My Title: She's on fire ya'll; ON FIRE!
There is a saying that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. This has nothing to do with this section, but it's a saying nonetheless.
This section starts off with Katniss in the train with Peeta (whom I really just want to call Peter; maybe I'll use it as his superhero name), Effie Trinkett: assistant/bumbling idiot, and a delightfully inebriated Haymitch.
When she gets in bed she says that now would be a perfect time to cry about what is happening, but doesn't. Want to know why? Because she has been genetically enhanced to be too sublime for tears. Maybe she's part god like Percy Jackson or Oprah. Or maybe she's a wizard like Harry Potter. Or maybe ThunderKats don't have tear ducts. Either way, I worship her.
The next morning she goes to breakfast with Peeta and Haymtitch already there. Peeta/Peter and ThunderKat start eating like Oprah after quitting a Dr. Oz cleanse...as in, like a starving woolly mammoth. After she eats enough to be obese in a week, she turns to Haymitch and gets down to business. Katniss asks for pointers in the arena of the Hunger Games; what to expect, what to do, that kind of thing. Haymitch, being what I can only imagine as an exact replica of Hugh Laurie's character Dr. House, retorts with, "Here's some advice. Stay alive." It's obvious at this point that Haymitch has no plans to aid the kids on the way to the slaughterhouse.
This doesn't go over well with Katniss and Peeta. People are so testy when faced with mortal danger!
They get so pissed they turn into their alter-egos, ThunderKat and Peter. Peter takes the liquor in Haymitch's hand and throws it to the ground. Peter and Haymitch get into a fist fight. (I just proposed to the book) Then -AND I QUOTE- "When he (Haymitch) turns back to reach for the spirits, I drive my knife into the table between his hand and the bottle, barely missing his fingers." I re-read that sentence forty times, each time with "Eye of the Tiger" from 'Rocky' playing in my head. (Go on, try it.)
This is a protagonist if I've ever seen one. Not once has she talked about clothes, hair, and/or how heartbroken she is after some jerk-off broke up with her behind the quad. Just ghastly acts of assult from this girl. "Eye of the Tiger" is still playing in my head. And I picture her standing on top of a mountain, wind blowing through her hair, and sweeping her aerodynamically engineered cape (that I made for her) from side to side.
Haymitch asks himself if he finally has a pair of fighters on his hands. He just met Peter and ThunderKat so I think he can safely assume the answer to that riddle is yes. He asks Katniss if she is competent with throwing the knife at anything besides him. She answers by sending a knife into the wall so hard that it sticks. (BAM. Insta-girl-crush) He doesn't even need to ask Peeta/Peter what he's got to offer. The blood on Haymitch and the bruise on Peeta is answer enough.
When Haymitch realizes that he has Joan of Arc and Bruce Wayne in his presence, he cuts them a deal. If they will do exactly what he says, Haymitch promises to stay sober long enough to help him. (Sort of like earlier today when my mom said she'd give me twenty bucks if I didn't tell people we were related. I wonder what that was about.)
After Katniss and Peeta agree to these terms they stand on the train for a few moments. Suddenly they are in the ruling city of Panem, the Capitol. They have only seen it on television and are stunned by the magnificence of the place that sends kids into the arena with a sword and a slice of beef jerky. Okay, I might have made up the equipment they get. Whatever. The point is the Capitol is pretty flippin' alluring for a town filled with flaming savages. Like Ted Bundy or playing Go Fish. (Everyone knows Go Fish is all fun and games for the first two minutes, until you're in a corner crying about Nana Helen cheating on her "pair" of sixes, which was clearly a six and a nine.) They noticed how different the people were in the Capitol compared to their poor, simple Disrtict 12. They talk about people with abnormal hair colors, painted faces, and ridiculous clothes. The people begin to recognize the train as holding the tributes from District 12. Katniss is sickened by their eagerness to watch them die as televised entertainment. Peeta doesn't move away from the window, but instead waves to them. He says that one of them may be rich. Might as well start winning sponsors now. Katniss realizes this means he hasn't accepted his death. This also means that Peeta is fighting hard to kill her.
It always puts a damper on the romance when the sexy, boy next door wants to spear you.
The next chapter starts with Katniss, already off the train, in the care of the stylists getting basic grooming things done; bathing, waxing, polishing...you get the idea. This is a young adult novel written by a female so I'm not very surprised that there is a make-over scene. (Please, literary gods, let there be a flamboyant male stylist with frosted tips and guy-liner in the next few pages.) After the assistant stylist are finished with the basics, they call in the main stylist.
*Crosses fingers for Eugene and his leather pants*
We meet the stylist who turns out to be a young man named Cinna. He is not at all like the sassy man-stylist I pictured, but is pensive and kind. It is Cinna's first year in the Games and he has a heart for friendship and an eye for style. I guess he would be Hugh Dancy in Prada platforms.
It's funny that people get all beautified to do interviews before entering an arena with contestants more similar to wild bulls than teenagers. I suppose its similar to how people make their Thanksgiving turkeys look so amazing. We like to devour attractive things.
After being consulted with and waxed within an inch of her life, she takes a food break and talks to Cinna. He turns out to be a decent guy, even remarking that the people of the Capitol must be despicable to her. Seeing as he is from the Capitol, this is an amazing and dangerous thing to admit. Sort of like being a producer for the Oprah Show and telling someone that you hate the Queen of all Media herself. (I'm convinced she would not be convicted if she chose to kill someone. At least I'd be too terrified to give her a 'guilty' verdict.)
All this styling is in preparation to ride in a parade with all the tributes as sort of a "Welcome To the Final Moments of Your Life" celebration. Remember that the rulers of Panem are gargantuan douche bags who make everyone act like this is all a huge honor. (Can we say, "Orwell?")
It turns out that Cinna is a genius and thinks out his style-creations so well that it has the effect of making people feel the way he wants them to. He dresses both Katniss and Peeta in black unitards and boots. Pretty simple right? No! He also gives them a circlet/tiara and cape. (Ha! He's on board with the cape idea also! Maybe Katniss threw a knife for Cinna and he realized how BA she is. The he probably gave her the cape. And a moose-head as a trophy. Just guessing.) Here's the thing: when Cinna gives the go ahead, a synthetic flame lights the headpiece and cape.
She has a crown of fire?
SHE HAS A CROWN OF FIRE!!!
AND A CAPE OF FIRE!!!
I'm so awestruck by how stupendous the events of this book are that I go take a break to calm myself down.
After I am no longer plum-flustered by the crown of fire, *excited giggle* I put my 'ThunderKat for president' screen tee back on and continue reading.
ThunderKat and Peeta are put on display for everyone to see and the crowd is just as enamored by them as I was. Through this whole ordeal Peeta is kind and supportive to Katniss. He holds her hand in comfort and acts as if they are a team. He seems so generous that a warning bell goes off in Katniss' head. She reminds herself that this sweet, caring boy is planning to kill her. Much like when you look at a haunted house and realize that this brick-full-o'-fun is actually full of people hired expressly to make you wet your pants.
She sees through what she believes to be Peeta's sugar-coated disguise, and decides two can play this game. She reaches up and kisses his cheek. Right on his bruise.
Oh no she didn't!
In conclusion, in two chapters she manages to threaten people's lives with a knife, get in a fight, make a game plan to kill everyone in her path, wear a crown and cape of FIRE, double-cross the boy who saved her life, and do it all while lookin' like a stone cold fox.
Did I leave anything out?
Prediction: Peeta is so amazed by Katniss that he tries to engage her in a bloody, "star-crossed lovers" affair.
Peeta: "Hey sweet cheeks! Uh *cough* I mean Katniss. Thanks for meeting me on the roof. I couldn't help but notice that you stabbed that hipster walking past you the other day. He wasn't even bothering you!"
Katniss: *shrugs* "Yeah, what of it?"
Peeta: "Well...I thought it was amazing. I love how you have no regard for human life. You're like Megan Fox and the entire cast of 'Kill Bill' all wrapped into one. I was just wondering if you'd like to...um...well...you know...shoot some bunnies and then make out for a bit?"
Katniss: "Okay, but you know I'm gonna have to throat-punch you first, right? I have a reputation to protect..."
Peeta: "Why, of course, Love-Bottom! I wouldn't have it any other way!"