you, if you lived in a society where naming people Plutarch Heavensbee was accepted practice?

  38. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    OH NO. Feel better!

  39. Xocolatl. says:

    Brb?!?!?!? YESSSSSSSSSS.

  40. Kelly L. says:

    Can I be perfectly honest here? While I was sitting at Christmas dinner having glutton'd myself past the point of comfort, I was thinking to myself: 'you know what would be nifty? that vomit-inducing stuff in Catching Fire. Cause then I could EAT MOAR.'

    I need help.

    • LadyLately says:

      It's okay. I'm sure we've all thought about it at some time or other. Like me this morning.

      Except I was thinking that because I'm sick and was having toast and apple juice like a six-year-old. Delicious apple juice.

  41. Shanella says:

    I forgive Katniss for being naive only because she was just feeling insulted about the Capitols gluttony. I'd probably be too pissed off with the capitol and with the gamemakers for putting me thru hell, than trying to figure out if they are on my side.

  42. BradSmith5 says:

    Zounds, the mystery continues! Will Katniss get involved in the revolution at last? Or will she dismiss what she saw as a Capitol sitcom? And what about the three hundred platters of food our heroine DIDN'T describe? How will these untasted regrets weigh on her mind!? With proper digestion on Katniss' side––stay tuned! Here comes 'Catching Fire: Chapter Seven!!!'

  43. SusanBones says:

    I found the first few chapters of this book to be very slow. It was easy to read one chapter at a time. Then we get to this chapter, and I start to be intrigued enough to keep reading. The Gamekeeper with the mockingjay symbol was interesting. It seems like Katniss is some sort of rallying force without her even being aware of it. I could only think that he is on her side somehow. Katniss being so naive is starting to annoy me a little. She needs to realize that when people tell her a secret, it means something.

    I found the whole idea of the Capital wasting food while the Districts starve to be an excellent way of showing how vastly different the lives of each group are.

    One thing I learned from a coworker who was born in Poland in that there are some similarities between Communism and what Panem has done by setting up Districts devoted to one main industry. She said that the Soviet Union would have different economic regions set up in a similar way to the book. It was a way to control the people and the economy. Could Collins be using this series to make a statement about Communism? Other authors have done this, one of the most famous examples would be the book 1984 by George Orwell. H.G. Wells promoted his socialist views in his book "War of the Worlds".

  44. Keysmash says:

    So, being a geek, I was looking at all this Panem/Capitol = Ancient Rome stuff, and I looked up "Panem" just to see if Collins took it from anywhere, didn't just make it up. And………I WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It comes from a Latin phrase, "panem et circenses", which means "bread and games" and was used to describe how trivial and stupid the Roman Empire was AT IT"S DECLINE, and how the . As in, "oh those roman ppl, they don't know what really matters, they're just interested in food and stupid games, and it will lead to their downfall." LITETRALLY, THAT'S HOW IT IS INTERPRETED BY HISTORIANS AND OTHER PEOPLE WHO STUDY THESE THINGS. It was first used as a government policy, (kind of), saying that food and entertainment would be the best way to controll enemies and win loyalty from friends. (HUNGER GAMES!!!!!!! TESSERAE!!!!!!!!!) Then later is was seen to be their downfall, because they focused too much on the food and the games (these vomitariums we've been talking about, gladiator rings, etc) and they neglecte their true duties, in politics and to their own people, which is why they collapses as an empire. This is some pretty heavy foreshadowing on Collins' part, isnt it? The Capital of Panem, or Panem itself, will meet it's downfall through it's triviality, through it's obsession on "bread and games". GAMES. As in, The HUNGER GAMES.


  45. Silverilly says:

    Your naivete after all this time is just so precious.
    After all this time?

    Mark, your reviews are just waterfalls of win.

    I actually didn't have a lot of notes for these past chapters. Well, not comprehensible ones, anyway. There was a lot of keysmashing and a few ramblings about symbolism. So, to summarize:

  46. Kali says:

    I agree that the last two chapters have a rushed feeling. But you are also right that at the end of the book you will understand better why she rushed through some parts when SHIT GETS SO GODDAMN REAL YOUR HEAD WILL EXPLODE.

  47. momigrator says:

    When I first learned about vomitoriums I was horrified by such a disgusting idea. To find out that it was a myth was relieving. Then I read chapter 6 of Catching Fire. The fact that in this world, they not only puke up and waste food, but then also have CHILDREN compete in MURDEROUS games all based upon HUNGER makes it that much more appalling. Ugh. It's just so wrong.

  48. residentgamer says:

    Woot! Just caught up with your reviews and with the book. I'm off to start chapter 7! I can't believe the uprising is happening already. *is shocked at this book so far*

  49. Treasure Cat says:

    As someone who was bulimic for awhile in my teens, I greatly appreciate the way Collins handled the food vomitting plot point. I think it was very well written. I also think that, whilst being important to understanding the citizens of the Capitol, it speaks volumes about Collins as a person to be able to write something so sensitive so well for her story. It is an emotionally evocative topic, and she dealt with it beautifully.

  50. Amy says:

    I have no problem with what Peeta said. It might be awkward, but I don’t think it’s just “Oh I’m so in love with you I can’t stand being without you.” They went through The Hunger Games together. He needs her.

    And she needs him, too. We don’t really get much insight into her nightmares except for some of them are about Rue, but I can imagine if she dreamed of Peeta dying she’d flip. out. Her feelings are jumbled up and she can’t quite tell how she feels about Peeta, but in the end she needs him just as much as he needs her, if not more so because he keeps her grounded.

  51. jennywildcat says:

    I loved this chapter because – like you Mark – I figured this book would be about the Victory Tour. But Collins whipped though the Tour itself so fast that's obviously not it. Now, though, there's this scene with all the Capitol people (btw – puking up your dinner… FOR FUN?? D: No, thank you) – and that weird bit with Plutarch's watch (I'm glad I'm not the only one who had to read that part a few times wondering if I'd missed something vital)… and the UPRISING IN EIGHT??? WHUT???

    There's a reason Collins is rushing through all this. And it gets sooooo real… (by all means – keep reading!)

  52. potlid007 says:

    lolz. Katniss and sarcasm don't mix. Oh Katty…is it okay if i call you Katty? You are HILARIOUS
    <img src="; border="0">

    But, you are feeling pretty fly about this…right?
    <img src="; border="0">
    yeah, I am too.

    <img src="; border="0">

    but then they start throwing up and I'm like
    <img src="; border="0">

    and then that really cool Plutarch guy comes rolling in and I'm like shit yeah man you have a fucking watch and you keep dropping hints…but Katty pie seems kind of clueless…
    <img src="; border="0">

    oh and then Peeta is just being kind awkward…
    <img src="; border="0">
    <img src="; border="0">
    <img src="; border="0">

  53. Roxie says:

    "Panem" comes from the phrase "panem et circenses" meaning "Breads & Circuses". The idea being that if you give the people enough food & entertainment they won't pay much attention to anything else and be complacent about things that should horrify.

    Considering that nearly everyone in the Capital have Roman(ic?) names, I'm not too surprised that they vomit up their food in order to keep eating considering that there is a myth that this was something actually practiced in Ancient Rome. It's not true, but no less disgusting.

  54. readmeatune says:

    I love when you say "Moving on.." because it comes out in my head as the lady from the Ministry of Magic that is on the elevators. I give a little chuckle every time.

  55. IsabelArcher2 says:


    WHY?!?!?! I could have read this review and went on with my day, but now I feel like there is a possibility of another entry, so I'm going to obsessively refresh until about midnight. Sigh. *Refresh*

  56. Gabbie says:

    …I don't think we're getting a second review today. D:

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I couldn't get a second one done. Maybe tonight when I get home, but I've been at work all day. :/

      • IsabelArcher2 says:

        You should sell things for Mark Reads, so we can help support you! I would buy a "Mark Reads" T-shirt in support of this site.

  57. Phoebe says:

    I love how in every review there is always at least one person who references HP in their comments

  58. Julia_Vaughn says:


  59. Keysmash says:

    HORRIBLE THOUGHT ON THE QUARTER QUELL: What if Prim gets picked for it and there's nothing Katniss can do? That would be a very cruel way of punishing her for the uprising, and I wouldn't put it past Snow. There's already been hints that the drawing can be rigged to get victor's children — why not rig it to take Prim, and make Katniss watch her die in the Games????? And Katniss would have to mentor her through it 🙁 🙁 . Gale's 18, Snow couldn't get him that way, but Prim's thirteen. My prediction now: Prim will go to the Quarter Quell, and Katniss will cause a huge uprising against the Capital to save her.

  60. pennylane27 says:

    I do the same! I feel bad if people get voted down for having a different opinion, unless it's really rude or something.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I do the same thing! Though some people have downvoted because the person was being a douche. THEN I DOWNVOTE TOO

      • Silverilly says:

        ^ I couldn't figure out how to properly phrase my thoughts and then BAM, Mark does it for me. THIS IS WHY HE IS SO LOVABLE.

    • Openattheclose says:

      Yes! I have found my people. I feel really bad seeing someone with -21 or something by their post for no reason.

  61. easilyentranced says:

    I can see why you and other people would gag at Peeta's comment, but I guess I'm just smitten with the kid, because I always eat all that up. I get how it makes Katniss uncomfortable, but he's just being honest and after living through the Hunger Games, I'm sure Peeta's nightmares are mostly PTSD flashbacks of what could've happened to her in the arena.

  62. lossthief says:


    Sorry for being gone these past two days, but I received "Only Revolutions" as a late X-mas gift, and I've been making my way through it the past day or so. All I can say is THUMBS UP MR. DANIELEWSKI.

    Anywho, cliffnotes versions of my thoughts on 4-6:
    Four: Damn good, if a bit cheesy at times. Kat's little speech and the actions that followed got me really engrossed in the story, and I wish for MOAR Protest scenes. Grade:"A-"
    Five: Pretty decent, though not as impressive and engagin as Chapter 4. The rushed ending left me disappointed, since a lot of the things they went through were stuff I wanted to see. Instead I just got a bunch of narration. Note to Collins: Your skill is in dialogue, USE IT. Grade: "C"
    Six: Enjoyable, and better paced than Chapter 5, the ending left me excited, and I hope we get more information about this uprising. Maybe it's because I recently speed read through Margaret Haddix' "Among the Brave" book, but that whole bit with Hellswasp Heavensbee seemed really obvious that he's part of La Resistance and was letting Kat know. Oh well, protagonal nonclueity is nothing new. Grade: "B"

    • Cally_Black says:

      Oh my goodness, you read the 'Among the Hidden' books? I love those and when I was reading the Hunger Games series, I thought of ATH a lot. That's still one of my favorite series.

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Aw man, you gotta tell me when you're taking a break! I was counting on your usual post back in chapter four, after which I was going to launch into a speech in-character as Katniss! Another of my idiotic parody schemes foiled, Lossthief! How do you do it? Get–out–of–my–head!

  63. RainaWeather says:

    I ship Katniss and Madge.

  64. alwayssilverdoe says:

    As I recall, Collins has said she was heavily influenced by ancient Roman culture; the gladiator games, some of the names she uses… Vomitoriums were a common elitist practice as well.

  65. I need more "waterfalls of win" in my life. Thank you for that truly glorious typo XD

    I'm really glad that you seem to be starting to like Katniss/enjoy the story a little more.

    The way they keep throwing up at the party so they can eat more food is just…so disturbing. And I mean, none of us in the US can pretend that we're not wasteful at times, but this is just blatant. Especially since the poverty of the districts and the overwhelming wealth of the Capitol is such a deliberate and orchestrated thing in Panem – and the fact that the people in the districts cannot hope to ever escape their fates (even those who work hard/find success don't have any opportunity to live any more extravagantly than what the Capitol will allow, nor are they able to find a way out of the Reaping, or even to be charitable to others in need – there's no freedom at all) just makes the whole thing seem more hopeless and ugly.

    It's like the Capitol is deliberately over-the-top at every possible opportunity just to throw it in the faces of the districts.

    Also: the way President Snow (and really, every single dictator/tyrant) tries to make it sound like "Hey, this is all for your own good – imagine how bad it'd be if we let you guys have freedom and rights and the ability to govern yourselves!" just sickens me. They act as if their way is the best and safest and the only way to treat "the people" well, but when do these people ever have the best interest of anyone other than themselves in mind? Ugh…

    "MUST KEEP READING. Brb" <– Mark, I, like basically all your other readers, read this book in one sitting. Brain seizures forever, omg. You are not prepared.

  66. notemily says:

    Yeah I hate that! You shouldn't be voted down for having an opinion. The only times I downvote are when someone (a) says something really offensive or (b) spoils.

  67. tethysdust says:

    it’s clear that Collins has cleverly disguised these books as YA thrillers because they’re really just a chance for her to create food porn.

    Yeah, I believe that the description of the food at the Capitol feast took as many pages as the description of the entire Victory Tour (save District 11). Clearly, Collins has her priorities and she's stickin' to 'em :). I had not much more to say about this chapter besides 'obvious references to the Roman Empire are obvious' and 'God, Katniss, THINK'. Seriously, she should make a pact with Haymitch to tell him about everything that happens to her each day, so that he can interpret life for her. Moar Haymitch, please!

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      Seriously, she should make a pact with Haymitch to tell him about everything that happens to her each day, so that he can interpret life for her.

      I love this comment with a burning fire.

  68. notemily says:

    I'm always late to these comments so I'm sure someone else has said this, but vomitoriums were an actual thing in Ancient Rome, too. Another parallel. I WAS MISINFORMED. Vomitoriums are not places for vomiting! And "Adolfus" Huxley got it wrong. So did Eddie Izzard.

    I really love the scene with the emetic drink, because it's the epitome of how wasteful the Capitol is, especially when Katniss thinks of the starving children in District 12 and compares it to all the food the people at the Capitol have access to. For them, the food is about taste and nothing more, because they'll never know hunger. Even the hunger they see on the Hunger Games is just abstract to them because they can't know what it feels like. I mean, Katniss has eaten BARK.

    (Confession: I am an emetophobe, so being in the Capitol with people throwing up on purpose would horrify me for a completely different reason. Let's just say I'm glad they didn't put an actual vomit scene in there.)

    I love the name "Undersee," especially now that I've played Echo Bazaar. I hope at least one person here knows what I'm talking about.

  69. chyeaitskim says:

    The last chapter made me realize how much the districts do for the Capitol, and this chapter confirms it. The Capitol socially accepts puking for fun and to eat more while the people that probably harvested that food live off of basically nothing. No wonder the districts are uprising, i'd do it too.

  70. booksinbulk says:

    I feel like with each new chapter, I will have a new question for the group. This one might be answered simply. I seem to remember that whenever Katniss talked about the Careers, she would say "districts 1, 2, and 4" and skip over 3. Does anyone know why? Is district 3 considered a "Career" district? And if no one can find a spot where she mentions it as one, why the skipping? What makes 4 one, but not 3? I always assumed the districts go in order, correct? 12 being the poorest?


  71. PeachPobbler says:

    The vomitting Part reminded me of the common belief that Romans used to induce vomitting during their feasts so they could eat more. I may be wrong but this belief is held for other cultures in the past as well.

  72. Saber says:

    Nah, they districts don't go in order of wealth. Not from what I can tell.
    It was clearly stated in the books that 3 is not a career district, just 1, 2 and 4. maybe because 4 is seafood, they get an easier life? You know, go catch your dinner?

  73. demented says:

    I was also interested in how Collins used the Capitols glutton to show the contrast of it ans Katniss' home. I liked that she clearified by what she meant when gross action is carried out by the guest without downgrading the seriousness of eating disorders but also notmaking it seem like something wonderful either. T hough Katniss, the reader finds the waste just as awful,

  74. Tabbyclaw says:

    I have tried to be vague and delicate about my impatience for Katniss' complete and utter inability to notice anything ever for fear of spoilers, but now I can say it: This is the scene where I wrote her off entirely. This goes well beyond 'Well, it's not like she knows she's in a book' territory and slams straight into 'OBSERVE AND LEARN, CHILD! OBSERVE AND LEARN!'

  75. gredandforge says:

    It's almost revolting how sappy/clingy Peeta is -_-

    But omg uprising! Things are getting very very exciting 😀

  76. Anissa says:

    so HEY.

    You're my new favorite person because reading this is like rereading the book and watching someone scream at the parts that I screamed at which I tried to explain to everyone in the house, but no one could understand just quite how "OMFG" these books are. And then when I started explaining everything, everyone looked at my like I was crazy, because I'm ranting about fictional people and a fictional universe, but THEY JUST DON'T GET HOW REAL SHIT GETS…. YOU KNOW.

    You are also my hero for being able to put the book down to write some notes and letting me reread the books without rereading the books. Its a new way to look at them, and its awesome.

  77. Leesh says:



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  78. Warsongraven says:

    this is what you call food porn, Mark? you haven't read George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice And Fire series yet, have you. That man can write about food in such a way that you will be thinking about the feasts days after you read the chapter.

    anyway, OMG if that's just D8, what's going on in the other districts?

  79. spectralbovine says:

    OH MAN, WHAT JUST HAPPENED??? The mockingjay was a sign of dissent in the past, so WHY ON EARTH IS A GAMEMAKER SHOWING HER THIS?
    Oh yeah, I re-read these paragraphs a few times to figure out whether I was missing something, and then I just moved on and kind of forgot about it because it was such a weird scene.

    We are barely getting to chapter 7 and THE UPRISING HAS ALREADY STARTED?
    Oh yeah, baby. Now you understand why Collins rushed through the Victory Tour!

  80. Arthur says:

    I can't fully appreciate the Hunger Games food porn after years of breathtaking Redwall Feasts, but you're right, the whole point to these books is the meals.

    The eating custom reminded me of Roman vomitoria.

  81. Beci says:

    I don't know if this has been said, but the vomit potion is based on what the Romans used to do.
    At a feast they would eat till they were stuffed, then a servant would bring them a bowl, they would throw up all the food they just ate, and then eat more food.
    And it's sick.

  82. MikeMagpuyo says:

    "waterfalls of win" – Seriously epic.

  83. lisra says:

    Yes, and I must keep reading, too.. Collins really has it down writing a chapter that is basically pulling the characters through a succession of terrible things only to administer a vicious twist at the end.

  84. Hanh says:

    As someone who has a habit of making incredibly awkward and slightly inappropriate comments, I can't judge Peeta. I just can't. Sometimes that filter just doesn't work and the words are out of your mouth before you can fully take into consideration its implications. It's not until after I've said it that I realize my flub so Peeta gets the benefit of the doubt since we can't read his mind.

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