Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 1

In the first chapter of Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins reminds us just how terrible everything is. SAD PARTY 2011? It just might be. If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to read Mockingjay.

Oh hey, are you having a good morning, noon, afternoon, evening, or night? Has it been a rather pleasant day for you? Are you thinking happy thoughts and feeling accomplished?

WELL LET SUZANNE COLLINS RUIN ABSOLUTELY ALL OF THAT.

I’m ecstatic for where Collins has taken this story, mostly because it’s so unexpected for me, especially after what I thought the book was going to be about. AND LOOK WHERE WE ARE NOW. ::pinches Mockingjay’s cheeks::

How awesome are my predictions they are pure genius already

I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather. This is where the bed I shared with my sister, Prim, stood. Over there was the kitchen table. The bricks of the chimney, which collapsed in a charred heap, provide a point of reference for the rest of the house. How else could I orient myself in this sea of grey?

BACK IN DISTRICT 12 IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH. Fuck yeah, FIRE TRELAWNEY I AM LIVING IN HOGWARTS NOW. I wish Hogwarts was real. :(

Almost nothing remains of District 12. A month ago, the Capitol’s firebombs obliterated the poor coal miners’ house in the Seam, the shops in the town, even the Justice Building. The only area that escaped incineration was the Victor’s Village.

Ok, I think it’s time for me to stop making bad jokes. Because holy shit there really is no District 12 left. I also knew once Katniss mentioned that this book starts a month after the end of Catching Fire, we were bound to be dealt some of Collins’s signature summarizing. ISN’T IT FUN.

Actually…it is. I was pleasantly surprised by how…not bothered I was by it. I know I criticized the pace in Catching Fire (WHICH I STILL STAND BY, AFTER THE FACT, FOR THE RECORD, FYI, BTW), and I think a lot of it felt weird because it took me out of the moment. However, here in Mockingjay, Collins doesn’t ever seem to take me out of Katniss’s experience inside District 12. As Katniss moves throughout her home and the town she grew up in, she uses the silence and despair to reflect on the past month. Essentially, to me, it feels natural.

Chapter one is gigantic info dump for us and Collins starts off with a whole lot of brain mush. First of all, there are authorities in District 13. So that implies there’s a whole system of organization to the government there, which probably also means there’s a whole lot of people there. And Plutarch is sort of in charge? I still don’t understand how he fits in yet, but I assume he’s working alongside those in District 13.

I also feel a lot of sympathy for Katniss, though I can’t understand the pain and anguish she’s going through. Collins spends a lot of time exploring what Katniss’s mind is going through after the events of the last novel and how that manifests itself physically for her. She’s been suffering from trouble thinking coherently and she mentions that she has also been given a steady supply of drugs to control her pain and her mood.

I’m curious how this is going to play out through the novel, so I’ll avoid saying much now, except that I imagine that Katniss is experiencing some form of post-traumatic stress disorder after her second entry into the Games. (The only reason I mention that is because I’ve suffered from it and, so far, a lot of what she describes seems the same.)

BUT IT’S EARLY SO I WON’T SAY MUCH MORE IN FEAR OF STICKING MY FOOT IN MY MOUTH.

“Katniss. Should I come down?” My best friend Gale’s voice reaches me though the headset the rebels insisted I wear. He’s up in a hovercraft, watching me carefully, ready to swoop in if anything goes amiss.

I’m sorry, this image made me laugh. And I literally cannot explain why. It just seems…silly? Not that Collins intended that or that I make any sense at all, but I am just imagining Gale with a cute headset on, sending coded messages back to the staff at the District 13 base, feeling like a totally useful spy or something, like a post-modern Inspector Gadget. Annnnnnnnnnnnddddd now I’ve lost all my readers. Great.

He understands I don’t want anyone with me today. Not even him. Some walks you have to take alone.

I use the Kindle app on my iPad to read. It has a neat feature that allows you to see passages highlighted by 50 or more other readers. It’s nice to see what other people find significant in a book. Those three sentences were highlighted by 438 people. And to those 438 people, I say:

REALLY.

Honestly, that last sentence is so melodramatic and frivolous that I couldn’t help but giggle wildly. SOME WALKS YOU HAVE TO TAKE ALONE. Like most of them?

Ok, enough poking fun at this. Let’s get to the real shit.

The summer’s been scorching hot and dry as a bone. There’s been next to no rain to disturb the piles of ash left by the attack. They shift here and there, in reaction to my footsteps. No breeze to scatter them. I keep my eyes on what I remember as the road, because when I first landed in the Meadow, I wasn’t careful and I walked right into a rock. Only it wasn’t a rock—it was someone’s skull. It rolled over and over and landed faceup, and for a long time I couldn’t stop looking at the teeth, wondering whose they were, thinking of how mine would probably look the same way under similar circumstances.

OH WAIT. WRONG REACTION.

YEAH. YEAH. What the hell. And, of course, it only gets worse. Turns out that those who weren’t charred immediately died of other causes while trying to escape. Their decomposing bodies litter the ground in what’s left of District 12.

You are destroying me, Collins.

But she’s also destroying Katniss. The truth is that Katniss is wrecked with guilt:

But I did. It was my arrow, aimed at the chink in the force field surrounding arena, that brought on this firestorm of retribution. That sent the whole country of Panem into chaos.

I don’t know if there’s anything I could say to counter this. Obviously, Katniss was doing what she could to stay alive. I don’t think I would ever criticize her for that. I get it. She shouldn’t have done anything differently. But she does have to deal with the fact that what she did inherently caused the bombing of District 12.

More than ninety percent of the district’s population is dead. The remaining eight hundred or so are refugees in District 13—which, as far as I’m concerned, is the same thing as being homeless forever.

NINETY PERCENT??? So, over 7,000 people died??? WHAT THE FUCK. That is far more than I anticipated. Now I completely understand why Katniss is so upset about that. Could I live with the fact that my actions caused over 7,000 people to be murdered? Fucking hell. :/

Katniss summarizes a bit more about District 13, as we learn that Gale helped a small group escape past the fence, out into the Meadow, and to Katniss’s lake house, where they watched District 13 destroyed by Capitol aircraft. (For the record, this happened just a mere FIFTEEN MINUTES after the Games ended. Fifteen minutes!!!)

District 13 to the rescue, though. I don’t know how they found the group that Gale, Katniss’s mom, and Prim were helping to take care of, but they did. And all 800 or so of the refugees from District 12 were moved underground in District 13.

District 13…well, it’s not at all what I expected. I don’t know what I think about it. They’re far more organized and rigid than what I’m used to and I’m unsure of their motives. Katniss met someone from District 10 who mentions that they’re merely gathering people to help grow their numbers due to a strange infertility issue. Ok, WHAT. I’m not sure that plan makes any sense at all, but I don’t blame anyone in this situation for being a bit paranoid.

Throughout all of this, Katniss is wandering around District 12 and finally is overwhelmed by it all, so she does something rather foolish: she heads for the Victors Village, which is completely undamaged. Which seems like a bad idea if there’s the possibility that someone in the Capitol is monitoring the place. But, again, I’m willing to cut her some slack after all this. There’s no way I could ever know how I would react in a similar situation because I can’t even conceive of it.

There in the house she spent a year in, she tries to organize her thoughts about her situation, at the persistent request by everyone around her to become the Mockingjay:

I must now become the actual leader, the face, the voice, the embodiment of the revolution. The person who the districts—most of which are now openly at war with the Capitol—can count on to blaze the path to victory. I won’t have to do it alone. They have a whole team of people to make me over, dress me, write my speeches, orchestrate my appearances—as if that doesn’t sound horribly familiar—and all I have to do is play my part.

WHAT THE FUCK. What??? How? Why? What does this even mean? First of all WHO IS SHE SPEAKING TO FOR THESE APPEARANCES? I don’t understand this at all. Also, SURELY THESE PEOPLE REALIZE HOW AWFULLY TRIGGERING THAT WOULD BE TO HER, RIGHT??? RIGHT??? Ok, probably not, since they never experienced that themselves. SO WHY. WHY.

Yesterday afternoon, as the door was closing behind me, I heard [President] Coin say, “I told you we should have rescued the boy first.”

THANKS, PRESIDENT COIN. That vote of confidence is TRULY UPLIFTING.

This whole situation is not as exciting as I had thought it would be. As Katniss continues to fret about her involvement in the rebellion and expresses her reluctance to even be a part of it, I gotta say I side with her on this one. She just survived TWO HUNGER GAMES and Peeta is captured and possibly dead and all these people want is for her to become the mouthpiece for their cause? CAN SHE LIKE TAKE A NAP OR SOMETHING? It strikes me as frighteningly narrow and, frankly, quite rude.

Never did I think that the rebellion would piss me off. Bravo, Collins.

I’m going to skip over the return of Buttercup (WHICH IS QUITE BEAUTIFUL, I MIGHT ADD) and go right to the horrifying discovery that Katniss makes inside that house.

My nose twitches. It’s the smell. Cloying and artificial. A dab of white peeks out of a vase of dried flowers on my dresser. I approach it with cautious steps. There, all but obscured by its preserved cousins, is a fresh white rose. Perfect. Down to the last thorn and silken petal.

And I know immediately who’s sent it to me.

President Snow.

My thoughts immediately went here: OH MY GOD, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, HE’S BEHIND YOU, which is kind of irrational. But oh well. That’s not what it meant. It was merely a sign left by Snow, who anticipated that Katniss would return to her home, even for a brief moment. And as Katniss quickly returns to the hovercraft that holds Gale, we learn what that rose truly means to her:

Positioned on my dresser, that white-as-snow rose is a personal message to me. It speaks of unfinished business. It whispers, I can find you. I can reach you. Perhaps I am watching you now.

And I will leap out from this closet and drink your blood!

No, wait, ok, the vampire theory is silly. Still, that would be pretty cool, right? Mockingjay is totally secretly about vampires, right? RIGHT???

About Mark Oshiro

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

337 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 1

  1. monkeybutter says:

    [youtube jYC1954VJfg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYC1954VJfg youtube]

    Yay, I've been waiting to post this!

  2. Jenesaispas21 says:

    Can I just say how much I love you for your reaction to the 438 people who highlighted that passage??? I laughed right out loud here at work. Because it's totally true that people glom onto the melodramatic (hello, I'm talking to you, certain fanfiction authors, lol), and it makes me want to tear my hair out. Bravo for calling it out! ~*buddies on the astral plane*~

  3. barnswallowkate says:

    Yeah, the whole thing about having people to dress her, write her speeches, etc makes me creeped out. Is this just Capitol 2.0? I wish Katniss could run off and live alone in the woods now and not have to deal this crap.

  4. Andrew says:

    That sentence about the rose gave me chills. Why does he smell like blood? Why are there roses? What is the significance? WHY? WHYYYYY?
    I barely even looked at the sentences in this book, just grabbed occasional words to keep track of the plot as I flicked through the pages at a ridiculous pace.

  5. TEAM BUTTERCUP, FOO!

    Sorry, I'm not even a cat person, but I adore that mangy cat. Maybe because he sort of reminds me of Crookshanks?
    If I were Katniss I'd so be looking for Hogwarts at this point. Screw District 13, go be a Witch and eat fizzing whizbees and stuff. This plan is foolproof!

    This opening chapter sort of danced between dull and poignant, for me. I hate infodumps in the worst way, so I was unfairly biased from the start.

    The thing that gripped me was Katniss having all of the meds shoved down her throat. As a teen I had out-of-control seizures thanks to a closed-head injury, and going between being a zombie and a hyper-emotional wreck had me feeling like I had no grip on reality. I couldn't deal with the trauma because I couldn't access my emotions in a healthy way at all. I haven't had ptsd, but I have had other traumas that made me understand a little bit of her numbness.

  6. monkeybutter says:

    Why yes, Mark, I am having a lovely almost-noon watching the snow and news about Egypt (is the NDP HQ on fire? Is Hildawg gonna say anything better than Biden? ETA- No, nor am I surprised), so the first chapter of Mockingjay fits in nicely. It's a bit frivolous and melodramatic, and it's a bit serious and rage-inducing.

    Seriously, using her as your revolutionary symbol, then blowing her off and essentially saying saving her life was a waste?

    <img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/inefdk.gif"&gt;

    Honestly, Coin, how do you think being an asshole is going to help? Collins is doing a great job making you question authority.

    I was actually pleased to see what District 13 was, because it was what I pictured in my head as soon as it was hinted it was still there.

  7. monkeybutter says:

    YES!

  8. bell_erin_a says:

    Heh heh, I'm glad you're having fun poking fun at the first chapter. It won't last long.

    They have a whole team of people to make me over, dress me, write my speeches, orchestrate my appearances—as if that doesn’t sound horribly familiar—and all I have to do is play my part.
    FUCKING HELL. WHAT. WHY. Can't the girl ever have a say in her own damn life??
    <img src="http://i885.photobucket.com/albums/ac58/sacredheartofthescene/gifs/tumblr_l79te1OfvM1qbaqjc.gif&quot; border="0" alt="500 days of summer plate break">

    *Snerk* President Coin. I'm sorry, I CAN'T TAKE YOU GUYS VERY SERIOUSLY WITH NAMES LIKE COIN AND SNOW (as ~strong leaders~, that is. I take the fact that both of you are assholes very seriously). And speaking of which, that rose is creepy. Thanks, dude. Coin, you're not helping. "We should have saved Peeta first"?! Yeah, well you chose to get Katniss instead (I'm still mad about Peeta, but WE WOULDN'T WANT TO SAVE KATNISS BECAUSE SHE'D BE MUCH BETTER OFF IN THE HANDS OF THE CAPITOL, Y/Y?), plus she's the one who actually blew up the arena, so how about you shut up, let her live her life without manipulating her, and DEAL WITH IT.

    Alright, this is why I love prediction time. Hell yeah, D12 in the first chapter, and Buttercup! Which one of y'all predicted Buttercup would be back? Because I give both you and Mark a high five on the astral plane!

    I'd never put the numbers together, but holy shit. 7,000 people dead from D12? Also, I had no idea that the district was even that big! Plus I think it's one of the smallest districts. How many people does a district like 11 have??

  9. stellaaaaakris says:

    Go, Gadget, go! I might have the Inspector Gadget theme song on my ipod. Might. And the Doug theme song. Possibly. I miss my childhood.

    Thank you, Collins, for crushing my soul so quickly as we start Mockingjay. Wouldn't want to have any hope, would we?

    You killed Cinna. He just gets a tiny 1/3 of a paragraph and then he's dead. I wanted a whole rescue scene, where they got Johanna, Peeta and Cinna out of the Capitol, but Cinna's been hurt beyond repair. I wanted Katniss to come to his bedside and they talk and then he dies holding her hand. But then Katniss decides to become the Mockingjay while tears were streaming down her face. I wanted to mourn him, dammit!

    And Peeta's family is gone, too. I wanted his mother alive so I could yell at her through the book for not appreciating her son. I wanted his father to stay alive because he seemed pretty awesome. I'd have appreciated his brothers to survive as well so I could learn their names (come on Katniss, you've got to know their names by this point). Peeta is busy being tortured by the Capitol, I'm sure, and you kill off his family back home. All in the first 15 pages. Thanks.

    But Gale, I've got to give you your due. I don't like you, but getting people to the lake and saving them…props, man, props.

    Little things I thought about during this chapter: District 12 is (was :'() a lot bigger than I had thought. About 8000 people. I had always been under the impression it was 1000 or so. Also, based on the prediction post and how much Harry Potter talk there was, I realized they don't ever talk about HP or books in general. Then I remembered HP is about an ordinary boy endowed with great power by somebody else who finds himself leading a rebellion against a murderous, oppressive force and succeeds. Other books would show freedom and choice and things like that. And we can't have that, can we, Snow? People might get ideas.

  10. Blabbla says:

    "They’re far more organized and rigid than what I’m used to and I’m unsure of their motives. "

    Do they need a motive other than "not getting nuked by the capitol"?

    Also, Mark? Don't turn around too quickly, in case they bite, but there are Scientology ads on your page O_O

  11. theupsides says:

    CAN WE JUST TAKE A MINUTE TO THINK ABOUT HOW IT'S BEEN A MONTH, AND THERE IS STILL NO SIGN OF PEETA?

    <img src="http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lfg7vmtrlw1qfont0o1_500.gif"&gt;

  12. pennylane27 says:

    I need to start rereading Mockingjay right now. I was in such a frenzy that I don't remember half the stuff that happened, though that could be denial. And I don't remember what happens when, so I will refrain from commenting for fear of spoilers. Will come back when read first chapter again.

  13. zuzu says:

    Ok, I think it's time for me to stop making bad jokes.

    No keep making jokes we need them to lighten the mood.

    Annnnnnnnnnnnddddd now I’ve lost all my readers.

    Nope. Still here. For me what makes that sentence silly is the word "swoop." Also why is Gale on the super high tech flying machine. To monitor Katniss? A pilot or crew member could be doing that crap.

    Ok, enough poking fun at this. Let’s get to the real shit.

    No I don't want to go to the real shit. It's sad.
    Amazingly relevant gifs as always.
    Whoa you did the math. *is impressed* *is now horrified by what the numbers mean*
    800 is a small group if it means that it's out of 7,000. He got 1% of the population out. Yay now I did math <s>but it's probably wrong</s>.
    Buttercup?! WHERE'S WESTLEY??????? I don't remember the scene with the cat tbh.
    Ohhh. a "white-as-snow rose". . . be a bit more creative Snow.

  14. I wish Hogwarts was real.
    Don't we all.

    a post-modern Inspector Gadget. Annnnnnnnnnnnddddd now I’ve lost all my readers. Great.
    Any reader who leaves at the phrase "post-modern Inspector Gadget" probably doesn't belong here anyway. SHUN THE INFIDELS.

    (For the record, this happened just a mere FIFTEEN MINUTES after the Games ended. Fifteen minutes!!!)
    Sounds like they had a strike force ready. For District 12 or any district, I don't know. I couldn't really figure out the geography of Panem and how the Capitol was able to act so quickly.

    Mockingjay is totally secretly about vampires, right? RIGHT???
    Spoilers!

  15. mugglemomof2 says:

    I wish Hogwarts was real.

    Don't we all my friend…don't we all.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    BUT IT’S EARLY SO I WON’T SAY MUCH MORE IN FEAR OF STICKING MY FOOT IN MY MOUTH.

    But we love it when you stick your foot in your mouth! It's part of the charm… we all had crazy thoughts the first time we read them, so it's fun hearing what thoughts you have in the same situation! MORE FOOT IN MOUTH COMMENTS PLEASE.

  17. mugglemomof2 says:

    Yes. it is crazy how real and sad this book starts off.

    Homer—–> Stitch gif's made me LOL

  18. andreah1234 says:

    EVERYTHING IS AWFUL IN THE WORLD.

    In other news, LOL Mark I love how you're pocking at this chapter because, IT WON'T LAST LONG. Collins has a way of fucking everything up.

    Also, WHAT THE FUCK HAVE SHE DONE TO PEETA.. PLEASE DON'T BE DEAD. PLEASE DON'T BE DEAD. PLEASE DON'T BE DEAD. D: D: D: D:

    Gale, U R VERY SMART. Not the best person in the world but very smart. And Dictrict 12 :( :( Poor people. AND MADGE!!!!!! :( :( :( Now Kat is really alone (well she has Gale, but whatever, I think he is busy BEING A REBEL AND SHIT).

    Gifs= Awesome as usual.

  19. Emily Crnk says:

    THE MADNESS BEGINS. I read this book months ago, and I still am not prepared. Be afraid Mark, be very afraid.

  20. Ellen says:

    Team Inspector Gale? >.>

  21. ohheyitsalliek says:

    So, if District 12 only had 7,000 or so people and it was one of the smallest, I wonder how big the larger districts are? It's interesting that there haven't been more uprisings in the bigger ones before everything in CF, unless we just don't know about them (esp. with higher concentrations of people). The use of fear and subordination (right word??) by Snow is incredible.

    Has Snow been President for the whole 75 years of Hunger Games? Dude has some longevity.

  22. Hermione_Danger says:

    CAN SHE LIKE TAKE A NAP OR SOMETHING?

    IKR???

  23. neineiface says:

    I've read Mockingjay twice now, and lemme tell you, it doesn't matter how many times you read the fucking book YOU WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER BE PREPARED.

    YOUR UNPREPAREDNESS CANNOT BE DEFINED. EVER. JUST. OMG. UNPREPARED TO THE NTH.

    Let's leave it at that.

  24. neineiface says:

    also can i just say that i'm unlurking for Mockingjay?

    I want to be re.unprepared with you guys.

  25. I loved the beginning of this book – Collins gives us (and Katniss) no rest.

    The passage where Katniss walks around thinking, "I killed you…and you….and you…" I thought that was so sad :(

    I was also really surprised by the way District 13 behaved. I expected…well…it's kinda silly, but you do expect them to kind of swoop in and save the day, don't you? Being all warm and fuzzy and super-duper, but hey, Collins has never been a timid writer; she throws everything back in our faces. She made District 13 this rigid, cold place run by Coin, who within a few lines makes you snarl at her on the astral plane. That all seriously took me by surprise. I remember reading this first chapter and being like "….oh"

    Oooh I'm bouncing with excitement over this 😀

  26. stellacarolyn says:

    Yes, I agree, she's got PTSD. As do most of them. It just manifests in different ways. I continue to say that Harry Potter and The Hunger Games would be an excellent example of using books to help kids in treatment for PTSD and other results of developmental trauma.

  27. thefbm says:

    Anyone else get a bad taste in their mouth for District 13?

    This is the saddest chapter so far in this series….over 7000 people dead, probably more in other districts, Peeta could be dead. Same with Cinna and who knows the other tributes. And Katniss is sort of the cause of all this…..
    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><IMG border="'0'//" src="http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/783/sadddness.gif"&gt;

  28. Andrea says:

    I love how Katniss acknowledges that the leaders of the rebellion are treating her just like the capital when it comes to drugging her against her will. I know we've all talked about the similarity quite a bit in the comments, but it really was refreshing to know that Katniss sees it too and shes not ok with it.

  29. Treasure Cat says:

    I like this as an opening chapter. We left Catching Fire on such an action high, even though it drops us in the deep end emotion-wise, there's a great sense of calm that's like 'retaking a country doesnt happen in a day'.
    Also, I was reading this whilst eating my dinner and didnt look where the fork was going properly, completely missed my mouth and tipped gnocchi in tomato sauce down my shirt. Well done Treasure >.<

  30. Not_Prepared says:

    Da nana na na Inspector Gaaaale… Sorry. I had to.

  31. Shanella says:

    "I use the Kindle app on my iPad to read. It has a neat feature that allows you to see passages highlighted by 50 or more other readers. It’s nice to see what other people find significant in a book. Those three sentences were highlighted by 438 people. And to those 438 people, I say: REALLY"

    I love reading on the kindle and seeing the pop highlights. Most of the time I think the exact same thing. ORLY?? You find THAT interesting? *moving on*

    I'm glad we're on this book … looking forward to seeing what happens and what you think.

  32. monkeybutter says:

    I think WV is a good compromise, because Western PA could also work, aside from the accent (which I'm pretty sure is meant to be Appalachian, because it's rhotic and she lives in the mountains, haha).

  33. SusanBones says:

    This is a really depressing beginning. Katniss is being drugged and isn’t sure of what is real and what isn’t. I expected her to not know what happened to Peeta, but I was surprised that she didn’t feel safe in her new place.
    District 13 is a disappointment. Somehow I pictured it to be more normal, with people living in houses above the ground. I guess I didn’t realize that it would still be vulnerable from attack by the Capital with their hovercraft.

    Creepiest scene in the chapter was President Snow’s rose waiting for Katniss in her bedroom. She is still under watch. No wonder she gets depressed.

  34. residentgamer says:

    I guess I expected the rebellion to be nicer ( maybe?) to Katniss. i was sort of pissed when she talked about appearances and make overs. WTF? *sigh*

  35. easilyentranced says:

    Lol, Inspector Gale. I love how your mind works, Mark. Never change!

  36. Jess says:

    One thing that makes it so creepy for me is that Panem destroyed the coal mines when they bombed District 12. Didn't avoid them, didn't try to stop the flames, just let them burn. If the coal means so little to the capital then WHY DO THEY MAKE PEOPLE STARVE WHILE MINING THEM?? Hi there 8k people, we want you so little we hope you die of black lung. <shudders>

  37. bluejay says:

    In addition to all of the disappointment in District 13 and general sadness, my main thought from this chapter is this:
    If they make a Mockingjay movie, I really want Buttercup to show up carrying a dead mouse. Because that would imply that he has not been eating humans. Man-eating cat scares me.

  38. arnenieberding says:

    REMEMBER ME?

    Probably not, but I told you I accidentally read the first chapter of Mockingjay instead of Catching Fire. HA, INTERNET TRICKING ME.

    I got spoiled massively. UGH. At least she didn't mention that many specifics of the Games… But I did read about Cinna, Peeta, the destruction of district 12 and the resistance in 13. I kept on thinking "Okay Collins, you're making a huge mistake here by having this as an intro to a very long flashback". Apparently I expected her to do that xD

    Me:
    "OMG, YOU CAN'T JUST KILL CINNA OFF-SCREEN. OH WAIT, SKIPPED A BOOK."

    FML

  39. hallowsnothorcruxes says:

    i thought this was a really well written chapter but i'm just really surprised that they let katniss go back to district 12. like we just learned, snow knows they might come back and may have planned an ambush or something. i mean, why take the risk?

  40. Robin says:

    I always want to scream at Katniss "YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS; IT IS THE CAPITOL. IF THE CAPITOL WAS NOT SO VIOLENTLY AND EVILLY OPPRESSIVE THIS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR THE ACTIONS OF AN EVIL DICTATORSHIP (even if they are in response to your actions)"

    I mean, her guilt is a totally understandable response and I'm sure I would feel the same. But dammit, I don't want Katniss to be sad. :'(

  41. Kate Monster says:

    She got it from Hot Topic. That's where Hermione does all her shopping, you know.

  42. monkeybutter says:

    Agreed. I'd rather they not do it than have it turn into a parody or sound like Gone with the Wind.

  43. jennywildcat says:

    "However, here in Mockingjay, Collins doesn’t ever seem to take me out of Katniss’s experience inside District 12. As Katniss moves throughout her home and the town she grew up in, she uses the silence and despair to reflect on the past month. Essentially, to me, it feels natural."

    This is where I think Collins' background in writing for TV shines. The way I picture this scene playing out in the Mockingjay movie (MAKE IT HAPPEN, LIONSGATE!!) is Katniss surveying the devastation. As she looks around at certain parts of District 12, the film cuts to a flashback of Peacekeepers and what-have-you bombing the snot out of the place. Then, we go back to Katniss – back to the attack on 12 – and so on. It's a very well-executed and seamless way to bring us up to speed of what's been going on since the Quarter Quell ended.

    And the rose in the house?? OMG – GET OUT OF THERE, KATNISS!!

    (Mark, please keep up the jokes because, quite frankly, you are a genius.)

  44. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I think the only issue I have with the flashbacks here is when Katniss starts talking about Beetee and Finnick. Probably part of it is that I never really *felt* the Finnick/Annie relationship. (It struck me earlier that as far as we know, Katniss doesn't even have reason to assume that Finnick's Annie is Annie Cresta the would-be tribute. Peeta assumed it was, but Finnick seemingly hasn't talked about it to anyone yet. Katniss's confidence in saying that Annie is a mentally unstable woman who's the only person Finnick truly loves is kind of baffling to me.)

    I suppose the rest of my discomfort with that section might be down to the slight tone change; compared to her talking about stress and claustrophobia and hallucinations and walking through the ruins of her old home, talking about what Beetee and Finnick are up to right now (even if it's weeping and being "not really firebrand material") makes it sound a bit like an A Team Montage to me.

    On another note: I really liked that our introduction to Peeta's current status took the form of (paraphrasing) "Peeta was taken prisoner; he is thought to be dead; most likely he is dead; it's probably for the best if he's dead." Mostly because it reminds me so much of Everything is Illuminated with its lipstick messages, like "You are Yankel. You love Brod."

  45. Karen says:

    Never did I think that the rebellion would piss me off. Bravo, Collins.
    RIGHT? But I love it. I love that Collins's world isn't split into black and white. Like, the rebellion is against the pitol, so it's obviously good, right? But yet they're still treating Katniss like an object, like a piece of meat that they can fashion into whatever the want for their own gain. Katniss still isn't being treated like a human being with real feelings.

  46. kaybee42 says:

    THE CAT!I totally freaking called it! when he popped up I was all "TRELAWNEY IN THE HOUSE MOTHER FUCKERRRRRRRRRRR"
    😀
    I feel like my predictions are a success now, no matter what happens!
    also
    "My thoughts immediately went here: OH MY GOD, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, HE’S BEHIND YOU" METOO!
    I'm still mildly creeped out by it, tbh! President Snow is creeeeeeeeeeepy!

  47. momigrator says:

    What creeps me out is WHY they are letting Katniss roam free. I mean, they must know she would've gone back to 12, so why don't they have a person permanently stationed there to capture her? Maybe they WANT her to be free for some reason, and if that is the case then WHY? This cannot be a good thing.

  48. Liza says:

    First of all, I'm glad you pointed out that you were mad at the Rebellion, and that she was amazing for actually setting up a situation that you would be mad…I felt *the same way*…reminds me of Dr. Horrible, that it takes a lot to feel sorry for a guy who seeks murder and world domination and, well, evil.

    Second HOLY CRAP WHEN I FIRST READ THAT I WAS LIKE, CALL GALE NOW, GET OUT OF THERE, PRESIDENT SNOW IS ~WATCHING~ AND YOU'RE GONNA START A BATTLE OVER YOUR HOUSE HOLY CRAP WTF GET OUT NOOOOOW

  49. Amy says:

    PEEEEETA. D:

    *only nonspoilery thought I possess*

  50. Kripa says:

    Cherry Jones as Coin, Gregory Itzin as Snow. Discuss.

  51. The Capitol executes Gamemakers to make examples of them. The Peacekeepers clearly were not keeping the damn peace. Collateral damage is more than acceptable.

  52. Kripa says:

    Also, what about Portia? What happened to her? Is she still alive? Prisoner? Carrying on her probably-dead colleague's brilliance?

  53. Kripa says:

    Alternately, Shohreh Aghdashloo as Coin. I just really really like Shohreh Aghdashloo. Even more than Christina Hendricks.

  54. Pk9 says:

    So I wrote down my reactions in a Word document back in August, and I never got to share them because that "Hunger Games Readalong" only had one blog for Mockingjay and everyone stopped commenting. I don't have a reaction for every chapter, but the ones that I do have I will post here. These are as fresh as Mark's reactions:

    Chapter 1
    Holy crap Katniss is in a dark place. I’m guessing much of the first 9 chapters will be her emotionally trying to figure out what it is that is worth fighting for. Harry Potter’s got her pwned there.

    Why’d they cut the electricity before dropping the bombs? They could have kept everyone inside to die. I’m really surprised to find out Gale really got them all out after chapter 26 of Catching Fire, I thought they would have gotten out sooner.

  55. Randomcheeses says:

    President Snow: Well on his way to being the creepiest person ever.

    Seriously, in the movie he'll probably end up being played by Tim Curry and oozing evil charm.

  56. blessthechildren says:

    I want PEETA to come back.

    I want to not be in the middle of a Holocaust.

    I want to kill Snow. >:(

  57. Tabbyclaw says:

    You know why that passage is funny? BECAUSE IT'S A FREAKING SILENT HOVERCRAFT FROM NOWHERE. They are inherently ridiculous.

  58. prideofportree says:

    I AM SO EXCITE.

    That's about it.

    No, one more thing: Buffy killing Snow y/y?

  59. myownmetaphor says:

    It's The Capitol. They don't give a fuck.

  60. myownmetaphor says:

    I cannot see the gif you posted for Peeta but oh God just his name. Endless tears are endless

  61. syntheticjesso says:

    BUT IT’S EARLY SO I WON’T SAY MUCH MORE IN FEAR OF STICKING MY FOOT IN MY MOUTH.

    Awwww, but half the fun is watching you gnaw on your ankle!

  62. delial says:

    can i just mention the curious fact that stephanie meyer is quoted on the cover of the spanish edition im reading? I dont see this on the cover of the english ver. but perhaps its on the back.

    -_____-"""

    perhaps she'll learn a thing or two about writing, or at least storytelling, from reading THG (if she in fact did). meh.

    anyway IM OFF TO READ SOME MORE BECAUSE I CAN >=3

  63. Phoebe says:

    YAY FIRST CHAPTER!

  64. Hotaru-hime says:

    Ugh, this book. There is no happy.

  65. myownmetaphor says:

    That is the appropriate gif to explain my feelings about Peeta at this point.

  66. PaulineParadise says:

    I don’t know if this picture has been posted already but pictures don’t show on my ipod I am disappoint apple that you can’t make img src tags work.

  67. Quizzical says:

    i give a hearty "YES! THAT'S EXACTLY HOW I REACTED!" to everything in this review. (except i've not suffered from ptsd. everything except for that).

    *hands*

    it's interesting how things that i felt very critical of in the first book, here i just accept and believe. (so far as writing style or pacing or w/e).

  68. myownmetaphor says:

    Ummm so I commented and it got eaten.

    This gif is shows perfectly my thoughts of Peeta in the hands of The Capitol. This is just something that should not be allowed at all.

  69. Eponizzle says:

    "CAN SHE LIKE TAKE A NAP OR SOMETHING?"

    LOLing all over the place. Truefax.

  70. Revolution64 says:

    "I wish Hogwarts was real."

    I was really pissed when I turned eleven and Hagrid didn't bust my door down.

  71. LoonyLu says:

    Did anyone else think it is kind of funny about how we are reading about Panem having a revolution and the same thing is going on in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen?

  72. theanagrace says:

    Luckily, mine only shows one for an iPad, and one for Rifftrax, two things of which I heartily approve.

  73. theanagrace says:

    Madge, Cinna, Wiress and Co. are in District 14. 14's main export is Grade-A Denial, and their ruling council is headed by Sirius, Remus, Tonks and Fred. I'm hoping my immigration papers go through soon, it's cold and lonely out here!

    Oh, and those things you mentioned are hella-creepy, and I will now have nightmares forever about them placing Katniss into some sort of forcible breeding program by D13 so they never run out of figureheads. Or cloning her without her consent and they have dozens of vats of Katniss look-alikes just waiting to be decanted as needed. Guh! I now have permanent heebie-jeebies.

  74. Gabbie says:

    MARK.
    MARK.
    MARK!
    No mention of Cinna!? :@ *is hurt*

  75. Harry says:

    "BACK IN DISTRICT 12 IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH. Fuck yeah, FIRE TRELAWNEY I AM LIVING IN HOGWARTS NOW. I wish Hogwarts was real."

    I am so in love with the fact that Harry still infiltrates all your thoughts and reviews. Mine too, for all time.

  76. theresa1128429 says:

    Inspector Gale!!!
    I am also partial to all of the comments about Buttercup eating corpses and the never ending HP references.
    I don't like what I've heard about D13. Rebellion against the rebellion against the capitol anyone?
    And lastly, I WANT MY WIFEY JOHANNA BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

  77. iolchos says:

    Katniss met someone from District 10 who mentions that they’re merely gathering people to help grow their numbers due to a strange infertility issue. Ok, WHAT
    MORLOCKS
    I WAS THINKING MORLOCKS
    WHO ELSE??

  78. finnickodair says:

    Oh, God. It's like it's the beginning of the end….

    *cries*

    And that is due to several things.
    1. Mockingjay means it's almost over : (
    2. Cinnaaaaa and Peetaaaaa
    3. Plus Katniss totally blows off Bonnie and Twill, she's like "psshhh, you idiots couldn't survive in the woods for a week… YOU DERSERVED TO DIE!"

  79. t09yavorski says:

    I planned to post this right when the sadness started. I forgot it started so soon.

    But Collins has dragged us down to the Temple of DOOOOOOOM

    <img src="http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p150/Falcon823/TOD.gif"&gt;

    ( http://forum.dvdtalk.com/archive/t-386847.html source)

    Try to prepare Mark. Even though its impossible.

  80. RainaWeather says:

    I LOVE COLLINS FOREVER FOR HAVING KATNISS BE A POOR APPALACHIAN GIRL WITH BODY HAIR!!!

  81. lisra says:

    "Good" to see Katniss reacts in the way I wanted after the last Catching Fire chapter. Anything else would be just wrong.

    "I hate everyone now." And rightly so. "Rude" is a term I'd never use to describe that, but it fits.. it is rude.

    What a depressing start. Let's see how it evolves..

  82. RainaWeather says:

    EDNA MODE FOR PRESIDENT COIN!

  83. Inessa says:

    “I don’t know if there’s anything I could say to counter this. Obviously, Katniss was doing what she could to stay alive. I don’t think I would ever criticize her for that. I get it. She shouldn’t have done anything differently. But she does have to deal with the fact that what she did inherently caused the bombing of District 12.”
    Strictly speaking, it was the Capitol, not Katniss that bombed District 12. The Capitol sent new peace keepers, and organised torture and whipping. The Capitol shut down mines, so people starved. The Capitol cut further food supplies, and people were starving. I mean, surely it was a matter of time before people could no longer bear the oppression and rebelled, and then met with the same response from the Capitol. After all, when District 8 rebelled, the Capitol had no issue to immediately respond by exploding the factory including workers who may not have had anything to do with any uprising, including childen.

  84. Meghan says:

    My thoughts immediately went here: OH MY GOD, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, HE’S BEHIND YOU

    Yes. This. And I'm the kind of person who hides when the music in movies gets creepy, but in Hunger Games YOU CAN'T LOOK AWAY because it's a book and I was just like NOOO DON'T JUMP OUT ;____; DON'T DO IT

  85. booksinbulk says:

    hey all. this was discussed in some previous posts but i never got to ask the question…what's this RON from the future!! business hahah…i guess it was something to do with predictions for DH? i am just so curious as an HP fan what it might be. i figured the latest post would be the most active to get some funny responses! :)

  86. myownmetaphor says:

    Look, I think that this breaks Mark's Rules on Spoiling. You clearly don't so I can't change your mind.

  87. IsabelArcher2 says:

    Sigh. Weekends. Well, if you're trying to avoid a 5 page paper due tomorrow at 9pm, like me, then you should come over to the SPOILER site (if you've read the series, that is), and we can continue the procrastination!!
    http://markreadspoilerzone.wordpress.com/

  88. The Queen of Harts says:

    Also: thank you so much for explaining what the hell that "X Highlited………" thing was. I was reading on my Kindle the other day and it confused me to no end. Now I understand. This has been revolutionary to my Kindle-reading experience (lol)

  89. qwopisinthemailbox says:

    "post-modern Inspector Gadget."
    OwO
    DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN INSPECTOR GADGET, DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN, WOO HOO! DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN INSPECT GADGET DUN. DUN DUN. GO GADGET GO!….
    <img src="http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t123/janetipr/Inspector_Gadget.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Inspector Gadget Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    I'M SORRY MARK. I TRIED TO READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW, BUT THE MINUTE I SAW THAT MY BRAIN GOT STUCK ON INSPECTOR GADGET AND HIS THEME SONG.

  90. vampira2468 says:

    So agree about wanting Hogwarts to be real. Here it for the Slytherins!!

    I so wanted more about the government.

  91. thecorinediaries says:

    "Never did I think that the rebellion would piss me off. Bravo, Collins."

    So true! The rebels were supposed to be super cool and good to the bone and stuff, and we get this mean lot using Katniss regardless of her situation. =/

  92. chloe says:

    you need mention more peeta!!!!

  93. Doodle says:

    Peeta :(

    Also, I think it's possible that the women in District 13 have infertility problems because of radiation. We know that 13 was responsible for nuclear power before the Dark Days (right?), so maybe when they were fighting with the Capitol they got bombed, and the radiation screwed with their reproductive systems.

    Also: Peetaaaaaaaaaaa :(

  94. Anon says:

    The summer’s been scorching hot and dry as a bone. There’s been next to no rain to disturb the piles of ash left by the attack. They shift here and there, in reaction to my footsteps. No breeze to scatter them. I keep my eyes on what I remember as the road, because when I first landed in the Meadow, I wasn’t careful and I walked right into a rock. Only it wasn’t a rock—it was someone’s skull. It rolled over and over and landed faceup, and for a long time I couldn’t stop looking at the teeth, wondering whose they were, thinking of how mine would probably look the same way under similar circumstances.

    While I was reading this, ironically this song starting playing as soon as I started the chapter…[youtube iRM-eWWty2g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRM-eWWty2g youtube] which just made it even more despairing for me, and…I can't say anything without tearing up….Poor District 12…. :'(

    But still…over 90% of the District 12 dead….wow

  95. Howlynn says:

    I am back on the hovercrafts again —- So it takes Days to fly one hovercraft to 13 — but the (now hot since movie cast Donald) Mr. Snows hoover crafts can be full of pilot, fuel. orders, bombs and ON location in 15 minutes. Did the rebels let Haymitch Drive or something? And now the rebels have INVISIBLE hovercrafts — why didn't they use those to pick up victors rather than the slow one —

  96. Hanh says:

    Yesterday afternoon, as the door was closing behind me, I heard [President] Coin say, “I told you we should have rescued the boy first.”

    THANKS, PRESIDENT COIN. That vote of confidence is TRULY UPLIFTING.
    I took that to mean that if Peeta were here, Katniss would probably be cooperating.

    I understand Katniss' reluctance but I also understand the Rebellion's need to get her leading as soon as possible. The moment's there. The Districts are at war with the Capitol. It's crucial to find a way for them to band together RIGHT NOW. So at least they have the respect not to force her into it…at least yet.

    And oh man Peeta's entire family is dead. I can't believe Gale didn't attempt to rescue them. I feel like if it was Peeta in that circumstance, he would have done it. Oh tragedy and then Finnick is a sobbing mess. No one's in a state to lead the rebel cause.

    President Snow: Hey Katniss. I know what you did last summer.
    <img src="http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lboqtmaLSi1qze5g2o1_500.gif"&gt;

  97. Me? says:

    Coin creeped me out when I read the book. I mean seriously, scared me have to death.

    I hated Coin throughout the whole thing.

    Absolutely hated… Wanted her to die. . . Even from the first time she spoke I hated her.

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