Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 12

In the twelfth chapter of Catching Fire, fuck everything. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Catching Fire.

A few moments of joy and silliness.

Winter has begun to withdraw by the time my foot is deemed usable. My mother gives me exercises to do and lets me walk on my own a bit. I go to sleep one night, determined to go into town the next morning, but I awake to find Venia, Octavia, and Flauvius grinning down at me.

“Surprise!” they squeal. “We’re here early!”

As massively privileged as these three are, there’s still a part of me that likes scenes with them. They seem to be one of the few sources of information for us about life in the Capitol and I just want to know more about this world Collins has created. More so than ever, this proves to be true in chapter twelve. As the three of them work on Katniss in preparation for her wedding dress photo shoot, they continue to discuss things in a way which centers and frames themselves, as they always do. For once, though, what they talk about actually helps Katniss:

But then Octavia makes a comment that catches my attention. It’s a passing remark, really, about how she couldn’t get shrimp for a party but it tugs at me.

“Why couldn’t you get shrimp? Is it out of season?” I ask.

“Oh, Katniss, we haven’t been able to get any seafood for weeks!” says Octavia. “You know, because the weather’s been so bad in District Four.”

WHAT! Oh my god. Of course, Katniss puts this together: the Capitol is mostly likely lying about the weather (since there is no communication between districts) because THERE IS A GODDAMN UPRISING GOING ON. Actually, that’s a pretty fascinating thought: even those high in society in the Capitol have no idea what’s going on in the rest of the nation.

Katniss, whose confidence continues to rise, decides to press them on the issue further, to see where else might be revolting:

By the time I’m ready to be dressed, their complaints about the difficulty of getting different products—from crabmeat to music chips to ribbons—has given me sense of which districts might actually be rebelling. Seafood from District 4. Electronic gadgets from District 3. And, of course, fabrics from District 8. The thought of such widespread rebellion has me quivering with fear and excitement.

You know what’s exciting about this? The power of numbers. The Capitol is terrifying and intimidating, but it was the sheer element of surprise, combined with the large number of people in District 8 that overwhelmed them. If multiple districts all started uprising at the same time, surely the Capitol would spread themselves too thin in order to maintain control. Right?

Katniss moves on to her wedding dress photoshoot, which goes on without much of anything important. Tired, she heads to bed after a long day of changing clothes and being ordered around. Eager to discuss what she’s learned with anyone, she manages to find Haymitch, who walks into town with her. I like that we get a scene with just the two of them because I am hoping that he might shed some more insight into his past.

Haymitch listens to Katniss’s information and is quick to point out the sheer size of the other districts versus their own. It really is all about numbers at this point, and it’s frustrating to think that all of District 12 would have to revolt for it to have any real effect, even with other uprisings going on at the moment.

“What do you think they’ll do, Haymitch? To the districts that are rebelling?” I ask.

“Well, you heard what they did in Eight. You’ve seen what they did here, and that was without provocation,” says Haymitch. “If things really do get out of hand, I think they’d have no problem killing off another district, same as they did Thirteen. Make an example of it, you know?”

This inevitably brings up the concept of the re-used footage for District 13. Damn you, Haymitch, for making some good points:

“Okay, but what does that prove? Nothing, really. There are plenty of reasons they could be using old footage. Probably it looks more impressive. And it’s a lot simpler, isn’t it? To just press a few buttons in the editing room than to fly all the way out there and film it?” he says. “The idea that Thirteen has somehow rebounded and the Capitol is ignoring it? That sounds like the kind of rumor desperate people cling to.”

“I know. I was just hoping,” I say.

“Exactly. Because you’re desperate,” says Haymitch.

Of course, I want District 13’s secret society to be real and I will cling to that idea as irrationally as possible. Also, does this mean the Capitol has airplanes?

Surprisingly, that night, the Capitol airs the results of Katniss’s wedding dress photoshoot in a weird American Idol style television program, having narrowed down Cinna’s twelve dresses to six through voting done only in the Capitol. Collins is clinging pretty hard to the reality TV angle of this story and the parallel couldn’t be more poignant in terms of the social landscape of American pop culture. Obviously, here it is taken to its logical extreme, but the idea of voting on someone else’s marriage isn’t exactly a foreign concept to a lot of people, is it?

President Snow makes an appearance to talk about the serious nature of the Quarter Quell and we finally get some information on what they were.

President Snow goes on to tell us what happened in the previous Quarter Quells. “On the twenty-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that their children were dying because of their choice to initiate violence, every district was made to hold an election and vote on the tributes who would represent it.”

HAHDJSFLHASKJLASHDF WOW. Talk about FUCKED UP. I mean, the Hunger Games are already pretty terrible, but talk about using inter-personal strife as oppression. Just awful.

“On the fiftieth anniversary,” the president continues, “as a reminder that two rebels died for each Capitol citizen, every district was required to send twice as many tributes.”

Haymitch had to last through forty-nine deaths to survive. How on earth did he do that?

“And now we honor our third Quarter Quell,” says the President. The little boy in white steps forward, holding out the box as he opens the lid. We can see the tidy, upright rows of yellowed envelopes. Whoever devised the Quarter Quell system had prepared for centuries of Hunger Games. The president removes an envelope clearly marked with a 75. He runs his finger under the flap and pulls out a small square of paper. Without hesitation, he reads, “On the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors.”

No. Oh no. No. NO.

My mother gives a faint shriek and Prim buries her face in her hands, but I feel more like the people I see in the crowd on television. Slightly baffled. What does it mean? Existing pool of victors?

Then I get it, what it means. At least, for me. District 12 has only three existing victors to choose from. Two male. One female…

I am going back into the arena.

I can’t. I just can’t. The Games were designed decades ago? Or just the Quarter Quells? This is so convenient. President Snow had to have fixed this or manipulated the results.

I seriously can’t. This is more awful than all awful things that were ever awful. Pure despair.

I was never, ever prepared.

About Mark Oshiro

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

242 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 12

  1. bell_erin_a says:

    Oh, Mark. Oh no.

    Fuck the Capitol and President Snow, and there's not much else I can say because you could never have been prepared. D:

    • andreah1234 says:

      I'm the opposite. I ramble a sea of unpreparedness. You will see a lot of my comments on this review. And a lot of them will not make sense and will have this D: attached to them. BUT I DON'T CARE BECAUSE SHIT IS REAL AND I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR IT. D: D: D: D: D:

      • bell_erin_a says:

        Haha, that was my first reaction, but on the third reread I've managed to rein in the capslock.

        I have to say I was really interested to know if this was going to be a FUCK THE CAPITOL FUCK YOU ALL I HATE THIS AWFUL SHIT WHAT THE HELL FUCK review or a stunned silence review. I do love the mix of utter horror and then the gif at the end!

        • andreah1234 says:

          Nothing can go wrong with Scrubs. Nothing.

          And FUCK EVERYTHING is pretty much me at the moment. No, siriusly FUCK EVERYTHING. Well not Cinna because he's awesome, but FUCK EVERYTHING ELSE.

          Man, I need some Harry Potter.

          • bell_erin_a says:

            Yay for Cinna!

            Siriusly. Where did we leave off at? Diagon Alley? Oh, so happy and full of awe and wonder and awesomeness and ~magic~. Things in Harry Potter were fucked up but more in a "wow, that's awful, damn" or "holy shit, did she reference that all the way in the first book?!?" way, not a FUCK EVERYTHING CAPSLOCK SMASH A;LKGHASLDKGHOAW;IEHGALKSJDF BLAKSDHG;LAWKHG way.

  2. Kate says:

    I know, right? Complete utter unpreparedness.

  3. Dannie. says:

    Just… Wow.
    When I read that last sentence.

  4. GAUGH!!!! ::drops laptop::


  5. Bob'sDiner says:

    Perfect solution. The games are a sanctioned and socially approved way to kill off someone.

    • bell_erin_a says:

      Katniss has had a huge target on her back ever since the berries. It's pure and evil genius (convenient genius).

      • ldwy says:

        Yes, I don't believe for a second that this just happened to be the 3rd Quarter Quell that the original gamemakers designed. It's too convenient. Snow definitely arranged things this way. Which is brilliant and also AOWEAGT;IOAFGOWHEGUOHAWEUH

  6. Wait, does this also mean that Katniss might have to fight Haymitch?

    • doesntsparkle says:

      yeah, or Peeta.

    • kaybee42 says:

      I hope it's Haymitch! It would be too easy to have Peeta, cause he would be all "I just want to protect Katniss" but I wonder what Haymitch would do…

    • leenwitit says:

      The question really is, will the volunteer system still be in place? Because if it is, then Peeta and Haymitch can just decide amongst themselves who's going to go in with Katniss no matter who gets picked.

      • Inessa says:

        Presumably. That is, say Peeta is adamant to go in, but Haymitch gets selected, Peeta can volunteer, or vice versa. So if they agree between them before the official reaping, either way, the one they agree on, will go in. However, this does not detract from the fact that either way, Katniss is going back. If this is not the stuff of nightmares, I don't know what is. Also, if the whole game selection process could be rigged, to "take Katniss out" as it were, what else could they do to her in the arena, to make sure the plan is foolproof.

    • andreah1234 says:

      Or Peeta. They can not fight the are PEENIS, they have their own celebrity name, so it means they are *soulmates*.

      And then there's Haymitch…

      Nah I'm pretty sure I can leave without PEENIS. Sorry Kat, it's not that I don't like you, but you know priorities. 😀

    • notemily says:

      Yeah, or Peeta, and there's no WAY they'd let two winners from one district happen again, given what happened last time… 🙁

    • Gabbie says:

      He'd win. Just saying. 😉

  7. Malvolio says:

    Yeah, Mark. You were not prepared. Victory Tour? District 13? Nope, back to the arena. What a "coincidence".

  8. Nanima says:

    Oh Mark, we all warned you that you weren't prepared…
    You still aren't by the way.

    God, back when I was first reading through the book the last part felt like had just been punched in the stomach. HARD.
    The sheer despair just made me freak out and throw the book on the floor out of protest.

  9. 1foxi says:

    "I am going back into the arena."

    When I read this, I just stared at the page and thought 'HOLY F*CKING SHIT!!'
    I never expected this, never. Just never!

    • accio doublestuff says:

      honestly (and i am not trying to sound like a douchebag) i had a feeling that Katniss would be in the hunger games again ever since they mentioned the Quarter Quell. It felt a little too coincidental that only the year after Katniss wins, the 75th anniversary occurs, in which something extra terrible must happen.

      Also, I never thought for a second that these were planned out in advance. I always thought that the President would just pick whatever extra terrible thing that would happen to be most convenient for controlling the country. But that's just my opinion.

  10. knut says:


    (Also, am I a horrible person for wanting to know what the future Quarter Quells in the box are? I am not evil enough to think of that many awful things)

    • Hermione_Danger says:

      Ugh, who even knows. Maybe one QQ the tributes have to be under the age of 14 or something awful. Or they have to be physically handicapped. It certainly seems like the QQs are designed to have a specific meaning, i.e. even your strongest (former victors) can't beat us.

    • Kadi says:

      I would love to know, too! And how they're worded, since that's the most fascinating part, for me.

    • Saber says:

      We've made up a few, to be fun. One put the oldest and the youngest of reaping age in the arena. (18 and 12) and the other forced relatives in together

  11. deleted2934595 says:

    Oh, goddd, I forgot that we learn this right after the frivolity/creepiness of the wedding dress thing. It's such a Collins move, to slip in this little sentence at the end that just fucks everything up. I seriously don't know how you're reading these one chapter at a time.

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    (Also, I have been not commenting so much because I read these a while ago and can't exactly recall what happens when. Not because I don't love you/the reviews. JSYK)

  12. Quizzical says:

    i am pretty sure i stood up from the computer (reading this on a pdf) and said 'no. absolutely no. way.' out loud at thsi point. totally did not see this coming, even with the mention beforehand of the quarter quell.

    • Nakeefeet says:

      I did the same reading the book, but with lots of swearing. 😀

      Totally didn't see it coming.

    • ldwy says:

      Yeah, me too. I didn't see it coming. When the victory tour didn't take the whole book, and then when they mentioned the Quarter Quell, I assumed we were going to see Katniss struggle with having to mentor a kid! Not go back in herself.

  13. toneDef77 says:

    Just when you think you know where Collins is taking you in this book, she hits you up side the head with another twist. This was the chapter my mind turned to utter mush and I knew I was never prepared for any of this.

  14. Cally_Black says:

    I was just as unprepared for this as you! I though maybe Madge, one of Gale's siblings, or Prim would go. I thought that Katniss might even volunteer for Prim again, but never did I imagine that Katniss would be forced back into the games. It's so AWFUL!

    I read this when I was on the bus, and I let out a shriek and then yelled that I hated the Capitol and Snow. I got a lot of strange looks. But they just make me so MAD! I'm in a rage!

    <img src=>

  15. Blabbla says:

    "even those high in society in the Capitol"

    I got the impression that they were actually pretty low on the ladder, since they were sent out in the district, and not invited to hang out with the cool kids?

    • Blabbla says:


      "Also, does this mean the Capitol has airplanes?"

      Well, since they apparently develop atomic bombs, they'd need something to drop them with.

  16. maript says:

    Mark, always trust us when we say you're not prepared. Did you underestimated Collins because of Stephenie Meyer comparisons? I know I did, but at least the low expectations allowed for some great WHOA moments – as in, I said whoa out loud, in the train full of people, when I got to this part.

  17. DTDRC says:

    As soon as you started Catching Fire I was anxious for you to get here, just because I knew you would be so surprised/unprepared.

    You thought the book was going to be about the Victory Tour, but I assumed that this book was going to be about Katniss mentoring someone in the games (look at that, we were both wrong!). I was actually kinda pissed when Snow read the Quell card, because I felt it was a retread. We had already seen tribute Katniss, and now instead of mentoring, here she was, a tribute again.

    I'm actually wondering if that was one of the problems with Katniss and the berries. Maybe they knew what the Quell would be, and were tipping the scales in Katniss's favor during the 74th games, since at that time there was no girl tribute from District 12. If she had died, how would they have held the Quell (unless Snow did fix the Quell twist)?

    • deleted2934595 says:

      Oooh, I wonder if there are any other districts that don't have both a male and female surviving tribute? Some of the poorer districts, like Katniss's, might only have one winner, or maybe two of the same sex.

      He had to have fixed it, right, because there's no way they would be able to guarantee that there were the right number of surviving winners of both sexes in each district. Right?

    • Inessa says:

      But if that's the case, they would have had to rig the whole 74th games to ensure Katniss wins, well before the berries. This seems unlikely. My guess is that if there is only 1 past victor, then 1, not 2 go in, like how other districts have 2 mentors, but D12 has 1.

  18. MowerOfLorn says:

    Oh, God. I remember reading this chapter.

    My first thought was just what you had. "WHAT? That's horrible! Oh, God, Snow totally manipulated the results!"
    That, of course, makes sense from an in-story view point. But after a while, it sorta got on my nerves. I'd been hoping that Collin's would steer away from Katniss in the Games. It felt a bit too much like a rehashing of the last book.

    (Those were my feelings at the time. I won't say my current opinion because "Spoilers!")

  19. Stephalopolis says:

    Yep. No way prepared for the reality that Katniss was going back in. Welcome to "Shit Land"

  20. stellaaaaakris says:

    Two reviews today? I'd say "Happy day" except for the tears forever. Sad day. Sad, sad day.

    Just a little note. Haymitch had to beat 47 other kids, not 49.

    The first Quarter Quell was so fucked up. How would people have voted? Would they choose kids they thought had the best chance of surviving? Those who maybe were terminally ill? Asked around for volunteers? Vote based on familial grudges? It's so disturbing to think about. The Capitol is twisted. The second Quarter Quell is still terrible, but I'm going to go with the first one as the worst. Maybe there was still a hint of rebellion in the Districts as this time and they wanted to make a horrible punishment to remind the citizens what the Capitol is capable of. By the time of Haymitch's year, the fighting spirit could have been quelched almost everywhere if it had survived at all.

    Poor Katpee and Haymitch. And how much does it suck that Katniss already knows she has to go back?

    • knut says:

      I get the feeling that in the Districts where the Careers come from (1, 2…I forget where else) kids probably volunteered because it seems to be a thing of pride, but no idea about the other ones. I wonder if an ill child was chosen, the Capital would fix them up before sending them in. I CANNOT WRAP MY MIND AROUND THIS RIDICULOUSNESS

      • liliaeth says:

        they didn't fix up the handicapped boy from District 10, so I don't think they would.

        • knut_knut says:

          you're right! I forgot about him

        • andreah1234 says:

          Riiiight. That's a good point. They like left him with the disability just so he could create a bit more drama. Cool. Too bad Katpee already did that for him. Sucks to be him. God this has to be the worse thing ever. BRB RAGEING FOREVER.

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        But did they even have Careers during Hunger Games 25? I mean, it's entirely possible, but the memory of the rebellion was probably still fresh in the minds of the parents of the Tributes; they might not have started training their kids yet. They might not even think winning the Games a thing of honor, just more of a necessity to survival, like most Districts do in the book's present day.

        4 is the other Career District. But they're rebelling now, so they're not happy Careers.

        • knut_knut says:

          I dunno, that's a good point though. I wish Collins would elaborate a bit on Panem's history :/

          • bell_erin_a says:


            Like someone else said as I read through the other comments here because I apparently have absolutely nothing better to do, it's kind of like the Victors are rebels in themselves since they've more or less beaten the Capitol by winning the Games designed to kill them. With the Career districts, Katniss mentions that it's against the rules but no one does anything about it, so it's almost like those districts are rebelling against the Capitol by training their kids, thus presumably producing more Victors. Which is an interesting thought, given that D4 at least seems to now be openly rebelling, although it would be really nice to know if the other Career districts are uprising or not.

            Bah, it's late and I have no idea if any of that makes sense since it worked out in my head until I started typing. Sorry if it doesn't. :S

    • amandajane5 says:

      Haymitch was 14 and appears to have no family – did they pick an orphan just because he was an orphan and no one would be super-sad when he died? The awful, it burns!

      • trash_addict says:

        Haymitch wasn't in the Games where the Tribute was chosen by the district citizens, though. His name would have been picked out of the big glass ball, along with three other Tributes from district 12.

  21. sdempster1016 says:

    Oh man I'm so glad you finally made it to this part.

    I kept reading your reviews and you were all "I thought the Victory Tour was going to take up most of the book, what's the actual plot going to be?" and I had to literally sit on my hands because you are just NOT PREPARED.


  22. barnswallowkate says:

    My thoughts after reading that last line: "Really, Collins?? You couldn't think of something new for the second book, so you're just going to repeat the last one with new tributes? That is SO UNORIGINAL. Maybe I'll stop reading here to spite you! I am REALLY PISSED OFF. I don't want to read the Games again. I CAN'T read the Games again! OH GOD HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO KATNISS?? HOW WILL WE SURVIVE?? *endless sobbing inside my head* "

    I really dreaded reading any further into this book. Since I mainlined them over 36 hours I'd barely gotten over the first one and was sure this would drive me mad. I felt so trapped, and felt awful for Katniss because it is 1000 times worse for her.

    • lunylucy says:

      That's exactly how I felt. I thought it was a bit of a cheap trick to come up with a way for Katniss to end up back in the arena. Like.. we already had the games, lets take the plot somewhere else?? But Collins still gets points for the twist, not gonna lie.

    • bibliotrek says:

      This is exactly what I thought and felt, too. Especially since I started it thinking, "Well, at least she's not going back into the Games!" and actually looking forward to seeing Katniss as a mentor. I totally thought she was going to lead a rebellion as a mentor somehow! PREDICTION FAIL.

      • ffyona says:

        Yeah, all I can think at this point is well OF COURSE she's getting sent back in. This entire 'Quarter Quell' thing feels like it's been shoehorned in exactly for this purpose. Of course there's a special games every now and then with different rules and of course it happens to be this year and of course the rules happen to screw Katniss over… I get that it's probably a reflection of the Capitol's manipulation as much as Collins' writing but it's still an annoying device.

        That said, I fully admit that that I am still most inadequately prepared.

    • notemily says:

      I felt that way too–not that I was mad at Collins for being unoriginal, but I was mad at her for MAKING KATNISS GO THROUGH THAT HORRIBLE SHIT AGAIN. And by extension, us. I feel like if I were Katniss, I would have just killed myself rather than face that again.

  23. Sarah says:

    I was looking forward to your reaction to the Quarter Quell! By this point in the book, I basically thought it was the 2nd most depressing books I have ever read(right behind The Maze Runner Trilogy). This chapter just blew me away.

  24. PaulineParadise says:

    At this point, I just looked at the book with my mouth wide open, flipped the page and continued reading. I suggest you do the same! 😀

  25. sophpoph says:

    I am reading this book only through your reviews because Mum found out what they were about and didn't want to buy them for me, haha. Unless there is somewhere to read them online? Because shit is getting so real and I feel left out!

  26. Fuchsia says:

    There was absolutely no way you could prepare for this. I was completely shocked when I read it. I'd never guessed anything like that.

  27. elusivebreath says:

    A lot of people have said they saw this coming, but I have to admit that I felt totally blindsided by this development. It never even occurred to me that there would be MOAR GAMES in this book so I believe that I actually cursed out loud when I got to this chapter. This is exactly the point where I knew I loved these books!

  28. Blabbla says:

    "District 12 has only three existing victors to choose from. Two male. One female…"

    lol, like that even matters. Even if they had 6000 female winners, every single one of the names in the ball would be Katniss Everdeen.

    The Games were designed decades ago? Or just the Quarter Quells? "

    My guess? They were made years ago, but since no one knows what they are, they just took one that originally said "the only weapons will be pencils" and wrote this, instead.

    and the games are created after the tributes are all chosen, as is stated in the first book. They even design the traps especially for "the girl on fire" so they have to be recent.

    • LadyLately says:

      That was never stated in the first book, and Plutarch even told Katniss that the Games take years to design. My guess is that there are traps all over the place in excess, and they just use/activate the good/dramatic ones.

  29. Mimi says:

    I seriously almost gave up on the series right here. If I ever meet Suzanne Collins, I am going to give her a hearty FUCK YOU for this.

  30. mandii says:

    Omg. Such a relief you finally got to the Quarter Quell was like a dark secret trying to burst out of me this whole time!! Biiiiig sigh of reliiieeff! So what are your new predictions now that you know the book doesn’t revolve around the victory tour?

    Oh and congratz on not just having a bunch of key smashes, symbols, and F bombs for this chapter review =)


  31. monkeybutter says:

    Didn't the Today Show have a recurring segment where you not only vote on the dress and all of the details of the wedding, but on which couple you believe is most deserving of it? We're already terrible. Personally, I would vote for the ugliest dress (the Ren Fair one…or the tacky one with the diamonds. I can't choose).

    Wow, announcing that past victors will be returning to the arena right after you do a show about the sole female victor from District 12. Subtle, Snow. Not suspicious at all.

  32. celinagabrielle says:

    Holy shit Mark you and I are ~connected. I read these two chapters last night because… I don't know, I just felt like it was a good idea. AND THEN YOU POST TWO REVIEWS.

    And yes, you pretty much summed up how I felt about that. I was like, "HE FIXED IT. THIS IS A FIXED QUELL."


  33. RainaWeather says:

    Yep. Mark, t's like you're Zach Braff and I'm the woman sitting next to him, because I knew it was gonna happen and I prepared for your rage.

  34. Saber says:

    Yay, you finally got here! Katniss is going back in the games, but time with Victors. Adult, most likely totally messed up people. I can't wait!

    PS. I expected a lot more KEYSMASH and swears. I'm curious now.

  35. Hermione_Danger says:


    This series, with all its faults, is still one of the ones I use to convince people that YA fiction can be dark and scary and interesting, and that the good YA fiction is good, dammit! See also: Harry Potter, Robin McKinley, the Weetzie Bat books, etc.

    • booksinbulk says:

      This! Whenever I ask someone if they've read it, I say "It's a YA book…BUT IT REALLY SHOULDN'T BE!!" I feel like I MUST convince them and YA might turn them off, when it shouldn't in this case.

    • amandajane5 says:

      I will add Diana Wynne Jones as a must-read, she's amazing, and start looking up Weetzie Bat because I like your first two *a lot*!!!! I mean, how can you call Deerskin YA? Talk about hardcore!

    • bell_erin_a says:

      Thumbs up forever for your first two! 😀 Diane Duane's Young Wizards series is also pretty dark (although maybe geared towards a slightly older audience, since all of the sciencey/magic stuff went way over my head not that I understand all of it even now…).

  36. markiscool says:

    ive been waiting for you to read this chapter <3
    and by the way your as always still not prepared. You will never be prepared. You will finish the entire seris and still never be prepared.

    • The Queen of Harts says:

      I've read the whole series and part of me STILL is not prepared.

      Oh Suzanne Collins, why do you torture us so?

      • bell_erin_a says:

        Adding to that:
        Oh Mark, why do you torture us with your unpreparedness?! I'm not prepared for it!

  37. IsabelArcher2 says:

    I do have to say that I guessed this happening from the first mention of the Quarter Quell. It just seemed like too perfect of an opportunity to get rid of Katniss. I didn’t like the book less for it, though. Sometimes I predict twists correctly, and sometimes I don’t. I recognize that luck is a large part of the twist-guessing-game.

  38. Gembird says:

    Here is a representation of my reaction to this chapter:




    End transmission.

  39. ravendaine says:

    The Quarter Quell sticks out in my mind so much that I forgot some of the other stuff from this book happened! WHY DOES THIS BOOK MAKE EVERYTHING TERRIBLE???

  40. markiscool says:

    ive been waiting for you to read this chapter <3

  41. RainaWeather says:

    I wonder how many other districts just have one victor.

  42. Karen says:

    😛 And you thought this book was going to be all about the Victory Tour. haha.

    I kind of love how Collins takes all of your expectations for this book and is like "LOL. NO"

    • LOL yeah…every time he mentioned it being about the Victory Tour I was like "Oh Mark….you just don't even know…"

      Collins laughs in the face of her readers. She's essentially saying, on every page, "You think you can handle this? YOU CAN'T. HAH."

  43. lebeaumonde says:

    I feel like this isn't a rehash of The Hunger Games at all 🙁
    Not only is going back to the games a logical turn of events considering, but the games are new and different every year. I think these games will be just as terrifying/entertaining as the 74th.

    • shortstack930 says:

      I agree and it will also be completely different because Katniss herself is a very different person from who she was at the beginning of the first Hunger Games. And her relationship with both Peeta and Haymitch is also very different.

  44. Katherine says:

    I'm actually kind of glad that this is your reaction, even if that reaction is sheer horror. I thought you might be annoyed at the apparent recycling of a plot element.

  45. ladylarla says:

    the last sentence, just augh, i read it and I kid you not an earthquake hit and the cat fell off my lap. The earth is not happy about this, the earth is not prepared. How is it after all this still not prepared.

    Does this mean she has to marry Peeta and then compete against him? Because if thats the case it is fucked up. Well face it the whole thing is but still ….really!?

    • notemily says:

      I was just saying something about that. Is the marriage just pointless now? Because if she competes against Peeta, they can't both win, since the Capitol would never let two people win ever again. But if she competes against Haymitch, she MIGHT have a chance of surviving to be married to Peeta, but it's still pretty long odds. The odds are not in her favor 🙁

  46. bookling says:


    <img src=""&gt;


    <img src=""&gt;

    <img src=""&gt;

    FUCK YOU SO MUCH. As far as the Quarter Quells being planned – who knows if that's true. It could be, but it could just be another Captiol lie. It doesn't really matter, because either way it's SO FUCKING SHITTY. And the worst part is you never see it coming, because you think Katniss is SAFE at this point! Ugh.

  47. Mauve_Avenger says:

    When you think about it, though, the Capitol is actually taking a pretty big risk in forcing Katniss to compete again. It is an attempt to punish her, for sure, but I can't see how this isn't going to add a lot more fuel to the fire.

    The Hunger Games seem to be something that almost everyone watches on TV, so people are likely to have a rough idea about the number of living Victors and their district, age, and gender distribution. The media has probably stressed pretty heavily that Peeta and Katniss are two of only three District 12 Victors, so it'd be especially fresh on everyone's minds that Katniss is the only female Victor for her district.

    It probably wouldn't be too difficult for the people of the rebellious districts to do the math and realize that the rules are targeting Katniss specifically, so the Capitol has to accurately judge whether Katniss is more dangerous alive than the districts are with her dead. Because, from the Capitol's perspective at least, the last thing the districts need is a martyr figure.

    • syntheticjesso says:

      See, but the way they played it up that it was all planned 75 years ago, they have that fig leaf of "Oh, how could we have known???? How traaaaaaagic!" to hide behind. The Capitol folks will buy that completely, the non-rebellious districts will buy it, and the rest will probably be split on whether or not they believe it.

    • theupsides says:

      This is a good comment and you should feel good!

  48. DragonTickler says:

    I was just waiting for you to get to this chapter. Also Haymitch had to last through 47 deaths, not 49.

  49. forthejokes says:

    I was waiting for you to get up to this part. I don't think anyone was prepared for this part. That being said, you're still not prepared.

    And this is too convenient – one of the easiest ways to get rid of Katniss that the Capitol could think of. But it's one of the best plot twists EVAR, so I can forgive Collins.

  50. Allyson says:

    Oh I have been waiting for you to get to this chapter since you started this book!! I totally didn’t see her having to go back but as soon as i read it, I was
    like “now THAT’S a plot twist!”

  51. booksinbulk says:

    Mark, I was seriously more excited for you to get to this chapter than anything. I had so much to say and couldn't!

    It's hard to say if the Quarter Quell was planned specifically for Katniss, although it's RIDICULOUSLY convenient. What makes it even more "perfect" for the capitol is the fact that Katniss and Peeta even won the last Hunger Games to begin with. If they had both died, and the normal "one Victor" thing occurred (most likely being a Career), what would have happened if Haymitch was still the only victor district 12 had? This Quarter Quell's "theme" suddenly wouldn't work. Would they simply throw Haymitch in there and do a normal Reaping for the girl tribute? ANSWERS. I NEED THEM. I guess the designers (if this really was what this Quell was planned to be and not a set up) assumed that 75 years after the Games start, each district would have a substantial group to choose from? Sigh.

    It's at this point I need to start re-reading so I remember what's going on and don't spoil. This Quarter Quell revelation stuck out so much in my head, the rest of the story is one big blend into Mockingjay!

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      Appropriate .gif is appropriate for me; for some reason — probably just the wedding dresses and the fact that The Big Bang had just aired when I read it — there was a moment in this chapter and extending for the next couple where Katniss was Amy Pond in my head.

    • qwopisinthemailbox says:


  52. The Queen of Harts says:

    Oh Mark – I so wanted to warn you, but warning involves spoiling, and that is a No-No.

    I was SO blindsided by this revelation. I think I stared at the last line of the chapter like this :O for a good long time. Then I dove right back in and devoured the rest of the book (because I don't have any self-restraint at all when it comes to books).

    Poor, poor Katniss. I cannot imagine how very terrifying this was for her – I freaked out, and I wasn't in a life-or-death situation; I was just sitting on my couch reading a book. It is a most terrible thing.

    I think this calls for the Instant No Button:


  53. potlid007 says:

    So here we are just chillin, taking a breather
    <img src="; border="0" alt="scrubs gif Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Scrubs GIF Pictures, Images and Photos"/>
    <img src="; border="0" alt="scrubs Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  54. andreah1234 says:

    Fuck. Just fuck. I wasn't prepared either.

    Kat is going back. To the arena. To might getting killed. Great, just great, peachy. Wonder how Peeta and Gale will feel. And Kat's mom and Prim. Haymitch, Cinna and pretty much every single one that cares for her in any way. SUPER. Just when I thought the Capitol could not be any more fucked up, the manage to top-themselfs. Shit is real. And it's about to get even more real. FUN. NOT. D: D: D: D: D:

  55. Arthur says:

    crying forever why why why

  56. affableevil says:

    I don't have much to say about how TOTALLY TERRIBLY AWFUL AND FUCKED UP this whole thing is, but I definitely figured that this would be relevant to everyone's interests here, and maybe even provide everyone some new gifs with which they can express HOW AWFUL THIS IS:

    (Make sure to watch the video as it will explain all ;))

  57. korat97 says:

    oh crap.
    well, I bet this is going to be an interesting hunger game.

  58. BradSmith5 says:

    Oh man, I haven't seen a twist this good since "Rocky 2!" I thought for sure that movie would be about Balboa's family life for two hours then BAM––he gets a rematch with the exact same guy he fought last time! And how about the sequel to "Die Hard?" Terrorists showing up on Christmas and being thwarted again was the very LAST thing I was expecting!

    Bravo, Collins! Your imagination flourishes without end! How clever you are to waste our time with that District 13 plot; it didn't intrigue anyone in the least! Keep it up, and your books just might rise to the pinnacle of creativity right along with "Jaws 3-D" and "Friday the Thirteenth!"

    • potlid007 says:

      well, at least it isn't as bad as Battle Royale 2…yet….

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Ha,ha,ha. That bad? But you guys seem to love the first!

        And just to be fair, sometimes doing the same thing again with a twist works. Only instead of the liquid metal T-1000 we could get Haymitch! And…whatever it is that he did to win last time!

        • potlid007 says:

          oh, you have absolutely no idea. Where Battle Royale was interesting, amusing, and absolutely wonderful, Battle Royale 2 somehow turned the same plot into the worst movie of all time.

          hey, maybe the entire thing will just be Haymitch drinking in the arena and not giving a fuck. can he go in with Katniss instead of Peeta?

    • Elise says:

      defensive comments are defen(spoilers!!!)sive

    • Mimi says:

      I felt that way, too, and I thought it was a really cheap escape—especially when there's so many places Collins could take the plot—and I pretty much gave up on the book for a few days. Not sure if you've read the rest of the book or not, but it was not at all expected. To me, anyway.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        I haven't read any further than this chapter. I can see why the thought of going through the entire Hunger Games process might put you off for a while, though. Shoot––do we even have TIME to fit another one in this book?

    • _thirty2flavors says:

      I haven't read Catching Fire, because I was sort of unimpressed with Hunger Games, so before deciding to read I found out what the basic plot was, and once I heard Katniss got chosen for the Hunger Games again I was like

      <img src=""&gt;

      Nope, sorry. There are a number of things I've seen people speculate Catching Fire might be about that IMO would sound more compelling than Hunger Games Round 2.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Yeah, I don't see anything about this on the book jacket's description. The publishers must have feared that everyone would take the first ice-door out of the glacier if they knew!

    • Sharon says:

      Well I agree with you, this repetitive storyline is cheap and boring.

      If this book launches full into the hunger games again and the District 13 plot is resolved by the time Katniss comes out victorious (yet again), then I will just give up with this series.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Well, I hope we're both wrong. The people who read ahead must by DYING to tell us. I'm sure someday Mark will review a book that I think is great, and then I'LL be the one shouting at my monitor "It gets better you guys! I JUST CAN'T TELL YOU YET AAAAAAAARGH!" 😉

    • IsabelArcher2 says:

      Wow. -10, eh? People must really hate opposing opinions. Although, the presentation of your argument could use some refinement and less… caustic sarcasm? Perhaps you could just add daggers? Or a laser katana? Still, I give you +1, because it's dumb to downvote something just because you don't agree with it.

      • Openattheclose says:

        This. You are awesome.

      • Pan says:

        The downvoters are amazing. I love the fact, that every "OMG, NOT PREPARED!!!" and the 20th repetition of the same gif is like +2 and every comment, that is even remotely critical is -27465942.

        (Which means, that I can't upvote this. I couldn't agree more with it, but no one will find it, if it is hidden among the other 0 or +1 comments. Sry! But in a better world, I'd totally do so!)

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Numbers are nothing, Isabel; words are the things that I treasure most. I would rather read a thousand comments telling me why I'm being a fool, than to see just a plus or minus next to my name.

        I mean, c'mon, it's not too hard: "Hey, Brad! You are basing these wild judgments on less than a page of text! Calm down, bro! Love, <COMMENTER'S NAME HERE>."

        I will be sure to add laser katanas in my comments tomorrow, as you suggested! And tone down the sarcasm, I guess…. :'(

        • IsabelArcher2 says:

          Haha, well honestly, I love sarcasm and opposing viewpoints. As I've said many times before, my favorite part about these reviews is that there is more objective discussion, rather than blind adoration or hatred. Furthermore, the only post of yours that I have had any real issue with was the one from yesterday when you said:

          Please get well soon Mark; your sprained ankle must be activating some sort of suspense-building hormone in your body.

          I felt that this implied that there must be something wrong with anyone who could find this part of the book suspenseful. Even if I don't like a particular book, I don't think people are wrong for liking it. But other than that instance, I really do enjoy reading your posts, mostly for the wit. And the katanas. Remember the katanas.

        • monkeybutter says:

          I have to use pluses for people I can't respond to because of SPOILERS. Minuses are for spoilers which I also can't respond to. Otherwise, you'll hear from me! And I've thwarted your plot to have a negative pee score! I'm glad you finally got the book, your sarcasm was missed.

          Personally, I was looking for a "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in" gif, but gave up.

          • BradSmith5 says:

            HAha,ha. Yeah, I just wanted that bright red exclamation mark icon! It looked so cool! You've spoiled my plans again, Monkeybutter! 😉 😉 😉 😉

    • Ida says:

      Hey speak for yourself. I find the District 13 Plot very intriguing.:P

      Anyway. Best plot twist yet in the series Y/Y? I even predicted this when we first learned about the choosing of tributes for the Quarter Quells, and I was still chocked by the end of this chapter. I just thought I was making a wild guess when I thought of it.

  59. warmouth says:

    Holy crap uprising's all over the place. It's also a good way to help us learn more about the Districts, the shortages reflecting what they do.

    <img src=""&gt;

    I hear District 9 specializes in high tech weaponry and the food cat shortage is completely unrelated to the rebellion.

    Haymitch,you are so badass.

    <img src=""&gt;
    It's a scientific fact Haymitch fights himself because Haymitch is the only who can beat Haymitch

    The twist at the end though.

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

  60. Randomcheeses says:

    Well, how convenient for Snow.

  61. Austin says:

    I've been waiting for you to review this chapter since I finished Catching Fire. It's been said before and will be said again: you are not prepared.

  62. Saber says:

    Anyone else have ideas on why district 4, a career district, rebelled first?

    • Penquin47 says:

      Just because you volunteer doesn't mean you and your family and friends can't hate the Games and everything they stand for. For all we know, District 4 is a Career District as a giant FUCK YOU at the Capitol and their "rules" about the lack of allowable training for their tributes.

  63. momigrator says:

    My first reaction at the last paragraph was "WHAAAAAAAAAAT!?" then, "No, I don't want to see the games again, ughhhhhh" then I had a revelation. What if, all the tributes from the rebelling districts end up joining forces with Katniss and take down the rest of the tributes and therefore encourage there comrades on the outside to do the same? That would be pretty bad ass. Now I can't wait to read the next games even though I was initially against the idea. 😀

    Also, double reviews! YEAYAH! Now I can read MOAR!

  64. thefbm says:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    So you're saying that the Capitol has ideas lined up for centuries to come….
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    So unprepared Collins……

  65. Lumosnox says:

    This sent CHILLS down my back. I actually had been pretty bored with the story so far; love triangle hanging out in Districk 12 blah blah blah who cares– THIS is where the story really starts to pick up, Mark. If you thought it was intense before… well oh my god, you are not prepared.

  66. Liz says:

    I've been waiting for you to get to this chapter! I AM SO EXCITED.

  67. Gabbie says:

    Mark, you know that thing we kept saying you were unprepared for?
    Yeah, this is kinda it.

  68. SusanBones says:

    I have been waiting for you to get to this chapter. I had always assumed that Katniss would go back to do another Hunger game. And to tell the truth, I was really surprised that so many people didn't predict it. What other way could Snow have punished her than to get her into another game.

    • spectralbovine says:

      I was thinking that he would send Prim into the Games, forcing Katniss to mentor her to keep her alive. But when I considered that idea, I wasn't even thinking it would be a Snow-fix, just a terrible turn of events.

      After all, why was Prim's name drawn in the first chapter? Fate? That's what started this whole thing.

  69. Will says:

    I'll say it again: Fuck you, Snow.

  70. FantasyFan5 says:

    I’m so glad I refreshed the page now! But then I realized what chapter this was, and had a mixed reaction of, “YES! now he knows!” and “oh no…now he knows…and he won’t read another chapter until tomorrow…”

    If you want to read another chapter tonight, we so won’t hold it against you 🙂

  71. Hotaru-hime says:


  72. spectralbovine says:

    In the twelfth chapter of Catching Fire, fuck everything.
    Haaaa. This is the chapter we've all been waiting for you to get to!!

    No. Oh no. No. NO.

    I can’t. I just can’t. The Games were designed decades ago? Or just the Quarter Quells? This is so convenient. President Snow had to have fixed this or manipulated the results.
    Purportedly, the Quarter Quells were all put in those envelopes when the Hunger Games were devised (how many years did they plan ahead??), but, yeah, there's definitely a suspicion of shenanigans. MOST ELABORATE ASSASSINATION PLOT SINCE THE TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT??

    I was never, ever prepared.
    One of the craziest surprises in a series FULL of crazy surprises.

    As I read the second book, I wondered whether we would see the Hunger Games again in the series. I thought, ooh, we would see them from the mentor side, with Katniss mentoring someone from District 12, maybe Prim, and that would be cool. I also had no clue what the third book was about, so when this happened, I thought, AHA, the third book will be all about Katniss's second time in the Hunger Games! And maybe this time she'll go in with HAYMITCH. HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE?

    I, like you, was not prepared.

  73. Jonathan says:

    "Collins is clinging pretty hard to the reality TV angle of this story and the parallel couldn’t be more poignant in terms of the social landscape of American pop culture. Obviously, here it is taken to its logical extreme, but the idea of voting on someone else’s marriage isn’t exactly a foreign concept to a lot of people, is it?"

    Yeah, uh, except that no one in America ever goes on a reality TV show against their will? That's a pretty massive distinction, right?

    • Mimi says:

      What about all these reality TV shows that incorporate the children of stars? They don't exactly have a choice in the matter. Or what about Cops? I don't know of many people who would willingly participate in that. Obviously there are differences between a reality TV show about life and one about killing others for entertainment, but it's not as big a stretch when you really start thinking about it.

      That was my favorite part about these books. Even some of the wildest progressions of society don't seem all that unbelievable.

  74. Annalebanana says:

    Ah! This chapter! No joke, I started hyperventilating and crying when I read this the first time. Yeah, I get really involved in books…. :$ Anyway, I find it interesting that Quell means to squash a rebellion, and the purpose of this quell (because I think Snow changed what was actually supposed to happen, I mean what are the odds??) is to do exactly that. Not only does it have the potential to kill the symbol of the rebellion, it also kills the people looked up to most in the districts. The victors are people who have already "beaten" the capitol, and they are a symbol to the people, and by killing of the victors, the Capitol is pretty much just saying that no one is safe and they can to whatever the hell they want.

    I don't really see this game as a rehash, though, because I think it really ties in with the theme that Katniss is only a pawn in everyone else's game, even the people she trusts. She has to relive her experiences, and this time the games will be much more intense, because they are victors and all. Crazy stuff, Collins. Is there a reward for most shocking books I have ever read?

    • Annalebanana says:

      Oh, and the Capitol is more stupid than they think! Everyone knows martyrs are better than living people in inciting rebellion. I don't know why they think this is going to work.

  75. spectralbovine says:

    There are so many little things in the books that show how much Collins actually planned out the series from the get-go. SO MUCH WIN.

  76. trash_addict says:

    This is the point where if I was Katniss I probably would have gone completely off the deep end.

    • bell_erin_a says:

      AGREED. Although I wouldn't have lasted 10 minutes into the first Games, so this is a moot point. =/

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        Yep. Reading the original comment, I was thinking I probably would've died when Clove threw that knife after killing the boy from District 9. But then again, I probably wouldn't have raced into the Cornucopia at all. I'd grab that loaf of bread and bolt. And then I most likely would have tripped into a well of carnivorous spiders or something.

  77. vampira2468 says:

    If I was Katniss, I would detest being in bed with things going on outside.

    Least Cinna isn't blind to the truth like the others are, though it was how they were raised and where they are from.

    It is also strange to read how much the city cares more about Katniss's wedding than the revolts . But this is due more to the government hiding this information. They dont want that nasty bit to be seen

    At first I thought her going into the games again was a tad much, but reading it a second time and now a third, love the idea.

  78. mugglemomof2 says:

    "I was never, ever prepared."

    We told you!!!!!!!!
    I think the was where I literally shit myself reading this book- had you told me we were getting another book with katniss fighting for her life in the games again, I would have told you you were crazy!

  79. kajacana says:

    When I read Catching Fire, I couldn't have predicted this turn of events if you'd SHOWN it to me in CHAPTER ONE and said "HEY THIS IS WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN." Like… this was the one thing that I felt so confident COULD NOT HAPPEN, that it wasn't even on my radar of possible twists. It made me feel sick and terrified because… seriously… AGAIN?

  80. syntheticjesso says:

    I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS CHAPTER. I couldn't even comment on the previous chapters because all I wanted to say was YOU ARE THE LEAST PREPARED PERSON ON THE EARTH and it just seemed redundant to say that in every post.

    When I first read this, I was shocked. I had been wondering where the book was going, much like you, and then this smacked me right in the face.

    And you know what? You still aren't prepared, even if you think you are.

  81. Phoebe says:

    DOUBLE POST!!! plus, best sentence EVER! actually, my FAVE

  82. Phoebe says:

    Plus, somebody wondered many, many chapters ago about "wouldnt it be cool if they had a Hunger Games All Star round" or something like that. I remember it was the highest rated comment that day, which was probably because everyone who had read the book was thinking "YES"
    whoever you were, thumbs up!

    • syntheticjesso says:

      I remember that comment, and I voted it up for EXACTLY that reason. I was bursting at the seams waiting for this chapter to get here.

  83. Phoebe says:

    Also, at this point i totally thought Peeta was going to die, because there was NO WAY they would ever let two people win the games again, and i had actually forgotten about haymitch, so i just thought it would be peeta.

  84. harbingeralice says:

    I had your exact reaction. I have not resumed reading since I got to this part. I cannot handle it. In any way. I need to read a few happy books to build up my tolerance for this.

  85. theanagrace says:

    Okokok, so I went to see Black Swan tonight (awesome, but also awesomely effed up), and there was a trailer for a movie called Sucker Punch. The byline is 'You will be unprepared', and I immediately thought of Mark Reads. 😛
    Seriously though, that movie looks like it could be awesome, as long as the female protagonists can be strong and sexy without being slutty and objectified. There's hope, but also great potential for disapointment.
    /off topic crazy rant

  86. Sarah says:

    Oh god, ever since I read this chapter a few days ago (I'm a speed reader, and I read them all back to back while screaming at my boyfriend to leave me alone I'M 93% DONE* OKAY SHUT THE FUCK UP SO CLOOOSE) I have been waiting for you to get here. Literally, my first thought was "No fucking way" and then, "Mark is gonna have an epic shitfit."

    *Favorite thing about the Kindle: percentage of the book I have read? Fuck yeah.

  87. Revolution64 says:

    Yep. Not prepared. At all.

  88. KatPee says:

    I cried like a baby when I read this part.
    Next to a pool.
    On a tropical island.
    In front of LOTS of people!
    I thought it was so mean of Collins to put her through that again.
    Poor Katniss. 🙁

    PS I hate snow. He is completely evil and now all I keep seeing is him carefully opening the yellow envelope to change it… Or maybe opening ALL the envelopes til he found one that said what he wanted and then swapping it around. Either way this was NOT a coincedence!

  89. dvtd2hp says:

    lol… I had such a hard time not saying anything out loud about this and what's coming next, then i remembered, DUH, in a room alone with my computer, who's gonna hear me?

    but now, i have sooooo many things to say, but i'm fighting my fingers on the keyboard. I have a really hard time knowing what's coming up, because the site that i read this on, while free (which is great) didn't have chapters marked, (which is NOT so great). so i don't know where the cut offs are for the chapters. 🙁 Now, with that being said….

    If we are shocked and horrified by this turn of events as a reader, just imagine what it would be like to actually get that news about yourself. Were i Katniss, i would probably just go lay on the train tracks and wait for the next scheduled arrival/departure. How does your psyche survive those atrocities twice?! apparently, they will never get to leave this behind. tears forever.

  90. Ninn says:

    Lol I know, right?! I love this series; it's sooo amazing!

    And just so you know, today is my birthday and that gif at the end totally made my day. Love your reviews, Mark.

  91. herpestidae says:

    Er… I'm slightly confused here. How was this a spoiler?

    Let's see, if I remember the 6 spoiler rules.

    I did not say anything about the challenges that will be faced in the arena.

    Mark knows that Katniss will enter the arena. I did not say anything about anything or anyone else who would be there.

    I said "Wait till you see the arena." Not that any specific moment in the book was important to the contents of the arena, or anything of the sort. Only that he will see an arena, something that was established in the previous book, and he should know. I also said that it would be fucked up, something that he should also know, what with things like the werewolves from the last book. I didn't say anything specific about what was in the arena.
    I didn't do any character defense or mention something about a past book.

    And in general, I just said that something was fucked up. I said nothing about what chapter the fucked-upness happens in, Who it happens to, what it entails, or the reasons it was fucked up. Did I miss something?

    Okay, yes I did:

    6) Saying, hinting at, discussing, referring to, or ambiguously cluing me in to anything I have not read yet.

    Sorry Mark.

    You may ridicule me now.

  92. Erica says:

    I loved how Katniss' mom and sister immediately got that she was going back but Katniss was like "lol wut…ohhh ….SHIT"

    +1 for the double review Mark

  93. dolfairy173 says:

    I grieve for your unpreparedness!
    Also a few years back there was a "Married on MySpace" where a couples wedding (the major parts of it anyway) were all voted on by myspace users. It turned out ok for them actually but this part in the book reminded me of that.

  94. Cathy (catd94) says:

    Oh Mark, that gif is unbelievably appropriate
    I remember reading the last part about the Quarter Quell and seriously going
    What in the ever living fuck is going on?!
    & that's pretty much when I knew I was completely unprepared for everything
    shit is so real

  95. kinduh says:

    I'm a librarian at heart. I get super sad/iritated/ my manger comes out when a page corner gets bent and I also tell people to shut their faces while I'm reading cause it's distracting. When I read this section I (siriusly, no joke) YELLED AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS AND SLAMMED MY BOOK ON THE TABLE WHILE IT WAS WIDE OPEN AND BROKE SPINE! My father was sitting in the chair next to me and spilled his drink all over. Welcome to the land of nonpreparedness. It'll make you do baaaaad things.

  96. Fuchsia says:

    I'm just throwing this suggestion out into the ether:

    I'm really enjoying you reading the Hunger Games series. As a born-and-raised anarchist, I've always been obsessed with dystopian literature, and young adult stories in this genre have made a recent surge. I think that you would really enjoy, for Mark Reads or not, the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. I'm almost done with the second book and so far, they explore a lot of themes that you'd be interested in exploring (so trying not to spoil here). Definitely worth checking out.

  97. kelsey says:

    Recently one of the morning shows in Australia had a competition over a few weeks where viewers voted on the cake, wedding dress, makeup and hairstyle, etc. and then they had the wedding live on TV. It really reminded me of the wedding planning in Catching Fire – creepy.

  98. ooohlivia says:

    god god god this is why its my favourite book of the series and aaaaah everything oh the unpreparedness
    I have so many things I want to say but I can't because SPOILERS
    sdlfkajsdlkfj iwtrwertwert fuuuuuuuu

    The dread this filled me with when I first read that Katniss had to go back… like having a boulder thrown at my stomach.

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