Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 27

Just read the review.

Everything seems to erupt at once. The earth explodes into showers of dirt and plant matter. Trees burst into flames. Even the sky fills with brightly colored blossoms of light I can’t think why the sky’s being bombed until I realize the Gamemakers are shooting off fireworks up there, while the real destruction occurs on the ground Just in case it’s not enough fun watching the obliteration of the arena and the remaining tributes. Or perhaps to illuminate our gory ends.

Will they let anyone survive? Will there be a victor of the Seventy-fifth Hunger Games?

So this is how it’s going to go out. The Games won’t continue into Mockingjay. Katniss found the weakness in the arena, thanks to Beetee and Wiress, and set into motion the destruction of the arena. Jeez, I didn’t even know this was possible and Katniss has done it.

Never prepared.

The hovercraft materializes above me without warning. If it was quiet, and a mockingjay perched close at hand, I would have heard the jungle go silent and then the bird’s call that precedes the appearance of the Capitol’s aircraft. But my ears could never make out anything so delicate in this bombardment.

Well, a sense of futility has finally washed over me. They’ve come to take them away and they’ll probably punish Katniss by killing Peeta or Gale or someone in he family for what she’s done. Were they able to cut away in time or did all of Panem watch Katniss destroy the arena, the first to ever do so?

The claws drop from the underside until it’s directly overhead. The metal talons slide under me. I want to scream, run, smash my way out of it but I’m frozen, helpless to do anything but fervently hope I’ll die before I reach the shadowy figures awaiting me above.

It’s actually really depressing to me to think that Katniss is being raised into the hovercraft, awaiting her fate, knowing that she failed to keep Peeta safe. It’s a damning, hopeless feeling, isn’t it?

My worst fears are confirmed when the face that greets me inside the hovercraft belongs to Plutarch Heavensbee, Head Gamemaker. What a mess I have made of his beautiful Games with the clever ticking clock and the field of victors. He will suffer for his failure, probably lose his life, but not before he sees me punished. His hand reaches for me, I think to strike me, but he does something worse. With his thumb and his forefinger, he slides my eyelids shut, sentencing me to the vulnerability of darkness. They can do anything to me now and I will not see it coming.

Oh god, Plutarch is there???? Oh this is not good at all. Maybe my hope that Katniss will be ahead of the Capitol is entirely pointless now.

Ugh, so this is how this is going to end. This is all I could think, that Collins would end this on an incredibly bleak note. We move through confusing scenes of Katniss awaking in a bed, apparently being kept alive and drugged. Why are they keeping her alive? I imagine (and Katniss does too) it’s so they can later publicly humiliate and damage her for what she did in the arena.

At one point she wakes up, tied to her bed so she doesn’t rip out the tubes in her arms, and gets a brief look at the room she is in:

I’m in a large room with low ceilings and a silvery light. There are two rows of beds facing each other. I can hear the breathing of what I assume are my fellow victors. Directly across from me I see Beetee with about ten different machines hooked up to him.

Ok, wait. Why are they keeping Beetee alive? Are they keeping everyone alive to torture them later? I don’t get this. I sort of expected them to separate the remaining tributes from everyone else. Hell, now I’m wondering…will there be a public victor declared? HOW IS THIS GOING TO WORK?

Finally, Katniss wakes up, not suffering from the effects of the drugs and unrestrained, she sees that she is alone in the room besides Beetee. There, she concocts the silliest plan ever:

Since I have failed to keep him safe in life, I must find him, kill him now before the Capitol gets to choose the agonizing means of his death. I slide my legs off the table and look around for a weapon. There are a few syringes sealed in sterile plastic on a table near Beetee’s bed. Perfect. All I’ll need is air and a clear shot at one of his veins.

OKAY, DR. KEVORKIAN. First of all, shouldn’t you figure out what is going on first? I understand that the Capitol is an evil, oppressive government, but you don’t even know where you are yet. Secondly, isn’t that just a myth that you can inject air into someone’s veins like that? Thirdly, WHAT ARE YOU DOING. Where’s Sassy Gay Friend to tell her to LOOK AT HER LIFE, LOOK AT HER CHOICES.

Ok. Enough shenanigans. Time for everything to be uprooted and for my face to get punched by Suzanne Collins.

I creep down a narrow hallway to a metal door that stands slightly ajar. Somone is behind it. I take out the syringe and grip it in my hand. Flattening myself against the wall, I listen to the voices inside.

“Communications are down in Seven, Ten, and Twelve. But Eleven has control of transportation now, so there’s at least a hope of them getting some food out.”

It’s Plutarch. Clearly, he’s referring to the districts. What happened to them??? Why are communications out? Is this what the Capitol did or was it an uprising?

“No, I’m sorry. There’s no way I can get you to Four. But I’ve given special orders for her retrieval if possible. It’s the best I can do, Finnick.”

WHAT THE FUCK. WHY IS HE TALKING TO FINNICK. He is talking about…Johanna? I Johanna back in District Four? HOW DOES THIS MAKE SENSE.

“Don’t be stupid. That’s the worst thing you could do. Get her killed for sure. As long as you’re alive, they’ll keep her alive for bait,” says Haymitch.

Haymitch. Haymitch is in on it. WHAT THE FUCK

And so Katniss bursts into the room, syringe in hand, ready to fight those who have betrayed her. Instead, Haymitch calmly gets her to drop the syringe, sits her down next to Finnick, and Plutarch gives her some food.

What happens next is amazing in content, but fucking awful in execution. There is absolutely no reason I can think of for Collins to suddenly revert away from first-person present to a segment of summary that is entirely in third person. It’s jarring and we just lost a moment to experience Katniss’s head exploding at the revelation that Haymitch provides. It feels so unbelievably rushed and I don’t like it.

That being said, let us now experience this all over again.

Haymitch sits directly in front of me. “Katniss, I’m going to explain what happened. I don’t want you to ask any questions until I’m through. Do you understand?”

I DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING HAYMITCH.

There was a plan to break us out of the arena from the moment the Quell was announced.

The victor tributes from 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11 had varying degrees of knowledge about it.

Plutarch Heavensbee has been, for several years, part of an undercover group aiming to overthrow the Capitol. He made sure the wire was among the weapons.

Beetee was in charge of blowing a hole in the force field.

The bread we received in the arena was code for the time of the rescue. The district where the bread originated indicated the day. Three. The number of rolls the hour. Twenty-four.

The hovercraft belongs to District 13.

Bonnie and Twill, the women I met in the woods from 8, were right about its existence and its defense capabilities. We are currently on a very roundabout journey to District 13.

Meanwhile, most of the districts in Panem are in full-scale rebellion.

I can’t. I just can’t. I was so wrong. I was so, so, so wrong.

It is strange that all of this was acted out without Katniss’s consent and it sort of rubs me the wrong way, especially since she could have easily been killed. Right? That’s kind of weird and fucked up, but I also understand the context that she was in: had she known, would she have been tempted to say or do something and expose Plutarch and Haymitch’s plan? Plutarch confirms that he showed Katniss his watch only to tip her off to the shape/function of the arena, which suggests the arena was built without the knowledge of what the Quarter Quell would be. Does that mean Snow didn’t actually design the Quell itself?

I’m still shocked at how much everyone was involved: Johanna did not try to harm Katniss. She was merely removing the tracker out of her arm. Finnick was protecting her and Peeta out of genuine desire the entire time, not to eventually betray them.

“We had to save you because you’re the mockingjay, Katniss,” says Plutarch. “While you live, the revolution lives.”

Ah, the reluctant and unaware hero. It’s a trope we’ve seen before and I’m not entirely stoked that it appears here, but given what’s happened to Katniss for the last two books, I at least understand it’s motivation for being here. In a way, Collins has written her to be someone who isn’t always sure what she wants or what she’s fighting for and I feel that’s a lot more realistic than if she was a SUPER BADASS HERO WITH NO FLAWS.

Which leads us to heartbreak, because Katniss has experienced a whole lot of it so far:

“Where is Peeta?” I hiss at him.

“He was picked up by the Capitol along with Johanna and Enobaria,” says Haymitch. And finally he has the decency to drop his gaze.

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!1 what the hell WHAT THE HELL. Collins YOU PLANNED THIS CLIFFHANGER ALL ALONG FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU

I get Katniss’s anger at Haymitch for keeping the plan a secret, since Peeta got nabbed because of it. I don’t get this:

…I know it’s all Haymitch can do not to rip me apart, but I’m the mockingjay. I’m the mockingjay and it’s too hard keeping me alive as it is.

You’ve been the mockingjay for less than a page. Calm down.

Then they drug her (YAY DRUGGING WITHOUT CONSENT) and off she goes into a wonderful bout of depression, panic, and terror, all of which I understand. I mean…jesus, this is so horrible. Could there be anything worse than this, with Peeta in the hands of a government who would kill him at the first chance that Katniss might get him back? Her despondency is so real and frightening here and I love the urgency with which Collins conveys it.

Never prepared. I was never prepared.

“Gale,” I whisper.

“Hey, Catnip.” He reaches down and pushes a strand of hair out of my eyes. One side of his face has been burned fairly recently. His arm is in a sling, and I can see bandages under his miner’s shirt. What has happened to him? How is he even here? Something very bad has happened back home.

Man, I kind of miss Gale, at least as a character. It’s nice to see him back, but what the hell happened?

“Prim?” I gasp.

“She’s alive. So is your mother. I got them out in time,” he says.

WHAT?????? Got them out in time from what?

“After the Games, they sent in planes. Dropped firebombs.” He hesitates. “Well, you know what happened to the Hob.”

I can’t. I can’t even. What the fuck is going on.

“They’re not in District Twelve?” I repeat. As if saying it will somehow fend off the truth.

“Katniss,” Gale says softly.

I recognize that voice. It’s the same one he uses to approach wounded animals before he delivers a deathblow.

OH MY GOD. WHAT. WHAT. WHAT WHAT WHAT HAPPENED

“Don’t,” I whisper.

But Gale is not one to keep secrets from me. “Katniss, there is no District Twelve.”

FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

NEVER. FUCKING. PREPARED.

And because I’ve now reached the end of the second book:

Catching Fire is a flawed but much more entertaining and satisfying book than The Hunger Games and F U COLLINS for that cliffhanger.

good god.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

This entry was posted in Catching Fire, The Hunger Games and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

423 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 27

  1. bell_erin_a says:

    Before I run off to class in 2 minutes:

    See, you think you’re going to be okay. You made it through President Snow showing up at Katniss’s house, through the Quell announcement (although that was a close one), through Katpee’s baby, through the introduction of some insanely awesome Victors, through Cinna getting beat up (fuck you, Capitol), through Peeta not-dying, through the clock and the blood rain and the fog and the monkeys and the jabberjays and the bugs, through Mags’ and Wiress’s deaths (I still miss you guys), through the apparent betrayal of Johanna and Finnick and Beetee(?) in the last chapter, through Katniss blowing up the arena, through the rebels picking her up and the reintroduction of the D13 plot (oh hey, it’s been a while since we’ve seen you!), through Katniss going crazy, through Peeta NOT BEING PICKED UP BY THE REBELS WHAT THE HELL WHAT THE HELL, and you think you’re done. You’ve read the book and gotten through it. Okay, bring on Mockingjay. “Katniss, there is no District 12.” BAM! Collins manages to punch you in the face (thus giving you two black eyes, a bloody nose, and knocking out a few front teeth) in the last fucking sentence of the book. It’s… there are no words. I’m just so happy that I started reading these a few months ago and didn’t have to wait

    Also. FOOLS, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU NOT SAVE PEETA. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AND I DEMAND YOU CHANGE THE ENDING OF THE BOOK SO THAT HE COMES WITH. YOU CAN PICK UP JOHANNA AS WELL. I just hate thinking about what the Capitol will do to him (them), “they’ll soon find out he knows nothing” notwithstanding. DD:

    Mark, I know the ending destroyed you, but I hope you manage to reassemble the exploded pieces of your brain and put them back inside your head, because you’re really going to need them. Catching Fire is child’s play when it comes to the next book.

    (Written while endlessly refreshing the page, waiting for the next review to be posted because I have class in 30 minutes and I do NOT want to miss out on this. Will read actual review later. I think this is about as much of this chapter as I can handle for a few hours, anyway.)

    • monkeybutter says:

      Yeah, it's not consoling that "they'll soon find out he knows nothing," because that won't stop them from continuing to torture or kill him.

      Even though I don't like this chapter, I love the cliffhanger ending! It made the wait for Mockingjay excruciating.

    • Jasmin says:

      I think the Capitol just got to Peeta, Johanna, and Enobaria before the rebels could … I don't think they neglected/forgot them on purpose.

      Otherwise, I AGREE WITH YOU 100%.

  2. Ellie says:

    Now imagine you were waiting months, rather than a few days, to be able to read Mockingjay. Yeah, Collins is good with the cliffhangers. Or possibly I should say evil with the cliffhangers.

    • stellaaaaakris says:

      Yep. Read this back in December '09. When I got to that last line at 2 am, I might have shouted, "NOOOOO" and tossed the book on the ground. 8 months of agony with no one to talk to because nobody I knew read these books. GAHHHHHHHHH

      • knut_knut says:

        How did you live???!!!

      • monkeybutter says:

        YES. I had to start convincing people to read them so we could all go NOOOOOOO together!

      • aurorabora says:

        SRSLY. I read it right when it came out (September, I think?) and it was the same situation–finished it in the middle of the night, read the last line about 6 times and was like "FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!" And then I had crazy dreams all night, haha. Best/worst cliffhanger ever Y/Y?

      • xilopia says:

        This!
        But atleast my friends read the books too 😉

      • Harry Potter Fan 1 says:

        That's when I read it too. I couldn't put it down the whole time, you just start to recover from the SHIT GETTING REAL- then BAM! Collins melts, explodes, implodes and smashes your mind to bits, all at once! Then it's over and I had to wait 8 TOURTURE-filled months to find out WTF was going to happen! It was almost as bad as after Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, with Dumbledore dead and waiting for the conclusion to the series that is my life!

        Mark, you were never, are not, and will NEVER be prepared, for what Collins has in store.

        I read Mockingjay in less than eight hours, I only stopped for a couple minutes every so often to deal with the mind explosions- there were TONS! I feel sorry for you reading it chapter by chapter, I could never have done it!

    • agirlinport says:

      I can't even imagine! I mean, waiting for the HP books was bad, but at least Rowling would have something terrible happen, and then give you a chapter or two to cope or get used to the idea. She didn't leave you in utter turmoil like this!!! I'm so glad I waited to read this series so that I don't have to wait. I can start Mockingjay tomorrow. 🙂

    • QuoteMyFoot says:

      Actually, I have to say, I actually had no intention to read Mockingjay after finishing this. I didn't like the Hunger Games very much upon reflection, and Catching Fire was better, but I still didn't like it. The pacing was the major flaw, imo. We had too little time to get to love all the important characters at the end, so their deaths/fates didn't really interest me much. (I would personally have done the Quarter Quell earlier in the book, cutting out the Victory Tour, and lengthened the 'training' coverage at the Capitol, only with a focus on interaction with the other tributes than on the stuff we saw last time.) I didn't care much about District 12 either, so the ending? Meh. The only character I liked there was Gale, I think. Katniss' family were really just nonentities for me. The other mentioned characters were just not THERE enough for me to even really remember them, never mind mourn.

      That said, I got Mockingjay for christmas and then read it in like two days XD

    • fnoodles says:

      i read catching fire in april only had to wait for 4 or 5 months for mockingjay but yeah cliffhangers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • fuchsia says:

      I read it the day it came out and had to wait a whole year for Mockingjay. It was torture. (But the midnight release party and holing up in a hotel for 12 hours with four friends to read the last book was great.)

    • rowenaravenclaw says:

      SAME! I'd waited months for Catching Fire to come out and I read it in a day and half. Then another YEAR for Mockingjay! CURSE YOU COLLINS AND YOUR EVIL, EVIL CLIFF HANGERS!

    • Saber says:

      I went to the midnight release of Mockingjay, read it for three hours straight, got up at 7 and went to my musical rehearsal the next day. I still had the whole book done by noon

    • Annalebanana says:

      Yeah, I read THG only like 2 months after it first came out without any referrals to it (So no one to talk to about it, basically, until I screamed at everyone to read it a million times), then I had to wait almost a year for CF, and then I read that in a day and had to wait a whole other for Mockingjay to come out. It was torturous. I could only think of what would happen. I resorted to reading fanfic, of which there are only like two of actual quality in the entire universe! 😮 So feel lucky you can just pick up the book anytime you want and see what happens. It is horrible.

    • Elise says:

      there were no midnight release parties in my city, so I went up to Walmart w/ a couple friends at 11:50pm and asked a worker to go in the back and get us three copies. Totes could have gotten it even earlier! Also, the employee definitely thought we were crazy for wanting a book she had never heard of!

    • angelicamh28 says:

      Ugh! I remember that time! It was so excruciating having to wait for it! I had to wait for Catching Fire too, but that time wasn't as bad as having to wait for Mockingjay.

  3. bendemolena says:

    FOREVER UNPREPARED.

  4. Annie says:

    I agree, the resolution of Catching Fire seemed very rushed. I felt slightly disappointed, but only until PEETA IS IN THE CAPITOL AND THERE IS NO DISTRICT TWELVE ANYMORE because WHAT.
    (And now imagine having to wait MONTHS for Mockingjay.)

    • lemone says:

      I think the maximum page count that YA publishers apparently make authors work under (it was discussed some chapters back when things seemed oddly rushed. Apparently things that they KNOW will sell, like Twilight and HP are exempt?) is striking again.

      The ending cliffhanger is well done, and I think the rushed bit with the destruction of the arena will probably be better in the movie with some nice dramatic music and whatnot, and in the context of the book might be meant to represent the chaos of the situation/Katniss’s confusion. But yeah, it still feels weird and rushed to me as a reader.

      • Kadi says:

        But couldn't she have cut things earlier? The dresses for the wedding, for instance – though interesting, would have given them up in a hot minute to get a better written and more intriguing summary of what was going on in the book.

        Overall, this last chapter is a big part of why I liked the Hunger Games better than Catching Fire. The pacing was all over the place in the book (compare the Victory tour versus the arena) and I hated, hated, hated the way they presented the last part.

  5. Erica says:

    Best (and worst) cliffhanger ever.

  6. Emily WK says:

    I have love the animated gifs before, but never more than on this day. Those were amazing. Well done.

  7. pennylane27 says:

    Can you imagine having to wait for Mockingjay to come out? Thank god I read them last year, I think I stared at the last page in utter shock for half a minute before opening the next book. OH GOD MOTHER OF ALL CLIFFHANGERS.

    Your gif usage is flawless, as always.

    • andreah1234 says:

      HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

      You have all of the patience. HELL I CAN NOT WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT REVIEW FOR ME TO READ IT. I WANT IT NOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

      Mind blown me is Mind blown. I mean siriusly, WTF.

    • shortstack930 says:

      I read Catching Fire as soon as it came out and had to wait a whole effing YEAR for Mockingjay!! So much agony

  8. Anonymous says:

    PEETAAAAAA!!!!!! T_T

  9. stellaaaaakris says:

    I love that last line. It's so haunting in a way similar to Kingsley's "The Ministry has fallen. They're coming." AHHHHHHHHH, shivers up and down my spine.

    This chapter, with all its reveals, breaks my heart. Peeta. Poor Peeta. He's so full of goodness and now he's going to be tortured by the Capitol. And Johanna. And Chaff is dead. Why must the men from District 11 steal a piece of my heart and then crush it?

    I think this chapter provides good comparisons to the last bits of THG: Katniss is still trying to protect Peeta the only way she knows how. Last time, she ran to Haymitch in celebration, but now she wants to harm him. And she STILL has no control over her own life, a fact which I think warrants its own discussion. In THG, the Capitol erased her scars and wanted to surgically alter her to meet their standards of beauty. The rebels have made her the symbol of the rebellion without her consent, keeping her in the dark. Poor Katniss.

    Little side note, Katniss has only known she's the Mockingjay for like 10 minutes, but she's been the unknowing symbol of the revolution for significantly longer. She would have had to be for Bonnie and Twill to be on her side way back in Part 1/beginning of Part 2.

  10. knut_knut says:

    FUCKING CLIFFHANGERS!! How long did people have to wait for the next book? a year? SO CRUEL, COLLINS!!

  11. Lindsey says:

    What. A. Cliffhanger.
    Oh and… PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTAAAAAAAAA?????!!!!! 🙁

    • Kal says:

      Of course its a cliffhanger. All three books are kind of parallel in the way they're laid out. Also, Collins is a sadist. And I think that's more relevant than the parallel style thing.

  12. exbestfriend says:

    What happened in District 12?
    “Katniss…there is no District 12″
    <img src="http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lf5wrx8rjz1qzi154o1_r1_500.gif"&gt;

    …later I'll put together words, but right now? OMG my head is blown.

  13. Shanella says:

    *sigh of relief* Catching Fire is over.

    I disagree with her being the Mockingjay for less than a page. I think they used her the entire time, since the first games, as the Mockingjay, she was just unaware.

    • bendemolena says:

      True. Remember when she met the refugees in the forest, they had 'her mockingjay' baked into their bread? I think she may have been vaguely aware the whole time, even as far back as then. (Not to mention Cinna's epic badassery with her wedding dress.)

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        What I meant was that she had realized it on the same page that she was like BUT I'M THE MOCKINGJAY, HAYMITCH. It's like….give a second, dear.

  14. mugglemomof2 says:

    Just read the review.
    nice- I snorted with laughter before I even opened up your review. LMAO

    Ok, wait. Why are they keeping Beetee alive? Are they keeping everyone alive to torture them later? I don’t get this. I sort of expected them to separate the remaining tributes from everyone else. Hell, now I’m wondering…will there be a public victor declared? HOW IS THIS GOING TO WORK?
    sheer confusion and terror at this point…what is happening???

    Ok. Enough shenanigans. Time for everything to be uprooted and for my face to get punched by Suzanne Collins.
    Man, you are on a roll today….

    I can’t. I just can’t. I was so wrong. I was so, so, so wrong.
    How could you or anyone have known how crazy and incredible this whole thing would be???yes?

    This cliffhanger???? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! PEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAA! District 12!!!! Sob!

  15. Lila says:

    Think you're never prepared for THG and CF?

    You'll never even know what being prepared means by the time you read Mockingjay. MARK READING MOCKINGJAY= TOTALLY UNPREPARED FOR BEING UNPREPARED

    Aww, man. I srsly think waiting for your chapter reviews day-by-day is frustrating yet I don't want you to breeze through Mockingjay. PLEASE LET US PREPARE, DNW to be unprepared. I'll surely miss reading your blog once you're done with the series. *sniff* LOLwut I just can't wait for you to keysmash your way through Mockingjay. Mwehehehe. <3333

  16. Where’s Sassy Gay Friend to tell her to LOOK AT HER LIFE, LOOK AT HER CHOICES.
    Katniss, you're such a stupid bitch!

    Time for everything to be uprooted and for my face to get punched by Suzanne Collins.
    I told you to use protection.

    Haymitch. Haymitch is in on it. WHAT THE FUCK
    What the fuck? This is the fuck. THIS IS THE BIGGEST FUCK EVER.

    What happens next is amazing in content, but fucking awful in execution. There is absolutely no reason I can think of for Collins to suddenly revert away from first-person present to a segment of summary that is entirely in third person.
    It is sort of a mindbogglingly direct infodump, but every book is, like, the exact same number of pages, so this was probably the quickest way to get through this scene.

    I can’t. I just can’t. I was so wrong. I was so, so, so wrong.
    Haaaaa, what a wonderful GIF parade. And, now that I look at that section again, I think it's kind of awesome that Collins does it like that. Because it's just SO UNBELIEVABLE. All those sentences one after the other get your head spinning so quickly and so insanely, perhaps moreso than if we'd have had Katniss's specific reaction to each one as Haymitch explained.

    Collins YOU PLANNED THIS CLIFFHANGER ALL ALONG FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU
    Mwahahahaha.

    WHAT?????? Got them out in time from what?
    Oh! Oh yes! HERE IT COMES. (No, seriously, I said out loud, "Oh yes!" because I forgot about this, and I can't wait to see your reaction.)

    FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yeah, that about sums it up.

    Catching Fire is a flawed but much more entertaining and satisfying book than The Hunger Games and F U COLLINS for that cliffhanger.
    That too.

    I cannot believe people had to wait for a year for Mockingjay after this shit.

  17. monkeybutter says:

    Thank god you're done with this book so I can comment on the story. I liked Catching Fire far more than The Hunger Games until this chapter. It has a lot to do with what BradSmith and Mauve_Avenger were talking about yesterday: Collins kept Katniss ignorant to keep the readers confused, and dumping a surprise conspiracy explanation on us at the end is cheap. She could have written an equally thrilling novel with Katniss aware of a plan to get them out of the arena, but still be hazy on the details of how it'll happen and who to trust. Rather we get an paraphrased infodump from Haymitch (and there's no reason for that when you can pretty much throw in a smarmy "sweetheart" and put quotation marks around it). She could have written the same book without a copout "here's what happened" in the last chapter, and it would have better. It so frustrating when writers screw up a great plot like that.

    It is strange that all of this was acted out without Katniss’s consent and it sort of rubs me the wrong way, especially since she could have easily been killed. Right?

    Right. She's just a figurehead to them, like Robin mentioned last week, and it's completely fucked up. Katniss doesn't need a Sassy Gay Friend so much as she needs everyone around her to stop condescending to her like she's a stupid bitch.

    • doesntsparkle says:

      I see you're point. It's seems like Collins had an awesome last line, and arranged the last few chapters to accommodate the last line. Flawed, but still awesome.

    • FlameRaven says:

      Yeah, but…. Haymitch is right. Katniss is a completely oblivious teenager who doesn't have enough imagination to realize the consequences of ANYTHING, and who can't act her way out of a paper bag. The ONLY way for this plan to work was to keep her and Peeta in the dark. They could have told Peeta, who can act, but I think he'd have been tempted to let something slip to console Katniss. But telling Katniss? No. She'd give it away in five seconds. I mean, it's not like they didn't give her hints– namely all the tributes working to protect her and Peeta!– but she just didn't get it.

      I think the plot works well; we wouldn't feel the immediacy of the situation if we weren't in Katniss' head, but the problem with being in Katniss' head is that she has EXTREME tunnel-vision. Part of this is from her own damaged perspective, and part of it is because she's a teenager and teenagers are often self-centered idiots who are oblivious to the larger world.

      Would more plot details probably make a better story? Sure. But they wouldn't work for the technique Collins has chosen.

      • monkeybutter says:

        She wouldn't need to know the details of the plan, she just needs to know that there is a plan. There could still be a question of whether or not the other Tributes are actually on her side, or just trying to get in good with her to double-cross her.

        Katniss is not an idiot, and even if she knew that they were planning a way out, she would still be focused on saving Peeta. Besides, they're both experts at lying to each other. Collins could have kept the same level of plot detail, the same twists and turns, and simply have Katniss and Peeta know that there is a plan (not what the plan is, or who's in on it, just that there's an effort to get them out and they must not give it away). No changes to writing style, pacing, or detail.

        Anticipation is what makes the story exciting; you don't need an M. Night Shyamalan surprise ending. That's not much of a technique.

        • tethysdust says:

          To be honest, if Katniss were a just a little bit smarter, she would have known there was a plan. At various times, various people tried really hard to tell her with subtle hints. Most of these times were in the Capitol, though, so they couldn't just say it straight out because of surveillance.

          I would have liked it if Katniss were brighter, and had been able to figure at least some of it out. I just feel like its a little unfair to say "Someone should have told her something was up!", because, well, they tried.

          • Tabbyclaw says:

            It really is a no-win situation. They can horribly manipulate their hero, or they can tell her some of what's going on and pray that she doesn't decide to change the plan halfway through because she's lacking in the impulse control and forward planning areas. I totally get the desire to make your protagonist a flawed character who makes mistakes and isn't the perfect hero, but Collins went way too far in the other direction.

          • monkeybutter says:

            Fair enough. Haymitch reminded her who the enemy was, after all. I just don't like the way this chapter was handled, sorry.

            • tethysdust says:

              Oh, I didn't really like the execution of the chapter either. I mostly meant that I would have preferred having Katniss be more observant, rather than having all the rebels be more obvious about their plans.

          • agirlinport says:

            I don't know if it's necessarily that Katniss isn't bright enough. It seems that way to us because it's a lot more obvious to us that something is going on. For Katniss, she's been thrown into a game where she has to MURDER people to live. She's already lived through it once. She's immensely damaged from being manipulated in this way. So is her first thought going to be, "oh, maybe the people of the Capitol are trying to help me? Or maybe Haymitch, who I expect more than anyone to be straight with me at this point, actually has a super secret agenda which he didn't really ever reveal to me in any way at all?" I think the fact that she didn't see all the signs is perfectly legitimate, and is no reflection on her intelligence. I don't think I could have done any better in her place. Plus, no one ever even gives her a chance to prove that she can do it. They all assume she's a liability when she's the one who has managed all this time to keep herself alive and help others in the process. I just think it's all a little bogus. Of course, I'm talking about the characters' behavior in the story, not the writing or the story itself. That was all pretty well done, except for that giant info dump in the last chapter.

      • Inessa says:

        I agree to an extent, they would have taken a big risk on Katniss not being able to pull it off. But, at the end of the day, like it or not, Katniss, the oblivious teenager, is what they had to work with. Apart from the fact that she could have been killed, she could well have killed Finnick or some of the others. If her and Peeta's lives were being risked, they should have had some opprtunity to consent. Besides, even if she can't act, Peeta could spin her reactions to a different context (like whe he said he had a crush on her in HG)

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Yes, Monkeybutter, thank you. This final chapter was an insult to any reader's intelligence; Katniss' behavior was beyond unbelievable. Murdering Peeta!? Are you kidding me!? Not to mention how everyone else that was in on the plan appears now. "Let's not tell Katniss––even AFTER we've escaped! LOL!"

      And that exposition––! The most abysmal let-down in this series yet. The mystery of District 13 is just CONFIRMED!? Stated, in the most boring way possible!? In TWO freaking sentences!? "Oh, turns out it's real!"

      Horrible. Atrocious. I can't comprehend this. What was Collins thinking? Any excitement I might have felt for the ending just went flying away along with all of the author's tact, skill, and respect.

      • monkeybutter says:

        In Katniss's defense, she was stabbed, electrocuted, drugged up, and suffering from self-inflicted head wounds because they couldn't bring themselves to tell her the truth. Just so it would be more ~suspenseful~ when she wanders out and they tell her "Oh, hey, we're going to Thirteen. What's with the angry face?" If, say, Katniss knew there was a plot to get her out, there could have been more build-up to the reveal about District 13, and the end would have been exciting and satisfying. There's a good cliffhanger about District 12 being destroyed, but the infodump is anticlimactic.

        • castlejune says:

          I actually liked the infodump because it captured what Katniss was feeling: utter, complete and total shock, so much so that it is as if all important facts and mysteries, which normally would be big reveals, are trivial data points. Katniss is numb to it all, and that is exactly how it comes off. Plus, she doesn't really care about district 13 or its "mysteries", she doesn't particularly care about the rebellion or the victor conspiracy, nor about all the technical aspects of the plan, like the bread, or Plutarch's involvement, are even less important to her.

          What she cares about, what she has ALWAYS cared about, is her own personal survival and the survival of those she loves. That, along with the fact that she is young, impulsive, and can't really "act" contributed to the conspirators not wanting her in on the loop. She is the symbol of the rebellion, and although she hates the capital, giving up her life or the lives of the ones she loves for the "cause", like all the other tributes did is just not within her character. It is obvious that all the victors in the conspiracy put "the plan" ahead of their personal AND their loved one's ( Finnick and Mags, Beetree and Wiress) safety, and Katniss wouldn't do that, especially where Peeta is concerned. She isn't utterly dedicated to the concept of rebellion, so they couldn't really risk including her.

      • izzybella says:

        But I think the point is this-that Katniss has no say/no control whatsoever in this war. I'm possibly digging too deep here, but that's such a characteristic of war-to take a completely innocent person or experience and turn into some type of martyrdom for the purposes of uniting people to one single cause. I think given Katniss the choice, she would have gotten Prim and her mother the hell out of district 12 rather than become some symbolical leader in a war. Yes, she's badass and yes, she will resort to extreme measures, but it's generally ONLY to save people she personally knows and loves.

        This is probably an idiotic example, but look at how Jessica Lynch was turned into some type of symbol for the Iraq war. I don't think that was her idea. She went along with it, but she was a cog in a much more complicated piece of machinery. That's what Katniss is. She was first exploited by President Snow, and now she's being exploited by the leaders of the revolution. That's what I get out of these novels-just the tragedy and idiocy of war and the role, voluntary or otherwise, that each of us play in it.

        That was convoluted I know.

    • liliaeth says:

      But that's the whole point, that to the rebellion she's just a figurehead. It's meant to show a comparison between the rebels and the Capitol. She full on intended Katniss to be unaware, not to shock the reader, but to make that comparison clear.

    • residentgamer says:

      While i sort of like the shock of it all, I agree it was just a short infodump and a pretty crappy one at that. And I totally agree with your figurehead statement. Ugh that pissed me off so much. But i do like the this book more the Hunger Games.

    • Robin says:

      I'm sure it's not surprising that I agree with you. For me, the most annoying part about how Katniss is being cast in the rebellion isn't that it's entirely out of left-field or inappropriate for the story. I can understand the motivations of the characters' for keeping her in the dark (except… not really, since Katniss would probably realize that going along with the plan to destroy the arena would be the best chance of getting Peeta as well as herself out alive. And I'd have to say she's done pretty well at being convincing when it really counts, so…). My issue is that Collins has made the deliberate choice to write her only as a figurehead and this book has basically served to deny Katniss any sort of agency that she might have gained in the first book, which is deeply troubling. It also really pisses me off that, as far as we can see, all of the people who have been actively manipulating Katniss are men, making the gendered aspects of the scenario really blatant: it's the men who are active in shaping the revolution, while Katniss is used without her consent as a source of inspiration.

      Honestly, if Mockingjay ends up going the way I think it's going (Virginia, Lucrece, etc.) I will be ALL CAPS RAEG.

      Also. From a purely selfish standpoint, the decision to have the revolution proceed without Katniss's knowledge is really annoying because the inner workings of the revolution are really interesting to me AND I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THEM NOW.

    • Annalebanana says:

      A major theme of these books is how Katniss never DOES have her own free will. She is used as a pawn in everyone's game. The Capitol uses her, the rebels use her, and nobody ever bothers to find out how she really feels about the rebellion. It wasn't Collins being stupid that led to her writing Katniss as ignorant of the plans, it was here being clever in pointing out that there is not a clear black in white in the issue, and that everyone is trying to use her for their "greater causes." It really is tragic how people can be used in such a way, even by their friends for war.

      • monkeybutter says:

        I thought I replied to this, but I guess not! I think my first post wasn't very well-written. I have no problem with the realism of political groups using figureheads and appreciate that Collins has included that in the story. My anger about that is directed at the characters for their treatment of Katniss. My problem with Collins was that Katniss was unrealistically oblivious to the rescue plan — unless, of course, she is the stupidest person in the world and shouldn't be in on any plans — to keep the reader confused in order to create suspense. And that resulted in this disappointing final chapter where Haymitch swoops in and explains everything in a few sentences.

  18. Mary says:

    "FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!" NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
    PEETAAAAAA!!! D:

  19. andreah1234 says:

    *deep breath* Ok, now that I got the "WTF F U COLLINS WHAT IS THIS SHIT" out of my sistem I think I can comment properly now. I think.

    Mark, I guess they warned you that you weren't prepared. And you weren't (neither was I, but whatever this isn't about me). The last completly killed my brain, No District 12. I mean what the fuck is that. And it makes me wonder, how in hell did Gale got Prim and Kat's mom out before it all went to hell?? I hope it's explain in the next book, and maybe then I might like Gale a bit more. F U COLLINS WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO PEETA. I WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS. Finnick!!!! I'm glad you're alive love! And Fuck his life is still tragic. AWESOME. NOT. BTW Mark I think the person he was talking about in district 4 is Annie not Johanna, you know girl he loves, and that went completly mad in the games?. And that line Kat said about the Capitol using her for bait and to hurt her to hurt Finnick totally broke my heart, Girl I know you're deppresed and shit but dude tried to save your life, please be a little more grateful next time OKTHXBYE. JOHANNA!!!!!! PLEASE DON'T DIE WE NEED YOUR BADASSERY OVER HERE. Haymitch you clever bastard ILU. Plutarch &lt;3 &lt;3 &lt;3 I KNEW HE WAS GOOD I CALLED IT YES!!!!!

    Alright that was almost coherent. Very nice self *pats self on back*. And now it's time for all the CAPSLOCK.

    ALSDHUDFXFCGJGFJKFGHILUASHDLAU SHIT I WANT MOCKINGJAY RIGHT NOOOOOOWWWWWWWW. 😀 😀

    ETA: Gifs= flawless as usual.

  20. Booksinbulk says:

    I didn’t take katniss’ mockingjay remark to be all “yea what I’m the mockingjay can’t touch this,” I took it more like…..hm how to explain. Like she almost wishes haymitch would turn around and smack the suit out of her for clawing his face apart but he won’t because, whoop de doo I’m the mockingjay and already it’s hard keeping my psycho depressed suicidal self alive…

    Does this make sense? Hm.

  21. Ishii_Era says:

    Imagine waiting a year for Mockingjay to come out after that.

  22. feminerdist says:

    I just stared at the book with my mouth open for about 5 minutes straight when I read that District 12 was gone. Just gone. I couldn't believe Collins went there. I had a number of "HOLY SHIT OMFG" reactions throughout the books, but I clearly remember just sitting there and staring at the page in utter shock and disbelif at this part.

    And slightly unrelated note: the Oscar nominations came out today, and Hailee Steinfeld got a Supporting Actress Nod for her performance in True Grit. She was absolutely fantastic in that movie, and I believe she would be the perfect Katniss. She's the right age, has a badass attitude, and most importantly, she is a good actress. Okay random aside finished!

    • rowenaravenclaw says:

      totz agree with Hailee Steinfeld as Katniss.

    • bookling says:

      I haven't gotten a chance to see True Grit yet, but so far she seems like the best choice of the actresses I've heard being rumored for the part.

      • feminerdist says:

        Oh she's being rumored for the part? I didn't hear that!!! That's exciting news! I just know they're casting and she was so damn good in True Grit that my mind went "HER!" for Katniss.

  23. cait0716 says:

    Dr. Kevorkian was a proponent of allowing and assisting terminally ill patients to end their own lives on their own terms. Katniss was planning a "mercy killing" that wouldn't have taken Peeta's feelings into account. Not the same thing.

    It is strange that all of this was acted out without Katniss’s consent and it sort of rubs me the wrong way, especially since she could have easily been killed. This. So much this. There's a big issue with lack of consent here and it's at the heart of why, ultimately, I'm not on Team Cinna. I got the impression that he was in on this with Plutarch and Haymitch the entire time. He dressed Katniss up as the Mockingjay, made her the symbol of the rebellion, and never asked her permission or consent. Sure, they were friends, and he may or may not have had this intention from the get-go. But he never gave Katniss the option of wearing the Mockingjay gown and sparking a rebellion that very nearly got her family killed. I have issues with that.

  24. Deimos says:

    "You’ve been the mockingjay for less than a page. Calm down."

    I would argue that Katniss has been the mockingjay since she pulled the berries out in the first arena, but has blissfully been unaware of her status, since for the most part Katniss keeps a more centralized focus of her friends and family rather than Panem as a whole. At least in the beginning.

    That said, I agree that utter despair and desolation that she feels after everything is revealed is completely valid and really well, and realistically done. It is an utter black cloud of "UGHHH DO NOT WANT" hanging over the reader.

    On a lighter note, I was so happy when it was revealed that Finnick was in on everything and was helping them out of genuine desire to, because I absolutely LOVE him as a character; he is awesome all across the board.

    In conclusion: excellent use of gifs was excellent.

  25. stellaaaaakris says:

    Theories (and queries) galore! (Listen, I'm sorry but I'm full of bad rhymes and cheesy puns and portmanteaus and I like to share them.) All based on THG and CF. My memory of Mockingjay is very spotty.

    I have lots of very important thoughts and questions that need airing.

    QUESTIONS
    1. How did they plan this rebellion? I could understand if it was Plutarch's group who did most of the planning of the actual breakout, but when were all the other Victors approached to join the alliance?
    2. I understand Districts 1 and 2, but why weren't 5, 9, and 10 informed of the plan? Would so many Victors sacrificing themselves to save Katppe have been too suspicious? Did Haymitch and Co. judge the Victors reaped would care more about saving themselves than the rebellion?
    3. How would they have escaped had Beetee died? That's a lot of pressure to put on one older guy who isn't much of a fighter.

    THEORIES
    1. Haymitch used the time when Katpee were chilling on the roof to talk to the allied Districts and explain the details and give Finnick his bracelet.
    2. Those of the alliance who didn't live through the bloodbath tried to take out as many from 1, 2, 5, 9, and 10 as they could.
    3. Chaff used Thresh's invisibility cloak to remain hidden while he tracked Katpee and co., ready to eliminate any threat they could not handle. He followed Brutus and Enobaria and took out Brutus but was fatally hurt in the struggle and died before he could finish off Enobaria.

    • notemily says:

      I feel like it would have to have been planned VERY CAREFULLY. Like, you know the Capitol has surveillance stuff everywhere, so it must have been difficult as hell to find a time/place to talk about this stuff. And I bet that they only approached victors they were SURE would be open to the idea, or else they might be betrayed before they even got a chance to carry out the plan.

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        I agree. But how did they plan it? It's not like they can go to the other Districts and plot. The phones are very likely bugged. Or did Plutarch and his rebel band of merry men plan to blow up the arena this Quell, whatever the circumstances? And then when the card was read, they realized Katniss was going to be back in and thought it was the perfect opportunity? And then they all spoke in code and approached the Victor Tributes only when they were at the training center?

        Why do I obsess so over fictional worlds? Maybe the movie will tell us, if CF gets a movie too – I really hope it does. Or the end of the trilogy might shed some light, I hope.

        • tethysdust says:

          Well, all the victors have been pretty much hanging out together every Hunger Games for years and years. I'm guessing the older ones kind of worked out a way to communicate without being overheard (nuanced conversation, hand signals, etc.) and then they each talked it over with the younger ones back at their districts. I guess I'm assuming that this rebellion has been years in the making, and they started it now because KatPee provided such a lovely figurehead.

          • stellaaaaakris says:

            Hmm, very true. Even Katniss, one of the least subtle characters ever, manages to get some coded communication about the uprisings in 3 with Beetee and Wiress. The other Victors would have had years to practice.

    • accio doublestuff says:

      3. How would they have escaped had Beetee died? That's a lot of pressure to put on one older guy who isn't much of a fighter.

      I know, right? So much of this depends on chance. I almost feel like their attitude was, "well, this is completely impossible so let's just do it anyway". Because think about all the things that had to fall into place. Even Katniss deciding to get the wire from Wiress' body after she died…she easily could have not done that. And then they all would have been screwed. Or Enobaria could have decided to slit Beetee's throat. They put so much faith in someone (Katniss) who is almost completely mentally unstable (not judging/faulting her AT ALL for this btw) at the beginning of the games….what if she just decided to kill everyone in sight upon entering the games? what if she decided to kill herself? what if …EVERYTHING?

      i guess the end of this, i don't know how else collins could have done it, but it seems a little too… convenient. granted, a lot of harry potter is like this and i still greatly enjoy it. but just sayin'. the odds of this working out were extremely low, and they didn't seem to do anything to help them out, considering that they were planning this for YEARS. it's hard to believe that if plutarch was going to invest so much effort into this, he didn't do more to ensure that it worked.

      • Saber says:

        I think Johanna or Finnick would have been more then eager to go and blow up the arena if Beetee was dead. I was under the impression it was more like "Beetee is the best one, because they won't be watching him if Johanna and Katniss are fighting in the middle of the woods, but make sure SOMEONE does it."

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        I totally agree. Siriusly, nobody besides Beetee had a plan for how to get out of the arena. What would the rebels have done to escape? Maybe shoot an arrow attached to wire from their hovercraft, but still. So much of this depends on just luck. I could accept this if they had backup plans of some sort, but it doesn't seem that way at all.

        With HP, I don't think it was nearly as bad. The plot would not have fallen apart had Harry not overheard Draco and Snape whispering. That's the difference. In HP world, what Harry overhears tends to confirm his beliefs (often mistakenly), but, in most cases, he would've acted in a similar if not identical manner. The only time that really stands out to me is when Snape passes his memories to Harry. If Harry hadn't been there or if Voldemort had used the killing curse, things would have been screwed up.

        Sorry, I've missed talking about HP.

        • Openattheclose says:

          "Sorry, I've missed talking about HP."
          ME TOO. About Snape, I think he was trying to find Harry to give him the memories before McGonagall and Company kicked him out of the school. Even in the Shack, he was begging to go find Potter.

        • notemily says:

          Voldy thought he couldn't use the killing curse b/c of the Elder Wand nonsense. But it is kind of by chance that he was there for Snape's last moments.

  26. QuoteMyFoot says:

    Return of the graph! With correctly labelled axis this time!

    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><img src="http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i124/holliequ/mark-graph-1.png"&gt;

    Mark, you have no idea how unprepared you are for Mockinjay! I'm not actually sure your unpreparedness can be represented in 2D anymore. I am SO EXCITE for you to read it.

  27. Kaybee42 says:

    THE WORST BIT OF THIS ENTIRE CHAPTER WAS REVEALING THAT JOHANNA WAS GOOD AND THEN MAKING HER BE CAPTURED BY THE CAPITOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You FINALLY tell me she is good (YAY!) and then you practically guarantee her DEATH! Or at least make sure that she wont be in at least HALF of Mockingjay. DAMN YOU COLLINS, YOU BURN IN HELL!
    “We had to save you because you’re the mockingjay, Katniss,”
    So Mockingjay is about Katniss being the face of the revolution? or something? I guess…
    Also Mark saying "You've been the mockingjay for less than a page- calm down!" made me LOL so hard!
    Also, calling it now, Peeta's gonna die! He HAS to! Or if he doesn't die then he will be rescued and they will finally go into the whole love triangle schtick with Katniss and Gale. For what it's worth, I prefer Gale but I bet it would be Peeta that ends up with her.

  28. mr. mowgli says:

    NOOOO! Anyone but my Johanna!

  29. herpestidae says:

    "Secondly, isn’t that just a myth that you can inject air into someone’s veins like that?"

    Let me consult my good friend Wikipedia:

    For venous air embolisms, death may occur if a large bubble of gas becomes lodged in the heart, stopping blood from flowing from the right ventricle to the lungs (this is similar to vapor lock in engine fuel systems).[citation needed] However, experiments in animals show that the amount of gas necessary for this to happen is quite variable, and also depends on several other factors, such as body position.[citation needed] Very large and symptomatic amounts of venous air emboli may also occur in rapid decompression in severe diving or decompression accidents, where they may interfere with circulation in the lungs and result in a choking sensation or hypoxia.[citation needed]

    … Looks like it could go either way.

    • cait0716 says:

      So many citations needed. Thanks for including all of those.

    • notemily says:

      CITATION NEEDED

    • Stephanie says:

      I don't think that Katniss was exactly educated by Wikipedia (lol) the way we are. I had no idea whether it was true or not, and she didn't seem to have any alternatives. I mean, as far as killing Peeta goes. She could always just not do it.

      • notemily says:

        Here's my wild guess: Katniss saw her mother inject people before and saw her make sure that there was no air in the syringe. She asked why and her mom said "it could kill you if an air bubble gets to your heart." So that's where she got the idea. Unless they have, like, medical dramas on Panem TV.

  30. lilygirl says:

    OK wild conspiracy theory. Wildest is that the whole D12 reaping of Prim and Peeta was fixed. Plutarch says they have been looking for the “face” of the rebellion. Sweet Prim, so sad, then BAMF sister steps up and takes her place. Katness is trying not to cry, staring the officials down, in full top predator FU mode. Picture that on the TV. Haymitch already knows she has the skills and guts to win, and that line from Peeta in the first interview “she has no idea the effect she has on people” really makes her the ideal symbol of the Rebellion. All the “dismissal” moments by Haymitch and the games makers force her to “act out” and proves that she will come up with something viewer worthy. Not so wild, it was here at this reaping that the rebels fixed on Katness.

    The romance is a great hook. Peeta is attractive, self effacing, articulate. Again I think Haymitch has been scouting for the rebels and knows that there maybe something there to work with, he may even knows that Peeta has feeling for Katness.

    Cinna is brilliant, a full battleground general brilliant, but the those outfits from conception, engineering, manufacturing, constructing testing and then perfect execution all in a week or so? I really think some of that was already done or in the works and those outfits were specific to D12.

    The Mockingjay Pin. Madge gives it to Katness and makes her promise (several times) to wear it ALL THE TIME I think some of the public/tributes will remember that pin from the Quarter Quell, Haymitch certainly would.

    Conspiracies are amusing, but it takes a brilliant battleground general to even make you think about them. You rock Collins

    • Trapp says:

      YES WE NEED MORE CONSPIRACY THEORIES.
      C'mon people, reassemble your brains and bring it on!

      (yours is awesome, btw OP)

  31. Courtney says:

    Can you imagine having read Catching Fire *months* before Mockingjay had even been released??

    YOU THINK THAT CLIFFHANGER WAS BAD FOR YOU?!?!

    *pants*

  32. bingo007 says:

    one of the best cliffhangers ever.punching finish.
    and i think injecting air into a vein(more than 15 ml)can lead to heart failure.and there is also a risk of air emboli. and mark fyi,eclipse gar been nominated for 9 razzies.lol.

    • Ellie says:

      I realize this is pretty off-topic, but I misread “punching finish” in your comment as “punching finnick” and got majorly confused about when anyone had punched Finnick. LOL

  33. qwopisinthemailbox says:

    WHAT. WHAT AM I READING WHAT.

  34. shortstack930 says:

    I remember reading Catching Fire the day it was released and just staring blankly at the last page like WTF I have to wait a YEAR for the next book?!! You can tell I was first in line at Barnes & Noble the day Mockingjay was released.

    The fact that Katniss was trying so hard to keep Peeta alive and he still got captured by the Capitol is so depressing. And that Joanna was actually trying to help Katniss and was also captured is just awful. Oh and I think the person Finnick wanted to get from District 4 was Annie, the girl he loves.

    So excited for you to start Mockingjay! You are never going to be prepared!

  35. Yusra says:

    What did I tell you, eh Mark?
    Never prepared.

  36. Sophie says:

    I had to wait a day and a half after reading Catching Fire to read Mockingjay, and it was the hardest day and a half of my life! I remember obsessively flipping pages thinking "It can't possible end here!"

    I'm so glad I didn't read this when it came out. I couldn't imagine having to wait a year for Mockingjay.

  37. karadudz says:

    This book is like cliffhanger after cliffhanger followed by an even bigger cliffhanger. I've said this before and I'll say it again: HOW IN THE WORLD DID THOSE PEOPLE WHO READ THESE BOOKS IN REAL-TIME COPE WITH NOT KNOWING ABOUT PEETA'S WELL BEING OR DISTRICT 12 AND THE UPRISINGS?!?!

    But then it also reminds me that even though these books are not entirely well-written, there's a sort of epicness that comes with it. With Catching Fire ending this way, Katniss was informed in a summary-like way but for us readers, we actually get to feel the way Katniss is supposed to feel in the book. Confused, angry, shocked, etc…
    There's a characteristic in these books that reels us into how Katniss feels that makes us feel like we're victims of the Capitol as well. (The fact that it's written in first-person POV has a little bit of help lol) ALL IN ALL IT'S JUST INTENSE.

    ALSO… Where are you starting Mockingjay? =D

  38. Blabbla says:

    "Never prepared."

    Also known as the catchphrase of some less optimistic boyscouts.

  39. thefbm says:

    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><IMG border="'0'//" src="http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/3347/scaredx.gif"&gt;
    That is all.

  40. Saber says:

    My whole reaction to reading thise reveiw was insane and high-pitched laugher.
    I'll post something more useful after I get myself under control but THANK YOU THIS IS JUST WHAT I NEEDED AFTER A MATH EXAM

  41. Trapp says:

    I think the best way to enjoy THG trilogy to read all three books in one sitting and get your mind blown in one huge explosion. That's why it was so frakkin awesome for me. Re-reading with Mark chapter-by-chapter gives me time to look at each situations from different viewpoints. Still, I prefer having my brain nuked.

    There is absolutely no reason I can think of for Collins to suddenly revert away from first-person present to a segment of summary that is entirely in third person. It’s jarring and we just lost a moment to experience Katniss’s head exploding at the revelation that Haymitch provides.

    Yeah, while i do agree that the execution of the scene is terrible, we should remember that Collins writes visually. AND FRAK YEAH THIS SCENE WILL LOOK AMAZING ON SCREEN with awesome flashbacks (of the tributes/Haymitch/everyone else conspiring together looking badass) and Haymitch doing the voice-over.
    Collins probably never intended it to be in dialogue, Katniss interrupting and all that. Visually uninteresting.

    And
    "There's no District 12"
    BAM black screen.

    • That's a really good point about writing visually! She probably had the whole montage in her head. It does have that Movie Plot Twist feel to it.

      "There's no District 12"
      BAM black screen.

      GIACCHINO STING!

    • karadudz says:

      The only problem with reading the trilogy in one long sitting is that you read the book so quickly you will definitely skip over tiny details that are actually really important pieces of information.

      But I do agree about brain nuking. That IS a lot of fun. HEHE

  42. FlameRaven says:

    "There is no District 12" is my second favorite line of this book, right after Johanna's "WOULDN'T WANT THE WHOLE COUNTRY IN REBELLION! WOULDN'T WANT THAT, WOULD WE?!" shouted at the sky. It is such a huge kick to the gut.

    Also, if you thought you were unprepared for this book, you cannot be prepared for Mockingjay. Shit is INTENSE.

  43. Matthew says:

    I am surprised Mark didn't make a comment about the best line in the book:

    "This is why we don't let you make the plans"

    Seriously, one of the things I like about the 2 books of the trilogy I have read so far is that they have a stupid heroine. Or a naive one, at least.

    Wait, wait, let me explain myself:

    I feel that often, popular culture, whether aimed at women or men, portrays men as oafish, insensitive dolts. All men are basically Homer Simpson. Whereas popular culture often shows women as being intuitive and sensitive to people's motivations.

    And then we have Katniss. Katniss isn't really stupid. She was raised in a culture where she has a small scope, and not very experienced at the whole gamut of human emotions. But while she isn't stupid, she is fairly unaware of what is going on around her.

    So, in some ways, I like that a female character has been portrayed realistically, in that she doesn't always have access to some intuitive source of information that lets her always be one step ahead of those around her.

  44. ilram says:

    I can't help but imagine a dooming DO DO DOOOOOOOOOOM sound after "There is no district 12"
    Or maybe this
    <img src="http://i508.photobucket.com/albums/s321/MonkeeSee/Gifs/lost.gif"&gt;

  45. ohheyitsalliek says:

    Okay now that my brain can function… I agree that Katniss should have been a little involved or at least have known a LITTLE about the rebellion. It reminds me of when she and Haymitch were keeping Peeta out of the loop on the Victory Tour (and I guess the first Hunger Games) with their little agreements and whatnot.

    It isn't fair and even if they thought Katniss would have screwed up if she had known, couldn't she have screwed up by killing Finnick, Beetee or Johanna off the bat and ruining the plan completely? Not telling her about it seems WAY more risky to me.

    • DTDRC says:

      I do agree that it isn't fair to force Katniss into this mockingjay role and make all these plans behind her back. If she had been told though, I don't think she would have gone along with the plans at all. As soon as she got reaped into the Quell, she went to Haymitch and made him promise to keep Peeta alive. If he had then said, "No, Peeta and a bunch of other tributes are going to focus on keeping you alive.", would she have agreed? Also, if she had been privy to the plan and rejected it, she most likely would have actively worked to foil it.

      • notemily says:

        Yeah, that's true. Also, I think they partly kept her in the dark to keep her "innocent" in her role, so the Capitol couldn't just kill her and be done with it. Like when Cinna made her the dress, he made sure she didn't know what it was going to do, so that he would be the one punished and not her.

        Cinnnaaaa *single tear*

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        "Peeta and a bunch of other tributes are going to focus on keeping as many people as possible alive and getting them out of the arena," though. They don't have to tell her it's for her benefit specifically.

    • thatonegirl says:

      I agree that they really could have told Katniss at least something but I have to defend Haymitch (mostly because I love him, not necessarily because he deserves it).
      He told them to make allies, and he specifically mentioned that she should consider Finnick, so I think he was trying to steer her in the "don't kill him" direction. She told Haymitch that she wanted Beetee and Wiress and Mags, so I don't think he was worried about her taking them out. And Mags and Finnick were sort of a package deal, I think. Haymitch also specifically mentioned Brutus wanted to be her ally, maybe to see what Katniss thought about him. Even if he didn't tell them there was a plan, I think he was still trying to point them in the right direction.

      • ohheyitsalliek says:

        Yeah, that's true, but if they can't depend on Katniss when she DOES know things (which is what I thought Haymitch was insinuating) then it could have been a catastrophe because they all know she doesn't like to listen to orders from him.

        I understand their reasoning for why they didn't tell her, but maybe if she had been included a little, she wouldn't have left Peeta and then he would be trapped in the Capitol with Johanna. 🙁 🙁

      • Saber says:

        No, Haymitch didn't. Katniss mentined Brutus. (How the hell do I remember this?)

        page 223:

        "So we're to try and get in with Finnick and Brutus- is that what you're saying?"

        "Not necessarily. Everyone's a victor. […] Although Finnick's not to be ignored." Says Haymitch.

        Haymitch wanted her to ignore Brutus but align with Finnick, because he was in on the plan.

  46. potlid007 says:

    KATNISS
    <img src="http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t277/bbanana06/gifs/123_stupidbitch.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Sassy gay friend Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    But seriously rebels,
    look at your life, look at your choices. you drug and kidnap your star player. WHAT WHAT WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
    <img src="http://i1002.photobucket.com/albums/af146/savvylikeyeahhh/GIFs/gaystupidbitch.gif&quot; border="0" alt="sassy gay friend stupid Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    AND COLLINS WTF??!!?!?!?!?
    <img src="http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i473/Cinematicssheehan/Angry-Mal.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Cherrybomb Gif Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  47. Clare says:

    This is the part where I threw the book at the wall and yelled WHAT! WHAT!? Suzanne Collins- HOW COULD YOU!?!

  48. Saber says:

    AN allow me to introduce you to one of the saddest parts of this chapter, simply because it is so understated.

    He [Finnick] croaks out something else. Something heavy with dispair.

    "Don't be stupid. That's the worst thing you can do. Get her killed for sure. As long as you're alive, they'll keep her alive as bait" says Haymitch

    We don't get to focus on it, because right then it's OMG HAYMTICH WHAT?!
    But when I re-read it makes me sad. 🙁 He's asking that if he gave himself up would they let Annie go.

  49. Integrity1584 says:

    After reading some of the THG blog, I decided I'd get the books and try to read along with you. I read Twilight when it came out and I've read HP a million times and really enjoyed following your blog. I got all three books for Christmas and read them in about 48 hours over the course of three calendar days. I stopped reading only to sleep (continued reading through meals, brushing teeth etc) until I got to the end of this book. My mind was so blown I just stopped and stared around the room in complete shock. My mom said she'd never seen me look so baffled in my life. I took about an hour break before Mockingjay just to let my poor brain put itself back together enough to process it.

    Collins is lucky that she has such mind-blowing plots, cause she can really drop the ball in the writing deparment. That info drop was so bland, it wouldn't have been that hard for it to be dialogue. But on the other hand… "There is no District 12." Seriously, what a spine-tingling line, second only to "The ministry has fallen. Scringeour is dead. They are coming." Both of those give me shivers every time I read them.

  50. prideofportree says:

    Them using Katniss without her being in on the plan is very much like Dumbledore using Harry and planning to let him be killed.

    One of the reasons Dumby stopped being my favourite character. :/

  51. Cara says:

    I have been waiting ALL FREAKING BOOK for you to get to that insane last line. *lets out a breath i've been holding for THE ENTIRE FREAKING BOOK* you were never ever prepared. you're not prepared for the next book either, just to let you know.

  52. bookling says:

    I’m on my phone at work, so I can’t log in properly, but WE TOLD YOU YOU WERE NOT PREPARED. Also I am very jealous that you can read mockingjay immediately because I read an ARC of Cathing Fire back in may of 2009 and had to wait more than a year for the next book! It was TERRIBLE. Almost a worse cliffhanger than any of the HP books.

  53. Turq says:

    Don't you feel sorry for those who read the series before Mockingjay came out? Some people had to wait nearly a year to figure out what the heck happened. Needless to say, many interesting theories spawned. What do you think happened? *giggle because I know*
    I've been waiting for your reaction for a while, and it was totally worth it.
    SC only gets more evil from here on out guys, strap on your seatbelts, it's a wild ride!

  54. ptarmigan says:

    PS,
    this is the best your hair has ever looked.
    I can't believe you were going to get it wet!
    <img src="http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_laa6pmmPTD1qdij7po1_500.jpg&quot; />

    • iolchos says:

      can you just imagine if Sassy Gay Friend was actually a mentor? (Also that would mean there'd be two District 12 mentors, Sassy Gay Friend and Haymitch both)
      <3<3<3

  55. Kali says:

    I of course always want an explanation for what happens, but I felt like this chapter just doesn't fit in the flow of this book. It seems like it would have been better to start of Mockingjay. Either way we are left with giant cliffhangers. THIS IS WHY I HATE THE SECOND BOOK/MOVIE IN A TRILOGY. We get 100 new questions and no damn answers.

    Also, for Mockingjay, don't even bother with predictions because you are so utterly unprepared. You thought that you didn't see shit coming for Catching Fire? Ha, just wait. I had several friends tell me before I read the series that after they read Mockingjay, they just walked around in a daze because they couldn't handle what happened.

  56. Andrew says:

    I'M SHITTING BRIX, GUYZ.
    SHITTING BRIX

    Seriously, Collins really knows how to fuck with our minds.

  57. MsFeasance says:

    So remember when Peeta got all pissed at being out of the loop under the Justice Building in District 11?

    Yeah. Haymitch didn't really pay much attention to that, did he?

  58. bingo007 says:

    people are saying mockingjay is nope epic than this book?siriusly?did i read the same book.wow.

    i expected atleast a section of readers to be disappointed with the finale.ro if there is a mixture of positive and negative opinions regarding the 3rd book,mark will be a little guarded so there is a chance that mark might like it.

    but looking at the way you guys are hyping us the 3rd one,i am afraid mark is going to set his expectations high which will lead inevitably to disappointment. i am not discussing it further for fear of spoiling mark.

    but i ll probably post an epic rant about why i hated the third one(mind you,i loved the first two) if mark already hasn’t pointed out the problems with the mockingjay

    • Melody says:

      Two Cents:

      I think most people's hopes/thoughts aren't necessarily that they LIKED Mockingjay? Just that Mark is seriously not prepared for it. Catching Fire was my favorite of the three, but, watching Mark explode over Mockingjay will be SO MUCH MORE EPIC than him exploding over CF or THG just because Collins sort of figured she had nothing else to lose. Also, I do think her writing style improved in the third one (because some authors actually LEARN things as they write!). But no, I hear you on the hate of Mockingjay. Just… everything that goes down in it? NO ONE WAS PREPARED.

      (if you look at what people say about how they felt about the book, they all say things like "my head exploded", "I was befuddled", "I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT." and they don't say things like "OMGBESTBOOK" or "LOVED IT". Collins is an EXPERT at BRAIN FUCKERY. If nothing else.)

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Why are you unbearably desperate to talk about a book I haven't read on a site where I have explicitly stated you shouldn't do that?

      • bingo007 says:

        oops.SORRY.wont do that again.just worried that people are hyping it up much which can be counterproductive .sorry again.

  59. notemily says:

    I've had that song stuck in my head for DAYS. Now I'm gonna sing that version!

  60. Saber says:

    Nope, he's mine.

  61. theresa1128429 says:

    "There is no district 12"
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. My Johanna and Peeta taken by the capital? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
    While I see Haymitch's reasoning for keeping Katpee in the dark about the plan, he should have known that doing so would only piss Katniss off and make her less cooperative.

  62. Jane Slayre says:

    Your constant lack of preparation is eternally amusing to me.

    And I sincerely feel for anyone who had to wait longer than a bathroom break to start the next book after that cliffhanger. I would have pillaged a village with my rage. Good on you, kids.

  63. thatonegirl says:

    I feel like I have nothing to add, besides AHHHHHHHHHHHH Peeta! I still don't get why Finnick was with Enobaria at the end of the last chapter, and I still love Haymitch. I think Katniss will get over him lying and all fairly quickly. Also where the heck is she and why is Gale there?

    So let's talk about Mark instead…..
    His Catching Fire predictions were <s>so wrong</s> ok, but the real gems are the ones he made for Hunger Games (because you know he totally meant Catching Fire)

    Mark’s Totally Accurate ~Predictions~ For The Hunger Games

    1) The Hunger Games are some sort of game and people die, but no one will die until book two.
    Hmmm, game, people die, they die in book two, check.

    2) The main character will get chosen for The Hunger Games.
    Who knew that would happen in book two? Mark did.

    3) There will be people.
    So, so many people.

    4) Look, I don’t know.
    Words to live by.

    We don't even need predictions for Mockingjay. Those four work just fine. 🙂

    • notemily says:

      Yeah, for the lulz I went back and looked at his Catching Fire predictions, and they're actually pretty good… he didn't predict the general focus of the book or anything about the Quell, but we did learn more about the various districts and see the Capitol again, and there was a revolution forming by the end of the book (obviously). The only one he really got wrong was predicting that Gale and Katniss's Mom (STILL NO NAME) would both die. Still alive bitchez.

    • amandajane5 says:

      My impression was that Finnick and Enobaria both just came running when they heard Katniss shouting, so they both showed up at the same place, but not necessarily together, if that makes sense.

  64. bingo007 says:

    i think you misunderstood me.my problem with the book is there are no ‘wtf’ or ‘headsplosion’ moments.the book was dull. her writing improved,i agree but the story and the plot took a beating.dunno if this is spoilery(if it is,post spoiler alerts above this comment) but my problem with the book is ‘nothing interesting or mindblowing happens.great writing but mundane story which is just the opposite of the previous books which had decent writing but exciting plots. she tried to be too realistic and reality isn’t always exciting.

    • Erica says:

      STOP.o.0

    • Saber says:

      Umm… what? Am I just really short sighted? I didn't seem ANY of that coming. And judging from what I had read of spoilers and theories and such while I waited for it to come out, no one else was anywhere close either.

    • Hermione_Danger says:

      if it is,post spoiler alerts above this comment

      No, see, the rule is, if it needs spoiler alerts, Don't. Say. It. Think it might maybe be spoilery? Don't. Say. It. The rules are right there above you, on the black navigation bar. Read them. Follow them. Stop posting spoilery comments.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Let me make this abundantly clear, bingo007, as this is now the third time I have had to warn you about this:

      Is whatever you are going to post happening in a later point in time in the series?

      THEN DO NOT FUCKING POST IT.

      You are going to be permanently banned next time you do this, full stop. I am sick of dealing with your asshole-y posts about you wondering aloud if the spoiler you just posted was a spoiler and thinking that absolves you of responsibility.

      If you cannot resist telling me your feelings about the next book or specific plots or the LACK of plot twists, then SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  65. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    COLLINS EXPLAINS IT ALL

  66. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    She doesn't know that. That is the point.

    • Gamesfan says:

      True, but since it's a shock- and she's only 17- it's understandable that she freaks out. Remember, Katniss never wanted any part of any of this. She would be perfectly happy just living out her meager life in District 12, keeping her head in the proverbial sand. She was kinda happy there.

  67. Fusionman says:

    Um… Mark it’s Annie who’s in District 4.

    You know the chick they said a few chapters ago that Finnick loves? 😛

  68. Karen says:

    Late to the party due to real life obligations (and I'll probably be late to the Doctor Who party later, sad times!), but yeah. When I first read this, I don't think even gifs would be sufficient to illustrate my reactions.

    I think that it's really interesting to see how Katniss just shuts down. When she finds out that Peeta is in the hands of the Capitol, she feels hopeless and she shuts down. (Also, I like how stubborn she is, wanting to starve herself out of spite. LOL. Oh Katniss). This process of shutting down is pretty much exactly what her mom went through after her dad died and the cause of Katniss's bitterness towards her mother early in the series. So I think it's just really interesting that now Katniss is in that position of sinking into a depressive state where she cuts herself off from the world.

  69. Maddi says:

    I have nothing to say except:

    …I actually do think you can inject air into someone and kill them but it has to be very specific, you can't jab them with a needle full of air and expect to kill them.

    That is what I have to contribute to this conversation. Besides CINNA I MISS CINNA

  70. embers says:

    At least you won't have to wait months for the 3rd book to be published!

  71. Hotaru-hime says:

    Haymitch should have told Peeta. Peeta would have understood it and not fucked everything up.
    Damn.

  72. fuchsia says:

    I love how, even most of the way through this last chapter, you still had no clue what was going on and were totally wrong about your guesses.

    Never prepared.

  73. Randomness says:

    …I want a Sassy Gay friend

  74. rje says:

    IF I MAY INDULGE IN A REPOST
    <img src="http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d35/dangerous_dollie/MarkPUNCH-1.png"&gt;

    Also my reaction:
    “Katniss, there is no District Twelve.”

    <img src="http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii86/vicodin75/scanners4.gif"&gt;

  75. bell_erin_a says:

    HOLY COMMENT EXPLOSION, WOW. Adding another two cents, now that I’ve read your review.

    Secondly, isn’t that just a myth that you can inject air into someone’s veins like that?
    Oh, wow. I totally never read it that way (um, how many times have I read this book and it’s just now been pointed out to me that a lot of things I thought happened or didn’t happen were DEAD WRONG?). I always thought the syringes had something in them that would hopefully kill Peeta, but that doesn’t make that much sense, does it? That’s almost like basing a whole rebellion on a really stupid plan that involves too many what ifs and a teenager that you keep out of the loop, huh? MOVING ON, we’ll just say reading comprehension fail for now.

    Oh, Finnick. I love you so much.

    INFO DUMP TIME. I felt a bit betrayed that we got this in a two-paragraph narration. Building up tension for the big cliffhanger, huh? I have to give you props for that A+ string of gifs and pictures, though!

    It is strange that all of this was acted out without Katniss’s consent and it sort of rubs me the wrong way, especially since she could have easily been killed. Right?
    Yep. A lot of people have already aired their thoughts on this, and I was in too much of a hurry to do so the first time around, so I’ll keep it short to minimize repeating everyone else. I hate it. I hate that we can’t trust Katniss with anything. Yeah, she makes some ridiculous plans, but she’s also gotten out of some tight situations before on her own, and didn’t we learn earlier that Katpee both really, really hate being left out of things? It’s not changing her body without her consent (yay for the drugging though), but it’s the same. Actually, it’s not. YOU WANT TO MAKE HER THE FIGUREHEAD OF A REBELLION WITHOUT ASKING HER IF THAT’S EVEN WHAT THE HELL SHE WANTED? Maybe she just wants to go home to D12 and nurse her PTSD. Oh, wait. I just, blah. And the fact that so many things relied on people doing things and being alive to do them, all of which could have gone horribly wrong seems like really, REALLY poor planning. Rebellion moar better this time, I guess.

    Does that mean Snow didn’t actually design the Quell itself?
    Okay, maybe he didn’t design the arena for them, but I will absolutely not believe that he didn’t change the rules of the Quell because I bet he just thought the clock would be a great background for Katniss’s death.

    I’M STILL MAD ABOUT PEETA, COLLINS. I WILL NEVER NOT BE MAD ABOUT THEM LEAVING PEETA. Oh, and Johanna. Enobaria? Meh.

    Whoops, there goes the cliffhanger. Jeez. Alright, I’m done for the day. Two super-long comments is probably more than anyone wants from me, plus I have homework for the rest of my fucking life due in the next few days.

  76. HieronymusGrbrd says:

    “Then how do they pay you for the pleasure of your company?” I ask.

    “With secrets,” he says softly. He tips his head in so his lips are almost in contact with mine. “What about you, girl on fire? Do you have any secrets worth my time?”

    For some stupid reason, I blush, but I force myself to hold my ground. “No, I’m an open book,” I whisper back. “Everybody seems to know my secrets before I know them myself.”

    He smiles. “Unfortunately, I think that’s true.”

    Since I read this (Chapter 15), I wondered if Finnick would have told Katniss some secrets (aka The Big Plan?) if she hadn't acknowledged that she is an open book.

    Also I feared for some time that the Capitol (probably using nuclear power) does not depend on coal and that the mining was just a means to keep people occupied until an example had to be stated. They wouldn't blow up a district they need, would they?

    I don't have any predictions for "Mockingjay" except:
    Many more people will die and I am not prepared.

    • leenwitit says:

      I always figured the reason that District 12 was around was because even if the Capitol does rely on nuclear power, the outlying districts do not/cannot constantly rely on it. Katniss was always saying how unreliable power is out in District 12, which in some ways was a form of oppression. On the other hand, you don't want your Districts taking days off work because they don't have power. Coal would be useful in those situations as sort of an "emergency" fuel.

      If that's the case, it makes total sense to blow up District 12, not just as punishment for what Katniss just did, but if all the districts are in fullscale rebellion, why give them the opportunity to provide their own power when cut off from the Capitol?

  77. Gil says:

    I'm actually really surprised that people still read the third book after this, because at this point just reading Mark's summaries I'm like PREDICTIONS FOR MOCKINGJAY: ROCKS FALL EVERYONE DIES not even because I want it but because Collins is ridiculously relentless in her epic misery to the point where it's practically predictable.
    UNPOPULAR OPINIONS WOOO

  78. Dannie. says:

    My brain exploded when Haymitch was explaining.

  79. Gabbie says:

    Hey you know the last book? Mockingjay? Yeah, you're not prepared for that either. ^_^

  80. karadudz says:

    Everyone's going to start singing this new version until Mark reads and finishes Mockingjay.

    THIS IS TOO EXCITING!!

  81. PigRescuer says:

    Now you know how I managed to read all three in one day, despite the fact I had exams two weeks later and hadn't started revision. YOU CAN'T STOP. I can't imagine how painful this is for you.

    Also, Mark still Reads Shit. 😀

    Also also, annoyingly, because the books aren't labelled with the order or anything, I accidently read the first paragraph of Mockingjay before going 'wtf? District Twelve is gone?' and realising it was the third book. Kinda ruined the surprise!

  82. Steeple says:

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SOME OF MY PREDICTIONS CAME TRUE. IN THE WORSE SORT OF WAY. PEEEEETAAAAAAA FUCK.

    SCREW IT, GUYS, PREDICTIONS COMING LATER. SKEHGJHJGSEH;GK

  83. Haley says:

    See Mark? Never ever prepared. You think you're prepared for Mockingjay? HAH. HAHA. HAHAHHAHA.

  84. tethysdust says:

    Here are the things I did not actually expect from the ending:
    1) Johanna (and Peeta) getting captured ;_;
    2) That the bread was a form of communication
    3) That District 12 would be destroyed

    The rest of it was actually pretty heavily foreshadowed, unless there are things I'm forgetting. I am of the opinion that a lot of people have _tried_ to tell Katniss about the rebel plan, through hints and symbols, but that she just didn't ever pick up on any of it. I still agree with my impression of Katniss from the beginning of THG. She is not ideologically a rebel, and she is pretty bad at thinking outside the box. The only way she would ever be in a [successful] rebellion is if someone else planned it and pulled her into it.

    Things I wonder:
    1) If District 13 is just rolling in nuclear weapons and high technology, why have they waited so long before helping anyone? Does anyone remember how long ago it was that D13 was 'destroyed'?
    2) Johanna is smart and resourceful. Do you think she'll figure out a way to get herself and Peeta away from the Capitol?
    3) Seriously, how did the Capitol last so long? President Snow and his government are really bad at political manipulation.

    • notemily says:

      I'm betting that D13 has enough nuclear weapons and stuff to defend themselves, but not to defend all the other districts. Otherwise I think they would have done something before now.

    • cait0716 says:

      I believe that District 13 was destroyed 75 years ago, this being the 75th Hunger Games and all. =D

      • tethysdust says:

        Oh right, D13 was destroyed in the rebellion that sparked the Hunger Games. For some reason I had it in my head that the Hunger Games started when Panem was formed, oops!

        I wonder if the government of Panem was any different before the rebellion, then. Also, given this is a post-apocalyptic setting, I wonder what happened to destroy North America and how long ago that occurred.

    • Saber says:

      I just want to see Peeta and Johanna team up to bust out of prison.

    • Steeple says:

      Mutally assured destruction, is what I think. Also fallout.

  85. leenwitit says:

    1) Injecting air into someone's veins: can in fact cause death. It's called an air embolism. The problem is the bubble has to be pretty big to actually kill someone (but, I mean, if you injected an entire syringe full of air into the vein? that'll do it). What happens is the air gets trapped in the right side of the heart and it can't get any blood through to the lungs, so it gets no oxygen, so you die. Decompression sickness is the same idea, where gas bubbles cause bad shit to happen. Much more effective way to kill someone with an air embolism? Inject it into an artery. Even a tiny bubble could cause a stroke if injected into the neck (so that it goes to the brain). /medical school knowledge

    2) Mystery girl in Disctrict 4: Annie Cresta. Finnick's love of his life. I would assume, anyway, since we know no one else in Disrict 4 who Finnick would even care about getting out of there or who could be used as bait to draw him in. After seeing how he reacted to her screams in the jabberjay wedge, it seems like pretty good bait 🙁

    3) Rushed exposition at the end: maybe this was just me, but when I read this book it drove me NUTS because I actually generally followed what was happening. That there was some sort of plan, that these people were trying to keep Peeta alive because they were all going to be broken out, that District 13 was real, that Plutarch was in on it. It annoyed me because we spent so much time in Katniss's distrustful head where she was all "What? People are being nice? IMPOSSIBLE." The rushed large paragraph where we found out everything that was going on, to me, was just confirming and fleshing out everything I had already suspected was going on. It would have been condescending to me to have read like ten pages of explanation since I already knew what was going on.

    Which is not to say that anyone who didn't pick up on what was going on was dumb or stupid. It's just possible that Collins assumed you would have some of these ideas already in your head, and didn't want to waste time going over it in excruciating detail.

  86. Tenalto says:

    I called the firebombing of District 12! My mother had me read the books after she had, so she knew what was coming. I was around Chapter 19 or 20 when she asked me how I thought it was going to end. I paused a moment before saying, "Katniss will do something to majorly irk Snow, and District 12 will be firebombed in retaliation. I mean, with all that coal… it'll go right up." She just looked at me and left the room. When I finished the book an hour later, I couldn't help doing a Woot!dance despite the mass of "WTF?!" plastered over the rest of my brain. 🙂

  87. leenwitit says:

    ALSO, Mark, I forgot. I think there was a good reason for not telling Katniss and Peeta about the plan. Not because they couldn't be trusted to pull it off, but because if things went wrong (which they did) and either of them were captured (which they were), you can bet the Capitol is going to torture the fuck out of them to find out what they know. Isn't it better if Peeta has no information to give?

    (That being said, it would have been nice if Katniss or Peeta had some sort of choice in the matter like the tributes from the colluding districts did).

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      At the same time, though, how do they know to do anything and everything to resist capture if they don't know that there's a plot afoot? And if they don't know that there's a plot afoot, what reason would they possibly have not to tell the Capitol the *completely innocuous* details about the 24 rolls and Beetee's plan to use the lightning tree and the wire to "kill Brutus and Enobaria?"

      The less they know, the less they can give away, sure. But the less they know, the more likely they are to screw things up and the less likely they are to know how to protect themselves and everyone else.

      • leenwitit says:

        I agree they didn't know to stick together and resist capture. But as far as giving away details, the games are televised. They couldn't tell the Capitol anything about the 24 rolls and the wire that the Capitol didn't already know from watching and listening to their every move.

    • castlejune says:

      Ah, but would they have chosen the same? I can't see either Peeta or Katniss sacrificing the other for "the cause", which is the attitude the other victors went into the arena with. Sure, they wanted to all live, but they were okay with the sacrifice of those they loved (in theory) to basically do a "FU" to the capital. I like your take on keeping them in the dark in case of capture.

  88. Phoebe says:

    i was actually super disappointed by the ending of this book. i really thought peeta would die, and its disappointing that almost no good characters died. by this point it was obvious that peeta would be rescued and everybody would live happily ever after and i really was not ok with that. it reminded me of twilight, where NOBODY DIED. plus, if Plutarch was good all along, why did he create such a terrifying arena? the clock is the most genius idea, but if he was so determined to keep them alive, why would he do that? it wasn't to keep the capitol happy, because they've shown that they're happy with something simple like the forrest from the previous year.

  89. Liz says:

    PEEEEEEEEEEEETAAAAAA.

    That is literally all I can say.

  90. mellafe says:

    I re-read the first two books these past week, reading a chapter and then your reaction to it. I finally caught up. I have to say I simply adored your comments, they somehow made it easier for me to keep going (even though I HAD read the books already) because the sense of doom is so overpowering. I mean, I know what happens but I still get goosebumps and a tight feeling in my stomach because these books? OHMYGOD.

    I hadn't commented before but I'll try to read the third book with you. Even if it kills me to read just one chapter a day.

    (Also, I read you're going to LeakyCon so I might see you there!)

  91. Mowgli3 says:

    I don't think they're talking about rescuing Johanna in District 4, I think it's Annie, the girl Finnick is in love with (the one Katniss calls "the poor mad girl," remember?)

    Also, Sassy Gay Friend reference? I died. LOVE IT.

    jlsdkhgsldkhgsd so excite for Mockingjay!!!

  92. finnickodair says:

    Ok, so to set up the scene as I read this:

    3 am, sitting in bed reading this, November 2009. I am supposed to be sleeping. I read the end…. and spend the next ten months of my life poring ove the pages of THG and CF, scanning for any clues, any sort of foreshadowing. Wild conspiracies- has Peeta been secretly working with Capitol all along?! No, is Katniss Snow's illegitimate child!? Gasp!!
    And then I read Mockingjay in the course of several hours

    Never prepared, never ever.

  93. LoonyLu says:

    Is Mark prepared for Mockingjay?
    <img src="http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u87/pluckpleck/David%20Tennant%20GIFs/hahano.gif&quot; border="0" alt="HAHA, no. Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    Also, PEEEEEEEEETA NOOOOOOOOOOO!
    <img src="http://i1138.photobucket.com/albums/n525/playthekeys/GIFS/tumblr_le2apgMtHe1qza0fq.gif&quot; border="0" alt="CRYING Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  94. Mauve_Avenger says:

    Given the strange info-dump in this chapter, I'm actually glad that the first part of the technical element of my theory wasn't confirmed or denied here, since it would've been rather cheap. So I was right that the plan to use the lightning tree to escape was there all along (and that it would bring on rebellion on Panem's side and retaliation on the Capitol's), but I may not have been right about why the lightning tree was placed in the arena (from the Gamemaker's perspective, that is). I don't really expect it to be confirmed or denied in Mockingjay either, but then again I didn't expect them to bring up the subject of the wolf muttations in this book.

    The human element I was a little bit off on; I expected Peeta to be in on the plan (though he was the one person I was ambivalent about), because I really didn't see any reason for them not to include him, and it was actually pretty stupid of them not to do so. That's why this:

    "I look coolly into the eyes of the person who is now my greatest opponent, the person who would keep me alive at his own expense. And I promise myself that I will defeat his plan."

    was so facepalm-y to me. A part of me genuinely expected Katniss to screw everything up in her attempt to foil Peeta's plan to save her.

    This is why it's useless to keep everything secret from the people who are unwittingly in the very thick of your plan. What if Katniss had killed Finnick (as she wanted to at least once) or Johanna (as she's wanted to pretty much the whole time)? What if Peeta got suspicious of Beetee's insistence on having Johanna and Katniss go off alone together, thought it was a trap for Katniss, killed Beetee, ran after Katniss and saw her get attacked by Johanna, and killed Johanna before she could take Katniss's tracker out?

    It's obvious that the others can't tell Katniss and Peeta everything, but it's equally obvious that it's deadly folly not to tell them anything. How hard would it have been for Haymitch to say, "Trust everyone in the arena except the Careers and the people you ~oh so conveniently~ couldn't be bothered to characterize, okay, sweetheart?"

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Yeah, this plot springs more holes the more that I think about it. Wouldn't Finnick and the rest have known about the clock too? Keeping that detail a secret cost Mags and several others their lives!

      • notemily says:

        Would they, though? Nobody seemed to realize it until Wiress had her "tick tock" thing going. Did they know the whole plan, or just that there would be a lightning bolt that Beetee could use to knock out the forcefield?

        • BradSmith5 says:

          You'd think that Plutarch would warn them about the traps, since he stated earlier that they were constructed quite some time in advance. What possible advantage would he have by withholding the info? The book says that the different districts have "varying degrees of knowledge" about the plan, though.

          Man, I'm not quite sure how to get my answers, but I'm pretty sure that sitting in front of TV Tropes for another five hours might help!

          • notemily says:

            I agree with this strategy.

          • Sophie Patronus says:

            I think Plutarch couldn't risk making it more suspicious… He's working on a rebellion, but he's still got a Capitol to try and entertain as a coverup to this. How suspicious would it have been if the tributes had known about the traps? I suspect that, from the standpoint of a Gamemaker initiating a rebellion, he had to find balance between getting the tributes out of the arena, and putting on a show.

    • L_Swann says:

      What if Katniss had killed Finnick (as she wanted to at least once) or Johanna (as she's wanted to pretty much the whole time)? What if Peeta got suspicious of Beetee's insistence on having Johanna and Katniss go off alone together, thought it was a trap for Katniss, killed Beetee, ran after Katniss and saw her get attacked by Johanna, and killed Johanna before she could take Katniss's tracker out?

      But in the minds of D13/Plutarch/Haymitch, losing Finnick and Johanna isn't that big of a deal. I mean, look at Mags & Finnick. The allies were told to do whatever it took to keep Katniss alive (which means keeping Peeta alive). Sure, they want Finnick and Johanna to stay alive. But all of your what if's can be answered with, "nothing would really change." The rebels value Katniss's life over everyone else's life, and more importantly, the other victors UNDERSTOOD that and ACCEPTED that (see: Mags & Finnick). So, if Katniss had killed Finnick, or if Peeta had killed Johanna and Beetee, it wouldn't really matter to D13. As long as Katniss is alive (which requires Peeta to be alive), they could care less.

      Whether or not this is a GOOD thing is debatable, but I'm just saying: a dead Finnick/Johanna/Beetee only breaks our hearts, not the rebellion.

  95. 4and6forever says:

    I got bored halfway through this book (Catching Fire) and so I skipped to the last page and read the last line (I KNOW, ITS AN AWFUL HABIT.) and thought that it was some brain twisting explosion about District 12 being a lie and never exsisting in the first place, and that the Capitol had been covering that up. I think that Mark would have done a million keysmashes if that had happened.

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