Catching Fire

Posted May 9th, 2012 by in *Review / 7 comments

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: Sept 2009
Classification: YA Novel

Summary from Goodreads:

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 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.

My Thoughts:

 I have always thought the Hunger Games could have been a stand alone book had it not been for the storyline between President Snow and Katniss. That was one of the elements that turned out to traverse all three novels and really started to gain its bearings in the second book. The first book just acted as a way to lay the groundwork for the rebellion and how President Snow is teh key villain in the entire series. The Hunger Games was a grand book that I loved almost from cover to cover. A follow book usually is the filler book and that is just that; filler. All filler and no killer.

One of the problems I had with Catching Fire was the love story. A love story is supposed to feel natural and fun. The love story between Peeta and Katniss was anything but; it was forced and awkward. Peeta had genuine feelings for Katniss but Katniss only ‘loved’ Peeta to serve a greater purpose. That purpose was her survival. I just did not have any emotional investment in their love and I really thought Katniss started to show how much of a whiny character she was. It was always the ‘woes me’ element surrounding her. In the Hunger Games she emerged as such a strong character. In Catching Fire, she was just starting to show her flaws, and not the certain type of flaws that are endearing in a character. These are the type of flaws that ruin a story or at least taint it. In Mockinjay, that is when she really starts to be a pain in the ass, but that is for another review.

I did enjoy the pacing in this book as it seemed that something was happening on each page. Each chapter had some sort of action element going on. Action, element, anything! It was always going on. The great thing about a second book or a second piece of a series is the characters do not need to be explained. This is when they come into their own and shine, and shine they did! Gale turned out to be a strong supporting character as he was mainly relegated to a minor role in the first book. This minor role was important because he was integral to Katniss and her story but in Catching Fire, he showed that he was her anchor that kept her level. When the Hunger Games commenced once more. even more twists and turns were abound. I did mention President Snow and his diabolical ways; he was genius. He became the Emperor from Star Wars; the true bad ass. He is evil personified and so cunning in his ways that he even let Katniss know he would have her march through hell all because of the berry incident. He did all of this by alluding to his acts but never once did he flat out say ‘I am going to make your life hell’. Peeta is the boy with the bread whilst Snow is the man with the rose. Devilish lips and the sinister rose.

All in all, this book was not as strong as The Hunger Games but it was not god awful like is follow up, Mockinjay. That will be a fun review to write. I enjoyed Gale and Snow but Katniss grew on my nerves. Oh yeah…Peeta was there. Somewhere. Action heavy and the storyline somewhat took a backseat, aside from Snow. I would still suggest this book but would give a cautionary tale beforehand.




7 Responses to “Catching Fire”

  1. Karen

    Any admiration I had for Katniss was gone by the time I finished Mockingjay. I look forward to your review. I read that book at midnight – in 5 hours & I was so stunned that I actually gave it a positive review at first but as the days wore on and I realized it was the most disappointed in a book/end of a series that I had even been.
    I did enjoy Catching Fire a bit more than you though. Great review.

    • themetalship

      Katniss had such promise in the first book but with each passing book, she became so weak and uninteresting. Like you, I once admired Katniss. Not any longer. Although….Jennifer Lawrence is a beauty. Not gonna lie 😉 lol

  2. Amanda @ On a Book Bender

    Johnny, you and I are reviewing twins today. Though I’ve got my Mockingjay review up as well, and it seems I didn’t dislike it as much as you. 😉

    When my boyfriend read Catching Fire, I think his one gripe with the book was the love triangle. It was rather annoying.

  3. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I’ve only read The Hunger Games and definitely loved it, but having read your review, I’m really wary to start the next one. :/
    THG was fantastic. It’s really too bad that Katniss turned out to be a whiny character.
    Thanks for the honest review, Johnny 🙂

  4. Erica

    This one was definitely the only one of the 3 that I actually liked – I loved it so much more than Hunger Games and we don’t really talk about Mockingjay.

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