Mark Reads ‘The Hunger Games’: Chapter 24

In the twenty-fourth chapter of The Hunger Games, GOOD JESUS ALMIGHTY, YOU WERE RIGHT, COMPLETELY FUCKING UNPREPARED. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Hunger Games.

It takes a while to explain the situation to Peeta.

You mean to say, “It takes a while for Mark to understand what the hell just happened.”

How Foxface stole the food from the supply before I blew it up, how she tried to take enough to stay alive but not enough that anyone would notice it, how she wouldn’t question the safety of the berries we were preparing to eat ourselves.

OHHHHHHHHHH. It was the emaciated body thing that confused. I associate emaciation with long bouts of hunger and starvation, so I thought Foxface had starved this entire time and it didn’t make sense to me how that was Peeta’s fault.

How fucked up is it that Foxface’s sneakiness is technically what got her killed? The fact that she did what she could to avoid detection and use what other people did? Oh, Foxface, you will be missed forever.

Before Peeta ditches the berries, Katniss thinks it might be a good idea to save some in a pouch and “drop” them so Cato might pick them up and think them safe to eat. It’s actually not a bad plan, but…well, you’ll see.

They build a fire to cook the meat Katniss caught, reasoning that it’s now-or-never: Cato will know they are the only two left and he is going to come after them. He has to kill BOTH of them to win, whereas they have to only kill him.

Oh god, shit is getting so real.

It doesn’t make sense to me that they head back to the cave, though. I mean…I suppose they’re assuming it will be until morning for Cato to find them? And Peeta isn’t into tree sleeping. (WHO IS, REALLY. LIKE NO ONE.) But why leave the fire they just set? If Cato shows up there, they won’t be around to attack him.

Hmmm. Just a thought.

The Gamemakers are preparing to force the remaining three tributes to fight. They’ve turned down the water flowing in the stream just a bit. (It’s more drastic later.) I know I’m a broken record, but I seriously want to know how they do this.

Back at the cave, there is a surprising display of emotion from Katniss:

He drops off immediately. I pull the sleeping bag up to his chin and kiss his forehead, not for the audience, but for me. Because I’m grateful that he’s still here, not dead by the stream as I’d thought. So glad that I don’t have to face Cato alone.

Now here’s when I start to feel like this romantic plot isn’t forced and awkward. I get this completely. Peeta is her companion, like it or not, and her loneliness is assuaged by his presence. Now this makes sense and doesn’t feel so forced.

Bravo. You are winning over my heart of steel.

There’s a lot of sleeping in this chapter. Peeta sleeps all night and Katniss sleeps until the afternoon. Why did they set the fire so far away? If it’s not spoilery, I’m ok with someone telling me. It DOES NOT COMPUTE in my brain.

“How long do you think we’ll have before the Gamemakers drive us together?” I ask?

About five pages, Katniss. Oh god, Katpee, y’all are seriously unprepared.

Leaving the cave has a sense of finality about it. I don’t think there will be another night in the arena somehow. One way or the other, dead or alive, I have the feeling I’ll escape it today.

I can’t even begin to imagine how relieving this must be, even if it’s mixed with dread. These Games are finally going to be over. Holy shit, there are only 50 pages left in this book, what is happening.

I’m wondering if we might even be able to give our clothes a quick scrub when we reach the stream. Or what used to be the stream. Now there’s only a bone-dry bed.

Well, it’s starting. And I have to give Collins credit where credit is due: she has a fantastic knack for building dread and terror and it was this detail that gave me a funny feeling in my stomach. They are draining the arena of water because they don’t expect anyone to need any anytime soon. Oh shit, guys.

“The lake,” says Peeta. “That’s where they want us to go.”

Oh, Peeta. So close, yet…so far.

Twenty-one tributes are dead, but I still have yet to kill Cato. And really, wasn’t he always the one to kill? Now it seems the other tributes were just minor obstacles, distractions, keeping us from the real battle of the Games. Cato and me.

What is this called, when an author directly acknowledges her own foreshadowing? Oh, right. Awkward.

“Two against one. Should be a piece of cake,” he says.

“Next time we eat, it will be in the Capitol,” I answer.

“You bet it will,” he says.

We stand there a while, locked in embrace, feeling each other, the sunlight, the rustle of leaves at our feet. Then without a word, we break apart and head for the lake.

This is a genuine moment, but so much of what Katniss feels towards Peeta is dependent on them being in the arena. It’s going to be awkward-dot-com once the Games have ended, right?

They make it to the Cornucopia by evening, with the sun setting. Unsure what to do, they surmise it might be best to wait for a bit, then find somewhere to sleep if Cato doesn’t show. So they wait in plain view of the entire forest, hoping Cato shows up.

I don’t know what causes the mocking-jays to sing, and I’m not sure I want to know, but I think it will make a fine moment on film. Collins is a very visceral, visual writer. There are parts of this book that are strange on paper, but will make fine adaptations to the screen. The scene of Peenis sitting at the Cornucopia, awaiting the final battle, as hundreds of mocking-jays sing, is going to be powerful.

So is the moment when the mocking-jays’ cry turns to terror.

We’re on our feet, Peeta wielding his knife, me poised to shoot, when Cato smashes through the trees and bears down on us. He has no spear. In fact, his hands are empty, yet he runs straight for us. My first arrow hits his chest and inexplicably falls aside.

“He’s got some kind of body armor!” I shout to Peeta.

OH FUCK. FUCK. IT’S STARTING. Arrow to the face, Katniss! DO IT NOW. And then GET TO THA CHOPPA.

I brace myself, but he rockets right between us with no attempt to check his speed. I can tell from his panting, the sweat pouring off his purplish face, that he’s been running hard a long time. Not toward us. From something.


My eyes scan the woods just in time to see the first creature leap onto the plain. As I’m turning away, I see another half dozen join it. Then I am stumbling blindly after Cato with no thought of anything but to save myself.

Holy. Shit. You were right. I am sorry. I was completely unprepared for 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.

181 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Hunger Games’: Chapter 24

  1. bell_erin_a says:


    Edit: okay, I guess I have something. I really like the sense of dread but also of anticipation we get from this chapter. It's like oh god we're going to have to leave our little cave and safety and confront Cato but also JFC FINALLY WE CAN GET THE HELL OUT OF THIS DAMN ARENA. The juxtaposition is great.

    And also: The scene of Peenis sitting at the Cornucopia, awaiting the final battle, as hundreds of mocking-jays sing, is going to be powerful.

  2. Openattheclose says:

    I don't think I can even talk about what just happened without spoiling. Here's a gif instead.

    <img src=>

  3. azurefalls says:



  4. pennylane27 says:


    I know that people have been saying that YOU'RE NOT PREPARED, but it has never been so true before.

    I don't know how people can stop after this. I was literally jumping in my seat, scrolling down so fast that I had to go back and read that last paragraph again. 'Half dozen of WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SEE OMG YOU CAN'T END THE FUCKING CHAPTER HERE!'

    • xkcdhobbes says:

      I read the first word of the next chapter, then screamed "NO!" and put the book down and did something else. I used up all my willpower, hope a good night of sleep will replenish that. Now I can't wait for tomorrow morning to read the next chapter!

      • adev0tchka says:

        You are truly a saint. I didn't have such 'holey' restraint!

        Hehehe, I made a rhyme! Umm…I am an adult.

  5. Phoebe says:


  6. jinxed_rose says:


  7. Caitlin P says:

    You are still not prepared. You will never ever be prepared!

  8. simply_shipping says:

    !!!!!!! And I can't even talk about it BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT PREPARED.

  9. elusivebreath says:

    This is one of those times I hate that there's only one post a day!!!!!!!!!!!! NEXT CHAPTER PLEASE.

  10. zulaihaha says:

    Oh my.
    Unrelated: I think a spoiler thread would be nice for those of us who have no self restraint and finished the series already 😀 I'm not sure how that would work on wordpress though.

  11. pennylane27 says:

    Also, I am still giggling at The scene of Peenis sitting at the Cornucopia. Seriously, what am I, 12?

    • andreah1234 says:

      God, I'm much worse, because I didn't laugh until you mentioned it. That's how good my attention is *facepalm*

    • EldaTaluta says:

      It's ok. I don't think Peenis will ever make me not laugh. At least with Katpee I can pretend it says Katerpee. XD

  12. Anon says:

    oh god oh god oh god you are so unprepared

  13. Nidoking says:

    I'd have to guess that they're sleeping far from the fire in case Cato sneaks up on them at night – he won't be able to see them from a distance to shoot at them if they're not in the light, and the fire may lead him away from where they really are so they can catch him unaware.

  14. Beth says:

    i am not a very emotional reader. i didnt cry at all through any of the harry potter books, even though it is the best series ever and jk rowling is a goddess. but… this next chapter… the one you are unprepared for… oh my god.

  15. Garth says:

    It’s finally starting. Hoorah!

  16. Thalia says:

    I am forcing myself to abstain from spoiling the book for you. It's very difficult.

  17. kelseyintherain says:



  18. Arc says:

    Hoping for two reviews.

  19. Blabbla says:

    I assume the water comes from an artificial source, so they just turn off the tap.

    • Andrew says:

      That was the assumption I came too. To me, the arenas are just like huge artificial spaces and this is the future so they can do ~magic~.

  20. xpanasonicyouthx says:


  21. theupsides says:


    That is all. Shit is too real.

  22. theffectshecanhave says:

    Oh Mark, you are finally getting to the good parts. (:

    Not that the rest of the book wasn't totally AWESOME, but this moment? These next few life changing minutes in Katniss' life? Those were the parts where I felt like the real Games started.

    Thumbs up if you agree. (:

  23. Stephalopolis says:

    <img src=""&gt;

    • Openattheclose says:

      I have no idea what this is about, but it made me laugh like crazy.

    • theupsides says:

      Furbies, omg.

    • Stephalopolis says:

      "My eyes scan the woods just in time to see the first creature leap onto the plain. As I’m turning away, I see another half dozen join it. Then I am stumbling blindly after Cato with no thought of anything but to save myself."

      It can only be Furbies.

      • bell_erin_a says:

        Assuming we ever have a nuclear holocaust or apocalypse or anything that turns our world into Peenis's world, only two things will survive: cockroaches and Furbies.

    • Kate Monster says:

      My eyes scan the woods just in time to see the first creature leap onto the plain. As I’m turning away, I see another half dozen join it.

      "Just as suddenly as they appeared, the creatures freeze. Slowly, in unison, they begin to rock back and forth. An eerie chant begins, low at first but soon growing in intensity:

      'Dance…boogie…doo-doo-doo…doo-doo-doo…' "

      Then I am stumbling blindly after Cato with no thought of anything but to save myself.

    • zuzu says:

      oh god those things. those were so scary and creepy to me when i was little yet so many other people in the 2nd grade thought they were cool. i do not understand

    • andreah1234 says:

      I wish I could give this like a million Up votes. But I won't because that shit scared the hell out of me. You WIN by the way 😀

    • lindseytinsey says:

      This is just the best ever.

    • mugglemomof2 says:

      HA HA HA HA HA
      This may be the best thing posted so far!

    • ooohlivia says:

      I hated these godammned things because they guilt-tripped me into looking after them. Every time I put the damn furby down it would start wailing and I felt like an awful mother and had to stand there rocking it until it went to sleep, which took forever. Then it would inevitably wake up within five minutes. I couldn't bring myself to leave it there or worse, destroy it, because I still loved it. The day my furby ran out of battery was the biggest relief (for some reason it never occured to me to just take out the batteries). I think that all in all, my experience with furbys was almost enough to put me off motherhood for life.

    • Suspicious Cookie says:


  24. lossthief says:

    p.315: Peeta, you are not genre savvy at all.
    p.315: "Until you outfoxed her." I wish to give you a firm slap for that pun.
    p.316: Looks like we're close to the climax.
    p.316: "Peeta's a whiz with fires…" Truth be told, I originally read that as "Peeta whizzes on the fire."
    p.318: "The stream seems strangely empty of creatures." oooooooh. Ominous. *wiggles fingers eerily*
    p.319: "Ridiculous reaction…" So even Kat knows Cato is a cartoonish villain at this point.
    p.319: "Maybe I do understand Cato better than I think." Ugh. Stop hitting me over the head with your subtext.
    p.320: "I'm voced in a layer of grime." Camouflage!
    p.321: "Now there's only a bone-dry bed." What.
    p.322: "Let's just go end this thing." Do let's.
    p.322: Kat keeps lampshading how Cato is the "Final Boss" of this book.
    p.323: Oh it's that old "revisiting past chapters before the final battle" thing that pops up in nearly every show/book/movie/story ever.
    p.324: Oh hai, Cato. Long time, no murder.
    p.324: Another cliffhanger? Why? This chapter had barely anything of worth happen in it.
    Overall, this whole chapter was just…dull? I guess that's the best word I could come up with. Not much happens, like Mark said there's "a lot of sleeping" and there's some walking, and everything is set up, but other than the last page, not much really happens. The mockingjay bit was a nice addition, but it really doesn't work that well when I don't know that the actual melody is, so I'm left imagining the birds all singing "I'm walking on sunshine" right now.
    Grade: "C"

  25. Stephalopolis says:

    My guess is they set the fire because that's where they were right in that moment. They set it, ate the food, then once they had energy, made the trek back to the cave. Honestly though, I understand why Peeta didn't want to sleep in a tree, but why waste all that energy on making an hours long trek back to the cave? You're waiting for Cato anyway- just camp by the fire and if he comes, kill him. Don't waste time and energy on treking back to the cave.

    I did like the finality of this chapter though. Hated as it is, it would be weird to think about it being the last day in the arena. Especially since you're in a kill or be killed situation.

    I agree with your prediction of the movie. I can imagine that scene's soundtrack in my mind and it is powerful. And gives me goosebumps. The quietness of the moment, the anticipation of the end, the birds singing with hints of Rue's theme…. Awesome.

    Of course Cato would have body armor. Of course. Wonder if that was the "thing he needed."

    • AccioUsername says:

      I didn't even think of that!
      I just like assumed Cato spent all his time fucking up trees, and he was wearing bark armor. >_>
      Hello, I make no sense.

    • theanagrace says:

      See, I would set the fire, cook my food and gtfo of there. They can't afford to let Cato sneak up on them, but they can go back to their secret Batcave hideout and let Cato fuck around all night trying to sneak up on a campfire they abandoned hours previously. Either Cato ignores the fire, and Peenis has lost nothing, or he loses sleep dealing with the possibility of catching them, and Peenis has lost nothing.
      That's what I thought, anyways.

  26. stellaaaaakris says:

    Oh god, Katpee, y’all are seriously unprepared.
    Might be one of my favorite things you've ever written. Just saying.

    I thought this chapter itself was pretty slow. I mean, they do nothing but eat and sleep for the most part. But the contrast in plays with the rest of the book is FANTASTIC. It's mocking how unprepared we are. Mocking hard. What's Cato running from? Intrigued? Indeed.

    What you were saying about how so much of what Katniss feels about Peeta is based on being in the arena together, I agree. But, I don't know, I kind of hope it's like in HP1. There are some things in life you can't go through together without becoming friends. And fighting a mountain troll is one of them. Shouldn't being in an arena battling a mountain troll (i.e. Cato) be one of those things too? On the other hand, Collins does like to hurt my soul more frequently (and earlier) than JKR, so I won't hold my breath.

    As for the fire, wasn't it set several hours away from their cave? I don't remember exactly, but I'd guess maybe they're just hoping to tire Cato out by making him walk so much.

    Mark, I'm sorry you realized just how unprepared you are.

  27. shortstack930 says:

    You haveeee to post another review today!! Pretty please??

  28. Mauve_Avenger says:

    "It doesn’t make sense to me that they head back to the cave, though. I mean…I suppose they’re assuming it will be until morning for Cato to find them? And Peeta isn’t into tree sleeping. (WHO IS, REALLY. LIKE NO ONE.) But why leave the fire they just set? If Cato shows up there, they won’t be around to attack him."

    They aren't actively trying to get Cato at that point. They're trying to avoid a confrontation, but they think that the obviousness of the fire (combined with the announcement of Foxface's death) is what will keep him from attacking, because it's something they would (normally) only do if they're healthy, alert, and wanting to fight.

    It isn't until they realize that the water is all gone (and that a fight is therefore imminent) that they decide it's time to go after Cato more proactively.

    "…If he knows we're here, he knows. But he also knows there's two of us and probably assumes we were hunting Foxface. That means you're recovered. And the fire means we're not hiding, we're inviting him here. Would you show up?"


  30. Anseflans says:

    I guess all the things the Gamemakers do are possible because it´s the ~future~ and they're all technologically savvyand shit.
    Oh and since you asked about the camera's a few times already: I kind of imagine them as little invisible floating camera-orbs that can be remotely controlled (or set to follow each tribute around).

  31. Pan says:

    And Peeta isn’t into tree sleeping. (WHO IS, REALLY. LIKE NO ONE.)

    (S)He is!

    (And I've always envied them for it. Cats look awesome at everything they are doing, but laying on a tree is in a class of its own.)

  32. Hotaru-hime says:

    Yeah, it turns into a crazy mindfuck from here on out.

  33. 1foxi says:

    "I was completely unprepared for this."

    Yep, get ready because your mind is about to be blown!

  34. taratheninja says:

    the next chapter is the stuff of my nightmares…just sayin'

  35. Turq says:

    *singsong voice* Still unprepared!

    In my public speaking class at school, we had to read a section out of a book. Another girl and I chose this book. I read about the cornucopia (chapter 11) and she read this part. You should have seen the looks on our classmates faces when either of us finished reading! Priceless!

    Anyway, I wonder what is chasing Cato that he is so desperate to get away from, even with his arrow-deflecting body armor? (Okay, I know this too, but seriously, why is he running? He has body armor.)

    • simply_shipping says:

      Man, why didn't my public speaking class do that? Maybe I would have done better if that was one of our assignments…

    • dvtd2hp says:

      i think that the reason that Cato is running despite the body armor is simply because he's scare shitless. When you're that freaking scared, rational thought takes over. it's like driving down the road in your car and a really big bug hits the windshield. you know, rationally, that it can't hit you, but you still jerk away from it. hard to fight natural reflex.

    • corporatecake says:

      I had that assignment too in high school and I read the first chapter of Sorcerer's Stone.

    • kelseyintherain says:

      LOL, I bet everyone in your class went out and checked out/bought the series after that. xD

    • Gillyweed says:

      I wish I had public speaking class. I suck at oral presentations and its driving me crazy.

  36. ilram says:

    Oh god when you call them Katpee I can't take them serious.

    So this was basically what I was talking about when I said you were not prepared. This and the next chapter.

  37. IheartHP4ever says:

    OMG! Please post the rest of the chapters today so you can be done and read the second book in like a week and start the third one. I haven’t read it yet since I found out you were reading THG. I’ve abstained from reading it when I received it 2 weeks ago to read along with you since I came really really late in the MRHP and didn’t get to be part of it. :'(

    Also, it’s killing me not to click on the links to the spoiler thread. I wanna know how it all ends so bad!

  38. dumbxblonde07 says:

    I thought the way Fox-Face died was really interesting… Also, I always picture her with Taylor Swift's face, even thought that is more ferrety.

    • trash_addict says:

      Upvoted for referring to Taylor Swift's face as 'ferrety'.

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      I dunno. I think Taylor Swift is closer to 'foxy' then 'ferrety.' Ferrets always have that bright little "OMG NEW SHINY THING CAN I PLAY" expression, and Taylor Swift doesn't seem to have…well, expressions at all. I mean, don't get me wrong, she's probably a lovely person, but I've never seen a picture of her that indicated the slightest hint of personality.

  39. Dannie. says:

    I love the next chapeter.

  40. Julia_Vaughn says:

    Being prepared for actions scenes in this series = impossible. It's not just you, Mark, no one is prepared.

  41. bendemolena says:

    Whyyyyyy is there only one post per day?? TEARS FOREVER


  42. blessthechildren says:

    there needs to be an that chornicles these moments you find in the books you review for us. PLEASE!

    On a side note, freaking hate Cato. I don't even feel sorry for him in this moment as he is being chased by whatever the heck the creatures are, not since he killed district 3 boy and tried to kill my Peeta.


  43. Kate Monster says:

    Nothing in this entire book has prepared you for the next chapter. Nothing. Not Katpee, not Rue, not tracker jackers, not WALL'O'FIRE™. Nothing.

  44. jennreyn says:

    "We’re on our feet, Peeta wielding his knife, me poised to shoot, when Cato smashes through the trees and bears down on us."

    I read this quickly and thought "UH WHAT BEARS? THERE ARE BEARS?" Then was all "oh. No, wait, I get it." Then continued reading and thought "ARE THERE STILL BEARS?" So please let there be bears!

  45. Jennifer says:

    You are NOT PREPARED Mark.


  46. BradSmith5 says:

    "He put the bottle down and walked forward; he braced himself, saw the black flames licking his body, but couldn't feel them–for a moment he could see nothing but dark fire–then he was on the other side, in the last chamber.

    There was already someone there–but it wasn't Snape. It wasn't even Voldemort.

    It was a room full of CREATURES! AH, LOOK OUT HARRY! They're tearing at your robes and chasing after Quirrel! RAAAWRGH! Everyone rocket around with purplish faces and crash through the trees! CREATURES! WAAAAA!"

    – Excerpt from "My Very Own Potter Fanfic" by Suzanne Collins

  47. corporatecake says:


    I'm dying to see your reaction to the end of the book. MOAR REVIEWS PLEASE.

    And in a response slightly less like a squirrel that's been given a Red Bull.

    This chapter is good for what it is. It's mostly a transition between Peenis Cave and The Final Showdown. Like Mark said, the sense of impending dread is palpable. And then when Cato shows up in BODY ARMOR and SOMETHING IS CHASING HIM FJAKFJ:AFA OH MY GOD THIS IS LIKE READING THE BOOK ALL OVER AGAIN I REALLY AM A CAFFEINATED SQUIRREL.

  48. andreah1234 says:


    This rant was brought to you by Andy in a total mind fuck. Hope you enjoyed it. Will comment with more thoughtful things later when, you know, I stop whimpering on a corner about the future of this crazy shit. Yeah.

  49. trash_addict says:

    Arrow to the face, Katniss! DO IT NOW. And then GET TO THA CHOPPA.

    This made me grin really hard.

    I can't even comment on anything else right now because the spoiler muffle is on so hard. BUT HOLY SHIT, SHIT IS SO REAL.

  50. spifferific says:

    screw one chapter a day, I NEED TO READ YOUR NEXT REVIEW NOW

    okay i am going away now

  51. andreah1234 says:

    And I've just realized that I have no thoughtful things to say. So I'm just going to say this:

    SHIT IS REAL. AND IT WILL EVEN MORE REAL AS IT GOES ON. How am I going to survive the rest of the books?? I do not know, DO NOT KNOW D: D: D: D: D:

  52. Revolution64 says:

    I won't even tell you how hard I fucking laughed when I read:
    "The scene of Peenis sitting at the Cornucopia, awaiting the final battle, as hundreds of mocking-jays sing, is going to be powerful."
    This gigantic-ass penis just sitting there.
    And the mockingjays would be like:
    <img src=""&gt;

  53. qwopisinthemailbox says:

    "The scene of Peenis sitting at the Cornucopia, awaiting the final battle, as hundreds of mocking-jays sing, is going to be powerful."

    IT WAS THEN THAT I COULD NOT STOP LAUGHING. Thank god i'm the only one in the house.

  54. Silverilly says:

    Mark, sorry, but if you think you're prepared now?

    The scene of Peenis sitting at the Cornucopia, awaiting the final battle, as hundreds of mocking-jays sing, is going to be powerful.
    All I can imagine is Peenis "standing at attention," awaiting the final battle. TEE HEE.

  55. Kira says:

    NEXT REVIEW. NOW. Oh Mark, YOU ARE NOT PREPARED. I'M not prepared, and I've read the whole damn series!

  56. potlid007 says:

    Katpee is…
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    pretty bitchin' right now, not going to lie. hopefully Katniss wont RUIN IT ALL LIKE SHE DOES EVERYTHING GOOD IN HER LIFE.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    pretty much, but it's okay.
    and then they're all
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    and they get there, and they see Cato and their all lolz, Cato, this guy man
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    <img src="; border="0">

  57. Leelee says:

    I know -slightly- more than the usual person of my age when it comes to survival outdoors and hand-to-hand fighting, but since I'm pretty small and weak, the latter wouldn't help much. I'd probably be like Foxface, I guess… but minus most of the cleverness that kept her alive for so long. So I'd end up being a paranoid, twitching wreck and get killed by the first tribute I encountered after a day or two, despite whatever tiny bits of knowledge I have. Even more likely, I'd hide in a tall tree and refuse to budge out of sheer terror, and then starving or getting burnt to a crisp. Or something. Yaay…

    Ohohohohohoh my gosh, Mark, my good I'd-call-you-my-friend-except-I'm-a-complete-stranger, YOU DO NOT YET KNOW WHAT REALNESS IS. EVEN A LITTLE BIT. JUST… JUST YEAH. TRUST ME. IT'S GONNA BE SO REAL, YOUR EYES MAY VERY WELL FALL RIGHT OUT OF THEIR SOCKETS.

  58. spectralbovine says:

    Holy. Shit. You were right. I am sorry. I was completely unprepared for this.
    Right?? I love it!! I love how Collins manages to surprise the crap out of the reader time and time again, but it never feels cheap or contrived. I love how she sets up this obvious confrontation with Cato and then immediately turns it on his head. And now you have no idea what' s coming up next. When I got to this part , I was like, creature? Creature? WHAT FUCKING CREATURE?? THERE WERE NO GODDAMN CREATURES BEFORE. CREATURES HAVE NOT BEEN FEATURED.

  59. rissreader says:

    “Next time we eat, it will be in the Capitol”

    Yesterday I googled for lamb with prunes recipes. A couple of the stews were Moroccan. It sounds delicious, with spices like cinnamon and ginger, but more often served over couscous instead of wild rice. Making it with chicken would be more economical. I'll make a big pot to celebrate the end of the book. Anyone want to come over?

  60. Alice says:

    "The scene of Peenis sitting at the Cornucopia, awaiting the final battle, as hundreds of mocking-jays sing, is going to be powerful."

    I honestly couldn't stop laughing.

    And you are so right. You are definitely NOT prepared.

  61. Pan says:

    Does anyone else think that the gamemakers tried to help Peenis? *giggle* (I'M AN ADULT!!! REALLY!!!)

    – We don't know what Foxface' backpack contained, but apparently it wasn't any medicine nor was it food, so whatever it was, it couldn't have been a lifesaver for her.
    – The backpack of Cato contained his armor. Sure, it protects his chest from Katniss' arrows, but his face is still a good target. Let alone the entire rest of his body, where a hit maybe wouldn't kill him, but might weaken him enough, that he'd die of anything else. Like… whatever he's running away from right now.
    – The remaining backpack for Thresh had the same size and colour as Cato's, so it probably had the same content as well. (Or some sort of weapon, but definitely no medicine.)

    Although the gamemakers claimed, that *everyone* desperately needs something right now, the only one who did was Peeta. And he needed something, that never could've been paid by the sponsors. Which means, the only possibility for this "romance" to go on (and to please the audience) was to start this feast.

  62. Nakeefeet says:

    Since I got spoiled for the whole series day before yesterday I finished Hunger Games and Catching Fire and I cannot express my level of unpreparedness without resorting to gibberish. *babbles in a gibberishly fashion*


  63. FlameRaven says:

    So I sat down and re-read the last few chapters just because I wanted to relive them. At one point I was like "Woah. Mindf*ck." And my roommate looks over and says "Which one?"

    You cannot be prepared.

    Also, yes, this is the point where their relationship makes sense. Katniss may not really understand romantic love, but I do think she cares for Peeta in her own way. She can't depend on him like she depends on Gale, but she definitely takes comfort in his presence nonetheless. No one wants to fight alone. You're also right that their relationship works a lot better in the arena and it will be awkward outside it.

    I can't wait for tomorrow's review.

  64. Ellekay says:

    As much as I love reading your reviews, there has been something that's been bothering me about the way in which you're reading them. This is not a spoiler; just think of me as your very own English teacher (as narcissistic as that may sound). You are missing a lot of the book because of the way in which you're reading it. This series is meant to by dystopian literature. By reading it like any other type of futuristic fiction, you're only getting half of the story. Just something to keep in mind.

    And, really, you're not prepared. Shit is about to get beyond real.

  65. FlameRaven says:

    Also. Since you keep asking about the arena. I don't know how they do it, they don't explain it and like someone else said, it's probably because Katniss doesn't know. However, my suppositions are as follows.

    The cameras are probably very small and embedded in enough surfaces to get a clear view of very nearly the whole arena. There are probably blind spots but you'd be hard-pressed to find them. With high technology, I imagine it would be very possible for the cameras to be no bigger than what is in a cameraphone, but less noticeable and more powerful. Same with microphones. They hide speakers and mikes all over the place in, say, Disney World, this is just much more advanced.

    As for the arena control itself, obviously the whole thing is wired up for the cameras/microphones. Again, I think of Disney World, just with finer controls. The streams and pools are probably all interlinked; it would be easy to 'turn off' the faucet that pours water through the streams and drain everything back to the lake. Cold or hot air is just an air conditioner or heater cranked up to 11. Really, most of the stuff they're doing (minus hovercraft) is reasonably possible with modern technology, just to a less realistic degree and on a smaller scale. We've seen that Disney is quite willing to pour ridiculous amounts of money into their entertainment… can you imagine what they could do if that entertainment was government-sanctioned? Panem seems to have no outward enemies, so they don't need to spend money on things like defense; they can pour it all into the Games. Also, they are probably fixing the bets. Think about it. Millions (?) of people are betting on the games constantly for weeks, but the Gamemakers have ultimate control. It would be pretty easy to kill off certain tributes in order to make sure very few people actually win money.

    • dvtd2hp says:

      i guess what i always thought was that the microchips that they implanted in the tributes is how they're controlling camera's and all of that. i just assumed that it was a gps type deal that used biological functions to make it work. Like, how did the cannon always go off at the exact moment of someone's death? Because the hearts electrical energy made the chip function, and when the heart ceased beating, the chip stopped working. At that point, they look on their grid or whatever they use to track them in the arena. That's why the hovercraft always knows exactly where to pick up the dead. Maybe i just assumed too much, but it was the only explanation i could come up with. This also explained, to me anyway, how the camera's always knew where they were. When they passed the camera's in a certain sector, the chip emits a signal that activates the camera, until they get in range of the next camera. That's the only logical explanation i could think of. And because it's logical, it's probably wrong. 🙂

    • Silverilly says:

      So the Hunger Games arena is essentially Disney World, but instead of the Tower of Terror you get the NEVERENDING REIGN OF TERROR AND DEATH AND QFPWENGFO[QFP]]AQWEWGFEWNJNPACKMVM.

  66. Beci says:


  67. SarBear says:


    and okay I thought the lines about Cato were really stupid- what do you mean it was always going to be you two? Overdramatic much? Like… Idk

    I would FREAK seeing the water go dry, tbh

  68. embers says:

    You must know that Suzanne Collins has been a script writer, so it isn't surprising that she is able to create powerful visual moments which will (eventually) look amazing on screen!

  69. Shanella says:

    I'm so glad the end is near!

    I don't know how you have the willpower to just wait for the next chapter. *takes hat off*

  70. adev0tchka says:

    We are all here for you as the next chapter will undoubtedly cause your first ever aneurysm.

  71. ldwy says:

    Here's my thoughts on this chapter, that I wrote while I was reading:

    ‘“He’s got some kind of body armor!” I shout to Peeta.”
    I’m just going to say. At this point, I make this prediction (I haven’t read further yet, I just stopped and started writing this): Katniss is going to shoot him through the eye. They have repeatedly mentioned (but I’ll admit, it wasn’t HAMMERED IN) that she always kept the game she killed perfect for selling by shooting it perfectly through the eye. So this is how she will defeat Cato. Period. I’ll be really surprised if this isn’t it.

    Whoa. I literally hadn’t even read the next line. What kind of creature is coming? It must have been added into the games just now, or else why wouldn’t they have encountered it before. But we’ve seen the extent to which this landscape is actually artificial and manipulated by the Gamemakers.

    I love that you've adopted Peenis and Katpee, Mark.

    • ldwy says:

      Yes, well, that didn't happen. I was really surprised.
      But it didn't detract from the chapter. The way it played out was so heart-wrenching and thought-provoking.

  72. Rayn says:

    You're not prepared for sheer amount of mind-fuckery that will be dumped upon you in this series. You will have serious brain confetti, although it will probably seem lame compared to Harry "tragically badass and mind-blowing" Potter. I completely agree that thus far, Katniss isn't the most likable character. There is still this and the other two books though so ANYTHING is possible. I'm interested to see how you will like the rest of the series, and how your opinion will change throughout it.

  73. karadudz says:

    HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS WITHOUT READING THE NEXT CHAPTER!!! O.O….I mean, immediately after this big cliffhanger…

    OMG Mark, you must have the best self-restraint there is! =D

  74. MowerOfLorn says:

    My favourite parts of your reviews are how, constantly, no matter how far into the book(s) we are, no matter how many times you feel you've finally got a grip on them- you realise you're still not prepared! Its pure sadistic delight!

  75. Meggie Moo says:

    I’m so excited for tomorrow if you’re doing these chapters daily! It’s so unreal right now, sorry Mark. It’s not real at all, it’s like Inception.

    But on Katniss and Peeta’s couple name: because I dislike Katpee and Peeniss I made up my own name for them. Toast! Think about it, Katniss is the girl on fire and Peeta is the boy with the bread. So that makes toast, amirite?

    Just since this is my first time commenting and you graciously read all the comments I wanna say that you are a real inspiration Mark. I’m reading my way through your Harry Potter reviews (I am just about to start Goblet of Fire with you) and I think it’s so amazing how your childhood wasn’t good and you battled with depression and homophobia but you can still post these amazing, hilarious reviews for us to read. You seem to genuinely care about your fans and that’s what makes you so different, and so much awesomer, than most Internet celebrities. Also, the fact that you can make me burst of laughing in even the worse moods!

    Thank you, Mark. I’m sorry i’m being so corny but, I siriusly think you’re amazing.

  76. Brittany says:

    if you feel unprepared now Mark, just wait. I just finished Catching Fire. Let's put it this way- you're not even prepared to be not prepared…. or something. I don't know it's almost 2 in the morning here.

    BTW, totally with you on the not-so-much-rooting-for-Peeta thing. nothing against the guy, i'm sure he's great he's just….. not Gale.

    Suzanne Collin's writing has flaws, yes, but one of her greatest strengths, i think, is writing killer last lines. seriously, when I reach the end of a chapter, i have to cover the final page with my hand because those parting words usually contain some huge revelation stated completely matter-of-factly that just… oh man.

    sorry, this comment's all over the place. still freaking out about CF. Have a great night!

  77. Madison says:


  78. Crystal says:

    My guess for how the capitol does it all is that nothing(or almost nothing) in the arena is natural. The trees are fake, the water is pumped through the stream and lake, and everything was placed there at the beginning. The probably set up a bunch of different traps and obstacles in case they ever needed them, such as the table.

  79. mugglemomof2 says:

    I am loving everyone's comments. I have nothing pertinent to add (since truly if you have read the books already you really can't comment because it is craziness at this point)
    I will add that I can't even fathom that you were able to stop at the end of this chapter. You couldn't! I want proof 😛 LOL

  80. ooohlivia says:

    I read this part at 2 in the morning at an incredibly rushed pace, and didn't stop till I got to the end. Still not entirely sure what happened. I need to re-read it. But I was eating it up faster than Ron eats a chicken drumstick. SO GODDAMN INTENSE.

  81. Newbia says:

    "The scene of Peenis sitting at the Cornucopia, awaiting the final battle, as hundreds of mocking-jays sing, is going to be powerful."

    Mark, I would just like you to know that now, whenever I read this series and I think to myself, "HOLY SHIT, I AM NOT PREPARED, SHIT IS TOO REAL," I will think of the names "Katpee" and "Peenis." And then I will giggle and the tension will deflate, because I was 12.

  82. RainaWeather says:

    My first arrow hits his chest and inexplicably falls aside.

    My first thought: HE HAS HIS OWN FORCE FIELD?!

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