In the tenth chapter of The Hunger Games, Katniss is shocked into silence and then anger over Peetaâ€™s revelation during his intervew. When he reveals that it was just ploy to gain her sympathy (IT WASNâ€™T), she erupts in anger and injures him. OH AND THE GAMES FINALLY START. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to read The Hunger Games.
Dudes, it is so obvious now. I meanâ€¦.DUH, PEETA LIKES KATNISS. I actually feel pretty dumb that I didnâ€™t pick it up sooner. So letâ€™s turn this review into MARK CALLS PEETA OUT FOR HIS BULLSHIT. â€˜Cause thereâ€™s some bullshit a brewinâ€™ here.
For a moment, the cameras hold on Peetaâ€™s downcast eyes as what he says sinks in. Then I can see my face, mouth half open in a mix of surprise and protest, magnified on every screen as I realize, Me! He means me! I press my lips together and stare at the floor, hoping this will conceal the emotions starting to boil up inside of me.
SO. AWKWARD. Right? Right??? I mean, SERIOUSLY DUDE WHAT ARE YOU DOING.
â€œWouldnâ€™t you love to pull her back out here and get a response?â€ Caesar asks the audience. The crowd screams assent.
YEAH, NO. NO. THIS IS A BAD IDEA. Thankfully, Caesar was only saying this to get a response from the crowd, as Peetaâ€™s interview ends just after this. Itâ€™s a moment of absolute victory for Peeta. Or, as Katniss puts it, he â€œwiped the rest of [them] off the map with his declaration of love.â€
Katniss, ever the sensitive and calm person, reacts to this in one of the stupidest ways imaginable:
Peeta has only just stepped from his car when I slam my palms into his chest. He loses his balance and crashes into an ugly urn filled with fake flowers. The urn tips and shatters into hundreds of tiny pieces. Peeta lands in the shards, and blood immediately flows from his hands.
I donâ€™t know if Collins is trying to make me feel like Peeta deserves this; if so, this part has the exact opposite effect on me. It makes me hate Katniss (if only temporarily) because itâ€™s not only out of character for her, but unbelievably rude towards Peeta. I meanâ€¦she just damaged his hands on the night before the Hunger Games begins!
â€œWhat was that for?â€ he says, aghast.
Even though I donâ€™t think Peeta deserved this sort of treatment, I still laughed at this. What did you think she was doing that for???
â€œYou are a fool,â€ Haymitch says in disgust. â€œDo you think he hurt you? That boy just gave you something you could never achieve on your own.â€
â€œHe made you look desirable! And letâ€™s face it, you can use all the help you can get in that department. You were about as romantic as dirt until he said he wanted you. Now they all do. Youâ€™re all theyâ€™re talking about. The star-crossed lovers from District Twelve!â€ says Haymitch.
I seriously hate everything about this. First of all, I donâ€™t believe this was a technique to win Katniss favor, at least not entirely. I think Peetaâ€™s idea was genuine and Haymitch turned it into a technique. I hate that these Games for a person to become romantic in the first place (or at least appear to be) even though SHE IS GOING TO FIGHT TWENTY-THREE PEOPLE TO THE DEATH THE NEXT DAY. Itâ€™s vile. I hate how ridiculous this seems and I hate Katnissâ€™s anger over all of it and then I hate Haymitchâ€™s disgust too and I HATE HATE HATE HATE.
Ok, Iâ€™m done. But I donâ€™t believe itâ€™s all a big show. Peeta really, truly likes Katniss. It makes way too much sense for that not to be true. Iâ€™M STICKING TO IT. TOO BAD.
The words are sinking in. My anger fading. Iâ€™m torn now between thinking Iâ€™ve been used and thinking Iâ€™ve been given an edge. Haymitch is right. I survived my interview, but what was I really? A silly girl spinning in a sparkling dress. Giggling. The only moment of any substance I had was when I talked about Prim.
Iâ€™m glad Katniss is thinking twice about this, but I have to admit that she does have a point: the interview was pretty dehumanizing to her, reducing her to a stereotype of a woman. She does have every right to be upset at that and I can understand her anger at Peeta turning her into something to be desired romantically, which so many men do to women anyway. BUT STILL. PUSHING HIM INTO GLASS SHARDS WAS A BIT MUCH.
â€œYouâ€™re golden, sweetheart. Youâ€™re going to have sponsors lined up around the block,â€ says Haymitch.
Iâ€™m embarrassed about my reaction. I force myself to acknowledge Peeta. â€œIâ€™m sorry I shoved you.â€
Iâ€™m glad she says that, but thatâ€™s not going to help PEETAâ€™S RUINED HANDS.
Effie takes both of us by the hand and, with actual tears in her eyes, wishes us well. Thanks us for being the best tributes it has ever been her privilege to sponsor. And then, because itâ€™s Effie and sheâ€™s apparently required by law to say something awful, she adds, â€œI wouldnâ€™t be at all surprised if I finally get promoted to a decent district next year!â€
Oh, Effie. I am not excusing her dumb comments, but sometimes I believe she is genuinely clueless to how awful she sounds. THANKS, PRIVILEGE.
The night stretches on and on for Katniss after she bids goodbye to Effie and Haymitch. (I love that Haymitchâ€™s last words are, â€œStay alive.â€ VERY COMFORTING.) Understandably so, she cannot sleep. Could you? Look, I can barely sleep if Iâ€™m flying on a plane the next day. I could not sleep if I was participating in Murder Fest Extravaganza 2010 either. (Or whatever year it is.)
Katnissâ€™s thoughts wander to what sort of arena sheâ€™ll be placed in, if there will be any trees, and what kind of traps the Gamemakers will put in the game. WAIT. TRAPS? WHAT? Why would you also put traps? Oh, thatâ€™s right, because the game is built by absolute savages.
With no sleep in sight, Katniss heads to the roof again, only to discover that Peeta is already there.
â€œMy best hope is to not disgrace myself andâ€¦â€ He hesitates.
â€œAnd what?â€ I say.
â€œI donâ€™t know how to say it exactly. Onlyâ€¦I want to die as myself. Does that make any sense?â€ he asks. I shake my head. How could he die as anyone but himself? â€œI donâ€™t want toem to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that Iâ€™m not.â€
I find it strange that itâ€™s much easier to like all the peripheral characters in this story than it is to like Katnis. And I really like Peetaâ€™s idea that his identity is all he has left in this sort of absurdity. In fact, Iâ€™m inclined to agree that this is the only dignity he can have left. The Games specifically try to homogenize people in order to provide entertained oppression for the masses. What else do you have but to turn yourself into the only weapon left to dismantle it?
Katniss doesnâ€™t agree with this at all. They are categorically a part of the system itself and thereâ€™s no breaking from it.
â€œBut youâ€™re not,â€ I say. â€œNone of us are. Thatâ€™s how the Games work.â€
â€œOkay, but within that framework, thereâ€™s still you, thereâ€™s still me,â€ he insists. â€œDonâ€™t you see?â€
â€œA little. Onlyâ€¦no offense, but who cares, Peeta?â€ I say.
â€œI do. I mean, what else am I allowed to care about at this point?â€ he asks angrily. Heâ€™s locked those blue eyes on mine now, demanding an answer.
For the record, Iâ€™m siding with Peeta on this.
â€œLook, if you want to spend the last hours of your life planning some noble death in the arena, thatâ€™s your choice. I want to spend mine in District Twelve.â€
â€œWouldnâ€™t surprise me if you do,â€ says Peeta. â€œGive my mother my best when you make it back, will you?â€
â€œCount on it,â€ I say. Then I turn and leave the roof.
Well, that was mature, Katniss. I donâ€™t quite understand why this irks her so much; maybe she subconsciously agrees with Peeta but isnâ€™t ready to admit it? I donâ€™t know, I feel like Katniss is going to try to do just what Peeta suggested here: remain herself at all costs.
(Also, how fucked up is the story she tells about Titus? First of all, HOW ON EARTH DOES SHE THINK PEETA WILL TURN INTO THAT? Secondly, isnâ€™t the point of the Games to turn people into violent savages for entertainment? I donâ€™t get why theyâ€™d intervene when someone turned into just that.)
Finally, though, after little sleep, Katniss heads towards the arena where she will battle to the death against the other Tributes. Sheâ€™s injected with a tracker on her forearm while on the Hovercraft, and tries to enjoy her last meal before being dropped into the upcoming death match.
Everything is brand-new, I will be the first and only tribute to use this Launch Room. The arenas are historic sites, preserved after the Games. Popular destinations for Capitol residents to visit, to vacation. Go for a month, rewatch the Games, tour the catacombs, visit the sites where the deaths took place. You can even take part in reenactments.
They say the food is excellent.
Why is this more disturbing than most things in this book so far? The idea that these sites are celebrated rather than revered is really odd to me. Of course, in this alternate universe, it makes total sense, but it doesnâ€™t compute in my brain.
The unbearable wait begins after this. Thankfully for Katniss, Cinna is there to provide comfort in the only way he can.
I shake my head but after a moment hold out my hand to him. Cinna encloses it in both of his. And this is how we sit until a pleasant female voice announces itâ€™s time to prepare for launch.
I like Cinna. A lot. I hope to see him again.
Still clenching one of Cinnaâ€™s hands, I walk over and stand on the circular metal plate. â€œRemember what Haymitch said. Run, find water. The rest will follow,â€ he says. I nod. â€œAnd remember this. Iâ€™m not allowed to bet, but if I could, my money would be on you.â€
â€œTruly?â€ I whisper.
â€œTruly,â€ says Cinna. He leans down and kisses me on the forehead. â€œGood luck, girl on fire.â€ And then a glass cylinder is lowering around me, breaking our handhold, cutting him off from me. He taps his fingers under his chin. Head high.
Itâ€™s taken until this point for the dread to finally fill me. This is real. This is happening. I have not the slightest idea what is going to occur inside that arena.
Bless Cinna, by the way. I don’t think Katniss would feel any sort of confidence without him.
For a moment, my eyes are dazzled by the bright sunlight and Iâ€™m conscious only of a strong wind with the hopeful smell of pines trees.
Then I hear the legendary announcer, Claudius Templesmith, as his voice booms all around me.
â€œLadies and gentlemen, let the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games begin!â€
Well, itâ€™s finally starting. And I have a bad feeling about this.