Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 11

In the eleventh chapter of Catching Fire, Katniss is injured in the most inconvenient way possible, allowing Collins to ramp up the seemingly unending suspense. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Catching Fire.

My thoughts aren’t changing. Despite that I still think the writing is flawed, I am thoroughly enjoying where this book is headed. There is not one hint, for me, as to where this book will end up, aside from in District 13. That’s all I feel comfortable guessing.

So let’s jump right into this fucked up mini-cliffhanger. The fence is suddenly electrified, and Katniss has a mini-freak out before realizing this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Calm down, I order myself. It’s not as if this is the first time I’ve been caught outside of the district by an electrified fence. It’s happened a few times over the years, but Gale was always with me. The two of us would just pick a comfortable tree to hang out in until the power shut off, which it always did eventually. If I was running late, Prim even got in the habit of going to the Meadow to check if the fence was charged, to spare my mother worry.

Ok, so maybe I overreacted to the fence being on. It does all seem a bit too convenient that Thread has figured all of this out and is doing what he can to fuck with Katniss. Though…that is a pretty scary thought. What if he is that prepared? What if he knows everything? What if there is some sort of new technology in the area that provides surveillance?

Katniss isn’t taking any risks. She knows it will arouse suspicion if she doesn’t get back to the other side as soon as possible, so she resolves that she’ll have to find some way over the top. She finds a set of trees a mile down the fence that work for her. Well, sort of work for her, I mean. They’re still a bit too high, but she can’t really be picky at this moment.

There’s the sensation of falling, then I hit the ground with a jolt that goes right up my spine. A second later, my rear end slams the ground. I lie in the snow, trying to assess the damage. Without standing, I can tell by the pain in my left heel and my tailbone that I’m injured. The only question is how badly. I’m hoping for bruises, but when I force myself onto my feet, I suspect I’ve broken something as well. I can walk, though, so I get moving, trying to hide my limp as best I can.

OMG. I sprained my ankle yesterday morning and Katniss and I are both limping. We are ~connected.~ Also, you know I’m going to say it again, but I love that this is basically the opposite of the Only A Flesh Wound trope. I love authors/writers willing to let their characters get hurt.

Of course, Katniss’s injuries prove to be more inconvenient than she expected. She concocts a story she’ll have to use publicly, even visiting some shops to buy bandages and peppermints to cover for herself. She thinks she is prepared to tell her version of events, but even Collins writes in moments of characters being utterly unprepared.

Two Peacekeepers, a man and a woman, are standing in the doorway to our kitchen. The woman remains impassive, but I catch the flicker of surprise on the man’s face. I am unanticipated. They know I was in the woods and should be trapped there now.

FUCK. Oh god, I was also so unprepared for this. Everything is crashing down and WE ARE ON CHAPTER ELEVEN.

“Head Peacekeeper Thread sent us with a message for you,” says the woman.

ASL;KDFJ;ALKSDFJASDFLK;JSADF NO.

“May we ask where you have been, Miss Everdeen?”

Katniss has been historically bad at coming up with stuff on the spot, but maybe it’s the pain running through her or the terror of being discovered, but she makes up some fantastic lies about Prim’s goat, poor directions, bandages, and peppermint. I know it’s convenient, but the way that Prim, Katniss’s mom, Haymitch, and Peeta cover for her and immediately put on an act to support her story is pretty awesome. It’s not totally out of the realm of possibility, either. At least for Haymitch and Peeta, they have both had to “act” in the face of authority to stay alive plenty of times before.

Then I look at the Peacekeepers as if I’m suddenly remembering they’re there. “You have a message for me?”

“From Head Peacekeeper Thread,” says the woman. “He wanted you to know that the fence surrounding District Twelve will now have electricity twenty-four hours a day.

“Didn’t it already?” I ask, a little too innocently.

“He thought you might be interested in passing this information on to your cousin,” says the woman.

“Thank you. I’ll tell him. I’m sure we’ll all sleep a little more soundly now that security has addressed that lapse.”

HAHAHA HOLY SHIT. BAMF FOREVER. I seriously cannot believe she managed to diffuse that situation. It’s rather brilliant; perhaps she is finally gaining some confidence in herself when it comes to speaking to strangers like this. Think back to her performance during her first interviews and appearances with Caesar Flickerman. She was terrible. Terrible! It’s undeniable how bad she was. Now, she’s turning out to be quite the snappy speaker.

Peeta and Katniss…ok, it’s not my favorite thing. I suppose I am so gung-ho about this uprising/District Thirteen that now I just want to dust past all the relationship stuff, but it’s here and I have to DILL WITH IT. Katniss, drugged to near unconsciousness, is carried to bed by Peeta, and she asks him to stay by her side. Internally, she actually wants to wake up beside him, but she doesn’t vocalize this. It’s weird that this is happening because HELLO GALE WHERE IS HE. I know that Katniss is confused about her emotions; I worry that she’s making things harder, though, by constantly leading both of them on in her own way. It’s not that her feelings aren’t genuine, because I believe they are, but she should probably not do things like this to both of them at the same time.

All right, back to the story. Despite how quickly she moves through this next part, Collins creates a great sense of tension by keeping Katniss bedridden. I never really knew what to expect with her in such a vulnerable state and despite that Katniss is calm when Peeta brings her bread and they work on a book of edible plants together, I kept thinking SOMETHING IS GOING TO GO WRONG. LIKE RIGHT NOW. JESUS WHY. OH GOD.

Nothing does go wrong, surprisingly, but shit continues to get real. Almost out of boredom, Peeta and Katniss actually watch television. It’s actually strange to me because we never really have seen that happen much at all in the series so far. But now Katniss has a new motivation for doing so: she wants to verify Bonnie’s and Twill’s stories.

My first sighting is in a news story referencing the Dark Days. I see the smoldering remains of the Justice Building in District 13 and just catch the black-and-white underside of a mockingjay’s wings as it flies across the upper right-hand corner.

Once is not enough. So she continues to watch until she catches what is supposed to be a live feed from District 13.

But just before they cut back to the main newscaster, I see the unmistakable flash of that same mockingjay’s wing.

The reporter has simply been incorporated into the old footage. She’s not in District 13 at all. Which begs the question, What is?

I have no idea and the thought fills me with a wonderful sense of excitement.

About Mark Reads

Vegan cyclist, Internet community nerd, atheist bookworm, high-five purveyor.
This entry was posted in Catching Fire, The Hunger Games and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

175 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 11

  1. momigrator says:

    I agree that it's wrong for Katniss to lead both of them on at once, but I think right now she is so in need of someone understanding her and giving her comfort that she doesn't even consider her actions and the effect they will have on the boys. It's a tough situation for all of them. :(

    Also, I am SO EXCITE to see what district 13 has in store!

    • tethysdust says:

      I think she does consider the effects of her actions. If I recall correctly, she wanted to ask him to climb in with her, but decided not to because it would be unfair at this point. I think she's aware of how her actions are hurting him, but she still wants him there, and he's willing to accommodate her.

      I think that makes it worse for her, because, in addition to her emotional confusion and physical pain, she also feels really guilty all the time. Also, both Peeta and Gale constantly do and say things to make her feel even more guilty, because they don't see any reason to filter their interactions with her. Not to discount the boys' pain, but I actually really empathize with Katniss in this situation.

  2. blis says:

    i like that the male peacekeeper was buying the story and even laughed with the rest of the the family. that lady peace keeper is not having it.

  3. mugglemomof2 says:

    "OMG. I sprained my ankle yesterday morning and Katniss and I are both limping. We are ~connected.~"

    Not sure why- but this totally made me crack up! You are like a fangirl- I love it!

    I loved this chapter. I liked how everyone came together to cover for Katniss. I also like that she wants to confirm the stories of the ladies from the woods….

  4. LadyLately says:

    It is land of rebellious fairies and unicorns, Katniss. Oh, and it snows for an hours every morning so everyone can watch it melt and cheer for metaphors.

  5. monkeybutter says:

    ~Synchronicity~ Get better soon, Mark! Sprained ankles suck; they're inconvenient but not incapacitating, and they usually have less exciting stories (slid on the court and slipped on the stairs, for me).

    I like this chapter, but I can't think of anything to say about it! It's sort of a bridge and character development chapter.

    • cait0716 says:

      I don't know, I've sprained my ankle in some pretty exciting ways. Among them being during a game of beer pong and in an attempt to leap over five people who were between me and the bathroom while I was wearing stilettos. Alcohol is bad, kids.

      • Madeline says:

        For real…I broke mine wearing nothing but a sheet in the parking lot of a hotel. Alcohol is indeed bad, kids.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Okay, I definitely have to amend it to say "possibly embarrassing and hilarious in retrospect."

      • paulineparadise says:

        Argh, there's water on my monitor.

        Anyway, that's kind of hilarious. xD I once sprained my ankle by trying to stand on the couch at a party at someone's house… in high heels. I remember that I was looking for someone… D:

        Yes, alcohol is bad.

        • sabra_n says:

          Actually, the conclusion I'm coming to now is that high heels are bad.

          But I always thought that anyway. :P

          • cait0716 says:

            I think it's the combination. I wear high heels every day, but I only injure myself when I'm drunk.

            • bell_erin_a says:

              Pointe shoes and high heels and alcohol, oh my!

              • paulineparadise says:

                Yes, high heels when you're sober is no problem at all.

                • stellaaaaakris says:

                  I would disagree. High heels are always problematic when you are the kind of person who trips over nothing. Like me ;)

                  I'm actually rather graceful when I'm just that level of drunk. I've only fallen down once when drinking, and then only because somebody put a glass on its side on the ground and I slipped on it – not my fault! But I tend to fall on my face or bottom at least once a week when completely and utterly sober.

                  • paulineparadise says:

                    Why did this remind me of Bella's klutziness TWILIGHT I WOULD BE VERY HAPPY IF YOU'D LEAVE MY BRAIN FOREVER KTNXBAI

              • cait0716 says:

                I am woman, hear me roar. And then trip and twist my ankle…

    • Shanella says:

      I sprained my ankle trying to jump on a tire. No alcohol was involved!

      Also, sprained it running in a game and kept on running because I didn't want to stop. That alone tells me that I'm either VERY determined to win, or else very silly.

    • bell_erin_a says:

      No alcohol involved since I was 2, but I managed to break my leg jumping on a bean bag chair… It's definitely in our family stories as Most Stupid Injury Ever.

      (Not the same as a sprained ankle, but)

      • monkeybutter says:

        See, that's the thing with broken limbs: you usually have a better story involving jumping or falling!

        • wenuwish says:

          Usually, but not always. I've broken my arm on two separate occasions just by falling over. Doesn't make for much of a story, but my family still get a laugh out of it.

    • DragonTickler says:

      It's better than my story, I had to tell people I sprained my ankle because I tripped over air. Not particulary interesting but very embrassing.

  6. bell_erin_a says:

    Okay, yay for a chapter that involves BAMF Katniss getting out of a bad situation and shit getting real-ish but not too real. This was actually kind of a nice breather chapter in my marathon Catching Fire read.

    I don't have much else to say other than I hope your ankle gets better soon!

  7. accio doublestuff says:

    I love that this is basically the opposite of the Only A Flesh Wound trope. I love authors/writers willing to let their characters get hurt.

    Yes! I loved this in book one as well. The first time Katniss got burned by those firebomb things in the arena, even though she was already in no state to be traveling, I was impressed with Collins' ability to not make escapes from situations too convenient. Katniss has survived so far, but only just, and definitely without the help of (or in spite of) the author (if that makes sense?). Definitely makes for a more entertaining read.

    • LadyLately says:

      Katniss is terrifies of and/or hates Collins because of this. You just know it.
      You know how Smeyer fantasizes about Edward coming and taking her away?
      Collins has set up anti-archery measures around her house and sleeps with one eye open.

  8. cait0716 says:

    I love the scene where everyone comes together and flawlessly supports Katniss' tangled web of lies. I don't even care that it's slightly out-of-character for her. It's so fun to see them all thwarting the Capitol's attempts to catch Katniss in the act of breaking the law.

    • liliaeth says:

      It's not that out of character, note how quickly she caught on to Haymitch wanting her to play up the romance with Peeta and how she spoke to the careers while she was stuck in that tree.

      • cait0716 says:

        I guess I view Katniss as someone who can quickly think on her feet and act well, but can't always translate that to words. She did fine acting in the games, especially when she was on her own. But on the victory tour she managed to put her foot in her mouth the second she opened it. Perhaps she is learning, though. In which cast, woot character development!

  9. soluna says:

    reading w. you so this is speculation, not spoiler: what if she goes to 13 and finds they're not interested in rebellion at all – that they're fine with leaving the other districts alone and just want to mind their own business? 75 years is a long time to not encourage other districts to revolt.

    • tethysdust says:

      I kind of wondered that too. Even Katniss was like "If they aren't destroyed… then what have they been doing all these years instead of helping us?"

  10. vampira2468 says:

    -Seems they get the kids started early on the what the district makes since Katniss’ sister is learning about coal in school.
    -Love all the mystery about district 13.
    -I still don’t like all the love stuff in this book.
    -At least they all know to go with the flow and not seem to act strange

  11. bluejay says:

    I don’t think I even paused at the end of this chapter; I was too excited to find out what the heck is going on in District 13. But it was really nice to see Katniss and Peeta working on the book together, just doing something normal and quiet. Made me smile.

  12. Karen says:

    Oh Katniss. You’re staring at Peeta as he sketches, noticing how long his eyelashes are. (Contrast this with that scene where Gale kisses her and Katniss says that she’d never thought about Gale’s lips. I’m just saying….)

    [youtube e-i7rz9CsIM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-i7rz9CsIM youtube]

    You’ve got it bad. That is some 10th grade style crushing right there. Katniss definitely has feelings for Peeta and is attracted to him, even if she isn’t fully conscious of it.

    I like that Katniss is aware one some level that she is sort of leading them both on though. If she were completely oblivious and selfish she would have asked Peeta to stay with her. So at least she has some awareness.

    • Kripa says:

      Agreed on all counts.

    • theupsides says:

      AGREED.

      I think this is the chapter where you really see that she has ~real feelings for him. I mean, she wants him to stay with her, she watches his eyelashes…But she knows she can't be unfair to him because everything is still too confusing.

      I also love the bit where they are just hanging out and Peeta mentions how they've never done anything normal before. This is when their relationship becomes more normal!

      • notemily says:

        Yeah, it shows that even when they're not in the Games and trying to survive, or in public and trying to keep up the romantic facade, she's still fascinated by Peeta and wants to be around him.

    • Majc says:

      You have to remember that Katniss is 10th grade age. We were all pretty dumb in 10th grade, especially about our own feelings.

      • Karen says:

        Oh yeah. I'm not knocking her for it. I just think it's funny and a bit cute because it IS so typical for teenagers.

      • Annalebanana says:

        I don't think she IS in 10th grade, is she? In this book she would have to be almost 17, because she has her birthday just before the reapings, right? She is probably an 11th grader. Oh well, that's just nit picky. ;)

  13. QuoteMyFoot says:

    Oh, Mark. You know, it is not a good idea to post links to tvtropes if you want people to finish reading your review in the same hour than they started.

    Also, I was totally mind-blown that mockingjay wing. I think Katniss saw that newsclip before (although I can't remember if it was in HG or this one, but I think it was in CF). Maybe that's an odd thing to be mind-blown by, but still, my brain just went "OH SHIT DAAAAMN".

    Something did bug me though. Who knows how many people have noticed that over the years? If the Capitol can make it look like that reporter is there live, surely they can remove that mockingjay? IDK. After all the care and attention they give to people they are sending to DIE, I'm surprised they missed something like that.

  14. pooslie says:

    yeah the hidden text just wort of falls off about 1/2 way down the page.

    sorry you got spoiled :(

  15. jennywildcat says:

    One thing I love about this chapter is seeing Prim and Katniss interact. Up until now, I've felt like Prim's just been window dressing – just a device to evoke emotion from Katniss. But I love seeing Prim's own little personality shine through in the "Bad Directions to the Goat Man" exchange. Prim's a bit like Ginny Weasley, I think – at first she's the shy little sister that seems frail and helpless, but then you get a second look at her and she has a strength of her own.

  16. Kripa says:

    I find it so incredibly touching that in her moment of need Katniss wants Peeta to comfort her and cuddle her but she cannot in good conscience ask that of him. And now she's noticing how long his eyelashes are. MOAR KATPEE FODDER.
    Just wait. You are not prepared.

  17. Kripa says:

    Peeta's always had a knack for covering people. He and Haymitch are naturals at it. It's Katniss who needs to work on her people skills, so here she gets to overcome her weakness.

    • liliaeth says:

      yeah, and I like how she saves herself. With her friends help, sure, but she's the one who comes up with the initial lie that the others can build upon.

  18. shortstack930 says:

    I'm glad we finally got to see some interaction between Katniss and Prim. It's nice to finally see Prim's personality shine through a bit. And also to see Katpee finally doing something normal like watching television. I get the feeling it's simply the calm before the storm though because Collins doesn't usually let us go more than a chapter without SHIT GETTING REAL.

    Another review today maybe? Please? :)

  19. Will says:

    You are STILL not prepared.

  20. PaulineParadise says:

    I liked the part where katniss fell out of the tree because it was so recognisable. I once fell from a tree when I was 9, and it was the worst thing ~ever~.

    I was climbing a tree with my best friend, and the branch I stood on broke from the tree. I fell on my hands and knees, but the only thing I remember was a soft crack in my back, me turning around and lying down on my back, some older boys who had seen me falling running towards me while my friend was asking me where it hurt. The rest: blackout :’) (this was at a hockeycamp, btw)

    The stupid thing about it all was a few weeks later at a hockeygame, I realised I couldn’t run. Like, not at all. Just a bit of wobbling like a penguin, trying to keep up. And my asshole coach took me out of the game, and pointed towards other girls, while saying things like: ‘see that? That’s how fast you should be running!’ when I was nine.

    Ugh, worst memory ever.

  21. Treasure Cat says:

    Im not Katniss' biggest fan, but I must admit even I gave her a quiet round of applause for getting herself out of a sticky situation in such a badass fashion. I sort of loved the interaction between the characters when they were covering for her, it was amusing and well thought out, and Katpee making the plant book was a lovely relationship building exercise. Overrall enjoyed this chapter, double tick.

  22. lebeaumonde says:

    MARK. Please do a double review today. Please. PLEASE.

  23. hpfish13 says:

    I can't think of what to say so I'll let Tara say it for me

    Tara: You think you know what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.

  24. 4and6forever says:

    Yes! I hate the ‘just a flesh wound’ trope as well. It’s taken severly out of hand in some cases, (Soul Eater, anyone? Medusa drills a hole into Stein, but he just gets up and keeps fighting?) but I haven’t felt as though Collins has done that yet. We’ve had burns ,broken ankles, and that’s only the ‘b’s! And in all those cases, she does indeed suffer consequenses.

  25. prideofportree says:

    The thing is, with Peeta, I kind of feel like he and Katniss only "fell in love" because they thought they zwere going to die, and that there weren't anyone else. Like Big Brother stars marrying while still in the show (or Amelie and Senna if you watch the French Secret Story)

  26. warmouth says:

    You go Katpiss, screwing with the Capital!

    <img src="http://i522.photobucket.com/albums/w348/Richtoon18/35240sw737.gif"&gt;

    Mark, I think somone needs to put you back in the oven because you are not prepared.

    <img src="http://i781.photobucket.com/albums/yy95/torque402/gif/638.gif"&gt;

    On a completely serious note, though unrelated to Catching Fire (what, I can do stuff besides post gifs!), I was rereading your Twilight reviews and realized "Wow, I've been reading Marks reviews for a long time! Since before I started college." That's when I remembered how hard it was for me starting college and how your reviews were one of the few things that cheered me up (I was like seriously depressed). It was nice to have a constant, even if it was a rather small one. So thank you for keeping up these reviews and can't wait to read another year of your stuff.

    Sorry for the unrelated rambling, but if you don't like it then just

    <img src="http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn216/jscottcc/Gif%20dump/deal_with_it_putin.gif"&gt;

  27. Hotaru-hime says:

    IT'S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!! (in reference to District 13)
    Sorry. It's just really fun to say that.

  28. potlid007 says:

    Katniss looks at that fence like
    <img src="http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a269/specialcamper/gif/ohhellnopd.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Oh hell no Pushing Daisies Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    But she tackles it like a boss
    <img src="http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a269/specialcamper/gif/joypd.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Joy Pushing Daisies Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    Then the Peacemakers come and she's like
    <img src="http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc47/Malallory/Gifs%20and%20such/Scared%20Surprised%20Insulted/orig-12492161.gif&quot; border="0">

    And they're all weez watchin you Katnizz
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v53/sweetone41185/Gifs/Misc/pdwatchingyou.gif&quot; border="0" alt="pushing daisies Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    but she totally smacks them down
    <img src="http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb150/TOTO-LERO/gifs/34p0sj9jpg.gif&quot; border="0" alt="yes! gif Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    And then she's just like I'm tireedddd
    <img src="http://i1039.photobucket.com/albums/a475/BunnyZara123/30vlz7s.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Ned from Pushing Daisies Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    lolz Peeta's all we friendz naow, yes?
    <img src="http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s49/Mr_Muggles/GIFS/ouxieg.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Pushing Daisies Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    OH SHIT THIRTEEN
    <img src="http://i1039.photobucket.com/albums/a475/BunnyZara123/30vlz7s.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Ned from Pushing Daisies Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    YOU GOT MAH ATTENTION NAWOOO

  29. corporatecake says:

    What if there is some sort of new technology in the area that provides surveillance?

    Maybe it's the same technology that allows a camera to always be on in the Hunger Games…

  30. andreah1234 says:

    Hey peacekeeper, YOU JUST GOT TOLD!!!!!!! HA.

    Sorry I had to say it. Anyway, this chapter was a nice break for all of the crazy shit that has been happening, it's not as ~exciting~ as the rest of this book as been but it's still really good. I loved the little detail about district 13, because I have the feeling that something big must be going on there,and I can't wait to see wait it. Shit will get real(er) then. Oh Peeta and Haymitch please never change, I love you forever, and Kat you are a BAMF, keep it up. And also, what will happen to Bonnie and the other which name I can not remember, now that the fence has electricity 24/7???? Oh, I know: Nothing good. D: D: D: D: D: D:

  31. BradSmith5 says:

    ARRRRGH, Katniss made it over the fence!? I should have known that this was a plot device––not to send her rocketing forward, but to slow the pace down to a mind-numbing crawl! Eyelashes, painting, watching TV…how in the world is any of this worthy of anticipation!? Please get well soon Mark; your sprained ankle must be activating some sort of suspense-building hormone in your body. ;)

    And Katniss has seen the District 13 footage for herself, but I think that it will still take hundreds of pages for her to ever believe it. She could be IN the silos, PUSHING the button to launch the nukes at The Capitol and still not believe it. "This is a trick. All these people explaining why they never helped us with their fabulous technology MUST be actors."

  32. yllsa says:

    You are gonna punch yourself so hard when you figure out how they are watching her.
    <img src ="http://i56.tinypic.com/290vbq1.gif"&gt;

  33. Rose Brazeale says:

    I've been limping since Sunday because of a sprained foot muscle. :O IT'S A SIGN!!!!!!

  34. 1foxi says:

    "I know that Katniss is confused about her emotions; I worry that she’s making things harder, though, by constantly leading both of them on in her own way"

    I agree Mark, I don't think she means to lead these guys on but it's innapropriate to get into bed with one guy who you know is in love with you and stalk another guys face when you know he is in love with you too. She is confused about her feelings obv, so she needs to just put a stop to all the intimacy and concentrate on you know, STAYING ALIVE.

  35. dvtd2hp says:

    i think the problem that Katniss is having in this ~luv~ triangle, is that both of these boys evoke a different type of comfort in her. Gale is the one that was there after her father, that taught her the things she needed to survive and feed her family, and for the longest time, was the only man in her life. Peeta has lived through the same horrors that she did, and can understand her fears, phobias, and nightmares like Gale never could. It's a kind of comfort not having to tell anyone about the most horrific events of your life simply because they were there too.

    It's interesting to note how these two are characterized, as well. Gale is dark complected, angry, and has a volatile personality. Peeta, on the other hand, is fair complected, gentle, understanding, and when he gets angry Katniss doesn't fear of what his actions are going to be. Katniss' reactions to these two are pretty telling. When Gale goes off, all she can think about is how to stop him from whatever idiot action he's going to take. When Peeta gets angry, Katniss feels guilty and a sense of loss, because she knows that it's justified and because of her.

    collins was a little heavy handed here, wasn't she? i mean, who are we supposed to root for based on the characterization?

    • theupsides says:

      I think, at this point, it's pretty obviously Peeta's game. The problem is that she knows Gale has feelings for her, and he's her best friend in the world, and she's constantly scared of hurting him. She owes him so much. She hates owing people. You start to see how different her relationships are with the two of them, like you pointed out. Peeta is the guy she wants to hold her at night. She doesn't really have that type of relationship with Gale.

      • dvtd2hp says:

        but how much of Gale's feelings are genuine, or simply because she was publicly lovin' on someone else? What i've gotten from him so far is a sense of ownership and condescending bs. Way to win her over, Gale.

        I know who we're supposed to be rooting for. I was just wondering if it was as obvious to anyone else because of the characterization used. :)

        • "When Gale goes off, all she can think about is how to stop him from whatever idiot action he's going to take. When Peeta gets angry, Katniss feels guilty and a sense of loss, because she knows that it's justified and because of her."

          Those of us standing against love-triangles are hiding in District 13. :P

  36. Silverilly says:

    Huh. My post disappeared. Pre-emptive apology if it shows up again and I end up repeating myself.

    Anyway, I didn't have any notes on this chapter (other than aerpgnaweiogfnopag), much like the ones before it. Honestly, at this point I didn't feel like writing out my comments when there was clearly an entertaining book to be read. BUT I just noticed something that you quoted in your review and it's annoying me.
    It's pretty anal.
    You can ignore me for this.

    But I just HATE when people misuse the expression "begging the question." Just . . . no. NO, KATNISS. It does NOT beg the question. THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE.

    Okay, Logical Me is done now. MARK, you sprained your ankle??? WHAT DID YOU DO.

  37. Majc says:

    At this point in the book I thought they might still be using the tracking device they put in her arm during her Hunger Games. It was never mentioned that it was taken out or not. Why wouldn't they leave that in to follow all the old Victors?

    • Saber says:

      Dang.
      You just made me 100x more paranoid. I'm so checking that now. Or, yah know, they could have always done something when THEY HAD HER KNOCKED OUT
      Sorry, that still pisses me off so much.

  38. Lily says:

    I don't always read the comments, so please excuse me if I am repeating something already said.

    Has it already been discussed that Panem means "bread" in Latin?
    And that "panem et circenses" is a phrase made famous by Juvenal referring to the Roman government's tradition of keeping the public happy with food and entertainment. ("Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses." Satire 10.77-81)

    This is exactly what The Capitol is doing…appeasing the masses by entertainment and feasting so that they don't balk at restriction of basic human rights…

    I don't think this necessarily belongs here, but I wanted to talk about it sometime.

  39. notemily says:

    Yeah I went on the Crowning Moment of Awesome page for Avatar: The Last Airbender and had to stop reading because I was spoiling myself.

  40. PatR says:

    I can cut Katniss a lot of slack on the love triangle thing. It's not like she's had a lot of relationship experience. She's following her emotions, not her head. Some people don't get it right when they're twice her age. Besides, she's spent all of her time thinking about survival and where the next meal is coming from.

  41. ilram says:

    SHIT IS ABOUT TO GET SO REAL.

    You are so not prepared.

  42. Flumehead says:

    YOU ARE ALL SO UNPREPARED.

  43. Whispy360 says:

    I haaate getting my ankle sprained. Especially when it's a really bad sprain, you know, the kind that almost worse than a break? I had one of those near the end of last school year, and I had to go around in a wheelchair for the longest time because I couldn't get my balance right on crutches.

    Not sure how much I can comment on these reviews without spoiling, so I guess I'll just leave this here. :p

  44. fantasylover12001 says:

    Yay, someone besides me who is not a fan of the love triangle. Granted, I still think this love triangle is a million times better then that OTHER one that shall remain nameless but still, it's annoying and in my opinion the weakest and least interesting part of the trilogy. Yet that's practically ALL the fandom of Hunger Games cares about. It's a very frusterating aspect of the fandom of Hunger Games for me and yes, I'm aware this has turned into a rant. Sorry.

  45. Cally_Black says:

    Maybe if Katniss had had a trampoline she wouldn't have hurt her leg.

    <img src=http://i785.photobucket.com/albums/yy133/RoyalXS/genepool.gif>

    …Or not. (Also I have never posted a GIF before and am not sure that this will work -crosses fingers-)

  46. Revolution64 says:

    I just got Mockingjay today! So I'm super duper excited. On the other hand, it'll be harder not to post spoilers. OH GOD.

  47. Tabbyclaw says:

    I don't always read the comments, so please excuse me if I am repeating something already said.

    No.

  48. Tabbyclaw says:

    What if he is that prepared?

    THEN HE IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF YOU, MARK.

    (Really? It took this long for someone to latch onto that line?)

  49. Ash says:

    Mark you, you linked to TvTropes D:
    You monster.

    Also Katniss, leading people on is not cool and you should come to the realisation your being an all around nob and not helping anyone in this already awkward, painful to go through thing.
    Love triangles D’:

  50. LadyOverseas says:

    Is anyone else inordinately annoyed at the incorrect use of "begs the question"? It is my Number One Pet Peeve and on top of Collins' heavy-handed writing it drove me fucking crazy (even though I love love love the Hunger Games for their content).

  51. Hanh says:

    I really feel for Katniss after that fall. I've bruised my tailbone once and the pain is just like breaking it. Plus, you can't sit for two weeks because your ass hurts so bad.

    I don't know why but lately I've found myself wanting to pick songs for the book, and bless Pandora because they read my mind. They played these two gems for me: Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy by Jason Mraz and Merry Happy by Kate Nash. The second one is vague by title alone but the line 'I can be alone, I can watch the sunset on my own' reminded me of a past comment that rooted for Team Katniss to ride off into the sunset with her asexy self.

  52. Oh, and I grew up with more male friends than female as a teen, so it's not that I don't understand the dynamic, before anyone goes judging me with meeeeeeean little finger-wags! :P

  53. Shanella says:

    I agree with you to a point. When I read this the "love triangle" seemed so forced, and when I went to the release of Mockingjay there were so many TEAM PEETA and TEAM GALE that I was a bit shocked. One of the questions they asked a young girl who was there was which team she was on and she said she didn't care about teams just the ending of the book, which was my feelings as well.

    I like Peeta, only because he seems more three dimensional to me, so for me it will always be Peeta because we know more about him than Gale.

    As for Prim, I now Katniss keeps saying she loves her sister and what not but we hardly see any interaction with them, however, I don't think Collins not showing that interaction makes Katniss love Prim less. The relationship there doesn't seem to be the highlight of the story Collins is trying to tell.

  54. tethysdust says:

    You know, Collins could totally write romantic confusion even if Katniss' close friends were girls. Or are we not allowed to have non-heterosexual relationships in YA literature yet?

  55. bibliotrek says:

    I know, I would really like to see Katniss's relationship with Madge built up more. It seems like there's a friendship there — enough that Madge gave her the pin, and they spend time together in CF too — but it would have been so awesome to get more.

  56. Annalebanana says:

    She is better friends with Madge then she *was* with Peeta. She didn't even really know him. Madge was her only other friend besides Gale. And Peeta is there because there is always a male-female combination of tributes, so I don't really see your point. Also, I find her love for her sister highly believable. She has sacrificed everything for Prim and pretty much given up her life on a multitude of times for her. I see the fact that Prim is not much in the story as a signifier that Katniss really is secluding herself for her old life because of her experiences, as well as the fact that she wants Prim to have a happy, or at least as happy as it gets life and she sees herself as preventing that because she is just pretty much a depressed confused person right now. She doesn't really want to let anyone in on how she really feels, and I don't see that detracting from her relationship with Prim.

  57. Tabbyclaw says:

    Because friends don't matter, obviously. There are only three categories of interpersonal relationships that anyone is allowed to care about: Enemies, family, and potential romantic partners. Friendship just gets in the way.

    In totally unrelated news, the latest book in one of my favorite YA series shoehorned a romantic element into what's spent eight books being an awesome platonic friendship and partnership. I may be slightly bitter.

  58. Gembird says:

    Yeah, the ever-present YA love triangle bothers me a lot (ever-present as in, all YA novels right now have them as opposed to ever-present in just this series). When I was in my teens, most of my friends were boys, and I loved those guys like brothers. It really bothers me that so many authors are perpetuating the belief that you can't have friends of the opposite sex- I had had enough of that by the time I left school, I don't want to hear it from books as well D:

    Well, that, and I can't see two dudes in love with one girl without going BITCH YOU AIN'T LILY EVANS, DON'T EVEN TRY OR I WILL CUT YOU like some sort of fangirl Amazon.

  59. To back up my claim about love-triangle tropes, I use a website frequented by our own much-beloved Mark: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TwoGuy

  60. leenwitit says:

    I wondered about that too. But it's not like obvious mockingjay wing is obvious, since apparently no one in District 12 ever noticed it before. I like to think that the Capitol is like Voldemort in that the utter confidence it has in its power over the Districts makes it blind to little things like that.

  61. chocohouse says:

    Yeah, it seems unlikely that the Capitol would use the same footage (unaltered) to the extent that the bird is ALWAYS there. What, they only have 30 seconds of film, or what?

    Plus I think it's funny that nobody questioned 13 was still smoldering. Really? After 75 years? Seems like you'd notice that there's no change in the smolder before you notice a repeating bird.

  62. shortstack930 says:

    I also went to the release of Mockingjay and saw so many girls with Team Peeta/Gale shirts! I was so mad because I feel like this book is absolutely not just about the romance and if that's all these girls care about then they're obviously not even focusing on the story. There's so much more to these books than OOH who will Katniss choose? Like you, I was excited to see how the story ended and not just who she ended up with, if anyone.

  63. thefbm says:

    I think when I hit the third book I was more or less concern if my characters were going to survive at the end of the novel, and the whole who would end up with who was the last thing on my mind.

  64. Shanella says:

    agreed! anyone who just focused on the romance missed SO MUCH of what the book really was about.

    I think this is another reason I liked the HP series so much … more focus on the story and struggle than who ends up with whom.

  65. I don't have issue with non-heterosexual romantic confusion, but you don't really see it in YA lit right now, probably because publishers aren't putting it through. When I say it wouldn't be a love-triangle I'm referring to the standards of YA lit as it stands, not as it should/could be. :)

  66. notemily says:

    Oh, there's a lot of GLBTQ YA literature! David Levithan, Alex Sanchez, Malinda Lo, Julie Anne Peters, and many others are writing it right now, and Nancy Garden was writing it back in the early 80s. But it tends to be the focus of the story, since YA lit is all about discovering who you are and sexuality is often part of that. It's rare to have characters who are gay or trans or otherwise queer and NOT have it be the focus of the story in YA lit, but for a great example see Hold Still by Nina LaCour.

  67. shortstack930 says:

    Exactly.

  68. LadyLately says:

    I remember before Mockingjay I declared myself 'Team I Hope Katniss Doesn't Die'

  69. monkeybutter says:

    I'm sorry you can't dance at full strength anymore. :( I did not mean to give the impression that I thought sprains were nonsense, I just meant that you aren't laid up for weeks or months, and there's considerably less sympathy if you're only in an aircast.

    I think I would have preferred breaking a bone, too, because I would love to not have to deal with weak ankles that roll and resprain. It was the popping sound that affected me more than the pain, honestly. I still feel physically uncomfortable hearing about or seeing people roll their ankles. Even compound fractures don't make me freak out that way (probably because I've never had one).

    But, yeah, recover and stretch (circles and writing the alphabet with your feet are good!)!

  70. bell_erin_a says:

    As much as pointe hurts like hell, I would be seriously upset if I couldn't do it anymore (although the tendinitis in my ankle seems to be determined to drive me that way anyway). This last semester was my first break in 14 years of dancing and I've decided that's not happening anymore. I don't know what I would do if my body forced me to stop doing ballet. So, I'm really sorry to hear about your ankle and ongoing problems and hope you can still dance on it in the future.

  71. cait0716 says:

    That sounds so incredibly painful. I cringed reading about it. =( I injured myself a lot dancing en pointe in high school (and it's ridiculously easy for me to re-sprain my ankles), but nothing like what you did. I'm sorry you won't be able to dance anymore.

  72. Annalebanana says:

    I did ballet for 10 years and only got to do pointe for a year before I found out very painfully that my foot has practically everything wrong with it that could be wrong (extra bones, too long muscles, fluid in my tendon, different leg lengths, etc….) I haven't been able to dance, do any other sport (including swimming :o) or hardly even walk without pain, so I feel for you. It really does suck. Epically so. And Mark, I hope you get better soon! (And my case wasn't a sprain, they usually are mild, so I have hope for you!)

  73. When I broke my ankle running in heels (since I didn't fancy getting punched by an angry ex) there was a sound like a gunshot, so you don't sound over-dramatic to me.

  74. notemily says:

    I'm guessing he says "Always" or something like that. OMG PEETA IS SNAPE

  75. thefbm says:

    Haha oh frick' Snape…not sure how I feel about that…still have miss emotions on Snape.:|

  76. theupsides says:

    I love this comment so much.

  77. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    I currently have one of those sprains. I am going to go look for a cane later today because JESUS I CANNOT WALK

  78. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    Thank you! I am resting it right now.

  79. Gembird, you are made of awesome, don't ever change.

  80. ldwy says:

    Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. I danced formally for 13 years, and was able to do pointe for 4 years. I hope your foot issues (for lack of a better word) can improve to some degree for you in the future.

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