Mark Reads ‘The Hunger Games’: Chapter 16

In the sixteenth chapter of The Hunger Games, Katniss and Rue devise a plan to destroy the Careers’ food supply, separating from each other in the process. Oh, and ANOTHER CLIFFHANGER. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Hunger Games.

Rue has decided to trust me wholeheartedly. I know this because as soon as the anthem finishes she snuggles up against me and falls asleep.

CUTEST MOMENT IN THE HUNGER GAMES y/y/y/y. Sorry that I don’t have some sort of in-depth analysis of this at all. Brain has been blinded by cute.

I like Rue, but she stinks of death. I mean…it cannot last long. She has to die eventually and she already seems ripe to be killed by someone else in the Games. I don’t necessarily think Collins has foreshadowed it at any specific point, but the tragedy has to come back. This momentary pause can’t last too long, right?

Traditionally, the Career tributes’ strategy is to get hold of all the food early on and work from there. The years when they have not protected it well—one year a pack of hideous reptiles destroyed it, another a Gamemakers’ flood washed it away—those are usually the years that tributes from other districts have won. That the Careers have been better fed growing up is actually do their disadvantage, because they don’t know how to be hungry. Not the way Rue and I do.

I’m sort of anxious to see what the Careers do once they’re the only ones who remain alongside Katniss. Will they turn on each other before they turn on her? On top of this, I never considered how poverty actually plays to an advantage in the Games. Huh. Learn something new every day.

I realize, for the first time, how very lonely I’ve been in the arena. How comforting the presence of another human being can be. I give in to my drowsiness, resolving that tomorrow the tables will turn. Tomorrow, it’s the Careers who will have to watch their backs.

Kind of a cheesy line, sure, but the sentiment is relieving. So much of the Games have been about Katniss running and hiding, and I’m glad to finally see her change. And have Rue at her side as well!

They are woken in the morning by the sound of the cannon; someone has died. They recount who’s left, unable to figure out who the tenth person is. Not surprisingly, Katniss wonders if Peeta was the one to die. (He wasn’t and I’m sticking to my theory that he’s not going to die until the very end.) The fact that Collins includes this means that tenth tribute is going to be important sooner or later. OBVIOUS COLLINS IS OBVIOUS.

Rue and Katniss begin the discussion to determine what to do to ruin the food supply. We learn (from Rue, who turns out to be pretty observant) that the supply is about 30 yards from the lake and is being watched over by the small boy from District 3. It doesn’t make sense and, to be completely honest, I didn’t figure out why he was there until the reveal at the end of the chapter. (We’ll get there.)

Katniss is concerned that there is a very specific reason why the supplies are out in the open and guarded by the weakest in the group. The obvious answer is that it’s a trap, so they decide to set one of their own. They set up two potential campfires in the woods, which Rue will set, and then set a third, hoping to distract the Careers away from the supplies, allowing Katniss to attempt to destroy everything.  Rue teaches Katniss her mockingjay song, which she learned in her district, as a way to signal that she’s all right. We don’t get to read about what Katniss’s plan is at the moment, though; they split up the remaining supplies and Rue gives Katniss a warm, loving hug. Then they’re gone.

Ugh, it’s going to happen, isn’t it? I really don’t want Rue to die, but this seems like the perfect time for it to happen. BOOOOOOOOO.

After they separate, Katniss heads to a vantage point that Rue recommended and I will talk about that, but I need to point out this line right now. Some context: Katniss is doubting that anything she witnessed after getting stung by the tracker jackers ever happened and she says this:

But just the fact that he was sparkling leads me to doubt everything that happened.

There is a small part of me that is dearly hoping this is a reference to Twilight. A boy can dream, right?

Anyway, let’s get to the supply set up, shall we?

There are four tributes. The boy from District 1, Cato, and the girl from District 2, and a scrawny, ashen-skinned boy who must be from District 3. He made almost no impression on me at all during our time in the Capitol.

Yeah, I don’t even remember any details about him either. WHY IS HE WATCHING THE CARGO?

The Cornucopia sits in its original position, but its insides have been picked clean. Most of the supplies, held in crates, burlap sacks, and plastic bins, are piled neatly in a pyramid in what seems to be a questionable distance from the camp. Others are sprinkled around the perimeter of the pyramid, almost mimicking the layout of supplies around the Cornucopia at the onset of the Games. A canopy of netting that, aside from discouraging birds, seems to be useless shelters the pyramid itself.

I don’t understand it. It’s not that Collins is a bad writer, but I am bad at like…mechanical, visual shit. Even if I saw it before my eyes, I’d still be stumped. Basically, y’all would have already read about my tragic, clumsy death many pages ago.

My guess is the pyramid is booby-trapped in some manner. I think of concealed pits, descending nets, a thread that when broken sends a poisonous dart into your heart. Really, the possibilities are endless.

I could maybe—maybe—think of like six things. My imagination is not booby-trap-ready.

Cato spots the fire that Rue has set, and, surprisingly, all four tributes leave the supplies, but not without an argument about it.

“He’s coming. We need him in the woods, and his job’s done here anyway. No one can touch those supplies,” says Cato.

“What about Lover Boy?” says the boy from District 1.

“I keep telling you, forget about him. I know where I cut him. It’s a miracle he hasn’t bled to death yet. At any rate, he’s in no shape to raid us,” says Cato.

Oh, what the fuck. Really? I mean, he’s not going to die now, but CHRIST. But now I’m even more curious: Why can all four of them leave the supplies? What sort of booby trap did they set?

Katniss can’t figure it out, but she ends up not needing to:

Several hundred yards to my right, I see someone emerge from the woods. For a second, I think it’s Rue, but then I recognize Foxface—she’s the one we couldn’t remember this morning—creeping out onto the plain. When she decides it’s safe, she runs for the pyramid, with quick, small steps. Just before she reaches the circle supplies that have been littered around the pyramid, she stops, searches the ground, and carefully places her feet on a spot. Then she begins to approach the pyramid with strange little hops, sometimes landing on one foot, teetering slightly, sometimes risking a few steps. At one point, she launches up in the air, over a small barrel and lands poised on her tiptoes. But she overshot slightly, and her momentum throws her forward. I hear her give a sharp squeal as her hands hit the ground, but nothing happens. In a moment, she’s regained her feet and continues until she has reached the bulk of supplies.

WHAT THE BLOODY HELL. So, my first thought is that she’s jumping over small trip wires that are rigged to…I don’t know? I mean, do the tributes get those sort of weapons in the game? I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING AT ALL. When Foxface only grabs a small amount of supplies (so as not to raise suspicion) and tiptoes away, it finally occurs to her what sort of trap it is.

Land mines.

The boy from District 3 is from the land of factories where they make—yep—explosives. Get this shit:

I slip out of the bushes and cross to one of the round metal plates that lifted the tributes into the arena. The ground around it has been dug up and patted back down. The land mines were disabled after the sixty seconds we stood on the plates, but the boy from District 3 must have managed to reactivate them. I’ve never seen anyone in the Games do that. I bet it came as a shock even to the Gamemakers.

THIS IS GENIUS. I completely forgot about the landmines because…well, let’s be honest, when were they ever going to be used again.

So Katniss’s new focus is on setting off the mines; she hopes they’re close enough to cause a chain reaction as well. She thinks about sending a flaming arrow into the supplies, hoping to catching some oil, but without knowing for certain what’s there, it’s all essentially a big waste of time. Until she spots a burlap sack full of apples, which might have just enough weight to set off the pressure triggers. It only takes three arrows for her to drop them, but then:

For a moment, everything seems frozen in time. Then the apples spill to the ground and I’m blown backward into the air.

Guess what time it is? END OF CHAPTER TIME. This is absurd. Why do I willingly choose to do this.

About Mark Oshiro

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

233 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Hunger Games’: Chapter 16

  1. hungergamesfan says:

    Another crazy chapter, I love how badly Katniss beasts it up. And Mark, shit only gets more real from here on out!

  2. Andrew says:

    I love this chapter. It's all "WUT?" up until the last few pages when it gets all "WTF?!?!?" then BAM last page and there's an explosion. <3

  3. bell_erin_a says:

    Oh, sorry. I must be thinking of the wrong series. 😛

    I really like how poverty gives Katniss and Rue an advantage here (okay, not that it's good they can deal with hunger, but you get my point). It's nice to know that the Careers are not the only ones whose lives give them a leg up in the arena.

    Also, boy from D3?!? That shit is serious!

  4. Ashley says:

    Don't forget to add Foxface to your chart!

  5. Andrew says:

    What do you think would be an obvious ending, besides Katniss winning?

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Peeta dying in front of her or Katniss having to kill Peeta. It seems so goddamn obvious it hurts. Like that will be her big ~moment~ and maybe Peeta will offer himself up as a way to satisfy his statement on the roof about the Capitol not being able to own his dignity.

      • Kelly says:

        I almost wonder if your experience with this book is being hurt by reading just one chapter at a time. I didn't think any part of this book was so predictable (well, I did know ther were sequels, so I could guess some things) and it kind of makes me sad that you feel that way! I understand, reading it so slowly makes you analyze everything, but I just hope it's not ruining the story for you!

      • lossthief says:

        To me the predictable ending is if they end up getting audience support or something to keep them both alive, thus fueling a love triangle for the later books with Gale. I hope that's not how it goes, but I can't say I have a huge amount of faith in Collins right now.

        I'd actually like it if your ending comes to pass, since there's room for Kat to have to deal with killing somebody she knew, who might have cared for her.

    • momigrator says:

      I actually think that in the end, Peeta and Katniss will be the last ones alive, Peeta will give himself up to her, and she won't be able to kill him.

  6. LadyLately says:

    Man, I think Foxface is my favorite non-main tribute. You know her strategy is to wait until she's second to last and just be all like 'HEY REMEMBER ME' -stabbity stab-

  7. Mreeb says:

    Oh, these cliffhangers. REading one chapter at a time is hard. I might break soon. BUT I MUSN'T, IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN I HAVE FINALS TO STUDY FOR.

    So, I'm gonna call that Cato is also going to survive to the end. It just really feels like he is being set up to be Katniss's arch nemesis, especially if he ends up killing Rue here (D: D: D: noooooo). So he needs to survive to the end so that he and Katniss can have an EPIC BATTLE OF HATE AND VENGEANCE TO THE DEATH at the climax.

  8. Rimma says:

    You are not prepared for my witty, intelligent, insightful, totes awesome comment:


    That is all. 🙂

    Actually, not…I also want to point out how Collins shows a person of color in a very positive light. It doesn't seem to happen often enough in fiction.

    • bookling says:

      Yes! I also like how race is like, the least of Katniss' concerns. Rue's race is mentioned once in passing and then it's never an issue.

      • adev0tchka says:

        In the future, I guess racism is finally eradicated…but the trade-off seems to be this shitfest for a government.

        • Openattheclose says:

          Racism might be, but classism seems to be rampant. Look at Effie's treatment of the table manners of Peeta and Katniss.

    • notemily says:

      Katniss herself is ambiguously raced… if that's even a phrase. She says she and Gale both have dark hair and "olive" skin, which could mean anything from Latino, to Italian, to Middle Eastern, to… white person with a tan? I mean, at Katniss's point in history the race delineations could be drastically different from how they are now. It'll be interesting to see how she's cast for the movie.

      But yes, Rue is unambiguously a PoC and she's awesome.

      • Arione says:

        Rue is a Pirate of the Caribbean? Sorry couldn’t resist.

      • bookling says:

        I have a sinking feeling that everyone in the movie will be completely whitewashed. :\

        • Karen says:

          Ugh. I know. It's part of the reason why I want the wonderful Malese Jow to play Katniss. I think it'd be great to have a mixed race person as Katniss, and she was wonderful as Anna on The Vampire Diaries, so I think she could definitely handle the role. Also, she's a huge fan of the series and it always shows on film when the actor is really passionate about a project.

      • Katherine says:

        Reading between the lines, Katniss is from around West Virgina/Kentucky area in the Appalacians; given that this area is overwhelmingly white, I'd say that she's white.

        District 11 seems to be in the Deep South, since it's adjacent to 12 and agricultural (and the frequent whippings seem like a historical call-back).

  9. Kaci says:

    "On top of this, I never considered how poverty actually plays to an advantage in the Games. Huh. Learn something new every day."

    My grandfather is always telling me that because I grew up in the mountains, and I know how to hunt and fish and live off the land, that "when the apocalypse comes" (he's a crazy old man, so I don't argue), I'll be one of the ones who make it the longest. Katniss's experience with those things is far more extensive than mine, and I think it's safe to call the Hunger Games fairly apocalyptic, at least as far as the conditions the tributes face.

    I hated growing up in poverty at the time, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. If I ever need to survive, I know I can. Not everyone can say that. (Not that poverty is a good thing EVER, only…it's a silver lining for Katniss here, and I long ago decided to make a silver lining out of it for myself, too.)

    • You can get good things out of awful experiences. It's all about how you look at it.

    • rissreader says:

      I started reading science fiction many years ago and apocafic became one of my favorite themes. There's a part of my mind that evaluates skills and products as useful or not according to what one might have to do "when the apocalypse comes". I'm a city woman, so I admire your skills.

      • Openattheclose says:

        I think of these things too. City people and apartment-dwellers like myself are going to be so screwed if the apocalypse comes. All I know is I am going to try like hell to get to my Dad,who lives about ten miles away. He is one of those people that could totally survive with a knife and some duct tape.

      • JapaneseAlps says:

        Curious: have you ever read the Novels of the Change? Because the Change is quite possibly the best apocalypse I’ve ever read about. By magic or fiat of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens or something along those lines, gunpowder, electricity, internal combustion and all that industrial stuff suddenly cease to work. This means two big things at first: a) no more tractors and trucks, so you’d best establish a food base before you starve to death; and b) Sam Colt is no longer making us equal, so muscular thugs have a much better chance of getting what they want.

        N.B.: Only the first book, or maybe first trilogy, can really be considered postapocalyptic. By the fourth book, which takes place a good twenty-two years after the Change, the twentysomething main characters have never known anything else and besides, at that point it pretty much turns into straight-up epic fantasy. Which is cool, but postapocalyptic it ain’t.

    • notemily says:

      It's not so much the apocalypse, for me, as the fact that we are SO reliant on technology, that if even one piece of the system breaks down, a lot of people will have no idea what to do instead. Like how a lot of food is shipped long distances to get to us–what if that were somehow cut off? People who knew how to hunt and fish and grow food would be ok–unless they lived in a city where there wasn't any hunting or fishing, and didn't have any land to grow things on.

      • Openattheclose says:

        I feel exactly the same way. It's really quite scary. How many people even know how to build a fire? How many people know how to get food if there is no grocery store?

  10. Stephalopolis says:

    "CUTEST MOMENT IN THE HUNGER GAMES y/y/y/y"I agree, but, to be fair, I think this is also the FIRST cute moment in the hunger games because everything else has been death and destruction."'But just the fact that he was sparkling leads me to doubt everything that happened.'
    There is a small part of me that is dearly hoping this is a reference to Twilight. A boy can dream, right?"
    I thought the SAME THING when I read that line. If only Twilight could only have been a nightmare we had one night rather than the ongoing nightmare it is now.I'm like you. I'd be dead by now.

  11. iva222 says:

    Just when you think "Oh, nice chapter, my nerves can relax for awhile…" BAM!!! Exploding mines are exploding.

    Also, in my mind the Careers are Crabbe and Goyle, and the boy from 3 is Nott. My imagination has failed me :p

  12. monkeybutter says:

    I'm curious, too. Since I've liked reading the predictions of other people who are reading it for the first time, how do you think it's going to end?

  13. Stephalopolis says:

    "Why do I willingly choose to do this."

    Because as much as you try and deny it, you secretly love us.

  14. Karen says:

    “I keep telling you, forget about him. I know where I cut him. It’s a miracle he hasn’t bled to death yet. At any rate, he’s in no shape to raid us,” says Cato.
    Peeta! NOOOOO!!! My poor bb is hurt.

    Oh right. Actual plot stuff happens in this chapter too. I totally didn't see the Careers using the land mines coming. That was actually incredibly clever of them. Count me impressed. And of course I love how Katniss figures out how to detonate the landmines. But then… CLIFFHANGER. WHYYY?

    • ldwy says:

      Yes. Landmines almost ~almost~ make you forget about Peeta, and then you're all WAIT A MINUTE!!! OH NOOOOOOO.

    • notemily says:

      I think it's interesting that NOBODY has used the land mines before this year. I wonder if the Gamemakers were conflicted about showing that part on TV, because they probably won't want other tributes to get that idea too. But they'd have to show it, especially when Katniss blows it up because it's too interesting not to show.

  15. pearljammies says:

    Poverty, struggle, hardship – it all strengthens you. It makes you realize the difference between necessities and wants, and how little you need to survive. It creates detachment.

    It is an apparent negative that can be cultivated into a positive.

    It is precisely what the Capitol should – and does – fear. It is why the most oppressively difficult times in my life are also those for which I am most grateful. It is why I am thankful that things have not been easy for me, as the inverse seems to be true – the less you have to strive and fight, the more you take for granted, and the less you are adept at dealing with misfortune.

    I love books that turn elitism on its head. LOVE.

  16. Susan Walker says:

    Mark, in a round about way I was already wondering how growing up in poverty would play in this. Maybe not poverty per se, but growing up without enough of anything whether it be because of abuse or poverty. This is part of my comment in chapter 7: "I can't help being reminded of how HP was raised with not enough food, ill fitting hand me downs & no real possessions of his own. He grew up having to get by with nothing, appreciating everything he was given & respecting people without prejudice. His nemesis Draco Malfoy was a spoiled rich kid who was raised with the best of everything. He grew up a bigoted coward who was good at bullying, but couldn't handle when things got tough. Can you tell I miss HP? I wonder if the extra training will help the Careers or if they will turn out to be bullies who crack under real pressure."

    I'm sure Katniss can handle a lot more than the Careers.

  17. potlid007 says:

    When there is a cliffhanger in a book:
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    When there is a cliffhanger in the Hunger Games:
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket"><img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    • BinahtheBold says:

      <3 Yay gifs!

      And yes. I read the first and second Hunger Games books in like 2 days. I AM SO TIRED.

    • LadyLately says:

      Collins is clearly delusional and views all her readers as fellow tributes in her own Hunger Games. She is trying to murder you to live.

    • Marie_Goos says:

      Your .gifs. THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL. ;_; (And somehow the knowledge that almost every chapter ends in a cliffhanger makes it a little easier to bear said cliffhangers).

      • exbestfriend says:

        Which is true for me. Now that I expect every chapter to end with OH GOD MY HEAD HURTS WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOUR CHARACTERS COLLINS?!?!?! I can just read it like serialized fiction. It is just the next issue in the comic or whatever.

        I mean logically I know that, but it doesn't make the end of the chapter less terrifying.

    • Treasure Cat says:

      Appropriate gifs are appropriate! They illustrate your point perfectly XD

    • Rimma says:

      I love AVPM/AVPS gifs forever.

    • bookling says:


  18. aficat says:

    This is absurd.


    <img src=""&gt;

    /I'm so very sorry

  19. phoebe says:

    haha hp infiltrating your speech 🙂

  20. andreah1234 says:

    Let me get this out-of-the-way first ok?:

    And This:
    PEETAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHYYYYYY OH WHYYYY?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!? *cries in despair*

    Will come back when I have something more thoughtful to say :P.

  21. Marie_Goos says:

    My ~*~super accurate prediction~*~ is that either Katniss or Rue will stumble across the wounded Peeta. I really hope Rue doesn't die yet, because I'm really liking her so far. Also, it is time for my obligatory comic (lazy layout is lazy):

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

  22. Shanella says:

    When you say things are obvious, I'd like to know what is obvious about them. I mean all the gamers are up to SOMETHING, or at least have the potential to be up to something right?

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      It's an overused foreshadowing trope. "Gee, I don't remember this specific person. Oh well." *days later* "Oh wow it's that person we didn't remember and they're doing something really important!"

  23. kaleidoscoptics says:

    A canopy of netting that, aside from discouraging birds, seems to be useless shelters the pyramid itself.

    I know this is nitpicking, but this is such a convoluted sentence. It took me forever to parse that correctly. (A canopy of netting [that seems to be useless {aside from discouraging birds}] shelters the pyramid itself.)

    Foxface is all sorts of awesome. She's walking through a minefield without getting her legs blown off. And then again with the association of Katniss with fire!

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      The commas are what totally mess up that sentence. They're in such a weird place.

    • Ashley Mac says:

      I completely agree about that sentence. I think I had to read it 3 or 4 times to actually figure out what she was going for…

    • Rimma says:

      You make this grammar teacher's heart smile. 🙂

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Okay, let's try to fix it:

      "A netted canopy shelters the pyramid itself, and––aside from discouraging birds––seems to be useless."

      But the part that bugged me the most in this chapter wasn't a technical thing; it was when Rue and Katniss were discussing the remaining tributes. They're all like: the boy from Three, that makes eight, divide by Thresh…theboythegirltheboy––ARGH! This is why I wanted the characters described in detail earlier! Thank goodness for Mark's charts or I'd have no idea who was left!

      • kaleidoscoptics says:

        Yeah, it would be nice if she had at least given the rest of them names.

      • Shanella says:

        But if Katniss gives them names and personalities, then it would be difficult to kill them in cold blood. Take Rue for example, we all know she's got this big X on her and she's going to have to die — well, we assume so, I mean Rue could win. However, if she does die it will be harder because we got to know her.

        • adev0tchka says:

          The other side to not giving them names makes it more realistic. Remember, we're seeing everything from Katniss's eyes. Do we really expect her to know all 23 of these strangers (minus Peeta) who she's known for about a week? Come to think of it, she's had little to no contact with most of them, so it makes sense to me that she can't name so many of them.

        • BradSmith5 says:

          Eh, Collins doesn't have the guts to kill Rue! And she's quick, and she's got Katniss on her side, and…and…she's not gonna die, not gonna die…. :'(

  24. xkcdhobbes says:

    I like how apples make landmines blow up. The game makers/sponsors/watchers must be thinking "Oh shit, she blew up everything using apples! Katniss is so awesome!" And I totally agree with the fact that this is the cutest seen ever.

    • Openattheclose says:

      I’ve just realized, Twilight has the famous cover with the apple, and Katniss sure likes shooting apples. It’s probably unintentional, but I’m going to think of it as Katniss slaughtering Twilight.

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      Or the gamemakers are thinking, "Christ, what does this chick have against apples?"

  25. corporatecake says:

    This is where Foxface won my heart, because I love wily, cunning characters. I mean, when you realize she must have been stealing food from the Careers at this time, you just have to laugh, because it's such a one over on them.

    Anyway, I loved the reveal that the land was mined. I never would have guessed, and then when Katniss realizes, you're going there going, OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE IT IS SO AWESOME AND WHAT IS KATNISS GOING TO DO, GO BOY FROM DISTRICT THREE!

    I mean, seriously. That must have taken some serious smarts on that kid's part. Kudos to him.

    Also, I agree with other people in that this is where I started tiring of the cliffhangers when I was reading this book. It gets really exhausting after a while, and we're sixteen chapters in, so either the reader is invested or they aren't. There's no need to pull cheap tricks to keep us reading. We'd want to keep reading anyway. I read this book on a binge that lasted, I don't know, four hours, and by this point I just wanted to be able to put the book down to pee. I ended up taking it in the bathroom with me. It's hard to read while washing your hands, trust.

  26. simply_shipping says:

    I love Rue so, so much. And I know she's going to have to die at some point and whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?! *sobs*

  27. andreah1234 says:

    Back! And I have an almost coherent response to this chapter too! yay!. Ok, this chapter, made my head and heart hurt so many times I can't even count. First: Rue and Katniss bringing the cute to this book for the first time in…well ever, I love that "scene" because it's nice to see that even in this mess oh so full of darkness there is (even if is a little) of light, and that came out way too cornier that I planned but whatev. Second I love the mines thing, I think is a really nice way to bring action to the book (not that it needs it hehe) but without been plain obvious with it as Collins has been before, plus I did not see it coming, and that in this book is a huge plus. Peeta breaks my heart, period, and I will stick to my theory that he is good and he is trying to help Katniss and that he is not going to die and that he does not sparkles or stalks in any way at all. Oh and the Careers (as stated before) are a bunch of assholes. Yeah.

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Yeah, I agree that bringing back the mines was a great idea. I thought that it was just some element introduced at the start to shock us; I was surprised to see them used like this. It's so much more interesting to see a tangible thing that can be conquered instead of fireballs from nowhere that aren't even explained. Now if it were revealed that gas lines were buried under the ground, that would be something!

    • ldwy says:

      The mines surprised me too (and horrified, and impressed) For once, I did not expect them at all. District three boy, you've got skills and nerve.

  28. exbestfriend says:

    Between this chapter and War Stories on Mark Watches it is none stop "Apples have destructive powers!!"

  29. Treasure Cat says:

    Epic Harry Potter/Hunger Games crossover comment coming up!
    In my opinion Foxface embodies what it is to be a Slytherin. I love JK with all of my heart and soul but she did have the unfortunate thing going on that Slytherin did get portrayed in a rather bad might, because Death Eaters and whatnot. Slytherins are supposed to keep their heads down, look after themselves, they are smart and cunning. Foxface is all of these things, and she is still awesome. Slytherin and Foxface FTW!

    • Treasure Cat says:

      *rather bad light, not might

    • Stephalopolis says:

      So true. As much as I love JK Rowling till the end of time, I do wish she could have shed a bit more light on the Slytherins (though, who am I to criticize the author? It's her book, and her world, so I have no room to tell her what to do with it.) That said, I love Fanon!Slytherin because fanon goes on to expand on the Slytherin ideals- that they're not "evil"- just sly, cunning, and ambitious.

      Yep- Foxface it totes a Slytherin. At the end of this book, we should play "What house would *insert Hunger Game Character* be sorted into?"

  30. tzikeh says:

    re: Cliffhangers

    In the forced and unnatural way everyone is choosing to read the book, the ends of chapters can *feel* like cliffhangers, but they're not. A cliffhanger is something that (funnily enough) leaves you hanging, as in, there is no immediate continuation of the story or resolution to the situation. If we were reading the book as a piece, as books are meant to be read, the AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! (as much fun as it is) wouldn't exist because you'd just turn the page and the story would go on. Most books don't actually have chapter markers; they're artificial constructs in narratives.


    All of that said –

    <img src=""&gt;

    • Karen says:

      In the forced and unnatural way everyone is choosing to read the book, the ends of chapters can *feel* like cliffhangers, but they're not.
      I kind of agree. I read the book pretty much all in one go, so it all just felt like one huge narrative. But when you break it up by chapter, I can see how it would feel like so many frustrating cliffhangers.

    • Stephalopolis says:

      Agree. If you read this book all in one go, it's a fast paced thriller. But, one chapter at a time kind of takes us out of the narrative. Whereas Harry Potter it was nice to stop and analyze after each chapter, and Twilight it was nice to reach the end of the chapter and have an excuse to stop, Hunger Games it kind of takes you out of the moment.

    • bread says:

      Yeah, this book isn't meant to be read a chapter a day. It would've ruined the book for me had I done that.

    • BradSmith5 says:

      I believe that every chapter should be a piece of the story, but have enough substance to stand on its own. I've never heard this whole 'a book should be read non-stop as a piece' idea. I would try it, but wouldn't that take like a million years or all day or something? o.0

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      Chapter breaks may be artificial narrative devices (and really all narrative devices are artificial), but they're there for a reason.

      If stopping your reading in the places where literary convention says it's okay to stop is "forced and unnatural," though, then one has to ask why the author/publisher would insert chapter breaks in those places.

      And the answer is to create a cliffhanger. ^_^

    • Anri says:

      Agreed. And in addition: I honestly never pay attention to chapter beginnings and endings, and normally stop when there is a natural pause. That usually ends up happening at the end of a day within the book – which sometimes corresponds with the end of a chapter, it’s true, but in the case of this book just means I stop mid-chapter.

  31. notemily says:

    My favorite part of this chapter is the way Rue's Mockingjay call parallels the way the birds warn of the hovercraft coming.

    Busy now–will write more later, but I just wanted to post that one thing.

    • paulineparadise says:

      Oh. My. God. I never realised that thank you

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      This. I actually got a bit annoyed at that when it happened the second time because it seemed like Collins just wrote the bird call as a cheap way to get Katniss to mention the Avox girl again. Now that we know more about the birds, though, it'll be interesting to see if there's more to it than that.

  32. Kelly L. says:

    OMG, every reference to "sparkling" and "dazzling" – while completely innocuous in this context – makes me cringe. Stephenie Meyer has RUINED THESE WORDS.

    Blowing shit up = badass.

  33. spiffy says:

    roasted apples, anyone?

  34. Anonymous says:

    It's coming…it's coming….

  35. Yusra says:

    Not sure whether anyone's corrected you, but District 3 is electronics, not explosives. (I mean, it doesn't really seem wise, to give an entire district EXPLOSIVES, does it?)

    • Dani says:

      As far as I know, though, District 3 does have factories that make explosives. Because "electronics" is such a broad area, they manufacture a lot of things there.

      • Yusra says:

        but they don't specialise in explosives. Because that would make the Capitol dumb. 🙂

        [sorry, I'm being picky. I'm an electronics student, and for some reason, that makes me touchy. Either that or I don't like being proven wrong.]

  36. mugglemomof2 says:

    "Guess what time it is? END OF CHAPTER TIME. This is absurd. Why do I willingly choose to do this."

    I wonder this as I read every chapter review. You have the willpower of an ox I tell you. Could. Not. Do. It!

  37. bread says:

    Katniss is making the Gamemakers' job so easy. She is so damn entertaining. The games are horrible and everything but I have a feeling all the districts are glued to their screens watching her every move.

    • Kelseyintherain says:

      Siriusly. Everyone in the capitol must be shitting themselves screaming "OMG BEST HUNGER GAMES EVAAAAAH!!11"

      But Katniss can't help it. She was born to be a badass.

  38. 4and6forever says:

    So if there were bombs around the food, how did they get to the supplies?

    • jessimuhka says:

      The same way Foxface did. They knew where the mines were and the path to avoid them. Foxface must have watched them and memorized how to get to the food. Foxface is totally becoming my favorite secondary character.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      Aside from the above answer, it's also possible that the District 3 guy rigged it so the mines could be deactivated, just like they were after the Gamemakers were done with them.

      If that's the case, I'm guessing they wait for specific times or until a large number of their camp needs supplies, then the District 3 tribute trips a switch and deactivates the mines so everyone can get what they need all at once. Then reactivation resets the mines to take the new weight of the supplies into account. That way, anyone who needs supplies individually/outside that time period is doing so at their own risk.

      Though it's entirely possible I've been thinking about this too much.

  39. Miranda says:

    Bahahaha. I love this.
    Well, I hate it too.

    I love it because I already know what's going to happen and you don't and I love the suspense and the fact that your mind will be blown.
    But I hate it because I just want to shout out that: "KATNISS LDGRHSLKDNVZLFN;AOIHGABG;ZKNKSMMMMMMMPPPPPPHHHHHHHHH!" (makes sure to cover mouth)

    Ahh, it's so hard not to give spoilers. XD

  40. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I was pretty much resigned to seeing Rue die in this chapter the moment she talks about/shows Katniss her good luck charm.

    And the moment Katniss mentioned the food at the Career camp being out in the open I was pretty much mentally shouting ITSATRAP.gif, though the land mine reveal was actually surprising.

    I also thought that Cato's saying "[the District 3 tribute's] job's done, anyway" was the District 3 guy's cue to run, since the argument was loud enough for even Katniss to hear. It really doesn't seem like the Career tributes would spare him after he's outlived his purpose, and one would think that he knows that. I'm guessing, then, that at this point he's just too weak to do anything about it.

  41. Cally_Black says:

    Someone said that they thought Foxface would be in Slytherin. I had actually never thought of that before and sort of agree, but when I was first reading the books and saw her amazing smart and skills I was like, "Foxface is a total Ravenclaw!"

    Plus as soon as I saw what her strategy was (steal just enough from the Careers so that she can survive, but they don't notice, and also keep a low profile without killing anyone) I knew that was how I would play the games, and since I'm a Ravenclaw, I thought this supported my theory.

    Oh, and that strategy is not spoilers because I'm not talking about how she plays the rest of the Games, just what we see from this chapter.

    • exbestfriend says:

      I think you are right. Foxface is Ravenclaw bc she is crafty and smart. THAT WE KNOW OF: She hasn't tried to sabotage anyone or attack anyone. She is just hiding out and playing defensively. Of course I am biased since I am Ravenclaw as well, but I feel that you put out a good argument and I am here to support it.

  42. Quizzical says:

    so many cliffhangers!


  43. Cally_Black says:

    Katniss by burdge-bug
    <img src=>

    I love this picture of Katniss being her badass self!

  44. Annalisa says:

    I'm just going to be honest, I completely forgot what color Rue was whenever I was reading it. I just pictured her as a normal girl(besides the fact that she's starved to death, etc.) I think it's the way Collins wrote it. She mentions Rue's race once and we get to know how in the future there is no segregation between races and how people can get along.
    I don't really know, it's just my thought. Just thought I'd share.

  45. mag11 says:

    I think it would be cool–not actually COOL cool, just interesting in a narrative sense–if it turned out that Katniss had to kill Rue. To save her from being killed more brutally by the other tributes, or something. NOT THAT I ACTUALLY WANT THIS TO HAPPEN because Rue is my favorite EVER, but I agree that she "stinks of death", and I just think that would be an interesting way to see it done. You know. For the story. (Of course if this actually happens I will probably be more wracked with guilt than Katniss will undoubtedly be–and now that I think about it, I think that at this point (or by the point such a thing would actually happen), Katniss might try to sacrifice herself before killing Rue. Unless she's been wounded and it's like a mercy killing or something. oh god i'm going to stop theorizing THIS INSTANT i disgust myself >.<)

  46. ladililn says:

    Okay, I have to say–Mark pointed out that we don't actually get to SEE Katniss's plan to destroy the food (at least in full) until it actually happens, which is a device I really really hate. Writers use it a lot to build tension and keep the suspense up for as long as possible–"suddenly, I realized!" or "I explained the plan to them" or something like that–and it works, and I understand why they do it, and it makes sense narratively, but it's just so jarring to be suddenly kicked out of the narrator's head like that. Usually, as the reader, we know more than the character, and everything the character knows, but to suddenly know less than the character for the sake of suspense never really sat right with me. No idea how they could change it while still getting their ~big reveal~ moment, but I just wanted to point that out. /rant

    • notemily says:

      It seemed to go pretty quickly to me. I mean, she didn't have an actual plan until she saw the bag of apples and then it was just a few seconds until the job was done. I have seen that a lot before as a device, but I don't know if this is the best example.

      (There's a reverse of that trope too–if I see someone spell out a plan in great detail, I can pretty much guarantee that something is going to go wrong.)

  47. Revolution64 says:

    Fuck it. I am getting these damn books TODAY.

    P.S. – I hope you'll be pleased to know I'm doing a report in my English on the racism, sexism, and misogyny in "Twilight." I thought of you. 😀

    • Yusra says:

      I'm sorry, but I haven't read Twilight in a while, so, could you remind me the racism in it? (I see the sexism and misogyny, but not the racism…)

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        OH MAN. Well, we learn that "brown" vampires become white-skinned when they are bitten, and Bella views them as "perfected" in that state, so there's that. There's a lot of insinuation that everyone south of America is dumb and wild and murderous and uncivilized. But the worst is that Jasper was PROUDLY a soldier for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. You know, the side that WANTED TO KEEP SLAVES.

        • Mauve_Avenger says:

          The first two things you mention really make me think that Stephenie Meyer internalized a lot of racist interpretations of Mormon doctrine. Those two examples are exactly what I'd expect from a person who believes in the connection between people of color and the Curse of Ham/Mark of Cain/evil Lamanites.

          Isn't there a part of the story that likens the Cullens to early European colonists, as well? Entirely possible I'm misremembering that, though.

        • Revolution64 says:

          My notes literally said: Jasper was a proud member of the Confederate Army (!!!!)

          I use exclamation points to replace curse words because I have to turn them in. I'm also presenting it, but I can't use my point that the Mormon influences are probably racist as well, because over half my class is LDS. Stupid Idaho.

      • sploo says:

        While there may not be a "Magical Negro," the "Noble Savage" trope is rather difficult to miss.

        • Pan says:

          Maybe the cleaning staff member, who immediately realised, that there was something eeevil about Bella's pregnancy?

      • Karen says:

        You could also go with Meyer's weird appropriation of Native American culture.

        Edited because I've had a few glasses of wine and I think I could explain myself better: What I mean is that from my knowledge of Twilight (which, admittedly is limited to the movies), it seems like Meyer takes Native American cultures and exotic-izes it, similar to the orientalism of the 19th century. It just feels a bit weird and gross to me.

      • notemily says:

        American Indians are ~MAGICAL~ and can turn into animals!

        Plus, everyone at the final "battle" (that's not really a battle) in Breaking Dawn is basically the embodiment of every stereotype about whatever culture/country they are from. Whee.

      • Yusra says:

        I feel I ought to retract my statement. Obviously, Twilight is highly racist.

        [I was going to argue against some of the comments, but I felt that my points would fall on deaf ears (blind eyes?!). And the fact that I can't remember most of Twilight doesn't help. And the fact that it would automatically make me -racist- isn't good either. Because, let's face it, Twilight's not worth it.]

  48. forthejokes says:

    Definitely the cutest thing ever. And only having read this book all at once, I didn't know until you did this how many end-of-chapter cliffhangers there were. It should be illegal.

  49. Syn says:

    So reading the reviews, I had checked out the book.

    (And finished it within the same day. I was hooked!)

    Irrelevant, but when I opened the book, what I saw made me giggle.

    In pretty handwriting:

    “This book sucks ass.


    You’re welcome. :)”

    They were so, so wrong.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      You should read Battle Royale, though. The book/manga/movie are all unbelievably fantastic.

      • potlid007 says:

        It really is an amazing story. Unlike The Hunger Games, you grow really fond of all (okay, MOST) of the people playing. It's quite moving. Hunger games is far more fast paced.

        oh, and Mark, "You're the most stylin' girl in the world". that is all.

      • Syn says:

        Oh, I probably will. I moved onto “Catching Fire” right now for the Hunger Games, though.
        I just meant that they were wrong about The Hunger Games sucking ass.
        It’s very odd though that it looks like a teacher’s handwriting…

    • jessimuhka says:

      I find it so amusing when people write things like that in library books. The copy of Catcher in the Rye I checked out earlier this year had every instance of the word "goddamn" crossed out in pencil. I was so sad to return it, it was a little bowdlerized treasure.

  50. EmilyAnne90 says:

    More Fanart! I just found this one yesterday. So adorable, am I right?

    HG: Allies By: holontirian
    <img src=""&gt;

    • Openattheclose says:

      OMG SO CUTE.

    • erin says:

      Dawwww! "I've never had a whole leg to myself before." :'(

    • amandajane5 says:

      OMG now I know that Rue looks EXACTLY like my friend Randi, who I often refer to as the Cheshire Cat in pictures because all you see is her big white smile, but it's such SUCH an accurate connection I can't believe I didn't make it before! Thank you!

    • Cally_Black says:

      This is spewing adorableness!

      Woah, wait -double checks to make sure- is Katniss actually…smiling? Oh Rue you bring such joy to everyone.

  51. karadudz says:

    Thoughts while reading this chapter:

    1. Not to be morbid or anything… And not that I want Rue to die but… PLEASE DON'T LET HER DIE ALTHOUGH I SENSE SOME DEATH COMING ROUND THE CORNER. Collins, WHY YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!

    2. … Booby trap what?! … How?…. I NEED SOMEONE TO DRAW THAT FOR ME.


    4. ANOTHER CLIFFHANGER?! why oh why Collins. THIS IS NOT FAIR!!

    Then I continued reading and finished the book that same night. Yup

  52. blessthechildren says:

    I will not lie:
    I have read halfway through the second book at this point becuase I LACK ALL OF MARK'S SELF CONTROL ALWAYS.
    Yes, I am weak and smooshy when it comes to reading. Deal with it.
    I honestly cannot stop because I am so fascinated by the mockingjay as a reoccurring symbol of some kind in the books, and the fascination was spawned by these past few chapters. My time living at Hogwarts has taught me that little things often hold great mind-fing significance later on in a well-written plot. I am just so excited to follow this story, and I love that people are making Harry Potter comparisons – I really enjoyed the Harry vs. Draco reference, it is an excellence comparison. *applauds* It rings true of the theme that being privileged has great power to weaken you if you choose to allow it to make you feel egotistical and superior. It the humble hardworkers, the meek, who will inherit the earth.

  53. jessimuhka says:

    My library copy of Catching Fire just got here and I'm going to try and hold out and read along with that one. Due to furlough days, I actually get to keep it until Jan. 14th, so that should mesh fairly well with this blog. I'm terrible at slowly reading anything though, so I'll probably hold out until the 1st official day and then read the whole thing.

  54. Inessa says:

    I still have a problem with the Careers. I understand that we see their advantages from Katniss' POV and that they're assholes, but I think it would have been more realistic if, generally kids from wealthy districts were like this, rather than having a select few bred to be like this and then volunteer. What parents raise their child to be a mass killer or to come home in a box, before turning 18? it must be nice to be in those districts, not so much for the food, but knowing that your children will be safe at Reaping time, because there are idiots who volunteer their children. Also, I would think that these kids would have been trained to survive with no food or little food, since they are prepared for the games for years. Here again, I would think that highlighting the differences between the richer and poorer districts would ring more true than having these selected kids, who have volunteered. Also, I would suppose the richer districts would try and bribe the Capitol to not select certain kids, or to corrupt the games, rather than to embrace the killing of their kids and to actually volunteer up some victims. There are also other interesting thoughts to explore – what if an intended Career changes their mind and doesn't volunteer? Do they get punished?

  55. Snnnnnape says:

    Oh Mark, you are so not prepared. We love you though!

  56. aisha says:

    i've never read twilight ( and i don't want to either). but can someone tell me why sparkling and chagrin are seen as references to twilight?

    • Anahera says:

      Dont even know about sparkling? You're so innocent 🙂

    • 4and6forever says:

      Stephanie Meyers is a convicted word abuser. Her two victims: sparkling and chagrin.

    • ellie says:

      Meyer's vampires have skin that sparkles in the sunlight, even though this makes no sense at all. She also severely overuses the word "chagrin" even when it is not appropriate, making many people who've read Twilight cringe at it now, even when it's used correctly.

  57. embers says:

    I could never have read this one chapter per day, in fact I read the second half of the book straight through in one sitting!

  58. Thistle says:

    No spoilers! Something from this chapter comes into play in the last book, but I had totally forgotten about it until you mentioned it! So, thanks! Hope you remember it when you read the last book! 😀

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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