Mark Reads ‘The Hunger Games’: Chapter 8

In the eighth chapter of The Hunger Games, Katniss finally expresses raw emotion in her narration as she begins to worry about the effects of her “attack” on the Gamemakers at the end of the last chapter. But after Haymitch cheers her up and she receives the first bit of good news regarding the Games, her desire for Gale’s companionship gets the better of her. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Hunger Games.

I almost felt that Katniss overreacted a bit at the beginning of this chapter. I’m not sure why she thought her surefire, methodical performance would garner anything other than praise from the Gamekeepers. She didn’t harm anyone and she showed a definite desire to stand out and survive, all with a little taste of grandeur.

Now I’ve done it! Now I’ve ruined everything! If I’d stood even a ghost of a chance, it vanished when I sent that arrow flying at the Gamemakers. What will they do to me now? Arrest me? Execute me? Cut my tongue and turn me into an Avox so I can wait on the future tributes of Panem? What was I thinking, shooting at the Gamemakers? Of course, I wasn’t, I was shooting at that apple because I was so angry at being ignored. I wasn’t trying to kill one of them. If I were, they’d be dead!

And you would probably be dead to. Does she honestly think they’d let her leave if she posed a legitimate threat? I was happy to see Katniss break from her usual tone of monotony, but was confused that she wasn’t smart enough to figure this out: what she did worked to her advantage.

Before that though, they’ll give me a score so low, no one in their right mind would sponsor me. That’s what will happen tonight. Since the training isn’t open to viewers, the Gamemakers announce a score for each player. It gives the audience a starting place for the betting that will continue throughout the Games. The number, which is between one and twelve, one being irredeemably bad and twelve being unattainably high, signifies the promise of the tribute. The mark is not a guarantee of which person will win. It’s only an indication of the potential a tribute showed in training.

And as soon as I read this, all I could think was that Katniss would obviously receive a high score. I mean, she says it right there: training isn’t open to viewers. Would the Gamemakers publicly admit to being frightened by a young girl from District Twelve? It didn’t seem to make any sense to me.

When Katniss finally does agree to go down for dinner, Haymitch manages to make Katniss realize how foolish her ideas sound.

“What about my family?” I say. “Will they punish them?”

“Don’t think so. Wouldn’t make much sense. See, they’d have to reveal what happened in the Training Center for it to have any worthwhile effect on the population. People would need to know what you did. But they can’t since it’s a secret, so it’d be a waste of effort,” says Haymitch. “More likely they’ll make your life hell in the arena.”

I was hoping that I’d learn she did this on purpose, that she figured that the secrecy of the proceedings would work to her favor. It’s not often that Katniss misjudges herself like this. I suppose this makes her all the more realistic.

But it’s also a nice moment for Haymitch because, whether he knows it or not, he actually makes Katniss feel better. I’m warming up to Haymitch being a good guy in the end, but I’m still curious as to what his whole game plan is for this. I’m not ready to trust him yet, but his intentions seem to be pretty straight.

I wasn’t at all surprised that Katniss got an eleven from the Gamemakers, but now that I actually give it some thought, there’s a very interesting possibility here. I sort of expected her to be in the bottom of the tributes in terms of support and I imagined that the Games would merely be about Katniss using her natural skills to survive. But now, with the idea that she might get some decent sponsors, it’s kind of exciting to see what weapons she might get for the Games. Maybe she’ll get a really good bow and arrow or even a gun.

Wait why am I talking like this about ritual murder. Oh god.

This chapter’s best moment, however, is Katniss’s flashback to the time she met Gale and what he means to her. I have to give credit to Collins for not making this a romantic flashback; it highlights how strong their relationship is not only as hunters, but best friends. They met as strangers both breaking the laws of District 12, and there’s a mutual sort of respect that they have in each other, even as they reluctantly begin to share their secrets and tricks with one another. They grow close out of necessity, at least at first, but the relationship ends up being one of love, even though Collins doesn’t explicitly state it here. Sure, it’s easy to say that Gale replaced the father figure she lost in the mines. (It’s pretty fitting that Gale also lost his father in that same blast, as if he and Katniss were brought together by destruction.) Katniss knows that what she has with him, whatever it might be, is something people look for all their lives.

I call him my friend, but in the last year it’s seemed too casual a word for what Gale is to me. A pang of longing shoots through my chest. If only he was with me now! But, of course, I don’t want that. I don’t want him in the arena where he’d be dead in a few days. I just…I just miss him. And I hate being so alone. Does he miss me? He must.

Well, someone told me this series is pretty gut-wrenching and depressing and here’s the first sign of it. I feel for Katniss and it hurts to know she’s so very alone. But what makes this worse is the moment at the end of the chapter:

“Well, there’s been a change of plans. About our current approach,” says Haymitch.

“What’s that?” I ask. I’m not sure what our current approach is. Trying to appear mediocre in front of the other tributes is the last bit of strategy I remember.

Haymitch shrugs. “Peeta has asked to be coached separately.”

OH SHIT, guys. Shit is about to get so real.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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253 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Hunger Games’: Chapter 8

  1. ArneNieberding says:

    I was confused as well why she would think that it would hurt her score, her reaction only made me believe more and more her score would be good. I do like the turn at the end though, it made me "WTF, WHY? OH GAWD. WHAT IS HE UP TO?"

    • riddlemesphinx says:

      PEETA! <3 That sneaky little fuck, I love him so.

    • Erin says:

      She thought that they would give her a low score out of spite. As in, "Fine. You want to shoot arrows at us? So be it, but we are going to make sure you have no sponsors and are as alone as possible in the Arena by giving you a low score." She clearly deserved the high score, but the fear was that the Gamemakers would get back at her through the scoring, thus giving her less of an advantage in the Arena.

      • ArneNieberding says:

        I was confused at first, but I got it when everything was explained…

      • Amy says:

        But they DID get back at her, in a way. A high score makes people think, "Hey, this little girl may not look like much, but obviously she's got some hidden talent and could be a real contender." It makes the career tributes much more likely to view her as a threat and try to take her out early in the games, rather than underestimating her and focusing on others first.

        • Mauve_Avenger says:

          If they think she's really better than them, there's also the possibility that they'd wait a while to attack her because it makes sense to let her weaken and lower her guard. Right out of the gate everyone is probably going to be incredibly alert and have a lot of energy, given how they've been fed in the Training Center. Though I guess they might get weapons that would make killing her right off the bat rather easy.

    • Kitzo says:

      She was worried she'd angered the Gamemakers. That they wouldn't like being one-upped by a tribute and punish her (through her score, I guess) for her insolence. From what we've seen of the Capitol, is that really such an unreasonable fear?

    • Mauvelous says:

      I knew she'd get a highscore because a really highscore basically puts a sign around her necks that says "HERE I AM! KILL ME NOW!" so that way she's killed in the arena and the capitol wouldn't be questioned.

  2. zulaihaha says:


  3. riddlemesphinx says:

    Shit is real-er than real! And I completely agree with you, Mark. The entire time Katniss was complaining about getting a low score, or how badly she fucked up with the Game Makers, I was so annoyed. I'm not sure I think Collins did a great job with the reveal of "OMG SHE'S THE HIGHEST RANKED" because it was absolutely no surprise to me that she got a high score. The only thing I was concerned about was the immediate thought of "Oh shit, now everyone is going to be gunning for her!"

    • ldwy says:

      My thought exactly. The more Katniss worried, the less I did, about her score. But won't that score make her a huge target!?

      • bookling says:

        YES. The other Tributes don't know what her skills are, but they know she did something damn impressive. That will definitely make her a threat that the other will want to take out.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      Yeah, this. After that show, combined with the "Oh god they're going to kick me out and cut off my tongue and woe" I honestly wasn't surprised at all that they scored her so high. Maybe there would have been some tension if she had actually been detained and they argued over whether her apple trick constituted an attack on the game masters or was impressive.

      I hate to compare this to HP, but it makes me think of when Harry was caught flying in the first book. There WAS that moment of "Oh shit, this could be bad." Here there wasn't.

      • Tabbyclaw says:

        Maybe there would have been some tension if she had actually been detained and they argued over whether her apple trick constituted an attack on the game masters or was impressive.

        Ooh, I would have really liked something like that. Adds to the tension and makes it very clear that she's being watched extra closely now.

    • tethysdust says:

      Oh, it didn't even register in my head that it was supposed to be a plot twist. I thought it was incredibly obvious and the point of it was to show how Katniss is over-dramatic and has low self-esteem.

      • ldwy says:

        Ah, interesting interpretation. I never thought of it that way.

      • exbestfriend says:

        And that is why that passage bothered me so much. It has been established that this is the type of girl who at eleven started hunting to provide for her family, even though hunting is a huge violation of the law, and yet we have this totally over dramatic reaction where she goes and cries alone in her room. It kind of a huge contradiction in her characterization. If she has been flouting the law for five years, why is she so concerned about the outcome of her evaluation? IDK, it irks me.

        • tethysdust says:

          I don't know, it sort of seemed in line. She has always wildly underestimated everything about herself, and she always makes up the most horrible reasons for everything people say or do to her. Also, she knows Capitol harpoons people and cuts out their tongues. It seems really in character to me for her to think, "I pissed off Capitol people. All the worst things I could possibly imagine are gonna happen to me now."

          • ldwy says:

            Mmm, and consider, that even though she provided for her family by breaking the law, she was in the relative safety of the "known" district 12. She grew up in a world where fearing the Capitol was the norm and the law. And now she's "overstepped a line" in the middle of the most dangerous entity she can imagine.

            • exbestfriend says:

              And those are all valid points, and I suppose my real problem is that I want Katniss to react better.

    • bibliotrek says:

      The only thing I was concerned about was the immediate thought of "Oh shit, now everyone is going to be gunning for her!"

      I thought that was the point of their giving her the highest score. Like, "She challenged authority; now you all take her out."

      • tethysdust says:

        But giving her a high score will also get her lots of sponsors, who will presumably give her fancy weapons and all sorts of other unnamed advantages.

        • Mimzy says:

          I think it’s one of those things where it’s both. Yes, because she got the highest score she’s going to get the best sponsors and weapons and help, but all of her rivals know this too. I can’t remember if they’ve explained the sponsor system fully yet (so I won’t go into detail), but her rivals know that the best way to stop her from getting all the help will be to take her down ASAP.

          I need to read this book again now…

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

  4. Jenny_M says:

    I had the same feelings as you on this chapter, regarding how Katniss could feel she'd screwed up so royally when it was obvious that she was going to get high marks. However, reflecting on it more, I can certainly see how easily one can psych oneself out, especially with the somewhat low self-esteem that we've seen Katniss have so far. On a personal level, I remember submitting an application to my dream school, and even though I had the scores and the transcript to get in, I talked myself into believing that I wouldn't, I couldn't. Even when the thick acceptance package showed up, I had myself convinced that they had just sent me a really long letter detailing all my faults, ha ha. So, as a reader I was going, "COME ON, KATNISS, SERIOUSLY?", but as a person who has a similar temperament to Katniss' in a lot of situations, I can relate to that unrelenting pessimism even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the outcome is going to be something entirely different.

  5. Arania says:

    All I can say is WHEE! *bounces, claps hands!*

  6. Lizz says:

    I didn't really understand why she was so worried she'd get a low score. If anything they could "punish" her by giving her the highest score. It's like a giant target on your back. The Game Makers don't need to kill her if they think they can get the other tributes to do it.

  7. Yusra says:

    Mark, I have a feeling that you are truly not prepared for what will come next.

    [now, if I had the patience to read this with you, I would not have to check and recheck every word I type…]

    • Andrew says:

      Aha, I have the same problem (although I finished the trilogy a few months ago). I'm actually scared of spoiling it (I'd have died if anybody had spoiled it for me)

      • Yusra says:

        Somehow, Harry Potter was actually easier not to spoil.

        We should set up a spoiler-zone, in which we can discuss what we think Mark would think of x, y and z. (they had something similar with MRHP)

        • exbestfriend says:

          I have been really wishing for a spoiler zone. Because now I'm doing a re-read and want someone to talk to about foreshadowing and motivation and "where the hell did that go/come from?"

        • ldwy says:

          Maybe because most of us knew Harry Potter so well as to almost have it memorized. We knew exactly when what information was revealed, so we could keep track of what Mark had gotten to in our brains.

          With a newer series like this, those who have read it know certain info that are SPOILERS!! but may not know the chronology of the plot so well as to never slip up and think something has been revealed that hasn't.

          I'm reading for the first time, but I imagine it must be so hard to not spoil when you're just excited about something you've newly come to love.

          • Yusra says:

            That makes a lot more sense than anything I was thinking of! 🙂
            Have fun reading. -returns to ~*~spoilerland~*~-

          • Tabbyclaw says:

            That, and I think the chronology matters more in Harry Potter. There are marked gamechangers throughout the series that really do change the shape of the wizarding world and how the characters react to it. These books are more strings of events, and the bulk of them don't drastically alter our or the characters' worldview, and almost none of them really alter something that came before the way, you know, everything in the last couple Harry Potters did.

          • lindseytinsey says:

            I'm also reading it for the first time. I'm on the 2nd book now and kind of scared to comment here hahha.

  8. theupsides says:

    My favorite part of this chapter is something you didn't comment on. It's when Katniss compares her relationships with Gale and Peeta.

    "Gale and I were thrown together by a mutual need to survive. Peeta and I know the other's survival means our own death."

    I just found it incredibly poignant and sad. Neither situation is ideal, really. Both are friendships formed out of tragedy.

  9. stellaaaaakris says:

    I don't think her score really says anything about the Game makers' "fear" at all. A low score would show that she's nothing special, despite her fiery costume. A high score means she's a threat. Anything else is whatever. I think the only way to show fear would be to turn her into an Avox or something, but it's obvious the only thing her stunt did was prove she has spirit. Think about it, Katniss.

    I actually didn't really like this flashback. I do think Katniss' and Gale's friendship is lovely, especially the part where she says calling them best friends isn't strong enough. It reminds me of Harry and Hermione. What they have goes beyond best friendship, but one which, in my mind, has no romantic connotations. But I get the idea that this will not be the case with Katniss and Gale, what with all the hints Collins so subtly lays out for us. And it's that promise that turns me off of this otherwise nice flashback.

    Plus, Gale's not here anymore so let's stop talking about him and focus on Peeta again! And then dropping the bomb that Peeta wants to be trained separately…PEETA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING????

  10. Karen says:

    I agree that Katniss was being a bit stupid to think that it would affect her score. BUT she is right to be concerned that the Gamemakers will now have it out for her. Remember how earlier in the book they mentioned how the Gamemakers conveniently had an avalanche take out a tribute that was insane? Well the Gamemakers might decide that Katniss needs to be taken out. She basically challenged their power. In their eyes the fact that she shot at them, but didn't kill them could be seen as taunting. They might not want a victor as hard to control as Katniss appears to be.

  11. Hotaru-hime says:

    Peeta asking to be coached separately surprised me- he seemed really focused on Katniss in the previous chapters.
    I like Haymitch more and more and I hope we get to learn more about him. We probably won't in this book, but hey, that's what sequels are for, right?

  12. Pan says:

    I'm interested in the special talent of the girl from district 11. She scored a 7, nearly as high as a Career Tribute. Foreshadowing suggested, that she will be friends with Katniss, now we know that she can't be as harmless as Prim. I'm intrigued!

  13. cait0716 says:

    I tried to be patient and follow along at the same pace. I couldn't do it.

    You are not prepared. For anything.

    • lindseytinsey says:

      Me too. I'm almost half way with Catching Fire. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! Must… read… more

    • TheRedQueen says:

      Yeah there are really no words for how very, very unprepared Mark is.

      This is going to be ~*AWESOME*~

  14. BradSmith5 says:

    Zounds and egads! You are right; this is just one doomsday scenario after another! First Katniss only gets an eleven out of possible twelve! And now the person she didn't want to spend time with anyway is fulfilling her wishes! On top of these horrors, the poor girl still hasn't figured out every button on her automatic shower!

    Oh, woeful calamity! Where is that 'Bumbumbum' girl when you need her!? 😉

    • cait0716 says:

      The shower thing cracked me up. It's probably exactly how I would react

    • mmcgonagall says:

      Oh noes! Don't worry Brad, everything will be all right if Katniss can manage to describe some food for us.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Oh! I forgot that not everyone has the book yet. I must transcribe every important observation that Katniss has.

        "The stew's made with tender chunks of lamb and dried plumbs today. Perfect on the bed of wild rice. I've shoveled about halfway through the mound when I realize no one's talking. I take a big gulp of orange juice and wipe my mouth."

        Oh man, I thought she wasn't going to include the beverage but then––BAM! Collins, you sneaky devil! 😉

        • exbestfriend says:

          I like the picture of her shoving food into her mouth, realizing something is weird, continuing to chew, then taking a sip of orange juice before actually addressing the issue. That is characterization that makes sense in this story.

    • lebeaumonde says:

      Oh, you. I'm pretty sure being sent to your death and basically being marked as a target by the gamekeepers is pretty sucky.

  15. gredandforge says:

    I think the gamemakers were quite smart to give her a high score –now the other tributes will know to look out for her, and she becomes a bigger target. But then again, she's more likely to get sponsors, so I feel like she wins in this situation.
    I love hearing about Gale and I wish we could see more of him in this book, but the only way that would happen is if he was in the Hunger Games himself and it'd be tragic if they had to kill each other off .. but imagine if he WAS in the games with her! He's a survivor and he sounds so resourceful, I bet they would dominate in the Games together.

  16. DameDallas says:

    Oh Mark. I have been waiting for you to post this review all day! lol.

    The saltiness reminds me of my tears. ~That line made me giggle. It's such a sixteen year old's dramatic way of thinking.

    I heartbreakingly love the tragic connection between Katniss and Gale with their fathers. …as if he and Katniss were brought together by destruction You COULD NOT have said it better.

    I adore her relationship comparison between Gale and Peeta. Nail on the head again.

    That last line of the chapter: this is why I'm so suspicious of Peeta! The bastard!! I know it's the Hunger Games, and you have to survive and all, but still! He was the one that wanted to train together in the first place! Ugh.

    Where is Gale when you need him? He would pulverize him and carry off Katniss in the sunset! 🙂

  17. ldwy says:

    I kind of expected that it wasn’t going to work to her disadvantage, to have shocked the judges. It reminds me how on reality tv they always keep the one “causing problems” around for a long time, because the entertainment needs conflict. I thought some judges viewed Katniss that way, like Haymitch said, and some were probably just impressed once their attention was caught.

    Instead, I've been worried that her getting the highest score will make her a target for EVERYONE ELSE, who are, admittedly, fiercesome competitors.

    Anyway, again it was the lack of subtlety that made me sort of expect this. Katniss was going on and on and on about how she was going to get a bad score, so I felt pretty sure the opposite would happen, and she wouldn’t.

    The end was a little twist for me, though. Peeta wants to be coached alone? What can this mean for my he’s-really-nice-and-they’ll-end-up-working-together theory?

    Oh, right, I almost forgot. She’s clearly in love with Gale. “I call him my friend, but in the last year it’s seemed too casual a word for what Gale is to me. A pang of longing shoots through my chest. If only he was with me now!” (Although I do admit this is a lovely passage, and can speak to all kinds of love, and wonderfully brings to the fore the desperate loneliness of any tribute.) Since Collins seems known for bluntness, I feel like I’m not wrong in assuming it’s easy to see where this is going. But I have secretly come to love Peeta, and want them to bond together to help each other and then they can fall in love.

    • ldwy says:

      Oh man. So not how you spell fearsome.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      I'm hoping that Peeta's really nice and he's just confused and unsure. He suddenly realizes "Wait, why am I training WITH Katiss, she's way better than me at archery and she could be using this opportunity to learn my weaknesses."

      But considering Collins' strong suit doesn't seem to be subtlety, that doesn't seem too likely.

    • Marie_Goos says:

      IDK about her being in love with Gale… I can understand the description of him being so much more than a friend without it being romantic, like she also considers him family. Then again, I could just be in denial because I'm already starting to ship Katniss/Peeta, too.

    • bookling says:

      I'm so glad you mentioned the reality TV thing. I'm sure the Gamemakers do their scoring while keeping in mind that Katniss won't go down without a fight and will certainly keep things interesting. She makes for good TV, alright.

      I really can't wait for Mark and the rest of you to get to the actual Games! None of you are prepared. Siriusly.

  18. Stephalopolis says:

    Maybe she’ll get a really good bow and arrow or even a gun.

    Wait why am I talking like this about ritual murder. Oh god.
    Haha, yeah, I kinda had the same thoughts, wanting to root for Katniss only realizing what that actually MEANS.Haymitch shrugs. “Peeta has asked to be coached separately.”

    OH SHIT, guys. Shit is about to get so real.

    dun Dun DUUUNNN!!!!!

    • monkeybutter says:

      Your presence is requested about 4 comments north.

    • BradSmith5 says:

      That's why this story needs to get some villainous contenders going! Then we won't feel so bad when the sponsors give her sticks of dynamite to attach to her arrows!

      Anyway, it is nice to see you here. Do you have these books, Stephalopolis?

      • Stephalopolis says:

        I was hoping you'd stick around BradSmith 🙂 Yeah, I have these books- read them earlier this summer. I haven't started re-reading them yet with Mark, but I might catch up tomorrow. While I did end up liking this series overall (took awhile, but eventually I got hooked and finished all three over a weekend), I had problems with parts of it– namely what you've pointed out/mocked earlier about the over-description of minute details. And other stuff, but can't really mention it till later.And yes, things are always better with dynamite and killing and stuff 😉

  19. tethysdust says:

    I actually thought Katniss's response to her "screw-up" is completely realistic for a teenager with ridiculously low self-esteem. Blowing everything way out of proportion, refusing to talk to anyone, and wailing in her room. That all seemed very human. I think I'm starting to like her more as a character :).

    As for the scores, it was incredibly obvious to readers that she would be high-scored, I agree. However, her inability to understand this is pretty in line with the way her character has been portrayed. I'm glad that now, given that she's the highest ranked tribute, she can't pretend she's not freakishly skilled. She's going to have to accept that she has an incredibly high chance of winning, and her background has prepared her better for this "game" than even any of the Careers.

    Effie's one comment really struck me. It was when she stated that it served the Gamemakers right for having an arrow shot at them, because they ought to have been paying attention. Then she seemed really nervous and muttered "Well, that's what I think…" It sort of made me think that maybe the way Effie presents herself is not actually the way Effie thinks and feels. Sure, she acts condescending and pretty bigoted, but how would you act if you thought you were going to be tortured to death for implying a Districter had worth as a person?

    This reminds me again that I really want to see the steel under this society. Obviously Katniss and everyone else involved in the games are being handled in a gaudy bubble. I'm really starting to sense the presence of power beneath the Capitol, though, and I'm hoping to see or learn more about military/secret police soon.

    Last of all, what's up with Rue? 7, huh? I want to know her secret. I want to know!! And Peeta, wtf are you doing?!? If you can't tell, I really enjoyed this chapter. I believe it's my favorite one so far.

    • DameDallas says:

      Yes, Rue is making me nervous. Following Katniss, but not saying anything, and apparently not sucking during the private session.
      I'm gonna keep my eye on her. 😉

    • lebeaumonde says:

      Although Effie is kind of bigoted, I truly think she's just naive. I actually really enjoy her characterization. She's very realistic, as a person raised in privilege forced to work with those with hardly any privilege… you tend to look down upon such people, intentionally or not.

  20. mmcgonagall says:

    Peeta Peeta Peeta, what are you up to, hmmm? Need to practice baking that giant cake while Katniss isn't around?

    • exbestfriend says:

      Lol He has an inside scoop that the arena WILL be a giant cake.

      • petite-dreamer says:

        Except that the cake is a lie and that one of the tributes is actually GLaDOS in human form.

        • BradSmith5 says:

          HAha,ha,ha-ha. I was just thinking about how things could very much turn out like the game 'Portal.' That would be so awesome.

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      It's for our sakes. He knows that if Katniss catches him practicing his giant cake, she will describe it in ridiculous detail and the book will never get to the actual Games.

      • exbestfriend says:

        The creamy frosting had been dusted with silver flecks of deliciousness that made my stomach go weak. The warm scents of cinnamon and vanilla permeated the air around me, making it impossible to escape. I watched as Peeta's strong arms drizzled an orange liqueur over the top of the cake with a ladle.

        • oohlivia says:

          Food porn at its very finest

          ngl this made me hungry, I will now have a little poke around my house to see if I have any cake left from the other day

      • mmcgonagall says:

        Now I think he should bake a cake during the games, leave it for her to find, and sneak up and take her out while she's busy describing the way the frosting sparkles in the sunlight.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Oh man, you guys are cracking me up! This book was SO WORTH IT! <3

  21. monkeybutter says:

    Come on, no credit to Effie for not being horrible and actually siding with Katniss? Both she and Haymitch have from improved from their initial impressions. Yay, character development!

    Katniss does go a bit overboard worrying about what horrors the gamemakers will subject her to, but it does fit in with her pessimistic nature. She knows not to trust them, and she either was or is wary of everyone she knows except Prim. I feel bad for her because she's so anxious about everything.

  22. plaidpants says:

    well….. at least she didn't get the ~impossibly high~ 12. Just an 11. Ugh, I was hoping for a middle/medium score so she could sneak up on everyone, but, as you stated Mark, it was extremely obvious that she'd be getting a high score.

  23. aficat says:

    I almost bought a copy of this book today – my college is having a sale in the bookstore – but the cover copy is covered in quotes from Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer. wwwhhhyyy also how did SMeyer even finish this when she can't stand action in stories?

    • DameDallas says:

      HA. So true. Her last book in the "epic" journey made me want to rip pages out of the book, and I LOVE books. All tension and no release.

    • jessimuhka says:

      I feel like whoever did that cover copy had to have a pretty good sense of humor to put SMeyer and King on the same cover. Stephen King HATES SMeyer.

      I think SMeyer is contractually obligated to give a blurb for all YA sci-fi/fantasy books with no premarital sex. 😉

    • kajacana says:

      I didn't notice SMeyer's 2 cents until after I bought the book, and it filled me with rage (THIS IS THE MADDEST I'VE EVER BEEN!!!! …please someone catch that so I don't feel ridiculous). It's funny, though… her little quote doesn't sound intelligent or professional at all. She sounds like an idiot who's never enjoyed a book before now. Endless lulz.

    • I noticed she has a quote on the back of Catching Fire and I nearly died laughing. I'm kind of surprised she managed to make it through the book and survive.

  24. Robin says:

    I think Katniss's reaction makes sense if we consider her life experiences; she's used to receiving swift and violet retribution from authority figures if they are not properly respected/obeyed, particularly ones from the Capitol. The Capitol is so set on crushing rebellious thoughts and spirits in the districts, that the thought of a rebellious attitude being an advantage, especially in someone from District 12, would probably be a completely foreign idea for Katniss.

  25. leaenalittera says:

    I have to say that I really hated the whole thing with Katniss shooting the apple out of the pig’s mouth and then her own reaction to it. I mean, the part where she was doing her demo from the judges was good, and her frustration at them ignoring her was justified, and I’m glad she had an angry reaction to it…but shooting the apple just felt too dramatic and staged to me and, like Mark, the minute she started thinking she had screwed herself over I knew she was going to get the best score.

    The worst part is, it would have been so easy to make that a great scene! Having her final shot be something less cliched, like just hitting the pig instead of shooting the apple right out of its mouth and pinning it against the wall William Tell style, and then having her reaction be something more along the lines of, “Uh-oh. That may have been a mistake. I have no idea how they’re going to react, but hopefully it won’t be anything too bad.”

    Anyway, the point is, extremely predictable events that are supposed to be twists =/= good writing.

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

    • exbestfriend says:

      Reading Katniss complain about how she just made a HUGE MISTAKE really grated on me. I know she is a teenage girl and clearly she has some issues going on, but this was one of those times that I just wanted to shake her. She hit the apple out of a pigs mouth. If she had missed and hit one of the judges I would have understood her angst, but it was a little "Woe is me" for my taste.

    • monkeybutter says:

      She should have shot the pig in the eye just to be consistent!

      I like the book, but scenes like this make me think that I should be keeping a list of cheesy moments.

      • ldwy says:

        I would read that list and I would love it.

        • monkeybutter says:

          Ahem. I want more down votes:

          Drunken, slurring Haymitch yelling at the camera, falling from the stage, and passing out after the salute to Katniss. Comic relief! (25 & 26)

          "I won't! You know I won't! Katniss, remember I–" and then Gale is hustled out the door and Katniss hasn't a clue what he's going to say! (41)

          Katniss's dad, the Disney heroine. (44) Okay, I admit I like that scene.

          The memory-inducing dandelion, made more poignant when it is destroyed by the cookies. My favorite. (49)

          Haymitch punching Peeta and Katniss throwing the knife between the seams. (57 & 58)

          "But because two can play this game, I stand on tiptoe and kiss his cheek. Right on his bruise." (70) Oh, Katniss.

          "The arrow skewers the apple in the pig's mouth and pins it to the wall behind it. Everyone stares at me in disbelief." (101 & 102) This book was obviously intended to be filmed.

          It's also fun to play Mad Libs with "[Name], the girl/boy who ______"

      • bibliotrek says:

        She should have shot the pig in the eye just to be consistent!

        Ha! Actually, I was thinking about how tiny squirrel eyes are compared to arrowheads, and I suddenly had a lot of questions. Such as: where precisely does Katniss get her arrowheads, does it ever say? She uses the bows that her father made, but what are her arrowheads even made of? And given the total obliteration that a squirrel's skull must go through when hit by an arrow, is it really that obvious whether she hits them right in the eye every time?


        • monkeybutter says:

          Reuses her dad's or carves them from stone? Maybe she uses blunts to hunt squirrels, though that seems unlikely given she's named after a plant with arrowhead-shaped leaves. I never really thought about it, but now I'm curious, too!

        • Tabbyclaw says:

          I think I love everything about this comment.

    • Ida says:

      I don't know. I find that when I get mad I need some time to cool of before I realize what I might have said or done. So the way Katniss reacted towards the gamemakers doesn't strike me as odd.

      Edit: oooh we can edit our comments. Yay! Don't mind me…lol

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      And then in the middle of her post-interview freak-out, she dives right into the "I wasn't aiming to shoot 'em; if I were, they'd already be dead" trope. Congratulations, Katniss, you've gone from self-deprecating gloom to self-aggrandizing cliche and back in a matter of only five seconds.

    • Erin says:

      I dunno… I think that she fits the 17 year old angsty teen thing. When you're that young, everything seems so much bigger and dramatic than it really is… I would assume even more so when you think you're about to die. I see her immaturity and low self esteem as a way for Collins to remind us that she is just a kid. Does it get annoying sometimes? yes. Do I see the point? yes.

  26. Mauve_Avenger says:

    After the heavy-handedness of Katniss's "woe is me" spiel, I predicted that Katniss (and possibly but much less likely Peeta) were going to get twelve points, because there are a maximum of twelve points rewarded and there are twelve districts and twelve pairs of tributes and they're on the twelfth floor. Then they were going to chant "We're number twelve! We're number twelve!" and it was going to be a funny inversion/double entendre because they got twelve points and they're from District Twelve and they're on the twelfth floor and Suzanne Collins is just going to keep shoving the number twelve in my face until I break down and start worshipping her Dodecahedronal God.

    I mean, I get that on some level the reappearance of the number twelve here is supposed to imply that the success of one or both of the District Twelve tributes is ~meant to be~, but if you're going to do that then the number you use has to make sense in that context. After the first mention of the scoring system, I assumed that boys were ranked against other boys and girls against other girls, with some sort of standardization between the two groups and ties being rather rare; that way, gamblers and concerned district members can easily calculate odds on any given district's success as well as the outcomes of individual conflicts (since the whole thing is televised, I'm assuming there's betting on short-term results as well). But when twelve points is considered "unattainably high," the general favorites are scoring an average of nine, and the rest are mostly averaging in at around five or six, the system doesn't really tell you much and there's no reason for it to be based on twelve points whatsoever.

    I'm really glad for realism's sake that neither of them scored twelves, but still…eleven? Seriously, Gamemakers: why don't you just make ten louder and make ten the top number and make that a little louder?

    <img src=""&gt;

    • ldwy says:

      Great comic. Love it.

    • exbestfriend says:

      Oh you've just become my favorite for including xkcd.
      But seriously, as Gale would say "Well, there's some room for improvement there."
      If she had shot a gamemaker through the eye, that would be a 12.

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        For me, it's not a problem of the fairness of the scoring as it pertains to the contestants themselves. It's more a "I know I'm being pedantic, but who in their right minds would come up with a scoring system like that?! The people who designed this thing must have been morons" sort of problem. ^_^

        Which would comfort me as to the chances of more people making it out of the arena alive if only I were convinced that the author intended it that way.

    • DameDallas says:

      Interesting theory about the number 12. I haven't thought about that.
      However, there were 13 districts, so in theory, there would have been 13 floors and not 12.
      Or it could just mean that the number 13 is truly unlucky, and that is why they were obliterated.

      • ldwy says:

        But the games got instituted after the uprising in 13 was quelled and there were only 12 left. So in the history of the Hunger Games (not Panem as a whole) there's only 12 districts to consider? There wouldn't have been a thirteenth floor.

        • exbestfriend says:

          I have no idea how I've missed that. For some reason I thought the uprising with 13 was more recent in the history of Panem.
          BTW- I'm not questioning, I guess I just haven't paid attention :/

          • Yusra says:

            I believe it's the 74th Hunger Games that Peeta and Katniss partake in. That's 74 years after district 13 turned to mush. That's 1679 dead kids before them; 73 'winners'; of which there are only 2 from District 12. (assuming that 25% of the wins were non-Career tributes, only 18 other 'normal' kids won. Also assuming that 25% of the kills were Career tributes (so be taken as around 1260 district[normal] kids dying throughout the games).
            We can take it further by saying that, of the 20 non-Career winners, we know 1 died (the fate of the others is unknown), and 1 is relatively normal. From these 18, we can assume that 25% of them went senile or died. (because, when you're not a Career who was conditioned to kill from birth, killing 23 people is quite traumatising). That's around 5 other 'deaths' to the list. (Of course, I think this number may actually be larger).

            Those are some pretty dire statistics.
            I've forgotten what the point of this post was. I was too busy being shell-shocked by the numbers.

            • ldwy says:

              Wow, as much as that's horrifying, thanks for posting. It brings so much focus and perspective to an already terrible idea.

        • DameDallas says:

          Oh yeah, that's true. Nevermind.

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        Bah, accidental comment erasure! Anyway…

        Just to clarify (since I'm sick right now and was probably not at my most coherent): I wasn't trying to say that Suzanne Collins was consulting numerology or that her characters are, or even that I think the number twelve is going to pop up in interesting or not so interesting ways later on, though my first comment probably sounded that way. Mostly I was trying (and probably failing at being) snarky and ~meta.~

        I really only take issue with Collins' use of the twelve when it comes to the Gamemakers' scoring system. The others, at least to me, are fine. The number of districts and tributes are the groundwork of the plot; the twelve elevator floors, while not essential, certainly seem natural enough and make perfect sense.

        Basically, I think her use of the twelve-point scoring system is a smaller-scale attempt to do with the number twelve what J.K. Rowling did with the number seven. But while Rowling has the excuse of having a magical world in which sevens are *mysterious and mystical* and a writing style that makes most mentions of the number seven fade quickly into the background, Collins' style and chosen subject really don't make room for it, and it seems to me like a short-lived gimmick. And because the novel is so sparsely written and there's hardly been any action yet, it sticks out as badly as if J.K. Rowling had written Goblet of Fire to include seven Triwizard tasks instead of three.

        • Mauve_Avenger says:

          And yikes, do I write a lot when I'm on cold medicine.

          • Tabbyclaw says:

            Holy crap, I just noticed your username. You are awesome.

            • Mauve_Avenger says:


              When I first got this account, I was looking for the screencap for my icon and the very first thing I found was the MySpace page of a hardcore band from Texas with the same name. I listened to their first song, and Stinky's "how about 'the Mauve Avenger?'" line was the only part I could actually understand.
              It doesn't seem like the show was very popular where I'm from, so it's always a bit unusual for me to encounter other people who like it (even if they're not rhythmically screaming into my earphones).

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      It reminds me of "Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap," my new favorite podcast. (That would be Ursula Vernon, artist, children's author, and creator of the amazing webcomic "Digger" for anyone who knows of her but has yet to find this gem.) Kevin eventually intends to archive all their food reviews and use a standardized decimal ratings scale, so Ursula changes the scale she uses every week just to annoy him.

  27. bibliotrek says:

    I wish people would stop talking about Katniss as if her main problem is a self-generated "low self-esteem." Bella Swan has low self-esteem. Katniss is the product of an incredibly oppressive society, and it trivializes how hard her life has been to use the phrase "low self-esteem" to describe the intense lifelong conditioning to devalue herself that she's experienced.

    • tethysdust says:

      Well, but she does have low self-esteem. That doesn't mean its trivial, it just means that she thinks really poorly about herself. Sure, I can definitely see that the people who are in control have drilled her own worthlessness into her, but the result is low self-esteem. Using those words is just a short way to refer to the problem. And why does everyone keep mentioning Twilight? It's getting in the way of my pretending it was never written :D.

      • DameDallas says:

        And why does everyone keep mentioning Twilight? It's getting in the way of my pretending it was never written.
        *snort* Ah, so true.

      • exbestfriend says:

        Totally, she has low self-esteem, but also a difficult life. Bella had low self-esteem for no particularly good reason. There is a legitimate reason for Katniss to feel like the helpless oppressed person in society that she is and it does not mean that if she were just a bit more positive thinking her situation would improve. Even though it is justifiable, it does not change the fact that she has low self-esteem.

        And a solid A+ for "It's getting in the way of my pretending it was never written :D."

      • bibliotrek says:

        Yeah — I just have seen a number of people complaining about (a) Katniss's "low self-esteem" as an annoying character trait, like she should just channel the power of positive thinking to make everything better, which is ridiculously privileged thinking; and (b) Katniss's "low self-esteem" making her like Bella. And both of those claims are grating on my nerves.

        Also, does she really think that poorly about herself? I mean, she knows that she can shoot arrows and throw knives competently, and she says that she's competent, right? She knows she can kill game, and that she's a better shot than Gale; she just doesn't think she's excellent because she's not as experienced and skilled as her father was. And when else, in the text, does she express sentiments that suggest "low self-esteem" rather than "realistic self-assessment"? Even the stuff about her appearance isn't "low self-esteem" as much as "complete lack of self-awareness," which is very different.

        I don't know, maybe I've forgotten important examples — it's entirely possible! I just keep seeing people using this label for her without providing concrete examples of what they mean. And, for me, using "low self-esteem" to describe how two very different characters relate to themselves and their societies elides the enormous differences between their situations and reasons for thinking about themselves in the way they do.

    • DameDallas says:

      Agreed. I am not a fan of the comparison. Bella had everything at her feet and just refused to care that they were there, and Katniss is nothing like that.

      I'm sure I could do a better character analysis, but in a weird way, I feel bad about doing that to Katniss. 🙂

  28. couldbemoresonic says:

    When I first read that they gave Katniss a high score, I thought that they were trying to make her a target. If you were in the arena, wouldn’t you target the high scorers first?

  29. Maddi says:

    I can't believe you didn't pick up on "the saltiness reminds me of my tears" which is just one of the stupidest things I've ever read (and I LIKE these books).

  30. Marie_Goos says:

    I agree, the moment she shot the apple it was clear her score would be high. And the more she worried about getting the lowest score the more I suspected she'd get the highest one. And while her skills are made pretty damn obvious, her lack of awareness of it is pretty endearing… Better than a character who's full of herself, anyway. Also, her concern for her family = <3

    AND WHAT IS THIS SHIT PEETA? Girl, you must be trippin'! I know this is a reaction to her high score, but I can't tell whether it's just that or if he's got something extra under his sleeve. Maybe a secret deadly bread-making technique? Anyway, this calls for reading the next chapter. I AGREE MARK THIS SHIT IS ABOUT TO BECOME SO REAL IT WILL EXIST AS A 4TH DIMENSIONAL BEING.

  31. embers says:

    I had thought that Katniss shot the apple in an impulsive/emotional outburst, and since she knows all too well how violently oppressive the authorities in The Capitol can be, it was perfectly natural that she would expect a bad out come. She tries to hide her emotions (at home and particularly here, preparing for the games) but she is just an adolescent girl with strong emotions and not enough knowledge of the world to really be capable of cold calculated actions….
    I really get so that I like her a lot, but then I also really like Peeta, Haymitch, the stylist, and really most of the characters. Collins does a great job of giving me something to interest me, or even care about, with most of the characters.

  32. exbestfriend says:

    Okay here is where I confess something. When I read the book I hardly even notice the extensive food porn that goes on because in my family that it one of the first questions asked. "Oh you went on vacation in Hong Kong. Neat. How was the food?" My dad still tells stories about the cafeteria food he ate in Greece and what they served when he lived in Israel. I once wrote a postcard to my mom that essentially read "Having fun on my cross country trip. They serve grits with maple syrup in Montana. Love, Me" It is totally odd, but I think it's a Louisiana thing.

    So on one hand I completely understand the need to describe every bit of food that goes into Katniss' mouth, but right at the point where Collins described the type of lamb stew K ate for breakfast, I wanted to scream "MOVE THE PLOT ALONG. If you wanted to write a cookbook, GO BACK AND WRITE A COOKBOOK!"

    /end of confession.

    • kaybee42 says:

      what are grits? I realise I could probably google but hearing things like this from people irl (well internet irl) is more reliable normally 🙂

      • exbestfriend says:

        I am so not the right person to describe grits, but since I brought them up I suppose it is my job. It's a breakfast food and essentially it is corn meal porridge. It's like oatmeal, but not. Where I am from they are served savory, not sweet. When my dad had to cook for us we ate grits non-stop because you can't really make grits any worse than they are already. See and now I have described gruel and it sounds terrible, but it is comfort food to me. And the other thing we have now all learned is that I am not Suzanne Collins.

    • DameDallas says:

      Collins does love her food porn, but what I noticed at the end of this chapter, when Katniss was at breakfast/lunch, was that she didn't go into nearly as long of a tribute about the food she was eating. I think it has to do with the fact that she hasn't eaten food like that ever, and when that happens, you want to describe every morsel. However, as time goes on, her food poetry shortens because (1) she's getting used to it, and (2) the Games are coming up, so you're more distracted mentally from it all.

      At least I think that's what I'm thinking. 🙂

    • Katie says:

      Yeah, Katniss's reaction to the food is completely believable for someone who has never been properly fed, IMO. I thought it added verisimilitude.

    • pennylane27 says:

      I totally misread 'stew K ate' as Kstew, which is what they call Kristen Stewart and had a very funny WTF? moment. 😉

  33. oohlivia says:

    I reaalllly want Gale and Katniss' relationship to be purely platonic. I think it would be so awesome if for once in YA literature we had a girl and a boy who are best friends and love each other intensely but have no romance attached to it. I know Harry and Hermione have that but it doesn't happen enough in YA literature.

    Also, I am sick of everyone around me complaining about not having a boyfriend. I'm like dude, I just want a friend who's a boy. I go to an all-girls school (and have no life outside of school lmao), so my contact with boys is limited. And though I love my girl friends dearly, it would be very refreshing to have a friendship that is equally strong and loving with a guy. But inevitably people would interpret that as romantic. Because popular culture tells us it cannot be otherwise. FUCK DIS SHIT.

    Ahem, that was just a little rant. Back to the book. Um, Katniss remains fierce but still a bit grating, I think this is why I love her. Like Holden Caulfield. I think he's a mope, but while everyone seems to hate him and hate Catcher in the Rye as a result, I cannot help but love him for the very reason that he is so irritating and such an accurate representation of melodramatic teenagers such as myself. It makes me chuckle. Obviously Katniss, unlike Holden, has a genuine reason to complain about life. But I love that she is cynical and pessimistic. DON'T CHANGE, KATPISS. FUCK DA HATERZ.

  34. lossthief says:

    p.102: Katniss SMASH!
    p.103: Actually, the most disrespectful way would have been to drop trou and moon them, then proceed to shit on their beds.
    p.104 This scoring system is BANANAS B-A-N-A-N-A-S
    p.104: "The saltiness reminds me of my tears" good lord that is a bad line.
    p.105: "Well, they've already promised to do that to us any way" Oh, Peeta you are my favorite
    p.106: Guffaws? What.
    p.107: 7? Proof that Rue is going to end somebody. They will rue the day they met her. …STOP JUDGING ME
    p.107: THAT IS STILL A HORRIBLE SLOGAN. Stop using it immediately.
    p.108: Gale gets some shipping fodder without even being present.
    p.110: SMILEY shipping fodder. I know I'm pushing the shipping stuff here when this is meant to be more platonic, but I've seen this sort of stuff enough times to know "platonic" turning into "romantic" real quick.
    p110: "A pang of longing shoots through my chest" UGH.
    p111: And the Love Triangle is spelled out for us.
    p111: Wait, what? It's the next day now? When? How? Collins please provide some sign of a scene transition when you wish to move forward.
    p112: DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN Peeta is playing the game on EXPERT LEVEL now.
    So yeah, this chapter was a bit of a let down. I'd expected righteous fury from Kat, not the "woe is me" crying that we got. The whole backstory with Gale was rather touching, but it felt like it would have been better placed at a different time. I'm going to make a call right now that Peeta wanting separate training is all part of a plan to keep him and Kat alive.
    Grade: "C+"

  35. Tabbyclaw says:

    She couldn't stop reading, and she thinks that's all the recommendation this book needs. Never mind that the books I've always had the hardest time putting down (barring Discworld books, especially before he started dividing them into chapters) are the ones that are so trainwrecky you just can't look away.

  36. Married In Pearl says:


  37. lindseytinsey says:

    I really got so angry when I got to the end of this chapter.
    "Damn you, Peeta", said I.

  38. 4and6forever says:

    When I first read the line ‘Peeta has asked to be coached separatly’, I didn’t get why it was such a big deal. Collins didn’t elaborate enough in this chapter about her trust of him. All it does is make it seem like things are changing interestingly. However, looking back, it ties in with her reminicsing of Gale which signals to her longing of another person close to her. Peeta was the one in the Capital who was her Gale. (Almost.) Then he rips himself away from her, and she’s all alone.

    • DameDallas says:

      Oh man, I didn't even see it like that. That's a great analysis. I'm so one-tracked; all I can see is him betraying her because of her high score from the Gamemakers. However, you're right. The one person that she kind of had on her side, going through this scary experience with her, is now heading in a different direction.

  39. Penquin47 says:

    I think Peeta wanted separate training for the interview part because Katniss is so pretty and popular and highly-rated that obviously everyone's gonna want to spend all their time with her, and getting separate training was a good way to make sure people remembered he existed next to Katniss. Don't forget the effect Katniss has on people that she has no idea about!

    This chapter was the absolute hardest to stop reading so far – I want to know WHY Peeta asked for separate training, and what Katniss is going to have to do to beat the reason out of him.

  40. Quirrelmort says:

    I think my favorite part of this chapter was Effie's comment about the gamemakers. She lives in a seriously messed up society and has been told all this stuff is just great for her whole life. I love seeing her recognize (even in a very small way) that what happened was messed up. And to actually say something about it. I am hoping this will develop more later.
    Also, what is going on with Peeta??? I want him to be genuinely nice and not plotting something so very much. I can't help but love Peeta.

  41. rollingstone64 says:

    My first thought after reading this was, "Shit! They're going to give her the highest score! She's going to be the number one target as soon as they all see that score. That's such a sneaky way to get back at her."

    I did think her fear that her family would be punished was a little ridiculous, though. Aren't they already being punished with her in the Games? Plus, no one knows what happened in there. In her situation though, I feel that the stress would have just about anyone on the edge of sanity.

  42. Moonie says:

    Hehehe, you are not prepared.

    Also yes, Peeta is going to secretly poison the tributes with DELICIOUS COOKIES, but Katniss will NOT BE FOOLED because she throws all delicious cookies she recieves out train windows. SO IT ENDS UP A FIGHT TO THE DEATH, ARROWS VS YUMMY FOOD. OH YES.

  43. jonni13 says:

    Ooooh good comments today! Everything's been said hmmmphh….

    Also I'm realising the spoiler I read the other day didn't give away as much as I feared yay! Let the games begin! Oh no, that's an awful thing to say under the circumstances…

  44. AgentofSHIELD says:

    "Shit is about to get so real." = Understatement.

  45. 4and6forever says:

    Mrartl! Neaufh! Intgyooo!

    I have so much to say but I can’t say it!

  46. Brittany says:

    I've never read these books before. I'm only reading your reviews. I'm still waiting on my library to get a copy in.
    Anyway, I think Peeta requested to be coached separately because Katniss got such a high score. If he scored higher than her, then I don't think he would've cared.
    I'm excited for what happens next. I want the freaking books. D:

  47. LoonyLu says:

    You know I wish that Peeta would have scored higher than Katniss and gotten a twelve. That would have been much more of a surprise and add some more mystery to Peeta and why all of a sudden, he wants to train separately.

    P.S. What score did Peeta get? I don't think Mark mentioned it.

  48. IsabelArcher2 says:

    I do not understand the point system for this new site. Why are there points? Why do my points keep disappearing? Why does my Ravenclaw-Self need all of the points so badly? Also, getting a positive reply from Mark should be worth like +500 points that never die.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Don't think about the points, you'll scare them away.

    • bibliotrek says:

      Why are there points? Why do my points keep disappearing? Why does my Ravenclaw-Self need all of the points so badly?

      AHAHA THIS. How did I lose 12 points overnight? Why do I feel like I've failed to level up somehow? ARE WE BEING PSYCHOLOGICALLY CONDITIONED WITH ARBITRARY PUNISHMENTS AND REWARDS?

      • pennylane27 says:

        I thought I was crazy, like I'd imagined the points going up or something, what is up with that? Maybe we have to comment all the time to keep the points up? Or maybe they're just messing with our heads?
        I don't know why I need them, I just know that I felt super happy when they turned yellow!

      • IsabelArcher2 says:

        Godamnit, you both have green glowy points! That's the level-up I want!! (And +5 Agility)

        Oh. My. God. They've gotten to me!! Need to calm down. Points are not necessary to survival. SOMEONE PLEASE REPLY TO THIS SO I CAN GET MOAR POINTS!!

        • kaybee42 says:

          my guess is that you need roughly 25 points to get a green badgey thing, or roughly that. and I just discovered these points today but it seems that thumbs up gives you points, thumbs down takes them away, replies give you points and you get a point from commenting. this is crazy fun though but i wish i cared less! or just didn't know about them any more!

          • IsabelArcher2 says:

            Mine keep going up and down. I almost had it. I was at 20pts! I woke up the next day and I was down to five. FIVE!! I ate a pretzel for consolation. The saltiness reminds me of my tears.

          • bibliotrek says:

            This makes me SUCH A NERD but I actually added up my points and came up with 116 — and that's just counting the little + numbers for people who have thumbs-upped my comments and not the number of replies. So why does it say 31p next to my name? And why do I have fewer points than comments? There must be some arcane formula but damned if I can figure out what it is.

            • Tabbyclaw says:

              I am fairly certain the arcane formula involves dividing by your total posts somewhere.

              • IsabelArcher2 says:

                Well we all need to figure this system out. I am determined to get an A+ for this site, goddammit. I will start writing lines of my terrible surrealist poetry as comments if necessary.

        • pennylane27 says:

          Replying and voting your comment 🙂

    • Openattheclose says:

      This is sad, but I totes just registered so I could see what these points are all about. You don't get them when you post with just your email.

  49. pennylane27 says:

    Ok, so I think that everyone knew that Katniss wouldn't get into trouble, but I didn't find her reaction unrealistic or annoying. Irrational and exaggerated? Sure, but this girl has been on edge for a really long time, and now it's even worse, so I totally get that she would freak out and cry for hours. And all the time I smiled to myself in a knowing way because I feel sorry for fictional characters.

    I loved the way everyone tried to cheer her up, especially Effie. I think that's when I started to dislike her less. Even Haymitch was decent for a change. It was great that Rue got a somewhat high score, but I expected that because good things come in small packages! 😀

    The flashback was well executed, and I like how even though he's not there we still learn things about him through Kat. And yes, I also though that there was something more to that friendship, even if not acknowledged by them.

    And Peeta. My love for him is unending, I don't care if he's being weird or a jerk, or playing the game. Love that guy. <3

    Also, interviews? When I read this, I couldn't help imagining a pageant interview, where they would all ask for world peace or something. And Haymitch coaching them? Michael Caine in Miss Congeniality. :p

    (Completely unrelated: I love the iTunes Beatles ad below.)

    • DameDallas says:

      Yeah, the interview thing really irked me. I hate all of the pomp and circumstance they have to grow through before the Games. Yes, they need sponsors, but THEY ARE GOING TO BE MURDERED OR MURDERERS.
      Stop applauding this, crazy Capitol people!

  50. Coni says:

    So, I have never heard of this series and when you started reading this I had no real of intention of reading along or looking forward to these reviews NEARLY as much as Harry Potter or Twilight, but I do. And I have started reading this novel and it's actually very good.
    Thank you, Mark. I have been searching for something new to read! Everything here lately has been for school or I have heard good things, started it, and trudged through it slowly because I had to know what happened even though it sucked.

  51. SableFlag says:

    Four words: You are not prepared.

  52. Revolution64 says:

    The only character I like so far is Peeta. And his dad's a baker, right? Peeta bread, ha! Puns are fun.

  53. celestineangel1 says:

    Parrot: Yeah, I thought Katniss overreacted a bit as well, and was confused by her reaction for basically the same reason you stated. She knows the private sessions are secret, even before Haymitch reassures her of it, so what's the big deal, bb? The worst they can do is give you an awful score.

    PEETA OH PEETA WHY. Goooods, reading this, I was like oh shit what why why why OMGs.

  54. Nibor says:

    Overall, I think that Collins is a better storyteller than writer, but I can defiantly say that woman writes some fantastic cliffhangers.

  55. Nifer says:

    Hello! I've followed you here from "Mark Reads Harry Potter" (which I loved and was a fantastic way to sort of reread the books before the seventh movie, because it was refreshing and didn't require an actual millionth reread of the books), and I'm soooo excited to see that you've chosen The Hunger Games as your next books to read. Collin's writing annoyed me a bit as well, but her plot is kind of amazing. She drew me in, and by the third chapter of book 1, I had my paperback copy of that book up for sale on Amazon and was paying to have the hardback trilogy shipped to me in 2 days because I knew I'd want to have them all at hand to read immediately. so enjoy!!!

  56. vaporeon13204 says:

    Oh no, Peeta is being coached separately? D: Oh, this is terrible. DX I'm glad she got a high score at least.

  57. Cyna says:

    Yeah, I think way too often, Collins plays Katniss' oblivious card. She's oblivious to – to quote Peeta "the effect she has on people", and oblivious to what he meant with that. She's oblivious to the fact that her little stunt is going to get her a higher score, even though the readers should get it right away, etc. It happens pretty frequently, and she doesn't seem to grow out of it.

    But I dunno, I never really thought of Katniss as smart or intuitive, more like the street-smart survivor type, so I guess it'd be part of her character. It did get annoying, though.

  58. Dragonizer says:

    Man, I loved how Katniss freaked out in the beginning of the chapter. I'm prone to little fits of paranoia and low self esteem as well, so it seemed perfectly realistic to me. I mean, her action was pretty much in the heat of the moment and done out of anger, so it makes perfect sense for her character to freak out about it later.

  59. karadudz says:

    I used to be bothered by Katniss' teen angst and such before. But then I changed my mind because I realized that she's JUST a teenager. With feelings. And I guess she's confused and doesn't know how to deal with them. That's why she's so….She has rage issues, and seems dumb most of the time LOL Ok maybe not dumb… Just a little oblivious.

    But what I really mean is that… Because the Hunger Games is all about kids killing each other… And everyone in Panem knows about it, it's kinda hard to remember that those people thrown into the arena are JUST kids. Just a thought.

    ALSO. Who knew Peeta could be a backstabbing bitch yeah? (&lt; sorry I just had to, but that's what I thought when I read this chapter this past weekend LOL)
    He's not just a softy goodygoody Mr. Kind. He can be pretty unpredictable =D

  60. warm slurm says:

    I agree. The ending is as clear as clear can be, too. This book is just so goddamn dumb, Katniss is a Mary Sue that rivals Bella Swan, almost every character is unlikable and the author cannot write action for shit.

    the hate i feel for this book just fills me with raaage hdglhds

    • Yusra says:

      So, please enlighten me, what happens, in your opinion, at the end?

      • warm slurm says:

        Uh… I've read the book, so I know. Katniss and Peeta survive. It was obvious what would happen from the beginning, though, considering Suzanne Collins ripped off Battle Royale almost completely. Katniss and Peeta are Noriko and Shuya.

        • Yusra says:

          And that's possibly the greatest spoiler on the planet. Please delete it. 🙂

          [I was under the impression you hadn't finished the book, and wanted to see how accurate your predictions were. I'm still trying to get my hands on Battle Royale…]

          • warm slurm says:

            I can't delete it (don't have an account), but the protagonist is not going to die, especially when she hails from the land of Mary Sue. Along with books like Battle Royale, The Long Walk, etc., The Hunger Games' ending is blatantly obvious from the outset.

          • warm slurm says:

            I do apologise for spoiling, though, but I got confused by your comment of asking me what happened at the end when I had already read it (I wouldn't take such a disliking to a book I haven't read lol).

  61. xkcdhobbes says:

    Katniss was angry. I think it's normal to be afraid of having done something bad when you are angry. Katniss doesn't really know how the judges will think of her action and is mostly afraid that her action will be considered an "attempted homicide" and that the gamemakers will not apreciate having their lives put in danger. Now of course she believe she hasn't done anything to bad, but since she knew she was not completely lucid and was a bit mad, she's blowing the badness of her action out of proportion like pretty much anybody. That's the whole point of the line: I was really angry, I didn't mean to do that!"
    Aside from that, I liked this chapter, how Effie and Haymitch are both really nice. And of course, I was not prepared for Peeta.
    And I also was not prepared for Katniss thinking about what she had done (firing an arrow at the gammakers), it just struck me at the reading of the chapter that it was not the safest thing to do considering she doesn't really know how they will react.

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