Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 5

In the fifth chapter of Mockingjay, we learn just how painful this is all going to be. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Mockingjay.

You know, I enjoy the multiple parallels Collins is drawing between these books and what’s happening now. What I don’t like is that Collins feels the need to spell them out for me. It reminds me of the first few Harry Potter novels, when Rowling summarized a lot of what had happened in the previous books. I mean, I’m not saying I have some sort of prophetic, intellectually-perfect mind. LET THESE REVIEWS ACT AS EVIDENCE OF HOW MUCH I MISS THE FIRST TIME AROUND. But this first paragraph is a bit too obvious for me.

Speaking of parallels, this is yet another long scene of Katniss being worked over for a public display. How she can stand this is a testament to her patience, because I certainly breezed through this section. It was interesting to see two parts of the trio without makeup or adornments in the way I was accustomed to, but Venia’s defense of Katniss was more important to me:

“Katniss is not going to hurt us,” she says quietly but firmly to Octavia. “Katniss did not even know we were here. Things will be better now.” Octavia gives a slight nod but doesn’t dare look me in the eye.

Well, it explains why they were so frightened by Katniss in the first place. It seems they believed she was responsible for their kidnapping, probably as an act of revenge.

Now I have a lumpy, jagged scar that ripples out over a space the size of an apple. Usually, my sleeve covers it, but the way Cinna’s Mockingjay costume is designed, the sleeves stop just above the elbow. It’s such a concern that Fulvia and Plutarch are called in to discuss it. I swear, the sight of it triggers Fulvia’s gag reflex. For someone who works with a Gamemaker, she’s awfully sensitive. But I guess she’s used to seeing unpleasant things only on a screen.

OK, GUYS. SERIOUSLY. MOVE ON. IT’S A SCAR. Isn’t she supposed to look gritty and grimy? I don’t get these people. Yet despite this, Katniss still agrees to accompany them to the dining hall, knowing the rest of the district is not going to be nice to them. They’re not, by the way.

The covert glances and quiet murmurs I usually evoke are nothing compared to the reaction brought on by the sight of my bizarre-looking prep team. The gaping mouths, the finger pointing, the exclamations.

UGH. Look, ok, they are weird and they’re from the EVIL OPPRESSOR ZONE. I understand this. BUT SHUT UP. Man, District 13 annoys me the more I learn about them.

It was nice, however, to spend some time with Gale and his family, since the vast majority of what we’ve even heard about them is through Katniss. Posy, Gale’s five-year-old sister, is the one who openly speaks to the trio. After asking if Octavia is sick because of her green skin, Katniss explains that it’s a fashion choice.

“It’s meant to be pretty,” whispers Octavia, and I can see the tears threatening to spill over her lashes.

Posy considers this and says matter-of-factly,” I think you’d be pretty in any color.


UGH POSY FOR PRESIDENT. I’ve elected like half of this novel to be president, haven’t I?

Let’s get to some awe-inspiring badassery of the billionth degree, shall we? Since agreeing to be the Mockingjay, Katniss and Gale are now supposed to take Special Defense training deep below the surface. Beetee is apparently the one who’s supposed to start things off and I would be lying if I didn’t admit how excited I was to see him. I’m curious to know how he’s doing after all that happened in the arena.

When we ask for Beetee, we’re directed through the maze until we reach an enormous plate-glass window. Inside is the first beautiful thing I’ve seen in the District 13 compound: a replication of a meadow, filled with real trees and flowering plants, and alive with hummingbirds. Beetee sits motionless in a wheelcheer at the center of the meadow, watching a spring-green bird hover in midair as it sips nectar from a large orange blossom. His eyes follow the bird as it darts away, and he catches sight of us.


These movies better do well because I NEED TO SEE THIS ON THE SCREEN. BASICALLY. HOLY SHIT.

Beetee explains that District 13 built this area in order to study hummingbirds, to examine the dynamics of their wings, though I suspect there’s also something immensely therapeutic in that place for Beetee. Bless his heart.

Though, Collins does take a moment to remind us of Beetee’s past:

I remember something I don’t like to think about. In preparation for the Quell, I saw a tape where Betee, who was still a boy, connected two wires that electrouted a pack of kids who were hunting him. The convulsing bodies, the grotesque expressions. Beetee, in the moments that led up to his victory in those long-ago Hunger Games, watched the others die. Not his fault. Only self-defense. We were all acting only in self-defense….

YEAH, YOU CAN’T MAKE ME HATE BEETEE, COLLINS. The dude rules. Still, it’s pretty distressing that these people will always have these thoughts running throughout their heads for the rest of their lives.

ANYWAY. MOVING ON. How weird was this bit?

“How’s Finnick doing?”

“He’s…he’s having concentration problems,” I answer. I don’t want to say he had a complete mental meltdown.

“Concentration problems, eh?” Beetee smiles grimly. “If you knew what Finnick’s been through the last few years, you’d know how remarkable it is he’s still with us at all. Tell him I’ve been working on a new trident for him, though, will you?”

I’m sorry, WHAT. WHAT. Oh, Collins, why do you have to drop such intriguing bits of information and then WAIT SO LONG TO COMPLETE THEM?

After a most ridiculous display of DOUBLE BOUTS OF SECURITY MEASURES, which…hold on. This line is brilliant and I can’t skip over it:

At the door of the armory, we encounter a second round of identification checks—as if my DNA might have changed in the time it took to walk twenty yards down the hallway—and are finally allowed to enter the weapons collection.

OH, KATNISS. You are a regular comedienne! PLZ QUIT YOUR DAY JOB.

Weapons! Lots of them! Everywhere! The armory is straight-up a chest of war: firearms, bows, launchers, ARMORED VEHICLES AND SHIT. YEAH.

Of course, Katniss is drawn to the archery section, where she sees some of the most complex bows imaginable. While Gale gets used to carrying a bow (Beetee says it would be more appropriate if he also carried one alongside Katniss), Beetee disappears to go fetch a very specific weapon for Katniss. He returns with that weapon and NEVER PREPARED.

Inside the case, on a bed of crushed maroon velvet, lies a stunning black bow. “Oh,” I whisper in admiration. I lift it carefully into the air to admire the exquisite balance, the elegant design, and the curve of the limbs that somehow suggests the wings of a bird extended in flight. There’s something else. I have to hold very still to make sure I’m not imagining it. No, the bow is alive in my hands. I press it against my cheek and feel the slight hum travel through the bones of my face. “What’s it doing? I ask.

“Saying hello,” explains Beetee with a grin. “It heard your voice.”


“You see, they wanted me to design a bow based purely on looks. As part of your costume, you know? But I kept thinking, What a waste. I mean, what if you do need it sometime? As more than a fashion accessory? So I left the outside simple, and left the inside to my imagination. Best explained in practice, though. Want to try those out?”

Beetee, I love you. I seriously do. You are a genius and you do wonderfully nice things for people. Oh, and he designed a bow that can shoot accurately over one hundred yards, and uses multicolored bows for various uses: sharpness, incendiary, explosive (!!!). Oh, and it’s all controlled by Katniss’s voice. Oh, and this will totally save her life later and I don’t care about how convenient it is because BEETEE YOU ARE THE BEST.

It seems Collins rushes through the next scene, as Katniss leaves Beetee and Gale and goes off to prepare for her first shoot on a soundstage, where they’ll be making the first video to be broadcasted to Panem. After being all dolled up in her outfit and made to look grimy enough to look gritty but not disgusting, Katniss makes her attempt at the single slogan they want her to repeat.

“People of Panem, we fight, we dare, we end our hunger for justice!”

Yes. It’s awful. Completely awful. I’m not even sure it makes grammatical sense. But Katniss gives a good ol’ try anway.

There’s dead silence on the set. It goes on. And on.

Finally, the intercom crackles and Haymitch’s acerbic laugh fills the studio. He contains himself just long enough to say, “And that, my friends, is how a revolution dies.”

OH MY GOD HAYMITCH!!!! <3333333333333333333

About Mark Oshiro

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

208 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 5

  1. "The covert glances and quiet murmurs I usually evoke are nothing compared to the reaction brought on by the sight of my bizarre-looking prep team. The gaping mouths, the finger pointing, the exclamations."

    My reaction: YO! DIDN'T YOUR MOTHER TEACH YOU NOT TO POINT? ::slaps bystander::

    • ldwy says:

      Bah, me too! I mean, I know I'm guilty of looking too long (okay, let's call it staring) at things that are out of the ordinary in one way or another. But I try to be discreet and I certainly don't make snarky comments and POINT AT PEOPLE.

      • My snark runneth over, but I keep it from being mean-spirited, if that makes any sense.

        I hate it when people point (I was raised German American, and pointing is a HUGE no-no), and the carrying whispers make me furious. When I pointed when I was really little my Oma and Mum would smack my hand. 😛

        We need to give District 13 some etiquette lessons with Haymitch, Amirite? (Scary thought!)

  2. Ellen says:


  3. monkeybutter says:

    I can't describe how much I love Beetee. Possibly more than I love Haymitch (and boy, am I glad he's back).

    <img src=""&gt;
    This is how I see the meadow scene, except Julie Andrews is a nerdy middle-aged man in a wheelchair. Make it happen, Hollywood.

  4. mr. mowgli says:

    Beetee's bow reminds me of the Legend of Zelda.

    Posey is a sweetheart!

    More Finnick please.

    • Frianna says:

      Omg, now that you said it, the bow reminds me too of Zelda! Oh, I love those games <3
      And I'm so glad Haymitch's back.

    • t09yavorski says:

      haha. The idea of explosive arrows will alway remind me of Zelda.

      Katniss would own everybody in Zelda, no Master Sword needed.

  5. ohheyitsalliek says:

    Beetee FTW! I am so glad he survived, what would Katniss do without him?

  6. SorrowsSolace says:

    I love this chapter, it's wonderful to see Beetee again and I wish we got more backstory on him (I can't recall what else is mentioned about him honestly) he sounds like a really cool, serene fellow even after all the crap of the Games. The focus on the scars is interesting, this time the Capitol didn't erase everything, it's interesting to see how 13 values the scars Katniss has now, even if she can't articulate what happened and what's wrong with the Capitol in the way they want (you really couldn't do that easily anyway.) I love that gorram bow, coolest thing ever and I actually like Katniss's prep team there's a good deal of sympathy to them, instead of just plain dislike or bare tolerance.

    • QuoteMyFoot says:

      I think you raise a good point about the scar focus – maybe this is me thinking too deeply, but I think perhaps the scar is symbolic of Katniss' relationship with the rebellion. They only want her because everything she has suffered has made her an idol, but at the same time they don't want the rebels to see the depth of her suffering. So the covering of the scar is superficial on more than one level. It's very sad.

      • SorrowsSolace says:

        That's a really interesting idea; I can see that being the thought of the prep team even if it's just ignorance talking. But even from 13's point of view seeing too deep into Katniss's suffering may make the rebellion go ways that they can't control and funnel properly. Like, if some hot heads went to far and brought the Capitol's wrath too quickly, they have to be extremely careful and strategically minded a rebellion's a powerful weapon after all. It is sad, Katniss gets jerked around wherever she goes.

  7. stellaaaaakris says:

    Katniss' bow really confuses me. Does telling it "good night" (really, Beetee?) make it a less accurate shot? Does it stop being a functional bow and just becomes something to hit people with if necessary?

    Mark, why would you nominate Posy for President? So far, all your presidential candidates have either died or you have already predicted to die. Posy is so adorable and uncorrupted. She needs to live! On the other hand, she would totally be a better President than Snow or Coin. Snow just fails as an evil dictator. And I don't like Coin. Plus Posy's already got the 4-letter name that's apparently a prerequisite for presidential leadership. I'm sure we could come up with some bad puns involving her name if we tried and then she's all set!

    • pooslie says:

      maybe telling it goodnight just makes it into a regular bow

      like turning off the power steering in a car. still able to turn the wheel it is just SO much more difficult

    • Victoria_Allen says:

      I think everyone lost their shit over Katniss’s scar because of the “good scar, bad scar” principle. In fiction, a lot of times when characters scar, the good guys have a thin, red or pink scar, usually in a straight line on their face. It mars their looks without actually making them look less attractive. The bad guys usually have more ugly scars, jagged and large, and in odd places. Their scars actually disfigure.
      For the people at District 13, I don’t think it’s that Katniss has a scar in the first place-it’s just that she has a “bad” scar.

    • ldwy says:

      Man, I love Posy for that. When grownups are being total jerks, get some nice wholesome kids up in that joint and let them work their innocent, nice magic.

    • theanagrace says:

      Did I hear someone say bad puns? Muahahahahaha! Ahem!

      I'm sure the people of Panem will gather around Posy, as she seems to be everyone's best bud. But every rose has its thorns, and once in power will this rose smell as sweet? Her bouquet may fade, and her appeal wither as her baby's breath goes to seed. We must plant this idea in fertile ground, so that our pretty Posy does not turn out to be a weed.

      (disclaimer: you did say bad puns. And they're not so much puns as flowery language [snicker] but I did my best!)

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        Good puns aren't nearly as fun. I like making people cringe at just how bad I can make a pun. But "Posy" is providing a bit of a problem. The only thing I can think of is that kids' rhyme about the plague:

        Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall DOWN

        Also, "Posy" makes me think of "posse"…which gives me nothing. *sigh*

        • theanagrace says:

          I briefly thought about something involving posing, but then decided it was easier just to put as many flower-type words in as I could.

          And yes, good puns aren't nearly as 'punny'. *snerk*

    • Stephanie says:

      The way I read it, saying goodnight turns off the explosions and whatnot. It's very possible that I'm completely wrong, though.

  8. Emily Crnk says:

    The end of this chapter just makes me giggle. LOVE TO HAYMITCH MISSED YOOOU!

  9. kajacana says:

    I want Beetee to be my life coach, I'm not even kidding.
    Also I'm glad I'm not the only one who read that slogan and was like… really? How very fortunate we are to have Haymitch around to point out when things are TOTALLY SUCKING.

  10. Lila says:

    Wheelcheer. 🙂

  11. sammyllama says:

    I always loved the prep team it makes me so sad to see them this way 🙁 Posy forever <3

    Also, HAYMITCH!!!!! <3<3<3 I missed him so much. He was always the best character in the books to me 🙂

  12. Shanella says:

    Welcome Haymitch! =) I really enjoyed the way this chapter ended.

  13. Blabbla says:

    You know, I think you misunderstand the point of the HP-summaries. I don't think Rowling thought her readers were too stupid to remember, I think they were there to make it possible for a reader to jump into the middle of the series without many significant gaps.

    • Blabbla says:

      A new reader, that is.

    • pooslie says:

      i agree. though i can't imagine starting on one of the later books, i think you would still be lost.

      a TON of YA books have those infodump chapters at the beginning.
      like the baby sitters club (my favorite books all through middle school) would always devote and entire chapter to catching you up on the back story. it would drive me crazy and i would straight up skip that chapter every time.

      • Lolua says:

        As someone whose very first experience with the HP books was to try to read Goblet of Fire, which was just lying around in someone else's house… I have to say I might not have thrown it down in frustration before the end of the first chapter if that first chapter had been "The Scar" (full of helpful summary info!) instead of "The Riddle House" (confusing weird dream-chapter not in Harry's POV with characters who get no introduction!).

        Thank goodness I rediscovered the books 3 years later and started at the beginning that time.

      • theresa1128429 says:

        I remember that chapter from the babysitters club! Pissed me off so much!

      • Kelly L. says:

        Hahah, those were the absolute worst! I would skim them but I was curious as to how they were able to make it just different enough EVERY SINGLE BOOK. Terrible. That, and they were 13 for about six years. They cycled through summer and Christmas and whatever else and still managed to be 13, starting 8th grade or whatever, for EVERY YEAR. That always bothered me.

    • Hermione_Danger says:

      In addition, the HP summaries were often to help bridge the gaps of years between books. Not that we didn't all obsessively reread in the interim, but just in case, they helped keep a sense of continuity or momentum.

    • MadarFoxfire says:

      Also, considering how far apart book releases tend to be paced, it's for the people who read them as they were coming out as opposed to guys like Mark who are reading huff huff back to back.

    • wahlee says:

      Actually, Rowling didn't particularly like the info-dumps either– you'll notice they got more scarce as the series went along. It was the publishers/editors who wanted the info dumps, which is pretty standard procedure for a series that comes out over a period of time (especially those for younger readers, although I've seen it a few times in adult series as well), both to help remind the readers who only read the previous book once a year ago, and to help those who mistakenly pick up the middle book of the series. Rowling knew her readers knew more about the books than she did in a lot of ways, and was able to convince the publishers to let her write the story without the recap.

    • feminerdist says:

      I actually always wondered if that was editor pressure in order to suck in new readers by summarizing the previous book. I find those summaries awkward and it seems that no one would WANT to write them, but it's just a convention of series that needs to be done. If that makes sense…

  14. EasyE says:

    I love Posy! and I love how Collins put in their how innocent and uncorrupted children are. They don't care what color you are.

  15. thefbm says:

    “It’s meant to be pretty,” whispers Octavia, and I can see the tears threatening to spill over her lashes.

    Posy considers this and says matter-of-factly,” I think you’d be pretty in any color.
    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><IMG border="'0'//" src=""&gt;
    AWWWWWWWWWWWW My favorite line from this series, siruisly.

    Could someone make me one of those indoor meadows right now.

  16. QuoteMyFoot says:

    Man, I want to take up archery so Beetee can make me a bow like that. What? Look, Beetee is too awesome to be fictional, please do not ~disillusion~ me.

    I'm actually a bit nervous about this scene in the film because I don't know if they'll be able to capture the image in my head on the screen. I mean, this bow is a thing of absolute beauty – deadly, sure, but beautiful too. Idk if they could make it up to that standard, and if they can't I shall be disappoint.

    Also, every single person Mark has nominated for president would be better than Coin/Snow. Guys, when you are less popular rulers than five year olds would be, you know you're doing something wrong. JUST SAYIN'. (Also, Posy = most adorable child ever.)

    Many sadfaces for the prep team and their 'welcome'. 🙁

    • ldwy says:

      Hahaha, if I could have a cool personalized bow from Beetee I would totally devote all my time to becoming a master archer.
      I tried it a few times as a little kid, but the extent of my knowledge and skill it basically making the arrow shoot in a forward direction. Hey, baby steps. I haven't done it in years, though.

      • QuoteMyFoot says:

        I've done a little bit of archery too! It's been a couple of years now but I could at least reliably hit the target last time I tried… never the part of the target I WANTED, but beggars can't be choosers.

  17. “People of Panem, we fight, we dare, we end our hunger for justice!”
    We fight our hunger for justice? That seems…counterintuitive.

    We dare our hunger for justice? That…doesn't even make sense.

    We end our hunger for justice? Okay, fine, but you took a while to get there.

    She might as well be saying, "I am the terror that flaps in the night!" or "SPOOOOOON!!"

  18. mugglemomof2 says:

    I’m sorry, WHAT. WHAT. Oh, Collins, why do you have to drop such intriguing bits of information and then WAIT SO LONG TO COMPLETE THEM?
    It's our own personal torture!!!

    How awesome would the world be if he did???? Right?

    <3<3<3 Beetee and Haymitch <3<3<3

  19. myownmetaphor says:

    Is it bad that reading all of this (including the last few chapters) has just really made me miss Peeta?

  20. bell_erin_a says:

    I’m sorry, WHAT. WHAT. Oh, Collins, why do you have to drop such intriguing bits of information and then WAIT SO LONG TO COMPLETE THEM?
    Hee hee hee. Whether or not she brings things like that back up later, it's probably to elicit entertaining reactions like that from her readers! Seriously, though, on an only vaguely related note, that meadow. Please someone find out how I can get my hands on one of those NOW!

    OH SHIT, KATNISS HAS A SCAR! A SCAR! Yeah, because you losers in the Capitol erased all of her other ones WITHOUT HER PERMISSION. QUICK, COVER IT UP SO IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE SHE'S BEEN IN BATTLE! Wait a minute…

    Um, awkward Mockingjay catch-phrase is really quite… ridiculous. At least under the Capitol's hands (meh, really Cinna) she was more of a lovable and tragic figure. D13, she's looking like, well. You'd probably better rethink a few things here.

    HAYMITCH! I've missed you! Tell them how it is! Maybe with Haymitch we can get an actual role that's more Katniss-friendly now?? Or, even better, maybe ask Katniss what Katniss wants! Shocking idea, I know (because even Haymitch doesn't really ask Katniss these things. I just thought I'd put it out there, though).
    (Also, I guess he's done with his sobering-up phase, ouch. But I really love that it made him even more sarcastic because sometimes feel like I can't say anything in person without it coming out sarcastically. This guy is awesome and gets all the love. <3 )

  21. Puel says:

    We can never see enough of Finnick. Ever.

    (Take that as you will.)

  22. Fuchsia says:

    At the end of this chapter, I put the book down for a split second and flailed wildly at Haymitch's reappearance.

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

    And then I promptly picked it back up to flip to the next chapter.

  23. Patrick says:

    Anybody watch Spartacus on Starz? They started a prequel mini series due to the actor who plays Spartacus is battling cancer. (Get better Andy!) but the new prequel has a "Champion" named Gannicus, who I could see being Finnick in the movies… I don't have time right now to pull up a picture but will try to later. I know its off topic and not exactly relevant to this chapter but oh well… I think the actor's name is Dustin Clare, but his Gannicus role is what reminds me of Finnick.

  24. Ida says:

    I truly love how awkward Katniss is in this scene, and Haymich is the perfect person to make a joke about it. Yay! Haymich is back!:D

  25. HungryLikeLupin says:

    I think that the distress over Katniss's scar is just meant to be another parallel to her makeover sessions leading up to the Games. There, she was essentially stripped down and remade in an image that the people in the Capitol would find appealing. It's the same thing here–they're not interested in what Katniss has actually done, they're only interested in marketing her as the face of the revolution.

    The thing about Katniss's scar is that it's a very visible reminder of how much she's suffered, and when you're trying to sell a revolution you have to emphasize the positive and hope people won't think about the negative. I agree with Victoria_Allen: I think that the problem is the kind of scar it is. It's impossible to look at it without realizing that receiving it must have been painful, and it's a fairly short leap from there to the realization that anyone participating in the rebellion could be seriously hurt. Katniss is supposed to be the glamorous face of the glorious revolution. She's supposed to be a cover girl.

  26. LoonyLu says:

    I’ve elected like half of this novel to be president, haven’t I?

    That's okay Mark! That means the Districts will actually get a *choice* on who will be the next president. (Although I still hold out hope that the ghost of Mags will come back and be a BAMF president.)

  27. blessthechildren says:

    1. Haymitch needs to STFU right NOW. Peeta abandon-er.
    2. Beetee needs to design weapons for the US military for the day when China invades us. He also needs a hug.
    3. I know they are Capitol wanksters, but I feel for the prep team. They, like the tributes, are exactly what they were made to be by the government that they were raised on every second of their lives.

  28. Turq says:

    One of my favorite parts of the book.
    "And that, my friends, is how a rebellion dies."

    So, what are you going to do about it, Haymitch? Drink some more? Posy for President, with Haymitch as VP!

  29. blessthechildren says:

    Beetee – this is all I see (I've been trapped by ice for nearly three days now, and I am watching all the Glee.)

    <img src=""&gt;

    • syntheticjesso says:

      Oh, Artie. I love how he's being all "GRRRR, ROCK STAR RAR!" while wearing a sweatervest thing with flowers and birds on it. Don't ever change, Artie <3

    • ldwy says:

      Hahaha, I too am trapped by ice. I have been watching Firefly over again. 🙂

      • Fuchsia says:

        I'm trapped by snow. I've been watching the fifth series of Doctor Who.

        • Openattheclose says:

          You all are making me jealous that I am not trapped in snow/ice.

        • ldwy says:

          Well, I was trapped in snow, then we got more snow that turned to sleet and then full on rain. No snow melted, everything just became crusted in 3 inches of ice.
          So I am trapped in both. And all the mechanical and electrical things in my house seem to be breaking all at once. THIS IS REALLY BAD GUYS WHAT TO DO!!??

    • Stephanie says:

      I decided to finally watch Buffy while I'm trapped.

      I feel that we've all chosen appropriate and healthy ways to spend our free time.
      Psh. Homework?? Who needs that stuff?

  30. MadarFoxfire says:

    Posy and Prim and Buttercup for Congress.

  31. PK9 says:

    I keep thinking, "Really? You risked everything to break her out of the arena for THIS?"

  32. RW says:

    Oh, Haymitch. Don’t ever change.

  33. Treasure Cat says:

    Good chapter is good. I have to admit Katniss' bow makes me uncomfortable though. It elicited a 'Really Collins? A super speshul bow just for Katniss that has weird AI? REALLY?' sort of reaction from me. If it was just portrayed as an electronic bow that looked cool with cool arrows I wouldnt be nearly so skeptical of it, but the fact it's sort of given this odd sentient conscience doesnt sit right with me. Telling me it has voice recognition technology isn't nearly so speshul snowflake as 'this bow recognises your voice its just for youuuuu'.
    Haymitch at the end is a legend though, and A+ Collins for using the term 'acerbic laugh'. Acerbic is a great word.

  34. Kaybee42 says:

    Haymitch! LOL LOL LOL LOL! I just laughed SO FREAKING HARD
    The bow and arrows- I don't know… something about them annoys me. I guess as long as it doesn't become her standard weapon it's fine…but I would prefer her to actually be using a gun if she is going to be physically fighting in a war.
    Beetee! hi! hey! hey bt! hi! i love youuuu
    *grumbles about the fact that they haven't got Johanna back yet…*

  35. peacockdawson says:

    Okay, Mark! Day one of my new-and-improved attitude, and I would just like to know:
    Where do you find all of your beautiful .gifs?

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Man, all over. ALL OVER. Most are from Tumblr, but I have a meticulously organized folder at home of about 2,000 GIFs, organized by emotion expressed and then titled by character/person present.



  36. potlid007 says:


    <img src="; border="0" alt="My Neighbor Totoro Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    pretty much me right now.

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

  37. lisra says:

    I just finished the book and the pressure of not being able to spoil anything makes my head almost asplode.

    You! Are! Not! Prepared!

  38. Ishii_Era says:

    I actually laughed out loud when I first read that last line. Haymitch <3

  39. barnswallowkate says:

    When she tries to shoot that scene I always imagine her stomping around dramatically and Blue Steel-ing all over the place and I laugh and laugh.

    It's like Panem's Next Top Mockingjay.

  40. kchano says:

    Mark, I read this and thought of you (not related to the books at all so no spoilers, just something you've mentioned maybe once or twice…) 😀

  41. theresa1128429 says:

    I want Beetee to be my father!! He can walk me down the aisle when I marry my Johanna (who really needs to be rescued!!!!). And, for a wedding gift, I want all of the amazing weapons. Johanna and I will have a blast with them…

    • Buttercup can be your Wedding Planner, I'll be his lackey, Haymitch will be your drunken officiant, Gale will be the surly gate-crasher who gets thrown back out, Peeta makess your cake…. you are covered.

      • theresa1128429 says:

        If there was a job market for fantasy wedding planners we would be rich.
        Also, the prep team is sweet in their own little way. I would let them pretty me up for the day.

        • Can we resurrect or rescue Cinna to design your fabulous gowns?

          Yes, we would uber filthy rich. Move over, David Tutera!

          • theresa1128429 says:

            Yes, please!!! Johanna and I will be in gorgeous gowns, we will say our vows, then BAM we start twirling and all of a sudden we have badass battle uniforms!! Then Finnick will present Johanna with her super Beetee designed battle axe, and me with my super broadsword.

          • HGCFMJ says:

            Can we resurrect or rescue Cinna anyways?

  42. Rebecca says:

    I've been checking you blog ALL DAY, and as soon as I go away for an hour or two, of course you update!

    Your reaction to Haymitch being back was pretty exactly the same as mine. And I loved how bad the slogan was, when I read it first I had to re-read it and read it out loud. It's horrible. Not everyone can do a good slogan!

  43. Kelly L. says:

    HAHAHAHAHA I love the way this chapter ends. Haymitch FTW.

  44. Mauve_Avenger says:

    Is it weird that on this chapter a hefty portion of my notes were just me going "WTF they have okra?! How would they have okra?" and trying to figure out where they are/how global warming plays into their ability to grow a West African plant, then my reacting negatively to everyone dissing the okra stew? <img src=""&gt; Sad okra doesn't appreciate the flak.

    And I suppose it might just be because of Haymitch's reaction, but I can't help but think that Katniss's voice goes slightly Christian-Bale-as-Batman when angrily yelling her "People of Panem" line.

    • ooohlivia says:


    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      mmmmm okra

    • Kate says:

      I saw a movie once that had okra growing in the UK…. maybe it's highly adaptable? Movie was about a community garden. refugees and xenophobics, etc… title escapes me.

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        I know that it grows in hardiness zones 6 and up or so (I used to be squarely in zone 6, and now am probably on the 6/7 border), and I'm pretty sure that most of the British coast would be considered roughly zone 6 here. There are places along the Atlantic Coast as far up as Massachusetts that can probably grow okra, but it seemingly only does really well in the South.

        But then there's also the fact that District 13 obviously has ways of growing plants completely indoors, as with Beetee's meadow, which means that (especially given the strict orders to stay inside most of the time) the plants are likely grown in large temperature-controlled greenhouses.

        But then the question becomes why they would grow okra, given its cold-intolerance and sliminess and rash-inducing spiny-ness. I'm guessing it's probably just because Collins needed something else for Katniss to find lacking in District 13. (Sad okra is sad.)

    • Lynn says:

      I am from Louisiana in the USA and okra is pretty darn big down here. We grow it just fine and it is mighty tasty if you like it in gumbo. So in this chapter I keep thinking of them eating Gumbo.

      • RainaWeather says:

        Hello my fellow Louisianian (sp?). Yep, we have okra in the U.S. Cut it up and cook it with some shrimp for a good meal.

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        My family grows it here in Arkansas, but we seem to be in the one area where it doesn't do very well. 🙁

    • qwopisinthemailbox says:

      is that Alton Brown? it kinda does but doesn't look like him…

  45. Jaria says:

    It's reassuring to know that within an underground district of a post-apocalyptic world crushed maroon velvet still exists.

  46. syntheticjesso says:

    AHHHHH, Mark, there is a THING that I am waiting for you to get to, because it will blow your mind with how unprepared you are, but I can't even hint at it because I don't want to spoil it but you need to hurry up and get there (even though I don't remember what chapter it's in because it's been a while since I listened to the audiobooks, I just remember I was driving home while listening to the part with the THING so I could react out loud) and read it and YOU ARE SO NOT PREPARED AHHHHHHHH *flails*

    Okay, sorry, I just had to get that out. Whew.

    As for THIS chapter, I love how terrible the slogan is. You just KNOW that whoever came up with it is totally proud of it, and they are probably sitting in the booth with Haymitch and pouting because he is mocking their beautiful slogan. At least, in my mind, this is how it happened.

    • erin says:

      I think this is in your mind because that's exactly what Katniss says happened. 😛

    • Saber says:

      There's only one thing in my mind that someone who has read the book will be thinking as they read this review. I think you're thinking of that and the other thing, which happens right after the first thing and usually ticks me off because it should have been a bit farther away so people can think about the first horrible thing and really appreciate how they were never, ever prepared.

      i think i just confused myself. So I'll leave it with this:

      No matter what thing people are thinking about, YOU ARE NOT PREPARED

  47. Kelly L. says:

    I KNOW. I never felt like they were 13. Thirteen year olds don't get to do that sort of shit. Ri-diculous.

  48. MeasuringInLove says:

    I adore Katniss, but I would honestly love to see the Hunger Games through the mind of any of the other characters. Finnick's mysterious, Beetee is brilliant, Haymitch is snarky, the trio is clueless but well-meaning, Posy is freaking adorable. Ffffffff why is the entire cast of characters so great? Even President Snow and Coin! *insert Ollivander's 'terrible, but great' speech here*

    • theupsides says:

      I think that's also kind of how it is with supporting characters, though. I mean, we get to see parts of them, but we're not annoyingly inside their heads. Katniss is badass. We just get to see her annoying thought processes, too.

    • HanLin says:

      BAHAHA "Ollivander's 'terrible, but great' speech" I could totally see that.

  49. Yusra says:

    I want to be just like Beetee when I grow up. (being an electronic engineer in the making, this is actually quite possible).

    That will be all.

  50. zuzu says:

    Yay I think I finally worked out how to use this account. What up? No longer an anonymous non-clickable name.

  51. ShiiShii says:


  52. HanLin says:

    I remember watching the first Lord of the Rings movie, and seeing Legolas with his bow and arrows redifining badassery. When I read this section in Mockingjay and she gets the new super ultra awesome bow/arrows, I was like DAMN! Legolas aint got nothing on you now! They would make the ultimate badass archery-loving team. Cross-over, Collins? 🙂

  53. Hotaru-hime says:

    This chapter was pretty much "Poor fashion trio, YAY BEETEE, YAY HAYMITCH."

  54. Revolution64 says:

    It said Beetee was in a wheelchair, so I immediately imagined Stephen Hawking.

  55. karadudz says:

    I only KIND OF feel bad for the prep team trio. The reason being that they were such spoiled brats at the Capitol with their purging food for fun and eating everything and anything with their really ridiculous skin painting. I mean sure, it was wrong of D13 to torture them JUST for bread and for probably asking for more bread. So not much sympathy coming for me for the trio. Pity… Maybe… But only because they didn't know any better.

    Katniss' scar? I kind felt squeamish too because wouldn't her scar still be kinda fresh still? Because not THAT much time has passed since she got it and it might still look gross a bit yeah?


    As for Katniss' shoot and the elongated awkward silence, I pictured a cowboy gun duel in the dessert with everyone watching but neither of the cowboys shoot for the longest time and it's just really awkward and there's this weird whistling sound and a bunch of hayballs rolling on the ground. SO AWKWARD.

    And leave it up to Haymitch to point out the obvious in such a great provoking/awesome/genius/wowawow way

  56. Not_Prepared says:

    AAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWW Haymitch is back! We're a family again! *pinches Haymitch's cheek* <3


  57. eeshannon says:

    When I read the part about Posy, I knew your reaction would be 'Posy for President'. I could see it in my head. Hahaha.

  58. finnickodair says:

    uhhhh. everything in this book needs to be made into a movie (by Beetee, who I agree should make everything, ever.)

  59. Fuchsia says:

    I've done archery my entire life, I have a pretty nice bow & set of arrows myself (although being the vegan pacifist that I am, I only ever shoot at styrofoam targets and the such, it's just for fun like fencing) but I want Katniss' bow soooo bad.

    That is all.

  60. Megan says:

    You will so not be prepared when you finally hear Finnick's backstory…

  61. booksinbulk says:

    i totally agree with this. i remember, honestly, being about 14-15 and wondering why my life was not yet as awesome and dramatic and boy-filled as the babysitters club members.

  62. Captain Anarchy says:

    Moar Finnick, plz. Moar Beetee, plz. MOAR HAYMITCH NAO.

  63. Phoebe says:

    Hope. ^_^

  64. Arthur says:

    “It’s meant to be pretty,” whispers Octavia, and I can see the tears threatening to spill over her lashes.

    this is one of my favorite saddest moments ever

    • iolchos says:

      ikr? I fell so hard in love with Octavia at that point. Well, I mean, in general.

    • Phoebe says:

      but then it gets happy because POSY!!!

    • L_Swann says:

      I remember how hard it hit me when I first read this line. And I'm not sure why; I've read lots and lots of books and I recognize sad lines but rarely do I ever sit back and just kinda feel awful… I think it's because it hits on such a primal instinct for all of us. We want to be liked and thought of as pretty/attractive, and so whenever we're laughed at or made fun of, it hurts. So even though I don't have green skin and would honestly find it strange (like D13 & Posy, for instance), seeing Octavia's pain is heartbreaking because it hits home for all of us. While it's superficial, especially considering the other traumas present in THG, CF & MJ, I think it's one of the few things some of us can directly relate to, even if we don't have green skin. (Let's see…a not-so-great outfit choice, a bad haircut, a makeup fiasco…a bad spray tan. The list goes on and on.)

  65. t09yavorski says:

    Just make the rest of the book about Finnick. Have him charge down the capitol, destroy it single handedly, kill Snow, and save his damsel in distress, all with his trident and magic Posiedon powers.

  66. Gabbie says:

    I love how when Haymitch returns, everyone in the BOOK is like, "Oh, great. You're functioning again?" while everyone in REAL LIFE is like, "LOL I LOVE YOU!! MISSED YOU BUNCHES!!!!!!"

  67. Lady X says:

    Betee in wheelchair = Magneto

  68. Fuchsia says:

    I think he's going on plot points from the previous books– like District 13 was mentioned fairly early on in Catching Fire, but we didn't find out that it was real until the end of the book, stuff like that.

  69. Pk9 says:

    Upon further review, this line bugs the heck out of me. Gale is trying out this fancy bow that comes with a scope for aiming, and Katniss says "That doesn't seem very fair to the deer."

    Dear Suzanne Collins. Two pages ago, you established that Katniss does not kill for sport, only for survival. Katniss should not be thinking about "fairness" to her prey. If she could press a button and have the deer caught, killed, butchered, and barbecued, she would do that because then she could spend more of her energy doing other things, rather than expending so much effort in the hunt.

    • momigrator says:

      Yeah, it would be different if they were hunting for sport and using an automatic weapon. But hunting for food, heck, get it over with. The better your shot, the sooner it dies, the less pain it experiences.

  70. Howlynn says:

    Anybody wonder why they didn't burn Beetee's district too — it was his plan. And you know it would have only took an extra few minutes.

    Oh good — Haymitch is done being totured into sober boy — lets put him in charge of sarcastic comments — anybody ever wonder where he really was? I kind of wonder if he didn't have a heart attack or try to kill himself — because he was Sober like two weeks before he got there — I would think he would have a little guilt – sorrow – pain – stress – going on for saving a person who doesn't even think to ask about him while 7000 and his best friend Chaff died for her. Yeah — Haymitch is such a meanie — and Katniss is pure…

  71. Hanh says:

    When I read that part about Beetee being in a wheelchair, I thought he was paralyzed from the force field.

    And the pointing bit about the prep team just came off as a parallel to how we treat body modification today. Too many tattoos, piercings, or plastic surgery = points and stare. It only reminded me of this dream that I had when I was five. I was in the grocery store when this really tall, gangly old man with a cane came walking in. I pointed him out to my sister and he saw me pointing at him and got so pissed that he chased me with his cane raised overhead. I was so scared I started hauling ass and ended up running through a bunch of warehouses. Eventually I stumbled into the community pool, fell in, and sank to the bottom since I didn't know how to swim. As I was sinking, I twisted around and saw that the old man had jumped in after me with his cane still raised, ready to beat me senseless. When I woke up, I swore I would never point at people anymore.

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