The book begins with Katniss outside in the woods. She's thinking so hard that she can't even move.
Starting today she has to go on a Victory Tour to celebrate the Hunger Games, and she's dreading it.
The Capitol is making her do it; she doesn't have a choice. Once again, she has to be a part of the Capitol's media manipulation machine.
Katniss would rather put all of her memories of the Hunger Games behind her. She tries to distract herself by hunting for Gale's family. Katniss' family is rich because she won the last Games, so they don't need the extra food, but Gale's does.
Gale has to work in the mines now, and Katniss can barely stand the thought of going into them.
She misses the old times with Gale and thinks about how their relationship has changed.
Katniss hunts well and returns through the fence to District 12. (Remember, the Districts are fenced off from the surrounding land, and hunting is illegal.)
Her family has been moved to a new house in the Victor's Village, but Katniss stops at their old shack to change out of her hunting clothes. She pauses to regret the old life that's now out of her reach.
She feeds her sister's cat, Buttercup, and heads home to Victor's Village. First, Katniss stops at Gale's house and gives them the game she caught. Gale's mother, Hazelle, is very appreciative. Their family's been through hard times. Gale had to enter his name in the Hunger Games lottery extra times in exchange for getting more shares of government rations – that's called getting "tesserae."
Katniss offers to take Hazelle's little boy hunting, and Hazelle makes a reference to Gale and Katniss' special friendship. Katniss thinks again how the Games have changed her relationship with Gale, since during the Games she and Peeta had to pretend to be in love in order to win.
Katniss leaves Hazelle's and goes by the Hob to buy some things on the way home. She even buys alcohol for her Games mentor, Haymitch. Haymitch is a mean drunk, but he saved Katniss' life, and Peeta's too, by helping them through the Games.
Katniss runs into people she knows: Head Peacekeeper Cray, who's mean; another Peacekeeper named Darius, who's a nice guy; and Greasy Sae, who's in charge of the Hob. Everyone knows Katniss has to go take part in this media tour.
Part of the Capitol's manipulation has been marketing Gale as her cousin, to avoid confusion with the Katniss-Peeta love story.
Katniss heads home. Only the victors and their families live in this part of town, which means it's pretty deserted.
Katniss goes to fetch Haymitch for the tour. She has to rouse him from a drunken stupor, which is always pretty darn hard.
Peeta enters and shares some bread with them. (Remember from The Hunger Games that Peeta's family runs the bakery.)
Katniss mentions that the three of them all have to distract themselves somehow.
Haymitch reminds the other two that they have to act like they're in love, even though they feel all awkward.
Katniss heads home and meets her mother there. Something feels wrong. Her mom's acting weird.
Finally, Katniss realizes President Snow is in her house.