Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 21

In the twenty-first chapter of Mockingjay, THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Mockingjay.

Well, we’re just plowing straight into the realm of UNBEARABLY UNCOMFORTABLE, aren’t we?

That makes two requests for Peeta’s death in less than an hour.

It’s party time here in Mockingjay!

“Don’t be ridiculous,” says Jackson.

“I just murdered a member of our squad!” shouts Peeta.

“You pushed him off you. You couldn’t have known he would trigger the net at that exact spot,” says Finnick, trying to calm him.

“Who cares? He’s dead, isn’t he?” Tears begin to run down Peeta’s face. “I don’t know. I’ve never seen myself like that before. Katniss is right. I’m the monster. I’m the mutt. I’m the one Snow has turned into a weapon!”

I’ve been worried about Peeta for a while now, but now I’m really freaked out by this. I mean, he did kill Mitchell, but I honestly don’t think it’s his fault.  But how do you communicate that to him? How does he accept what he’s done?

“Maybe you think it’s kinder to just dump me somewhere. Let me take my chances.”


“I’ll kill you before that happens,” says Gale. “I promise.”


Peeta hesitates, as if considering the reliability of this offer, and then shakes his head. “It’s no good. What if you’re not there to do it? I want one of those poison pills like the rest of you have.”

Ah, christ. There has to be another solution, right? I’m impressed that no one, even Gale, seems to want to get rid of Peeta immediately, and I’m glad they recognize that he’s not himself, but Collins has set up SO MANY pieces that could make this mission absolutely fail. THIS SHIT IS STRESSFUL.

I don’t know if it’s the pods, or the fear, or watching Boggs die, but I feel the arena all around me. It’s as if I’ve never left, really. Once again I’m battling not only for my own survival but for Peeta’s as well. How satisfying, how entertaining it would be for Snow to have me kill him. To have Peeta’s death on my conscience for whatever is left of my life.

I’ve complained in the past that Collins has a tendency to spell out metaphors or analogies or parallels to the past, but I don’t mind it here at all. Hell, I don’t think I would have even picked up on this without this section. In a way, that means that Collins put the arena in every book. It haunts these characters’ every move and thought and even when they are fighting to rid the world of the Games, it’s now apparent they still have to make it through one last “Game” before the end.

Katniss insists to Peeta that he’s necessary to their mission, so she’s not letting anyone ditch him. No one fights her and they begin to look for some food in the Capitol apartment before heading out again. It provides yet another instance of the Games coming back to Katniss’s thoughts, too:

I poke around in the pile, about to settle on some cod chowder, when Peeta holds out a can to me. “Here.”

I take it, not knowing what to expect. The label reads Lamb Stew.

I press my lips together at the memories of rain dripping through stones, my inept attempts at flirting, and the aroma of my favorite Capitol dish in the chilly air. So some part of it must still be in his head, too. How happy, how hungry, how close we were when that picnic basket arrived outside our cave.

It seems like that was a lifetime away. I mean, for the characters, it must certainly feel that way, but I started this trilogy back when I launched my sites three months or so ago. That seems so long ago, and I’m kind of wistful this is coming to an end so soon. Also: CANNOT FIGURE THIS OUT.

Back to the book. Another Capitol broadcast comes on the TV, where they all have to watch their “deaths” yet again on screen. Surprisingly, though, President Snow makes an appearance this time. He predictably celebrates the death of Katniss and I sat there YAWNING OUT OF BOREDOM FOR HIS PRESIDENTIAL-Y WAYS.

Somewhere in District 13, Beetee hits a switch, because now it’s not President Snow but President Coin who’s looking at us. She introduces herself to Panem, identifies herself as the head of the rebellion, and then gives my eulogy. Praise for the girl who survived the Seam and the Hunger Games, then turned a country of slaves into an army of freedom fighters. “Dead or alive, Katniss Everdeen will remain the face of this rebellion. If you waver in your resolve, think of the Mockingjay, and in her you will find the strength you need to rid Panem of its oppressors.”

Well, that’s REALLY AWKWARD. Right? I mean, we know Coin didn’t give a shit whether Katniss died in the Capitol. In fact, it works in her favor. So, reading this little speech of hers, I feel pretty creeped out. It doesn’t make me feel any better about the leaders of the rebellion, and now I’m truly hoping that Katniss finds a way to do what she needs to do for herself, not for District 13.

It seems that’s exactly what she’s set out to do. After Snow closes out the broadcast with some more yawn-inducing threats, Katniss resolves that it’s time to simply move on. Jackson helps her out with basic commands of the Holo. That’s when she learns that they’re moving ever closer to the center of the Capitol; the pods are increasing in volume. Rooftops are out of the question, and the streets are nearly impossible. And that’s when Gale suggests moving underground.

The Holo can show subterranean as well as street-level pods. I see that when we go underground the clean, dependable lines of the street plan are interlaced with a twisting, turning mess of tunnels. The pods look less numerous, though.

Well, great. Let’s trade pods for CONFUSING CLAUSTROPHOBIA. I’m telling you, I would have been dead in like…chapter 12 of The Hunger Games. Easily.

The thing is, Peeta still isn’t really ready to go with them. I have to say that I do recognize the difficulty of the situation. Peeta is concerned that he will, in his words, “disclose [their] position or hurt someone else.” On top of that, there’s a part of Katniss that wants so dearly to acknowledge that Peeta is probably right and he deserves to have his perspective respected by everyone.

“Stop being noble! I don’t care if I die!” He turns to me, pleading now. “Katniss, please. Don’t you see, I want to be out of this?”

I can’t even pretend I would know what I would do, but I am glad that, at the very least, Katniss realizes that there’s a great deal of truth in what Peeta says. But what’s the alternative? Leave him behind to die or be captured or commit suicide? She doesn’t really make a decision, though, so much as simply deferring it until later. I mean, how could make the choice to kill your friend in the span of a few minutes?

And so they move on, breaking into the middle apartment in the complex where the utility door to the underground tunnels is located. Castor briefly explains that his brother Pollux actually worked down below after he was made an Avox, so he actually leads the way into THE GREAT UNKNOWN. First though, this happens after the Pollux revelation:

Finally, Peeta turns to Pollux. “Well, then you just became our most valuable asset.” Castor laughst and Pollux manages a smile.

We’re halfway down the first tunnel when I realize what was so remarkable about the exchange. Peeta sounded like his old self, the one who could always think of the right thing to say when nobody else could. Ironic, encouraging, a little funny, but not at anyone’s expense. I glance back at him as he trudges along under his guards, Gale and Jackson, his eyes fixed on the ground, his shoulders hunched forward. So dispirited. But for a moment, he was really here.

It’s not irrational to cling to hope, is it? MAYBE HE WILL BE OK. RIGHT? RIGHT?

The tunnel system is rather impressive. They’re much larger than I expected, as Katniss describes how they’re used to skirt around the network of pods aboveground for delivery purposes. And Pollux quickly proves to be invaluable:

Pollux knows details that would lead to disaster for a newcomer, like which offshoots might require gas masks or have live wires or rats the size of beavers.

COULD THEY JUST BE BEAVERS INSTEAD. Those are really, really cute!

The group presses on through the tunnels, under Pollux’s guidance, and stops sometime after three in the morning (!!!) so that they can get some rest before they have to clear out again four hours later. (Side note: This reminds me of nights when I would travel somewhere in California for a show, like San Diego or Fresno, and get home at three and have to wake up at seven for work. I could barely function the next day and I’m not fighting a war. Good god.)

Katniss sleeps on an early shift before Jackson wakes her up around six to take the final watch shift. Pollux has been awake all night and continues to stay awake with Katniss. The two of them look through the maps on the Holo for a while before Katniss focuses on the now-awake Peeta and that small bit of hope I was clinging to a few pages ago finally gets a chance to blossom.

Katniss takes the opportunity to give Peeta some food and while he’s eating, she asks him about the strange statement he made before about a memory not being “shiny” to him.

“Oh, I don’t know exactly how to explain it,” he tells me. “In the beginning, everything was just complete confusion. Now I can sort certain things out. I think there’s a pattern emerging. The memories they altered with the tracker jacker venom have this strange quality about them. Like they’re too intense or the images aren’t stable.”

It’s something to latch on to. It’s something to have hope for. Peeta’s a bit more cynical about being able to process his memories in that way, but for Katniss, it’s a sign that he might be able to truly begin healing.

In the fluorescent light, the circles under his eyes look like bruises. “There’s still time. You should sleep.” Unresisting, he lies back down, but just stares at the needle on one of the dials as it twitches from side to side. Slowly, as I would with a wounded animal, my hand stretches out and brushes a wave of hair from his forehead. He freezes at my touch, but doesn’t recoil. So I continue to gently smooth back his hair. It’s the first time I have voluntarily touched him since the last arena.

OH MY GOD!!!!! OH MY GOD ASDLKFJF A;DJSF A;KJADF this is seriously one of the best moments of the whole book OH MY GOD.

“You’re still trying to protect me. Real or not real,” he whispers.

“Real,” I answer. It seems to require more explanation. “Because that’s what you and I do. Protect each other.” After a minute or so, he drifts off to sleep.

Even my black heart cannot deny the amazing-osity of this. Holy shit, I AM ACTUALLY QUITE HAPPY.

And that’s when, as they wake up around seven to keep moving, Suzanne Collins crushes all our hopes and dreams with merely a sound.

I hush the group to get a better read on it. There’s a hissing, yes, but it’s not one extended sound. More like multiple exhalations that form words. A single word. Echoing throughout the tunnels. One word. One name. Repeated over and over again.



About Mark Oshiro

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

232 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 21

  1. ThreeBooks says:

    Can't talk, mustn't spoil, notpreparednotpreparednotpreparedEVER.

    • Ellen says:

      My internal thoughts throughout this whole review:
      Ohgodthetunnels, ohgodthispart, ohcrapcrapcrap.

      "Echoing throughout the tunnels. One word. One name. Repeated over and over again."

      … CREEPIEST THING EVER. *hides*

      • ThreeBooks says:

        asdfgjkl: I finished this book late at night in a Girl Scout event. It was… interesting, to say the least, to be sitting in my bunk going "OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD" while my friends were making friendship bracelets at the table…

    • Mowgli3 says:

      oh god i'm with you, he is not prepared at all!!!!! dlgshdgldshgsdkghdfkshd so excite!

    • ziplip says:

      agreed. I can't wait for monday's review. never ever ever ever prepared ever never never.

      • got<owls>? says:

        is it ok that i say agreed? because i think we were NEVER prepared even before we started the book……..we…just ………..werent…….prepared for ANYTHING………..*sighs*

    • iolchos says:

      I have given up commenting at all right now. I don't think I can say anything without gushing out everything. SO CLOSE TO THE END.

  2. Brimmingfull says:

    In for the long haul now, Mark! NOW THE "GAMES" REALLY AND TRULY BEGIN.

    <img src=""&gt;

  3. monkeybutter says:

    Yeah, Snow is boring as hell, but I figured out who I want to play him while rereading last night!

    <img src=""/&gt;

    Oh no, President Snow! Katniss is still alive! Whatever will you do?!

    <img src=""&gt;

    I forget most of what happens between now and the end, so I'm kind of excited for these last few chapters! And I'm not gonna talk about anything important!

  4. pennylane27 says:

    I love this chapter. It's full of small details that make you feel hopeful, and it's a nice break from the action from last chapter. Peeta seriously breaks my heart, because now that he realises what he has become, the real him can't live with that and it's just so sad. And I love that while Katniss realises all this, she's still not willing to kill him or let him go.

    And then Collins has something hissing "Katniss". WHAT IS THAT I NEED TO KNOW. OR NOT.

    Also, COULD THEY JUST BE BEAVERS INSTEAD. Those are really, really cute!
    I agree. Rats are one of the few animals I really really hate.

  5. stellaaaaakris says:

    Peeta's starting to get better! Excuse me while I wipe away tears of hope and joy. *hugs and high fives*

    <img src=""&gt;

    <img src=""&gt;

    I hush the group to get a better read on it. There’s a hissing, yes, but it’s not one extended sound. More like multiple exhalations that form words. A single word. Echoing throughout the tunnels. One word. One name. Repeated over and over again.

    Well, oh shit. That can't be good. Hope everybody brought their bottles of win because I'm thinking they're all gonna need it.

  6. CINNAmon says:

    We can’t just get a break, can we??

    • ThreeBooks says:

      Of course not! Unlike Twilight, where EVERY chapter is a break, Collins gives you no time to realize how unprepared you are for the awesomeness and tragedy ahead!

  7. pennylane27 says:

    Oh, and because I'm determined not to hate Gale, against all my instincts, I'm trying to find all the good things that Gale does.

    The hoarding disgusts the soldiers raised in 13. “Isn’t this illegal?” says Leeg 1.

    “On the contrary, in the Capitol you’d be considered stupid not to do it,” says Messalla. “Even before the Quarter Quell, people were starting to stock up on scarce supplies.”

    “While others went without,” says Leeg 1.

    “Right,” says Messalla. “That’s how it works here.”

    “Fortunately, or we wouldn’t have dinner,” says Gale. “Everybody grab a can.”

    I have the distinct impression that that dialogue was heading towards a fight, and I like that Gale stopped it by being practical. And then he offers to kill Peeta, not because he hates him or something, but to stop him from being caught by the Capitol again. GOOD FOR YOU GALE YOU ARE GROWING ON ME AGAIN.

  8. aurorabora says:


  9. Lynn says:

    "It’s not irrational to cling to hope, is it? MAYBE HE WILL BE OK. RIGHT? RIGHT?"

    I don't know Mark, I JUST DON'T KNOW! I want to have hope from this chapter, I really do. But Collins does not like us to have nice things for very long. Maybe she just wants us to have hope so she can crush out the happiness and brief hope that our hearts have latched on to.

    I am afraid, very afraid of what lies ahead, especially with that awful hissing at the end of the chapter. 😮

  10. mugglemomof2 says:

    In the twenty-first chapter of Mockingjay, THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Mockingjay.
    I think this needs to be in your new banner for the site. I am loving the continued use of this!

    Well, great. Let’s trade pods for CONFUSING CLAUSTROPHOBIA. I’m telling you, I would have been dead in like…chapter 12 of The Hunger Games. Easily.
    You and me both! No doubt about it!

    “You’re still trying to protect me. Real or not real,” he whispers.
    love x 1000!

    keysmashes = 2!

  11. PatR says:

    PLEASE give me that T-shirt —- Real or Not Real

  12. I have no idea how you tolerate doing this one chapter at a time. I blew threw the trilogy in less than a week…and I find myself going back to re-read along with you. You've articulated every last bit of ZOMG that surged through my mind and body. Love it.

  13. PatR says:

    Mark, do you really have to leave us hanging all weekend?

  14. cait0716 says:

    These reviews are getting torturous. I just want you to know what happens next so I can read the reviews and not live in fear of spoiling you anymore. You should keep a teddy bear close at hand for the rest of the book. You will need the cuddles.

  15. Arrowgirl says:

    Do you understand how happy I was to read this review, but then how depressed I was when I realized that it’s Friday and I won’t get another one until Monday?
    Run-on sentence done now.
    Please keep getting better, Peeta!

  16. Karen says:

    Slowly, as I would with a wounded animal, my hand stretches out and brushes a wave of hair from his forehead. He freezes at my touch, but doesn’t recoil. So I continue to gently smooth back his hair. It’s the first time I have voluntarily touched him since the last arena.
    NGL, when I first read this part, I had to put down the book for second because my heart was so filled with happy. Like, this was me:

    <img src=""&gt;

    It was the first time I felt like somehow things might work out ok in the end.

    “You’re still trying to protect me. Real or not real,” he whispers.

    “Real,” I answer. It seems to require more explanation. “Because that’s what you and I do. Protect each other.” After a minute or so, he drifts off to sleep.

    And then THIS. This is why I love Katniss and Peeta together. They take care of each other. It's a partnership. It's not all about Peeta protecting Katniss, and it's not all about Katniss protecting Peeta. They protect each other. It's sweet and wonderful and even though Katniss told herself that she'd written Peeta off, there's something inside of her that is still trying to take care of him. Somewhere deep inside, I think she still has hope that she'll get her Peeta back.

  17. amandajane5 says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, let the 76th Hunger Games commence!

  18. Kari says:

    I dont want to spoil, so I will post a completely random image, not related to this book or about this topic

    <img src=""&gt;

  19. “You’re still trying to protect me. Real or not real,” he whispers.

    “Real,” I answer. It seems to require more explanation. “Because that’s what you and I do. Protect each other.”
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    One word. One name. Repeated over and over again.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">


    • Integrity1584 says:

      Imagining the name "Katniss" being hissed is so creepy to me. Seriously, I've read it on this page about twelve times now and each time I still get a shiver from my shoulders down my spine and into my legs. FULL BODY TINGLES. Do not want hissing thing, whatever it is. DO. NOT. WANT. Kthanksbye.

    • delial says:

      can I just finally say that that last gif is the best gif of all gifs of all time.

  20. zuzu says:

    Hmm… So they're in underground tunnels AND there's a hissing voice?

    I think the next chapter might be them having to fight a basilisk- EVERYONE CLOSE YOUR EYES!

    • zuzu says:

      Wait I just realized it said "multiple" which means it'll be multiple basilisks. AHH, they don't even have a phoenix or a sword. How are they going to get through this?

      • Perhaps one of them has a guitar and they can sing to it? IT WORKED FOR DARREN CRISS WITH A DRAGON!!!!

        • theresa1128429 says:

          YESSS!!!!!! I finally watched AVPM for the first time last night and I loved it so much that I was hoping someone would reference it today. As usual, your comment has made me very happy.

    • mugglemomof2 says:

      I think the next chapter might be them having to fight a basilisk- EVERYONE CLOSE YOUR EYES
      That may be the best comment ever! BWAAA HAAA HAAAA <3 <3 <3

    • adev0tchka says:

      I find it outstanding that literally EVERYTHING in the outside world can somehow relate back to HP. I often play the 6 degrees of separation game with my HP-fandom friend 🙂

    • ldwy says:

      Hahhahhahaha, OH NO!

    • Kate Monster says:


      • zuzu says:


        • Gabbie says:

          They had okra in Thirteen.. *shrugs*

        • canadadian says:

          wait that made me think of all people who've died… :((((

    • Gabbie says:

      So I wasn't the only one who hisses "Katniss" out loud after the end of this chapter, like a parseltongue? (That's how it's spelled, right? There isn't a book nearby for reference.)

  21. HanLin says:

    Katpee= <3

  22. A single word. Echoing throughout the tunnels. One word. One name. Repeated over and over again.


  23. erin says:


    Yeah, that's about all I got. This chapter has ALL THE FLUFFY ANGST and I love it!

  24. theupsides says:

    “You’re still trying to protect me. Real or not real,” he whispers.

    “Real,” I answer. It seems to require more explanation. “Because that’s what you and I do. Protect each other.”

    Sigh. This is why Katpee are perfect. I can't even contain myself when it comes to them. THEY ARE JUST FULL OF ANGSTY GOODNESS.

  25. Fuchsia says:

    Just the thought of eating cold soup:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    (That's all I've got to comment on today. But it's more relevant than my comment yesterday?)

  26. syntheticjesso says:

    I read these books a while ago, and while I definitely picked up on the fact that the Capitol is Arena 3.0, I just now realized something else. This time, the "games" are partially being orchestrated by the rebels, the so-called Good Guys. It was Coin who sent Peeta in, after all, and Coin who wanted her there to be filmed for propos. All of her suffering in the arena is almost directly the result of a choice made by one of the two presidents. And then even in her "death" they are both reacting the same basic way, by immediately finding a way to use it to their advantage. Soooo, basically, both the Good President and the Bad President are looking more and more similar.


  27. shortstack930 says:

    Peeta breaks my heart in this chapter. You can tell he's coming back to himself when he says they should all kill him and move on. That's just the type of the the real Peeta would suggest, sacrifice himself to save the others. And I love the moment between him and Katniss. I think it gives us all hope that he will come back!

  28. thefbm says:

    I'll just twittle my thumbs to keep me from spoiling you. do dodo dod do. Man when can we breathe during this book.

    • That's how I feel right now because I read this portion of the book so fast I don't quite remember what happened when and the one moment I do really remember is SO FUCKING SPOILERY that I know better than to bring it up ever.

      • thefbm says:

        I know right! I read this book the day it came out and haven't since so I seriously don't remember where certain events happen and not.

  29. ldwy says:

    I haven't had a chance the past few days (SO BUSY UGH) to write out my thoughts as I like to do. But that's okay. I still have thoughts.

    Peeta at the beginning of this chapter is so heartbreaking. I can't imagine how hopeless he must feel. To not be yourself, but to be aware of it, and to have to see it on tv? I'm glad Katniss delays because I do not want anyone to kill Peeta. No way no how. Isn't the very fact that he's so horrified a step towards the old Peeta from the one who tried to kill Katniss in a rage? Doesn't his dismay speak to the depth of emotion and feeling he always used to have?
    So sad. Always.

    The sparkling memories? First thought. Tampered memories in Harry Potter. Like slughorn trying to disguise his disclosure of the method of making horcruxes to Tom Riddle.
    But aside from that. THIS IS SO HOPEFUL. I'm so glad we learned this after all the tragedy of the beginning of the chapter. If Peeta can tell himself what's real and what's not, he doesn't need to feel unsure, and he can work to discard those awful memories from the Capitol. And hopefull this will leave him open and recovered enough to be able to make new memories he can always trust. I have stubbornly stayed hopeful about Peeta all along, and I hope hope hope that this truly does suggest that hope isn't futile.

    I love the scene where Katniss comforts and soothes Peeta by stroking his hair, and he is comfortable enough to allow her. It is very parallel to the scene (in the cave I think?) when Peeta stroked Katniss' hair to comfort her. Good writing Collins. I loved it.

    Tunnels and sewers and underground places don't sit so well with my slightly claustrophobic self, and now there's terrifying whispers??!! NOOOOOOOOO. Jeez, the pace has picked up. I feel like I won't catch my breath until the end of this book.

    • Karen says:

      Katniss comforting Peeta by stroking his hair reminds me of the scene in Catching Fire before the Quell when they're hanging out on the roof and Katniss had her head in Peeta's lap while he plays with her hair.

      • ldwy says:

        Ah, yes! That part too. There was also a scene in The Hunger Games, while they're hiding out in the cave and Peeta is still recuperating. He makes Katniss sleep while he takes a watch, and she falls asleep while he's stroking her hair.
        It is a very comforting feeling.

  30. bookling says:


    <img src=""&gt;


    <img src=""&gt;

    Oh man. There is hope, but it was so hard for me to trust Peeta AT ALL. I was so guarded when I read this, like, "Nope, fuck you Peeta, somebody just kill him, because he will trick you into trusting him and then BREAK ALL YOUR HEARTS BY TURNING ON YOU IN THE END." I was a jittery paranoid mess by the time I got to this part of the book.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Oh god, don't hate me, last night's Community is totally to blame…but YOU GOTTA HAVE FAITH!

      <img src=""/&gt;

      You know, I'm enjoying Mockingjay a lot more this time around because I'm not FREAKING OUT and rushing to the end. I think Mark's slow pace is actually beneficial now.

    • Gillyweed says:

      Ok this is OT but your Tangled gif reminded me- is there a gif of Shorty Thug dressed as cupid blowing kisses at the end, or at least a pic?
      My bf thinks it's the cutest thing ever next to Ollie the otter so I want to send it to him.

    • iolchos says:

      ok this is shallow but what's the first gif from? it looks hilarious, I can't get over it!

    • ALynnJ42 says:

      OMG I JUST watched Tangled for the first time today. And the fact that I've been reading The Hunger Game series for the first time over the course of a month made me associate everything in that movie to things in The Hunger Games: when I saw Flynn's evil buddies I was like "Omg! That's how I imagined Castor & Pollux!", when the guards were walking Flynn to the gallows I thought of the Hanging Tree, for some reason when she healed Flynn I was reminded of Katniss healing Peeta, Rapunzel paints and Peeta paints, and oh yeah, the lanterns… fire, anyone? The Hunger Games have taken over my life… I'm sad it's ending 🙁

  31. Loony Lu says:

    Katniss and Peeta! THERE IS HOPE!
    <img src="; border="0" alt="The Office Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    Finally, some Beavers to add some cuteness and distract people from that horrible ending. Maybe it's beavers calling Katniss's name, they will totally help her and chew Snow to death.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="my favorite animal omfg Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  32. suzanne says:

    Slowly, as I would with a wounded animal, my hand stretches out and brushes a wave of hair from his forehead. He freezes at my touch, but doesn’t recoil. So I continue to gently smooth back his hair. It’s the first time I have voluntarily touched him since the last arena.

    I totally forgot about this moment. So touching. The calm before the storm.

    You are so not prepared. I can’t believe we have to wait the weekend for the next chapter.

  33. Lala says:

    A single word. Echoing throughout the tunnels. One word. One name. Repeated over and over again.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Negative Flailing Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  34. liam says:

    I smell mutts. Seriously, I bet it's like the wolves from the first book, but it's like…..her family members or something.

    • Ali says:

      Urgh, that would be so screwed up! I was thinking snakes because of the 'hissing' thing, but it just occurred to me that it might just be because her name ends in a double S?

    • ThreeBooks says:

      asdfghjkl; prrriiiim D:

      Prim as a mutt, do not want. (Buttercup is already a mutt. An awesome one.)

  35. SusanBones says:

    I felt very bad for Peeta in this chapter. He hates what he has become. He doesn't know who is he anymore. It has to be horrible to experience that. There is the very understandable fatigue of fighting. He just wants out. And, on top of all that, there is the fear that the Capital will capture him and begin the torment all over again. Except this time it would be worse. And Peeta has seen enough of the Hunger Games to know that sometimes you don't have time to kill someone who is being kidnapped. There would be a good chance that Gale would not be able to kill him before the Capital got him.

    The Katniss hissing sound reminded me of the mutts attacking at the Cornucopia in the first Hunger Games. That creeps me out SO MUCH.

    Did anyone else wonder why they were eating out of cans by using the lids, instead of just walking over to the drawer and getting a spoon? I assume that the apartment was furnished, or did I miss that part?

  36. Doodle says:

    Right about now is when all those little tiny pieces of your already broken heart are SMASHED INTO OBLIVION.

  37. andreah1234 says:


    Awesome then.

    (BRB still crying over my lost gifs, AND the fact Peeta's getting better, TORN MY HEART IS.)

  38. tchemgrrl says:

    rats the size of beavers.

    I got to this part the day before last and my immediate thought was "oh, man, if there's anything Mark doesn't need, it's small rodents the size of much larger rodents." Someone call Trelawney I HAZ THE SIGHT.

    <img src="; border="0">GIFSoup

  39. Amie says:


  40. hallowsnothorcruxes says:

    I'm not going to comment on anything related to the book just in case I spoil it. Instead I will post this wonderful shot of Daniel Radcliffe from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying photoshoot.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  41. Not_Prepared says:

    I so wish that Collins would publish the series again from Peeta's point of view (like Midnight Sun, but not a pile of literary shit)! It would be awesome to see how he felt during everything that happened.

    • Brilliant. I wouldn't mind reading the first book from Prim's perspective either. The emotions hearing her name to watching her sister during the games.

      • Not_Prepared says:

        Yes!! It would be really cool if she did the Hunger Games again in a Jodie Picoult style (as in changing the point of view throughout the book) with Prim, Peeta, Gale, Cato, Rue, Thresh, Cinna, Haymitch, etc. I would love to see it from the perspective of people watching from home or the Capitol and other tributes.

  42. Joanie says:

    COULD THEY JUST BE BEAVERS INSTEAD. Those are really, really cute!

    Hahahahaha. I know you flailed during other parts but this is my FAVOURITE. /Canadianbias

  43. gunslingerpadme says:

    You are so unprepared. You need to strap in, please check your safety belts. Thank you.

    I can't post anything without a spoiler, so PUPPY!

    <img src="; width="500" height="375" alt="Hana : Comfy 01" />

  44. Loren says:

    It took me until this review after I've already finished the books, but I finally figured out the symbolism behind President Coin's name! It seems so obvious in retrospect: she's the other side of the same coin.

    Also, I can't help but imagine her looking like Michelle Forbes's character in Battlestar Galactica. Probably because they're both fierce military leader women and their names are so similar (Admiral Cain vs. President Coin).

  45. Pk9 says:

    I think it was about this point when I seriously contemplated stopping in the middle of chapters if I needed to take a break from reading, because it was simply impossible to stop at the end of a chapter.

  46. kajacana says:

    We have officially reached the point where I can't make thoughtful comments without spoilers. So instead of a thoughtful comment, I will say this:
    Scary tunnels are scary! Cute Katniss/Peeta moment is cute!

  47. grlgoddess says:

    So… with all the fluffy Peeta/Katniss moments, is this the happiest chapter in the book (except for Finnick and Annie's wedding)?

  48. Lacerbeams says:

    I think whenever Collins spells out a metaphor for us, we should keep in mind that this is a YA novel. Perhaps she spells things out because otherwise some of the younger readers wouldn't pick up on it. It's like training wheels for metaphors!

  49. Kripa says:

    KatPee beautiful tender moments make this KatPee shipper SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
    That's all I can say without spoiling.

  50. Pk9 says:

    Speaking of squirrel mutts. I don't think I had found this blog back when Mark was reading Catching Fire, so I didn't have a chance to post this…

    [youtube UKGIERwNIA4 youtube]


  51. Wakfi says:

    Ack! Must….. not….. spoil…. *collapses* Urgh. It's so hard! It's about to get realer than real, and you're still not prepared. I can say that, right?

  52. sdempster1016 says:



  53. Mowgli3 says:

    After all the INTENSITY that has occurred in the past chapter, when you said "COULD THEY JUST BE BEAVERS INSTEAD. Those are really, really cute!" I laughed soooo hard. Thank you, Mark. 🙂


    <img src="; alt="" title="Hosted by" />

  54. celinagabrielle says:



  55. Pk9 says:

    The seal with the faces was ridiculous. I know they joked about the arena and the Seventy Sixth Hunger Games, but geez… Talk about anvils.

  56. Pikko says:

    As simple as it is, I really really love Real or Not Real. Waiting for them to cast Katniss and Peeta is killing me, I need faces to play out these scenes of them in my head. 🙁

  57. Kelly L. says:

    I think the thing I hate about this book is actually not the violence and the fucked-up-ness and the misery (I think that was something just to be expected), but the fact that Collins BROKE PEETA and watching the whole process of trying to put him back together is just maddeningly hearbreaking, and my poor lil heart can't actually handle it. If this book didn't have Broken!Peeta, I think I would maybe like it more. Hypothetically.

  58. t09yavorski says:

    So Peeta's fake memories are shiny…sort of like sparkley.

    So halucinations AND fake memories sparkle.

    • PK9 says:

      There's a joke somewhere in there about Edward Cullen, but… nah.

      • t09yavorski says:

        I actually had a daydream about a book where a girl named Bella Swan is checked into a mental institution after a nervous breakdown where her hot doctor, instead of helping her, convinces her of a fantasy universe where he is a vampire and she is his one true love.

  59. Xocolatl. says:


  60. eeshannon says:


  61. Shanella says:

    Fun right!? =D

    Kidding … DARK DAYS!

  62. dani says:

    i teared up with peeta gave her the lamb stew ):
    OHMYGOD i cried forever. D:
    [i think it's that chapter anyway; it's been awhile.]

  63. TreesaX says:

    My Katniss/Peeta heart just burst at this chapter. In a way, this is kinda when the REAL love story of Katniss and Peeta begins. Peeta has gone through horrors that we can't even imagine. President Snow has turned his memories of Katniss into nightmares. Katniss has lost the "boy with the bread", the boy that was there for her during her darkest times, whose strength she could always count on. They can't possibly be together now. How would it even work? But yet.. slowly..

  64. Phoebe says:

    amazing chapter.

  65. eeshannon says:

    On an unrelated note, I hope this gives you some giggles. You're going to need them.

    <img src=""&gt;

  66. All I can safely say is:


    Yay Peeta~

  67. ThreeBooks says:

    Resistance is futile.

  68. vampira2468 says:

    THe romance elements of the books were always my least favorite

  69. swarley says:

    Oh Mark…
    That is all I can say.
    You don't even know.


  70. The hissing is Supreme Lord of Everything Buttercup coming to slap Katniss for neglecting to tell Coin to give her rations to him in her absence.

  71. trash_addict says:

    You are truly Professor YANP right now.

  72. You know it's odd I don't even really remember these few chapters other then major plot points. Guess it's a good thing I'm rereading this book then.

  73. daisysparrow says:

    This chapter is freaking scary. We need some Wizard Rock to make the world a happy place again.

  74. karadudz says:

    Happiness? Glint of hope? Light at the end of the tunnel?


    I knew the real or not real protecting scene was too good to be true =(

  75. Pelleloguin says:

    When I heard about the rats the size of beavers, the first thing that came to my mind were Capybaras. Anyone else think of them? I till think they are too cute to be in Capitol sewers, but I cant put another image in my head.

  76. Lady X says:

    I just feel bad for you Mark.

  77. iolchos says:


  78. iolchos says:

    obviously the occupants took all their spoons when they left, to trade on the black market


  79. SecretGirl says:

    Pretty please.

  80. Captain Anarchy says:

    Why must the weekend be so frigging long?

  81. Captain Anarchy says:

    Mockingjay has ROUSes! Me thinks it means that you need to read The Princess Bride after you finish this book. Right? Right?

  82. Team Keeta says:

    Not prepared.

    On a happier note;

    I do believe. :3

    Yes, Keeta [Peeta/Katniss]

    Because Katpee just makes me laugh and cringe. XD

  83. CaptainHammer says:

    I hush the group to get a better read on it. There’s a hissing, yes, but it’s not one extended sound. More like multiple exhalations that form words. A single word. Echoing throughout the tunnels. One word. One name. Repeated over and over again.



  84. RainaWeather says:


  85. Lippy Pongstocking says:

    LOLOL it just struck me (because I've just found these and am devouring them all in one day so I can notice these things) how much your opinion of the characters has changed over the course of three months, especially Katniss, Peeta and their romance. I can see HOW your opinion's changed, but it's just funny to read "OMG HAPPY CREYS THEY'RE HAVING A ~MOMENT~ AMIDST ALL THIS TRAGEDY" when this morning you were a black-hearted cynic.

  86. Normally I don’t read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, very nice article.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  87. ALynnJ42 says:

    The Katpee part of this book left me with the warm fuzzies. Then I realized that Collins doesn't give a shit about people's feelings. So I'm waiting a few more minutes for my family to go to bed so I can finish the book without the risk of them walking in on me crying which I KNOW I'm going to do. Talking about that, this book is totally a night book, for some reason I can't read it during the day…

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