Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Dystopian
Series: The Hunger Games #2

Hardcover, 391 pages
Publication: September 1, 2009 by Scholastic Press  

Source: Personal library  

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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.

I’m probably the last person that has read Catching Fire, but like last year the movie is a couple of days away (2!) so I’d thought I’d try and finish it before then.  I’ve seen plenty of trailers of Catching Fire over the months, and thought surely the book is pretty much spoiled for me. I was wrong. The book still had plenty of twists and turns and even what I saw in the trailer still had a strong impact on me while reading it. 

Catching Fire takes place 9-12 months after the first book, Katniss and Peeta are living with their families and Haymitch in the Victor’s Village preparing for their Victory Tour through all 12 districts/Capitol. Things seem to be quiet and normal till President Snow personally visits Katniss and tells her that her stunt in the games is possibility creating unrest within the district…a rebellion against the Capitol. Katniss does everything possible to stay under Snow’s radar but it seems he is definitely out to get her no matter what, especially when he announce that the 75th Quell Games will be picked from the victor’s pool! 

I honestly didn’t think Collins could top the first book, but she manages to do so; and she does it well. The stakes were high for Katniss alone in the first book, but now everything just escalates because it involves not only her but her friend, her family, and all the districts. I was shocked by the game’s turn of events toward the end…I definitely didn’t see it coming. In my opinion Catching Fire was even better than the first book; everything is more intense and had me at the edge of my seat the entire way through till the end. 

Overall I really enjoyed Catching Fire, while Collins’ writing isn’t what I’d say as great; she still created a fast-paced, engaging story. I can’t believe I waited this long to read the books, and can now see why the fandom for this series is so big. If you haven’t read this series yet, or any dystopian book for that matter…I highly recommend starting with The Hunger Games/this series! (Although, again I’m sure everyone on earth has already read this series LOL).

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