Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 2

In the second chapter of Mockingjay, we learn just how difficult the situation is for Katniss, the rebels, and, surprisingly, Peeta. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Mockingjay.

I really want to applaud Collins for making this all so uncomfortable.

I think I expected an unrealistic reality when I finished Catching Fire; I thought that things would be much more hopeful for Katniss when she was picked up by Haymitch and Plutarch at the end of the Games. I knew she’d be upset by Peeta being captured. I didn’t even remotely predict the environment that Mockingjay opens up with.

The thing is, I don’t feel hope right now. And yes, this might seem strange, but this is pretty goddamn awesome. It feels far more realistic that Katniss has shut down due to trauma and depression than if she suddenly went all gung-ho to fight the rebellion.

Gale sits next to me. “Pretty bad down there?”

“Couldn’t be much worse,” I answer. I look in his eyes and see my own grief reflected there. Our hands find each other, holding fast to a part of 12 that Snow has somehow failed to destroy. We sit in silence for the rest of the trip to 13, which only takes about forty-five minutes. A mere week’s journey on foot.

I’m interested to see how this plays out. Like I said towards the end of the last book, I finally started to believe the Peeta/Katniss pairing. It seemed real, and their mutual respect for each other grew to something genuine and touching. And yet, Gale and Katniss just feel so natural together. There’s no pretension or grandeur to their interaction, as this scene shows us, and I wonder if this is going to affect who Katniss ends up with by the completion of the trilogy.

Bonnie and Twill, the District 8 refugees who I encountered in the woods last winter, weren’t so far from their destination after all. They apparently didn’t make it, though. When I asked about them in 13, no one seemed to know whom I was talking about. Died in the woods, I guess.

Yeah, so back on that theme of awfulness. Collins doesn’t seem reluctant to make everything terrible right from the get-go.

Let’s move on to District 13, something I was essentially drooling about all throughout Catching Fire. We finally get our first look at it here in chapter two and, like everything else, it’s not quite what I anticipated. Everything is essentially built underground, as we already knew, and from Katniss’s narration, I’m guessing that 13 is somewhere near Washington, D.C.:

There was already a substantial underground facility here, developed over centuries to be either a clandestine refuge for government leaders in a time of war or a last resort for humanity if life above became unlivable.

THIS IS TOTES UNDER CONGRESS OR SOMETHING. Or the Pentagon, maybe? I’M CALLING IT. Though I suppose it’s actually unimportant to the actual story, it’s funny to guess all of this since we don’t get a hard-coded map from Collins.

District 13 itself was indeed the byproduct of the last uprising during the Dark Days, when the rebels took control of the nuclear weapons housed by the Capitol. I didn’t expect the reveal that there are nuclear weapons on the west side of the country, though, and I’m worried of oncoming nuclear warfare. IN WHICH EVERYONE DIES. RIGHT? Because you always lose against a nuclear bomb. I have a feeling Collins isn’t going to include this detail and then never deal with it again.

I think the most surprising (and, admittedly, upsetting) aspect of District 13 is the system by which they organize themselves. Katniss describes the rigid routine and I’m not too thrilled with how this might affect future events:

You can go outside for exercise and sunlight but only at very specific times in your schedule. You can’t miss your schedule. Every morning, you’re supposed to stick your right arm in this contraption in the wall. It tattoos the smooth inside of your forearm with your schedule for the day in a sickly purple ink. 7:00—Breakfast. 7:30—Kitchen Duties. 8:30—Education Center, Room 17. And so on. The ink is indelible until 22:00—Bathing. That’s when whatever keeps it water resistant breaks down and the whole schedule rinses away. The lights-out at 22:30 signals that everyone not on the night shift should be in bed.

The thing is, I understand why they have such a schedule. Being allowed to live outside of Capitol rule is a HUGE thing, something that can’t be loss due to a lack of organization. I think this sort of rigidity makes total sense. I see this being a huge problem for all of the refugees who escaped one set of rules to replace them with another. (I also can’t deny that it must inversely be comforting for other people to leave the chaos of District 12 and find this, so I don’t want it to seem like I’m completely against it.)

It doesn’t work for Katniss and I’m not surprised. She is not a particularly chaotic person and she’s certainly the type to have a routine. But after the events of the last year or so, she’s mostly abandoned a lot of her old mainstays. The image of her sleeping in hidden areas around District 13 only suggests how bad her unrest is. I did derive some joy from this moment, as Katniss did too:

Fortunately, the people of 12 have never been wasteful. But once I saw Fulvia Cardew crumple up a sheet of paper with just a couple of words written on it and you wouldn’ve thought she’d murdered someone for the looks she got. Her face turned tomato red, making the silver flowers inlaid in her plump cheeks even more noticeable. The very portrait of excess. One of my few pleasures in 13 is watching the handful of pampered Capitol “rebels” squirming as they try to fit in.

I’d probably enjoy this. MARK HATES RICH PEOPLE lol

Then I take a deep breath and open the door. My mother and sister are home for 18:00—Reflection, a half hour of downtime before dinner. I see the concern on their faces as they try to gauge my emotional state. Before anyone can ask anything, I empty my game bag and it becomes 18:00—Cat Adoration. Prim just sits on the floor weeping and rocking that awful Buttercup, who interrupts his purring only for an occasional hiss at me. He gives me a particularly smug look when she ties the blue ribbon around his neck.

I’m perfectly fine if, in chapter five, both nuclear bombs go off and somehow, Buttercup is the only living thing left on the planet and we just follow him around for the remainder of Mockingjay. 100% ok with that.

Gale and Katniss head to Command, the room where the leaders of the rebellion use their technology to keep track of the uprising. One of the tools they have is a feed of what the Capitol is broadcasting on television sets across Panem, and I was fascinated by their use of propaganda, war footage, and ominous warnings from President Snow. POINTS TO COLLINS FOR THE SMALL DETAILS.

So it’s almost entertaining to see Caesar Flickerman, the eternal host of the Hunger Games, with his painted face and sparkly suit, preparing to give an interview. Until the camera pulls back and I see that his guest is Peeta.

WHAT THE HOLY HELL.

Collins continues to keep me on my toes, as Peeta’s interview with Caesar is one surprise after another:

Peeta looks healthy to the point of robustness. His skin is glowing, flawless, in that full-body-polish way. His manner’s composed, serious. I can’t reconcile this image with the battered, bleeding boy who haunts my dreams.

At first, this also made no sense to me. Why would they present Peeta as if they’d done nothing to him? But upon asking myself that question, it started to make sense: they’re using him as a mouthpiece.

The interview is just straight-up odd. I can’t read Peeta at all and I had a hard time determining what he actually believes and what the Capitol is trying to use as propaganda. He’s clearly confused about the last night in the arena and the realization that he and Katniss were pawns for the rebellion.

Here’s the first moment that confuses me. Caesar asks Peeta to describe that final night in the arena and Peeta doesn’t hesitate to be open and candid about it. He discusses how horrifying and claustrophobic it is, how the very concept of the Hunger Games is inconceivable, even a second time around.

“As bad as it makes you feel, you’re going to have to do some killing, because in the arena, you only get one wish. And it’s very costly.”

“It costs your life,” says Caesar.

“Oh, no. It costs a lot more than your life. To murder innocent people?” says Peeta. “It costs everything you are.”

Heavy philosophy aside, I can’t figure out why the Capitol would be ok with someone speaking about the Hunger Games this way. There’s no possible positive connotation to this that I could figure out.

“You were too caught up in Beetee’s plan to electrify the salt lake,” says Caesar.

“Too busy playing allies with the others. I should have never let them separate us!” Peeta bursts out. “That’s when I lost her.”

This, on the other hand, seems genuine, an actual expression of anger and disappointment on his part.

“I can only remember bits and pieces. Trying to find her. Watching Brutus kill Chaff. Killing Brutus myself. I know she was calling my name. Then the lightning bolt hit the tree, and the force field around the arena…blew out.”

Holy shit, Peeta actually killed someone? What the FUCK? It’s made even worse when Caesar suggests that perhaps Katniss was on the rebels’ side all along:

Peeta’s on his feet, leaning in on Caesar’s face, hands locked on the arms of his interviewer’s chair. “Really? And was it part of her plan for Johanna to nearly kill her? For that electric shock to paralyze her? To trigger the bombing?” He’s yelling now. “She didn’t know, Caesar! Neither of us knew anything except that we were trying to keep each other alive!”

And now we’re back to a genuine statement from Peeta that doesn’t seem to benefit the Capitol at all. I DON’T GET THIS.

When Haymitch is brought up, Peeta is quick to share his distaste for him, especially since Haymitch deceived both him and Katniss in order to satisfy his agenda. And while I am a big fan of Haymitch as a character, I’m glad that both Katniss and Peeta are openly defiant towards being pawns in all of this, especially since none of this was done with their consent. This is also when we learn what happened to Haymitch:

I haven’t seen Haymitch since I attacked him on the hovercraft, leaving long claw marks down his face. I know it’s been bad for him here. District 13 strictly forbids any production or consumption of intoxicating beverages, and even the rubbing alcohol in the hospital is kept under lock and key. Finally, Haymitch is being forced into sobriety, with no secret stashes or home-brewed concoctions to ease his transition. They’ve got him in seclusion until he’s dried out, as he’s not deemed fit for public display. It must be excruciating, but I lost all my sympathy for Haymitch when I realized how he had deceived us.

I get it. I do. But I know, as an alcoholic many years ago, that becoming sober is incredibly painful and difficult, so while I do support the general idea of Katpee’s hatred for Haymitch, maybe she’s going a bit too far.

Peeta drops the first bit of what I would think is Capitol propaganda when Caesar asks him how he feels about the war:

“I want everyone watching—whether you’re on the Capitol or the rebel side—to stop for just a moment and think about what this war could mean. For human beings. We almost went extinct fighting one another before. Now our numbers are even fewer. Our conditions more tenuous. Is this really what we want to do? Kill ourselves off completely? In the hopes that—what? Some decent species will inherit the smoking remains of the earth?”

On a pacifist level (AND I AM A BIG PACIFIST I have never even punched someone in the face), Peeta’s speech is neat, but it feel entirely written by the Capitol as a ploy to get the rebels to lay down their arms so they can be SMASHED BY THE STATE. I don’t trust it. I don’t like it. And it makes me sad that Peeta said it.

As the voices in Command turn to name calling Peeta, referring to him as a traitor and a liar and WHO IS COIN. I mean, I know who she is, but something isn’t quite right with her. I can’t figure her out either, so when she tells Katniss, “You have not been dismissed, Soldier Everdeen,” I just want to yell YOU’RE NOT MY MOTHER! And then storm out of the room, stomping upstairs so I can get emo to Linkin Park.

What.

Gale follows after Katniss, having suffered a bloody nose due to the elbow of one of Coin’s guards. It’s great to hear them joking between each other, just because it reminds me that these two are friends, that they come from a similar place and they are there to help each other out.

This is one of the few good things about 13. Getting Gale back. With the pressure of the Capitol’s arranged marriage between Peeta and me gone, we’ve managed to regain our friendship. He doesn’t push it any further—try to kiss me or talk about love. Either I’ve been too sick, or he’s willing to give me space, or he knows it’s just too cruel with Peeta in the hands of the Capitol. Whatever the case, I’ve got someone to tell my secrets to again.

Huh. Maybe there is a chance of a Gale/Katniss future. OH WAIT, I PREDICTED GALE WOULD DIE sadness forever :/

But for now, I’m glad that Katniss has someone that understands her, that she’s not entirely alone in all of this. It helps for her to have someone to talk all of this through, someone who knows what’s happened, and someone who trusts her enough to respect how she feels. They openly discuss Peeta’s interview, and Gale comes to a disturbing conclusion:

“My guess is he made some kind of deal to protect you. He’d put forth the idea of the cease-fire if Snow let him present you as a confused pregnant girl who had no idea what was going on when she was taken prisoner by the rebels. This way, if the districts lose, there’s still a chance of leniency for you. If you play it right.” I must still look perplexed because Gale delivers the next line very slowly. “Katniss…he’s still trying to keep you alive.”

That certainly explains more of this. So Peeta is possibly acting entirely out of selfish desire to keep Katniss alive. (Or wait. Is that selfish? I suppose it’s only selfish if he expects to live himself, right?) THIS IS NOT GOOD. Peeta, you could seriously fuck this up with that kind of narrow interpretation of events. I still think it’s noble of him to do what he can to keep her alive, but possibly put an entire nation at risk for that? THAT’S WEIRD, RIGHT?

Katniss agrees and suddenly stands up aside Gale in a haste.

“He doesn’t know what they did to Twelve. If he could’ve seen what was on the ground—“ I start.

RIGHT? RIGHT??? I AGREE WITH YOU, KATNISS.

What am I going to do?

I take a deep breath. My arms rise slightly—as if recalling the black-and-white wings Cinna gave me—then come to rest at my sides.

“I’m going to be the Mockingjay.”

WHAT!!!! Badass conversion IS ABOUT TO BEGIN. FUCK YEAH.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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

201 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 2

  1. MaggieCat says:

    "WHO IS COIN. I mean, I know who she is, but something isn’t quite right with her. I can’t figure her out either, so when she tells Katniss, “You have not been dismissed, Soldier Everdeen,” I just want to yell YOU’RE NOT MY MOTHER! And then storm out of the room, stomping upstairs"

    Heh, I thought that was just me! Mostly because the description of Coin sounds so much like my h.s. English teacher from sophomore year that I tend to have the same sort of reaction.Complete with the occasional "Blah blah blah, why are you lecturing us like we are kindergarteners, god when will this period be over so I can go home where is a time machine when you need it damn it" that ran through my head rather than listening to overblown nonsense about A Separate Peace, so I thought I might be projecting.

    Although come to think of it Mrs. G would probably have been a good candidate for running a militarized separatist government. In a scary terrifying way.

  2. lindseytinsey says:

    It's just getting started, Mark!

    I don't really like Coin at this moment. She irritates me.
    I love how the people from the Capitol are desperately trying to fit in in district 13. I would laugh openly at them. -_-

    Kind of off topic but everything happening in Egypt right now reminds me of the uprisings in the Hunger Games trilogy. More cities are hearing things and forming their own uprisings…

    • cait0716 says:

      I sympathize with the Capitol refugees a lot. I spent a year living in Boulder. Everyone and their mother is all "I ride my bike everywhere and don't even own a car and I recycle and compost and grow all my own fruits and veggies and only have one little ziploc baggie of trash every week, but I don't use ziploc baggies because plastic is the devil and hurts our mother Gaia and ORGANIC EVERYTHING" And I'm all Jesus Christ, I can't be that green.

  3. CINNAmon says:

    This book is so bleak. Collins hates us :'(

    So at the end of the day, the situation is not any better. It seems that both Panem and D13 are under strict dictatorship. Can't wait to see how this plays out.

    • ldwy says:

      It's definitely worrisome. Trying to overcome something that requires a huge struggle, it's so easy to lose the good or admirable ideals you start out with, fighting for.
      I expected this book to me more happy. Yay we're fighting for good, promptly followed, or even not promptly, just eventually, followed by: Yay we've won.
      But I think it won't be that black and white (and okay, really I'm not surprised) and like Mark, I admire Collins for being so real and harsh.

  4. Shanella says:

    and we're off! I love the go go go pace of this book. I also love how realistic the plot is. I mean, war is not always filled with hope, as a matter of fact, living in a war zone gives you anything but hope …

  5. monkeybutter says:

    Oh, man, now I'm just imagining Katniss freaking out at Coin. WHATEVER, I DO WHAT I WANT.

    I really like this chapter because I like the discussion of resistance and war, and I was so giddy to see more inside of District 13. I love that it survived because of constant vigilance!

    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2iihcsi.jpg"&gt;

    THIS IS TOTES UNDER CONGRESS OR SOMETHING. Or the Pentagon, maybe? I’M CALLING IT.

    It's funny you say that, because the Capitol Visitor's Center was built to be a bunker for Congress (the visitor's center aspect is a bit of a joke, but it makes it easier to screen people before they get near the building). That's why it cost half a billion dollars and took so long to complete. It was also started after the bunker under the Greenbrier was exposed and Collins most likely heard of it when it happened. There's also Raven Rock, Mount Weather, whatever the hell Dick Cheney built under the Naval Observatory, and one more place that I'm sure you've heard of. Within 100 miles of DC is a decent guess (but all of those places are probably riddled with Cheney cooties).

    Buttercup's adventures through the wasteland would make an amazing morbid children's book.

  6. monkeybutter says:

    Oh, man, now I'm just imagining Katniss freaking out at Coin. WHATEVER, I DO WHAT I WANT.

    I really like this chapter because I like the discussion of resistance and war, and I was so giddy to see more inside of District 13. I love that it survived because of constant vigilance!

    <img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2iihcsi.jpg"&gt;

    THIS IS TOTES UNDER CONGRESS OR SOMETHING. Or the Pentagon, maybe? I’M CALLING IT.

    It's funny you say that, because the Capitol Visitor Center was built to be a bunker for Congress (the visitor's center aspect is a bit of a joke, but it makes it easier to screen people before they get near the building). That's why it cost half a billion dollars and took so long to complete. It was also started after the bunker under the Greenbrier was exposed and Collins most likely heard of it when it happened. There's also Raven Rock, Mount Weather, whatever the hell Dick Cheney built under the Naval Observatory, and one more place that I'm sure you've heard of (off the top of my head, there are probably more). Within 100 miles of DC is a decent guess, but all of those places are probably riddled with Cheney cooties, so who wants to stay there?

    Buttercup's adventures through the wasteland would make an amazing morbid children's book.

  7. bell_erin_a says:

    Please allow me to indulge in a moment of rage based on something from the first chapter, which I didn’t comment on then because I hadn’t reread the chapter.
    Plutarch’s sources believe he was killed during interrogation. Brilliant, enigmatic, lovely Cinna is dead because of me.
    THAT’S IT?!? THAT’S ALL WE GET ABOUT CINNA’S PROBABLE FATE? A MAYBE, WE THINK HE WAS KILLED, OKAY, HE’S PROBABLY DEAD?! I MEAN, I KNOW IT’S WAR AND SOMETIMES YOU NEVER FIND OUT, BUT REALLY?? I wish I could believe Plutarch’s sources don’t know shit and that actually Cinna took out 30 Peacekeepers (what a BAMF) when he escaped, but I can’t. 🙁

    Oh shit, the Capitol lied about what happened with D13! Heh heh, the real story doesn’t make you guys in the Capitol look so strong and ~in control~, now does it? Actually, D13 and the Capitol kind of remind me of kindergardeners on the playground. They probably looked like this:

    <img src="http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ley0pmKt1l1qcwsd8o1_400.gif"&gt;
    or even this:

    <img src="http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lej2la76A51qcnhhzo1_500.gif"&gt;

    I can tell I’m going to need to stockpile all the “O RLY” gifs because seriously. I’m one of those people who works better when I have a set schedule, but the tattooing on the arm thing is ridiculous (to me. It also makes total sense). YOU FOOLS CAN’T TELL ME (or Katniss, for that matter) WHEN THE HELL I CAN AND CAN’T GO OUTSIDE. OR HAVE “REFLECTION TIME.” BITCHES. Also, living underground? NO. I neeeeeeeeeeed sunlight!

    PEEEEETTTTTAAAAAA!!!! Confusing interview is confusing. I’m just glad he’s… okay? Building card houses? BUT OH SHIT, KATNISS IS THE MOCKINGJAY (and it's even her choice for once!). YOU GUYS IN THE CAPITOL HAVE ALREADY SEEN SOME OF HER DISPLAYS OF BAMF-NESS AND YOU'RE NOT EVEN GOING TO KNOW WHAT HIT YOU! I hope?

    • zuzu says:

      Tee hee. Colin you kick flawlessly.

    • barnswallowkate says:

      Oh hey Mr. Darcy <3

    • andreah1234 says:

      I wish I could believe Plutarch’s sources don’t know shit and that actually Cinna took out 30 Peacekeepers (what a BAMF) when he escaped, but I can’t. 🙁
      Well I CAN. IN MY HAPPY HEAD LAND HE IS ALIVE AND BADASS AND COOL AND HE'S WORKING ON HIS OWN TO FUCK WITH THE CAPITOL,BECAUSE HE'S AWESOME LIKE THAT. And no one, and I mean NO ONE, can make me change my mind. Not even the author of the series.

      /denial me is in denial.

      • Andrew says:

        The Hunger Games Book 4: District Cinna

        • trash_addict says:

          Everyone would be so fabulously dressed in District Cinna! Even if it's wartime. He'll make you an awesome dress made of like, ashes and twigs.

      • grlgoddess says:

        I'm totally filing that away in the part of my head where Fred is still alive, and Percy died tragically just after being redeemed. FRED DIDN'T DIE AND YOU CAN'T TELL ME OTHERWISE!

    • trash_addict says:

      Bwaha, thank you for posting that Bridget Jones gif, that scene will never fail to make me laugh.

  8. I’m perfectly fine if, in chapter five, both nuclear bombs go off and somehow, Buttercup is the only living thing left on the planet and we just follow him around for the remainder of Mockingjay. 100% ok with that.
    As you wish.

    (AND I AM A BIG PACIFIST I have never even punched someone in the face)
    How about yourself? You promised!

    WHAT!!!! Badass conversion IS ABOUT TO BEGIN. FUCK YEAH.
    PANEM, FUCK YEAH!

    That doesn't have the same ring to it, hm.

    THE MOCKINGJAY, FUCK YEAH!

    There we go. Although now I want to see Mockingjay re-enacted with marionettes. Fuck it, the whole series, really. Someone get on that.

    In other news, if you've ever found anything I've posted funny (4 out 5 Finnicks choose trident, Coin is gonna FLIP, etc), may I ask that you consider making a donation to 826 Valencia? They provide writing workshops for students, schooling them in the ways of making SHIT GET REAL. Also, I get to beat Michael Chabon and Lemony Snicket in a spelling bee.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      OMG I LOVE 826 VALENCIA. It was one of the first places I visited when I moved to the Bay and DAVE EGGERS WAS NOT THERE.

      • He's never been there the many times I visited either! I take all my friends there and attempt to get them mopped. Sometimes I succeed. Other times, they have their revenge. I buy shirts and books and pirate supplies, but I'm glad to be able to do something substantial like this. I'd love your support, and if you wouldn't mind plugging it, that'd be great. I think it's a relevant cause for this community!

        • exbestfriend says:

          I knew someone who was an intern there and they met Dave Eggers ONCE! He worked for them and still never saw him.
          ALSO- PIRATE STORE FTW!

        • trash_addict says:

          Hold up. PIRATE STORE. I'm visiting San Francisco briefly next month, my trip across the Pacific will be completely if I visit a pirate store – tell me more and I'm putting it on the itinerary….

          • Pirate store! Located at 826 Valencia (hence the name) in the Mission. Get off at 16th and Mission BART, go a couple blocks west to Valencia, turn left, and go down three-and-a-half blocks. It'll be on your right. You can buy useful pirate supplies like eye patches, gold teeth, compasses, and parrot planks. For when your parrot mutinies. All proceeds go to helping students with their writing skills!

  9. Medusian says:

    The first few chapters of Mockingjay were hard for me because of the difference in narration style– how broken and blank Katniss sounds in comparison– but you're right, the uncomfortableness is what makes it real, because here you have a girl who probably has PSTD being thrown into something she's not prepared for and barely coping and everything's hopelessly fucked. It's the same kind of squirmy afdshjkfness I got from reading Nineteen Eighty-Four.

  10. cait0716 says:

    I love this book. I like that the rebellion isn't a happy land with rainbows and bunnies. This is war and life is hard. And I like that, for the refugees from the Capitol, life hasn't really gotten any better and probably actually seems a lot worse now. The strictness of D13 makes sense, but at the same time, I couldn't help thinking that, in some ways, Katniss had a better life pre-rebellion. Yes, the Hunger Games were always hanging over her head, but she was able to make basic choices about how her routine was structured. I think Collins does a very good job getting the anti-war message out in these books by showing how hard life continues to be on the other side.

    • Annalebanana says:

      That's what's a toughy for me though. Is it a better life to live under Capitol oppression or have this new rebellion? And should Katniss' relatively easy life before (I said RELATIVELY) be desirable if everyone else continues to suffer? Basically how can we even choose when there is nothing for Katniss on either side, and everyone has to either suffer death from possible nuclear warfare or life under the Capitol? I tend to think A rebellion was necessary, though this one I am not liking so much. A Gandhi approach would never work here, but still…. I always hate war. But is it fair to keep a horrible government in and have everyone live, albeit with constantly horrible lives? That is, to me, what I think Katniss is struggling between. On one side (Peeta's side, since these characters are basically foils for the different parts of Katniss), she knows how horrible a rebellion could be. She was in the Hunger Games and knows how it feels to kill somebody and thinks that couldn't really be desirable. On the other side (of Gale), she knows that it will never be acceptable to keep things the way they are. She has lived under the horrors of the Capitol and thinks that can't be desirable as well. That to me, is what defines Peeta and Gale. Peeta has lived a comfy, though depressing life, and he care more about Katniss and not having so many killings than having freedom, as he hasn't had to live SUCH a crappy life, whereas Gale doesn't know the consequences of War, but sure as hell knows that it wouldn't be right to not have a rebellion. CONFLICTION! It seems like there is really no right answer to this.. Sadness all around!

      • cait0716 says:

        This is exactly why this is my favorite book of the three. In so many YA novels (and literature in general) you have a clear line between the good guys and the bad guys. (eg Voldemort is clearly evil and Harry Potter is clearly good). But with Mockingjay you have to think a bit harder about whether you agree with Katniss', Gale's and Peeta's motivations and actions. I love the murky gray area where nothing is certain.

        And I agree with you about hating war in basically any situation. It's not glory and honor. It's murder and trauma. Unfortunately, it's also part of the world we live in.

        • I hear you. "War is hell" sounds trite, but it's accurate. On the other hand, I don't know what I'd do if I had to watch my children starving to death. I guess some situations are so bad that there is no "right" thing to do, but only a decision that will end the horror the soonest. (I'm not a general, nor am I a philosopher, I'm just doing my best in understanding.)

  11. ladygem says:

    I don't know why, but something about District 13 makes me feel like it's the Soviet Union to the Capitol's Roman Empire/Nazi Germany. They're on our side for the moment, but I don't trust them, or think that their even that much better than the capitol. Can't wait to see how this plays out!

  12. mugglemomof2 says:

    The start of book three is such a contrast to books 1 & 2- but to me it works! I loved how this book started. To me, it is where the series needed to go.

    I see this being a huge problem for all of the refugees who escaped one set of rules to replace them with another
    I remember reading this thinking really? This can't be the right way to go. It made me nervous. I (unlike you Mark) didn't see how this was good.

    Peeta I DON’T GET THIS
    That made two of us. I was lost at this point and desperate to understand

  13. Randomcheeses says:

    Peeta's Alive!!

    *cue Flash Gordon theme*

  14. hallowsnothorcruxes says:

    Siriusly what's going on with Peeta? I don't really believe Gale's interpretation of his interview. On the other hand, did anyone immediately think of Zion when we find out District 13 is underground.

  15. AngryAsian says:

    I just want to yell YOU’RE NOT MY MOTHER! And then storm out of the room, stomping upstairs so I can get emo to Linkin Park.

    mark, my love for you knows no bounds. I WAS THAT GIRL!

  16. thefbm says:

    OMG DISTRICT 13 ARE TREE HUGGERS! Haha they are serious when it come to wasting paper, love this!

    I know many fans were upset of how Katniss wad acting in these first few chapters but how else would you act if you wnet hrough what Katniss went throough. So glad Mark understands….

  17. bookling says:

    I totally picture Buttercup as being like Crookshanks. And I would absolutely read a book all about Buttercup. TEAM AWESOME CATS.

    <img src="http://images1.makefive.com/images/entertainment/books/top-5-harry-potter-characters/crookshanks-7.jpg"&gt;

    I agree with you about Gale. It was so comforting for me to start this book and see that Katniss had her partner back. I love Peeta and everything, but sometimes he gets on his high horse and just rubs me the wrong way, so I never really shipped Katpee.

    • lisra says:

      "Fuzzy, Guardian of the secret Shrines of Attic" or something.. signing up for TEAM AWESOME CATS!

    • Keysmash says:

      I completely picture crookshanks as buttercup!!!

    • bendemolena says:

      Agreed on literally all points! Honestly my favorite part about this chapter (besides Caturday!) is the fact that Gale is back. He just seemed like a bit of a tall, dark and handsomely-bound open book in the first two, and now we're really spending more time with him. Getting to know a character I already liked initially, and his relationship with a character I also like is a major plus.

    • RainaWeather says:

      That's who I picture too!

    • PK9 says:

      Buttercup is totally a Kneazle. That is all.

  18. theresa1128429 says:

    I vote that Johanna survives the nuclear bombs as well. And Finnick. Then they can make super sexy badass babies.
    Coin and her little friends are fucking idiots. How can they begin to think that Peeta is a traitor when he is BEING HELD CAPTIVE IN THE DAMN CAPITOL!!!!! Duhhhh. I demand a rescue mission NOW!

  19. ldwy says:

    Here is my cat doing her best Buttercup impression.
    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp212/ambyst/Marmalade/n1015891322_380075_4664332.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  20. tethysdust says:

    D13 really reminds me of the vault in the beginning of Fallout 3.

    Also, I'm not too fond of rich people in general, either, but you've got to give the ex-Capitol citizens some credit. The people from the Districts are rebelling out of desperation. The Capitol citizens could have very easily sat comfortably at home with their magic food-makers and showers and watched the District citizens be killed on TV. Instead, they gave up everything they had to join a rebellion… that didn't even want them. Of course they're going to have some initial problems fitting into their new community.

    • bell_erin_a says:

      Yeah, I would have some serious issues with giving up my magic shower and hair-untangler or whatever it was, to be quite honest. I mean, I'm only a broke college student and I almost lost it when my computer died and I was without it for a week. It was really bad. So yeah, wasteful Capitol life is by no means the way to go, but I'm cutting them a little slack, too.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      OH MY GOD IT IS TOTALLY FALLOUT 3.

  21. pooslie says:

    THIS IS TOTES UNDER CONGRESS OR SOMETHING. Or the Pentagon, maybe? I’M CALLING IT.

    i had genuinely never thought of this before (D13 is the only district that i have not given 1 thought about where it would be, strange) but it makes sense. if it is supposed to be about a week's walk from district 12 which is coal mining in Appalachia–probably west Virginia (but could also be south western PA (near PITTSBURGH!! where I live, btw) or south western Virginia (regular Virginia)/eastern Kentucky not too far south because is gets cold in winter).

    So places run by the government that are within a week's walk? DC sounds like a great explanation!

    It would also make sense that the bombed out cityscapes that they show on tv would be so useful because the buildings would have been so stately and now they are rubble.

    Mark, you are so smart!

    • PatR says:

      There's a nice little government bunker in the side of the mountain that I see every day driving to work It's in the Blue Ridge Mountains, VA. It's for the White House if they ever have to high-tail it out of DC.

  22. shortstack930 says:

    I was very surprised that Peeta killed Brutus too. But I guess if he saw Brutus kill Chaff and then Brutus came after him next he had no choice. That whole last night in the arena was so chaotic it was almost inevitable he'd have to kill someone to defend himself or Katniss. It's so sad that he's being held captive and is still trying to protect Katniss.

  23. stellaaaaakris says:

    I never thought about District 13 being in DC since I always placed it in whatever part of New England wasn't underwater. But I like the DC idea since it means I lived in D13 for 3 years, you guys. Where I live now is definitely underwater and that makes me sad.

    As for Peeta's interview. Thank goodness you're alive. My guess as to why his statement about how neither he nor Katniss knew about the plan was allowed was because it shows that neither of them we're aware of the rebellion. Which, I mean to say, can be made to look to those in the Districts who are unsure that the two figureheads of the rebellion don't actually care about it. For those who aren't convinced they want to rebel, maybe hearing Peeta, who is so good with words, that neither part of Katpee planned to leave the arena alive would dampen their rebellious spirits. Oh, boy, I don't think any of that made sense.

    And Peeta killed Brutus. Huh, well that's one of my theories wrong already. But it made me wonder what Chaff was doing in the area that he ran into the Careers. He wasn't part of Katpee's alliance, even though he was part of the group who would die to protect them, he wouldn't know about the bread and time of escape. Unless he got 24 rolls of District 3 bread for himself, which isn't at all suspicious. But I kind of like how Peeta was the one who killed Brutus. He's always seen as so pure of heart, and he is a genuinely good person, but he's 17 and has already killed a handful of people in both Games. Plus he was the one who realized that Chaff was still alive. I like to think, since Katniss says Peeta was keeping an eye out for him for Haymitch, he wanted to avenge Chaff. Oh Chaff, I liked you, why did you have to take off your invisibility cloak?

  24. Puel says:

    I didn’t even remotely predict the environment that Mockingjay opens up with.
    Oh Mark, why do you even try? Surely by now, you know that you are not and never will be prepared.

  25. hpfish13 says:

    Maybe its because I was watching Battlestar Galactica while reading this book, but now I can't stop picturing an older Admiral Cain as President Coin. They both have the same no-nonsense, no excess attitude towards warfare. Also their names are uncannily similar……

  26. theupsides says:

    I love how drastic the change is from Catching Fire to Mockingjay. The style, the tone, everything. It's depressing as fuck but completely appropriate. I'm ready to be in Sad City for a while.

    And seeing Peeta all healthy is almost worse than if they'd been beating him. They're keeping him well fed and pretty to use him. The Capitol can torture him in far worse ways than in the ones that would leave visible scars.

  27. arnenieberding says:

    Smug?

    Now I just imagine Buttercup is Smugleaf.

    <img src="http://cdn1.knowyourmeme.com/i/000/071/495/original/Smugleaf.PNG?1284342226"&gt;

    Daaayum. Look at all that smugness.

  28. andreah1234 says:

    I have to get this out of the way first:

    PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!! *fangirl squee*

    Man, I'm glad he's alive. I could sing right now. YAY PEETA!. Alright enough fangirling over Peeta (who's a lot hotter now that I realized he's from the south), and I shall comment about the chapter.

    I think this chapter might be called "the one in which Collins makes everything awful, then everything better, and then everything awful again", I think it's cool that we see how hard it's been for Kat being in 13, because I can't see her as someone who would just settle for a life full of monotonous routine instead of you know doing something.

    I just want to yell YOU’RE NOT MY MOTHER! And then storm out of the room, stomping upstairs so I can get emo to Linkin Park.
    This. This so hard. I think Coin shouldn't be telling Kat what to do because 1) she's going through a hard time and she doesn't need any more of your bullshit and 2) she's the FUCKING MOCKINGJAY SHE HAS SURVIVE 2 HUNGER GAMES, TAKE A CHILL PILL, STOP THE BULLSHIT AND LET THE GIRL LIVE HER LIFE DAMMIT.

    Gale, I have words about Gale. I think he's interesting. I don't like him as much as I like Peeta (because HE'S AWESOME OK?) but I do find him intriguing. His actitude sucks though, "I would his a button and kill everyone in the Capitol" it's not a cool thing to say, yes they might be assholes in the Capitol (a lot of them) but not everyone deserves instant dead, because not everyone is evil like Snow, I mean Cinna is (was 🙁 🙁 🙁 ) from the Capitol and he was (fuck sad forever) an awesome BAMF. So not cool Gale, I still like how you've been with Katniss, so I won't judge you too bad, yet.

    PEEEEETAAAA!!!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING LOVE?!?!??!?! WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT?!?!??! DID THEY BRAINWASHED YOU?!?!? BECAUSE IF THEY DID I WILL FUCK THE CAPITOL UP. And also, WHERE THE HELL IS FINNICK, I DEMAND FINNICK RIGHT NOW.

  29. Karen says:

    Peeta, you could seriously fuck this up with that kind of narrow interpretation of events. I still think it’s noble of him to do what he can to keep her alive, but possibly put an entire nation at risk for that? THAT’S WEIRD, RIGHT?

    I think that in some ways this goes back to Peeta and Katniss not wanting to be pawns for any one. I think Peeta is doing whatever he can to keep Katniss safe, not really giving a shit about anything else. Selfish, yeah. But idk. I can kind of understand it. It's one of the few ways in which Peeta is able to do what he wants for himself, and not for any other higher order.

    One of the things I really like in this chapter is seeing how affected Katniss is over what happened to Peeta. For a long time I had a hard time buying that she had feelings for Peeta, but in Catching Fire, I really started to see that she cared for him. And I think now in Mockingjay we're really starting to get a sense of how much she really does care for him when she's just so happy to see him alive and doesn't really give a fuck what he's saying, only caring that he's alive and capable of speech. She just stands next to the screen, with her hands up against it, drinking in the sight of him.

  30. accio doublestuff says:

    I’m guessing that 13 is somewhere near Washington, D.C…THIS IS TOTES UNDER CONGRESS OR SOMETHING.

    i NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT. that's brilliant, actually.

  31. andreah1234 says:

    And I forgot to add:

    WHAT!!!! Badass conversion IS ABOUT TO BEGIN. FUCK YEAH.

    Snow shall die. And I shall laugh at his fictional pain.

  32. Anseflans says:

    I totally didn't dream that I was a participant in the Games last night. I also totally didn't dream that all of my fellow tributes were giant tortoises. Nope, I definitely did not dream that.

    /headdesk.

    • PeanutK says:

      Sounds a lot more pleasant than the HG-themed dream I had last night. There were mutant dinosaurs (namely T-rex, raptors, giant pterodactyls, etc). In the dream I was Katniss, and I got separated from Peeta, which was awful, and climbing trees didn't help because the dinosaurs were fucking huge. It was like Jurassic Park with more dinosaurs and ten times as many people dying. o_o

      And now I wonder how many other readers have had awful nightmares because of Collins.

      • trash_addict says:

        That sounds horrible!
        I have mercifully forgotten the specifics of my Hunger Games dreams, but they were not fun 🙁

    • Fuchsia says:

      That's okay, last week I had three (THREE!) separate dreams about commenting/reading this site. WHAT.

  33. heatherfeather says:

    I'm having an idea. This is a rather new sensation! However if District 13 is so close to Appalachia, it occurs to me that it could be the Greenbrier Resort, with its formerly secret bunker…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greenbrier#The_B

  34. pennylane27 says:

    I have just realised that I'm probably going to miss the next two weeks of reviews because I'm going on holiday, and though I'm happy to be going, I can't shake the feeling of "oh nooo, I'm gonna miss TEN reviews? No way, I'm fucking staying". This isn't a healthy reaction, I'm well aware of it.

    About the chapter, I can't get over the bleakness and sadness of the tone. It really brings me down. I appreciate the realism that Collins makes us experience, but I DON'T LIKE REALISM, OK? I WANT RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS AND SOME FUCKING BUNNIES.

    I don't want to talk about Peeta, it's just too sad. I don't want to talk about Coin, she totally creeps me out for some reason. In fact I don't want to talk about anything. This is the reason I haven't reread this book.

    Anyway, Mark, happy reading. I will catch up when I come back. *sobs*

    • Saber says:

      You're not alone. I got up 2 hours earlier then I usually do on my days off to read the review as soon as it was up.

    • andreah1234 says:

      Awwwww, you will be missed.

      This isn't a healthy reaction, I'm well aware of it.

      It's 100% acceptable. No really, IT'S COOL.

      I DON'T LIKE REALISM, OK? I WANT RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS AND SOME FUCKING BUNNIES.
      Which is why, we SHOULD ALL MOVE TO HOGWARTS. Because you know *magic* can fix everything.

    • SecretGirl says:

      I understand your holiday issue. When I go on holiday, I read the reviews on my blackberry, requiring lots of squinting and scrolling. My husband waits impatiently for me to have my quality time with Mark then rejoin him. Mark, you are making a straight man jealous!

    • FlameRaven says:

      I DON'T LIKE REALISM, OK? I WANT RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS AND SOME FUCKING BUNNIES.

      If you're depressed now, well… brace yourself? Much like Catching Fire started out with 'WTF?!' and ended in keyboard flailing… Mockinjay is only going to get More Real. It's something I like about it, that Collins is not backing away from how much revolutions suck and how little they resemble typical fantasy rebellions… but Mockingjay is very intense.

  35. christwriter says:

    "who is Coin?"

    One of the indiscribably incredible things about this whole series is how EVERY. SINGLE. CHARACTER. gets some form of character development about two chapters BEFORE their introduction. Seriously, you can have a completely random whatsis appear, and it's not background fluff, it's a completely random whatsis and you want to snuggle it and keep it forever. Just the way the world is developed –not as much as you might like, but just enough to do the job–gives you an idea of who you're dealing with. Like you know that someone from District X will react differently than someone from District Y, and that means you already have some kind of a character in your head.

    And yeah, I love how freaking bleak this book is too. And it's the way she intertwines stuff–like you get cuteness and fluffies with Buttercup as a reward for sitting through the DEAD PEOPLE ASH in D12, or else she'll use some other positive moment to get you to drop your defenses so that the next stage of awfulness really hits you, like the positive moment with Cinna right before he was beaten (also OFFSCREEN DEATH SUCKS just sayin') sets you up for, well, when he gets beaten. The really beautiful thing about these books isn't how well written they are , but how thoroughly Collins screws with you THE ENTIRE TIME YOU ARE READING. You do not get positive things just to have them. You get them because Collins wants to do something to you, and she can't unless she disarms you first with the fluffies and the kittens and the food porn. (I'll admit it. I LOVE the food porn. And the costume porn. But mostly the food. Because I like food.)

  36. lisra says:

    Whee, more. I'm at chapter 10 now, so I'm quite anxious for your thoughts, Mark.

    I didn't like Coin at first and still don't. There is something about her that makes her unsympathetic. If she was a faction leader in a computer game, I'd pretty soon try to find a way to get rid of both sides, because.. she's just not doing a great job at pulling someone important in. Using people, having them drugged against their will, making it necessary to take more medication later…

    I wish to say more, but that would spoiler and Mark would hate me. Can't have that!

    When he had is tantrum in Catching Fire Gale pretty much lost me (then Peeta lost me too) but now he's making a great comeback, being again someone worthy of affection.

    Also: total misery everywhere.

  37. Anseflans says:

    Well they were snapping at my legs a lot, but they were quite slow, so it was easy to avoid them.

  38. momigrator says:

    I just want to yell YOU’RE NOT MY MOTHER! And then storm out of the room, stomping upstairs so I can get emo to Linkin Park.

    OMG, you and Bella are totes emo soul mates!

  39. Mauve_Avenger says:

    Communicuff:
    <img src="http://stuff.tv/csfiles/blogs/cool/Asos-calculator-watch-.jpg"&gt;
    Though of course, this would mean that the messages that can be easily conveyed to communicuffed citizens are limited to things like "hello," "shoeless," "boobies," and "shizzle."

    • kaybee42 says:

      I never knew you could spell shoeless and shizzle! Excuse me… I'm just gonna go and do… responsible adult stuff… *goes to find calculator*

    • hpfish13 says:

      See I always pictured it as being something like this
      http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100126213

      • ooohlivia says:

        KP would fit right into this series <3

      • Tabbyclaw says:

        Ah, Suzanne Collins. The only writer in the world who can come up with names that make "Kimmunicator" sound less stupid by comparison.

        (Not gonna lie, I am a shameless Kim Possible geek — like, "I read and write fanfiction, have made an entire set of customised My Little Ponies and have 'What Would Shego Do?' cross-stitched on my knitting bag" level of geekery — and seeing someone else reference it makes my day.)

    • pooslie says:

      or "LESLIE" (my real name) 317537

    • PK9 says:

      You know, the funny thing is it was only when I reread it this morning that I realized Katniss probably meant "text messages" when she said "print messages." I went through the entirety of Mockingjay the first time thinking it printed out little pieces of paper and wondering how often it had to be refilled and whether that was wasteful.

      • Tabbyclaw says:

        …*facepalm*

        Yeah. Totally didn't get that until you said it.

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        Yeah, I was thinking of it in terms of that one commercial in which a bunch of kids are texting while waiting for their school bus, and every time they text a little ticker tape-bill for however many cents comes out of the body of their phones.

        I like it when words have meanings.

  40. MeasuringInLove says:

    I think the super-duper strict District 13 under Congress would make perfect sense. I mean, when my middle school went to the visitor's center, one of the teachers brought spray sunscreen into the building(or some other spray-y thingy) and the guards went a little overboard and the school was forced to stand outside in 95*F weather for three hours. I get why they needed to do so, but it was still really annoying.

    Buttercup as the narrator of anything would be pretty awesome. I can imagine the series would have more to do with mice entrails than revolution, but I'm okay with that.

    "AND I AM A BIG PACIFIST I have never even punched someone in the face" "I just want to yell YOU’RE NOT MY MOTHER! And then storm out of the room, stomping upstairs so I can get emo to Linkin Park" and "SMASHED BY THE STATE. " are all phrases that will now be incorporated into my vocabulary. A++, Mark.

  41. Robin says:

    My big question: How in the hell did Peeta kill Brutus? I guess he might've already been injured fighting Chaff or Peeta managed to surprise him? Because, seriously, I'm trying to imagine how those two square off in a fair fight and Peeta doesn't die. And I just can't do it.

    ALSO. Why do we get no information about how government works in District 13? If it is not forthcoming, I will be a sad panda.

    Also, also. I am sick of this love triangle bs. Can it plz take a back seat now that Katniss is the mockingjay?

  42. Nami says:

    "I’m perfectly fine if, in chapter five, both nuclear bombs go off and somehow, Buttercup is the only living thing left on the planet and we just follow him around for the remainder of Mockingjay. 100% ok with that."

    But… but… then Buttercup would wander all alone through the ruins and instead of Katniss' breakdowns it would be Buttercup who is desperately crying out for Prim. And he could never ever find her D: Major Heartbreak.

    Team Prim/Buttercup all the way ;D

  43. fuchsia says:

    I haven’t read this book since it first came out and I read the whole thing in 7 hours, so I needed to do a slow reading of it and decided to read along with you. So I pulled it out and read the first two chapters yesterday. Then figured by, I might as well read the next one, since I don’t know if I’ll be able to tonight. Then, I read through the rest of the week, just in case. Long story short, I had about a hundred chapters left by the time I went to bed (and read another two chapters before work this morning). And I *knew* what happens, but I still couldn’t put it down! I don’t know how you do it, Mark.

    Things only get _______ from here on, Mark.

  44. clodia_risa says:

    OMG! District 13 is Efrafa!

  45. Hotaru-hime says:

    FUCK YEAH BUTTERCUP.
    Genuinely my favorite character in this series.
    Coin… I always forget her first name and "Amulet Coin" always seems to pop into my head (some sort of equipment in a Final Fantasy, I think), but I remember not liking her. Probably because she's a politician.

  46. pennylane27 says:

    For me it's usually around 1 or 2 pm, so I usually just wolf my food down so I can log on and then spend the most of the afternoon checking comments. Today I was stuck with holiday preparations, so I was really late. I don't know what I'm going to do when I have to go back to work in March. I work all afternoon at school!

    The monster inside me will rest uneasy knowing there are reviews being posted and people commenting.

    • Fuchsia says:

      This is why I kill my phone battery checking and re-checking to see if a review has been posted yet while I'm working. But then I can't log in on the mobile version so I have to keep checking to see if anyone's responded to my comments and such.

  47. Silverilly says:

    I’m perfectly fine if, in chapter five, both nuclear bombs go off and somehow, Buttercup is the only living thing left on the planet and we just follow him around for the remainder of Mockingjay. 100% ok with that.

    I can hardly disagree with this.

  48. ooohlivia says:

    ps, Mark, check out the tagline of this movie. Saw it and instantly thought of you!
    <img width="300" height="437" alt="" src="http://www.filmofilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/sucker_punch_poster_4-535×780.jpg&quot; />

  49. notemily says:

    It's always 18:00 – Cat Adoration at my house.

    Buttercupistherealstarofthesebooks

    • Silverilly says:

      I kind of feel like he's reading all of our appreciative comments and purring like a jackhammer right now.
      Meanwhile, Katniss is like, FUCK ALL OF YOU.

  50. syntheticjesso says:

    You know, I REALLY want to know where the rest of the world is. Peeta's comments about wiping themselves out so "another species" can take over makes me wonder about the other countries in the world. Do they not exist anymore for some reason?

    Unless "Panem" is scattered across all the continents? We're all assuming it's all in North America, but we don't really know. But if it IS all over the globe, then I want to know EVEN MORE what happened to all the other countries.

  51. pooslie says:

    as someone with a male best friend, i can't buy katniss/gale. why can't a girl have a guy* in her life that is not a love interest? (*unless he is gay or related to her, of course.)

    i NEVER believed that she ever thought of gale as anything other than a friend. their whole pseudo-romantic relationship always smacks of red herring to me. it is so much like the stupid love triangle in twilight. except if bella wasn't sure how she felt about edward. she knows that she loves jacob (gale) just not the way he wants her to. feels exactly the same to me.

  52. pooslie says:

    omg brutus is totes jayne cobb!

  53. Not_Prepared says:

    When I read the last line of this chapter, I visualized a musical montage of Katniss working out, getting a makeover, and studying for a "Mockingjay Test" as she becomes the Mockingjay. hehhhh

    • kaybee42 says:

      Oh my god pleassssssssssssse let that happen!
      Dear Suzanne Collins, if I promise to stop with the rubbish theories will you let the film people do this?? PLEASE?

    • Silverilly says:

      And in the background:

      IT'S THE EYE OF THE TIGER, IT'S THE CREAM OF THE FIGHT
      RISIN' UP TO THE CHALLENGE OF OUR RIVAL
      AND THE LAST KNOWN SURVIVOR STALKS HIS PREY IN THE NIGHT
      AND HE'S WATCHIN' US ALL IN THE EYE OF THE TIGER

  54. Not_Prepared says:

    When I read the HG trilogy, it always bothered me when Katniss said that Peeta's never killed anyone, because he has! Remember in the first book? He was with the Careers and he went back to "finish off" someone.

    • pooslie says:

      but that may have been more putting them out of their misery at that point. since marvel was not nearly as good at killing as he thought he was.

  55. Saber says:

    I used to blow a half hour of my computer science class reading comments. Now I have to wait ill lunch. 🙁

  56. finnickodair says:

    Buttercup 2012, anyone?

  57. potlid007 says:

    I wish we could just go back to district 12 where everything was all rainbows and butterflies and everything was happy.
    <img src="http://i1046.photobucket.com/albums/b462/jessicaroseish/GIF%20-%20Tumblr/Untitled-2-1.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Being Human Hula Dance Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    OH WAIT, COLLINS YOU BURNED DISTRICT 12.
    <img src="http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii205/lassie_faire/GIF%20central/000gb56h.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Pikachu crying Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    NOW THERE IS NO HOPE EVER FOR BUTTERFLIES. THANK YOU.
    <img src="http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f243/kikis1123/tumblr_l1il67ST4Z1qax1l9.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Crying gif Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  58. bendemolena says:

    Mark I have an idea!!

    Since Buttercup is A BOSS, I think in honor of CATURDAY you should post a review if he is in the chapter.

    <img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/21owxz8.jpg"&gt;

  59. peacockdawson says:

    Ahahaha. You're right. But her face isn't squashed enough.
    I always pictured him looking like Crookshanks.

  60. Ever since I made the connection of "Her dress turning into a mockingjay = white swan turning into black swan" that's all I think of now. And then I get freaked out because I picture Katniss with red eyes.

  61. CuriousApe says:

    The thing is, I don’t feel hope right now. And yes, this might seem strange, but this is pretty goddamn awesome. It feels far more realistic that Katniss has shut down due to trauma and depression than if she suddenly went all gung-ho to fight the rebellion.
    <img src="http://www.avatarsdb.com/avatars/i_know_right.jpg"&gt;

  62. Revolution64 says:

    I'm stocking up on my "WHAT THE FUCK" gifs for all the moments in this book that you are not prepared for.

    (P.S. I tried out for the charcter Buttercup in "H.M.S. Pinafore" for choir today. I thought of the cat.)

  63. thatonegirl says:

    Hey me too! I didn't get why everyone so upset with Peeta. I don't know what I was thinking… maybe that he was asking for diplomacy or something? Cuz I'm sure they would have all gone for that. I'm shaking my head at myself…probably not for the last time.

    • Sophie says:

      Hahaha, glad I'm not the only one! 🙂 I really don't know what I was thinking at the time either. I guess my mind was still recovering from being blown up so much by Collins.

  64. thatonegirl says:

    All of these comment kitties are scaring the crap out of me. I'm now convinced that Buttercup will defeat Snow in the end with his freakishly awesome corpse noming abilities. Good thing Katniss rescued him.

  65. Phoebe says:

    I agree that Katniss is being too hard on Haymitch. True, he decieved her, but he was doing that because he cared for her. He wanted to keep her alive. If Katniss knew the plan, she might have messed up and gotten killed (especially at the Johanna attack part).

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      And once again, everyone's decided that the best way to deal with someone who has been a severe alcoholic for more than half his life is to make him quit cold turkey, and on top of that they're keeping him isolated until they've decided he's socially acceptable again?

    • On the other hand, she's a traumatized 16-year-old, and it's also unfair of us to ask that she has all the logics quite yet. Haymitch has royally f*cked with her life, so I can understand the resentment, actually. She's the means to an end with him, which is no better than the Crapitol on a certain level.

  66. trash_addict says:

    I AM SUCH A MATURE, RESPONSIBLE ADULT WHO TOTALLY KNOWS ABOUT TIME MANAGEMENT, YEP!"

    Yeah. I read the reviews and comments while I'm at work. And not on my lunch break. I AM ALSO A MATURE, RESPONSIBLE ADULT.

  67. PK9 says:

    When I read this story for the first time, I was actually surprised at how quickly Katniss makes the decision. After chapter 1, I had predicted that much of Part I was going to be about her deciding to become the mockingjay, and then BAM she decides at the end of chapter 2.

    But then again, that is how Katniss is. She makes decisions quickly.

  68. Annalebanana says:

    First of all I must say that EVERYONE has a tragic story now. Oh my goodness, Collins, stop making me sympathize with EVERYONE. It is so much easier to have black and white relationships! But that is why you are so amazing, so I forgive you.

    On another note, I have expressed before that I have always strongly disliked Peeta, for a million various reasons, but I will admit that they were all things I was willing to get over. However, this is why I will never in a million years be Team Peeta. (Yay Team Katniss (or alternatively team Buttercup!)) While Gale is willing to give up all he has for the sake of the districts and other innocent people, Peeta is willing to sacrifice them (and everything he has) for Katniss. I am more of the type of person who prefers saving millions of oppressed people, than a *everything for LOVE* type of person. It may be understandable, but I really do hate Peeta for caring more about Katniss than about everyone else, including himself. In fact, I see slight connections to Bella through him. You can all hate me, but I still think there needs to be more righteous indignation over Peeta's decisions here. If Gale were in the situation, I am almost positive he would be willing to give up his own life rather than support them in quelling the rebellion. And I know they are coming from different situations, and I understand Peeta, I really do, but sometimes even the best of people do things that you can never really forgive, even if you understand why they did it. Of course, this is all gray area, but for me, this was the final nail in my passionate dislike for Peeta. But please, feel free to continue loving him! (Oh, and thanks once more to Collins for making a story I really care about!)

    *Oh, and I wanted to add that you should really check out hogwartsprofessor.com, not only for amazing literary insight into the world of Harry Potter, but also into what makes The Hunger Games truly amazing for me. THG entries start right after they read CF and they had some really amazing theories, but Mark, I would suggest you wait for these ones till you are done with the book, just to be safe that you don't accidentally open a later one. Really though, to everyone who has read the series, I would suggest reading these cause they are awesome*

    • Alexis says:

      I kind of looked at it as Gale doesn't really care how many lives are lost, innocent or not, Peeta would rather not have anyone die. He may be idealistic but Peeta is the archetypal pacifist. He would rather there be no war and people talk things out diplomatically, whereas Gale would prefer people to pay for the sins of the government. He would be willing to let all of the Capital citizens die, even the ones that never harmed anyone, just to get to the end goal. I've always seen Peeta as valuing all human life, not just those who are like him.

      • Annalebanana says:

        That's an interesting way to look at it, but I see Peeta's pacifism as mainly selfish in this situation, as his main goals in all the books have been to protect Katniss, not anyone else. I also think he doesn't really care how many people suffer under Capitol regime as long as there is no "war," which is not exactly the right thing either. It is hard to really come into a conclusion about who is truly right, because neither of their views is "good" persay. Gale would rather not have a horrible government, so he is willing to sacrifice the lives of others for the greater good in the end ( he hasn't ever known the effects of war like Peeta and Katniss do from the games, so he thinks it is worth it.) Peeta, on the other hand, thinks war is horrible, but as he has never really suffered THAT much in his day to day life in the district would rather surrender than deal with war. Neither way is really right, it is just a product of how they have grown up. So it is hard to paint a picture in which either person comes up in good light. I very much disagree with Peeta valuing all human life, as you say though, because if he really did, he would try to find a solution that worked for everyone. Gale may somewhat (okay, more than somewhat) disregard Capitol lives (he has never even really met someone pleasant from the Capitol, they are the far off "enemy"), but Peeta in a way disregards the lives of the people who die every single day because of the Capitol. And he mainly just cares about Katniss' safety. I really hate that about him. I can't say I agree with either one of them, I'm between, like Katniss, but I definitely prefer solutions that aren't there mainly because of "love" for one person over everyone else. Ugh. It is interesting though, and it is interesting to see how other people view Gale and Peeta, because they represent very opposite ideologies to me.

        • Lynn says:

          I completely disagree and think everyone is painting Gale and Peeta with too absolute strokes. Gale is very angry and thus is less bothered by a few innocent bystanders being killed, but he never was really in the capitol and is just meeting some capitol people for the first time. I think his anger makes him reactive. I can't really say anything more at this point in the books though.

          And to say Peeta hasn't suffered after being in TWO Hunger Games is not accurate at all! I mean come on!! And I don't think you can take what he is saying as a captured prisoner of war as his global beliefs. I think ultimately he is primarily a pacifist but then again I think he DOES believe in fighting in some situations. If you remember in Catching Fire he makes hints MULTIPLE times to the fact that he believes in a revolution. But at this point he has been captured by the enemy, does not have ANY accurate information and only whatever lies the Captiol is saying to him, and is likely not mentally well (based on the statuses of the other tributes I am guessing this).

          So really to draw up your ideas on what he is thinking or believing based on one propaganda spot put out by the enemy just seems pretty crazy to me. We don't know what he is truly thinking or what his motives are. We are all just guessing. And how many of our captured soldiers have been forced to say things by their captors? Do you really think they truly believe everything they say?

    • gredandforge says:

      I very much agree with your analysis of the ideologies of Peeta vs. Gale. I think Gale is able to see the bigger picture more.

  69. Silverilly says:

    You know, Mark, you haven't really done any fanfictiony (although OF COURSE YOU DON'T WRITE FANFICTION WHAT AM I SAYING) reviews for this series. MAYBE YOU SHOULD DO A REVIEW FROM BUTTERCUP'S POINT OF VIEW.

    Since Collins is probably not going to go along with that chapter-five-everything-but-Buttercup-dies thing.

  70. castlejune says:

    I heart this history reference! Also, I agree. they are all sorts of shady and nefarious. Better than the Capital? Probably, but we haven't seen much of them yet.

  71. castlejune says:

    My only guess as to why the Capital is allowing Peeta to say negative things about the Hunger Games is because it sounds more real, more like "Peeta" that way. If they want to use him as a mouthpiece, they have to make it sound believable. If he said all good things about the Capital, it would be really obvious that they were putting words in his mouth. You said it yourself Mark, there were some genuine moments on screen, which would just serve to confuse / upset potential rebels more, as they guess which words their "hero" really means.

  72. Haley says:

    You say it's just getting started?

    LOLOLOL Understatement of the entire universe.

  73. eeshannon says:

    I think what happened was, the Capitol ushered Peeta on stage (so to speak) with a bunch of "YOU HAVE TO SAY THIS"'s. Like, "Call for a cease-fire" and "Make it look like you were completely manipulated by the bad bad rebels". Because the Capitol wants Panem to view the rebels as these horrible people. I mean, the entire country is in love with Peeta and Katniss right? So if it looks like the rebels have used them, and seperated the country's favorite lovers, then the Capitol will surely win points right? I think that was the feel they were going for.

  74. Kelly says:

    I kinda pictured District 13 being in East Tennessee-after all, a lot of the research for the Manhattan project was done right there in Oak Ridge. There's a lot to say about the natural defenses of the area (which is why the Manhattan Project was sited there) and there were certainly a lot a fences and checkpoints during the height of the a-bomb tests. Plus the Oak Ridge National Lab still operates on the site and a lot of scientific testing is carried out there even today. Between all that and Oak Ridge's proximity to the coal mining regions of Appalachia….just my two cents. Or it could be my pride in my east Tennessee home. 🙂

  75. kchano says:

    I think the most surprising (and, admittedly, upsetting) aspect of District 13 is the system by which they organize themselves.
    Throughout the books I've been getting a Battle Royale meets 1984 flavor, and nothing brought it home more than the level of control in D13. It creeps me out.

    I’m perfectly fine if, in chapter five, both nuclear bombs go off and somehow, Buttercup is the only living thing left on the planet and we just follow him around for the remainder of Mockingjay. 100% ok with that.

    YES. BUTTERCUP FOREVER. As a cat person I'm probably unwarrantedly fond of Buttercup. Especially since one of my cats will often hiss furiously at something, look at me and mew pathetically as though seeking approval (seriously, these teeny little "miii" sounds), and then go back to hissing at whatever is making her so mad. ILY BUTTERCUP.

    Maybe there is a chance of a Gale/Katniss future.
    I am a total Katniss/Gale shipper, which is actually sort of creepy since my mother's name is Gail. DUN DUN DUUUUNNNNNN. I cracked up when I first read his name.

  76. L_Swann says:

    We all need to go see THG so that CF & MJ get filmed. These books are too movie-worthy for THG to flop and the sequels never to get made.

  77. Kelly L. says:

    I pretty much hate everything. There is just TOO MUCH SAD. Sigh.

  78. vampira2468 says:

    The government in these novels was so interesting. Wish she would write from their view

  79. kayla says:

    my hell. you've been through EVERYTHING haven't you?
    http://adayinthalifeof.files.wordpress.com/2009/0

  80. Howlynn says:

    I stopped being pleased when he got to say all that stuff about being in the game – then asked what a war means —Um perhaps no MORE games? You just complained about them and now you say lets all just get along? Ok Peeta has been tortured — sorry Kat — you have infected him with wishy-washy. And about Haymitch — seems like he dried out to train for the games he had no intent of going into — but now — after he risk his life to save her little feathered hide — she is gleeful that he may be in pain ——– as in — instead of figuring out how to save Peeta? Let him drink and think people. Nobody else cares about your spare boy — Katniss gets to Both hope Haymitch is being totured on moral grounds and mad that he's not saving Peeta? Hay, darlin, tell them both to stay alive without you.

  81. Hanh says:

    Bonnie & Twill NNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! They were only present for like two paragraphs but I had really hoped they would've made it. What went wrong? Did they eat something poisonous?

    Ugh I don't blame Katniss. I don't think I could live in District 13 either with its super strict routine. It simply does not accommodate my ADD. Plus, I get the feeling they look very poorly on mental disorders. The way they treat Katniss and Haymitch like they're strange creatures that just need a good dosage of drugs in them. Not impressed although probably not far off from how society handles it today.

    Peeta killed Brutus? With what? He gave his knife to Beetee. MOAR INFO COLLINS!

    I've been wondering this since the last book but how did District 13 get its hands on hovercrafts? Did they invent them for the Capitol? That doesn't seem right. Seems more like a District 3 kind of invention. Ah but then again 13 is filled with supah smaht nuclear physicists so it's possible they could have reverse engineered them.

    P.S. Not gonna lie, I would really like to get one of those skin polishing treatments.

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