Mark Reads ‘The Hunger Games’: Chapter 9

In the ninth chapter of The Hunger Games, Katniss’s rage at the absurdity of the Hunger Games causes her to act irrationally to everyone around her. It takes the calm reasoning of Cinna to bring her back down, but then the final moment of the chapter fucks everything up. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Hunger Games.

Man, this book is finally kicking into a higher gear. It’s not that I don’t appreciate Collins spending time in the Capitol. I actually welcome it. I think it actually makes the Games all the more reprehensible, especially once you start meeting the people behind it.

But let’s deal with the Peeta reveal first.

Betrayal. That’s the first thing I feel, which is ludicrous.

NO, SERIOUSLY, IT IS. Why are you worried? I suppose, though, that it’s a way for Peeta to disconnect himself at this point. Katniss has a great score and he’s going to have to kill her very, very soon. Or at least try to. But…Katniss, you don’t even like him that much. Why do you feel betrayed?

But the boy who risked a beating to give me bread, the one who steadied me in the chariot, who covered me with the redheaded Avox girl, who insisted Haymitch know my hunting skills…was there some part of me that couldn’t help trusting him?

I have to admit that in the vacuum of this environment, this is actually a good point. Katniss is not a naturally trusting person, but Peeta has shown a level of respect for her that is rare in her life. So I understand her immediate action, to a point.

Katniss’s emotional depth, however, doesn’t seem to last long. Within seconds, she is ready to move on, ready to accept whatever plan Haymitch has for her to win the Hunger Games. Separate from Peeta, of course.

The next couple of scenes are, truthfully, unbearable. I am going to make a comparison in a second. It will not make me popular, but JUST GIVE ME A MOMENT TO FLESH IT OUT and I promise it’s not that bad.

Katniss spends eight hours, four with Effie and four with Haymitch, to prepare for her public television interview, the last thing she’ll do before the Games begin. She starts with Effie first, working on her presentation for her interview.

Effie, who I beginning to dislike less and less as I read more about her, teaches Katniss how she should walk in heels. How she should sit. How she should hold her dress. How she should look at the interviewer. How she should smile.

Katniss, ever the independent woman, is repulsed by most of this normative behavior; being a woman has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. Even independent of that, she’s a hunter who lives in a society that has no need for any of these social norms, so why should she be expected to learn them now? She’s going to kill people shortly, not wine and dine them to death.

So while I was smiling at her beautiful and simple rebellion, one that is pure nature to her, the next section caused me to grimace instead. Haymitch is tasked with helping Katniss with the content of her interview. What should she tell Panem? Which angle should she take? Should she portray herself as humble or viciously bloodthirsty?

Haymitch takes the role of the interviewer and I try to answer his questions in a winning fashion. But I can’t. I’m too angry with Haymitch for what he said and that I even have to answer the questions. All I can think is how unjust the whole thing is, the Hunger Games. Why am I hopping around like some trained dog trying to please people I hate? The longer the interview goes on, the more my fury seems to rise to the surface, until I’m literally spitting out answers at him.

I must say that I can’t expect that even I wouldn’t do the exact same thing. Katniss has always seemed to understand the absurdity of this entire system and it’s precisely that absurdity that enrages her so. But I wondered why she decided to take this out on Haymitch and why she’s so angry at him for calling her “sullen and hostile.” I MEAN SERIOUSLY, THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW.

Haymitch tries to convince her that even lying about her life at this point is a much better idea than anything else. But this leads to a section that…well, just wait until after it. You’ll see.

The next hours are agonizing. At once, it’s clear I cannot gush. We try me playing cocky, but I just don’t have the arrogance. Apparently, I’m too “vulnerable” for ferocity. I’m not witty. Funny. Sexy. Or mysterious.

By the end of the session, I am no one at all.

Katniss is Bella Swan.

OK NOT REALLY. But as soon as I read that, I couldn’t help but think of that soulless vaccum, that waste of character space that somehow filled up four books without causing the pages to implode out of fury. Obviously, while Katniss’s emotional depth is mostly vacant, she’s a far better character than Bella Swan, but LOOK. I’M SORRY. I COULDN’T HELP THAT MY MIND WENT THERE. It just happened!


Katniss, however, hates everything.

I have dinner that night in my room, ordering an outrageous number of delicacies, eating myself sick, and then taking out my anger at Haymitch, at the Hunger Games, at every living being in the Capitol by smashing dishes around my room. When the girl with the red hair comes in to turn down my bed, her eyes widen at the mess. “Just leave it!” I yell at her. “Just leave it alone!”

Guess who finally has very special feelings that no one understands except the broken dishes on the floor. I don’t know, this scene is strange. We haven’t seen Katniss react to much of anything and all of a sudden, she’s destroying her room? Maybe this is how she overloads. Maybe this is how she reacts under extreme duress. I don’t know. I still think this scene is weird.

The moment where Katniss (sort of) apologizes to the readheaded girl is a nice contrast, though, and I’m sure it helps to relieve some of her guilt, which can only help her as she enters the arena. But the scene is incredibly brief and I’m left wanting more from the two of them.

The next day is Katniss’s interview and I was thankful to have another scene with Cinna. I don’t know what it is about him, but I’m intrigued by his respect for Cinna; I’m interested to know why he respects Katniss so much and how he plays into this whole story. Here, though, we just get to see him do right by Katniss when he makes her a dress of gems that illuminates in the light. Even Katniss knows what Cinna has done for her, and she is grateful for it. Not as much, however, as she is towards his advice for her regarding her interview: Be herself.

“Myself? That’s no good, either. Haymitch says I’m sullen and hostile,” I say.

“Well, you are…around Haymitch,” says Cinna with a grin. “I don’t find you so. The prep team adores you. You even won over the Gamemakers. And as for the citizens of the Capitol, well, they can’t stop talking about you. No one can help but admire your spirit.”

Maybe that’s part of the reason why Cinna seems to enjoy her so much. But he devises a rather ingenuous plan for her: answer the questions as if she is speaking to Cinna, as if she is speaking to a friend. I think Cinna sees that Katniss is missing familiarity here and if he can give her even the tiniest thing to grasp on to, she might be able to find a comfortable zone to speak in.

The actual interview process itself reminded me of something someone told me about Collins’s idea for the series, which was a combination between reality TV and an American Idol-type program. The parade of tributes are forced to talk to a man named Caesar Flickerman, who embodies the inanity of the entire Capitol.

It’s a little scary because his appearance has been virtually unchanged during all that time. Same face under a coating of pure white makeup. Same hairstyle that he dyes a different color for each Hunger Games. Same ceremonial suit, midnight blue dotted with a thousand tiny electric bulbs that twinkle like stars. They do surgery in the Capitol, to make people appear younger and thinner. In District 12, looking old is something of an achievement since so many people die early. You see an elderly person, you want to congratulate them on their longevity, ask the secret of survival. A plump person is envied because they aren’t scraping by like the majority of us. But here is different. Wrinkles aren’t desirable. A round belly isn’t a sign of success.

It’s nice to see Collins not only address the body issues that plague our society, but to flip a mirror and invert them, to see how District 12 might actually envy people who are larger than they are. I like it.

Also, I want to see the movie version of this scene done well because Caesar sounds terrifying.

Collins sort of rushes through all of the other tributes and part of me actually wanted much more detail as she cycled through the various teenagers and kids. But that also conflicted with my desire for the Games to start IMMEDIATELY, so I guess it didn’t bother me too much.

Katniss’s interview was executed well; I love that Collins doesn’t have her immediately know what to do. The moment she freezes and her mouth goes “as dry as sawdust” was a great touch. Even though Katniss is confident and proud, she’s still in a place where all of that sort of doesn’t matter. She’s in a completely foreign and completely new environment and it makes her character all the more real to know that she isn’t flawless.

She continues to gain momentum as she is asked leading questions by Caesar, imagining that she’s merely talking to Cinna. Seeing Katniss giggle? Why is that such a huge moment to me? I don’t think I’ve seen her laugh more than once and she’s only smiled a few times. Is she starting to find her humor in all this? (Could she please find her humor in all this?)

I’m glad her interview goes well and is also not terribly long. The final interview is Peeta, who plays up his self-deprecating sense of humor to his own advantage. Until Caesar asks a certain question:

“Handsome lad like you. There must be some special girl. Come on, what’s her name?” says Caesar.

Peeta sighs. “Well, there is this one girl. I’ve had a crush on her ever since I can remember. But I’m pretty sure she didn’t know I was alive until the reaping.”


“So here’s what you do. You win, you go home. She can’t turn you down then, eh?” says Caesar encouragingly.

“I don’t think it’s going to work out. Winning…won’t help in my case,” says Peeta.

“Why ever not?” says Caesar, mystified.

Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. “Because…because…she came here with me.”




OH FUCK, THIS IS ALL GOING TO BE SO, SO, SO, SO AWFUL. And I can now see I’ve reached the end of Part I and am moving on to Part II: The Games.


About Mark Oshiro

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

352 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Hunger Games’: Chapter 9

  1. lebeaumonde says:

    You are so unprepared. 🙂

  2. karate0kat says:

    I've never even read these books and I'm excited for you to find out what happens next.


  3. Kaci says:

    Oh, Mark. I'm hardly in a place to go all, "Oh, just WAIT!" on you, since I started the books the same day you did (but finished them all several days ago, thanks to the audiobooks and lots of free time at work), but seriously: SHIT GETS SO REAL.

  4. Karen says:

    Peeta! <3 <3 <3 <3 And NOW you see why maybe he wanted separate coaching for the interview preparation portion of training.

    Ok, moving past my ridiculous love for the fictional person of Peeta. I like that Katniss is pretty much the opposite of a people pleaser, and she's a terrible liar because of it. She honestly never gives two fucks if people like her. It's why she pretty much has no friends back in District 12. She's never been the kind of person who wants to be liked, so if you combine that with the pressure cooker that is being a tribute… you get sullen and hostile Katniss. Oh Katniss, I love you dearly, but you can be kind of ridiculous at times.

    Also, I like to think that Katniss's rage comes from a feeling of helplessness in her situations and just in general because of the Capitol. And that helplessness is personified in the body of the Avox girl who reminds Katniss of a moment in her life when she knew what the right thing to do was, but she was unable to do it. Idk. I just think that's maybe why the raging and food destroying scene is followed by an appearance by the Avox girl where Katniss apologizes for her own inactivity- to bring those ideas together.

  5. grlgoddess says:

    *flails* I love when there's a part 2, cause by then I usually forget that there was even a part 1, and it sort of ramps up the tension, making the cliffhanger even more cliffhangery (especially seeing as I barely even register when there's a new chapter [which is why it quickly became impossible for me to read along with you. One more chapter, I say, then by the time I notice a new chapter, it's about 5 chapters from where I said that] , a new part is a bit of a Big Deal and I love it).

    I also like how talking about how being old or overweight is viewed differently in the Capitol and District 12, and it completely makes sense. District 12's views are so similar to how society used to think, back when excessive food and longevity was rare, and the Capitol's views mirror our modern-day thinking, valuing thinness and youth. It just adds to the thinking of District 12 as an almost medieval society, compared to the Capitol's futuristic one.

    • cdnstar says:

      "District 12's views are so similar to how society used to think, back when excessive food and longevity was rare, and the Capitol's views mirror our modern-day thinking, valuing thinness and youth. It just adds to the thinking of District 12 as an almost medieval society, compared to the Capitol's futuristic one." – I approached this not as a means to represent District 12 as more medieval, but as a means of again representing how people think even now in many parts of the world (yes, often third world countries, but others as well), and how District 12 represents that. I don't think it was at all Collins intention to portray the Districts as remnants of the past or less advanced, but instead as a reflection of societies that do exist within our world, current time. Societies that are potentially held back from progress by outside forces, but also are in many ways more realistic and logical than the society we live in.

  6. Arania says:

    Yes, but is Peeta telling the truth or playing a "role" for the crowd?

    • DameDallas says:

      I was thinking that too. I mean, the crowd (and the sponsors) are going to eat that shit up! Oh, a romance during the killing spree! How classic. He'll protect her until the end….
      …and then he'll kill her.


    • Karen says:

      This is a valid point, especially considering that one of the major themes of the book so far has been about having an awareness of how you are perceived and the importance of control over information and appearances. Only ~time will tell~ Peeta's true nature.

    • zulaihaha says:

      Huh, I didn't think of that. Possibility, but he would have to be a great actor to pull that off.

      • Steeple says:

        Especially to blush on command!

        Well. It's possible he conjured up feelings of shame – it's similar to how I once summoned real tears for a skit.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      Yeah, I was wondering that. A role for the crowd and for Katiss, to potentially make her underestimate him.

    • theupsides says:

      That's the big question, isn't it?

      The whole thing would drive me crazy.

      • castlejune says:

        And you KNOW the whole thing will drive Katniss crazy. She'll be all like, "he was totally lying to please the crowd and make me unbalanced, but what if he is not? Well nothing I can do about it, it will just make it harder to kill him, and that could be just what he want me to think so that I'll hesitate to kill him, but what if he is not lying and I DON'T hesitate, and then everyone will hate me for killing the boy who loves me, especially if he is not lying, but what if he is…but..ah…grrrr!" Smashing more dishes here.

    • mugglemomof2 says:

      Ah- that's the million dollar question isn't it?

    • ldwy says:

      At first, this didn't even cross my mind, but then when I thought about it for a sec, especially in the context of him wanting private coaching, it seems like a possibility.

      • exbestfriend says:

        I thought that it wasn't so much Peeta *asking* for private coaching, but Haymitch finally taking pity on him. Other than Katniss, I would imagine everyone has noticed how much Peeta likes her. All of the signs are there. Then again, I don't think Peeta is playing a role, at least I really hope he isn't.

    • LOTRjunkie says:

      Why must you post a question that is so hard to not answer, due to fear of spoiling? *frustration*

  7. DameDallas says:

    I loved this chapter review SO MUCH. Except for the part about Katniss being Bella.

    Mark, you have no idea how hard it was to NOT click through to Part Two. I am a MESS. I want to know EVERYTHING NOW. (Not really.)

    This chapter was very heart-wrenching for me: Katniss said so many things that just pelted at my soul or something.
    They're betting on how long l live! They're not my friends! ~Amen, sister.
    They're already taking my future! They can't have the things that mattered to me in the past! This girl is PREACHING to my soul!

    Collins had some good writing in this chapter too that waxed poetic: I want the protection of this girl, even though she never had mine.

    During the interviews as they were counting down the districts for Katniss to take to the stage, my stomach was tightening. SO MANY NERVES.

    If only I was his size, I could get away with sullen and hostile and it would be just fine! I bet half the sponsors are at least considering him. If she were only male. It's sad how men can be total bitches at times, but if a woman is, it's a turnoff. Fuckin' double standards

    And yes, the Peeta thing should have been obvious, but holy crap! I was still like, "NOOOOOOO."

  8. Katie says:

    I don't necessarily think the Katniss/Bella comparison is a fair one, but I do think that Katniss has reasons for how she is – Katniss hasn't had anyone to bring out her strengths, not since her dad died, or the luxury to develop her own interests or to work on her emotional development. She's a product of a cruel, oppressive environment. Bella had all those privileges and is still just a blank.

  9. petite-dreamer says:

    I also wish we had gotten to see a tiny bit more of the other tributes interviews. At least we got to see some of Rue, who is dressed like A FAIRY, which reminds me of little girls running around during Halloween ^_^
    Which is then really jarring when put into the context of the Games.

    • ldwy says:

      So true. I am kind of desperate to know what will happen to Rue in the games, and I also kind of never ever want to know.

      • Mim says:

        I totally forgot Rue was dressed as a fairy! It's such an adorable and appropriate image.

        But then you remember they're sending her to slaughter and fairy wings won't be of much use in the Arena. Then the costume comes off as kind of sick.

        Collins, you make me D-face so hard.

  10. Karen says:

    It’s nice to see Collins not only address the body issues that plague our society, but to flip a mirror and invert them, to see how District 12 might actually envy people who are larger than they are. I like it.

    Forgot to address this in my previous comment, but yeah. I mean, that's pretty much how the human history of beauty perceptions has run. Back in the day having pale skin was something to be desired because it showed that you were well off enough to not work and could stay indoors. Nowadays, in Western culture, being tan is desirable because it demonstrates the leisure time to go tanning. Same with body shape. Historically being plumper was good because, much like for the people of District 12, it showed that you had the means to be well fed. But in our culture nowadays (and in the Capitol, I'm assuming), being thin demonstrates that you have the free time to exercise and the money to eat the more expensive healthy foods. It's all a display of privilege and I think the Capitol standards of beauty hit a bit uncomfortably home for me.

  11. Kate Monster says:


    oh god, I'm such a hopeless romantic but this part in the book made me HAPPYFLAIL before I realized, "Oh shit, this is going to be THE WORST THING POSSIBLY EVER."

    Also, I don't hate you for your comparison of Katniss to Bella. I think there are parallels that can be drawn, certainly. Katniss spends a little too much of her personal reflection time whining about how she has nothing going for her. It's a bit too familiar–painfully familiar– for me. BUT hey, hers rings a bit more true than upper-middle class, size 2, white girl Bella.

    • ldwy says:

      oh god, I'm such a hopeless romantic but this part in the book made me HAPPYFLAIL before I realized, "Oh shit, this is going to be THE WORST THING POSSIBLY EVER."


  12. Mia says:

    I won't hate on you for comparing her to Bella. I haven't even the read the Twilight series and I kinda thought that myself. Since this story is mostly plot driven, however, it doesn't really bother me too much.

  13. ArneNieberding says:


    Pretty much what I thought when I just read this ;_;

  14. Cynkro says:

    You are starting to see this book the same way I did, and I couldn't help make the same comparison that you did, Mark. =D Not that I hate the hunger games, but I couldn't help the comparison. Great review!

  15. Araniapriime says:

    I'm adding a comment here to test my Intensedebate login. This is Arania from Buzznet (HI!), but for some reason I can't log in or register with that name. Is there another Arania around here? IMPOSTOR! 😉

  16. zulaihaha says:

    The whole 'I don't care what people think of me, yet they are drawn to me' aspect is very Bella Swan. I'm not a big fan of Katniss yet, but unlikable character does not make for bad book.
    I'm still a little bit disappointed with the book so far. So many people with what I would consider good taste have recommended it to me, but… I don't know. I'm assuming it gets better though, so I will keep reading!

    • thirty2flavors says:

      This whole comment is basically exactly how I felt at this point (I read the book for the first time maybe two weeks ago). The "cynical girl who doesn't like other people doesn't realize other people like her" seems sort of played out to me so I kind of sighed wearily when it cropped up here. I wouldn't say it was totally the entertainment value, but it did leave me pretty nonplussed.

  17. Treasure Cat says:

    I have such mixed feelings about this chapter, I think it has some awesome moments and some really stupid ones.
    I think you were absolutely right to bring Bella into this Mark, because even though Katniss > Bella, there is something of Bella about her in that bits of her chatacter just don't make any sense at all. There are moments when she reacts how no normal person would. Plate smashing? Really Katniss? And the girlish sense of humour in the interview seemed so random and out of place. She isn't a subtle character at all, and yet again we're confronted with someone (Cinna) telling us how everyone loves her for no reason what-so-ever. I can't get on with her character at all, but I've said that before.
    Other points, I also wish there had been more to the interviews with the other tributes, but then again I understand that she can't give all of them massive amounts of detail or the chapter would go on forever. I saw the Peeta reveal at the end coming a mile off, but that didn't make me dislike it, if anything I was relieved that now that plot point was out there so we/Katniss could address it.
    I really like Effie and Haymitch in this chapter, and I like how Peeta is portrayed as someone who knows how to work a crowd. Unlike Katniss, it's easy to see how he is so likeable.
    I'm gonna go ahead and say it now because I can't help myself…..let the Games begin! 😀

  18. Stephalopolis says:

    Welcome… to the Hunger Games 😀

    It makes me chuckle, because a few reviews ago I was the one warning you about Twilight/Hunger Games comparisons. However, in this case, I will say you are right. That paragraph, that whole "I'm not gushy, cocky, arrogant, witty, funny, sexy, mysterious, etc. I'm no one" is a very "Bella-Swan-esque" portrayal. When you pasted that paragraph and pointed it out, I could really see your point.

    • Stephalopolis says:

      BUT, to play devil's advocate… I view this paragraph in Hunger Games not as Katniss describing herself, but what Haymitch/others are TELLING her she's like. Whereas this is Bella's self view of herself for FOUR HELLISH BOOKS, to me, this is just Katniss spending a paragraph of frustration about what Haymitch is telling her her failures are. Katniss does seem to have a pretty confident view of herself in regards to her survival skills (from what I remember of chapter 1) so luckily, I think this is just a bit of her freaking out and "woe is me" and stress overload.

      • Stephalopolis says:

        Hopefully it's not gonna be like Twilight and she stays this self pitying for forever. But this paragraph of comparison? Yeah, made me chuckle 😛 Same with the following paragraph- I think she's just UBER STRESSED (I know I would be if I was being sent to my death) and she's getting it out by ANGER and NO ONE KNOWS MY FEELINGS like Twilight, so it does make me chuckle, but yeah, actually, thinking about it, where-as Bella thought no one could relate when she was the MOST BORING UNORIGINAL GIRL EVER, Katniss does have a good point in that besides the other tributes…. very few people COULD relate to her situation 😛 I know I've never been in that Kill Or Be Killed and BTW, Half the Other People are Bigger/Stronger/Well-Fed/Fit situation 😛

        Anyway… Part 2: The Games…… dun Dun DUUUUNNNN!!!!!!

      • DameDallas says:

        I agree. I feel like it's Haymitch saying she's no one, and not her being all, "I'm totally not awesome even though everyone loves me," like Bella.
        Katniss has got her own confidence, but she is in a horrid situation that has no refuge.


      • exbestfriend says:

        Also Haymitch is essentially training her to play a character on television and is trying to decide what kind of character to be. They go through all those reality tv tropes and she doesn't fit within the mold. All Katniss can be is herself and she cannot play the type of part that Haymitch wants her to play. Haymitch gets frustrated, but it isn't because SHE isn't anything, it's because she can't play the part they want her to.

      • couldbemoresonic says:

        I agree with you completely, and another thing is that Katniss has one paragraph of this. Bella has FOUR FUCKING BOOKS!!

        At least she knows that she’s hostile and sullen. Bella doesn’t even have that going for her.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        Sure, I'll agree that it is what OTHER people tell her. I guess what reminded me of Bella was that she accepted that view. She never seemed to challenge it at all.

  19. azurefalls says:

    Look, I'm not going to lie.
    To me, Katniss Everdeen is just a notch higher than Bella Swan. Just one notch. God, she bugs me so much.
    I mean, it's not like she's as empty as Bella, or as pathetically angsty or one-dimensional. Perhaps it's just that I hate first-person narrators. But as much as I love The Hunger Games, I cannot stand Katniss Everdeen.
    She is, however, a lot more bearable once the Games start.

  20. tethysdust says:

    Returning to the "Is Katniss ~*beautiful*~?" debate, we have some evidence towards the positive in this chapter. Apparently, lots of guys at home have crushes on her. I would say it could just be her sparkling personality, but she's made a point to explain that she has no friends. In fact, it has been said that she rarely interacted socially with anyone in District 12 save her immediate family and Gale. So why would lots of teenage boys who don't actually know her beyond physical appearance be attracted to her, if she weren't a stunner?

    Secondly, it has been stated in this chapter that she is beyond pretty, beyond beautiful, she's radiant! I accept that this was mostly a commentary on Cinna's lovely outfit for her, which actually sounded pretty awesome. However, people don't get beyond beautiful without having something to work with before the makeup and clothes. You can only photoshop a picture, not a person who is physically present.

    Beyond Katniss being silly this chapter, I wanted to hear the other kids' interviews, too. I'm sure they each have an interesting background and a unique take on their place in the world, and it is beyond me why Collins refuses to let me hear about them. Effie is also growing more interesting by the minute.

    Last of all, I can't keep from imagining Caesar as Dick Clark…

    • Katie says:

      Mmm, I don't know if we can take Peeta's statement that lots of boys have crushes on her at face value – it could be strategic (he has to make her out as a heartbreaker for his own crush to make sense for instance).

    • DameDallas says:

      You see Caesar as Dick Clark, and I see him as Ryan Seacrest still trying to be cool in 500 years. 🙂

    • IsabelArcher2 says:

      Dude! I was thinking about Dick Clark too! Although, now that Mark mentioned American Idol, I can also see Ryan Seacrest. Especially Ryan Seacrest 50 years in the future when he has had so much plastic surgery that he's just a freakish imitation of his current self.

    • Openattheclose says:

      I can definitely see the Dick Clark comparison. I also see him as that obnoxious newscaster on Glee that Sue was involved with.

      How creepy is it that he is the only common person all the tributes interact with right before 23 out of 24 of them die? What a horrible job! I suppose he chose it though.

    • readmeatune says:

      I'm thinking that if they do all have crushes on her it is because she is mysterious, private, and strong. Everyone knows that she provides for her family and that she's got her head on straight. She's got a lot of potential. These things can make someone beautiful. Even if they are teenage boys they all live in a crazy fucked up world where resources are scarce, so I'm thinking they're probably a little more mature than your average teenage boy. I don't know, I'm just thinkin.

      • ldwy says:

        Good points. I feel like she's relatively good looking, maybe not stunning, but she's also pretty hardcore, which the teen boyos like, right?

    • ldwy says:

      Ah, I didn't see this before posting my own comment that's further down. For me, Caesar is Regis Philbin.

      • readmeatune says:

        Ok, for me, and this might sound a little weird, Caesar is that guy from America's Got Talent that sang the opera songs…. I think his name is Prince Poppycock. Its just fitting for me with all the surgical enhancements and wild fashions. I don't know how to put in a picture but here is a link:

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      I'm sure they each have an interesting background and a unique take on their place in the world, and it is beyond me why Collins refuses to let me hear about them

      Because Collins has already decided who's supposed to matter to us, rather than letting the audience choose who to care about.

  21. theupsides says:

    Oh man I've been waiting for you to get to that interview FOREVER.

    Seeing people's reactions to Peeta's interview is the best. First major OMGWTF moment of the book, in my opinion.

  22. shortstack930 says:

    I have been waiting for you to get to this chapter, Mark! When I first read this book, this chapter was the point where I knew shit was about to get real. You are so not prepared, and I am so excited for you.

  23. Yusra says:

    Mark, you're so not prepared, it's taken it to a whole different level.

  24. monkeybutter says:

    I think part of Katniss's anger is that "sullen and hostile" is somehow not an appropriate response to the situation. She admits that she's not outgoing and cheery. She's also a bit jealous that Thresh gets away with being a quiet loner, whereas she has to find a way to be charming. How much of her anger is due to having to hide her feelings to confirm to societal norms?

    I see what you mean about the Bella comparison; Katniss lists everything she's not, so seems like an empty vessel. It does come across as somewhat self-pitying. They do differ, though, because Katniss has actually shown that she has a personality in spite of those shortages: she's tenacious, independent, shows concern for other people and is actually competent at doing something. It's just hard to sell those traits in three minutes.

    • theupsides says:

      I agree with this. I think a lot of it is that she's annoyed that she has to be all these things when she's being forced TO GO KILL A BUNCH OF PEOPLE. It's all really unfair.

    • Easy says:

      I agree. While I see where this comparison comes from. I think that, in the context of the story, Katniss is entitled to a moment of self-pity.

  25. IsabelArcher2 says:

    OH SHIT! Did you just compare Katniss to Bella Swan?!?! Let the 9th Twilight/Hunger Games Comment War begin!!

  26. Marie_Goos says:

    I KNEW IT. Damn, Peeta, you is boned. Actually, I can't wait to see more of Katniss's reaction to this, though I was a little annoyed by the line, "lots of boys like her." ~*~OF COURSE THEY DO~*~ For once can we get a female protagonist up in here who not everybody wants to do? I mean, really. Anyway, moving on. I also liked the paragraph showing the contrast between standards of beauty in the Capitol and District 12… But it makes sense: standards of beauty are defined by wealth. In District 12, the people with the most money are well-fed and live longer. In the Capitol, the people with most money get lipo and plastic surgery and such. (Sounds familiar). And can I just say that I L U CINNA. (But is there anyone else out there who can't help but think of Final Fantasy IX?) I really hope the contestants have some way of communicating with the outside world during the games, because while I'm excited for them to start (PART II: THE GAMES ZOMG) I really want to see more of him. Well, if we don't get more Cinna at least Peeta will be there, LOVIN' KATNISS. XD

    • arctic_hare says:

      You're not the only one, I can't help but think of FFIX either. XD I keep picturing the FFIX one!

    • erin says:

      "For once can we get a female protagonist up in here who not everybody wants to do?"

      Am I the only one who assumed Peeta was bullshitting this "all the boys like her" stuff to make his unrequited crush ~*tragic*~ for the audience?

  27. lossthief says:

    p.113: All these stilted sentences make me wonder if Frank Miller wrote this paragraph
    p.113: Stop starting sentences with "And." You have done that like 3 times in the last page alone.
    p.114: Kat's learning to be a politician
    p.116: "I do not!" Yes. Yes you do. Very much so.
    p.117: "I'm not good at lying." A heroine who can't lie? Lyra Silvertongue would not approve
    p.117: "You've got about as much charm as a dead slug." Hey, dead slugs can be pretty charming. One down the road once told me I was handsome.
    p.117: Sexy? What? You're telling me that's an angle you can pull? "Oh yeah, I'm a hot and sexy teenage murderin' machine, baby! *blows kiss to the audience*"
    p.117: Kat, stop sounding like Bella, you're far better than that.
    p.118: Katniss SMASH again
    p.119: "I am as radiant as the sun." Excuse me while I vomit at that line.
    p.121: I'm sort of tired of Kat's worries turning out to be pointless every chapter, all the conflict so far has been only in her head. Oh, you shot near the gamekeepers? No big deal! You don't know how to present yourself? The answer was inside you all along! Can we have some negative repercussions?
    p.121: Cinna reminds me of a dad helping his daughter mentally prepare for a play or performance. …*Light bulb* Cinna is actually her father in disguise …or he's actually Ron from the future, I don't know.
    p.123: Caesar Flickerman? What.
    p.124: I like the commentary on the superficial obsession with looks
    p.125: Thresh get's killed by Rue. Calling it right now.
    p.126: Even Kat admits she's obsessed with the food.
    p.127: I just thought of something. Imagine if Cinna worked with Lady Gaga, it would be AMAZING
    p.129: Peeta has a GF alright, and she has a terrible slogan
    p.129: CALLED IT
    overall, the parts that weren't Kat having a breakdown were pretty good, and I enjoyed the commentary on the fakeness of the Capitol on our own society, even if it was a bit heavy handed. Most of my complaints about it can be found in the notes themselves.
    Grade: "C"

    • theupsides says:

      You have been calling the Peeta stuff from the beginning. I give you props for that.

      • lossthief says:

        as Mark said, I am a ~True Seer~ or something like that.

        • theupsides says:

          So, True Seer, do you think he's playing the game, or do you think he's telling the truth?

          • lossthief says:

            I think he's telling the truth, but Kat thinks he's just playing the game. They use the "tragic couple turned against one another" to get sponsors and help during the Games, and then because everyone loves a happy ending, they both get to survive. Meanwhile Gale is at home in front of his TV shoveling down Ice Cream made from squirrels and is all "WTF IS THIS BULLSHIT! YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HIM!"

            • theupsides says:


              That is the best thing I have ever read, ever.

            • pennylane27 says:

              I thought about Gale's reaction too, and how we'd never get to see it. I also thought that it was a show to get sponsors in a way, but that Peeta was telling the truth. What he says to Haymitch about her not knowing the effect she had on people had a whole different meaning for me.

            • grlgoddess says:

              God, this! I can't help thinking about Gale, poor guy. I can't wait for when (if?) Katniss gets home and has to deal with that mess. Especially if she decides to play up the 'star-crossed lovers' angle.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      "Cinna is actually her father in disguise …or he's actually Ron from the future"

      Hah, YES. Future!Ron is everyone. Also I bet Lady Gaga would fit in here wonderfully.

      • Openattheclose says:

        I really want District 13 to turn out to be an American wizarding stronghold.

        Also, is it weird that I have actually thought about what would have happened to Hogwarts in this future? The British Isles would probably be underwater, right? This makes me sad. Maybe they teach in the Chamber of Secrets now. At least the squid is probably still there, with a whole bunch of half-wizard children from all of the ships it was involved in, Peeves, and some ghosts.

        • kaleidoscoptics says:

          That would be wonderful. Throughout the games they Apparate in and save the kids from being killed while making it look like everything went as planned. In reality they are slowly gaining power to overthrow the Capitol. (Which actually raises the question: What if Cinna IS in a rebel sympathizer? Hmm.)

          Psh, don't be silly. In the future Hogwarts will be on the Moon. And they'll have the new and improved Triwizard tournament with Pigfarts and whatever school is left on Earth.

          • Openattheclose says:

            The Reaping is actually underage wizards being invited to school. They made some deal with the Capitol where the wizards can apparate in and save them during the games so it only looks like they die. This is totally how it happens! The Wizards are so going to overtake the Capitol.

            Cinna is totally a wizard. That is what the fire on their costumes was, Hermione's blue flames!

      • Tabbyclaw says:

        Somehow I doubt Lady Gaga is Ron from the future. Just sayin'.

        • kaleidoscoptics says:

          Lol! Hey, you never know. If Ron is Dumbledore, he could be ~anyone.~

          That should have been on a separate line; Gaga's fashion just seems like it wouldn't be seen as so extreme in the Capitol.

        • Openattheclose says:

          Lady Gaga is Luna from the future.

          Haymitch = Aberforth Dumbledore y/y?

    • ldwy says:

      …*Light bulb* Cinna is actually her father in disguise …or he's actually Ron from the future, I don't know.


    • Sophie says:

      What about Peeta playing the game? I like that running joke. 😛

      Oh, and Cinna being Ron from the future is officially my favorite theory ever.

    • Karen says:

      or he's actually Ron from the future

      Hehehe. I can't stop snickering at that.

    • Jabberwocky says:

      Ehh… I'm actually okay with Katniss being wrong about basically everything, because honestly, she's a 16 year old girl who has no real idea of how the world works: all she knows is her tiny world of survival. Now she's part of this huge crazy thing–the Games–which have their own rules, and the Capitol's weird society, and she just doesn't really know what to do or what anything means; and of course her natural paranoia from having to scrape by makes her suspicious of everyone and everything. Which is, honestly, kinda justified. I mean, she's in a situation where all these people will be trying to kill her (and the others will watch). Her only possible ally is Haymitch, and he's hardly reliable. I think it makes her a more realistic character, although I do see how it can be annoying.

  28. cait0716 says:

    It's all so tragic! Either Peeta really is in love with Katniss and one of them must die. Or Peeta's just playing with Katniss to try and gain the advantage which shows just how messed up this culture has left them.

    It's an interesting commentary on reality shows, though. Audiences are going to eat this romance up, and isn't that exactly like in our society? It hardly matters whether it's real or just for the ratings, people will still tune in.

    At this point (given Peeta's actions up to now) I was split about 70/30 on whether to believe him. He seems so genuine, but can you trust anyone?

  29. Openattheclose says:

    I want to use "I'm smiling at you even though you're aggravating me" in real life.

    Also, PEETA!

  30. stellaaaaakris says:

    Yeah, so I'm pretty positive the Peeta bomb was my favorite part of the entire book. Mostly because it was the perfect amount of cheese in execution. There's a really fine balance. Too much and I start yelling at TV screens and whispering furiously during romcoms. BUT THEN I remembered that there can only be one winner. And I want Peeta to win. But he'll be sad if Katniss is dead since he lurves her. And Rue is dressed like a fairy and that hurts my soul. So…problem.

    You know what freaks me out the most about Caesar? Not that his makeup makes him look likes he's bleeding from the eyes, but the fact that he can chum along with all 24 tributes every year and react to them and get to know them, and every year 23 of them die. Yet he stays cheerful and upbeat and interested in them. I don't think I could do it.

    I liked the Effie bit, especially her aggravation with Katniss, the whole "See I'm still smiling even though I want to slap you" thing. Quality. As for the Haymitch section, I mean I can relate to her reaction to being called "sullen and hostile." I don't like being called out for being a bitch so coldly even when I'm perfectly aware that I am. I have a reason for the way I'm acting and being called out on in (while I do appreciate it later) hurts in the moment.

    And now for the Bella Swan comparison. Especially based on the section you quoted, I can definitely see it. However, I think the difference is Katniss has Bella moments while Bella is just a waste of space in every moment of her mortal and immortal life.

    When she broke the plates, I feel like that's just when she couldn't handle anything anymore. She's been keeping her feelings at bay so as not to appear weak for about a week now and she can't take it anymore.

    I too wish we had more insight to the competitors, like their names. But I do imagine the girl from District 1 to look a bit like Taylor Swift ("I like glitter and sparkly dresses/But I'm not going to talk about that in my monologue").

    • theupsides says:

      It's funny, because Katniss is the narrator, so we should want her to live the most. But at this point I would also pick Peeta over her. I KNOW THAT'S AWFUL. But if I had to choose. Peeta > everyone.

    • Karen says:

      he can chum along with all 24 tributes every year and react to them and get to know them, and every year 23 of them die. Yet he stays cheerful and upbeat and interested in them. I don't think I could do it.
      I think that tidbit just helps to underscore how deeply fucked up the Hunger Games are. He's chatting with people who will soon be dieing for his entertainment.

      I liked the Effie bit in this chapter too. I think Effie is incredibly stupid and brainwashed by the Capitol culture that she was raised in, but she's not the aggressively evil figure that Umbridge is. And as far as Haymitch goes, I think that he's very blunt and so is Katniss, so when they get together, they bring out the less flattering qualities in each other.

  31. karadudz says:

    My favorite part about this chapter is the ending. How you know exactly what Peeta is going to say, that he's in love with Katniss. And you perfectly well know it's coming but when it DOES come, you still act surprised. =D …

    I totally did that too =P.

    On another note, Katniss isn't my favorite character. No actually I don't like her very much. Her character just gets on my nerves and it's just a shame she's the one telling the story LOL.

  32. andreamantis says:

    Mark, and to all of you that are reading it along with him – you have no idea how ill-prepared you are. 😉

    • Jabberwocky says:

      I already read the books, and I love these comments best of all. It's great to see all the different reactions.


  33. BradSmith5 says:

    Mm, I am loving the humor too, Mark. Love-ing it. Suzanne really shines during the tribute interviews. Did you see what Katniss' answer was to "What impressed you the most since you arrived here?" Can I get a quote?

    "The lamb stew," I get out.

    Did Suzanne just work that food description into the story? Did she just give me a reason to read about those dried plums? Does that egg on my face show? Lets move on. The interaction here is wonderful: Caesar playing up the audience, the reactions from Haymitch and the private judges…ooh, it was to die for. And like you, Mark, I wanted to see more from the other tributes:

    "The monstrous boy from District 2 is a ruthless killing machine. The fox-faced girl from District 5 sly and elusive."

    You're killing us, Suzanne! Details. Details. But we do get a little about Rue.

    "I'm very hard to catch," she says in a tremulous voice. "And if they can't catch me, they can't kill me. So don't count me out."

    Some great dialog and I hope to see more in the next section of the book. That stuff about Peeta? It got me. Right here. I'd love to say more but we're out of time. Best of luck, Suzanne Collins, author of 'The Hunger Games.'

    • lossthief says:

      I wish to high five you through the internet.

    • theupsides says:

      We look forward to hearing more from you! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Openattheclose says:

      May the odds be ever in your favor.

      Every time you posted about the food porn, I thought of this interview.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        I'm so glad that Collins acknowledged Katniss' fixation on food in a humorous way. May Caesar appear in every chapter!

    • exbestfriend says:

      I think Collins has a natural flow to her dialog that is missing from her descriptive paragraphs. That is one of the reasons I get frustrated about how the majority of this book has been played out within Katniss' head thus far. I thought both of the interviews were great. Even the comments about the lamb stew.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Yeah, the scene at the end of the chapter took real skill and effort to write. I was not being sarcastic at all in my post, and I loved reading that interview. I want to see more dynamic events like this, but I'm afraid we'll go right back into the droning monologue inside Katniss' head. Out of all the things I get angry about, seeing someone waste their potential is what gets me the most.

        • exbestfriend says:

          Me too. My hope is that once the action starts there will be less time for Katniss to ponder over and there will be less flashbacks and more "HOLY SHIT! I am about to diiiiie." except, you know, with dialog.

      • thirty2flavors says:

        According to Wikipedia, Collins used to write for television, which sort of explained everything when I found that out, lol, including the good story idea and decent dialogue hindered by clunky narrative prose.

    • IsabelArcher2 says:

      Okay, this is completely off topic, but I think I have been mispronouncing your screen name in my head this entire time. I totally not even thinking that your name could be "Brad Smith," but rather thinking it was pronounced "Bradsmith" like blacksmith, as though you worked at a smithy for Brads? But even that doesn't make sense because blacksmiths don't create black. This is what was happening in my head, though, and I thought you should know.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Ha,ha,ha. But a brad is what people call those little metal tacks that split at the end and hold papers together. A smith could make those, so your confusion is sincere.

  34. Martha says:

    Here's my secret: I don't like Katniss. I enjoyed the books, read all three, but Katniss drives me UP THE WALL and you hit on part of why in this chapter. It's like…she's supposed to be this survivor, who in her past has done and dealt with all sorts of things to survive and keep her family alive and together, but all of a sudden she can't manage to not be a complete bitch to the one person who can help her get out of the Arena and back to that family she loves so much?

    There's more to it than that, but I definitely reacted to her in this chapter the same way you did. So, here's one Hunger Games fan that doesn't want to kill you for not loving Katniss at this moment.

  35. EldaTaluta says:

    It's obvious now that I think about it. Looks like my prediction is coming true. 🙂

  36. albus says:

    i've been reading along with Mark and so far i like the story and Katniss but i still don't like Collin's writing. Peeta's attraction for Katniss has been evident from the start and i predict there might be some sort of love triangle with Gale. i also have a feeling, Peeta might survive this book.

  37. celestineangel1 says:

    I think Katniss has become accustomed to at least having some measure of control over her life. She couldn't control her father's death, or her mother's depression, she couldn't control the circumstances that left her in one of the poorest Districts. But she could control their smaller circumstances to some extent by hunting and bringing in food and income, and lived in relative safety knowing that the Peacekeepers and other officials would look the other way. She could also control whether or not Prim had to go to the Hunger Games by volunteering to go in her place.

    Now, she has absolutely zero control, and I think that can account for a lot of her outburst. The last bit of control she had was what she did in the private session with the Gamemakers, and even then, she wasn't as assured of the outcome as she might have been back in her familiar environment.

    But she has no control over how she dresses, how she looks, how she's supposed to talk, when to get up, what to do. I think that leaves her feeling weak and helpless and out-of-control, which is exactly opposite how she's accustomed to feeling.

  38. lindseytinsey says:

    LOL. Last part of Marks review were exactly my thoughts after reading this chapter.

  39. Caitlin P says:

    Collins' world is so weird to me. It's so hard (but intriguing) to imagine the world that Collins has built. The contrast between the modern and old worlds that she is drawing on is so weird to me. I like the world a lot but I find it hard to imagine District 12 practically living in the "dark ages" but still being required to watch tv when it's required. I love it but its still blows my mind…Anyone else have this problem?

  40. Dragonizer says:

    I have a feeling that the movie version of Caesar will give me nightmares. At least he seems like a fairly nice guy, helping people through their interviews and all that. DESPITE WHAT IT ALL MEANS. 🙁

  41. DameDallas says:

    Same here. That whole "Death hovering over me" really puts any and all rages into perspective.

  42. NightmareKaylee says:

    I agree with your entire review pretty much, like always XD

    When I read Peeta's reveal, I honestly yelled at my book, and my sister looked at me like I was crazy. After this chapter, there was no way I could put it down, and I finished the whole thing that day XD

    Anyways, I love seeing your take on this, and keep up the good work 🙂

  43. ldwy says:

    I just want to say, I cannot help but picture Caesar as Regis Philbin, with Oompa-Loompa-like makeup.

  44. karsenslater says:

    I agree with you actually, Mark. I've been thinking of Bella, especially in this chapter. And while Katniss is most certainly a better character and Collins a better writer, the parallel was sort of disappointing. Katniss has a hint of that everybody-likes-me-but-I-am-oblivious-because-I-don't-think-highly-of-myself syndrome.

  45. This chapter was so unbelievably creepy for me when I first read the book. Up until now the Games have seemed like horse races or something, but now they dive straight into American Idol and Survivor territory: they introduce the contestants and make them relatable to the audience, and then you know they're going to be sent into an arena to kill each other. Look at how you're already rooting for specific people. And the viewers in the Capitol can just turn their TVs off and move on, because the contestants aren't really people to them. It's such a commentary on our society's obsession with dramatizing real people's suffering that it's disturbing, and I don't even like reality TV.

    Katniss's outburst didn't bother me because she's in a completely awful situation with none of her usual ways of coping. And considering her usual way of coping is going out into the woods and killing small animals, breaking plates is….a comparable alternative.

    • lossthief says:

      This, combined with Ryan Seacrest and a little bit of Bob Saget, and this is how I envisioned Caesar.

    • Karen says:


    • toneDef77 says:

      I always thought more of Dick Clark when I read of Caesar Flickerman, a man who always manages to look the same even though he should be aging (though admittedly, I try not to remember Dick Clark as the frail man we've seen the past few years, but as the man he had been for so many previous New Year's Rockin' Eves.)

    • Openattheclose says:

      YES YES YES!

  46. ldwy says:

    It is a book about games after all.
    I don't know!!!
    I want it to be genuine, but Peeta has already consistently shown himself to be a remarkable actor and manipulator, so who knows?

  47. Sarah says:

    I read all three books in 3-1/2 days. I know there are huge problems with the books, but it was stuff like "Peeta professing his love" that pushed me through the books. I didn't study for school, I barely functioned at work, had no problem letting my son watch Toy Story during the evening so that I could binge out on these books.

    You. Are. So. Not. Prepared.

  48. Tabbyclaw says:

    I want to slap Katniss every time she refers to "the fox-faced girl." It's one of those descriptors that you can get away with once, and every time after that it's just stupid.

    • tethysdust says:

      Ideally, after the first usage, we would have learned more about the character and then she could have been referred to differently. I don't get why Collins is so reluctant to have the other tributes involved in the story as characters.

      • ldwy says:

        I don't know, I think it's alright. Don't get me wrong, I want to know more about them, I especially wish we got to see more interviews. But the book is from Katniss' perspective. So I see two basic alternatives. Either she wants to know as much as she can about the other competitors so she can devise strategies based on their weeknesses. OR she doesn't want to know them at all, because it will make killing them that much harder. So given a choice of alternative number two, I can see why, with the first person narration, we don't really learn about them. I don't know how realistic it really is, but I think it kind of makes sense.

        • theupsides says:

          Yeah, I agree with this. It's not like she's going to go chat with the girl and find out all about her right before she has to go into the arena.

        • tethysdust says:

          Yeah, I guess that makes sense. When I said "Ideally" I suppose I meant "This is what I wish she'd done." I would have preferred for Katniss would go with option 1, because it would be so much more interesting to me.

          • ldwy says:

            Again, I kind of feel that way too. Excpet Katniss also doesn't need option one, since her best chance is archery, which doesn't really require strategy based on the person, since it's a long distance weapon. So she has the "luxury" of being able to go with option two, which I think would be more bearable for a person actually going into the games. To just distance yourself as much as possible.

    • banabou says:

      CO-SIGNED. The more I read, the more I was like, "How… how fox-like is this girl's face? Do they reveal in chapter umpty-four that she has whiskers and a snout?" I am pretty sure she dies in the arena because her gigantic bushy tail pokes out of her hiding place.

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        Yeah, it seems like Katniss only ever calls her the fox-faced girl with red hair, with no description of how she looks like a fox. The only way it makes any sense to me is to think of it like the Japanese terms for women's face shapes: kitsune-gao (fox faced, which is narrow and angular with high cheekbones) and tanuki-gao (raccoon dog faced, which is more rounded and soft).

        Which makes me think of the fox-faced girl as a Japanese fox demon who seduces gullible men and then kills and eats them and is usually only found out when she forgets to hide her tail from humans.

        Well, that, or she's secretly
        <img src=""&gt;

    • lossthief says:

      I'm calling the girl "Foxface" from now on. Even if we learn her name, I'm still calling her that.

  49. Leesh says:

    In some ways, yeah Katniss is like Bella.
    But Katniss has almost starved to death and fed her family for years after her dad was fking blown up.
    Not to mention she's about to be thrown into an arena to either kill or watch 23 people be killed, or be murdered herself.

    And Bella is just a whiny baby, seriously

    But if you think this is intense, just you wait. The whole series just gets even more intense from here!

  50. ldwy says:

    Oh, yes, I'd love to see fanart!

  51. EmilyAnne90 says:

    There is a LOT of great fanart for this chapter. Here are some of my favorite versions of the interview dress. Feel free to post your own fanart of this chapter! (Please do, actually. Remember all of the amazing stuff people would post during MRHP?)

    Katniss Everdeen. By: Palnk
    <img src=" ">

    Katniss' Interview Dress. By: Stella-G
    <img src=""&gt;

    Katniss Interview Dress. By: Bunnychan13
    <img src=""&gt;

    Katniss, Girl on Fire. By: Muchach10
    <img src=""&gt;

    • pennylane27 says:

      OMG I LOVE THEM! Is that Peeta in the background of the third one?

    • Sophie says:

      Wow! These are gorgeous! I especially love the first one!

    • ldwy says:

      I feel like the first one is the best, it's gorgeous, but not so much sexual.
      Can I just say though, that I LOVE Peeta's face peeking out in Bunnychan13's piece!!

    • Karen says:

      Oh wow. I think the first one is an absolutely gorgeous way of imagining Katniss's dress, and I think the last picture is wonderful too.

    • Openattheclose says:

      Thanks for the fanart. I have been missing it for this series. I think Katniss looks like Angelina Jolie in that last one.

  52. ldwy says:

    I also think the manner of her freakout is not random. She's said that the most impressive thing about the capitol to her is the fancy food. So I think that's sort of come to represent the capitol (the country is even called Panem, which means bread, and food is an invaluable commodity to the poor districts, and Katniss is a hunter, a food provider….BASICALLY FOOD IS IMPORTANT TO THIS STORY as much as food porn is like a funny aside). So in her frustration and fear and helplessness, she's breaking her dirty dishes. I feel like her taking it out on the food is her way of symbolically destroying an item that has come to represent the capitol to her, since in reality she hasn't the power to retaliate against them.

  53. RaeLynn says:

    Don't worry, I thought Katniss reminded me of Bella as well lol. And to be honest… even though I've only read the first too books, she seems even MORE like Bella to me as the pages go on.. ugh. No wonder why Stephenie Meyer was obsessed with this series…

    And I wasn't surprised by the Peeta thing. I knew from the moment he was introduced on stage, just because that certain kind-of drama is such a stereotypical thing to write. I was just waiting for this to happen, and was relieved when it did because I hate when writers drag out that stuff with "hints" when they're hints are like bombs and the main character is just stupid and oblivious to it. At least with R/Hr they secretly knew and picked up on the hints lol they were just too stubborn to take it further and mention it publicly. See there I go… always referencing HP. xD

  54. Sophie says:

    My reaction to the Peeta reveal was to drop the book and yell "OH MY GOD!" It's funny, I hadn't really thought about Peeta being in love with Katniss before, but once it was revealed it felt like I already knew… that probably doesn't make sense. Whatever.

    As for comparing Katniss to Bella, I've never seen it that way, but I suppose I can see what you mean. I have some arguments, but most people have already said them for me. Katniss is my favorite character (tied with Peeta).

  55. helloimbella says:

    I really can't be bothered with reading through all of the comments on this thing, so if this has already been brought up, you can all just PUNCH ME IN THE FACE or simply ignore this comment.

    So. Loads of people've brought up the whole "OMG, everyone LOVES Katniss and she just CAN'T possibly understand why and blahblahblah" issue, which is probably the most overused storyline in the world, this is trufax, but.. Does everyone really love Katniss? I can only think of Prim and her Mom (and they're related to her, so they don't even really count) and then Peeta and Gale and Cinna. I mean..

    Even Mad-Eye had more friends than she has. I SAY THAT WITH LOVE, BTW. Mad-Eye was the ultimate badass.

    • DameDallas says:

      That makes sense. I mean, Haymitch and Effie like her because she gave them a reason to (she's got fight in her), and the Gamemakers like her because if they didn't, she would have put an arrow through their eye and not the apple. lol.

      Bella was liked in spite of having any interesting qualities or giving them a reason to. Hell, she actually manipulated and hated on everyone, and that made them fawn over her even more!

    • tethysdust says:

      And all the District 12 boys who apparently had a crush on her, and the traders at the Hob, and the merchants she secretly trades with, and the citizens of Capitol, and the stylists, and the Gamemakers…

      She doesn't like them, but they sure like her.

      • Kira says:

        Do the District 12 boys ACTUALLY like her? She's giving them(the traders) a steady supply of fresh meat, what's not to like?

        • tethysdust says:

          I don't know, I haven't read the rest of the book, and Katniss doesn't talk about anyone but her family and Gale 😛 I just know Peeta says they do.

        • tethysdust says:

          Oh and also, she talks about how the traders often give her a better deal than they ought to, and she attributed this to affection for her dad and Prim. It was made pretty clear later that it had more to do with "the affect she has on people"

      • erin says:

        Uh… Do the Gamemakers actually like her?? They gave her the highest score, effectively painting a target on her back. They want her dead!

        And the stylists are very clearly air-headed morons. Is their liking her really such a huge compliment? I got the impression they would gush over anyone who sat still while they ripped out their body hair.

        • tethysdust says:

          They gave her the highest score, practically guaranteeing her sponsors and loads of help for the games. I added the stylists because it was specifically mentioned, so it seems that they especially like her for some reason.

  56. 1foxi says:

    I was so friggin shocked at the end of this chapter!! I just had to keep reading, MARK please do more than one chapter a day!!

    Oh and I am so glad I am not the only one who thought of Twilight whilst reading this book! She is like Bella Swan (but not as annoying)

    PS Are they making a Hunger Games movie?? That would be so amazing, and brutal!

    • theupsides says:

      Yes they are making a movie. Collins sold the book rights to Lionsgate. Gary Ross is directing and Nina Jacobson is producing. Casting hasn't been announced, though. But let me tell you, this fandom sure has its favorites.

    • lossthief says:

      They're currently working on getting everything together from what I've read. They've already got the director chosen, Gary Ross who directed "Pleasantville" and there's been a slew of young actresses who have expressed interest in playing Katniss.

    • Karen says:

      They're in the process of making a movie. I think there's a director attached to the project, but casting hasn't happened yet, so… yeah. It'll be a while before it actually happens, but they're definitely in the process of making a movie.

  57. marylacey says:

    Just finished this book a few days ago.
    I can now safely say that your level of preparedness is quite low.
    But seriously, at the end of this chapter I was like WHAAAAAA?

    And Katniss is not Bella Swan. Bella Swan makes me want to kill people. Katniss doesn't. That's how I know.

  58. xkcdhobbes says:

    God damnit! I am so angry that Peeta loves Katniss. Come on, that is sure to reduce his ability to kill her. Unless, of course, it is still part of his "special plan" to make Katniss have more trouble killing him.
    Aside from the easy predictability of Peeta's answer, it was still sweet. And I like how we get no reaction from Katniss in this chapter and we don't really know how she reacts. My conspiracy theory is that Peeta asked to be trained separately in order to be a sneaky bastard pretending to make Katniss have more trouble killing him in a one on one. Peeta hides until Katniss beats everyone then uses his plan to beat her. Of course this is absurd.
    Katniss really was perfect in her interview and really seemed to be very sweet. I liked how she thought that Cinna already knew the answer to the question but that she must answer it nonetheless.
    I felt like Cinna loved Katniss in some way. I don't really know, he seems strange a bit. So many possible plot twists are in my head right now, I'm not really thinking straight.
    I found this line interesting: "I'm not witty. Funny. Sexy. Or mysterious." Katniss basically knows that she doesn't have any of the conventional character traits that are useful in the interviews and she is scared. And then Cinna comes to the rescue. I really like Cinna, he's a nice guy.
    The part where Katniss unleashes her fury and brutally murders the poor dishes was a bit funny in my head. I just imagined her having an infinite supply of dishes and throwing them around. By the time the girl with the red hair comes there is a sea of broken dish and you could actually swim in it. But aside from my very surreal vision of that scene, I liked that Katniss' emotions of the moment make her apologize and push it a bit even though the girl shakes her head.
    Time to get back to suffering due to my ear killing me…Haha!

  59. paulineparadise says:

    I'm just testing if it's possible to add a picture to a comment – ignore if I fail.

    'Katniss Everdeen' by palnk

    <img src='; border='0'/>

  60. trash_addict says:

    Totally letting the Bella thing pass, because I think in time you'll change your mind.

    Also: yeah, holy bombshell. I thought he was just….a nice boy?

  61. exbestfriend says:

    So true. I've never voted down a comment before, but seriously? You can't be bothered?

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      The irony is that a person would have to read through all the comments to even find his/her comment at all.

  62. embers says:

    I imagined Caesar as a futuristic Dick Clark: hair dyes, make up, and (probably) plastic surgery keep him looking forever young, but it is really the unending superficiality which makes him completely unchanging. He IS scary, only in the way that something soulless is scary.

    And yeah, I totally saw that coming: of course Peeta loved Katniss, he isn't some great actor, he is just a very good hearted sweet natured boy. Of course things will just continue to get worse…. (I'm loving reading your take on it, and I'll forgive you for thinking, for a moment, that Katniss anything like Bella… both are teenaged girls, who aren't fully developed emotionally or intellectually… but of course Bella really is a nothing while Katniss really is something special. IMO).

  63. 4and6forever says:

    And now we know why Peeta always acted so weird around Katniss. I’m not confirming nor denying any shipping info, but at this point in the book, when I first read it, it did not cross my mind that he might be lying.

    Also- RUE. Lovelovelovelovelovelove. But OMG overload bird imagery!

    I don’t know why, but I really like Caesar Flickerman. Just the same way I love Effie. And Octavia. But we’ll get to that later.

  64. Dannie says:

    I had to re-read the last few senteces of this chapter so many times to take it in properly.
    I love this book.

  65. Mauve_Avenger says:

    "We meet up with the rest of the District 12 crew at the elevator. Portia and her gang have been hard at work. Peeta looks striking in a black suit with flame accents. While we look well together, it's a relief not to be dressed identically."
    So, wait…you were expecting them to put Peeta in a dress and high heels, too?

    "We look well" is like "between you and I." It isn't smarter-sounding (or even grammatically correct); it's just awkward.

    <img src=""&gt;

  66. Aimee says:

    Peeta is ace at dropping these ridiculous bombs out of nowhere. Love it.

  67. smash says:

    I cringed at your criticising Katniss's wee destructive outburst cause it reminded me hella of me. I'm about ages with her, and when I'm going through some genuine tangible shit, I lash out where it can damage me and I really want to break things a lot of the time. I can relate. It's a flaw but it's…real…you know? I buy it. I believe it. I relate, but that's just me…

  68. thefbm says:

    Mark, chiz gets real real quick!

  69. Kelseyintherain says:

    Mark, you and I had the EXACT same reaction the final part in this chapter. xD

  70. vaporeon13204 says:

    Omg, no! ;A; That's so horrible! ;~; Ah~ This book is going to drive me insane. (In a good way though. XD)

    Shit, that is just so terrible, seriously. ;_; This can't end well.

  71. Penquin47 says:

    OMG, Peeta. How sweet and tragic and if he's playing the game how bloody cynical.

    For some reason, the writing bugged me more this chapter than any previous one.

    Katniss is Bella except that Katniss is wrong. She is someone tough with a strong personality and the unconscious ability to make people love her without trying. It's just that she's also very blunt, very forceful, very un-feminine (which isn't bad, unless you're going on TV and trying to win people to sponsor you and you don't conform to what they want a girl to be). Bella really is a useless whiny piece of trash with no personality or redeeming skills.

  72. rowanlee says:

    That's why I'm disliking Katniss! She reminds me of Bella Swan. *prepares to be mugged*

    Also, is it bad that I'm totally hoping Peeta's just using this whole "crush on Katniss" bit as a ploy to garner sympathy and trick Katniss? I mean, I'm almost positive it's not, but it would make for an awesome hook.

  73. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    MOAR FANART. holy shit, SO AWESOME.

  74. Beci says:

    and we've reached the point where Mark no longer has the words to explain his thoughts and reverts to just saying "Fuck"
    <3 you Mark

  75. Elfy says:

    I had the same reaction you did when I got to the end bit. I knew it was coming, but I was still: WTF!

    Caesar reminded me of both the quiz show host in Slumdog Millionaire and the host of the Running Man show in the movie of the same name. Of course his name also continues the Roman motif that is common throughout the book thus far.

  76. EmilyAnne90 says:

    Well, since Mark asked for more fanart, I guess I have to. (Hahaha, just kidding. More fanart = better, always.)

    Peeta. Line art: Burdge-bug. Color: sacha11410
    <img src=""&gt;

    By: Samurai-PET
    <img src=""&gt;

    Katniss Everdeen By: SavingSolemnity
    <img src=""&gt;

    I have more, but they are SPOILERS.

    Just wait….

  77. AlexisWalker says:

    So, this may have been said, so sorry if I am being repetitive but I always thought the "lots of boys" like her line was part of the act in order to make Katniss more appealing(which calls into question just how much of what Peeta says is real at all….) But yeah, I always thought Katniss was far too much of a loner to be 'oh-so-sought-after'. I think the only actual other guy Peeta was referring to was Gale

    • Openattheclose says:

      I wonder what Peeta really thinks about the Gale thing, because a few chapters ago, he was saying he thought Gale was Katniss' cousin. I'm not sure if he really thought that, or if he just said he thought it. Peeta is hard to get a good grasp on.

    • helloimbella says:

      I've thought about that line too, and I'm kind of wondering if Peeta's just totally bias. I mean, IF Peeta's in love with Katniss, then it's not that impossible for him to genuinely believe that everyone around him is too. Like, because when you're in love with someone, sometimes it's hard for you to see how everyone else COULDN'T be in love with that person. Am I making sense? I don't feel like I'm making sense. xD

  78. EmilyAnne90 says:

    I found more fanart by burdge-bug (One of the best HP and HG fanarts out there) that wasn't spoilery, yay!!

    Gale Lines: Burdge-bug Color: sacha11410
    <img src=""&gt;

    Cinna Lines: Burdge-bug Color: Ravengirl5111
    <img src=""&gt;

  79. theupsides says:

    Okay, I hate Kaya as Katniss, but I can't resist Hunter as Peeta. And this is chapter appropriate.

    <img src=""&gt;

    • Karen says:

      I hate Kaya as Katniss too. But I think that's just my dislike for Effie bubbling over (even though I only watched Gen 1 of Skins… maybe she was better in series 3 and 4).

      Personally I am for Malese Jow as Katniss.

      • pennylane27 says:

        Ooooh, Kaya gets out of control in series 3 and 4, not sure you would like her character, but I think she's a good actress. I actually like her for the part, but maybe it's because I read that she could be one of the options before reading the books, so my mental picture of her has been influenced by that.

    • pennylane27 says:

      Pardon my ignorance, but who is this Hunter?

  80. andreah1234 says:

    Oh Mark, you're so not prepared.

    And PEETA!!!!!! Poor Peeta breaks and harms my heart at the same time. Is that even posible? I don't even know…

  81. Steeple says:

    I think what's most annoying about that tired trope, to me, is how it's often coupled with Beautiful All Along, but not in a thoughtful way that acknowledges that women are held to often-impossible physical standards. It just seems so indulgent. =/

  82. Revolution64 says:

    Did I see that coming from a mile away? Why yes, yes I did. Haha! I win this round Collins!

  83. jayzhelle says:

    katniss is so different from that spineless girl. but i had a laugh after reading that line. lol.

    and yes, the reason behind peeta wanting separate training is because he likes her. though when i've read the book, im not even actually sure if he does like her ever since or that he was just pretending at first.

  84. Stephanie says:

    I don't hate you for the Bella comparison, and I see where it's coming from, but I see a more Harry-Potter-in-OoTP similarity. All of the "nobody understands my feelings" even though there is one person with you that is going through the same thing, and another one that already went through it when he was growing up. The general sullenness and random outbursts of anger were also completely Harry-esque, and, like with Harry, I can't really blame Katniss for her feelings or reactions when all of this is going on. This is a high-stress situation.

    I know that you had a problem with her not showing much emotion until her outburst of anger, but I am the same way (so is Harry. Not that I'm saying I'm as awesome as Harry Potter). I don't really show it when I'm angry or stressed until it gets to be too much to handle, and then I go up to my room and throw a pillow around. I go with the pillow because it's a lot less breakable than plates. I understand why you're a little bit unsatisfied with her doing that, but I just wanted to let you know that real people do that as well.

  85. lihhillih says:

    Yeah, by that criteria Harry Potter is Bella Swan. He's all, "But I'm just Harry!" and "I bet I'll be kicked out of Hogwarts because I suck!" and "Who me? Teach Defense Against the Dark Arts?! It's not like I've single-handedly defeated the Dark Lord FOUR TIMES NOW. OH, WAIT," and occasionally like, "I'm just gonna be a TOTAL BITCH to the people who love me, because that will help everything, yeah." How come no one ever makes that comparison? (I'm guessing it's because Harry has a dick.) Anyway, do we really want our heroes/heroines to be uber-confident about their skillz at all times? Sounds boring.

    ( <3 you, Harry.)

    • lossthief says:

      How come no one ever makes that comparison? (I'm guessing it's because Harry has a dick.)
      I really don't like it when people assume this is it. Harry was acting much like Katniss is, but it's much easier to take because it was either just a single line and not an entire scene, or in the OotP bit because we've been with him long enough to understand it in context. With Katniss it feels more like whining because we haven't had time to get to know her, and thus difficult to sympathize with her. It has nothing to do with her genitalia, and I don't like it when somebody makes this insinuation.

      • lihhillih says:

        Sorry, I was being facetious. Clearly it has nothing to do with genitalia and everything to do with cultural expectations and attitudes regarding gender. ^_~ People (including and sometimes especially women) tend to be harder on female characters. If you want to argue that that's not the case, go for it, but you're probably not going to convince me otherwise at this point. I have just seen way too much evidence to the contrary.

        It's a good point that we had four books of Harry being generally very sweet before he went all HARRY SMASH in OotP, and that wins him some leeway with the fans. However, people do get annoyed with his behavior in OotP and complain about it, and when they do, they don't say anything about Bella Swan. Because that would be ridiculous.

        I just think it's kind of ridiculous to compare Katniss to her as well. Sure, in specific instances and with very specific criteria you can come up with some general similarities, but what's the point? It's like saying an apple is like a gym ball because they're both red and sort of round. Technically true, but so what? (P.S. Katniss is so the gym ball in that scenario. ^_^)

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:


          Seriously, what prompted this essentialist bullshit? As a reminder, no one brought out the transphobic genital obsession except for you and it was brought on by ABSOLUTE NOTHING.

          As I said above, Bella popped in my head ONLY because Katniss said she was no one at all. They aren't the same character and they are barely comparable. I only mentioned it because Bella is THE vacant character of all time.

          And for the record, AT LEAST HARRY REACTS AND HAS FEELINGS.

          And for the record, penis = / = male and vagina = / = female. Learn it and stop saying people don't criticize men because they have penises.

          • lihhillih says:

            Yeah, I totally know better about the penis/male equivalence. I was trying to be funny and failed. I'm really sorry to any transpeople who had to read it.

    • Inessa says:

      I think Harry's whining was easier to take because it wasn't in first person. Also, he wasn't like that right off the bat, and it was like Harry, Ron and Hermione all had their turns at being whiny, unbearable adolescents, but then they pulled it together. The first person whining in the early stages of the character development, brings onthese post traumatic Bella flashbacks.

  86. Cathy (catd94) says:

    I remember after this chapter I was half flailing and half WTFWTF

  87. duckrebel21 says:

    There were actually a couple points in the series where I couldn't help but compare Katniss to Bella. I don't remember if this was one of them… it was always sort of a fleeting thing that I thought then forgot about.

  88. IsabelArcher2 says:

    Is there any Rue fanart?

    • pennylane27 says:

      Most of the Rue fanart is SPOILER…

    • tethysdust says:

      I tried look for fan art of her interview dress, but the fear of spoiling myself for the rest of the story made it near impossible 🙁

      • IsabelArcher2 says:

        Don't do that!! We need more people who are actually reading the books along with Mark and didn't read all of them in, like, three days. Sadface to me 🙁

  89. Ken says:

    Many of us, regardless of our age, start losing our grip on our social graces when we get worn down enough with stress or emotion or overstimulation or confusion or whatever… all of which have been bombarding Katniss nonstop since she arrived. It's not a sign that she's "just a teenager" (her upbringing, unlike ours, doesn't encourage long childhoods, so there's no real reason to expect her to be what we think of as a "teenager"), it's a sign that she's running out of steam and having more trouble holding it together. As I suspect I would in her place, at twice her age.

  90. Nifer says:

    I kind of hate that I caught up on reading your reviews (except the Twilight ones because it isn't much fun to re-live those)!! I started reading your HP reviews really late in the game, and so I was able to read tons of them every day in an effort to finish before HP7, but now you're reading Hunger Games one chapter a day and it is soooooooo sad to come to the end of a review and not have a bunch left to go. And all this statement means is that these reviews are awesome and I love reading what another book nerd has to say about these books that I love!!

    I completely agree about your Bella/Katniss comparison. They are similar in how they view themselves, but Katniss has redeeming qualities, and Bella just doesn't.

    And Peeta is my favorite.

  91. Maddi says:

    I love Cinna so much; he might be my favorite character in the series. Everyone else is at a ten, emotions-wise, and necessarily, I suppose, but Cinna's the levelheaded one who always shoots true. And he's a bloody fashion designer.

  92. Elise says:

    It's so hard to comment on anything because I don't even want to come close to spoiling. I have just a couple points (about Katniss/Bella especially)

    I teach middle school and high schoolers. Egocentricity is a trait of children, but in the teen years it manifests as a feeling of being on-stage. That is why teens are so dramatic and see every small issue in their lives as a huge deal, because they feel like their melodrama is always being watched. Katniss has grown up in a crazy and desperate situation, but she is still a teenager.

    I've always said that the Twilight books aren't popular because the story is great, they are popular because the reader fills in all the holes with their own fanciful imaginations of love. Girls like Bella because they identify with her complaints. They don't need a reason because they can fill it in themselves. They don't need a fully developed love story because they already imagine love stories all day with their crushes. This is what teenagers do. I hate that just because Katniss is a survivor she can't also be a melodramatic teenager with unplaced and underdeveloped emotions every once in a while!

    Finally, (does anyone read comments that are this far from the beginning??) I've realized w/ your read through just how long of a build-up there is before the games. To be completely honest, I would have sworn that the games started in chapter 3 (1 reaping, 2 training, 3 games). Reading it one chapter at a time really makes the games seem far away. Weird.

  93. Inessa says:

    For some reason, the website is not letting me login. I got the WordPress email, changed my password, but I can't login except through the link in the confirmation e-mail.

  94. Inessa says:

    I want to comment about the concept of the "career tributes". I haven't read the books and I kept thinking more would be written about them, but they seem to only be presented as the most serious threat to Katniss. I find the concept of them really disturbing and horrifying. May be I'm overthinking this.

  95. Inessa says:

    In your review, Mark, you said that the Careers are another example of the rich and the wealthy still having an advantage over everyone else, and the parents and supporters using money to ensure the deaths of underpriveledged kids. I don't read it like this at all, unless you consider the advantage to the other kids in their own district. Now, I understand that being poor and taking food in exchange for more chances of being picked in the Reaping, is a disadvantage for the underpriveledged. I would understand if the wealthy districts had better training from an early age for all the kids, aimed at making them better prepared should they be selected. But, the idea that parents would have a child, and then devote their life to being prepared for the games, seems very farfetched and unrealistic.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      But….doesn't Katniss outright say that the Careers from the wealthier districts get training beforehand? And aren't they also more likely to get sponsors?

      • exbestfriend says:

        I think Inessa is trying to make the distinction that although the people from the "Career Districts" try and make sure their children are prepared to enter the arena, they are not necessarily raising soldiers to kill poor people. Katniss even refers to the fact that no one is supposed to train their children, so it is not sanctioned by the Capitol.
        The larger question is If you knew that you had the ability to train your child, even if it meant the death of others because a crazy government might make them fight to the death, would you do so? And the follow up would be Just because your child is prepared for battle and the other children aren't, since you have no control over whether or not your child would be fighting, does that make you less oppressed? Either way we are talking about kids getting sent off to die. They may be house slaves as opposed to farm slaves, but they are still slaves.

        • Inessa says:

          If I understood correctly, the Careers are specific kids prepared for the games, who then volunteer, not all the kids from that district. Not only are they prepared for murdering others, they are also not likely to survive themselves, on balance of probabilities. Like I said in my other comment, it’s like raising a suicide bomber. I understand that we are presented with them from Katniss’ POV as having an advantage, but the idea of preparing a kid and volunteering them for glory of murder or their own death is abhorent.

      • Inessa says:

        It was the idea that they are prepared and then volunteer to be tributes. I mean, I accept that privilege allows the rich districts to better prepare all the kids, should they be picked as tributes; but the idea of breeding a child for the potential glory of winning the games, but the more likely outcome of their death is vile. The idea that this happens regularly is bizarre.

      • Inessa says:

        It’s not the fact that they are advantaged because they are from wealthy districts and have better weapons and training that creeps me out, it’s the fact that they volunteered, that is, they have been bred to be some sort of cock-fighting rooster. I just can’t believe even wealthy parents would ever do that.

  96. Zafrin says:

    The Careers have a better chance, but they are not always the winner, and there are Careers from more than one district. So, if you are a Career, there is still a higher chance than not that you will die. This is like raising a suicide bomber from birth, since they volunteer. Even if they win, what happens when this kid, bred to be a murderous thug, returns home victorious. What personality are hey likely to have and how do they integrate into society? If people can give me more information on this without being spoilery, please do.

Comments are closed.