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Last time on the childmurder games, the childmurder games concluded with a whimper.

The hovercraft materializes overhead and two ladders drop, only there’s no way I’m letting go of Peeta. I keep one arm around him as I help him up, and we each place a foot on the first rung of the ladder.

This is another little bit where their relationship works. She's helping and concerned about him, not having forced makeouts.

Peeta passes out when they get him into the hovercraft and the doctors grab him so he won't die.

for a moment I forget we’re out of the Games and I see the doctors as just one more threat, one more pack of mutts designed to kill him.

This seems silly. Katniss just never seems that out of control at any point in the games, so her suddenly switching to crazy now comes off as forced. I guess this is sort of a casual retconning, and if you go with it, it works.

Petrified, I lunge for him, but I’m caught and thrust back into another room, and a glass door seals between us. I pound on the glass, screaming my head off. Everyone ignores me except for some Capitol attendant who appears behind me and offers me a beverage.

This is a bit better, but again, the level of it still seems forced, especially when it's a glass door and she can see fine rather than Peeta disappearing out of view.

 Icy cold, filled with orange juice, a straw with a frilly white collar. How wrong it looks in my bloody, filthy hand with its dirt-caked nails and scars. My mouth waters at the smell, but I place it carefully on the floor, not trusting anything so clean and pretty.

Yeah this is just laying it on way too thick. A bit more restraint would have been nice, as the flow of this is decent, it's the over the topness that's an issue.

The doctors are frantic. Eh, really? It's just a bit of blood loss. They have magic science, I'm sure they can handle some blood transfusions.

Katniss thinks about how normally she runs and hides when someone's injured, and how she couldn't understand how family members could stay.

 How often I’ve seen them, ringed around our kitchen table and I thought, Why don’t they leave? Why do they stay to watch?
And now I know. It’s because you have no choice.

Uh but some people do leave and often people can't watch and I'm not sure it's really fair to say those people just didn't really love their family member. Most of the time the reason they stay in the area is so they'll know if anything happens or are on hand to comfort the person/be with them when they die, which doesn't apply here.

Wild eyes, hollow cheeks, my hair in a tangled mat. Rabid. Feral. Mad. 

So Katniss has repeatedly said her hair is braided and even washed and rebraided it. So this seems more melodrama.

Also does anyone else think it's a bit weird that not only tangled hair but hollow cheeks somehow mean insane and frothing?

Then they land and they're taking Peeta away so she starts trying to break through the glass again, and Katniss I know I complained about your lack of reaction before but suddenly going OOC is not an improvement. You're lucid enough to be commenting on your appearance, trying using the power of human speech or just generally calming down a bit.

She thinks she sees Effie for a second but someone knocks her out finally. I'm not sure why they even waited so long.

Katniss wakes up with tubes of her own in her and she's strapped down to a bed. Okay, now is time for thrashing and screaming. But I guess there's still plenty of dope in her system because she just looks at her now neatly manicured nails and silky skin, and then she realizes her hearing is fixed, and then she starts trying to get loose but luckily that's when the red-haired victim girl arrives because it's always, always her.

I mean I guess you could say that maybe she's volunteering for duty with Katniss, but letting the traitors who hate you organize their own schedule is yet another incredibly stupid thing. And if the capital knows Katniss likes her it'd make more sense for her to disappear.

Katniss asks if Peeta made it.

She gives me a nod, and as she slips a spoon into my hand, I feel the pressure of friendship.

I think this is supposed to be part of the everyone loves Katniss thing, but I really think it's that Katniss is desperate for any friend and even more desperate to believe she's not hated by the girl.

Katniss really doesn't have much in the way of friends, if you think about it. At home she's got Gale and the only other person who's decent to her is Cinna.

Her breakfast is just a bit of broth and applesauce, and she realizes she feels like she hasn't eaten in quite some time and must have been out a while. She explains that there's normally a several day lag between the games ending and the winner being presented, which I guess addresses the issue of that Battle Royale page somewhat.

so that they can put the starving, wounded, mess of a person back together again

But the point of the page wasn't that the girl was hungry or injured, it was that she had cracked. They can stitch someone back up, but but I'm not sure how much they can do about the mental trauma. Luckily Katniss doesn't seem to have any.

She decides she wants out and starts wiggling, so someone hits the dope button and she's knocked out again.

This repeats for a while and she thinks she hears someone from her district yelling and feels like someone's watching over her, and eh so what? Anyway, eventually she wakes up and she's no longer tied down or anything.

 I start to sit up but am arrested by the sight of my hands. The skin’s perfection, smooth and glowing. Not only are the scars from the arena gone, but those accumulated over years of hunting have vanished without a trace. My forehead feels like satin, and when I try to find the burn on my calf, there’s nothing.

Stop being a sue, Katniss.

You know what'd have been a nice way to deal with this? Body horror. All these parts of her life are gone. And they probably wouldn't stop there, her skin is a different color because they bleached/tanned it in accordance with fashion, her hair is curled or straight when it shouldn't be, etc. I don't even have that many scars, and if I woke up to them being gone I would not be happy about it.

 Lying at the foot of the bed is an outfit that makes me flinch. It’s what all of us tributes wore in the arena. I stare at it as if it had teeth

Hey, kind of good way to show she really is still affected by what happened.

I’m dressed in less than a minute

Or not.

Also, going back to my point about mental trauma, even if Katniss is a sociopath who can just shrug this off, plenty of kids are going to have breakdowns here. If the idea is having someone presentable, she should either be doped to the gills first or they should go the easy route of removing everything that reminds kids of the arena so they can start repressing everything.

She leaves her room and calls for Peeta.

I hear my name in response, but it’s not his voice. It’s a voice that provokes first irritation and then eagerness. Effie.

God damn it book.

She rushes over to hug Haymitch.

Effie’s somewhat teary and keeps patting my hair and talking about how she told everyone we were pearls. 

God damn it book.

Look, the "character development" here is "Effie's perky and should be hated" going to "Effie's perky but she's basically a small stupid child so I guess we make allowances".

She asks about Peeta.

“He’s fine. Only they want to do your reunion live on air at the ceremony,” says Haymitch.
“Oh. That’s all,” I say. The awful moment of thinking Peeta’s dead again passes. “I guess I’d want to see that myself.”

Oh my god Katniss stop being such a sociopath. You don't even make an interesting one. Did you not hear what he just said! They won't let you see someone you care about because they want to watch it themselves.

Katniss has a flash of oh hey, everyone but us is dead, and it makes her feel slightly bad.

This is not how to write characters.

When the elevator doors open, Venia, Flavius, and Octavia engulf me, talking so quickly and ecstatically I can’t make out their words. The sentiment is clear though. They are truly thrilled to see me and I’m happy to see them, too, although not like I was to see Cinna. It’s more in the way one might be glad to see an affectionate trio of pets at the end of a particularly difficult day.

Those are the people who did the original body waxing and stuff. They got dehumanized then so this isn't really anything new, but the way she keeps making people not responsible for their actions really bothers me.

They're impressed because apparently she got a "full body polish" which by implication I guess even they don't have.

But when I look at my naked body in the mirror, all I can see is how skinny I am. I mean, I’m sure I was worse when I came out of the arena, but I can easily count my ribs.

...you couldn't count your ribs before? Look, I realize society has many unreasonable standards for women, and I'm not going to say you're fat if you can't count ribs, but you aren't exactly starving either.

They chatter so continuously that I barely have to reply, which is good, since I don’t feel very talkative. It’s funny, because even though they’re rattling on about the Games, it’s all about where they were or what they were doing or how they felt when a specific event occurred. “I was still in bed!” “I had just had my eyebrows dyed!” “I swear I nearly fainted!” Everything is about them, not the dying boys and girls in the arena.

Hey, it's more how-people-function fail.

So hey everyone, what were you doing on 9/11?


See it turns out that when something major, especially something traumatic, happens, your brain figures it's a good idea to pay really close attention to what's going on around you. In contrast, how many people remember what they were doing when they found out somebody won American Idol? In this case, chattering about events would actually imply they were just viewers. Their behavior here implies they're actually surprisingly affected by the games in a way that's not quite in line with their enjoyment, although it does have a certain overlap with people watching horror movies.

Ironically, this kind of reaction-policing is what I'd expect from the capital people, who haven't been in bad situations and so don't realize how people react. Katniss, in contrast, should know. She should remember exactly where she was when she found out her dad died, for example. She should have seen a lot of conversation for the next several days about where were you when you heard. She'd probably see a lot of other "inappropriate" grieving, with some of the people blaming anyone and everyone for what happened, some people acting like nothing had happened, etc.

We don’t wallow around in the Games this way in District 12. We grit our teeth and watch because we must and try to get back to business as soon as possible when they’re over.

Yeah that's really not how it goes. Does she seriously expect the families of the people whose kids are there don't remember what happened when their kid was murdered on television?

 To keep from hating the prep team, I effectively tune out most of what they’re saying.

WHY? If it's a reason to hate them, hate them. If it isn't, why do you have to tune it out?

Anyway then CINNA THE MOST WONDERFULEST PERSON IN THE WORLD arrives with her new dress.

 I immediately notice the padding over my breasts, adding curves that hunger has stolen from my body. My hands go to my chest and I frown.

>Implying Katniss had curves before.

Starvation: not actually that hot. It'd be entirely possible Katniss hadn't even hit puberty, honestly. I was sort of tempted to mention how she was yet another heroine somehow running around without a period, but she may have never had one, and even if she started puberty at age eleven she's not going to have a huge chest.

And what exactly is wrong with the padding, exactly? God knows it's not that you don't want them covering up what happened to you, so I can only assume it's more fake pretty is evil stuff.

“But the Gamemakers wanted to alter you surgically. Haymitch had a huge fight with them over it. This was the compromise.”

Pumping her full of the fat she lost isn't exactly altering surgically, and I assume with magic science it's all the same.

Also even with magic science, breast surgery is pretty major and I don't think she'd recover from it that fast.

Also Katniss seems to be treating this as "oh ew fake pretty, glad I dodged that" and not OH MY GOD THEY WERE GOING TO DO MAJOR SURGERY TO CHANGE MY BODY WITHOUT ME EVEN KNOWING SERIOUSLY THAT'S FUCKED UP.

Katniss is too busy being pleased with her dress, of course.

I am still the “girl on fire.” The sheer fabric softly glows. Even the slight movement in the air sends a ripple up my body. By comparison, the chariot costume seems garish, the interview dress too contrived. In this dress, I give the illusion of wearing candlelight.

But those other people, man, how screwed up are their priorities, right? Right?

 Without heels, you can see my true stature. I look, very simply, like a girl. A young one. Fourteen at the most. Innocent. 

I'm not sure what's creepier here, that they're dressing her to look like a little kid or that the bit about "true stature" implies she normally looks infantile without deliberate manipulation in the other direction.

So now Peeta's a pedo too. (No, that it's a slight age difference doesn't change she apparently barely even looks teenaged. And it's even worse, because there's no way in hell that in her district fourteen year olds have done more than just start puberty.) Hey book, can you make this more fucked up? I bet you can.

She asks about it and he says he figured Peeta would like it, which thank god she says means he's implying it's for the capital's sake for some reason.

Anyway, they're doing the ceremony slightly differently this time and it doesn't much matter, and then Haymitch looks her over and says she should give him a hug.

Thankfully we again dodge creepy and it's so he can tell her not to fuck up.

You’re in trouble. Word is the Capitol’s furious about you showing them up in the arena. The one thing they can’t stand is being laughed at and they’re the joke of Panem

This seems like the same as the flower business. What she did was not actually that shocking and awesome. If they hadn't been promised they could go together, and pulled this of their own accord, maybe. But they were told they could and the suicide after was obviously a spur of the moment decision.

Your only defense can be you were so madly in love you weren’t responsible for your actions.

I can't imagine anyone could care why she did something that's causing them shit, she's still fucked things up for them.

It’s so much worse than being hunted in the arena. There, I could only die. End of story. But out here Prim, my mother, Gale, the people of District 12, everyone I care about back home could be punished if I can’t pull off the girl-driven-crazy-by-love scenario Haymitch has suggested.

Katniss, there was absolutely nothing stopping them from carpet bombing your district when you were in the arena either, and that didn't stop you from your occasional gesture of unimpressive defiance.

Funny, in the arena, when I poured out those berries, I was only thinking of outsmarting the Gamemakers, not how my actions would reflect on the Capitol. But the Hunger Games are their weapon and you are not supposed to be able to defeat it. 


Shut up about how special her act of not particularly defiant defiance was. I was advocating suicide this entire time, back when it actually mattered.

 But what was it Haymitch said when I asked if he had told Peeta the situation? That he had to pretend to be desperately in love?
“Don’t have to. He’s already there.”
Already thinking ahead of me in the Games again and well aware of the danger we’re in? Or . . . already desperately in love? I don’t know. 


Once again she says she has no time to think about it.

 And right now, the most dangerous part of the Hunger Games is about to begin.

And once again there's the nonsensical insistence that THIS is the worst thing ever. No it's not. If they're pissed off, they're kill you or cut out your tongue. There were way worse things that happened during the games, some of which you did to other people.

At last, though, it's the final chapter.

Effie’s introduced. How long she’s waited for this moment. I hope she’s able to enjoy it because as misguided as Effie can be, she has a very keen instinct about certain things and must at least suspect we’re in trouble.

That's kind of decent, even if it is a backhanded compliment.

Incidentally, hey, it's more animals rather than thinking things. Maybe Effie has lived her whole fucking life like this and has done this thing where she learns with her human brain.

But at least she knows why she's dressed like a little girl, it's to make her act more convincing.

But his smile is the same whether in mud or in the Capitol and when I see it, I take about three steps and fling myself into his arms. He staggers back, almost losing his balance, and that’s when I realize the slim, metal contraption in his hand is some kind of cane. He rights himself and we just cling to each other while the audience goes insane. He’s kissing me and all the time I’m thinking, Do you know? Do you know how much danger we’re in?After about ten minutes of this, Caesar Flickerman taps on his shoulder to continue the show, and Peeta just pushes him aside without even glancing at him. 

And it's a return to the squicky, squicky romance. Eurg, ten minutes of that.

Also, Peeta apparently isn't dressed like a kid. I don't like you, book.

They have a single loveseat to sit on.

I sit so close to Peeta that I’m practically on his lap, but one look from Haymitch tells me it isn’t enough. Kicking off my sandals, I tuck my feet to the side and lean my head against Peeta’s shoulder. His arm goes around me

On the brighter side, the book has managed to distract me somewhat from the romance squick with the squick of how she's now a fragile little girl needing to be protected by her boyfriend.

Portia’s put him in long black pants. No sandals, either, but a pair of sturdy black boots he keeps solidly planted on the stage. I wish Cinna had given me a similar outfit, I feel so vulnerable in this flimsy dress.

So he's dressed as the big strong man and she's the delicate little girl. See, I knew the book could make it worse.

Anyway, now it's on to the next horrible thing, they have to rewatch the games. For three hours. While their reactions in turn are getting televised. Katniss has a moment of frankly retconny upset because she doesn't want to see people die again, instead of that specifically she doesn't want to see Rue die, as Rue was the only one she saw that she cared much about.

She wonders how past victors handled it.

I think back to earlier years . . . some are triumphant, pumping their fists in the air, beating their chests. Most just seem stunned.

I think a lot of kids, no matter how well coached, would be crying or throwing up or running unless, again, very heavily doped up by this point.

All I know is that the only thing keeping me on this love seat is Peeta — his arm around my shoulder, his other hand claimed by both of mine. Of course, the previous victors didn’t have the Capitol looking for a way to destroy them.

...right, Katniss, yes clearly that and not a three hour recap on what should have been the most traumatizing period of your life is what's most upsetting. Those other kids got off so easy.

Whoever puts together the highlights has to choose what sort of story to tell.

This is interesting and a bit of a return to the idea of reality TV and a narrative, but it doesn't work as well as it should because it's the end of the book and this theme just has not been addressed very well.

I think that's a real problem by this point. The earlier it is in the book, the more passages stand on their own. The further in we get the more criteria there are to judge them, so the more ways they can fail.

This year's story, naturally, is their love story.

The first half hour or so focuses on the pre-arena events, the reaping, the chariot ride through the Capitol, our training scores, and our interviews. There’s this sort of upbeat soundtrack playing under it that makes it twice as awful because, of course, almost everyone on-screen is dead.

See this is a really good, unsettling bit. It's ruined by the fact Katniss just spent most of the book endlessly telling us how much she wanted to murder other children.

Anyway, she can finally see Peeta's side of things (huh, it occurs to me now she never bothered asking in the days and days they huddled in the cave).

there’s no question he’s carrying this romance thing on his shoulders. Now I see what the audience saw, how he misled the Careers about me, stayed awake the entire night under the tracker jacker tree, fought Cato to let me escape and even while he lay in that mud bank, whispered my name in his sleep. 

Not a hundred percent sure how staying awake was supposed to help. Staying awake and murdering the others, maybe. But I guess it nerves alone would do it.

 I seem heartless in comparison

Oh god.

dodging fireballs, dropping nests, and blowing up supplies 

Yes how DARE Katniss not pay attention to her man during the childmurder games.

But her side picks up a bit with the whole Rue thing, and they play it for all it's worth, including the song. Although

they omit the part where I covered her in flowers.
Right. Because even that smacks of rebellion.

Because the book is still somehow insisting that was defiant.

Anyway, she does better on the romance thing later on,

 nursing him back to health, going to the feast for the medicine, and being very free with my kisses

By this point Katniss feels completely disconnected, like it's happening to strangers. Of the various realistic responses possible, this seems the most boring, and should at least go hand in hand with some sort of obvious upset.

A wave of gratitude to the filmmakers sweeps over me when they end not with the announcement of our victory, but with me pounding on the glass door of the hovercraft, screaming Peeta’s name as they try to revive him.

Yes, the filmmakers totally did that for your sake.

Stop thanking people, Katniss. I know you have no trouble disconnecting people and actions because you do it with every time anyone's doing something bad, so try applying that to the occasional strokes of luck as well.

The president comes to give them their victory crowns.

his eyes, just inches from mine, are as unforgiving as a snake’s.
That’s when I know that even though both of us would have eaten the berries, I am to blame for having the idea. I’m the instigator. I’m the one to be punished.

Well, that doesn't make sense.

Hm. On the one hand, I guess it's nice to see Katniss being responsible for her actions. On the other hand, women being held completely responsible for relationship things is not exactly new, especially when even their edit job makes it clear things were pretty one-sided for a while. I'm pretty sure the whole snake/berry thing was not meant to draw any Adam and Eve comparisons and the way blame went down, and yet there it is occurring to me.

Capitol officials and particularly generous sponsors elbow one another out of the way as they try to get their picture with us. Face after beaming face flashes by, becoming increasingly intoxicated as the evening wears on. Occasionally, I catch a glimpse of Haymitch, which is reassuring, or President Snow, which is terrifying, but I keep laughing and thanking people and smiling as my picture is taken. 

The book is almost over. We're really never going to see it occur to her that she's complicit by playing along. This isn't even covered by the bit about how she has to be in love, she's thanking people who bet over her death and she's doing it because.

When they get back they're separated again, so she's still had no time alone with Peeta.

She decides to go find him but he's not out of his room, and when she tries to leave her room the second time she finds the door locked.

there’s a more insidious fear that the Capitol may by monitoring and confining me. I’ve been unable to escape since the Hunger Games began, but this feels different, much more personal. This feels like I’ve been imprisoned for a crime and I’m awaiting sentencing.

The book's endless, endless insistence that whatever's happening right this moment is the worst thing is very tiresome.

Anyway, interview time!

Caesar gives her a warm hug. I'm sure this totally means something from the guy who's seen a thousand kids go off to their deaths.

We’re going to have a fabulous time,” he says, giving my cheek a reassuring pat.
“I’m not good at talking about myself,” I say.
“Nothing you say will be wrong,” he says.
And I think, Oh, Caesar, if only that were true. But actually, President Snow may be arranging some sort of “accident” for me as we speak.

Katniss, he doesn't give a fuck. He may even know and he's just trying to get you to shut up and give one good performance before you disappear.

 We sit somewhat formally on the love seat, but Caesar says, “Oh, go ahead and curl up next to him if you want. It looked very sweet.” So I tuck my feet up and Peeta pulls me in close to him.

And again. Because boys are protectors.

Caesar Flickerman is wonderful, teasing, joking, getting choked up when the occasion presents itself. 

You realize all of that is acting, right Katniss?

Anyway they want to know when Katniss fell in love, and she has no idea what to say for when because she's still not currently in love, exactly. Caesar prompts her about the bit where she said his name after the announcement.

“Yes, I guess that was it. I mean, until that point, I just tried not to think about what my feelings might be, honestly, because it was so confusing and it only made things worse if I actually cared about him. But then, in the tree, everything changed,” I say.
“Why do you think that was?” urges Caesar.
“Maybe . . . because for the first time . . . there was a chance I could keep him,” I say.

That's actually a pretty good bit. I wish the actual romance had been handled more like that.

Caesar pulls out a handkerchief and has to take a moment because he’s so moved. 


You know, I'm calling OOC. Katniss views Peeta as constantly acting. There is no way she'd be like that and yet assume everyone else is perfectly sincere. This is ridiculous.

I can feel Peeta press his forehead into my temple and he asks, “So now that you’ve got me, what are you going to do with me?”
I turn in to him. “Put you somewhere you can’t get hurt.” And when he kisses me, people in the room actually sigh.

This is so fucked up.

Anyway, then they move smoothly onto the topic of all their horrible injuries and it turns out Peeta lost a leg.

That's stupid, book.

It's quite possible that he could lose a leg from the infection, but it was only blood loss and he was still hobbling around on it minutes before they left. Also, they have magic science, I'm sure something as minor as a limb transplant isn't going to slow them down. These people either manages eye transplants, some from mutilated bodies, or grew human eyes on purpose.

 I can’t help feeling upset about it to the extent that I’m afraid I might cry and then I remember everyone in the country is watching me so I just bury my face in Peeta’s shirt. It takes them a couple of minutes to coax me back out because it’s better in the shirt, where no one can see me, and when I do come out, Caesar backs off questioning me so I can recover.

This is nauseating.

But finally they have to ask the berry question.

“I don’t know, I just . . . couldn’t bear the thought of . . . being without him.”

That's really not that hard of an answer. I mean, that's pretty much was double suicide normally means.

Back in her room she finds that once again someone's returned the mockingjay pin, because once again Katniss totally forgot about it. This is actually a really bizarre thing, a big deal was made over it but it mostly shows up in the story with someone reminding Katniss she left it somewhere.

We barely have time to say good-bye to Cinna and Portia, although we’ll see them in a few months, when we tour the districts for a round of victory ceremonies.


Katniss said that information between the districts is so heavily controlled that they probably blocked the entire conversation she and Rue had because it contained such subversive information as "I climb trees in the orchard". There is no way they can let the winners of the games tour the districts unless they kill them at the end.

The train on the way back takes a quick break to refuel.

Peeta and I walk down along the track, hand in hand, and I can’t find anything to say now that we’re alone. He stops to gather a bunch of wildflowers for me. When he presents them, I work hard to look pleased. Because he can’t know that the pink-and-white flowers are the tops of wild onions and only remind me of the hours I’ve spent gathering them with Gale.

Oh god this is going to get worse isn't it.

And she still hasn't told him, even though they've already been through the interview and stuff.

Gale. The idea of seeing Gale in a matter of hours makes my stomach churn. But why? 

Seriously I'm entirely sick of the "but I am not in love right?" plotline when it's with one person, doing it with two is not happening.

I only know that I feel like I’ve been lying to someone who trusts me. Or more accurately, to two people.

You feel like because you are.

Peeta asks what's wrong, so naturally she keeps lying and says it's nothing.

But Haymitch takes that moment to show up and whisper quietly:

“Great job, you two. Just keep it up in the district until the cameras are gone. We should be okay.”

Uh, I thought Haymitch knew that Peeta wasn't acting? And that part of why he was keeping them separate as much as possible was implied to be so Katniss didn't say anything to him about it? So why's he suddenly telling Peeta before they're back?

Katniss explains about the capital hating them and how Haymitch is coaching her.

And he realizes she's acting.

And she says she doesn't know how she really feels.

I want to tell him that he’s not being fair. That we were strangers. That I did what it took to stay alive, to keep us both alive in the arena. 

And you should, because these are all good points. You saved his life, that should really count for a lot here.

That if I do have feelings for him, it doesn’t matter because I’ll never be able to afford the kind of love that leads to a family, to children.

But please, Katniss, I already explained this. Marriage doesn't have to mean sex and sex doesn't have to mean children.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Peeta extend his hand. I look at him, unsure. “One more time? For the audience?” he says. His voice isn’t angry. It’s hollow, which is worse. 

So on the one hand, I feel bad for Peeta, because he did think she loved him and that's got to hurt.

On the other hand, the very first thing he does is once again force her into doing this when she can't say no.

And that's the end.

This book is so, so fucked up.

This sucks

Date: 2011-04-12 07:52 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I remember reading the last paragraph and thinking to myself "what the hell? Grow up!" Fruthermore, how the heck can they be in love? They're sixteen for crying out loud!

I always wondered about periods as well. The cornucopia wasn't stocked with tampons, was it? And even if Katniss menstruated late, what about Glimmer, Clove, and Foxface? Or Rue for that matter since some girls start as young as 10-12? Oh wait...Hang on...I'm just remembering something...oh yeah...GIRLS DON'T MATTER IN THIS BOOK! WHO CARES IF THE MAIN CHARACTER IS A GIRL? WHO CARES IF THE AUTHOR IS A WOMEN? WHO CARES?

This is ridiculous!!!

Anyway, I look forward to the Catching Fire reviews, if there are any. I had fun reading and commenting anyway, Farla, so whatever!


Re: This sucks

Date: 2011-04-12 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
I figure none of the girls during the games have periods because they're under too much stress and most are underweight. That doesn't quite explain the trained girls, who are well-fed. You know, some mention of birth control would fix this nicely. It can even be part of the whole government-controls-us thing.

Re: This sucks

Date: 2011-04-12 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] actonthat.livejournal.com
I actually think that in some cases, such as this, it's better to not even attempt to explain things such as "but what about tampons?" as opposed to lampshading them with what is sure to be a ridiculous explanation.

Re: This sucks

Date: 2011-04-13 12:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
Well, the solution could be injections. They already do all sorts of extremely invasive things to the contestants to pretty them up and they have several days of training, a hormone shot to keep things convenient wouldn't be a big step.

Date: 2011-04-12 07:57 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
If there's one thing western media loves, it's the love triangle, even when it makes no sense. :D

Date: 2011-04-12 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
What's particularly galling about this one is instead of it being that she's in love with Gale but then falling for Peeta, it's that she's in love with both and not aware she's in love with either. It's like it was carefully crafted to give her the absolute minimum agency.

Date: 2011-04-12 08:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starling-night.livejournal.com
Well, you finished the book! Congratulations!

Ugh. The romance in this is just so wallbangery. It doesn't make sense and the whole book would have been better off without it. Why couldn't this book have been about philosophy and angst and survival and moral questions? Why was it about awkward creepy kissing in a cave? DNW.

Date: 2011-04-12 01:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
I would say the romance makes some sense - not why it's Peeta's main priority when he should be paying attention to the childmurder games, but if you read between the lines it's a relatively consistent, if squicky, portrayal.

See, Peeta's a great actor, we know that from his interactions with other people at the capital. He doesn't want her to reject him, so he never admits he's in love with her, he just keeps doing more and more things to obligate her to like him. I think there's a good chance the author would say that what Katniss is doing, kissing him when she doesn't feel anything for him yet, is what she's supposed to do anyway because she really is obligated to be his girlfriend to pay for him giving her help she didn't ask.

It's a perfectly accurate view of the Nice Guy beliefs on how relationships should go - she should reciprocate to pay him back and make herself fall in love.

It's just that none of what I just said is a healthy way to have a relationship.

Date: 2011-04-13 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplekitte.livejournal.com
But Farla, the guy has to pay for everything on their date, which is why the girl is obligated to put out to pay him back.

Date: 2011-04-13 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
At least the girl has to be asked out first.

It's more like he showed up at her door with a lobster dinner, left it there, then came back next week demanding sex.

Date: 2011-04-12 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] simon-alexander.livejournal.com

Wow, so that's how it ends? Jesus Arceus Christ. I can't. I cannot.

I haven't been commenting much because this horrible excuse for writing makes my brain hurt and I feel so uncomfortable I just want to navigate away from the page. This isn't any different, but...

There's no way this should end well, but this is 21st century YA, so it'll end with love and flowers and rainbows.


Date: 2011-04-13 12:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
Of course, the point of the story was if she and Peeta end up together. And the SHOCKING ENDING is that they aren't together, oh no! Buy the next book to see if Peeta will forgive Katniss and order her to have kids with him.

Date: 2011-04-12 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] actonthat.livejournal.com
This was the worst ending of anything since I watched Mega Piranha on Syfy.

Date: 2011-04-13 12:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
What was the ending of Mega Piranha?

Date: 2011-04-13 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] actonthat.livejournal.com
They decide to get rid of the evil piranhas by having them eat each other. The movie doesn't address that there will, obviously, be one evil piranha left that won't eat itself.

This may be worse.

Date: 2011-04-13 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
Well, at least it's fewer piranhas. Unless part of the piranhas being evil is that they're reproducing asexually, in which case you're just selecting for super evil piranhas.

I would have preferred the ending of the book being all the major characters eating each other, actually. One person would still be left, but still an improvement.

Date: 2011-04-13 02:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] s.j.h. (from livejournal.com)
I read this book about a week ago by a friend's recommendation. I tore through it in a few hours and ended up loving it. It was intense, action-packed, and I admittedly just went with Katniss' actions/thoughts (or lack thereof) instead of questioning them.

Then I found your blog by TV Tropes and I'm so glad I did. It's definitely not the worst YA novel to hit shelves, but as you just demonstrated, taking a magnifying glass to this thing reveals some ugly marks. I remember the last couple chapters did irritate me with Katniss suddenly turning all meek and flawless, and with Peeta being the Big Strong Man to protect her. But again, I was going through it so fast I never stopped to actually think about it.

It's a bit like my history with Twilight. I actually used to like it (don't kill me). It was entertaining, killed a few hours, and, like Hunger Games, I just went with the story. Bella's zombie mode in New Moon, Jacob's rape-ish kiss in Eclipse, and Edward... being Edward did set off some warning bells, but I ignored them. It was only until Breaking Dawn that I started getting squicked, and then finally listening to what the twihaters were saying that I flung the fucking books across the room.

In any case, thanks for taking the time to write this. On top of learning the novels' faults, I gathered some pretty good advice on the dos and don'ts of writing and character development. I haven't read the second or third book yet, but I'll get around to it. Are you going to review them as well? I'd love to read it.

Date: 2011-04-13 03:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] farla.livejournal.com
A few hours is definitely the proper way to read this. Glad you've found my commentary useful, though!

I'm going to keep going, but more spread out. My fingers need to recover.


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