Blog created by and for book lovers and those interested in Book Clubs. A Reliable Wife was my first book club read and was part of the inspiration for the title of this blog. Forming a book club has brought me great joy and satisfaction and I will share my thoughts and insights with you.
SPOILER ALERT-only for those who've read The Hunger Games
Oh there are so many wonderful fun ways to celebrate the Hunger Games with your Book Club. Here's what we did...
My Hunger Games Book Club Menu
Apps: Bread, Blackberries, baked brie (representative of Katniss and Gales first meal)
Capitol Style Dinner:
Mega Salad: Fresh large salad with red and orange pepper; lots of salad dressing choices
Supreme Mashed Potato Bar (Crockpot of Mashed potatoes) with toppings: sautéed mushrooms, bacon, cheese, sour cream, butter, chives, Cheetos, Vegetables, Gravy
Decadent Dessert: Chocolate Chip Swirl Cake
Drinks: Effie Prosecco (Prosecco and a dash of cranberry juice) and or Red Wine
I did internet searches and also found recipes for The Hunger Games Orange Chicken with Peas and Lamb Stew with Plums. Anything rich and decadent is a good idea, as it would represent the Capitol.
Trivia: Create 10 Hunger Games Trivia questions and a Bonus Question. Be sure to have a Trivia Prize for the person that gets the most answers right. Our Prize was “District 11” bread (bought at Panera).
Book Club Discussion Points:
We had a big discussion on whether there really was a love triangle in the first book. Some thought that Gale was like a brother, there was no romance there. I thought that there was a love triangle, if perhaps implied. Gale has asked Katniss to run away with him, after all. I think that while Katniss and Gale are partners, there is a potential love interest there, especially because of their history. However, most in my book club thought that Peeta was the only love interest that Katniss would come around to his affections. Hmmm.
2.What did you think of Peeta, were his actions true and honest? Do you believe that he has always had an interest in Katniss? Or is he just going along the path that Hamish encouraged him to take? Is Peeta a worthy partner to Katniss?
I thought Peeta was somewhat genuine, but I still see Gale as a better partner. Katniss is stronger than Peeta mentally and physically and could have won the games without him. He actually held her back, as she almost got killed getting him medicine.
3.Why did Katniss form an alliance with Rue and was that advantageous for her? What would have happened if Rue had been one of the last contestants? Could Katniss have killed her? What if Rue had survived to the end and was able to partner with Thresh? What would Katniss have done?
Rue was the same age and size as Prim, Katniss’ little sister. Katniss was immediately drawn to Rue because of the sisterly connection. Also, Katniss believed Rue to be smart and capable. If, in the end, it had been Rue and Katniss instead of Katniss and Peeta, we felt Katniss would have done the same thing, threatened berry suicide.
4.The Capitol has more than enough food and drink and supplies while Katniss and her district are poor and hungry. What happened 74 years ago, how did the Capitol beat the Thirteen Districts? Why is the capitol so brutal, forcing each district to sacrifice children for the games? The basis of society, similar to ours is that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Of course the wealthy spoiled Capitol wants to maintain their lifestyle and control.
I thought it very interesting that the Capitol pits the Twelve Districts against one another in the games. This keeps each District separated, alliances between districts really are not encouraged. And, each District is its own entity, has its own occupations but there are strong physical barriers between the Districts. I think the Capitol is very smart in keeping each district isolated from the other, after all, they would not want a united uprising from all the districts. Perhaps there are not enough Peacekeepers or Capitol personnel to handle such an occurrence??? *I haven’t read Catching Fire or Mocking jay yet, this is pure speculation.
5.Where there any parts of the book that didn’t make sense? That you didn’t like?
I was really disappointed in the Hunger Games when there were a mere 3 (three!) Tributes left, that the Game Makers turned to Mutants. Really? There are only two strong Tributes left, and they are both healthy enough to fight each other and now is when you have attack mutants? The timing felt so contrived, as the mutants should have made an appearance earlier when there were more contestants or not at all, were they really necessary? One person in our group thought that Katniss’s arrow should have pierced Cato’s heart that she deserved to kill him in a straightforward way; alas, he had on body armor. Really?
6.Could you see the influence of Reality TV in The Hunger Games?
Much like Survivor, every moment in the Games, Katniss has to think about her actions and words. She is extremely aware that she cannot cry, cannot express her true emotions as she is on camera. And she constantly creates a sense of awareness of her actions, she cannot relax, everyone is watching. Even her kissing Peeta is a well thought action for the cameras, a calculated act for which she gains a reward, a pot of broth.
7.In what year does The Hunger Games take place? What happened to what used to be the US?
The year to the reader is unknown, but this is the 74th Hunger Games. So the world changing is assumed to have happened at least that many years ago. If you look online at a Panem map, California, Oregon, Washington, Texas and the East Coast are gone. District Twelve is where I thought it would be, somewherenear West Virginia.
8.What are your predictions on what will happen in the next books?
We believe that Gale might have more visibility. We know that Katniss and Peeta have unresolved relationship issues, but are they really meant to be together? And, I have to wonder about that alluded to, but mysterious District 13; my Spidey senses are tingling…What will the consequences be for Katniss having angered the president and the Capitol? How will she redeem herself, is that even possible?