Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 8

In the eighth chapter of Mockingjay, Gale and Katniss learn the repercussions of their actions in District 8. Then: PEETA WHAT THE HELL. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Mockingjay.

Well, yesterday’s review was fun, wasn’t it? You know, there’s not much left to joke about in these books. If the pace and tone of Mockingjay continues in this vein, it’ll be easy to declare it as my favorite of the trilogy. It’s exciting, bleak, and difficult to deal with, especially since the situation Collins has created is so complicated and depressing. And, again, I cannot believe we’re already seeing scenes of war. IN CHAPTER SEVEN. This is definitely something I figured we’d see much, much later in the book.

Boggs appears and gets a firm lock on my arm, but I’m not planning on running now. I look over at the hospital—just in time to see the rest of the structure give way—and the fight goes out of me. All those people, the hundreds of wounded, the relatives, the medics from 13, are no more.

Like I said, I don’t get to be silly much and this is why. Collins is painting a picture of absolute, oppressive tragedy; evil just doesn’t cut it. This is beyond just murder and tyranny. The Capitol is absolutely willing to kick you when you’re down. Or…well, BOMB YOU AFTER YOU WERE ALREADY BOMBED.


I obediently take a step forward and wince as I become aware of the pain behind my right knee. The adrenaline rush that overrode the sensation has passed and my body parts join in a chorus of complaints. I’m banged up and bloody and someone seems to be hammering on my left temple from inside my skull. Boggs quickly examines my face, then scoops me up and jogs for the runway. Halfway there, I puke on his bulletproof vest. It’s hard to tell because he’s short of breath, but I think he sighs.

Oh man, I feel sorry for Boggs. Kicked in the face, broken nose, and now Katniss pukes on him. Clearly he is having the best day ever.

It’s a quiet, somber ride back to District 13. I don’t even think you can call this mission a success. We have no idea if the footage captured will be put to good use, and THE CAPITOL JUST BOMBED A MAKESHIFT HOSPITAL. Now I’m intrigued: How on earth is the resistance force going to take down the Capitol bombers? The Capitol clearly has the upper hand here. Is District 13 going to attempt to use their nuclear arsenal? Hmmm. I see bad, bad things in the future.

Katniss falls asleep on the hovercraft, which also seems like an awful idea because she’s still suffering from her concussion and she may have gotten another one due to the bomb blasts, so why are they letting her sleep? Nevermind. Katniss wakes up in her bed in District 13, her mother at her side.

“No one even told us you were going until you were gone,” she says.

I feel a pang of guilt. When your family’s had to send you off twice to the Hunger Games, this isn’t the kind of detail you should overlook. “I’m sorry. They weren’t expecting the attack. I was just supposed to be visiting the patients,” I explain. “Next time, I’ll have them clear it with you.”

“Katniss, no one clears anything with me,” she says.

I feel like we don’t get many scenes as it is with Katniss’s mom, and this just confirms how fucked up this situation is. Katniss is right: after being taken away twice now, it’s even more painful that they’re in this (supposedly) safe place and she is still being taken away from her mother.

Ugh. It hurts.

It only gets more uncomfortable from here on out. Katniss is injured (again), having suffered from some shrapnel in her leg. There’s another huge sense of irony in the way food operates in District 13; Collins may seem to be brushing over it, but I disagree. The fact that she includes details about the size of the meals is yet another parallel to what the Capitol had been doing: keeping people hungry. I understand that yes, these people lived underground and had to keep themselves alive for years. Rationing makes sense. But hunger plays so deeply into this story in ways we may not see unless we look harder. The refugees are simply still hungry, even though they’re trying to fight against that very concept being used to oppress them.

As Katniss and Gale head to Command for the day’s meeting with those in charge, they’re increasingly worried about what the ramifications of their actions the day before, directly defying orders in order to take down the hovercrafts. Coin doesn’t seem like the kind of leader to forgive disorder and chaos, considering how District 13 is run.

As the room fills, I brace myself for a less congenial reception. But the only people who register any kind of negativity are Haymitch, who’s always out of sorts, and a sour-faced Fulvia Cardew


Coin and Gale are in the midst of some exchange that seems positively chummy.

Oh. So….wait, no one is mad?

Coin calls the meeting to order. “Our Airtime Assault has officially launched. For any of you who missed yesterday’s twenty-hundred broadcast of our first propo—or the seventeen reruns Beetee has managed to air since—we will begin by replaying it.”

Wait. So not only is no one upset at yesterday’s events, but they’ve already finished their first propaganda piece? Already?

I have to admit that what Collins describes here is pretty amazing, especially considering how awful their last idea was. The propo is dark, gritty, and utilizes the speech Katniss plucked out of nowhere in the ruins of the makeshift hospital in District 8. It’s great, honestly. I will say I have one complaint, and it’s the message at the end of the propo:



Shouldn’t it read:



RIGHT??? That first one is SO CONFUSING.

But yes, BRAVO. It’s good for what is is. It makes sense in the context of this story, that they have to use television/entertainment in order to change minds. I’m just interested to see what will come of it.

I can’t help noticing the strain on Fulvia’s face, though. I think how hard this must be for her, watching Haymitch’s idea succeed under Cressida’s direction, when Fulvia’s studio approach was such a flop.

Yeah, but it was AN AWFUL IDEA. I don’t feel too bad because Fulvia’s been kind of unhelpful this whole time.

“But I do have to question the wide margin of risk that you were willing to operate within. I know the raid was unforeseen. However, given the circumstances, I think we should discuss the decision to send Katniss into actual combat.”

The decision? To send me into combat? Then she doesn’t know I flagrantly disregarded orders, ripped out my earpiece, and gave my bodyguards the slip? What else have they kept from her?

WHAT. Why on earth would they keep this to themselves, especially Boggs and Haymitch? WHAT.

No one has ratted out Gale and me. Not Plutarch, whose authority we ignored. Not Boggs with his broken nose. Not the insects we led into fire.


Not Haymitch—no, wait a minute. Haymitch is giving me a deadly smile and saying sweetly, “Yeah, we wouldn’t want to lose our little Mockingjay when she’s finally begun to sing.”

BITTER MUCH, HAYMITCH? I like the guy, which I’ve said many times before, but this rubs me the wrong way. There’s one thing I don’t really get about him: why does he insist on being right and in charge when it comes to Katniss? I get understand that he’s helped her and saved her life before, but this attitude of his seems dangerous. I fear he’ll do something to actually harm her in the name of the “uprising.”

So now we know that Katniss will get sent into combat sometime in the future. Actual warfare. Man, that’s going to be intense. But in the meantime, Cressida maps out some of the propos plans they have: to do a feature on the effects of the Capitol bombing, another on Katniss as the Mockingjay, and then an idea created by Fulvia called We Remember.

“In each one, we could feature one of the dead tributes. Little Rue from Eleven or old Mags from Four. The idea being that we could target each district with a very personal piece.”

“A tribute to your tributes, as it were,” says Plutarch.

“That is brilliant, Fulvia,” I say sincerely. “It’s the perfect way to remind people why they’re fighting.”

I gotta agree with Katniss here: it might even be a better idea than Haymitch’s. The emotional opportunities here are much stronger than just using Katniss. Plus, that is the whole reason people are rebelling; they want to end the Capitol’s control of hunger.

The president sends everyone off to get to work, so Gale wheels me back to the hospital. We laugh a little about the cover-up. Gale says no one wanted to look bad by admitting they couldn’t control us. I’m kinder, saying they probably didn’t want to jeopardize the chance of taking us out again now that they’ve gotten some decent footage.

In my brain, this issue was a lot more grand, but you know…this makes a lot more sense than some sort of ~conspiracy~ to use it against Katniss and Gale. I GUESS EVERYTHING CAN’T BE A DEEP, TERRIFYING MYTHOLOGY. My brain. This is what it does.

Let’s talk more about Haymitch being a creepy weirdo. Man, he is seriously making me uncomfortable with his Edward Cullen routine of appearing beside Katniss’s bed. WAS HE WATCHING HER SLEEP?

Haymitch leans forward and dangles something on a thin white wire in front of my nose. It’s hard to focus on, but I’m pretty sure what it is. He drops it to the sheets. “That is your earpiece. I will give you exactly one chance to wear it. If you remove it from your ear again, I’ll have you fitted with this.” He holds up some sort of metal headgear that I instantly name the head shackle. “It’s an alternative audio unit that locks around your skill and under your chin until it’s opened with a key. And I’ll have the only key. If for some reason you’re clever enough to disable it”—Haymitch dumps the head shackle on the bed and whips out a tiny silver chip—“I’ll authorize them to surgically implant this transmitter into your ear so that I may speak to you twenty-four hours a day.”

WHAT THE FUCK. Haymitch, CALM YOUR SHIT. This is creepy and invasive and kind of like…almost enough to make me dislike him. I understand the need to communicate and stay in touch during these missions, but a small moment of honesty, maybe some anger, would have made the point. THIS IS OVERKILL. UGH. And then he eats her lunch too? PUNCH IN THE FACE, HAYMITCH. That’s what you deserve.

Thankfully, Haymitch is gone after this and we get MOAR FINNICK. Which is fantastic, because despite how he appeared when we first met him, I have come to like him a whole lot. I think he was so concerned with his image that he didn’t just..well, relax.

He joins Katniss in her room, bringing her food (TEAM FINNICK GUYS) so they can watch the propos as they air live on air. But before they can shut off the television, prior to a repeat of the clips, Caesar Flickerman appears on screen.

Peeta’s physical transformation shocks me. The healthy, clear-eyed boy I saw a few days ago has lost at least fifteen pounds and developed a nervous tremor in his hands. They’ve still got him groomed. But underneath the paint that cannot cover the bags under his eyes, and the fine clothes that cannot conceal the pain he feels when he moves, is a person badly damaged.

Like Katniss, I wondered how this was possible. How does a person lose fifteen pounds in less than a week? What did they do to him? But the truth is that the first broadcast we saw earlier in the week was vague enough not to contain any reference to time, meaning that it could have been recorded at any time in the weeks prior to this very day. This, however, is most likely recorded very recently.

It’s a short broadcast and Caesar only directs Peeta to make one statement: What would he like to tell Katniss?

“Don’t be a fool, Katniss. Think for yourself. They’ve turned you into a weapon that could be instrumental in the destruction of humanity. If you’ve got any real influence, use it to put the brakes on this thing. Use it to stop the war before it’s too late. Ask yourself, do you really trust the people you’re working with? Do you really know what’s going on? And if you don’t…find out.”

Well, fuck! Of course, this is meant to cast doubt in Katniss’s mind, and it’s an emotional weapon against the uprising. We know the awful things the Capitol has done and of course we’re rooting for the rebellion.

But Collins has done something very complicated and kind of subtle here: there is some truth to what Peeta has just said. Katniss doesn’t trust District 13. I don’t either. They are using her as a weapon and surely this is going to lead to a violent, destructive showdown. We know this.

But the problem is that Katniss has been forced to choose between two awful options. I think this speech is going to plant the seed of a third option for her. What that is, I’m unsure of. Hell, I might not even be right. I just think this story is heading towards a lot of difficult decisions. By having both sides of this war seem undesirable, she is setting up an interesting future.


About Mark Oshiro

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

197 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 8

  1. Lauren says:

    The wording of that propo (If we burn…) might have been changed somehow in the e-book version, Mark. I don't remember it reading like you say it does in the physical copy.

    • Albion19 says:

      Yeah in my copy of the book it's correct.

    • iva222 says:

      Yeah, I definitely remember it being "If we burn – you burn with us."

    • Ellen says:

      Yeah, I blame Kindle for this. It screws up formatting in a lot of the books I've read. And I remember this line in the hardback copy being really badass, not messed up? <.<

    • knut_knut says:

      Same here. E-book fail

    • lolwat says:

      I just checked my book there and it's worded "If we burn- You burn with us"
      Must be an e-book thing

      • L_Swann says:

        It's a Kindle thing – I read Mockingjay on a Nook and the text is also "If we burn – You burn with us."

    • Mike says:

      I read it on the Kindle, and it was correct on my version.

    • E.L.S.O.S says:

      My e-book copy is correct too, but then I don't have a Kindle.

      I think your Kindle version is messed up somehow.

    • O. Rodríguez says:

      Weird, I read it on my PC Kindle app around Christmas–before I got the actual Kindle, and I remember it being fine. But now I've checked and it is wrong. Wretched updating?

    • Sarah says:

      I’d always read it as “IF WE BURN YOU/BURN WITH US” in the sense like, if you burn to end hunger, if you get our message, come join us sort of thing? But yeah, I read mine on the Kindle, so mine was obviously wrong.

      • Inessa says:

        It's a message to the Capitol from the Districts rebels. I read it as; If you burn us, the fire spreads, and you'll get burned too. "if we burn, you burn with us"

        • Sarah says:

          That’s true. Like I said, in my reading I saw it more as a propaganda routine, trying to get the rest of the Districts to join them since they couldn’t reach the Capitol’s airwaves. But it does make sense (more sense) this way.

  2. bell_erin_a says:

    When your family’s had to send you off twice to the Hunger Games, this isn’t the kind of detail you should overlook.
    DAMN STRAIGHT. What would they have told Katniss's family if she had died in D8? "Oh, yeah. Um, so we kinda sent Katniss out today. She wasn't supposed to be in any real danger, since we didn't actually want her to do anything useful, but she kinda…well, there was an air attack by the Capitol. We're very sorry, and oops"? Bitches.

    Shouldn’t it read:

    I was wondering about that last night as I reread the chapter online. Is it different in hard copies? Because I don't remember that annoying me when I first read it, and I'm pretty sure I would have, since I have a tendency to get annoyed by little things like that. If not, though, that's kinda silly.

    Oh, Pollux. All the sads. Also, it kinda bugs me (oh goodness, I just noticed that. No pun intended) that she then goes back to calling them “the insects” later in this chapter. You know their names, Katniss. You could perhaps use them? How about “the cameramen”? Or maybe “the brothers,” hm? Okay, whatever.

    Man, he is seriously making me uncomfortable with his Edward Cullen routine of appearing beside Katniss’s bed. WAS HE WATCHING HER SLEEP?
    Hahaha, alright, the commentary is funny. The actual action/Haymitch's reason for doing so is not. I think Haymitch and Katniss should chill out just a bit before they kill each other. I also think that Haymitch was resisting the urge to have Katniss find out what someone clawing at her face feels like because it's not like her prep team couldn’t fix that up afterwards, so maybe just eating her lunch was preferable. Especially when awesome people like Finnick come in and bring her more food!

    But underneath the paint that cannot cover the bags under his eyes, and the fine clothes that cannot conceal the pain he feels when he moves, is a person badly damaged…They could have taped that interview a day or two after I blew up the arena, then done whatever they wanted to do to him ever since.
    Oh my god, oh my god. Peeta. :'(

    • amandajane5 says:

      Yup, definitely different in hardcopies – must be an online/e-reader thing. It's correct in the book.

  3. andreah1234 says:


    That's my comment for this review. (For now).

  4. ABBryant says:

    “It’s an alternative audio unit that locks around your skill and under your chin until it’s opened with a key. And I’ll have the only key. If for some reason you’re clever enough to disable it”—Haymitch dumps the head shackle on the bed and whips out a tiny silver chip—“I’ll authorize them to surgically implant this transmitter into your ear so that I may speak to you twenty-four hours a day.”

    Anyone else get a total Saw vibe from this?

  5. MeasuringInLove says:

    At risk of spoiling anything, I will instead remind the makers of the propo that grammar is very important:

    • cait0716 says:

      Sometimes I think about what's happening to our language and my soul dies a little. Then I go read the latest on Reasoning With Vampires and feel better about life.

      • IsabelArcher2 says:

        Don’t be sad. Languages change, just as they always have. For example, Katniss’s “If we burn, you burn with us” would look a little something like, “Gyf we þoliað ge þoliað mid us” in Old English. (Note: technically I used the word for “to suffer,” because I can’t remember the verb for “to burn” on the top of my head. Also, there is no punctuation in OE.)

        • cait0716 says:

          I know language changes to keep up with evolving cultures and society. And I don't have a problem with that (mostly). But when people either don't learn or blatantly disregard spelling and grammar, it hinders communication. And that does sadden me. There are basic rules in place so we can all try to understand each other. Ignoring them helps no one.

        • Tenalto says:

          "Baernan." I can't tell you how excited I am to apply my knowledge from my Old English class to a Mark Reads discussion. 😀

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh God, I really miss you Peeta….

    • iolchos says:

      seriously I have so much trouble remembering what else happened this chapter. It's like, "falalalaPEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"

      and he's only there for half a second too

  7. Cheri says:

    I get a different feel of Haymitch entirely. Not just because he is my favorite character, either. I feel he doesn't trust D13, or certain people there, so he's trying to protect Katniss. Ok, maybe in a creepy way, but whatever, everything is creepy there!

  8. msfeasance says:

    So the last chapter was like this:
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension">
    And instead of this chapter cutting to some form of celebratory or congratulatory meeting, it immediately undercuts the victory and underscores the fact that no one wins. Part of me is annoyed that no one ever gets a single second to appreciate their victory; but it's much more realistic this way. While simultaneously being utterly depressing.

  9. mugglemomof2 says:

    Oh man, I feel sorry for Boggs. Kicked in the face, broken nose, and now Katniss pukes on him. Clearly he is having the best day ever Isn't he though?

    A tribute to the Tributes….loved this idea so much!

    Let’s talk more about Haymitch being a creepy weirdo. Man, he is seriously making me uncomfortable with his Edward Cullen routine of appearing beside Katniss’s bed. WAS HE WATCHING HER SLEEP?
    I literally almost just snorted my tea on my computer <3<3

    Team Finnick forever!

    Oh Peeta- what are they doing to you?

  10. PaulineParadise says:

    Please don’t hurt Peeta, capitol!

    Leave Peeta alone!

  11. stellaaaaakris says:


    No, seriously, I will hunt you down. How much shit does Peeta need to go through? I just want to give him a hug and tell him everything is going to be all right. Except it's not, because this is Collins and, let's face it, she never wants us to be happy. I'm seeing way too many possibilities for her to squash my soul. She's doing a pretty damn good job of it right now.

    There's a lot of interesting things going on in this chapter, but I really can't get off the Peeta subject. I've missed him and seeing him like this hurts. Also makes me wonder what shape Johanna is in, considering she actually knew about the rebellion. My heart hurts.

    I'll try to talk about something else. Haymitch in the hospital and his Edward Cullen vibe while watching her sleep. Now, fortunately, I don't have too much experience with hospitals, so my impression comes from TV and movies, but isn't that what people tend to do in them? Sit around and wait for the sick to wake up? I thought the action itself was normal, not the motive behind it.

    Also, I think the "We Remember" pieces are fantastic. If they make a 3rd movie, I'll get to see Rue, Thresh, Foxface, Mags, and Wiress again. Maybe even learn a few names. Also I will probably cry, but that's okay. It'll be worth it.

    But once again: PEEEEEETAAAAAAAA!!!!

    • andreah1234 says:


      Also makes me wonder what shape Johanna is in, considering she actually knew about the rebellion.
      Oh. OH. JOHANNA NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! D: D: D: D:

    • Gabbie says:


      They made him take down the portrait of Headmaster Zefron and replace it with Taylor Lautner. 😮

    • iolchos says:

      1.3) Enobaria, eh. I'm sure you're fine.

      2) yeah, your thoughts about Haymitch are my thoughts. Plus this venn diagram:

      he's sort of her uncle figure, unwillingly, and he's spent a lot of time watching death dangle her in its jaws and her run screaming towards it with a flame thrower, so yeah, I expect he gets some relief/therapy out of watching her sleep in the hospital bed, after she throws herself towards danger again (and I read a bit of angry parent in him, "KEEP YOUR CELL PHONE ON WHEN YOU GO OUTSIDE I MIGHT NEED TO CALL YOU")

      3) We Remember! Oh, I really want to hear in depth stories on the tributes we didn't get to know.

      4) Peeta! COME BACK ALREADY I MISS YOU 🙁 🙁 🙁

  12. monkeybutter says:

    Boggs' mask being flesh colored really creeps me out — why couldn't they just use clear plastic like basketball players have to wear? Skin-toned plastic reminds me of Richard from Boardwalk Empire, which isn't a pleasant image:

    <img src=""&gt;
    So please don't punch Haymitch in the face. I don't want any more face masks.

    I don't think Collins is brushing over the food thing, there's just not much need for loving detail now. The thought of strong garlic, stewed turnips, and other gloppy foods is enough to turn our stomachs. We've gone from food porn to food snuff films. But, yeah, hunger is the important thing here. Access to food is a basic need, and it can easily spark an uprising.

  13. MissRose99 says:

    I love Haymitch, and that scene with the earpiece is my favorite in the series (especially if Hugh Laurie would have been cast asnhim.) in my opinion, haymitch kinda fills in the father like role for her. He's gotta be tough with her now, cause she s going into the touchiest craziest scenario of her life. Plus when she ripped off the earpiece to his knowledge she could have been dead.

    He cares for her he's just got a funny way of showing it!!! Plus we know the man operates best under the influence of alcohol which he has none of here!

    • Ali says:

      yeah, I agree with this. Haymitch is being a little crazy in this chapter, but I think it's his way of showing concern. He's mad at her for leaving Peeta, but he really does care about Katniss and he must have been freaking out when she took off her earpiece and ran right into a warzone, where he had no idea what was happening to her.
      When I read this I didn't think he was being 100% serious about the head shackle or the surgical chip …maybe I'm reading this wrong but I took it to be more of a dramatic gesture than an actual threat. Like a parent saying 'You're going to school even if I have to drag you there myself in your pajamas'.

      With Peeta captured by the Capitol, Katniss is really all Haymitch has, y'know?

    • Saber says:

      Sadly, it's been confirmed that Hugh Laurie WON'T be cast. 🙁

      • MissRose99 says:

        which is why I used the past tense… would have been… I realize he will not be playing haymitch and he was my number one choice…. 🙁

  14. lisra says:


    Mark's last sentences make what I wanted to say unnecessary. OH WELL.

    Katniss gets injured and slugs on regardless even more thn Sam Vimes.

    • theanagrace says:

      1000 internets for Discworld reference.

      Do you see a bit of Vimes in Haymitch too? Crusty, does what he wants without regard to authority, gives the illusion of cooperation to those above him, disdain for privilege, drinking problem, rough and tumble scrapper. I could probably go on.

      Now that I think about it, Peeta reminds me a bit of Carrot.

      • lisra says:

        There are quite a lot of similarities, but I think it is Vimes without carrot, more to the other side than the weathered (anti)authority figure we know today.

        If Collins had lower standards, or this was not supposedly a YA novel, she may not. Quite good she still has though. Not that I.. ok, I better shut up. 😀

    • Suspicious Cookie says:

      Nahhhhh. More than Sam Vimes? Not likely. I mean, at least she still has trousers.

  15. Emily Crnk says:

    God, I've been waiting for you to get to these parts, because, for me, this is where the book really starts to get into its grove.
    We start to see the whole picture, the limited options that Katniss is faced with. For me, that is exactly what makes this book so fantastic, the way that collins plays of your emotions, you can literally feel all of the different 'factions' PULLING Katniss their own way, and her struggling to find her own path.
    Bravo is correct, Collins may have her flaws, but she sure as hell knows how to screw with emotions.

  16. andreah1234 says:



    And umm I think I've given up on thoughtful commentary. *facepalm* SEE WHAT YOU'RE DOING TO ME COLLINS?!

  17. Kripa says:

    You didn't choke on your tea after reading "While I was waiting…I ate your lunch"? Because I did.
    That's easily one of the funniest lines in the series! I'm still dying.

  18. hallowsnothorcruxes says:

    Haymitch used to be one of my favourite characters but now I just don't know. Right now Plutarch and Boggs seem far more trustworthy than Haymitch. I have been reading alongwith Mark and I was positive that the beginning of this book would deal with some sort of operation to rescue Peeta and Johanna. But now things are looking so bleak for them that I'm afraid we might not see Peeta and Johanna until the endgame of this book.

  19. Blabbla says:

    It's funny that you mention liking the bleakness, because most of the fans I talked to about it violently hated Mockingjay for that exact reason.

    • cait0716 says:

      True. But Mark also professed a love of OotP for many of the reasons most HP fans didn't like it (ANGST!), so I don't think it's all that surprising.

    • Gillyweed says:

      The first two books were about children murdering children, there were heavy hints about war plot in this one. Did they really expect puppies and rainbows? I just don't understand.

      • Tabbyclaw says:

        It's a poorly-done genre shift. I signed on for a dystopia, got two-thirds of one, and had my last book hijacked by a heavy-handed 'horrors of war' story that was so relentlessly bleak it became boring. If I'd wanted military sci-fi, there are plenty of places I can go for that.

        • liliaeth says:

          hijacked? Seriously? This is where the books were heading towards the entire time. I mean, the seeds for it are placed in the first book;, with the starvation and lack of freedom. And what we hear of Rue about District 12, when we see the first comparisons with slavery, Then the revolution starts up in the second book.The attack on the factory where Bonnie and Twill worked. The new Peacekeepers, the stricter rules in 12, the lashing of Gale….

          Mockinjay is a perfect extension of what we've seen come before. This is what a dystopia should be, not some fantasy, but reality. That's what makes it great, rather than a cliché good versus bad guys storyline.

          Not that you seem to be alone, a lot of people prefer the simple story that at most hints at the grey, without actually dealing with it. Just look at all the crappy SYOT fics on Those kids too would prefer a simple story, a fantasy, but that to me at least, would have been the lesser story, the less meaningful, the less emotional and definitely the less worthwhile story to follow.

    • theanagrace says:

      I'm the same way, as much as I like happy endings, there's just something about a bleak tragedy that makes me warm and fuzzy inside. For that same reason, Roman Holiday is one of my favourite movies. I have a soft spot for unhappy endings and character angst in any medium. I think its that it's more true to life.

  20. barnswallowkate says:

    "Oh man, I feel sorry for Boggs. Kicked in the face, broken nose, and now Katniss pukes on him. Clearly he is having the best day ever."

    It's the same day he saw Finnick in his undies, right? So overall it's still a win.

  21. warmouth says:

    So I remember when Finnick was first introduced and I had to desperately stop myself from screaming Team Finnick. He's like seriously my favorite FOR ALL TIME!

    <img src=""&gt;

    Haymitch, stop being a creeper, you are this creepy:

    <img src=""&gt;

    Also you're like the King of England, which is bad…or something. And nobody hurts Pita-cakes and gets away with it.

    <img src=""&gt;

    Watch out Capital because we aim to misbehave

    • iolchos says:

      I feel like a horrible person but I CANNOT remember where that middle gif is from, help?

      • warmouth says:

        It's from School House Rock, one of them ones about the American Revolution. I think the song is shot heard round the world but don't quote me on it.

  22. Kelly L. says:

    Poor Peeta. 🙁

    You like this book for exactly the reason I hate it. It's too bleak for me. Too harrowing, too real, too depressing, too heartbreaking. To each their own, I guess. 🙂

  23. RachelHs says:

    1. I don't really get the creep vibe from Haymitch that you guys are getting. It could be because he is 1 of my 2 favorite characters (see #2 for the second). I think he genuinely cares about her but he obviously doesn't want her to know. The whole speaker thing is a bit extreme but a. Katniss isn't exactly rational all the time and does need a bit of help. And b. As great as what she did with the hovercrafts is–and I probably would've done the same–she still could've died.

    2. This book (up to this point) is killing me because of how much I miss Peeta. He is so genuine and caring and all around adorable. I mean, here she is facing war and phoneys and that rock that she had in the arena isn't there. Yeah, she still may not know if she loves him or Gale romantically but she still loves him and really needs him. And it's just so difficult for me to see that Peeta is hurt. 🙁 Bring him baaaacck!

  24. inzhuna says:

    I didn't like this chapter. To me, it was obvious no one is going to be mad at Katniss and Gale and that it will actually be a success. I really hate it in the books when the heroes are made stupider than the readers. It was one of the (many) reasons I stopped reading Terry Goodkind. I know it's part of Katniss's character that she can be quite clueless at times, but it really is starting to grate on my nerves.

    Also, I agree, Haymitch was horrible in this chapter, so mean. Poor Catnip. 🙁

    • castlejune says:

      Ah, Terry Goodkind, writer of "fantastic philosophy". God, I hate his books. His main character is such a Mary Sue, and everyone else's intelligence drops dramatically whenever they are within 20 feet of Richard so that he can explain things to him. How far did you get in the series? I hope you made it to Richard's statue that was so perfectly made that it caused everyone who gazed upon it to have an epiphany about their worth as individuals. I cracked up SO HARD at that part.

      • Mary says:

        omg how can you hate that series!!!! its amazing!! Richard does not just know everything, he has to work for it and makes plenty of mistakes along the way…its in his character to figure things out and sometimes he wasnt right and things went to shit. Those books are amazing and I think everyone should read it, I love Goodkinds philosophy…also i think he creates the best villains from any books I've read,including HP, Jagang is the worst hands down.

        Just saying….

    • erin says:

      "To me, it was obvious no one is going to be mad at Katniss and Gale and that it will actually be a success."

      I was going to ask if you'd missed the part with Haymitch, but then…

      "Also, I agree, Haymitch was horrible in this chapter, so mean. Poor Catnip."


      • inzhuna says:

        Hehehe. When I said 'no one' I mostly meant the District 13 people and kind of excluded/conveniently forgot Haymitch, so yeah, you got me there ;D

  25. Integrity1584 says:

    Agreed. I love these books because they don't follow usual book/movie conventions. The revolution isn't some triumphant march to the Capitol with trumpets playing in the background, it feels much more realistic than that. I love the realism, despite the fact that it's so depressing and bleak.

  26. notemily says:

    Was I the only one who clapped in delight at twins named Castor and Pollux?


  27. Ask yourself, do you really trust the people you’re working with? Do you really know what’s going on? And if you don’t…find out.”
    Coin's a Cylon!

    No, wait, Peeta's a Cylon!


  28. Treasure Cat says:

    I severely dislike what Collins does to Haymitch in this chapter. I dont hate him for it, because I dont think it is him. I think nigh everything he does in this chapter is out of character and I think Collins is very lazy on giving us reasons for why he is acting like this. I cant think of a single one. For the past two books he has been trustworthy and a good friend and mentor to Katniss, up until this point the two play amazingly off each other. And now, for no reason at all, he changes. It does the character a disservice to portray him like he is here, I mean Mark compared him to the dreaded Cullen (which I know was a joke but for that to even enter his head Haymitch must be doing something OOC for him and in character for Edward). I miss the sharp-as-a-razor-blade mentor with a reluctant-but-true heart. To me this isnt the real Haymitch and it detrimentally affects my views on this chapter as a whole, which is a shame because the propo itself and the bit with her mother and with Peeta at the very end are all wonderful.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      This. I was really wondering if perhaps Katniss just hallucinated the whole thing (perhaps a way for Collins to comment on how Katniss doesn't feel like she can trust anyone around her anymore), because it seems so strange and out-of-character. I know that he's agreed to be her mentor in these 'War Games' just as he was in the Hunger Games, but even that doesn't justify how he responded to Katniss's actions.

      To be fair, I suppose there could be a lot more going on that hasn't been revealed yet, but that section really baffled me, to the point of distracting me from pretty much everything else in the chapter.

    • realornotreal says:

      I like Haymitch here, and perhaps that because I see him as a father figure to both Katniss and Peeta. He loves them, but he doesn't know how to show love. To me his over the top response to the ear piece had to do with him being more worried about losing her than anything. Just my thoughts.

      • Gabbie says:

        I agree. Again, he's RECOVERING. I expected full-blown mental breakdowns and poor Boggs being more injured than a broken nose. (Why everyone choses to hurt Boggs, I don't know.)

  29. ldwy says:

    I like that the book has gotten (or really, stayed, because it was right from the beginning) so serious so fast. It's realistic that in a conflict like this there's not HEROES VS BADGUYS. The world is very much not like that–in an everyday sense and especially during war. I think war has the potential to bring out the worst in everyone, even when you are fighting for a "noble" cause, you're going to get your hands dirty. Sometimes and for some people, really dirty. It's not nice but Collins is painting a very true picture, and I applaud her for not shying away from it, especially in YA lit.

  30. Neiha says:

    Honestly, I seriously don't get why people hate Mockingjay for being so bleak. THE FUCK DID YOU EXPECT? It's no fucking secret that the whole series is about murder and oppression and classism and privilege gone fucking insane.

    I can't say anything else for fear of spoiling everything so I will keep quiet and just say Team Boggs and Team Finnick foreverrr.

    Also that I think Haymitch shows his protectiveness towards Katniss in really…well, creepy ways because he doesn't know what else to do. Maybe he believes that Katniss won't understand conventional portrayals of protectiveness and if that's the case, he has a point. But I'm not going to pretend I didn't shudder at the way he spoke to Katniss, even if the "I ate your lunch" was as funny as it was awful.

  31. thefbm says:

    If the pace and tone of Mockingjay continues in this vein, it’ll be easy to declare it as my favorite of the trilogy. It’s exciting, bleak, and difficult to deal with, especially since the situation Collins has created is so complicated and depressing. And, again, I cannot believe we’re already seeing scenes of war. IN CHAPTER SEVEN. This is definitely something I figured we’d see much, much later in the book.

    Am I hearing that Mark is becoming a fanboy of these books? Your favorite trioligy? Haha I new you would loves for the dark and depressing themes! Their fantastic….well not for the characters.

    And OMG someone who finally lays out Haymitch about his creepness. This scene just scared teh jeebes out of me where many loved it. He's giving her threats because of an earpiece, calm down!

    Can they just save Peeta now before I curl up and die in the corner….can't take anymore heartach…

    • lilygirl says:

      Yes, Mockingjay is my favorite also. I have never had the Haymitch love some others do. I always felt he uses Katness, is jealous of her, knows that he will not be the one to ever break out of the whole situation. He has some deep hate issues and just cannot be the support that Katness really needs. Already Boggs has shown more respect to Katness. Bogs actually listens to Katness. He stood back and let her handle Finnick, he let her do her thing in the bombing. But it is the simple line right after Finnik that really made me like him. "I thought you handled that well". Has anyone ever ever just given Katness simple praise for a job well done. He was the one that really looked at her, touched her, and gave her the confidence to walk into that horrible hospital. Forget Haymitch, MOAR Boggs.

      • Saber says:

        *Is sticking up for Haymitch*

        "And when he says 'Nice job Sweetheart' it doesn't even sound sarcastic"

        After she gets out of the first games and hugs him.

        • Gabbie says:

          Hugs him BEFORE CINNA, we should add. 😉

          • iolchos says:

            if Katniss and Peeta had actually gotten married in Catching Fire, and they weren't in the Quarter Quell, who do you think would have given her away?

            THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT also we have to talk about the wedding party and the cake and if Snow wants to kiss the bride

      • erin says:

        *is sticking up for Haymitch also*

        I'm not sure I'd call "chasing after Katniss with the intent of holding her back until he gets his nose broken by Gale" the same thing as "Boggs letting Katniss do her thing."

        Have your parents never gotten angry with you for doing something ridiculously dangerous? I wouldn't label that "hate and jealousy issues" either. (Honestly, I have no idea how jealousy fits into your theory at all. I don't know what you mean when you say he will never "break out of the whole situation." Huh?)

  32. HungryLikeLupin says:

    I'm glad you pointed out the control over food here, because it's something that struck me as sort of creepy and wrong, as well. I think the reason for that is that the rationing in D13–at least to the extent that it's occurring–isn't strictly necessary. Remember, this isn't a barren, bombed-out wasteland as the Capitol claims. While I won't argue with their decision to remain literally underground–probably a very good idea, just in case the Capitol has been checking up on them–it would be easy enough to send small groups up to hunt and/or gather without the risk of drawing too much attention. Instead, the notion comes as a complete surprise when Katniss suggests hunting with Gale. And if they can build an underground meadow so that Beetee can study hummingbirds, surely they can work out some extra crop production.

    That can all be read one of two ways, I think. Either D13 is making a conscious decision–just as the Capitol did–to keep the food supply limited, because it keeps people under very strict control. The (very large) part of me that severely mistrusts Coin and is screaming about conspiracies everywhere is a big believer in this theory. However, I have to admit that there is that second option: that the Capitol is still using hunger to control D13 even after they've ostensibly broken away. It's possible that Coin and company are genuinely too afraid of Capitol attack to risk sending people above ground to get more food, and if that's the case the the Capitol is, in fact, still controlling them. Perhaps not as directly as they are the other districts, but the citizens of D13 are still too afraid of retribution to attempt to get more food. Either way, it means that Collins is doing a brilliant job.

    As far as Haymitch goes, I'll go ahead and take the unpopular stance here and say that I've never really been all that fond of him. Sure, he's had his moments, but I think it speaks volumes about my perception of him that when he pulled out the threat of implanting a communications chip in Katniss's head, I didn't think that it was out of character at all.

    • StargazerLilies says:

      I'm going with your first option, and I think it would be brilliantly effective. Katniss said that they get as many calories as it takes to get them to the next meal, no more. That means they can never afford to miss one. If they ever choose not to go, their health will suffer for it. It's like they're being reminded three times a day that their survival depends on doing exactly what they're told. What you do with your body is one of your most fundamental rights, and that includes what you eat. It's one of the first and only ways you can assert your independence as a young child. To have someone else dictate that your whole life, I can't imagine what that would do to your head.

  33. castlejune says:

    “In my brain, this issue was a lot more grand, but you know…this makes a lot more sense than some sort of ~conspiracy~ to use it against Katniss and Gale. I GUESS EVERYTHING CAN’T BE A DEEP, TERRIFYING MYTHOLOGY. My brain. This is what it does.”

    This is what my brain does too, although I don’t quite agree that there is a lack of conspiracy. They don’t want their mouthpiece to die, but they were really pleased with the results. I’m halfway convinced that Coin planned on the hospital being bombed so they could make the shoot “more tragic” and give Katniss something to respond to, but especially the way Coin was like “No one expected the hospital to be bombed, of course.” Hmmm…plus the way she was chatting up Gale? I shout CONSPIRACY!

  34. Caitlin P says:

    Maybe this is what Haymitch is like without liquor. Very very angry.

  35. Shanella says:

    I like how Collins has managed to create doubt about District 13. Great job =) Great review.

  36. E.L.S.O.S says:

    Yeah, the feeling I got from that scene was one of hilarity. I got the feeling that Haymitch's goal from the Hunger Games is the same and that he wants to keep Katniss alive. Her tearing the ear-mike out and running off towards battle is the sort of headed towards the opposite of that goal. I thought he was mostly doing the threatening out of frustration at Katniss for being so stubborn about putting herself in danger. And then he decided to eat her lunch because he's tired of the whole diet thing and there was perfectly good food right there! What was he supposed to do? Just stare at it longingly?

    So yeah, I found that scene to be a short infusion of humour in a bleak and depressing string of awful. I thought it was great.

    • Gabbie says:

      Also, let's picture ourselves in the mind of Haymitch Abernathy. You can either yell at her in public about disobeying him and risking her life, or wait until she wakes up, scaring her, and threatening her in the creepiest way possible. (transmitting chips implanted in the brain, head shackle, etc.) Now, what would you, as Haymitch, do?
      Also, yeah, it could be the recovering-alcoholic thing, too.

    • StargazerLilies says:

      Not only was there perfectly good food right there in front of him, but it sounds like he really needs to put on some weight. When she first saw him in Ch 6, she was worried for a second that he was dying. I wonder how lenient they are with people who've been sick (or detoxing) and lost weight. I'm betting not very. Sitting there with that lunch calling to him, tempting him, taunting him, that might have been agony. Or he was just being petty.

  37. karadudz says:

    Haha the "If we burn you burn with us" I initially read it as:

    if we burn you, burn with us" Kind of like some sort of communal burning fest or something.

    Talking about doubt as a theme for the trilogy, I just realized that the first one was Book 1 was doubt about survival, book 2 was doubt on the Capitol and is book 3 now doubt about district 13?

    I just feel so bad for everyone in this book because they are born to doubt and unbe unable to trust.

    It's intense because I think it would be unbearable to live like that yet the characters in this book still do.

  38. paulineparadise says:

    Third comment, sorry if that counts as spamming/trolling/whatever

    During an online chat, children could ask JK Rowling questions, and she'd answer them. One of them:

    "alixnecole: were you consulted at all when the actors were chosen for the movie?

    JKR: Yes, Chris Columbus, who was the director of the first film, asked me if there was anybody I thought would be good and I said 'RobbieColtraneForHagrid' in one breath."


  39. Sarah says:

    "Oh man, I feel sorry for Boggs. Kicked in the face, broken nose, and now Katniss pukes on him. Clearly he is having the best day ever."

    I always imagined Boggs as Peter Burke from White Collar. He just seems like that kind of guy. 🙂

    And Peeta, omg Peeta… 🙁

  40. MikeMagpuyo says:

    [i]"But the problem is that Katniss has been forced to choose between two awful options. I think this speech is going to plant the seed of a third option for her. What that is, I’m unsure of. Hell, I might not even be right. I just think this story is heading towards a lot of difficult decisions. By having both sides of this war seem undesirable, she is setting up an interesting future.


    No – Bravo to [b]you[/b], Mark.

  41. theresa1128429 says:

    I think Haymitch was being a hard-ass just to make sure Katniss would begin listening. While I don't agree with obeying EVERY order all the time, it would probably be safer to keep the earpiece in. I see it as tough love, like when I tell my cats to calm down or we're eating chinese food for dinner…

  42. Not_Prepared says:

    Even though this book is ~Sad Party USA~ I can't deny how great it all is. Sure, I was hoping that the next book would be nothing but a happy Peeta & Katniss reunion, Gale and Katniss being friends again, Haymitch not drinking anymore, Katniss's mom being happy, District 13 being paradise, LOTS AND LOTS of Finnick/Johanna/Beetee, etc. etc. etc., but this is still amazing.

  43. blessthechildren says:


    <img src=""</img&gt;

  44. inzhuna says:

    I agree, I hated how he behaved towards Katniss, but it was in-character for him.

  45. Phoebe says:

    I actually didn't mind Haymitch being snarky to her because pulling out that earpiece could have costed her her life, but eating her lunch? C'mon, Haymitch!

    Plus, I pointed this out yesterday but it was one of the last comments so Im not sure if anybody saw it, but today is February EIGHT and Mark is reading chapter EIGHT! Hope this continues! No more missed days, please!

  46. Pelleloguin says:

    Ok Mark, you did it. I've singed up. I've been lurking over at Buzznet right before you started HP7 after a friend linked to your Twilight blog. Your reviews are very witty, funny, creative and thought provoking. I love them so much that Mark Reads has become something of a routine for me. Wake up at 5, go to cooking school, come home at 3, check e-mail and Mark Reads.
    I've read all of the Hunger Games trilogy a while back and I love how you sometimes see very differently than I do. However, I do agree that poor Boggs needs a break. Being puked on should never happen to anyone.
    Looking forwards to your future reviews!

  47. finnickodair says:

    Disctict 13 Hospital
    Subject: Katniss Everdeen

    1843: Subject is threatened by a man who has been watching her sleep. While I find him to be creepy, I am pleased with the idea of a head shackle for the subject.

  48. Inessa says:

    I know it's been pointed out in at least 100 comments, but I had to go back and check, and my book has
    The other way doesn't make sense.

    I didn't get a chance to comment yesterday, but thank you for your review yesterday. Buttercup was hillarious and it was nice to take a break from the doom and constant feeling that more awful things will rain down. I can't understand people criticising and whining. I understand having a preference for certain reviews, but dictating to you what you should do and how – I don't understand this audacious sense of entitlement.

    • Phoebe says:

      is it horrible that when i read "audacious" i imediatly thought of that line in bills bills bills? obvioiusly, i am waaayyy too obsessed with starkids…

  49. liliaeth says:

    Yeah, personally I thought he was acting out of worry for her.This kid who is one of the only two in 25 years that he's managed to keep alive, is going into a dangerous situation and all he's got to protect her, is that com link. So for her to get rid of that, scares the hell out of him.

    • StargazerLilies says:

      It's even worse than that. He already lost the other kid. He was probably clever enough to suspect what was happening to Peeta even before he actually saw it. So now the one he has left shows that she's perfectly willing to run headlong into situations that could get her killed, and I can understand why he would get dramatic about it. I believe he does care about her, and anyone who cared would be worried after something like that. On the other hand, we've never seen Haymitch NOT being super controlling. This is very much in character for him, and it's not exactly endearing.

  50. Captain_Anarchy says:

    <img src="pedobear.gif">
    Pedobear Haymitch wants to watch you sleep.

    <img src="meangirls.gif">
    Guy=Mark. Boombox=Suzanne Collins

  51. r1` says:

    Oh this book just gets more depressing…

  52. farrah D. says:

    I liked this chapter. It really started getting exciting from here on out. I like how in most books there's a distinct line between good guys and bad guys but in Mockingjay you begin to realize just how much it overlaps.



    and lastly, Haymitch I love you but stop trying to be a certified Creep.

    [youtube tLPZmPaHme0 youtube]

  53. fizzybomb says:

    Okay, so I know it's supposed to be serious and all, but when I read the description of the propo, with all the flame effects and everything, I couldn't help but think of the Fox News parody from Idiocracy.

    FOX. NEWS.




    • warmouth says:

      <img src=–Van.gif">

      Huh, who knew D13 was run by the Internet Hate Machine?

  54. Revolution64 says:

    Capitol, you did NOT hurt Peeta!
    Oh HELL no!
    <img src=""&gt;

  55. RainaWeather says:

    Mark you gotta get off that e-reader. It's fucking if your formatting. The book had the phrase right.

  56. erin says:

    "And was I the only one who saw at least the surgical chip as an empty threat?"

    No. Hi! *waves energetically* Let's defend Haymitch the Wonderful together!

  57. Inessa says:

    I think that the way Haymitch reacts differently to Cressida and Plutarch and Coin is telling too. None of them ratted Katniss and Gale out, but none of them were actually angry with her, because the propo was successful, and Haymitch seems to be the only one who seems to have expressed concern (albeit in an angry, ascerbic manner) for her safety in this. I read it as the rest of them, specifically Plutarch, treating Katniss like Katniss previously described, as a tribute, important, but ultimately disposable. Haymitch didn't rat her out, as it would serve no purpose to get her into trouble, but he does make his point, that her risking her life and disregarding his efforts to protect her is not on. The eating her lunch was mean, but funny, in my opinion. It was punishment, and effective at that, since Katniss is quite preoccupied with food. In fact, everyone else, just patted her on her back for providing them with a good propo.

  58. Gamesfan says:

    How soon until we get an AIM style review like you did for Twilight? Those were funny! If you can drop Buttercup into a war zone, you can do anything.

  59. Cat says:

    I've been wondering what you'd have to say about that bit with Haymitch. I love him, but man, that scene makes my skin crawl. The threat of that kind of invasiveness, ugh. And I'm not gonna lie, Mark: I would have respected you a tiny bit less if it hadn't creeped you out, too.

  60. erin says:

    Am shocked at how seriously people seem to be taking Haymitch's waiting by Katniss' hospital bed.

    …Really? Girl just almost killed herself by not following his orders. Shouldn't he be mad? She's mature for her age, sure, but she's still a kid, and one known for making decisions that aren't all that level-headed. Any parent-figure would react the same. If anything, Collins used the scene to add a little bit of humor to lighten up the aftermath of a very depressing chapter.

    "The Head Shackle." "So help me, I will have this thing surgically implanted in your brain…" "BTW I ate your lunch. Sucks for you." C'mon, this is snide, gruff, protective Haymitch at his best! I was lol'ing the whole time. XD

  61. StargazerLilies says:

    Finally got to read these books and work up the nerve to post here, so I’m gonna take this opportunity to make a first impression and use it to ask a dumb question: what is a propo? Is it a word Collins made up or a real thing? Is it short for something?


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

    I can’t tell you guys how much I love this character. I can only speak for myself, but I feel the way Collins portrays mentally ill characters outweighs the offense of having Katniss use ableist language. They’re mostly relatable, and I don’t think any of them support the misconception that mental illness is the result of some personal weakness. Finnick, Haymitch, Katniss, and the other tributes had all proven themselves to be consummate survivors, but they wind up suffering from PTSD, depression, substance abuse, and possibly psychosis (Wiress and maybe Annie) regardless of their strength and intelligence. If anyone could pull themselves up by their bootstraps, it should be these people.

    And Finnick! Even while he’s struggling to keep it together himself, he’s still a kind person and supportive friend to Katniss. That is so incredibly rare in fiction. If they aren’t miserable, mean, self-centered or even violent, they’re comically insane. This book doesn’t really make light of Finnick’s issues or belittle him as a person, and on top of that, he’s still someone you’d actually want to be around. I’m not saying we’re all sunshine and rainbows, but we’re not all more trouble than we’re worth either.

    I know I’m a couple weeks late with this, but about Collins and her use of words like crazy, insane, and mad, my feeling is that you use the words you have. The way Katniss uses them, it’s almost always more matter-of-fact than derogatory. Katniss doesn’t know words like schizophrenia or PTSD, and if what she’s seeing is that serious, it seems like she should be using words like “insane” rather than some euphemism like “unstable.” I was severely ill for four years before I got a proper diagnosis, and I used words like “insane” or “crazy” because they were all I had to work with. I don’t know, maybe I just hear it used in a reclamatory way so often that I’m not as sensitive to it as I should be.

    I am incredibly grateful and touched that there are people who actually care about this though. It’s not really a popular issue, and I truly appreciate that you brought it up back in Catching Fire, Mark (if you read this, I know it’s way too long).

    I think Katniss’s conversation with her mother showed some growth on her part. Katniss in the first book probably would have been quick to remind her mother exactly why no one clears anything with her. Sounds like Katniss’s mom feels at least as powerless in District 13 as she did in 12.

    • StargazerLilies says:

      Sorry, first post was already too long, but I just wanted to mention what I think of the language issue in general. Words like crazy and insane are constantly being used to hurt, dismiss and devalue people with mental illnesses. They've been used against me personally. I have to say though, I’m kind of horrified by the thought of someone calling someone out for saying that “traffic was crazy” or whatever. Crazy and mental illness are very different things to me, and I feel like saying that ANY use of the word crazy is offensive to the mentally ill implies that they’re one in the same.

      I’m bipolar. I’m bipolar 24/7, and I’ll be on meds for the rest of my life. But I am rarely crazy, especially now that I’ve been in treatment, and that’s what I most desperately want people to understand. You can have an illness, even a severe one, and still feel and say things that are valid and reasonable. So the effort to connect “crazy” to mental illness when people weren’t thinking of it that way before, that’s the exact opposite of what I’m hoping for.

      Crazy is losing its meaning and becoming this kind of filler word, and I honestly don't see how it's doing us any favors to call attention to its connection with mental illness and give it more power as an insult. I don't understand why we should want to make the word more significant than it is now. Though for the same reasons, I do find it pretty hurtful when people throw bipolar or psychotic around, since those are the labels I can't get away from. I know a lot of people disagree with me about all this, but for what it's worth, that's how I feel about it right now as one person who's living it.

  62. StargazerLilies says:

    That's how I took it. It cracked me up that hearing him all day, every day is the worst threat possible and HE KNOWS IT. Does he even have the authority to order her to undergo surgery? Why would he? District 13 is in charge now.

    I figured he knows what kind of over the top threats it would take to make him pay attention and he assumes Katniss is the same way. And he's probably right.

  63. Inessa says:

    I can't believe no-one has brought up the fact that it was thanks to Haymitch that Katniss was in D8 in the first place. I think he should have expected her to stick to the rules. He took responsibility for her being there, and she ignored him, deciding that it's more important to play the hero. If she was killed, how would he explain to her mother that it was thanks to his suggestion that she was there, that her life was sacrificed to make a more inspirational propo. He probably already feels like he's practically dropped her into another hunger games, just to shoot a good film. I don't think he's bitter about being in charge and being right, I think he is grief stricken at nearly losing her again. I think we can tell who actually cares about Katniss and who cares about the propo. Haymitch wants Katniss to be the Mockingjay, and to inspire the rebellion, but he draws the line at risking doing this with her as a martyr. Isn't it telling that everyone else is not mad at her for disregarding rules and orders, just because it made good viewing? If my son disregarded my telling him not to go into the waves and the rip, and nearly drowned, you can bet I'd be so happy that he's alive, but also that I would yell at him and that punishment would be doled out.

  64. demented says:

    Loe how multilayered the story is and how you can miss so much the first read through

  65. SableFlag says:

    This is why I love Suzanne Collins' books. She's so ruthless, not only with characters' lives, but with their emotions, and just the choices they have to make are lose-lose-lose situations in many places.

  66. PK9 says:

    I never got too worked up over Haymitch's order. It made sense. He didn't even really blast Katniss for disobeying his order, it was the pulling out of the earpiece (and thus the loss of any ability to listen to his communication) that he was most upset about. I always interpreted this as Haymitch saying "if you are going to ignore my instructions, fine, but you'll have to deal with me cussing you out over your earpiece." I think if Katniss had said "Haymitch I'm going up on that roof no matter what you say" and left the earpiece in he would have respected that. But it's plain stupidity to remove the earpiece and not be able to hear something like Haymitch saying "There are now three squads of Peacemakers approaching your position with handheld rocket launchers, you need to get off the roof or you will die." If a situation like that arose.

  67. Caty B says:

    I have always thought the scene between Katniss and Haymitch was deeply hilarious. I could just see it translating to film very easily as the comedic relief. I can just see Haymitch walkin around eatin hospital patients Jell-o everytime they piss him off. It's so childish and it's all he can do and yet because Katniss realizes that she's disappointed him, it freaks her out. His disappointment is much worse than his manger in this situation I think.

  68. Alex says:

    Ok i just checked and in the physical copy of the book it does say;
    If we burn
    You burn with us
    E-books must just be screwed up

  69. Haybaby says:

    Ok I absolutely adore Haymitch – I think he is one of those secret life people, who are alot more complex than they appear. First I honestly believe he is all about Katniss in a may-december sort of way. He saved her in the games the first time. While Peeta lay in the mud near death – he did nothing.he promises her he will save Peeta – but he still saves her…..and he's not mad that she tries to kill him. And there are these subtle hints at times that she sort of knows. When at the end of her ability to deal with stuff it is always Haymitch she turns to and clings to. __ So then we have the scene with the ear piece.__Now Haymitch does two things – he smiles as he says 'we don't want to loose our mockingjay…" and it's almost like he is the one who couldn't survrve her loss. Then he reacts with such anger about the earpiece. Now you don't have that big of a mental shark jumping demand if there isn't a huge emotion there you are almost unable to control.

    • Haybaby says:

      after she said she didn't really think she'd see him tomorrow. I know everyone thinks it's cause he will be drunk — but I sort of took it like she was saying she'd die before seeing him again……..and it made Him give up any hope she could care for him. Thus explaining why he could be so drunk that HE didn't even return to snap her out of her sad moping.
      He knew there was no way she could return his feelings in any way and his own honor would not allow him to cross that line unless she came to him. I don't mean this all in a creepy way — but I know lots of girls who fell for older guys who found a spark they couldn't explain. an older man had won their hearts by always being there for them but he couldn't bring himself to make a move of any kind —–but when she admitted her feelings he was lost to her from that moment on. I can see Katniss needing Haymitch's attention — older more experienced — broken like her and them stuck out in ruined 12 alone.
      The one who cared and won by defalt could easily have been Haymitch.

    • Haybaby says:

      And he eats her food — now symbolicly that's only something you would do to a lover . You wouldn't eat off a plate of someone you don't like alot in a hospital. It shows another little thing of how he could take advantage of her if he'd wanted too. Ok he'd stopped them from enhancing her after the first games — she was never prostituted to the capital after her victory and he could snap his fingers and have something Implanted in her??? Thats a heck of a power he has but he takes the time to convince her of things rather than forcing her — It feels to me like he has done alot more protecting than we are told and only one motive could override Haymitches self preserving intent. He's mad about her – he feels saving her and loving her without her knowing is almost his punishment for letting the girl who wore the Mockingjay pen the first time die. Just my opinion but I just think Haymitch would not be good for her – so that's exactly who she would finally fall for.

  70. Howlynn says:

    —“I’ll authorize them to surgically implant this transmitter into your ear so that I may speak to you twenty-four hours a day.”

    Who's your daddy now birdbrain?

    So he finally admits he Has that power? Save her — done. Send her to combat – done. Let her know who cares for her – eat her lunch. I have fallen in pure deep love and Finnick can't hold a candle to him. Team Haymitch. Hayniss is the new Peeniss.

    He isn't a bit less creepy than stalker boy – but he is funny. She deserves him — all she has to live is this lifetime — hehehe.

  71. Hanh says:

    Agreed. And I would also like to add that Katniss is headstrong. I doubt just yelling at her would be sufficient.

  72. Hanh says:

    I really expected Katniss to have a much bigger squad of bodyguards. I mean, they had twelve hovercrafts watching out for her when she was in District 12, which isn't even a war zone.

    But Collins has done something very complicated and kind of subtle here
    EA;OHBKLJFGSZDKJ WHAT?! Collins was actually subtle for a change?

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