“Life in District 12 isn’t really so different from life in the arena. At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead. The hard thing is finding the courage to do it.”—Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins)
“In fact, all three are so readily respectful and nice to my mother that I feel bad about how I go around feeling so superior to them. Who knows who I would be or what I would talk about if I’d been raised in the Capitol? Maybe my biggest regret would be having feathered costumes at my birthday party, too.”—Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins)
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock. Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before … and surprising readers at every turn.
I haven’t been on this blog in too long. Oops. There are tonnes of books to come and I have so many notes on my phone of pages with quotes I like that I can’t wait to rediscover.
Anyway, The Hunger Games is finished with. It was a good, easy read and I read the trilogy within a couple weeks, if I recall correctly. It may not be the best of stories, but it was definitely still enjoyable and gave you some things to think about. I remember how one of the thoughts on the series made by one of the actors of the movies (it may have been Jennifer Lawrence, but I can’t be too sure) was how The Hunger Games is like the “reality show” of the future. We take such schadenfreude from watching other people get hurt, make asses of themselves, or fight. In the future, maybe this feeling will revert us back to the time of the gladiators. Probably not, but it’s an interesting though.
“'I … I'm no good at this. I'm not my mother. I've no idea what I'm doing and I hate pus,' I say. 'Euh!' I allow myself to let out a groan as I rinse away the first round of leaves and apply the second. 'Euuuh!'
‘How do you hunt?’ he asks.
‘Trust me. Killing things is much easier than this,’ I said. ‘Although for all I know, I am killing you.’
‘Can you speed it up a little?’ he asks.
‘No. Shut up and eat your pears,’ I say.
( … )
’ You know, you’re kind of squeamish for such a lethal person,’ says Peeta as I beat the shorts clean between two rocks. ‘I wish I’d let you give Haymitch a shower after all.’”—The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
“Numerous animals have lost their lives at my hands, but only one human. I hear Gale saying, ‘How different can it be, really?’
Amazingly similar in execution. A bow pulled, an arrow shot. Entirely different in aftermath. I killed a boy whose name I do not know. Somewhere his family is weeping for him. His friends call for my blood. Maybe he had a girlfriend who really believed he would come back …”—The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
“And there I am, blushing and confused, made beautiful by Cinna’s hands, desirable by Peeta’s confession, tragic by circumstance, and by all accounts, unforgettable.”—The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
“'They're betting on how long I'll live!' I burst out. 'They're not my friends!'
‘Well, try and pretend!’ snaps Effie. Then she composes herself and beams at me. ‘See, like this. I’m smiling at you even though you’re aggravating me.’”—The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
“His 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.”—The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins, author of The New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles, delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.
I’ve obviously already read this, but when I first started, I had already seen the film, which I enjoyed. Obviously, I enjoyed the book a lot better, although there were a few slow points.
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The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest is a melancholy ending to a great trilogy. I actually finished this book months ago, but I really fail at updating things every day. Oops.
As per usual, Lisbeth kicks ass and takes names, taking up silence as her key weapon. Without a word, this leaves her enemies in the dark, which is one hell of a strategy as they have no idea what they will need to be fighting against.
What makes me sad about this book is knowing that Stieg Larsson intended for there to be more to the story. These books were only a few in what was meant to be a series. Thankfully, there is closure in the parts you likely need closure in the most, but there are some things that I desperately wish I could know, but never will. Things like: What happens with Mikael and Erika Berger? Would it have ever been explained why Lisbeth calls herself Wasp? What about Miriam Wu? After all of this is seems to be said and done, what new things were planned for Lisbeth’s new life?
When I die, these are the things I will ask Larsson.
“Mimmi was dressed in a white shirt and jacket. She looked fabulous. Salander instantly felt shy.
( … )
‘I was in the hospital for three weeks, and then it was chaos when I got home to Lundagatan. I couldn’t sleep. I had nightmares about that bastard Niedermann. I called my mother and told her I wanted to come here, to Paris.’
Salander said she understood.
‘Forgive me,’ Mimmi said.
‘Don’t be such an idiot. I’m the one who’s come here to ask you to forgive me.’
‘I wasn’t thinking. It never occurred to me that I was putting you in such danger by turning over my old apartment to you. It was my fault that you were almost murdered. You’d have every right to hate me.’
Mimmi looked shocked. ‘Lisbeth, I never even gave it a thought. It was Ronald Niedermann who tried to murder me, not you.’”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“When she had put away seven glasses of Tullamore Dew in a little over two hours, he decided not to give her anymore. It was then that he heard the crash as she fell off the bar stool.
He put down the glass he was drying and went around the counter to pick her up. She seemed offended.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“When she drank beer she did not care what brand or type it was; she accepted whatever he served her. When she ordered whisky she always chose Tullamore Dew, except on one occasion when she studied the bottles behind the bar and asked for Lagavulin. When the glass was brought to her, she sniffed at it, stared at it for a moment, and then took a tiny sip. She set down her glass and stared at it for a minute with an expression that seemed to indicate that she considered its contents to be a mortal enemy.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“Salander opened the door and got out. She paused as she was about to close the car door. She looked as though she wanted to say something but could not find the words. For a moment she appeared almost vulnerable.
“That’s all right, Lisbeth,” Giannini said. “Go and get some sleep. And stay out of trouble for a while.”
Salander stood at the curb and watched Giannini drive away until her tail lights disappeared around the corner.
“Thanks,” she said at last.”—
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“Don’t you want to go on being my lawyer?"
( … )
“I don’t know. You don’t trust me. And I don’t trust you. I have no desire to be drawn into a long process during which I encounter nothing but frustrating silence when I make a suggestion or want to discuss something.”
Salander said nothing for a long moment. “I … I’m not good at relationships. But I do trust you.”
It sounded almost like an apology.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“My client grew up in abominable family circumstances. Over a period of years her father persistently abused her mother."
“Let me finish. Lisbeth Salander’s mother was mortally afraid of Alexander Zalachenko. She did not dare to protest. She did not dare to go to a doctor. She did not dare to go to a women’s crisis centre. She was ground down and eventually beaten so badly that she suffered irreversible brain damage. The person who had to take responsibility, the only person who tried to take responsibility for the family long before she reached her teens even, was Lisbeth Salander. She had to shoulder that burden all by herself, since Zalachenko the spy was more important to the state and its social services than Lisbeth’s mother.”
“The result, excuse me, was a situation in which society abandoned Lisbeth’s mother and her two children. Are you surprised that Lisbeth had problems at school? Look at her. She’s small and skinny. She has always been the smallest girl in her class. She was introverted and eccentric, and she had no friends. Do you know how children tend to treat fellow students who are different?”
Giannini continued. “I can go back to her school records and examine one situation after another in which Lisbeth turned violent. The incidents were always preceded by some kind of provocation. I can easily recognize the signs of bullying. Let me tell you something.”
“I admire Lisbeth Salander. She’s tougher than I am. If I had been strapped down for a year when I was thirteen, I would probably have broken down altogether. She fought back with the only weapon she had available - her contempt for you.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“Dr. Teleborian, the reality is that it’s none of your business whom Lisbeth Salander wants to have sex with. It’s none of your business which gender her partner is or how they conduct their sexual relations. And yet in her case you pluck out details from her life and use them as the basis for saying that she is sick.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“In your report, you dwell on my client’s sexual habits. You claim that her relationship with her friend Miriam Wu ‘confirms the misgivings about a sexual psychopathy.’ Why does it confirm any such thing?"
Teleborian gave no answer.
“I sincerely hope that you are not thinking of claiming that homosexuality is a mental illness,” Giannini said. “That might even be an illegal statement.”
“No, of course not. I’m alluding to the elements of sexual sadism in the relationship.”
“You think that she’s a sadist?”
“We have Miriam Wu’s statement here. There was, it says, no violence in their relationship.”
“They engaged in S and M sex and-“
“Now I’m beginning to think you’ve been reading too many evening newspapers. Lisbeth Salander and her friend Miriam Wu engaged in sexual games on some occasions which involved Miriam Wu tying up my client and giving her sexual satisfaction. That is neither especially unusual nor against the law. Is that why you want to lock up my client?”
Teleborian waved a hand in a dismissive gesture.
“When I was sixteen and still at school I was intoxicated on a good many occasions. I have tried drugs. I have smoked marijuana, and I even tried cocaine on one occasion about twenty years ago. I had my first sexual experience with a school friend when I was fifteen, and had a relationship with a boy who tied my hands to the bedposts when I was twenty. When I was twenty-two I had a relationship with a man who was forty-seven that lasted several months. Am I, in your view, mentally ill?”
“Fru Giannini, you joke about this, but your sexual experiences are irrelevant in this case.”
“Why is that? When I read your so-called psychiatric assessment of Lisbeth Salander, I find point after point which, taken out of context, would apply to myself. Why am I healthy and sound while Lisbeth Salander is considered a dangerous sadist?”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“And you did not hesitate to conclude that Lisbeth Salander is mentally ill based on these unverifiable assumptions? When I was sixteen years old, I drank myself silly on half a bottle of vodka which I stole from my father. Do you think that makes me mentally ill?"
“No, of course not.”
“If I may be so bold, is it not a fact that when you were seventeen you went to a party and got so drunk that you and your friends went out on the town and smashed the windows around the square in Uppsala? You were arrested by the police, detained until you were sober, and then let off with a fine.”
Teleborian looked shocked.
“Is that not a fact, Dr. Teleborian?”
“Well, yes. People do so many stupid things when they’re seventeen. But -“
“But that doesn’t lead you - or anyone else - to believe that you have a serious mental illness?”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“The information that I suspect Lundin and Nieminen were there to destroy, and which could contribute to clarifying who murdered the bastard."
“Is it your opinion that Advokat Bjurman was a bastard? Is that correctly construed?”
“And why do you think that?”
“He was a sadistic pig, a pervert, and a rapist - and therefore a bastard.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“I asked whether … you drove down to Advokat Bjurman’s summer cabin in Stallarholmen with the intention of shooting Carl-Magnus Lundin."
“No. You said that you were going to try to bring clarity to how it happened that I drove down to Stallarholmen and shot Carl-Magnus Lundin. That was not a question. It was a general assertion in which you anticipated my answer. I’m not responsible for the assertions you are making.”
“Don’t quibble. Answer the question.”
“No is my answer to your question.”
( … )
“What was your reason for going to Stallarholmen? Had you arranged a meeting there with Carl-Magnus Lundin and his friend Sonny Nieminen?”
“How was it that they showed up there?”
“You’ll have to ask them that.”
“I’m asking you.”
Salander did not reply.
Judge Iversen cleared his throat. “I presume that Fröken Salander is not answering because - purely semantically - you have once again made an assertion,” the judge said helpfully.
Giannini suddenly snickered just loud enough to be heard. She pulled herself together at once and studied her papers again. Ekström gave her an irritated glance.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“Judge Iversen cleared his throat. He looked at Salander. “Are we to interpret your silence to mean that you don’t want to answer any questions?” he asked.
Salander turned her head and met Judge Iversen’s eyes.
“I will gladly answer questions,” she said.
Judge Iversen nodded.
“Then perhaps you can answer the question,” Ekström put in.
Salander looked at Ekström and said nothing.
“Could you please answer the question?” Judge Iversen urged her.
Salander looked back at the judge and raised her eyebrow. Her voice was clear and distinct.
“Which question? Until now that man there” - she nodded towards Ekström - “has made a number of unverified statements. I haven’t yet heard a question.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“Then he realized that Salander was in costume. Usually her style was sloppy and rather tasteless. Blomkvist had assumed that she was not really interested in fashion, but that she tried instead to accentuate her own individuality. Salander always seemed to mark her private space as a hostile territory, and he had thought of the rivets in her leather jacket as a defence mechanism, like the quills of a hedgehog. To everyone around her it was as good a signal as any: Don’t try to touch me - it will hurt.
( … )
If Salander had come in with her hair smoothed down and wearing a twin-set and pearls and sensible shoes, she would have came across as a con artist trying to sell a story to the court. It was a question of credibility. She had come as herself and no-one else. Way over the top - for clarity. She was not pretending to be someone she was not. Her message to the court was that she had no reason to be ashamed or to put on a show.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“Are you hurt?"
In a daze Blomkvist looked back at her. He was bleeding from his forehead and his nose.
“I think I broke a finger,” he said, sitting down on the floor.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“As far as he [Faste] was concerned, Salander was off her rocker. He had employed all his skills to persuade her to tell them, at the very least, where she lived. But in interview after interview that damn girl had just sat there, silent as a stone, staring at the wall behind him. She had refused the cigarettes he offered, and had never so much as accepted a coffee or a cold drink. Nor had she registered the least reaction when he pleaded with her, or when he raised his voice in moments of extreme annoyance. Faste had never conducted a more frustrating set of interviews.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“>One of the guys on the list is a stalker. Find him.>
>What are the parameters?>
>Have to work fast. Tomorrow they’re pulling the plug on me. Need to find him before then.>
She outlined the Poison Pen situation.
>Is there any profit in this?>
>Yes. I won’t come out to the Swamp and set your place on fire.>
>Would you really?>”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“'Take us to a restaurant where we can get some decent food.'
‘All food is decent.’
He looked at her. ‘I thought you were a health-food fanatic.’
‘No, I’m a workout fanatic. If you work out, you can eat whatever you want. Within reason.’”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)
“He opened the door using the code and took the stairs to the top-floor apartment, where he used Salander’s keys to get in. He turned off the alarm. He always felt a bit bemused when he went into the apartment: twenty-one rooms, of which only three were furnished.”—The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)