5 Memorable “Cave Scenes” in YA Books

Some of our favorite books have memorable “love scenes” and “fight scenes” and “death scenes”. Apparently, they also have memorable “cave scenes”–scenes that are set inside caves.

My The Mysterious Reading Society friends and I started talking about this out of nowhere while waiting for our detained discussion leader to arrive. He never did. *hem hem*

So anyway…

1.  Achilles and Patroclus consummate their relationship in “The Song of Achilles”

a.k.a. While the centaur mentor is away, the boys will play.  😛

“The Song of Achilles” is one of my favorite books ever because of the way Madeline Miller took me on an emotional roller coaster with this story.

One of the turning points in the book is when Achilles and Patroclus finally became lovers in the truest sense of the word.  It’s tastefully written and actually rather emotional.

The cave smelled hot and sweet, like fruit beneath the sun. Our eyes met, and we did not speak. Fear rose in me, sudden and sharp. This was the moment of truest peril, and I tensed, fearing his regret.

He said, “I did not think—” And stopped. There was nothing in the world I wanted more than to hear what he had not said.

It’s a Cave Scene and a Love Scene!  😛

Interestingly enough, Chiron’s Cave is one of the few places in the world where Achilles’ goddess mother Thetis’ omniscient eyes cannot see through.  Convenient, eh?  😉

2.  Karou and Akiva stare each other down in “Days of Blood and Starlight”

a.k.a.  Karou and Akiva’s TV drama moment

Spoiler warning for those who haven’t read the second book of Laini Taylor’s wonderful series, “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”!

At the end of “Days of Blood and Starlight”, Karou and Akiva, along with a handful of chimaera and seraphim, bide their time in a cavern as they wait to fight against a common enemy.  And because Taylor’s prose is more capable of triggering a “wave of feels” than I ever can…

Her eyes are pulled elsewhere, across the cavern to where Akiva sits at another fire with his own soldiers around him.

He is looking back at her.

As ever when their eyes meet, it is like a lit fuse searing a path through the air between them. These past days, when this has happened, one or the other would turn quickly away, but this time they rest and let the fuse burn. They are filled with the sight of each other. Here in this cavern, this extraordinary gathering—this seethe of colliding hatreds, tamed temporarily by a shared hate—could be their long-ago dream seen through a warped mirror. This is not how it was meant to be. They are not side by side as they once imagined. They are not exultant, and they no longer feel themselves to be the instruments of some great intention. They are creatures grasping at life with stained hands. There is so much between them, all the living and all the dead, but for a moment everything falls away and the fuse burns brighter and nearer, so that Karou and Akiva almost feel as if they are touching.

Tomorrow they will start the apocalypse.

Tonight, they let themselves look at each other, for just a little while.


I saw that scene in my head as if it was a TV drama, wherein the camera shows the two protagonists from all angles while staring at each other, complete with a voice-over.  “Tomorrow, we will start the apocalypse.”

I’ve been watching too many Korean dramas?  Why, yes, I sure have.

3.  Katniss and Peeta put on the act of their lives in “The Hunger Games”

a.k.a.  Katniss and Peeta’s REAL TV drama moment

Katniss tries to put on a “girl madly in love” act as she tries to cure Peeta’s injuries.  But it is only when she drops the act and lets her real feelings show that their mentor Haymitch sends them a reward.

“Katniss,” he says. I go over to him and brush the hair back from his eyes. “Thanks for finding me.”

“You would have found me if you could,” I say. His forehead’s burning up. Like the medicine’s having no effect at all. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I’m scared he’s going to die.

“Yes. Look, if I don’t make it back—” he begins.

“Don’t talk like that. I didn’t drain all that pus for nothing,” I say.

“I know. But just in case I don’t—” he tries to continue.

“No, Peeta, I don’t even want to discuss it,” I say, placing my fingers on his lips to quiet him.

“But I—” he insists.

Impulsively, I lean forward and kiss him, stopping his words. This is probably overdue anyway since he’s right, we are supposed to be madly in love. It’s the first time I’ve ever kissed a boy, which should make some sort of impression I guess, but all I can register is how unnaturally hot his lips are from the fever. I break away and pull the edge of the sleeping bag up around him. “You’re not going to die. I forbid it. All right?”

“All right,” he whispers.

And then a pot of broth drops from the sky.  And the shippers (as in the people of Panem) all squee.   giggle

4.  Sirius and Buckbeak co-habitate in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

a.k.a.  The Domestic Saga of Padfoot and Claws

At the end of “Prisoner of Azkaban”, Sirius Black escapes with the hippogriff Buckbeak and spends some time hiding from dementors and Ministry officials together in a far-away cave.

I dunno about you, but I feel like there’s a spin-off sitcom in there somewhere.

The cave scene in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” with the locket horcrux and the lake of zombies was pretty awesome, too.

5.  Colin and Lindsey share stories in the dark in “An Abundance of Katherines”

a.k.a.  It’s Not That Dark If We Have A Bottle of Moonshine

Lindsey takes Colin to her “secret hideout” where they hang out and share stories.   There is no sex, but there is alcohol.  And lots of cute dialogue.

“It’s weird talking to you; I can’t see you at all.”

“I can’t see you either.”

“We’re invisible. I’ve never been here with someone else. It’s different being invisible with someone.”

Somewhere in the back of his mind, Colin was probably starting to like Lindsey already, but some of his little brain cells keep shouting “But she’s not a Katherine!”

So, what is it about caves, huh?  

But what about you?  Are there any memorable Cave Scenes from your favorite books?  🙂

Impressions on “The Hunger Games” (The Filipino Edition), Part 1

I’m more than half-way through the Filipino edition of “The Hunger Games”. And since I’ve been getting some search term hits for it, I thought I would share some of my initial impressions, which I also previously shared on Twitter and Plurk.

To put things in perspective, I have to mention that this is my first English to Filipino read of a modern novel/bestseller; I only skimmed through “Takipsilim (Twilight)”, so that doesn’t really count. I’ve also read the entire “Hunger Games” trilogy in English, and I’ve read the first book several times.

It was a bit difficult to adjust to the language change, but I got into the rhythm after the first chapter.

In general, I approve of the translator’s decisions regarding which particular words and in-world terms to translate, and which ones to leave as is. How the words were translated, though, is a different story altogether.

The one translation that I really have a problem with so far is “Tribute” became “pambayad”. Pambayad is a common enough word—used to mean “payment”—that if you’ve never read THG before and then encounter the word within a sentence, you may have to re-read it to figure out that we’re talking about one of the Games contestants rather than money or something. It doesn’t help that the translated word is never capitalized in the text.

“Ako na lang! Nagpiprisinta akong maging pambayad!”

“I volunteer! I volunteer as Tribute!”

Imagine that in a Tagalog dubbing of the film. 😛 Awkward translation is awkward.

I think the better translation is “Alay“, which means an “offering”, and carries with it the connotations of a “Tribute” as someone who is offered or sacrificed to a higher power that is The Capitol. I suppose “pambayad” also connotes a Tribute as “payment” for the Districts’ crime of rebellion, but I think the first option is more powerful and more accurate based on the original English term, and it also implies the second option when the Treaty of Treason is explained anyway. But since “Tribute” is an in-world term, I’d rather they retained the English word.

In Tagalog, the characters can also come across as…bitchy. Exhibit A:

In English:

It’s hard to hate my prep team. They’re such total idiots.

Maybe it’s just me, but “hangal” often comes across as rather harsh and insulting. As my friend Ron says:

Filipino Pop Culture note: Celia Rodriguez is a veteran actress who is often cast in villainous roles.

“Total idiots” was an insult too, actually, but it had an affectionate undertone in Katniss’ English voice that the translation couldn’t quite capture.

There’s also this:

And this:

In English:

“Shocked. Terrified. Uh, ridiculous, some of them.”

Here’s another iffy translation:

“Ginawa na iyon dati ni Johanna Mason…Mukha siyang iyakin at duwag kaya inignora siya ng lahat…”

Inignora” was used in place of “ignored”. I read inignora the Italian way the first time and did a double-take. Other people in my Twitter said they read it the Spanish way, which sounds pretty much the same. I think “Mukha siyang iyakin at duwag kaya ‘di siya pinansin ng lahat.” would have been just as good a translation, and less awkward.

And some random quotes and comments:

I’ll post Part 2 of this blog entry when I finish the book. I’ll also talk about the loss of a character’s voice, literal translations and word order, and additional impressions on my favorite scenes.

Disclosure: I’m actually writing an article about the translations for publication, and have sent some questions to the publisher of the Filipino Editions. Their answers will hopefully give us a look at their translation process and why they made the decisions that they did. I’m also curious about who they will say they are translating all these books for and why. 😉

To be continued…

Snapshots: Bookmark Love #2 + “The Hunger Games: The Filipino Edition”

I’m back with another Snapshots post to fulfill my promise of sharing more bookmarks and just in time to join in Bookmark Mondays at Guiltless Reading. ^_^

This one’s from Thailand, and is a present from 엄마 Monster (a.k.a. Mabs) and 동생 Echo. It’s a thin wood bookmark with a metal design of a lucky elephant.

Apparently, it’s a lucky elephant if it’s depicted with its trunk curled up. Down-turned trunks = not good. And that’s our Lesson for the Day. 😛

And as you can see from the photo, I’m starting on “The Hunger Games: The Filipino Edition.” It’s turning out to be better translated compared to “Takipsilim (Twilight)”.

I turned to one of my all-time favorite Hunger Games scenes when I took the photo. *_* Strategic!Stuttering!Lovestruck!Peeta = ❤.

Book Fair Finds: Lost in Translations

During the 2nd Filipino ReaderCon, two of the prevalent sentiments expressed by a number of participants was the lack of young adult books written by Filipinos for Filipinos, and also the lack of translations of popular titles to Filipino.

Apparently, local publisher Precious Hearts Romances addressed the second sentiment to a certain extent long before the ReaderCon, and has published “Takipsilim,” the Filipino edition of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight.”

When we went to the Manila International Book Fair this weekend, we also found Filipino editions of L.J. Smith’s “The Vampire Diaries” in two parts, and we learned that PHR is set to release translations of “The Hunger Games” and the “Fifty Shades” trilogy.

I haven’t managed to start reading “Takipsilim” yet because I have a lot on my plate right now, but I scanned it. The translation is a mix of Filipino and English. Obviously there are words that just wouldn’t translate well to Filipino, so the translator had to decide which words or phrases to retain. I’ve always found reading English dialogue in stories set in the Philippines a little unsettling, and the opposite seems to be true for me as well, so the smattering of English sentences and words alleviates that problem a little.

Based on the small portion that I’ve read, though, the Filipino parts can sometimes be difficult to grasp because of the use of uncommon words. If these translations were meant to target a wider range of Filipino readers, it would’ve been more prudent to translate the text based on context rather than a more literal or word-for-word approach. I actually find it easier to read stories that were originally written in Filipino rather than what I’ve read of “Takipsilim” so far. Then again, I may be underestimating other readers out there. Hrmmm…maybe it will be fun to have several people with different reading skills and experience read “Takipsilim” just to find out… Note to self: DO THIS!

Oh gawds, I am scared of how “Fifty Shades” will turn out. Inner goddess, gird your loins! 😛

Miscellany: While I was hiding out in Joseon-era Korea…

I’m back from Holy Week Semi-Hibernation!

Aside from participation in the usual religious ceremonies, my holiday also included a Korean drama marathon (The charming Sungkyunkwan Scandal and The-Show-That-Made-Me-Cry-For-1.5-Hours-Straight The Moon That Embraces The Sun ) and, unfortunately, much procrastinating on writing assignments.

While I was on that self-imposed internet blackout, these happened:

➳ Writer-producer-director Chris Weitz, otherwise known to me as the director who made a problematic Twilight book at least watchable (i.e. New Moon ), will soon add “author” to his résumé. Little, Brown and Company won the rights to publish Weitz’s The Young World, the first in an “epic, post-apocalyptic trilogy” set in a New York where only teenagers remained alive. [Source: click!]

It sounds a little too manufactured for my taste, to be honest. I can see where he wants to go with these teenagers who are left alone without adults and the comforts of life. I just hope it’s written well and that Weitz can bring something new to the post-apocalyptic YA sub-genre.

➳ As Lauren Oliver revealed when she visited last month, she’s writing her first adult novel. The Harper Collins website just revealed that the book will be titled Rooms, but offers no other details about the plot. (Duh.)

➳ One of my favorite authors, Brandon Sanderson, will release four shorts this year. I don’t know how he does it considering he’s working on other novels and is probably at the editing stage on A Memory of Light (Pub. Date: 13 January 2013). I think he’s a secret Mistborn and he must have found a previously unknown metal that can be burned to enhance writing efficiency. If so, I hope you can hear me, Brandon: will you be my Kelsier? 😛

Heuristic Algorithm and Reasoning Response Engine (with Ethan Skarstedt) will appear in the John Joseph Adams-edited military science fiction anthology, Armored. Mecha fans will probably love this! If you click on the title link, you’ll find a short excerpt on his blog.

Legion , meanwhile, is a modern sci-fi-ish mystery/thriller that will be released as a novella and e-book.

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell   is included in an anthology called Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

The one that I’m most excited about is The Emperor’s Soul, which is set in the Branderson Cosmere (the core mythology will tie-in with the worlds of almost all of his adult fantasy novels). I love the premise of the story, and this promises to be another showcase of Brandon’s always-fresh-and-never-boring magic systems.

Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Though condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Despite the fact that her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new soul for the emperor, who is almost dead from the attack of assassins.

Delving deeply into his life, she discovers Emperor Ashravan’s truest nature—and the opportunity to exploit it. Her only possible ally is one who is truly loyal to the emperor, but councilor Gaotona must overcome his prejudices to understand that her forgery is as much artistry as it is deception.

Skillfully deducing the machinations of her captors, Shai needs a perfect plan to escape. The fate of the kingdom lies in one impossible task. Is it possible to create a forgery of a soul so convincing that it is better than the soul itself?

➳ In other Branderson news, Writing Excuses is up for a Hugo this year and the Mistborn movie is moving forward!

They now have a working script for Mistborn that Brandon likes, and it’s being shopped around to studios along with this “mood trailer.”

Note: That wasn’t an official trailer; it’s cut from scenes from different movies that were put together to show studios what kind of film Mistborn is supposed to look and feel like.

I wish I had several million dollars to put into financing this film! (Actually, I wish I had several million dollars, PERIOD. 😛 )

➳ Mina V. Esguerra’s new book, That Kind of Guy–I mentioned this in my profile story about her–will be released this month! She’s hosting a giveaway on her site. Check it out: click!

➳ Lastly, if you are wondering why I never posted about The Hunger Games after seeing the movie, well…let’s just say I had so many things to say that I didn’t know where to start. I had a LONG conversation with my friend Frankie via the comments section of her blog post (click!), but I lapsed into procrastinating and lost a lot of the words that I wanted to write into the ether.

I eventually managed to put together a coherent review, which was published yesterday on GMA News Online: (click!) I’m sure it’s evident in the tone of the article that I had more to say about the movie, but I had a maximum word count to abide by and had to choose only the points that are most important to me.

I hope I can still make myself write a proper blog post about the movie, but re-capturing my train of thought despite extensive notes is going to be an uphill battle. After a marathon of 2 Korean historical dramas, I feel like my mind is stuck in another time and place where magical english subtitles appear when people speak. 😛

I really should take Jae-Shin‘s advice, eh? Don’t procrastinate often; it will become a habit. Lesson learned! (I hope.)

Re-reading “The Hunger Games”, Finale: Scripted

Chapters 17 – End

Since I’m going to watch The Hunger Games tonight, I figured I should post the last of my re-read thoughts.

Scripted Reality

The Hunger Games is as real as a reality show can get. Contestants are reaped at random, there are no set challenges, and the rules are simple. The Gamemakers occasionally get to ratchet up the action when things slow down, but the Tributes are pretty much left to their own devices. Mentors exert another level of control, but even that is actually part of the game.

And you know it’s real when things don’t go the way the Capitol and the Gamemakers want, and they have to do some serious troubleshooting: to threaten and to script what happens after the Games.

Of course, the Games are part of the Capitol’s more expansive reality show, in which they attempt to assert complete control over the other 12 districts.

In our world, no matter what they claim, most reality shows are still scripted. Producers get to choose contestants, and they choose the ones who are most likely to generate a lot of drama and excitement on-screen. Producers get to pick the challenges, and they set rigid parameters, even in a show like Survivor. There is still the matter of making sure that certain scenes are fit to broadcast, after all.

In both worlds–Panem and ours–reality is filtered through literal and figurative lenses. Reality is scripted. Even if these shows are supposedly just for entertainment purposes, this shows just how real the power of broadcasters really is.

Sometimes I’m tempted to play Real or Not Real when I watch TV, but [channels Klaus]that’s just so tedious[/channels Klaus]. I fear for my poor sanity.

Scripted Emotions

I’ve ranted before that Katniss’ indecision when it comes to her feelings for Peeta and Gale seriously annoys me.

After finishing the book at a slightly slower pace than I read it before, I realized I can’t entirely blame her because her interaction with Peeta happens during a life and death situation. Before that, there was just that one time with the bread. On the other hand, Gale has always been there.

And then there’s Haymitch, who’s ever so cryptic when he’s in front of Katniss.

And there’s Haymitch’s Star-Crossed Lovers Master Plan and his not-so-cryptic Parachute Messages.

And then there’s Peeta, who’s ever so cryptic when he talks about Haymitch’s plans, and sometimes, even his own feelings. To his credit, he’s never cryptic when it comes to his actions.

At this point, Katniss is just playing the Real Or Not Real game inside her head, so…no, I can’t blame her.

And also, I just realized that part of my annoyance stems from my own feelings for Peeta, who, as I’ve said before, is my pet character in this book. It’s very selfish of me, really. I don’t want to see him unhappy, so I blamed Katniss.

Literary gods, please don’t judge me too harshly.

♕ ♕ ♕

There’s this site called HungerNames.com, where you can get a THG-inspired name, and here’s what I got:

The “You were killed by jealousy” part amuses me to no end.

T minus 3 hours to the movie! Josh Hutcherson, please don’t disappoint me.

Re-reading “The Hunger Games” #04: Disturbing Behavior

Chapters 10-16

Katniss is still suspicious about Peeta, huh? I can’t blame her entirely, though, since a District 12 Tribute teaming up with Careers is indeed suspicious behavior. But then again, is it so hard to believe that Peeta will at least try to do what he can to survive? Sure, he made a big deal about it in his nobility speech on the rooftop the night before the Games, but does teaming up with a Career mean he let the Games change him? I don’t believe so. Peeta’s circumstances are more fortunate than many in District 12, but he’s nevertheless a survivor like most people there. Peeta may believe that other Tributes are more likely to survive the Games compared to him, but that doesn’t mean he’s just going to give up.

Of course, Katniss doesn’t know it, but Peeta has another agenda: to keep Katniss alive no matter what it takes…even if he has to team up with the Careers to do it. He’s always looked out for her from the time he gave her that bread, and he always will.

Yeah yeah, anyone who’s read The Hunger Games already knows this. But I had to write it out for myself because when I read the book for the first time a few years ago, I too was suspicious of Peeta’s motives at this point in the story.

And reading about her shooting Rue down about Peeta’s Lover Boy Act not being entirely an act is amusing. Denial, dudes!

Oh hey, I did say that when Katniss owns up to being a Tribute, she’s a killer, right? Our girl is now thinking of strategies and forming alliances and dropping tracker-jacker nests on people’s heads!

And Rue. Oh. I’m almost back to that awful place in the story. I think I’d better stop reading this until I’m all alone, and no one will care if I cry my eyes out because of a gorram book.

♛ ♛ ♛


p.s. While I continue to be able to un-imagine Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth and pretty much all the other cast members while I’m reading, I can’t help it when it comes to Cato. Alexander Ludwig doesn’t want to stay out of my head. o_O

To be continued…

Re-reading “The Hunger Games” #03: The girl who…smoulders.

Chapters 5-9

Cinna – I can see now why they cast Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, though he still wouldn’t be my first choice. In my head, Cinna is a cross between Christian Siriano and a younger Kyan Douglas, maybe. Oh, I’m not stereotyping the stylists, but I was thinking more about Christian’s aesthetic and Kyan’s calm demeanor.

I think we all could use a Cinna in our lives!

Also, I’m excited to see Katniss and Peeta’s flaming costume on-screen! I’m not too thrilled about the glimpses we already got of Katniss’ interview dress. Somehow, it’s not as wow-look-sparkling-jeweled-gown as it is in the book. It looks too normal for Capitol Couture…unless of course there’s something more to it than just a floor-length red asymmetrical gown.

Haymitch – Haymitch, Haymitch, Haymitch. There are times he amuses me because his comments are so Meta. Suzanne Collins knows Katniss is going to exasperate some people. She acknowledges it through Haymitch, and I kinda like that. I like that Katniss is not a perfect heroine because she feels more real that way.

Haymitch is right–Katniss can be hostile and surly and petulant. From the start, she never really liked Effie or Haymitch, and she did not believe in what they can do for her. She always reverts to hostility whenever she feels that Peeta is getting under skin. It’s a defense mechanism, of course, but it is off-putting when it’s what you always see.

But to her credit, when Katniss owns up to being a Tribute, she can be a real killer. She can give a Ms. Universe contestant a run for her money with all that waving to the crowd during the Parade. 😛 Heck, even her petulance pays off when she gets an 11 for her training score. And that kiss after the Parade? *shakes head* Peeta’s right–she has no idea of her effect on people. And she isn’t even really on fire yet; she’s just…smouldering.

The panda who was on fire.

The man who smoulders.

One thing that disturbed me about Haymitch, though, is this:

You are a fool! Do you think he hurt you? That boy just gave you something you could never achieve on your own.

He made you look desirable! And let’s face it, you could use all the help you can get in that department. You were about as romantic as dirt until he said he wanted you. Now they all do.

I can’t deny that he’s right about the outcome of Peeta’s little plan, but I’m wary about the message that sends across to younger girls. Katniss later proves that she doesn’t need this kind of leverage (although much later, she uses it); I just hope that Haymitch’s speech won’t be the part that will truly resonate with audiences.

That doesn’t stop me from *squeeing* over Peeta’s interview, though, strategy or no strategy. Real or not real. 😛

I’m coming back into focus when Caesar asks him if he has a girlfriend back home. Peeta hesitates, then gives an unconvincing shake of his head.

“Handsome lad like you. There must be some special girl. Come on, what’s her name?” says Caesar.

Peeta sighs. “Well, there is this one girl. I’ve had a crush on her ever since I can remember. But I’m pretty sure she didn’t know I was alive until the reaping.”

Sounds of sympathy from the crowd. Unrequited love they can relate to.

“She have another fellow?” asks Caesar.

“I don’t know, but a lot of boys like her,” says Peeta.

“So, here’s what you do. You win, you go home. She can’t turn you down then, eh?” says Caesar encouragingly.

“I don’t think it’s going to work out. Winning…won’t help in my case,” says Peeta.

“Why ever not?” says Caesar, mystified.

Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. “Because…because…she came here with me.”

Oh, and another crying moment: “I’m not allowed to bet, but if I could, my money would be on you.” Gorram it, Cinna.

♛ ♛ ♛

To be continued…

Re-reading “The Hunger Games” #02: Denial

There was one point I forgot to comment on from Chapter 1.

His (Gale) rages seem pointless to me, although I never say so. It’s not that I don’t agree with him. I do. But what good is yelling about the Capitol in the middle of the woods? It doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t make things fair. It doesn’t fill our stomachs. In fact, it scares off the nearby game.

This resonates with me because, as I pointed out in an article I wrote recently, this is something I hear people say often. Humans value self-preservation by nature. If our survival is at stake, we don’t care about anything else. People who rarely experience being in that border between luxury and poverty, life and death, will label Katniss’ thinking as “uninvolved” or “selfish”.

We can’t really know how difficult the kind of life Katniss lives is until we experience it ourselves, but it’s also noteworthy that after she really saw what was going on in the Capitol, Katniss began to take a stand. Maybe in the real world, altruism is for those who can afford it, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Maybe, as in Katniss’ case, empowerment is key.

Chapter 3

Okay, so THG also holds the distinction of making me cry 2 chapters in a row. Congratulations, Ms. Collins!

But it wasn’t the encounter between Katniss, Prim, and their mother that made me cry. I was somehow already prepared for that scene, and I was too busy giving Katniss an imaginary pat on the back for finally telling her mother what she always wanted to say.

I didn’t cry when Gale came in either, although I added yet another notch on the scoreboard in favor of “Katniss is in denial about Gale’s feelings.” Really, Katniss, he was going to say “And remember, Katniss, I LOVE YOU.” So there.

I cried when the Baker and Madge came in. Weird, I know, considering that they’re almost strangers to Katniss. They have no emotional attachment to her whatsoever, but that’s exactly what I reacted to. These people don’t know Katniss well enough, yet they came in to give her tokens and to wish her luck. I cried thinking how difficult it must have been for the Baker to face the girl who was virtually going to become his son’s murderer.

This early in the story, we can already glimpse the kind of impact Katniss will eventually have on District 12 and the entire nation, on people who barely know her but would come to care about her fate.

Chapter 4

A kind Peeta Mellark is far more dangerous to me than an unkind one. Kind people have a way of working their way inside me and rooting there. And I can’t let Peeta do this. Not where we’re going.

It’s too late for you, girl. If at that point in the Reaping you already felt numbed by the idea of killing Peeta, then this little strategy will not work now.

It’s interesting to see that despite knowing that the likelihood of being Reaped was high for both Katniss and Gale, they didn’t seem to have a planned strategy for how they will play the Game if they were reaped. Katniss seems surprised that Haymitch has a strategy in mind after he saw what Katniss and Peeta were capable of, and she was even more surprised that Peeta was already scheming on the train. Perhaps she is in denial about her odds of getting reaped, just as she is still in denial about what Gale feels for her.

♛ ♛ ♛

To be continued…

Re-reading “The Hunger Games” #01: Katniss’ Tell-tale Heart

I’ve decided to re-read The Hunger Games before the movie is released. I know that I’ll probably regret this once I’m seated inside the cinema, but I couldn’t resist.

For this re-read, I finally opened one of my Scholastic UK paperback editions. Yay! I chose the Katniss version because I didn’t want the Peeta one to get mangled. 😛

Reading the first sentence brought back memories of the first time I read this. I remember I stayed up until 4 a.m. because I just couldn’t put it down. I still remember all the sections that made me laugh or cry.

I wasn’t on Goodreads back then, and I was maintaining a different blog, so I didn’t get to document my favorite quotes or my thoughts while I was reading. Now is a good time to start compensating for that. 😛 Continue reading

Real and Not Real: “The Hunger Games” University Tour

Are you a student of UP Diliman, DLSU-Manila, Ateneo, or Assumption College, who also happens to be a fan of The Hunger Games? Register now for Real and Not Real: “The Hunger Games” University Tour!

The symposia are open to students of the respective schools, and registration is free.

Registration Details:
– For AdMU/Loyola Schools students: Register here.
– For UP Diliman students: Register here.
– For DLSU-Manila students: You may inquire at the Writers’ Guild tambayan.
– For Assumption students: You may inquire at the office of the Department of Communications.

There’s more in store for Filipino Hunger Games fans! Keep checking back here or visit NewWorlds.ph or the Hunger Games Philippines website for more THG news. 🙂

Safe and Sound

The first single off the The Hunger Games OST is Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars.

I like it! This is one of Taylor’s better songs, though I suspect the reason it sounds a bit different from her other releases is it was written by T. Bone Burnett, one of the men in charge of writing music for the movie.  The melody seems familiar, though I haven’t quite figured out why just yet and parts of it remind me of Rue’s Four-Note Whistle.  The sound does evoke a lot of memories of the book and how I felt about what I was reading, so that’s a good sign to me. 🙂

Also, this resonates with me today because someone I know just went through a terrible ordeal: 4 men divested her of her valuables, beat her up, and almost raped her. 😦 It’s fortunate that she managed to escape. She was just discharged from the hospital this evening, but she still has a battle to fight. You may or may not know who she is, but I hope you can say a prayer for her recovery and peace of mind, and for justice to be served.

Happy Christmas to all who celebrate it! If you don’t, then Happy Holidays! May we all be safe and sound. 🙂