March 3, 2015

Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, book 2) by Suzanne Collins


Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Edition Reviewed: Hardcover
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Catching Fire (1)

Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.

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 in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn.


Yeah, I am just reading this book. It's sad I bought the book back when it first released, but never got around to it. Shamingly I even watched the movie before reading the book. So it gives me great pleasure to say that Catching Fire was better than The Hunger Games. Heck, it was better than the Catching Fire movie! Normally I don't pick favorites and get on a soapbox. However, I had issues with the movie and Katniss. (That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the movie, I loved it!)

In the movie Katniss seems oblivious and well, stupid. She's still an amazing leading lady. But it's just hard to believe that she's not taking notice of some things . . . Well! In the book she is! She's seeing an uprising being born, and she is aware to some extent of what's going on. While I found at times her constant, “No that can't be true, this is what's really going on” attitude exceedingly annoying. Especially since her self forced “obliviousness” causes her to be a real bad judge of people. And it's interesting to see how everyone is trying to manipulate her, only seeing her as a figure head of an idea. Personally I think it goes back straight to the first book when her “friend” gives her that Mokingjay pin. Cudos to all those people for deciding Katniss was strong enough to carry out—and actually be successful in the games—with the message. It doesn't say much for Katniss.

In fact, I really like how Collins brings into consideration the type of people who are able to win the Hunger Games. Sure she brings into light that sometimes simple chance—you know the odds fall in your favor—win Victor’s the games. People who will do whatever it is to survive, calculating minds, sometimes cruel, and a certain type of ruthlessness will crown the Victor. However, that doesn't mean they're all psycho paths. It's that survival instinct. Which Katniss has plenty of, and what I love most is seeing it in play with her conscious. Katniss is a protector. Especially of the weaker and less fortunate.

What I like more is the love triangle in Catching Fire. I found both Gale and Peeta to be excellent love interests. They both have flashes of jealousy, but it's understandable and in the end their actions are about doing what's right. (And the jealousy is brief.) It does drive me crazy that Katniss's dilemma of how she “truly feels” is basically brought on by her not thinking about getting a boyfriend. Sure I like that she's decided that having someone to love and have a family with them will equal more pain, and a risk she does not want to take. Yet she's aware enough of Gale's feelings, feels like she's betraying him, and seems to only think she should have him because that's what everyone else has always thought. Honestly the only thing I see happening for poor Gale is the brother zone. Besides at this point Peeta has gotten more time and development for Katniss. It would feel hollow at this point in Gale gets the girl. Readers know Peeta more, and simply saying that Gale and Katniss have tons of history do not character development make. Nor do a few flashbacks.

Overall I do like that Katniss is flawed. Peeta is right, there is a certain “pure” quality to Katniss. Though I think of it more fondly as self preservation in the form of forced obliviousness. The love triangle is pretty good, and I like that while it's present it doesn't carry the entire story. Though it plays a big part. In the end it's equal parts action and romance to create a heady blend. Hopefully the next book will have more of the uprising and less of Katniss just being a figurehead yo-yo being manipulated by everyone. (I love how Peeta is always the damsel. Sure he does help Katniss, but how many times does he have to be saved? Come on you secretly love it. Role reversal!) This book was a rush and I loved every second of it. The Hunger Games are intense, add the political drama and it just sweetens the deal. Readers get to see more of the bigger picture here getting the dirt on old characters, and plenty of new ones to really expand the world of The Hunger Games! Catching Fire is a one heck of a follow-up! Just be ready with Mockingjay on hand because it's one heck of a cliffhanger.

Sexual Content: Kissing mild and mild making out. Some sexual humor, but it’s all pretty clean for a book about kids killing kids.

5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!

Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
The Hunger Games (1) 
Catching Fire (2)
Mockingjay (3)
The Hunger Games (1)
Catching Fire (2)
Mockingjay (3)
The Hunger Games (1)
Catching Fire (2)
Mockingjay (3)

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