#2 in the Hunger Games Trilogy
Author – Suzanne Collins
Rating – 5; Nearly Perfect; A Keeper
Reading Level – Young Adult
Genre – Dystopian
Pages – 391
Publisher – Scholastic Press
Release Date – 2009
Source – Public Library
Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull’s-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol. (via GoodReads)
I read The Hunger Games in a day. I was wondering how Catching Fire was going to one up it or even just expand upon it. Where did Katniss and Peeta go from here? How could they carry on? How did the Capitol deal with Katniss’ moment of genius? I can’t believe it but Suzanne Collins had kept the intensity with Catching Fire. Above and beyond it. There are still parts that I’m grappling with. I know I’m going to have a hard time writing this review. There is so much I want to talk about but also so much I can’t say without giving away the plot.
Catching Fire continues the story began in The Hunger Games. It is a gripping ride-by-the-seat-or-your-pants read. There were a few moments were I would laugh out loud or gasp audibly (thereby startling the people around me). A book that elicits this kind of a reaction from me is instantly considered a keeper. I didn’t think that there would be much else that could surprise me in Panem. I was wrong. So very wrong. I didn’t see any of the plot unfolding as it did in the second installment of The Hunger Games
Collins knows how to keep her readers’ interest. Almost every chapter ended at a point where I kept telling myself just one more. I can stop after one more. (It sounds like I need an intervention….) On top of this nail biting writing style I found that the premise was similar. Don’t mistake this for me saying you’re reading the same book. You’re not. It doesn’t offer comfort like the familiarity of a good friend. Rather it left a feeling in the pit of my stomach that didn’t subside until the last page. But the Games happen every year. How can it be different from the first one? Collins does a good job of changing it up. That’s kind of the understatement of the year. Readers who have read this book probably understand what I mean.
The best part of this book for me was seeing Katniss as something other than the tough as nails survivor she is. Underneath all the calculated decisions is a girl who is so scared that if she fails, everyone around her will suffer for it. Katniss is a 17 year old girl with fears no girl that age should be facing. As a reader it endeared me to her. It made me realize that while she is a survivor to the people of Panem, she’s a lot more. It’s not a leap of logic to realize that I’m invested in the plot and characters. If you enjoy young adult, you cannot miss this series. It’s dark to be sure but Panem is without a doubt worth exploring.
1. The Hunger Games
2. Catching Fire