Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay': Chapter 26

In the twenty-sixth chapter of Mockingjay, HOW THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK OH MY FUCKING GOD WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING OH MY GOD I AM NEVER GOING TO RECOVER FROM THIS BOOK. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Mockingjay.

Out in the hall, I find Paylor standing in exactly the same spot. “Did you find what you were looking for?” she says.

JESUS CHRIST THIS IS SO LOADED WITH SUBTEXT AND MEANING AND I SERIOUSLY WANT TO CLIMB INTO BED AND CUDDLE THE SHIT OUT OF MY BLANKET AND BASICALLY SLEEP FOR A WEEK SO I NEVER HAVE TO FACE THIS EVER AGAIN.

My god, Suzanne Collins, this is so depressing. Beyond depressing. I’m gutted. What you have done here is so unbelievably poetic IN THE WORST WAY POSSIBLE. I mean…this is some deep shit. And I don’t mean that facetiously, either. The way you have just twisted the rebel leadership to be no better than the Capitol…my god. You are a genius.

Somebody hold me.

Strangely, Katniss seems unable to figure out if Snow is telling the truth. However, I get the sense that deep down, she knows he is right. The actions are simply too absurd for the Capitol, and that’s saying a lot.

Suddenly, I’m thinking of Prim, who was not yet fourteen, not yet old enough to be granted the title of soldier, but somehow working on the front lines. How did such a thing happen? That my sister would have wanted to be there, I have no doubt. That she would be more capable than many older than she is a given. But for all that, someone very high up would have had to approve putting a thirteen-year-old in combat. Did Coin do it, hoping that losing Prim would push me completely over the edge? Or, at least, firmly on her side? I wouldn’t even have had to witness it in person. Numerous cameras would be covering the City Circle. Capturing the moment forever.

To be honest, I’d not even considered the possibility. I’d just assumed that it was coincidence that Prim was there, a form of commentary on Collins’s part about how war in unpredictable, brutish, and nasty. But now, I’m thinking about how sadistic and uncaring Coin and Plutarch have been this whole time. This now seems like an entirely plausible (and completely awful) possibility.

Desperate to help figure out the ramifications of what President Snow just told her, Katniss realizes there’s really only one person left for her to talk to: Haymitch. She can’t face Gale, knowing it may have been his bomb that killed Prim, and she doesn’t think burdening Peeta with this will help him at all. (That’s actually pretty considerate of her.)

We learn Haymitch is also living in the mansion and has resumed living in his normal squalor of rotting food, broken furniture, and alcohol. Katniss greets him with a familiar routine, too: waking him up with a pitcher of water. Unfortunately, the conversation is an instant disaster.

“I need your help,” I say.

Haymitch belches, filling the air with white liquor fumes. “What is it, sweetheart? More boy trouble?” I don’t know why, but this hurts me in a way Haymitch rarely can. It must show on my face, because even in his drunken state, he tries to take it back. “Okay, not funny.” I’m already at the door. “Not funny! Come back!” By the thud of his body hitting the floor, I assume he tried to follow me, but there’s no point.

It just all hurts at this point. I feel like Collins has brought all of her characters, all the people we’ve come to enjoy and cherish and even be annoyed by, to a point where they are damaged by the events of the past two years that there’s little chance they’ll escape the pain and the anguish of the Capitol. Even though the rebels won, Collins made sure to show us that it was not a cure-all to everyone’s emotional, physical, and mental ailments. That’s going to take a whole lot more.

The encounter with Snow opens the door to my old repertoire of nightmares. It’s like being stung by tracker jackers again.

As a reader, I just feel helpless. I want Katniss to be happy, more than anything else right now, and I can’t do a thing. Collins, you are making this one difficult read. It doesn’t get a bit easier when, later that day, Katniss is visited by a few surprise guests.

I rise and reach for a towel to smother it, when there’s a tentative knock and the bathroom door opens, revealing three familiar faces. They try to smile at me, but even Venia can’t conceal her shock at my ravaged mutt body.

OH MY GOD KATNISS’S PREP TEAM SURVIVED!!!!! Oh my god A HAPPY MOMENT. I WILL ACCEPT IT. I DON’T CARE.

“Surprise!” Octavia squeaks, and then bursts into tears. I’m puzzling over their reappearance when I realize that this must be it, the day of the execution. They’ve come to prep me for the cameras.

How horrifically ironic is this? Katniss went to the Capitol to kill Snow so she’d never have to participate in this charade again. And here she is, about to execute President Snow and she has to get made up again.

Fucked up. This is so fucked up.

In the bedroom, I find another surprise. Sitting upright in a chair. Polished from her metallic gold wig to her patent leather high heels, gripping a clipboard. Remarkably unchanged except for the vacant look in her eyes.

“Effie,” I say.

Ok, so I was literally in such a fragile state from the shock and terror of this book that when I read this, I almost burst into tears at the very concept that Effie was still alive. Good god, I missed her so much.

“Hello, Katniss.” She stands and kisses me on the cheek as if nothing has occurred since our last meeting, the night before the Quarter Quell. “Well, it looks like we’ve got another big, big, big day ahead of us. So why don’t you start your prep and I’ll just pop over and check on the arrangements.”

“Okay,” I say to her back.

“They say Plutarch and Haymitch had a hard time keeping her alive,” comments Venia under her breath. “She was imprisoned after your escaped, so that helps.”

Oh, Effie. So much suffering. UGH SERIOUSLY, I AM SO FUCKING SAD RIGHT NOW.

No, wait, I’m not. Before we get to more sad, I had to laugh at this.

“I brought you this.” Gale holds up a sheath. When I take it, I notice it holds a single, ordinary arrow. “It’s supposed to be symbolic. You firing the last shot of the war.”

“What if I miss?” I say. “Does Coin retrieve it and bring it back to me? Or just shoot Snow through the head herself?”

LOL LOL LOL I WOULD LITERALLY ASK THE EXACT SAME QUESTION BECAUSE I WOULD SERIOUSLY MISS. Oh god, thank you for this part so much, Collins.

“You won’t miss.”

Oh. Done with the LOLs.

“You didn’t come see me in the hospital.” He doesn’t answer, so finally I just say it. “Was it your bomb?”

“I don’t know. Neither does Beetee,” he says. “Does it matter? You’ll always be thinking about it.”

He waits for me to deny it; I want to deny it, but it’s true. Even now I can see the flash that ignites her, feel the heat of the flames. And I will never be able to separate that moment from Gale. My silence is the answer.

“That was the one thing I had going for me. Taking care of your family,” he says. “Shoot straight, okay?” He touches my cheek and leaves.

ENDLESS. FUCKING. TEARS. I can’t even. I just want to sob for days. THERE’S STILL MORE TO THIS BOOK AND I’M ALREADY A FUCKING WRECK.

And this is when Collins does something that is so shocking, so mind-numbing, that I had to put down the book and take a walk because it upset me so much. Before taken to the execution, Katniss is lead to a room where there are six other people: Peeta, Johanna, Beetee, Haymitch, Annie, and Enobaria. They are the only seven surviving rebel victors. Coin arrives to announce what’s going on: Snow’s execution is just in a few hours. Hundreds of people are awaiting their execution. But Coin worries that this is not enough for the victims, that it is not enough to even remotely make up for the suffering the citizens of Panem have gone through. She does not want to kill all Capitol citizens, out of fear of being unable to sustain a population. She proposes her idea:

“So, an alternative has been placed on the table. Since my colleagues and I can come to no consensus, it has been agreed that we will let the victors decide. A majority of four will approve the plan. No one may abstain from the vote,” says Coin. “What has been proposed is that in lieu of eliminating the entire Capitol population, we have a final, symbolic Hunger Games, using children directly related to those who held the most power.”

no no NO NO NO NO!!!!! ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS!?!?!?!?@?!?!?!?!? THAT WAS THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT OF THE GODDAMN WAR OH MY GOD I THINK I JUST DROOLED ALL OVER MYSELF IN HORROR

THERE IS NO WORSE PLOT TWIST IN THE HISTORY OF PLOT TWIST. WHAT THE FUCK, COIN. HOW COULD YOU ASK THESE PEOPLE THAT. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU. OH MY FUCKING GOD.

“Are you joking?” asks Peeta.

RIGHT?!?!!?!?!?!?! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!

“Was this Plutarch’s idea?” asks Haymitch.

“It was mine,” says Coin. “It seemed to balance the need for vengeance with the least loss of life. You may cast your votes.”

“No!” bursts out Peeta. “I vote no, of course! We can’t have another Hunger Games!”

“Why not?” Johanna retorts. “It seems very fair to me. Snow even has a granddaughter. I vote yes.”

“So do I,” says Enobaria, almost indifferently. “Let them have a taste of their own medicine.”

WHAT THE HOLY SHIT FUCK DAMN FUCK WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING. YOU GUYS HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME. WHAT ARE YOU DOING??????

I CAN HARDLY BREATHE.

“This is why we rebelled! Remember?” Peeta looks at the rest of us. “Annie?”

“I vote no with Peeta,” she says. “So would Finnick if he were here.”

“But he isn’t, because Snow’s mutss killed him,” Johanna reminds her.

“No,” says Beetee. “It would set a bad precendent. We have to stop viewing one another as enemies. At this point, unity is essential for our survival. No.”

Three against two. Oh god, Katniss and Haymitch, please don’t vote yes. Katniss realizes that this must have been what happened seventy-five years before, with people arguing over murdering children just like this. This is exactly it. History is repeating itself.

I weigh my options carefully, think everything through. Keeping my eyes on the rose, I say, “I vote yes…for Prim.”

No. Katniss. No. You can’t do it. Oh my god, my heart just shattered into a trillion pieces. Please don’t get revenge like this. Please don’t murder children to get back at Snow.

A furious Peeta hammers Haymitch with the atrocity he could become party to, but I can feel Haymitch watching me. This is the moment, then. When we find out exactly just how alike we are, and how much he truly understands me.

“I’m with the Mockingjay,” he says.

I can’t. I cannot even. In a million years, I would have never guessed this ending. They have come full circle to continue the very thing they have been fighting to end. I can’t. I cannot deal with this.

There’s no time to mull over the dull terror spreading through me as Katniss is rushed through prep and taken outside the mansion to the City Circle, the same place where she watched her sister burned alive. Only now it’s frigid, freezing cold from the winter air, and I can’t help but feel that the contrast in weather/temperature is a commentary on how frozen these people’s hearts have all become. This is the tragedy to end all tragedies. My god.

I feel the bow purring in my hand. Reach back and grasp the arrow. Position it, aim at the rose, but watch his face. He coughs and a bloody dribble runs down his chin. His tongue flicks over his puffy lips. I search his eyes for the slightest sign of anything, fear, remorse, anger.

It’s really happening. The end is here. And I do not feel any surge of joy or ecstasy over the murder of Snow. Instead, I feel dead inside. This solves nothing, the war was fought to perpetuate the same ideals as before, just to a new “enemy.” I’m reminded of when I cheered so hard for Cato to get killed and then felt awful when he was.

But there’s only the same look of amusement that ended our last conversation. It’s as if he’s speaking the words again. “Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen. I thought we had agreed not to lie to each other.”

He knows. He knows that he won. He knows that this is a pointless gesture. Jesus christ.

He’s right. We did.

The point of my arrow shifts upward. I release the string. And President Coin collapses over the side of the balcony and plunges to the ground. Dead.

WHAT.

THE.

FUCK..

I’m sorry. This is worst plot twist in the history of all plot twist. I am in complete shock.

NEVER. PREPARED. EVER.

A quick note about next week’s scheduling. Here’s how it will go down:

Monday, March 7: Chapter 27
Tuesday, March 8: Epilogue/Final Thoughts/Series Wrap-Up
Friday, March 11: The beginning of Mark Reads The Book Thief

EXCITE!!!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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389 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay': Chapter 26

  1. bell_erin_a says:

    I badly need help working this out, only everyone I trust is dead. Cinna. Boggs. Finnick. Prim.
    Role call! Everyone who has died, please raise your hands! Oh. That’s pretty much all of you. I give up.

    Remarkably unchanged except for the vacant look in her eyes.
    Effie, I’m happy to see you, but what did they do to you??

    “We’re the only prep team still alive. And all the stylists from the Quarter Quell are dead.
    Jesus, overkill much? But that’s really very sad, as is the fact that there are only seven Victors left (although I suppose the large majority of them were killed in the Quell anyway).

    “What if I miss?” I say. “Does Coin retrieve it and bring it back to me? Or just shoot Snow through the head herself?”
    Heh. I like this line. I don't care if it were me and Snow really was only ten feet away from me. I would totally miss.

    Enobaria smiles at Johanna. “Don’t look so smug,” says Johanna. “We’ll kill you anyway.”
    I am so glad it looks like despite all she’s been through, Johanna’s personality hasn’t changed. Much, anyway.

    “We hold another Hunger Games using Capitol children,” says Coin.
    Alright, so. Here’s the deal with this chapter. I’ve already said in a few reviews now that I was amazed at the number of things I’d forgotten happened in this book after I read it in record time a few months ago now. I hated the direction this book had taken. I hated that Katniss, who had always been so strong, spent most of this book curled up in various closets (heh). I hated that she never got to make any decisions (still hate the lack of choice Coin/D13 gave her, but that fits with what we know about her now). I really hated this chapter. I felt betrayed by the suggestion of the Capitol Hunger Games, and that Katniss and even Haymitch inexplicably voted for the Games. I really hated how we didn’t see Katniss’s thought process about why she killed Coin, since we’ve been in her head for the last three books. Here’s the thing: this book really is much better when you read it more slowly. There was so much pain and horror and despair and tragedy that that was all I remembered about the book. Now it’s true that’s what the book is, but there are also good moments, and while I wouldn’t call this chapter one of those, the second time around I’ve realized that this is actually a good chapter. Why do we need to see Katniss’s thought process? All of the reasons are right there. I totally missed the implications in the beginning of the chapter that Katniss had never appeared to side with Coin, and I think it says a lot about her, about the person she’s become, that she’s able to actually vote for the Games, to make Coin think she’ll continue to be an obedient little Mockingjay. I was totally confused why she would have killed Coin and not Snow, but I think that’s because I really didn’t understand this book when I read it the first time through. Coin is no better than Snow. A Panem under Coin means awful shit still happens, and everything in this entire goddamn depressing book was in vain. Besides, Snow’s sick; he's coughing blood into his handkerchief, so I think he's got more pressing things to worry about than Katniss. Where's Snape when you need him? Wait… Anyway, many teal deer abound in this paragraph, but bravo, Collins, for the way this book has gone, even if it took me forever to understand it.

    Also, Coin, I won’t say I’m glad you’re dead because we don’t need anymore of that here. But I am glad you're no longer in a position to run Panem. Because that would suck.

    • liliaeth says:

      This, a lot of people don't seem to get that Katniss only said yes to these last Hunger Games, to get Coin to trust her enough so she had a chance to kill her. Because there's no way Coin would ever let her get close enough to do so otherwise.

      And Haymitch understood Katniss well enough to know exactly what Katniss was asking of him. With Coin thinking she had her ultimate victory, so she'd feel arrogant enough to step in the line of Katniss shot.

      • Briana Moore says:

        EXACTLY. It says that Katniss weighed all of her options carefully. She didn't even look Coin in the eye when she gave her response. She needed to convince Snow she was on her side, Boggs warned her of that. Also, I do believe her saying "For Prim" was not revenge. Katniss entered the games for Prim, and she would end the games and the rule of ANY oppressive leader for Prim (or in her honor)…. however, using Prim's name also makes Coin think her plan worked. Lastly, I believe Haymitch's response is telling in 2 ways. 1. Her comment about seeing how much he really understood her, his vote was saying that he supported her strategy. These two consistently lied to everyone together, as a strategy. 2. Note that Haymitch did not say he was with Katniss… he agreed with "the mockingjay". With what she represented to the people, which was an end to the games and to people like Snow and Coin in power.

        • bell_erin_a says:

          Thank you for this, especially that point about the Mockingjay. You've all picked up on so much more than I did, or still have!

        • Baz says:

          I didn't get this at all the first time I read it, and I think it's because I went through it so fast. The slower pace really helps with this book more than the others, I think, and with this chapter especially. Now that we've all had time to process the bombing and the talk with Snow, it makes so much more sense why Katniss would agree to the last Game and shoot Coin instead of Snow (who seems like he'll die with his next cough, anyway). I was glad she shot Coin regardless understanding the reason before, but now I fucking love it.

      • knut_knut says:

        I definitely didn't get Katniss' reason for saying yes at first. I don't know if I was too distracted from the crying in my brain from what I thought as Katniss' betrayl, or if Collins just didn't handle the situation properly. I think if Collins had clued us in just a bit so as not to ruin the twist but not leave the reasoning so ambiguous, it would have helped a lot.

        • Gabbie says:

          Her saying "…For Prim" made it clear to me, and talking about her connection with Haymitch just had me thinking, "Okay, Katniss, WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO." since I knew she wasn't actually for the new Hunger Games, but had to get Coin on her side so she could stop them. Answer; kill Coin.

      • shortstack930 says:

        Extremely well put. When I first read this chapter I was confused and had to reread it again to fully grasp what was happening. I think everything you said is exactly it.

      • Doodle says:

        WOW…I totally did not get that that's why she said yes!! This whole time I've been shocked that she agreed to it. Thanks for clearing that up, guys!

        • DTDRC says:

          Yeah me too. I thought it was the opposite actually, that she had shot Coin because she had voted yes, not that she voted yes so she could shoot Coin.

          It all goes back to "remember who the enemy is". During the HG/QQ it was the Capital/Snow because he held the power that was forcing Katniss and her fellow tributes to kill each other. Now, Snow longer has the power. It's Coin who is forcing the surviving tributes to vote on sending the Capital children to another Hunger Games.

          I never really got Haymitch's reaction thought, so it makes more sense that she figured it all out before voting.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Excellent comment! I'd also say that knowing that Katniss is going to kill Coin relieves a lot of the stress of reading this book. I know she's not going to give in to Coin in the end and doom Panem to another regime of terror. The first time, though? Just copy and paste all of Mark's gifs on my face. Killing Coin was a good sudden twist because Katniss had all of the motive she needed while thinking it out at the beginning of the chapter and in the meeting with the victors. It was inevitable if this book was going to have any resolution and not just be endless tragedy. She just needed Snow's smirk to trigger her.

      And I was really happy to see Effie, too! I had forgotten she survived!

      • bell_erin_a says:

        Haha, it does relieve a lot, but I was still surprised at how stressful some of these chapters/reviews still were! And the first time through I honestly sat there for a few minutes with my bottom jaw on the floor thinking, WHAT? WHERE THE HELL DID THAT COME FROM AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!? The gifs were most definitely appropriate.

        I really, really want more backstory on Effie!

    • aurorabora says:

      I agree–I liked the book the first time I read it, although I was pretty shell-shocked by these last few chapters especially. I also felt it was ludicrous that Katniss would agree to the games, and was totally shocked when she shot coin. But re-reading it more slowly, I have so much more appreciation for the complexities Collins has set up here. There is so much subtle power struggle happening and it's really fantastic.

      • bell_erin_a says:

        Hated this book. I absolutely felt unsatisfied with everything that had happened. And I think reading through it too fast and not taking the time/being able to examine the complexities is a lot of the reason why there was such a negative backlash with this book. I kinda want to see what would happen if everyone went back and read Mark Reads-style (although maybe one chapter a day is a bit extreme!), how people would feel about it then, since I've done pretty much a 180.

        • lebeaumonde says:

          One-hundred percent agreement.
          I particularly hated everything from Chapter 22 to Chapter 25. It was too much.
          But now, I see how amazing this book really is. It might even be one of my favorites?

          • SecretGirl127 says:

            Funny, but those were my favorite chapters (actually 22-26) when I read it the first time. The beginning was slow. I liked the action. Like everyone else, I was shocked that Katniss agreed to to the games, but as soon as she killed Coin it all clicked for me. I just couldn't imagine how the last chapter would play out.

        • unicornseatrainbows says:

          i completely agree. after prim died and katniss woke up in the hospital with everything explained summary style again, i was pissed. but i think that has everything to do with how quickly i read it the first time through. mark's chapter-by-chapter reading style really helps to analyze this book plot point by plot point and see just how genius-ly it's done. my opinion of this book has changed completely too, so thanks mark for having the will power most others do not.

          and now a slow clap for suzanne collins.

        • notemily says:

          Yay, I'm glad you say that, because I know so many people who hated Mockingjay and I just could not understand why.

    • stellaaaaakris says:

      That second to last paragraph is a thing of beauty. Reading this chapter by chapter, stopping to reflect on it, is so beneficial. I was so unsatisfied the first time around. I bought the book the day it came out, sat on my couch, and didn't move until I finished it about 4 hours later. I missed things, a lot of things.

      I think another reason I missed so much this chapter because the writing style is quite different than THG and CF. We were complaining about how Collins isn't subtle, how she overexplains things. Her response? This chapter. She lays out all the clues but doesn't guide us by hand. I wasn't expecting to have to make the connections on my own for the first time at the very end of the last book, especially after having sprinted through the rest of the book and therefore dealing with mental and emotional exhaustion.

      • bell_erin_a says:

        Jeez, how many times did we yell at Collins for HER SUBTLETY THAT IS ABOUT AS SUBTLE AS A PACK OF MUTTS? And then I was unsatisfied when she showed us she really didn't need to spell everything out. Collins: everything. Us: absolutely zero. She wins every time.

        Although I really do wonder what an actual YA-aged reader would think about this. Maybe Collins' editors made her put them in specifically for this audience, but this chapter stands in really stark contrast to the sledgehammer-over-the-head explanations of the "Crazy Cat" game and the lyrics to the Hanging Tree. (I know when I got home over break I talked briefly with my sister about her thoughts on this book (which were basically the same as mine were at this point), but since she's a young teen, maybe I should ask her to explain her thoughts more in-depth.)

        • ldwy says:

          If you do talk to you sister, relay her thoughts. I would also be very interested to hear a young teen's interpretation of this chapter. I try to put myself in 14-year-old-me's shoes and think how I would have reacted, but it's hard. I really don't know.

          • SophiePatronus says:

            I'm roughly that age, and I didn't get this chapter the first time. I didn't understand anything that had just happened because I was reading so fast. But after the way it ended, I forced myself to go back and reread it slowly and try to figure out what had happened and why it had. I think I picked up on a lot of stuff, when I took the time to. I understood her saying yes "for Prim," I understood Haymitch agreeing with "the Mockingjay." I pretty much understood everything Collins had laid out for us, if I remember correctly.
            So basically, I think my initial confusion had more to do with me rushing through it, rather than my age.

            For what it's worth, I hate the Crazy Cat metaphor. I'm not an idiot. I thought that was a pretty clear metaphor as it was, and could have only taken a sentence or so for Katniss to talk about it. I don't mind the Hanging Tree as much because I probably wouldn't have gotten it as well, but I would rather not 100% understand it if it means leaving out such an awkward, forced section of that chapter.

    • CuriosityShoppe says:

      About why she chose to kill Coin rather than Snow: In addition to the reasons you gave, I think it also came down to something much simpler for Katniss — personal revenge. She knew by that point that it was Coin who was responsible for what had happened to Prim. She was quite simply avenging her sister.

    • Erica says:

      So true that the groundwork for Katniss killing Coin was laid throughout the book. If you think about it, those two were almost always at odds, beginning with how to handle Peeta, Johanna and the other surviving tributes. When it was revealed that Coin was the one who authorized Prim to go in as a medic, knowing all along what the plan was with the stolen Hovercraft, PLUS she proposed another Hunger Games in the end? I figured Katniss would kill her.

    • syntheticjesso says:

      Teal deer :)

      I agree completely. Following along with the book this way, I am picking up on SO MANY things that I missed the first time around. Not only was I listening to the audiobook versions, but I basically mainlined them and didn't give anything any chance to "settle" in my head. I think I'm going to go find a copy of The Book Thief and re-read it with Mark, because I'm realizing I probably did the same thing with that book.

    • LeanieBean says:

      Unpopular opinion time, but I really don't like Johanna. She reminds me of Gale in a way, wanting to put other children through the hunger games for the sake of revenge. She is totally a BAMF, and has some of the best one-liners in the series, but I can't stand her lack of moral empathy- do you really need to remind Annie (and us!) of Finnick? *sadfaces forever*

    • Saber says:

      (although I suppose the large majority of them were killed in the Quell anyway).

      Sadly, no. 59 victors alive at the beginning of catching fire
      18 died in the area
      7 are still alive

      34 were killed in the war.

    • notemily says:

      This comment. +1

  2. Fusionman says:

    Now this chapter…

    BRGEKIUGDEMUHGSOKEMJFHD I basically couldn’t think cohentrely for a day while reading these chapters.

    This is… this is the most demonic book series ever.

    Skip Book Thief currently. Read something happy Mark. You need a calm down.

    • CINNAmon says:

      Right. Reading Book Thief isn't going to do any good to your mental well being, Mark.

      • Fusionman says:

        This book series isn’t helping his mental well-being!!

        I fear for Book Thief combined with this. He’s been near traumatized already. Can you do Percy Jackson or Narnia instead? Please?

        Until you are happy again?

        • calimie says:

          Agreed to all this, The Book Thief is rather bleak.
          Maybe you could read the first Narnia book? That one is happy and shiny (most of the time).

          • aficat says:

            Or maybe some short stories on W/T? Fanfic even?

            I don't think Mark has read the Naked Quiddich Match…

          • E.L.S.O.S. says:

            Mark. Listen to us. DO NOT READ BOOK THIEF NOW.

            If you though the Hunger Games series was bad, the Book Thief is worse. I sobbed my way through half of the book, biting my sleeve and constantly scrubbing at my eyes. I put this book down in the middle of sentences and stopped reading it for awhile just because I was crying so hard I'd gotten a migraine and needed an emotional rest. I had to shove this book to the back of my bookcase and put other books in front of it since looking at it would make me tear up. I am fighting back tears as I'm writing this since I'm remembering certain passages and I don't want to cry in public!

            DO NOT READ THIS BOOK NOW! Read something happy! Read something uplifting! You do not need to go from one book of endless tragedy to a book of even worse endless tragedy! Please, give yourself a happiness break first!

            • SusanBones says:

              I had to read some happier books after reading Mockingjay because I was so destroyed by this book. If it isn't good for Mark to read The Book Thief right after Mockingjay, then it isn't good for us to read it either.

              I definitely won't be following him on another super sad book like this one was.

              Maybe he should just go back to re-reading Harry Potter. :)

              • Katie says:

                Mark,

                Read The Hobbit next! It’s a happy book. (ok, deceptively so, but still)

                Or read the hilarious stuff Terry Pratchett writes.

            • notemily says:

              But Mark said before he even started HG that he LOVES bleak depressing books!

  3. monkeybutter says:

    BYE, BITCH!

    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/oqm96s.gif"&gt;

    My god, Coin's death was such a relief! I was begging for it for most of the book, because it was so obvious that nothing was going to change if she survived. She was going to rule with just a tight a fist. And then when they got to the meeting in this chapter and Katniss and Haymitch both voted for another Hunger Games? I couldn't take it. It's just…no. What the hell, you two? And you just know Coin only put the vote to them to dirty their hands and keep herself above the fray.

    THIS is the satisfying climax. This is perfect ending I was waiting for.

    • bell_erin_a says:

      If they don't cast Hailee Steinfeld as Katniss, I think I might cry. Um, anyway.

      And you just know Coin only put the vote to them to dirty their hands and keep herself above the fray.
      Woah, I managed to write more or less a novel on why this was a great ending/why my previous dislike of this chapter was definitely wrong, but I somehow managed to miss this point. This is exactly what happened and why she made such a big deal of the fact that it would be publicized that the Victors made the choice. God, I hate Coin.

      • Lynn says:

        She is just a little too young though. I hope they find the perfect person and that she is a relative unknown.

        • bell_erin_a says:

          Well, I'm operating on the assumption that they won't necessarily start filming for a year or two. And assuming we get all three (or four, you know it'll happen) movies, she'd still be more or less about Katniss's age?

          • Lynn says:

            Except that they are *supposedly* going to start filming this spring. If it was a couple of years off then I might agree more. But I wouldn't be devastated if Hailee got the part. She is a great actress. But it will make the job of finding a good Peeta and Gale REALLY hard with that age constraint.

            • bell_erin_a says:

              Hm. I guess I don't keep up on my Hunger Games filming news all that well. And you are right about finding Gale/Peeta, in that case.

            • Roxie says:

              People play ages they are not all of the time. I think Hailee can do it!

          • theupsides says:

            They start filming in two months :\.

      • monkeybutter says:

        I walked out of True Grit thinking she was perfect, probably because Mattie and Katniss are so similar, but she's just a little young. I'd rather Katniss look like a teenager than a 20-something, though, so the whole child-soldier plot isn't lost.

      • Joanie says:

        She would be perfect! I know she played a 14-year old in True Grit, but she easily had the maturity of a 16-year old in that. Wouldn't it be refreshing to have someone young casted instead of a 20 year+ actress? :D

      • knut_knut says:

        Supposedly Jennifer Lawrence is the front runner. But I heard they're also considering Saoirse Ronan. I wouldn't mind Saoirse, but I think Jennifer is just WAY TOO OLD. AND WHY SO BLONDE?!

        • Hotaru-hime says:

          I want Jodelle Ferland… >__>

        • Annalebanana says:

          I hate that Lawrence is the front runner too! Katniss is not a pale blond! Her actual "ethnicity" is unknown, but she is described to have olive skin and black hair, so STOP WHITEWASHING EVERYTHING! I am personally a fan of Hailee, not only because she looks the part and could ACTUALLY play the part well, but also BECAUSE she is young. The horror and point of the books are lost if you cast 20-year olds. These are innocent children going to kill each other, and if they aren't children, it loses a lot of its power. People seem to bring up in arguments against her that, first, she wouldn't be "mature" enough to play the part, but that is yet again part of the point. Katniss isn't entirely mature. She is a teenager who has been forced to grow up way too fast. And in no way do you actually need to be old to be mature…. Another point they bring up is that she would be too "young" for all of the romance. The romance in here is supposed to be a more "chaste" type romance-Katniss is told she is so "innocent" (which I hate by the way), so I don't really see much of a problem. There is also the fact that you lose some of the sickening feeling of seeing Katniss forced to fake a romance in order to survive if she is played by a 20 year old.

    • andreah1234 says:

      Oh, Hailee Steinfeld why aren't you 2 or 3 years older? SHE WOULD BE PERFECT. She is now even with the age thing. Great actress is great.

      And you just know Coin only put the vote to them to dirty their hands and keep herself above the fray.
      Bitch. *Ahem*. The thing is I think Katniss was aware of Coin's doing and was perfectly conscious about what she was about to do. It wasn't a rushed decision, she was meaning to kill Coin. And therefore she wanted her to trust her. So it would make it easier. Or at least that's how I saw it anyway.

      (Also, perfect gif is perfect.)

    • Hanh says:

      Oh dear I laughed way too hard at "BYE, BITCH!" Yes, Katniss had it planned to off Coin and Haymitch anticipated it too.

  4. CINNAmon says:

    Coin is to blame for Prim’s death, because she was the one who authorized the use of the bombs and allowed a 13 year old girl to go into battle. Like Katniss said, I think the whole situation was set up by Coin in an attempt to make Katniss lose her mind. If Katniss gets depressed and crazy, she would not get in Coin’s way, non? Coin would be able to do whatever she wanted with Panem without worrying about Katniss’s influence on the people. Gale, on the other hand, was with Katniss the whole time. He just invented the bomb, that’s it. Even if he didn’t invite that bomb, I’m sure Coin would find another way to kill Prim, or damage Katniss’s mental well being. Beetee, who was in D13 didn’t even know if it was Gale’s bomb. I hate you, Coin. I hate you.

    I thought Katniss voting yes was to throw Coin off, to gain some trust from Coin so Coin wouldn’t worry about her rebelling. I’m so glad she killed Coin. Coin’s just another Snow. Bravo Katniss, bravo Collins!

    Does anyone else feel sorry for Snow at the end of this chapter? I hate him, but I pity him too.

    • mugglemomof2 says:

      I thought Katniss voting yes was to throw Coin off, to gain some trust from Coin so Coin wouldn't worry about her rebelling. I'm so glad she killed Coin. Coin's just another Snow. Bravo Katniss, bravo Collins!
      I am so glad you said this. We just read this series for my in real life book club and I was the only who though katniss's answer was calculated. I truly believe she answered yes on purpose. I think that the minute she heard Coin's idea she began planning a way to kill her. No one else agreed with me.

      • CINNAmon says:

        Yeah, plus she said "Nothing will ever change" and "for Prim".

      • Audrey says:

        I actually really love that this strategy – agree with Coin to convince her of reliability – isn't spelled out anywhere.

      • SusanBones says:

        I thought Katniss did this on purpose, too, since she said something about seeing if Haymitch really knew her as well as she thought he did. I think she had already decided to kill Coin if she could, especially after Coin wanted to bring back the Hunger Games. Katniss was already angry about Coin bringing Prim to the capitol. But if she had doubts, the Hunger Game idea would settle the matter.

        We are thrown a little bit by her looking at Snow for signs of remorse. She really wanted him to feel it, which I think is understandable.

    • Gabbie says:

      In all honesty, I hate Alma Coin a lot more than Snow. At least Coriolanus (*was totally looking forward to spelling his first name*) openly admits he's evil. And he really doesn't lie like Coin did. Things he kept secret, but not lying.

    • Saber says:


      Does anyone else feel sorry for Snow at the end of this chapter? I hate him, but I pity him too.

      Finnick Odair
      Johanna Mason

      That is why nothing but HATE HATE HATE UNREASONABLE HATE
      *Ahem*
      I'm done.
      Mostly.

      But still. I can't pity him when I think of how he treated the victors.

      • andreah1234 says:

        Um, I don't get the Finnick and Johanna in there.

        <img src="http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa257/xXGabrielleXx_01/16ghmhx.gif"&gt;

        Slow me is slow. But yeah it's really hard to pity him after all he's done. Not only to the victors, but to the people in general.

        • Beth says:

          Snow pimped out Finnick, Johanna, and various other Victors. There is no forgiving that. Especially for Finnick who was only fourteen when it started.

          • Saber says:

            And killed their families, and likely made life hell for them in ways we haven't imaged yet. AND made sure they could never forget the games.

            • andreah1234 says:

              Oh, it was just that I didn't got why there were the only ones there, as he has hurt, eh, pretty much everyone in the damn book. Thanks for clearing it up :)

              Also: FINNICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 :( <3 :(

  5. Kari says:

    At the end of Chapter 25, I KNEW this was going to happen! I just had a feeling. Ugh.
    This book is so STRESSFUL!

    And I cant believe that we have to wait until next week to see your reviews on the last two chapters!! HOW CAN YOU MANAGE TO NOT READ IT???

  6. Ali says:

    OMG EFFIE!!! I am so ridiculously glad she's ok! :'D
    I love the idea that Haymitch actually argued to save her life, even though, by all accounts, he couldn't stand her.

    AUGH THE CHAPTER ENDING! I did NOT see that coming! Though i did think that something was wrong when they voted…I could get Katniss wanting revenge but Haymitch too? Something fishy there. But I was sooooo unprepared for this!

    Bravo, Katniss, bravo. That is pretty much the best thing she could have done, and she is maybe the only person who might just get away with it.

    She'll get away with it, right? Right???

  7. Katie says:

    Man, that James Franco gif is perfection.
    I've got to to leave, so I'll just say
    NEVER
    EVER
    PREPARED.

  8. Blabbla says:

    I fucking love you, Suzanne Collins

  9. ThreeBooks says:

    SJAKSJKALJSAKSLASJAKSLKJA THE BOOK THIEF, RIGHT AFTER THIS.

    AHAHAHHAHAHAHA, HAHAHAHAHA, HAHAHAHAHAAHAHHA THIS WILL BE ALMOST LIKE WATCHING YOU RAGE AT EVERYTHING BECAUSE OF TWILIGHT, BUT MORE LIKE… BEING SAD AT EVERYONE BECAUSE OF TWO WAR BOOKS IN A ROW.

    oh god ;_;

    Read something funny, please please please please. Artemis Fowl, Skulduggery Pleasant, As You Like It, Monty Python's Big Red Book, something. I love the Book Thief to bits but YOU ARE UNPREPARED and THIS IS SCARY.

    • QuoteMyFoot says:

      I REALLY WANT MARK TO READ THE BOOK THIEF. However I agree that Mark is going to possess all the sads because… guh. Mark, if you think you are prepared after surviving Mockingjay, forget it, because you totally lack in preparation.

      Also taking the chance to second Skulduggery Pleasant. Haters, left hand evacuation procedure please, it is my favourite series ever and omg, ngl, but i fangirl it so much.

      • ThreeBooks says:

        FUCK YEAH SKUL PLES, haters to the left. He needs to have some awesomely sarcastic detectives up in here. Mark is not prepared for the sheer amount of HILARITY and SHIT THAT GETS REAL. (The author has stated on his blog that one of the underlying messages to the series is "Violence hurts." And it does. It so does.)

    • syntheticjesso says:

      Good buffer books for Mark to read between MJ & Book Thief:
      Hop on Pop
      Pat the Bunny
      Goodnight Moon
      Everything is Made of Rainbows and Puppies and Unicorns and Kittens Forever

    • erin says:

      Ok folks, I need you to start a chant with me.

      Artemis Fowl!
      Artemis Fowl!
      Artemis Fowl!

      …Please? O.O <— puppy dog eyes

      • ThreeBooks says:

        At least the first, and then the Book Thief, then some Harry Potter to recover, then the rest.

        MY PLAN IS PERFECT.

  10. bell_erin_a says:

    Also:
    Monday, March 7: Chapter 27
    Tuesday, March 8: Epilogue/Final Thoughts/Series Wrap-Up

    I don't like this, Mark. I am leaving for Istanbul soon, am not taking my computer with me, and will therefore not be able to sit in front of it right at 10 am (or 5 pm their time, hmph) to give my ~super special thoughts~ on the end of the book. I am giving you the side-eye because for some reason you cannot plan your schedule to accommodate mine, how rude. o.O

    • Karen says:

      SAME. I am going to Vietnam for Spring break, but though I am super super excited for this, I am very very distraught that I won’t be able to read anything until the 17th!!! D:

      • Thiamalonee says:

        See I'm the week after all of you, and to London. I think it's pathetic that I'm going to London, and I keep focusing on how much of MarkReads/Watches I'll miss.

  11. Kaci says:

    If I remember correctly, my exact reaction to this was sitting here at my desk at work, mouth agape, muttering, "no, no, no" under my breath at my phone (which was playing the audiobook). My boss came in and just stared at me like "…wut?" Now he's reading THG and I keep waiting for him to get there, to get to that moment, and connect it, and to join me in my "no, no, no"ing.

    Everything is horrible. Everything.

    But that said…I love that this is in a YA book, I love that teenagers are being shown something this horrible, because I think they can learn from it. Hell, I'm 24 and I learned from reading it.

  12. MeasuringInLove says:

    I would post a wonderfully worded comment about the horrors of war, the social commentary going on in this book and how you are never prepared, maybe punctuated with a few snarky comments and a gif or two but all I can think now is

    OH MY GOD YOU WILL BE DOING THE BOOK THIEF OH MY GOD BEST NEWS EVER THIS IS AMAZING UJNETINWTIHJNWLKJSSW|:LKJFDSAWNOIUWHREKJLFNSKJDBFLHWQ dead.

    Still though, we are never prepared.

  13. Lynn says:

    I really believe this chapter should be read a second time after you know that Katniss chooses to kill Coin instead of Snow. Many things take on whole new meanings that way. You realize that she was never actually voting on continuing another round of Hunger Games. She was scheming and finally seeing a way to take some control of her what is going on around her. Haymitch figured her out and threw his support behind her. I think that there are so many things that are very subtle and easy to miss unless you realize what Katniss' objective really is.

    • minti says:

      That's a really interesting way to look at it, I never even thought about that. Thanks. Cuz the whole Katniss voting yes for another hunger games filled with innocent people bothered me, but when I reread that part.. it fits rather perfectly.. especially since suzanne collins didn't mention that last hunger game after katniss killed coin.

  14. mugglemomof2 says:

    In the twenty-sixth chapter of Mockingjay, HOW THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK OH MY FUCKING GOD WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING OH MY GOD I AM NEVER GOING TO RECOVER FROM THIS BOOK.

    Well you can say that again1 And we can all say "We told you so!"

    Even though the rebels won, Collins made sure to show us that it was not a cure-all to everyone’s emotional, physical, and mental ailments. That’s going to take a whole lot more.
    This! This is why I love this series so much. I won't get all political on everyone but we all watched the "we need change" happen in our own country. To have it voted in (not even "fought" for) to have everyone say "this isn't helping! We need to change back". To me this book almost mocks everyone's thoughts of "Oh, the grass will be greener over there" Yeah right!
    I am not sure if I am making my point clear here but I just love this whole revelation in this book!

    History is repeating itself.
    My point exactly!
    I said from the minute we met Coin that she was EVIL! EVIL! I told you!!!! If I could have reached through the pages and bitch slapped her I would have! Have you learned nothing????? How does this make things better?

  15. stellaaaaakris says:

    I'm just…gonna sidle right by the whole killing Coin thing and leave it for people who have their heads better wrapped around it to discuss and start with…

    The 77th Hunger Games. If I had been a Victor (we'll ignore the fact that that would never have been possible), I'd like to think I would vote No (assuming, of course, that I wasn't agreeing just to kill Coin). As somebody pointed out in the comments yesterday, by bombing all those children and making the Capitol citizens think it was the Capitol's doing, the rebels very effectively broke all resistance. Snow might have 4 people on his side at this point. Everybody else is willing to surrender. That really is about as positive a result as you're going to get in this type of war. Do they really think one final Game will eliminate the Districts' desire for vengeance? No and it's just going to create more Capitol resistance. It's like the first half of the 20th century. After Germany surrendered in WWI, the Allies wanted to prevent a war like that from ever happening again so they punished the German people extensively. How does that work for them? Fail. I do believe we get Hitler and WWII. I don't think most of Panem is aware of the world's history past the old rebellion, but I'm still sticking with Peeta.

    If Lyme wasn't at the gathering of the surviving Victors, I guess she died in 2. And all the other Victors were killed as well. It makes me sad because we all know how shitty their lives were despite "winning." Their final prize for surviving the Games and having nightmares for the rest of their lives? Being murdered. And I'm just gonna go ahead and assume their families were killed too.

    Oh, hi there, Effie. Wait, what?
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lefsw3JOBX1qf8yek.gif"&gt;
    OHMYGOD Effie's back! (And yes, I think it's appropriate to use James van der Memes for everything. Deal with it. (There's a vandermeme for that too.)) But why are her eyes all empty? It reminds me of how 1984 ends with Winston. I'm not positive I'm thinking of the right book, it's been nearly a decade since I last read it. Oh, Effie.

    • cait0716 says:

      My life has improved greatly since I discovered James van der Memes.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Coin had to go for them to have a chance at a fresh start. It wouldn't magically make things better, but at least they'd have a chance.

      Anywho, yeah. Team Peeta/Annie/Beetee. A peace without victory. If there is to be any hope of eliminating an authoritarian, strife-ridden society — the reason why the rebel districts went for this, what Katniss and Gale went into the woods to escape — it can't be built on murder, anger, and revenge. There will never be enough blood to satisfy all of the people who lost loved ones to the Capitol, and the families of those being punished by the new government will not sit idly by and let themselves be oppressed. Collective punishment is no way to start a free, peaceful society.

      • Puel says:

        Team Peeta/Annie/Beetee
        …this is extraordinarily immature of me, but I just realized that the namesmoosh for that particular configuration of characters is Team Pantee. Hee.

    • Liz says:

      D: this is a really simplistic reading of history

      /not the point

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        Oh, I know. I'm actually really aware of that. But I figured that Mark Reads probably wasn't the best place for me to start detailing all the reasons for the various ramifications of WWI or the rise of Hitler or all the causes of WWII and how the leaders got where they were, in addition to all the small choices that led to something so much bigger. Believe me, I could go on for a while on those subjects ;) I just wanted to point out as clearly as possible what a BAD IDEA having another Hunger Games would be and what it could result in: a vicious cycle where nobody really wins. I definitely could have, should have, pointed out that that was not even close to the whole story though.

    • Hanh says:

      If Lyme wasn't at the gathering of the surviving Victors, I guess she died in 2. And all the other Victors were killed as well. It makes me sad because we all know how shitty their lives were despite "winning." Their final prize for surviving the Games and having nightmares for the rest of their lives? Being murdered.
      Honestly, I think death would be a welcome relief for a Victor.

  16. Inseriousity. says:

    Never heard of the book thief but I'll read that asap so I have an idea what youre going on about :D

    as for this chapter, I was like NO KATNISS WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!! and I cling to the hope it was just a decision to keep coin on her side so she could SHOOT HER WITH AN ARROW. Great chapter!

    • Lynn says:

      If you read the chapter a second time knowing that Katniss kills Coin then it is obvious that she was only voting yes to the games as a subterfuge.

    • Joanie says:

      The Book Thief is a bit lengthy so you might not finish it before Mark. But I think it'd be a great one to read alongside with him.:D

    • calimie says:

      Pro tip: Grab a blanket and some comfort food for The Book Thief.

  17. Manjar says:

    I think this right here is the moment when Pawn Katniss advances to the last square and becomes queen.

    • cait0716 says:

      I like this analogy a lot.

    • Depths_of_Sea says:

      Man I wish I could upvote this analogy to eternity because YES THAT IS IT.

      This is Katniss breaking free of all the manipulations and lies and throwing a wrench into all Coin's carefully laid schemes and manipulations. This is Katniss going, "Oh, so you've finally effectively placed yourself in the highest position of power in the land? WELL TOO BAD, YOU WON'T BE ALIVE TO ENJOY IT."

      And that is why Katniss is awesome.

    • calimie says:

      Beautifully said.

    • karadudz says:

      This is the best description for Katniss that I have ever heard. =D

    • Doodle says:

      Although this analogy definitely fits, are you making fun of Smeyer? Because I'm pretty sure that's exactly how she explained the cover of Breaking Dawn…"Bella was just a weak pawn in the first book, but now she has become the Queen with her wonderful Mary Sue wonderfulness!"

    • Gabbie says:

      Beautiful.

  18. EasyE says:

    As horrible as this chapter was. I have to say that this was easily my favorite chapter of all the books. I was NEVER EVER PREPARED!

    What I don't understand is, What would EVER give Coin the right to suggest something like that? She, nor her district had EVER been a part of the Hunger Games. They even caused them. That is the fact that makes my blood boil.

    But Yay! No more Coin!

    I think Mark should change the name of this site from Mark reads, to Mark is Never Ever Prepared.com

    : )

  19. FlameRaven says:

    Katniss, you are a BAMF forever. That is all.

    I need more comments to read, all I can do is flail because OMG THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK. Yeah, it hurts, but it does its job damn well.

  20. Karen says:

    I love this chapter. I mean, as much as I'm yelling "WHY ARE YOU DOOOOING?" to Katniss for voting for more Hunger Games, at the same time I am all :D :D :D :D because Peeta is sounding like his old self. THIS is the character that I fell in love with back in the very first book. This is the Peeta I know and love, fighting to do the right thing. In a chapter full of awful and bleakness, we get this wonderful bit of hope. For the first time I really believe that Peeta will be ok.

    I think that moment where Katniss kills Coin is brilliant. She's finally realized that if Coin lives, then the rebellion will pretty much be for nothing. Coin is just as bad as Snow. They're both power hungry and ruthless. So Katniss, for once, is able to take things into her own hands and make a decision. I LOVE IT. Katniss has spent so much of these books being a prop or a tool of someone else. She is finally able to act for herself here, and it is brilliant.

  21. pooslie says:

    Mark-Since you are so upset, i give you the most uplifting and adorable thing i have ever seen:
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v193/sevenmarie/kittybear.gif"&gt;
    It also counts as internet hugs so, :::INTERNET HUGS:::

  22. Andrea says:

    The Book Thief! FANTASTICAL!

    I can't believe this is almost over. Thanks for helping me see this book in a whole new way, despite the fact that I've read them all 3 times.

    I met Suzanne Collins a few months ago and tried desperately to think of something to ask her but couldn't come up with anything. I would pay great deals of money to see a conversation between the two of you. I think it would be at least as entertaining as a 4th Hunger Games book.

  23. Randomcheeses says:

    Finally Katniss shoots someone who really deserves it! Goodbye Coin, we won't miss you!

  24. Julia_Vaughn says:

    I read these chapters so quickly, I almost wish I had taken my time. Of course, all that was going through my head then was "OMG OMG WTF IS HAPPENING AGGHHHH QQ". I'm glad I could re-read this book along with Mark ^^

    Also, when you say "worst plot twist ever", how do you mean that? Like, it's the worst because it was terrible. Or the worst thing for your current mental stability? xD I personally thought the plot twists in this book were brilliant

    AND YAY! You're reading a book that I already own but haven't read yet next =D I get to actually read along!

    • Random Weirdness says:

      Also, when you say "worst plot twist ever", how do you mean that? Like, it's the worst because it was terrible. Or the worst thing for your current mental stability? xD I personally thought the plot twists in this book were brilliant

      I think he means the second thing you said, they were so unexpected that they were the worst for his mental stabilitly. Basically that he wasn't prepared XD

  25. andreah1234 says:

    HOLY SHIT. WHAT THE FUCK. YAY! SHE KILLED COIN. OMG ANNIE NOOOOOO.OMG FINNICK EVEN A BIGGER NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. FUCK YEAH JOHANNA. FUCK YOU HAYMITCH, I STILL LOVE YOU THOUGH. FUCK YOU COLLINS WHAT IS THIS FUCKERY. FUCK FUCK FUCK WHAT. LOL GALE AND KATNISS. AND THE OMG THE SAD. I CAN'T TAKE IT. EFFIE I'VE MISSED YOU GLAD YOU'RE NOT DEAD. FUCK YOU COIN I'M GLAD YOU'RE DEAD. ETA: OH PEETA I LOVE YOU.HOW COULD I FORGET YOU? YOU ARE AWESOME. AND KATNISS WHY DID YOU SAY YES? WHERE YOU PLAYING COIN? IF SO AWESOME

    Ahem.

  26. potlid007 says:

    THE BOOK THIEF LFJSLDFJSDLKFDSLKFSLDFSLDFSDLKJFSDFL
    SO MUCH LOVE FOR THAT BOOK YOU HAVE NO IDEA. BUT YOU SOON WILL.
    <img src="http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii205/lassie_faire/GIF%20central/340×-3.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Jon Stewart Clap Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    but, let's get down to this whole chapter.
    <img src="http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a269/specialcamper/gif/blowyourmindjon.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Blow your mind Jon Stewart Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    Ok, I liked the fact that Katniss killed Coin.
    NOW FOR SOME UNPOPULAR OPINIONSSSS

    HOWEVER, I think it is completely out of character for A. Coin to want to do the Hunger Games again, and B. That Katniss would agree to have the Hunger Games again. If Katniss believed that Coin did send the parachutes (which doesn't make sense to begin with, whatever), why would she ever side with Coin, even if she backs out at the last second? I thought that Katniss was stronger than that, and I think that the reader needs to know that Katniss knows to do the right thing on the first try. I understand that Collins wants Katniss to have faults, but it honestly doesn't make sense with her character development thus far. The games taught her to never compromise her morals, despite the situations she was thrust into. She isn't forgiving Gale for what he did, so why would she, even for a moment, consider something that would do more harm than good? It doesn't make any sense to me. And don't even get me started on the portrayal of Coin.

    <img src="http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f255/RevolverLink/Gifs/johnstewart_facepalm.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Jon Stewart [face_palm] Pictures, Images and Photos"/>
    I JUST WANT THE BOOK THIEF SO BADLYYYY

  27. pennylane27 says:

    Monday, March 7: Chapter 27
    Tuesday, March 8: Epilogue/Final Thoughts/Series Wrap-Up
    Friday, March 11: The beginning of Mark Reads The Book Thief

    WHAT WHAT WHAT I WILL NOT SURVIVE THE WEEKEND OH MY GOD

    BUT YAY FOR THE BOOK THIEF, THE FIRST TIME I WILL EVER READ SOMETHING ALONG WITH YOU!

    I have no intelligent comment on this chapter. It drives me insane. The grief, the Capitol Hunger Games (WHAT), Katniss voting yes (WHAT), and then she kills Coin? WHAT

  28. Depths_of_Sea says:

    I cheered when Katniss killed Coin. I'll admit it.

  29. Laura says:

    I was planning to just lurk in the shadows forever without commenting because I'm something of a lone wolf, but I just had to say that I LOVE YOU SO IMMENSELY AND I'M SO SO HAPPY YOU'RE GOING TO BE READING THE BOOK THIEF. You're well on your way to reviewing every single book I have ever truly loved.

    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/zlatyo.gif"&gt;

  30. andreah1234 says:

    MARK, DO YOU NEED A HUG? I WILL GIVE YOU ALL THE HUGS
    <img src="http://img.photobucke
    t.com/albums/v42/StupidityKills/gifs/sadhug.gif">

    <img src="http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn63/Mezundastud/Animation%20gifs/eff9ecf2.gif"&gt;
    <img src="http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa101/PattyPruePiper/Gifs/bhzkno.gif"&gt;
    <img src="http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae115/rileyhays217/GIFS/johnmayerelmohug.gif"&gt;
    <img src="http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae115/rileyhays217/GIFS/grouphug.gif"&gt;

    Now that that's out of the way, BLOODY MARYS ALL ROUND, AND BOTTLES OF WIN FOR EVERYONE, IT'S ON ME PEOPLE.

    <img src="http://i539.photobucket.com/albums/ff357/Pirate86/Depp%20Avs/Depp%20Gifs/thx-Johnny-Depp-GIF-4-x.gif"&gt;

    BUTTERCUP QUICK I NEED SOMETHING FLUFFY AND CUTE TO HUG AND CUDDLE. (eh I mean PLEASE MR. BUTTERCUP MAY I CUDDLE YOU? Yeah that's better)
    <img src="http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii12/botanbutton/MACROS%20AND%20GIFS/w30919580.jpg"&gt;
    WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO KATNISS NOW? OH GOD NO.
    <img src="http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb146/__Pixiex/Animated%20Gifs/omgwait.gif"&gt;

  31. Joanie says:

    That scene with Gale just broke my heart.
    …and that cliffhanger? How many people read it as ‘President Snow’ as they kept going, and only figured it out afterwards? I know I did, haha.

    ASDFLKJASDLFKJ, THE BOOK THIEF!:D:D:D:D

  32. MadarFoxfire says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA basically waiting for Mark to hit this chapter forever

    SO MANY BRICKS SHAT

    HAVE A NICE SUSPENSEFUL WEEKEND

  33. theupsides says:

    I remember throwing my book across the room when I first read this. When Katniss voted yes. At the same time, I was SO happy to see Peeta opposed to the idea. He's almost his old self again! At least, he hasn't lost his true core.

    When you go back and read the chapter again, it's obvious. How she says nothing will ever change. It's all done very well, because in retrospect it is so obvious, but while reading it, you're like WTF WTF WTF NO. This was a really satisfying end for me.

  34. RainaWeather says:

    WORST PLOT TWIST?! I THINK YOU MEAN BEST PLOT TWIST IN THE HISTORY OF FUCKING PLOT TWISTS?! SHE JUST EXECUTED PANEM'S NEXT DICTATOR. But I know you need time to process so I'll let you.

  35. lisra says:

    And I cheered. So hard.

    The fucking witch is dead.

    I side with Katniss and fully applaud her decision to do what is, in the bleakest sense, right.

  36. karadudz says:

    I think the reason why you never let yourself accept the possibility that Coin was (for real) evil was because the last TWO books District 13 was tainted with hope and peace and happiness. And I say tainted because we knew it was too good to be true. But ever since the beginning of Mockingjay there was always some sort of lingering evil that we could sense around Coin. We've known that it was always there bur we just didn't let ourselves accept it because it was happily-ever-after District 13 and Coin is president and she couldn't be that bad right? But of course Collins fools us with the twist of Katniss shooting Coin instead of Snow.

    Now the votes for the Hunger Games Revenge thing, I was expecting Enobaria to say "YEAH LET'S DO IT" but was anyone else shocked that she followed that with "let them have a taste of their own medecine"?! I kinda always thought that Enobaria was evil but not against the Capitol… And Johanna wasn't really surprising. Peeta kinda made me happy in that scene because for once he sounded sane and more like his old self. As for Katniss, sure it was shocking but it wasn't really THAT shocking. Come on, the girl is still grieving and she's still not mentally stable, she still has obvious anger towards the Capitol and Snow and she's very confused. WHY? Because her sister just died and she's not over it yet!!

    As for the Gale bomb scene, even though I never really liked Gale (mostly because in the first book you thought he was an alright guy but then he says "it's not much different from hunting" when talking about killing others in the arena) but I sort of felt sorry for the guy when he accepts the fact that Katniss may never choose him ever because of the bombs. And sure there was never any concrete proof that it was HIS and Beetee's Bomb but still there's that underlying connection and it's never going to leave him. It sucks =(

    ON A BRIGHTER NOTE:
    BEETEE FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! WHY?

    “No,” says Beetee. “It would set a bad precendent. We have to stop viewing one another as enemies. At this point, unity is essential for our survival. No.”

    • calimie says:

      The problem I have with Gale and his bomb is not whether it was his or not, but that he was ready to do exactly the same thing: to kill the medics that rush to a bombing site. I wonder what he'd be saying if the rebel medics hadn't been there: would he be saying the Capitol kids deserved it? I think he would.

      • karadudz says:

        That's exactly it. That's why I never really cared for Gale, he gets so heated up about his anger towards the Capitol that he would do ANYTHING to get back at them. No matter who gets hurt in the process, whether it's going to be friend or foe as long as they go down. The enemy goes down and the ally died FOR him and his views.

        That's why it seems like he doesn't care about anyone dying as long as it's for the cause. It's like he has no sense of ethics going on in his mind or something. He shows no remorse at all. (Right up until someone he actually really cares about gets hurt)

      • superblah says:

        No, he wouldn't.

    • Andrea says:

      Great point about Enobaria. It always seemed like all career tributes were pro capital but this one line makes it sound like some careers may have sided with the Rebels if they had been given a chance. It also makes me wonder if Enobaria, as a career, is anti-capitol because of the atrocities of the Games or because terrible things were done to her after she was a victor.

    • Saber says:

      Exactly. I think there's some serious undercurrent of district prejudice going around. The D1 victors, Cashmere and Gloss, were both attacking the capitol during interview night. Yet they were left out of the arena-break plot.

  37. bell_erin_a says:

    Oh goodness, I bought a new ~super-fancy~ camera over winter break in preparation! (And also because the little point-and-shoot I also have doesn't even cut it for regular outdoors pictures sometimes any more…) I am also armed with 6 GB of memory cards, so I'm planning on taking absolutely gratuitous amounts of pictures (that will end up on Tumblr because between that site, Mark Reads, and homework I have absolutely no life anymore).

    I think (if I ever get up from my desk, put actual clothes on, and start packing so I can figure out what else I need to do today) that I'm going to email myself commentaries on what's left so hopefully I can do a quick copy-paste on the computer in the lobby of our hotel. But I'll miss out on all the discussion and maybe won't be able to read the actual review, bah. :|

  38. samibear says:

    I cannot tell you how heart-wrenchingly disappointed I was when Katniss voted yes to the Hunger Games. So disappointed. I had to stop reading at that point too. I swear, what was the point of defeating the Capitol if you're going to act just like them??? Huh?

    On the plus side, just the suggestion of it made me hate Coin even more than I thought possible.

    So when Katniss shot her with the arrow, all I could think was: FUCK YEAH!!!!

  39. lilygirl says:

    Killing Coin was not a shock to me, had to be done, but it took several re-reads to understand why Katniss agreed to the new Hunger games. She was giving Coin what Coin wanted, the Mockingjay on Her side. Coin could understand revenge, payback, cheering the death of your enemies. Here is where I picture Coin in an Umbridge suit, with that smirk, even a little giggle, walking up to her high seat, thinking everything is under control. Never turn you back on the Mockingjay. She just played you, you BITCH. NO MOAR HUNGER GAMES.

    Katniss, I think there are a few countries that could use you right now.

    No luck embedding Vizzini laughing and then falling over DEAD. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfWDilXZQEo&feature=related That said, I had my own Vizzini moment here. LOLOLOLOLOL ROFLROFLROFL. Oh, and Mark, I think a couple of us predicted you would fall off your chair, then lay there and beat the floor with your hands and feet.

    Laughs and cheers aside, Kudos to Collins. Katniss has always done what had to be done, at least in her eyes, now with nothing to lose, she reacts with everything all you power players have used her for. Be careful what you create.

  40. PatR says:

    I never believed that Katniss actually wanted the new Hunger Games. It was a ruse.

    A stroke of genius to take out Coin. Never saw it coming. "I've seen the enemy and he is us."

    That realization that it was forever ended with Gale. Emptiness.

    I'm so happy you're doing the Book Thief. YEAH

  41. shortstack930 says:

    I think if she had voted no then Coin would've realized that Katniss wasn't with her at all and she would've felt the need to protect herself. She probably wouldn't have been out in plain sight on the balcony, but rather under cover of guards which would've made it a lot more difficult for Katniss to shoot her.

    • rje says:

      Ohh that does make sense. I hadn't thought about that. Good point, thanks!

    • booksinbulk says:

      or, maybe not let katniss have the "honor" of killing snow herself at all. she might have decided that "ohp, well, i think we'll have a different execution after all"

  42. I was so looking forward for you to get to the end of this chapter I totally forgot about the vote on the games. When I first read that bit I was NO KATNISS DON"T DO IT!!! and then she did it. It's just the one game but it's really screwed up. Beetee's right. It won't help them to stop seeing each other as enemies.
    I cheered for Coin's death though. Is that horrible?

  43. lebeaumonde says:

    REREADING YOUR NOTES IS STRESSING ME OUT
    I CAN'T
    I JUST CAN'T

  44. sdempster1016 says:

    UGH WE TOLD YOU MARK. YOU WEREN'T PREPARED AND YOU NEVER COULD HAVE BEEN.

    Seriously though, read something happy after this. Read Narnia. Read Percy Jackson. READ SOMETHING HAPPY PLEASE.

  45. zuzu says:

    Oh if only all feuds could be settled over brain freezes, hallucinations, and song. http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-v

  46. CuriosityShoppe says:

    One of the few reassuring things to me about this chapter was seeing Annie. I was so worried about her after Finnick died. He seemed to be such a lifeline for her, and I didn't know if or how she would ever get over losing him.

    But here, she actually seemed stronger and more capable than at any other time in the book. Granted, she only speaks two brief sentences, but she is calm and in control. She's able to speak about Finnick without breaking down. She remains calm even after Johanna's comment. And most importantly, she does the right thing and votes no to another Hunger Games.

    I don't doubt that Finnick's death was a devastating blow to her and that she'll probably never fully recover from it. But that scene gave me hope that maybe, with time, she'll be okay. It made me happy not just for myself and for Annie, but also for Finnick, because he too would have been happy to see her like that.

    • StargazerLilies says:

      Couldn't agree more. It made me so happy that Collins let her be strong, especially after a book and a half of her being the "poor mad girl." It's easy to underestimate someone who has that kind of illness (really, it's incredible how patronizing people can be) and I was pretty impressed that Collins turned it around and made her someone you could respect.

  47. BradSmith5 says:

    Oh man, LossThief was right!? Why is killing Coin a good thing for Katniss, though!? Won't the rebels just shoot her now!? I mean, they don't know about the proposed final Hunger Games, do they? Don't tell me they're just gonna sit there and LISTEN as Katniss hurries to drop the info bomb!!

    Anyway, thanks for announcing the next book, Mark. And commenters––PLEASE STOP setting the tone for the story; that is the author's job. If someone else does this I will be forced to unleash sarcasm like an arrow through coin!

    • ldwy says:

      That's something I thought too. Isn't executing Coin publicly when no one knows what's going on a tad bit dangerous for Katniss???

      • CuriosityShoppe says:

        My impression at this point was that Katniss just doesn't really care anymore. If the Rebels want to kill her, she's okay with it, so long as she gets to take Coin out with her.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Yeah, Katniss should have gotten Coin's plan on tape. That's what Batman would have done.

    • HieronymusGrbrd says:

      They may want to shoot Katniss. But who will dare to kill the Mockingjay?

    • lossthief says:

      Of course I was right. It has been firmly established that I can see into the future with 99.9999999999999999999999% accuracy. DO YOU DOUBT THE POWER OF THE INNER EYE?

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Ha,ha,ha. So that's how all these guys making comments "KNOW" that their opinions will be unpopular, and announce it when they first post. Man, I only find out AFTER I've said something and people point out how wrong I am! Show me the power, Lossthief, I gotta know!

        • lossthief says:

          Think of it this way. Is what your about to say a valid criticism of Collins' writing, the story structure, or anything else to do with the series? If the answer's yes, you're guaranteed at least 4 down votes.

  48. maliarushall says:

    Suzanne Collins really cannot give us anything happy without a bit of unhappiness too, some sort of drawback. I was overwhelmingly delighted at the return of Effie, but then there was the line about "the vacant look in her eyes." So, basically, Effie will never be the same again; she'll always be screwed up and trying to deal with her imprisonment and the destruction of her past life. She will never be as truly happy and carefree and annoying as she used to be.

    And that makes me sad.

  49. RainaWeather says:

    Part 1

    THIS FUCKING CHAPTER!

    First of all, I so wanna play Paylor in the movie. She's a small role but awesome and down to earth. And that comment she made to Katniss. DOES SHE KNOW?!?!?!

    When Haymitch said, "boy trouble?" I shouted FUCK YOU at 3 in the morning
    The prep team’s reaction to Katniss’s physical appearance makes me so sad. She must really be messed up if they instantly burst into tears.
    EFFIE!!!!!!!! I was so fucking happy to have Effie back. My heart was doing backflips. But the “vacant” look in her eyes? WHY IS THINGS SO FUCKED UP?!
    GALE . . . just too much pain there.
    we have a final, symbolic Hunger Games, using children directly related to those who held the most power.”
    FUCK YOU EVIL DEMON LADY! This is the moment I realized COIN MUST DIE. This world cannot be good with her in it.

    • RainaWeather says:

      Part 2

      So when she suggested this, I thought, “well of course people won’t vote for it.” I thought Enobaria might say yes, but I figured there was no way Johanna would vote for it. She’s just too awesome. But when she said, “why not?” I wanted to cry. I felt like it was such a betrayal of the people of Panem, the people she loved, of Katniss, Finnick Mags, everyone.
      When Katniss wondered how it was 75 years ago, it was the first time I’d ever pondered that. I always figured that the original Hunger Games were unanimously agreed on by a bunch of evil wannabe dictators. I’d never considered there might have been voting and dissent and people voting for it not because they’re evil and want to control people, but because they’re in so much pain that they think the only way to alleviate it is by making others suffer. Really in this section, it was a challenge to see who could overcome their need for vengeance and do the right thing. But sometimes the hurt is too great.

  50. shortstack930 says:

    Very excited for The Book Thief since I haven't read it and I can finally read along and be just as unprepared as you, Mark!

  51. bookling says:

    This is the most… I'm sure you can understand why fans have such conflicting opinions on this book. Just… everything is terrible. Everything is ALWAYS terrible, and when the rebel victors have voted for another Hunger Games, there's no hope that things will get better. That was actually the point where I had to re-read the page a few times, and then put the book down for a minute. Katniss voted yes? KATNISS voted YES? How could she? It's exhausting and terrible, and like you said, you get the idea that none of these people are ever going to be okay again.

  52. andreah1234 says:
  53. Ashley says:

    I think that arrow hit us readers in the heart too, so unprepared were most of us.

  54. Pip Harper says:

    Hi Mark,

    This is my first post on here, but I’ve been reading/shamefully lurking for several months.

    Firstly, I’d just like to try to convey my thanks for your Harry Potter series. The sheer joy contained in those posts helped me get through a horrible period in my life, and the way you touched on issues such as privilege and gender dysphoria was incredibly gratifying.

    Anyhow, the point of this post is that I’ve noticed that you haven’t posted any reviews for Infinite Jest for almost a month, and I thought it might be because you wanted to finish off Mockingjay before getting properly stuck in, but now I see you’re moving straight on to The Book Thief. I apologize if I’ve missed a confirmation/denial of this, but I’m worried you’ve given up on IJ. And this would really make me sad. I’d never heard of the book until you posted you’re plan to read it, and out of curiosity I ordered it from my library and it arrived shortly after your last IJ post. I finished the novel five days ago. It’s almost certainly my favorite novel of all time, and it’s honestly changed the way I think about so many things.

    Basically, I just think it would be a great shame if the person who introduced me to the novel that changed my life never actually read it. During my frenetic read, I was also constantly looking forward to your reviews of numerous sections – the novel touches on so many issues and is just so complex.

    Anyhow, sorry for rambling at such length, and again I can only apologize if you’ve already addressed this somewhere else or if you are just taking a break from the novel (or if you’re a good way into it and just haven’t posted any reviews yet).

  55. pandalilies says:

    It was right after finishing this chapter that I handed the first and second book to a friend of mine and said "OH HAI, YOU HAVE TO READ THIS NOW BECAUSE I NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS WITH YOU ABOUT THIS THING I CAN'T TELL YOU THAT JUST HAPPENED. … NOW."

    The fact that they said yes… I just, I just can't deal with it. It's so horrible.
    No more hunger games, yo. Not even with the capital children.

  56. Kellee says:

    Did anybody else rush through this chapter and completely misunderstand the last sentence? I was reading so quickly to find out -what happens next- that my eyes skimmed right over the word Coin and assumed it said Snow. I thought, ok good, Katniss killed Snow just like she planned, what's the big deal? Then I had to go back and read through it more slowly and was PUNCHED IN THE FACE by surprise!

    Please tell me I'm not the only one who did this(!)

  57. aficat says:

    Coin thought Katniss' weakness was not following authority's directions.

    Guess she was right.

  58. tchemgrrl says:

    Okay, so I'm fascinated by the responses here that Katniss voted yes to the Hunger Games so that Coin would think she was cool, and would then apparently stand unguarded in arrow-shooting range. Because, even with Coin out of the way, they just agreed to have another Hunger Games–no reason that won't happen without Coin. So Katniss is dooming a bunch of children to death for the exceedingly slim chance of a greater good? Didn't she already *have* that argument with Gale? She's doing it for Prim? Aren't a roomful of Prims going to be going into the arena now? This is me missing the point of that part.

    • RainaWeather says:

      But it was Coin's idea so with Coin dead, who's going to tell Panem that they're having another HUnger Games? And Katniss and Haymitch didn't really vote for it. So there won't be another Hunger Games because most of them truly voted against it and the person whose idea it was is dead. No one but the people in that room know what was said. It's not like the victors have government positions, so even if they did want another one, they have no power to make it happen.

  59. Raindog says:

    Oh, oh my god Mark, you're reading the Book Thief.

    This is the best thing of all the best things. THANK YOU.

    …mgmgdfgmmmmmmpppppphhhYOU ARE NOT PREPARED.

  60. papa says:

    BOOK THIEFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

  61. Sarah B. says:

    For whatever it’s worth, you should probably read The Book Thief in chunks, since most chapters are only 2ish pages.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Thanks for the heads up. I'll make sure to do that.

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        I noticed when I was flipping through the book that there are ten or so "parts" that all seem to hover around fifty or so pages long, plus a prologue and epilogue.

        I don't really know if you'd want to review that many pages all at once (obviously, it would cut way down on number of reviews, and it seems like that might make including everything you want more difficult), but it seems like doing it by part rather than just a few chapters at a time would be a natural way to divide the reviews since the chapters themselves have names rather than numbers.
        ETA: Someone just told me that each individual part has exactly eight chapters, except the prologue and epilogue, which have four each.

  62. Liza says:

    When you first announced this project, I wanted to read with you….I ended up reading the entire series in one weekend. And I loved it. Until I got to this chapter. And Katniss voting yes…pissed me off beyond belief. The entire time she talked about how awful and dehumanizing the hunger games were, how she would never be able to get past the unbelievable trauma she had experienced in two games…to vote to allow them to happen again, even if it was to avenge the death of Prim, just seemed so out of character, I almost didn't finish reading the book out of protest. I was so angry, I keysmashed OUT LOUD to my roommates. It wasn't tragic. It was just wrong.

    • Pseudonymph says:

      Goddamn I wish people would stop downvoting for disagreement. It's so immature. I want to tell you that I felt the same way but now I'm reading some other opinions and I'm not so sure anymore. Also there's another chapter left (I think) so I'm going to withhold final judgment on Katniss until I know how it all ends.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Seriously, I'm 100% with you on this. I had to go outside after Katniss voted yes.

    • doesntsparkle says:

      That's how I felt at first, but I've had months to think about the morality of Katniss's decision and I accept it now. It's still awful, but it shows what a broken, shell of a person Katniss is by this point in the story. She's completely broken down and she wants revenge for what happened to Prim.

    • shelly says:

      I suppose this is why so many people didn’t like the book? I think people read the book so fast that they completely missed the point that katniss only voted for another games so she could kill coin. IF she had voted for the games to avenge prim, then I agree it would be out of character. Collins has to make this part of the book subtle so you don’t see the plot twist coming. It’s funny that after complaining that she beats us over the head with things, so many people COMPLETELY MISS THE POINT OF THIS CHAPTER! Katniss would never approve of another games, period.

    • Lynn says:

      Yes, but if you reread you will see that Katniss was not really voting for another games. She is against them in the internal dialogue in her head, though it is fairly subtle and easy to overlook. But she has to let Coin think that she has won and that the Mockinjay is on her side completely and finally. This is the only true way to avenge Prim (by killing Coin) and is why she says "yes, for Prim". She is readying herself to avenge her while fooling Coin.

      When Coin announced the last Hunger Games I think it cemented that it was Coin who dropped the bombs on the children killing Prim. It cements that everything they had gone through was futile because Coin is another Snow and things will be no better. So in weighing what she wanted to do she is weighing what she wants to do about Coin.

      Also, if you look Snow knows he is not about to die. He is smirking and giving her the look of "lets not lie to each other" when she is aiming her bow at him. Katniss fooled Coin but Snow picked up on her subterfuge.

  63. FishGuts says:

    YOURE READING THE BOOK THIEF????????????

    EXCITE!

    YOU'RE FINALLY READING A BOOK THAT I HAVE A COPY OF! AND I LOVE THE BOOK THIEF!

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    -coughcough- sorry 'bout that. won't happen again.

  64. Silvertongue says:

    OMG, I actually have The Book Thief sitting in my living room waiting to be read. We'll see if I manage to only do a chapter at a time.

    Out of curiosity, have you read The Handmaid's Tale? If so, what did you think? (If you have, there's a part of your review that made me think of it, but I don't want to say anything if you haven't)

  65. Shanella says:

    yay! I get to read the book thief with you =D

    Also, BEST plot twist in the history of all books.

  66. Hotaru-hime says:

    YAY EFFIE
    Only good thing in this chapter, everything else is WTF?!!!

  67. xilopia says:

    Kinda OT: I can't believe you're going to read the Book Thief. I kid you not, I was just thinking "hey…Mark should totally read the Book Thief after Mockingjay", and now that's actually going to happen!

    *EPIC FANGIRL FREAKOUT*

    I am so happy now, because it's basically my favourite book along with the Hunger Games trilogy. It's just so beautiful *wipes away tear*

    Anyways onto the chapter; I totally felt the same way when the idea of a new Hunger Game was brought up, just so betrayed when Katniss agreed. I never would have expected that.
    And then she goes on to kill Coin and I just can't comprehend…

    (I can't believe we're basically at the end now)

  68. Katie says:

    I think it’s a brilliant plot twist. I think it has been hinted through the entire third book: the only way to break the chain, to stop Coing becoming the next Snow is to kill Coin.

    And I think Collins does it beautifully. We all know Katniss would never vote for the next hunger games: she has condemned murdering children by both sides so many times (little girl in yellow coat, kids in front of Snow’s mansion). So when she says yes to another Hunger Games, she must be doing something else entirely. And she is. She is asking for Haymitch’s permission to murder Coin at that point. To demonstrate that she considers what Coing did to Prim the actual final Hunger Games and wants to end it once and for all. And Haymitch shows that he truly knows her and gives her the permission by voting with her. They both know it’s the only way to make sure that Prim is indeed the last child to be murdered. Beautiful.

    And in a way, Katniss sacrifices herself for her sister again, because in avenging her death, she puts herself forward for possible execution.

    • Guest says:

      Very well said, Katie! "Prim is indeed the last child to be murdered." That's such poetic sentiment. I'd been having a hard time with Katniss voting yes for the final games. I love the series and yet this was such bizarre moment, out of character and I didn't like it. After reading all these posts, slowing down and re-reading, I see what you have all brilliantly pointed out: that it was her way of ensuring she could kill Coin. Thank you Katie, for your simply lovely post, and to the rest of you for helping me understand what I saw as a jarring uncharacteristic move. I much prefer that it is as someone else cleverly said, Katniss the pawn becoming Katniss the queen.
      Again Collins, you twist my brain. But I love it.
      ~eleusis.kore

  69. Friday, March 11: The beginning of Mark Reads The Book Thief
    ZOMG THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD! I am very excite.

    (Except, seriously? After Mockingjay, you want to read a book about the HORRORS OF WORLD WAR II???)

  70. Clare says:

    ok this is just awesome.

  71. Pseudonymph says:

    Fuck this book.

    • Lynn says:

      Why? I thought this was amazing! Katniss fools Coin with a subterfuge (which is all the yes vote was…Katniss did not actually want another games) and kills her to stop the reign of another Snow like person leading the nation. I thought that is was great to see Katniss finally have some agency and stopping the cycle.

      • Pseudonymph says:

        I guess I should have been more clear (hence the downvoting). This book is extremely stressful and emotionally harrowing. That's really all I meant. Collins actually seems to be a brilliant writer.

        • Lynn says:

          People downvoted you??! It was your opinion! I hate when that happens. I'll upvote you for some warm and fuzzies to offset the emotional trauma of this chapter.

          And you are so right that this book is stressful and emotionally harrowing. But even if that is not what you meant people need to stop downvoting people they disagree with. :( Save that for the spoilers and the trolls.

  72. EldaTaluta says:

    What. What. What. What. What. What. I don't even… there are no words. Just what.

    And you! With your awful schedule! Leaving us reading along to stop at this fucking chapter for the whole weekend? You're no better than Collins friend.

  73. Ooh ooh ooh! I never comment here, but Mark, I am SO EXCITED that you are reading The Book Thief next, one of my Favorite Books of All Time. You are so not prepared.

  74. Liz says:

    GASP! You're reading The Book Thief next? I AM SO EXCITED!

  75. You're a Keeping Up Appearances fan too?! I kind of pictured Haymitch as Emmett, but drunk, but Onslow is definitely the man! (To this he would reply, "Oh, nice!")

  76. flyer09 says:

    HOLY SHIT YOU'RE READING THE BOOK THIEF

    THAT IS ALL

  77. bendemolena says:

    Was anyone else THRILLD when Katniss killed Coin, not because she did it, but because she consciously made the choice to do so? A lot of Katniss' actions throughout the series have been because she didn't have a choice, or because she felt obligated to do so. But this? Oh no, this was Katniss giving a big F YOU to the Capital, and Coin's ideas, all on her own, no commands, no obligations, nothing. I was.. proud of her, actually. In a 'SHIT YEAH, GET IT, GIRL' kind of way.

  78. Oh Haymitch and Katniss, you has ALL the Sneakies! (Supreme Lord of Everything Buttercup approves.)

    • andreah1234 says:

      Oh, THANK GOD. I was getting worried. And then I remembered how Coin wanted to kick him out, S.L.O.E does not forget. *nods*

      ETA: AND there's the thing about Prim…Yeah, He wasn't so keen on the Coin.
      ETA2: The Coin, that's her rapper name.

  79. arrowgirl says:

    "A furious Peeta hammers Haymitch with the atrocity he could become party to, but I can feel Haymitch watching me. This is the moment, then. When we find out exactly just how alike we are, and how much he truly understands me. "

    The first few times that I read this, I thought that Katniss was hoping Haymitch understood her need to see other people feel how she does. After a little bit though, I began to think that actually, she was hoping that Haymitch would understand that she had her own plans. Katniss could figure out what Haymitch would want her to do based on a well-timed gift during the Hunger Games. I think that Katniss is hoping that this understanding between the two of them is deep enough to work both ways.

  80. gsj says:

    it is impossible for me to respond to this in a coherent way. I HAVE ALL THE SADS :(

  81. calimie says:

    MARK!! DON'T LEAVE US THIS WAY!!

    ARE YOU HAPPY?

  82. Korat97 says:

    Theres one line in the last chapter when she meets Snow that I absolutely love.

    "Yet Coin left him here. To set a precedent, I guess. So that if in the future she ever fell from grace, it would be understood that presidents -even the most despicable- get special treatment."

    See? Coin knew that history would repeat itself. She doesn't leave loose ends. She expected herself to become the bad guy, so she really is just as bad as Snow.

  83. Kate says:

    I wouldn’t normally comment, but I just have to say I have always believed Katniss was not really voting Yes to the Games. I think she knew Coin had to go the minute she proposed something so horrific. I especially think this because of her wording, that she says “for Prim”–whose fault is it that Prim died? Coin’s. I think this was a trick.

    I also totally knew she was going to kill Coin before it happened. I was waiting chanting “shoot Coin, she’s gonna shoot Coin, shoot Coin, she’s gonna shoot Coin right?!”

  84. Coffee says:

    Oh yeah, completely not prepared.

    And The Book Thief? Oh jeez. Should I get the box of tissues now or later?

    May I please make a suggestion? READ DISCWORLD!

  85. pandalilies says:

    Because when she said 'Yes… For Prim', I was thinking, WTF? Prim would never ever have wanted this. I think that was her way of warning Coin that she would be gunning for her. It was her way of saying, I'll stand with you, like you stood with me. Until you weren't. This is what that feels like.

    OOOOOOH. That's a good way to think about it…

  86. Pan says:

    I'm pretty sure I literally threw my book across the room when I got to the end of this chapter out of the sheer unpreparedness I had (although I think I've done this multiple times throughout this series.)

    My opinion: I don't think Katniss actually planned on shooting Coin until the very last second, at least not fully. She knew both Coin and Snow had used her immensely, and in that split-second decided Coin had hurt her more, and that she chose to believe Snow. Either that or she figured Snow would probably die by someone else's hand anyway if she didn't do it, and both her enemies would be destroyed. She only had one arrow and had to choose fast.

    This is one of those rare books that you absolutely love for breaking your heart in every way possible. And I love that especially in this chapter, nothing is black or white, good or evil. Even the "good" side, our protagonist, her best friend, and a baker's son do not always do good and do not always make the right decisions. Even the
    "bad" side isn't as bad as you think it is, even they have their reasons for being terrible. Both just sought the protection of themselves and their ideologies and their people, and both often went about it in terrible, terrible ways, and both used a young girl over and over until she completely broke and turned against them.

    Is it so much to ask that a teenage girl be happy for once in her life?

  87. Whispy360 says:

    At first it didn't make any sense to me at all that Katniss shot Coin. Coin was strict and annoying and didn't have much of a conscience, but she was no Snow. I had a big comment typed up about why I thought that, but then I started reading the other comments and agreeing with them, so I figured it didn't make sense to post it, lol. xD But I still feel a little uneasy about it. It just seemed so… almost random for Coin to die. It felt like Snow had won and Katniss was giving into his tricks. (After all, no one still knew for sure about who bombed the Capitol square, right? It's been too long since I've read this book. Eep. So I might have been Snow, just playing a dirty trick.)

    Also… siriusly. What's up with Katniss voting for another Hunger Games? It seems like she would want them to stop. She says she voted that way for Prim, but it seems like she should have thought of all the other children Prim's age who would be dying in the Games.

    Meh. This chapter in general just sort of bothered me. (Man, this is the longest comment I've ever made on here and I'm complaining about something. Sorry xD It's just that most of the other times all the stuff I had to say was either spoilery or keysmashing about how awesome different characters are, so I just didn't post. Teehee.)

    • Guest says:

      There was a lot of back and forth over who did the bombing: was Snow trying to trick Katniss, or was he right that Coin did it, (and as we just reasoned out with Katniss, Prim was only 13 and so someone higher up (like Coin) had to approve her being on the front lines.) It didn't hit me until this afternoon that the whole conversation with Gale pretty much confims that it was the rebels who did the bombing. "Finally I just say it. “Was it your bomb?”
      “I don’t know. Neither does Beetee,” he says. “Does it matter? You’ll always be thinking about it.”
      And he takes a bit of that weight when he says that was the one thing going for him, taking care of her family. I don't know why it didn't click for me earlier, that confirmation, and had I realized that, I wouldn't have felt so frustrated by Katniss voting yes on the last Games. Yes, I agree that given the first person POV it was a bit hard to follow that Katniss was lying to Coin. Oh, Collins, setting up yet another of your cliffhangers!
      ~eleusis.kore

      • Guest says:

        By the way, I LOVE this forum, and as a former school teacher, I love the wonderful, friendly discussions, and a chance to dust of my brain and use it again!

        Thanks to all the posters, and of course, Mr. Unprepared himself! Another fantastic review, Mark :)

        ~e.k

  88. Gabbie says:

    This is EPIC.
    Also, LOL that'salotofweeks.

  89. trash_addict says:

    I FOR ONE AGREE WITH SASSY GAY FRIEND.

    During the meeting I just wanted to throw the book across the room.

    And then, yeah, that last bit happened.

  90. Ames says:

    I have too many thoughts, so I will just say this:

    SNOW HAS A GRANDDAUGHTER?!?!?! WHO WOULD EVER REPRODUCE WITH THAT?

  91. SophiePatronus says:

    "Monday, March 7: Chapter 27
    Tuesday, March 8: Epilogue/Final Thoughts/Series Wrap-Up
    Friday, March 11: The beginning of Mark Reads The Book Thief"

    HELL YES.

    …anyway~

    "I can feel Haymitch watching me. This is the moment, then. When we find out exactly just how alike we are, and how much he truly understands me. "
    That's when I thought, Something is up. Katniss is doing something. And it was confirmed when Haymitch didn't say, "I'm with Katniss." He referred to her as the mockingjay. I think that was his clue to her that he understood she was doing something, she wasn't actually agreeing.
    Katniss voted yes in the first place was because she realized if she did, she'd have a clear shot at Coin when she was supposed to shoot Snow. Whereas if she had disagreed, Coin would've seen her as an immediate threat and would've been on guard. She would've been watching Katniss more closely, and Katniss may or may not have had an opportunity to kill Coin. That's what I got out of it.

    (And by the way, I didn't actually think any of that until I REread the book. I didn't pick up on ANYTHING the first time I read it, I just inhaled the words and cried the whole time.)

  92. 4and6forever says:

    Oh Coin. You’re dead. Well… I’ll miss your hair.

  93. lucky duck says:

    About the new Hunger Games Coin proposed…
    <img src="http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd180/laureenox3/screenshots%20and%20other%20pics/tumblr_lfitbrQiwG1qgtomdo1_500.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="dumbledore wouldn't let this happen protesters in madison Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  94. Annalebanana says:

    Oh God, i love that site. Agreed completely

  95. Annalebanana says:

    I already posted a defense for Gale, but I just want to say to those who keep insisting of his entire lack of moral character that he is no more to blame for what happened to those people than the man who invented the sword, or the gun, or the soldiers who wield them. In the end, Coin was the only one at fault.

  96. lossthief says:

    (No Notes today guys, instead you're getting a rant.)

    So I was with this chapter until we reached the section of them choosing whether or not to go along with the games. That's when I lost a lot of faith in Collins. I can understand wanting to go into a depressing, gritty area, but it comes at the expense of Kat's character development.

    The others who voted "yes" I can somewhat understand. Enobaria is ruthless, and I expected nothing else. Johanna clearly despises the Capitol for whatever the hell happened in her past. Haymitch has lead of life of depression and self-destruction for decades because of the Capitol, and he's not one to change his ways.

    But Katniss? One of the biggest things about her character changing is that she's been learning that the "eye for an eye" mentality is a bad thing. She gave an entire speech about it in THIS VERY BOOK. This is the girl who hated the Hunger Games more than anything else, who volunteered to go in order to save her sister from its horror, who eventually agreed with Peeta that the only way to keep the Capitol from winning was to remain true to her character and NOT become a raging murderous beast. She stated many times that she refused to have children because of the horrifying possibility of them being sent to the games. And now she's sending innocent children into the same horrors she had to live through, just to punish those who were in charge? FUCK. THAT. There's being demoralized, and then there's being completely derailed from your previous characterization.

    Before anyone says anything, yes I realize Kat's trying to be covert in order to get on Coin's good side (Haymitch's "mockingjay" line is actually pretty good) I still feel this is a mess up. Have something to help cap-off this stage of Kat's development. Collins hasn't strayed from lengthy internal monologues before, and for once this could have been good. Have her think of how before she might have said yes, that she would have treated the Capitol with the same ruthlessness the districts were presented with, but now she knows that's not right. Just something so that this all doesn't feel so understated and drab.

    Grade: "C"

    • RainaWeather says:

      All I can say is that this better be some sort of ruse on Kat's part

      Considering Katniss assasinates Coin after she votes, I think it's pretty clear it was a ruse.

      • lossthief says:

        a ruse that accomplishes..what? She's already been promised that she'll be the one to kill Snow, so how does she think going along with Coin's crazy plan will make her more vulnerable to an arrow through the neck?

        It's not like the plan still doesn't have the go-ahead now, since I'm pretty sure Coin isn't the ONLY person to know about it, and even if for some reason she WAS the only higher up who knew, it's not as if Enobaria could just as easily tell the other leaders that it was decided to continue the Games (Unless Katniss finds a way to kill her PLUS Johanna as well.)

        It really just seems like, once again, Collins is trying to add drama where there doesn't need to be any.

        • RainaWeather says:

          Warning for tl;dr

          The thing is, it doesn't matter how Katniss votes. Her vote wasn't for the Hunger Games, it was for Prim. She voted "Yes . . . for Prim." And then she proceded to kill the person responsible for her sister's death. And Coin is not stupid. If Katniss had voted no to her suggestion, I do not think that Coin would have stood so close to her with an arrow ready to fire. She wouldn't let herself be in that vulnerable situation knowing how royally she pissed this person who's about to deliver a death blow. So pretending to vote yes makes Coin let her guard down. It makes her feel comfortable standing so closely to an armed Katniss.

          • RainaWeather says:

            And I really doubt the games would go on without Coin. The only people who truly voted for it were Enobaria and Johanna. Annie, Peeta, and Beetee voted against it. Haymitch and Katniss said "yes" but they were against it as well. And I do believe Coin was the only person who knew. I think that was hinted at when someone asked if it was Plutarch's idea and she said it was hers. And remember, the remaining victors don't have any governmental positions. They have power as symbols only. They don't have the power reinstate the games. So there's no need to kill Enobaria or Johanna, they can't make the games happen again. But Coin could. Also, I doubt Enobaria and Johanna will be pissed if there are no games. They were in disbelief like everyone else when Coin suggested it and (to me) were only trying to find a way to alleviate their own pain. Their motivation was very different from Coin who could use the games as a way to keep the districts under her control.

            • RainaWeather says:

              Also, there are more people in Panem than just those few who know about another hunger games. The people in 13 might not object too much to another one because their children never had to be in them. But most people in Panem are not as ruthless as Coin and D13. They are more like the five who didn't want the hunger games, regular people who want this bullshit to stop. All those rebels from the other districts would revolt if someone tried to start another games.

              • lossthief says:

                I see that as a pretty big leap to say that Coin would have assumed Katniss was going to kill her simply from not wanting to commit systematic child murder. I don't see a strong enough justification for taking away what COULD have been a great cap-off to Katniss' character development.

                As far as Coin being the only one to know, that would be a bizarre bit of incompetence on her part. She's shown to be conniving enough to set up that parachute bombing, and yet she wouldn't make think to have somebody in on her plan to keep the people in line?

                Enobaria was very quick to say they should "get a taste of their own medicine" and Johanna was first to say yes, clearly willing to take it out on an innocent girl because of her connection with President There Was a Mix Up, I Ordered A Medium Chocolate Frosty. I get the feeling that they still have the urge to even if Coin's gone.

                • RainaWeather says:

                  Well, personally I think it was a fantastic moment for Katniss's character development. Instead of just letting herself be used, she makes an important decision not only for herself, but for all the people of Panem. She's no longer a pawn in someone else's game.

                  I guess we'll just have to disagree about your second point. It works in Coin's favor that only she knows. If the vote is no, Coin can pretend she never suggested such a horrendous thing. If the vote is yes, Coin can present her idea with the full support of the victors (the vote breakdown is secret, so she could present it as if all the victors are on her side).

                  Like I said, the victors have power only as symbols, so what they want doesn't really matter unless they are buddy buddy with the gov't. As Enobaria is a former capital fav and Johanna likes no one, they have no sway with the new gov't. Also, they're just two people vs all of Panem. They are no threat, especially in opposition to Katniss, the symbol of the revolution. And who will even believe them if they went around telling people there is supposed to be another games if the other 5 victors are against them?

                • BradSmith5 says:

                  I think that the part with the voting should have been cut out of the book; it is distracting too many people from the story's finale. It would have been fine for Coin to come in, announce that another Hunger Games will be held, and then have Katniss appear too numb to do anything about it. Then, when the execution came, we would still be shocked at her actions––without all the displaced anger at Katniss.

                  Anyway, you're using Snow nicknames in your normal replies now!? Ha,ha,ha, oh man, that's too hilarious!

  97. peacockdawson says:

    HEYMITCH, NOOOOO.
    <img src="http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc130/AEIDLA/SadLlama.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    I actually think that this is one of the saddest moments in the entire book. I was crying.

    • Gabbie says:

      Wait, why? Because they voted yes?

      • peacockdawson says:

        No, when Katniss talks to Heymitch and he's all drunk and sad, and then he's looking for her and she's hiding…. Poor Heymitch and Katniss. D:

Comments are closed.