After Caroline finished Catching Fire, book #2 in the Hunger Games series, we caught up with her in the SBH kitchen for a little girl time and to see how she’s dealing as the civil unrest unfolds in the nation of Panem.
Caroline: *eyes wide* Wow, Cin, you have a lot of nail polish. I don’t know how I’m supposed to pick. How about this one? This one is really nice.
Cin: OPI: Affair in Red Square. Perfect! My favorite red. *wiggles toes*
Christina: *carries over a tray with 3 mugs of hot chocolate* So, Car, you said you finished Catching Fire, right? What did you think?
Caroline: Oh! Yeah, I did. Oh my god, you guys. You don’t even know! I mean, you do, obviously. But… I don’t even know where to start. *takes a breath* Okay, so at the end of The Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta return to District 12. So now, they both have their big houses in the Victor’s Village, and more food than they could ever want. And since she doesn’t have to go to school or work in the mines or anything, Katniss spends most of her days hunting while her BFF Gale is in the mines. Everything is going fine but Katniss and Peeta have to get ready to go on the Victory Tour, something the Victor does every year. It’s sort of to remind people of the Games, and to kind of parade the winner in front of them. At one point Katniss says how she’d have to look into the faces of the families of the other Tributes she killed. Ugh. That’s just awful.
Before she and Peeta leave on the tour though, President Snow pays her a visit. He tells her that her trick with the berries where she and Peeta were going to kill themselves to have no Victor instead of one of them having to kill the other, is actually causing uprisings. He says that some of the people in other Districts are seeing it as a sign that rebellion is good, and he wants her to convince them that it was done out of nothing but undying love for Peeta. If she doesn’t, President Snow threatens to kill everyone she loves. So Katniss plays a long. Again, this is SO Elena, trying to protect everyone, later even willing to do something stupid when she should be listening to what her friends are telling her.
Anyway, Katniss and Peeta go on the tour and see that there is unrest in the other districts. Also while on tour, while they’re in the Capitol, Peeta proposes to Katniss, which I think Katniss doesn’t get the full… impact of what he was asking. You know?
Cin & Christina: Totes.
Caroline: One day, after they return from the tour, Katniss overhears on the Mayor’s TV that there has been an uprising in District 8. Katniss tells Gale who gets really geared up about it. He kind of convinces her that starting an uprising would be good, since all the other districts kind of see her as a mascot. But then the Capitol announces this year’s rules for the special Quarter Quell, which is the name for the Games that happen every 25 years. The Quarter Quell is usually much worse than the regular Games. Like, what can be worse, right? Each Quarter Quell, there’s always some rule that changes. Like, the 2nd Quarter Quell had twice as many Tributes as a regular year. This year, the Tributes won’t just be kids, but will come from each District’s pool of Victors instead. So because Katniss is the only girl Victor in District 12, she has to go! At first she’s scared, but then she realizes that she’s just going to makes sure she saves Peeta. Totally Elena and Stefan, right? God. I need to get Elena to read these books too.
So they go to another Games, and Katniss starts to see that a lot of the other Tributes are also trying to save Peeta. This totally awesome, charming guy named Finnick from District 4 even brings Peeta back after he’s electrocuted by a force field that surrounds the arena. Did I mention that each Quell seems to be worse and more dangerous than the regular Games? It’s almost like… the Capitol isn’t really trying to kill the Tributes for the citizens’ entertainment… but to actually drive the Tributes crazy. Hmm…
So she managed to keep him alive – all the while she knows that his goal is to keep her alive – and as she and her group of Tributes are trying to kill a couple of the Careers, they blow open the force field! She’s picked up by a hovercraft right away, and she thinks she’s been taken to the Capitol, but she’s actually been saved and is being taken to District 13, which still exists! But the worst part… Peeta’s not there. He’s been taken by the Capitol.
Cin & Christina: *wibble*
Caroline: I KNOW! I almost cried! The story is more about, like, government and injustice and war, and um… tyranny, but there’s so much more to the love story in this book than the first one.
Christina: More Matty/Peeta? *giggles*
Caroline: *smiles* Yeah. It really seems like Katniss is in love with Gale at the beginning of the book. They’ve known each other for a long time, and they used to see each other all the time. They were best friends. She drops everything to be there for him when he’s injured, and all that. So she feels something for him. I think she has trouble with the whole situation because she clearly has all these feelings for Peeta still too. It’s like she’s connected to Peeta by something… BIGGER and more important now, and she needs him. But Gale is her history and her past, and she needs him too. UGH! But she is clearly in love with Peeta. She’s just… lying to herself.
Cin: That sounds familiar… *rolls eyes and looks at Caroline*
Christina: Cough Tyler Cough Matty/Peeta forever Cough Cough.
Caroline: *sigh* I know. It’s so weird. I think she maybe does kind of love Gale. She’s just in denial, pretending that she doesn’t love anyone because love can only lead to bad things in District 12, I guess. Marriage and babies that may one day be chosen to go to the Games. So, Peeta kind of gives up on her, but he still loves her and just kind of stays away, but when they have to be thrown into the arena again, he’s determined to save her… and just… love her with the time he has left. And he’s so sweet about it. Like when they spend all day on the roof of the training center the night before the Quarter Quell just being with each other, and when he sleeps next to her to calm her nightmares. And in the arena when he gives her the locket, and she knows he really does love her, that what he’s saying just isn’t for show.
Cin & Christina: *swoon*
Caroline: And she totally loves him back. Saving him isn’t just about her thinking he’s a better person than she is, or anything like that. She just loves him. Ugh. And it’s frustrating that she just won’t admit it.
Cin & Christina: We know!
Caroline: And that just makes it that much more upsetting that Peeta is taken by the Capitol at the end! Peeta’s okay, right? *looks from Cin to Christina* I think I need to start the last book right now!
Cin: Stick close to Damon’s bourbon.
Christina: You’ll see…
Oh, Caroline. You might want to get a box of tissues too. Also… maybe grab Matty/Peeta so he can cuddle you and help you through any nightmares. Just sayin’.