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Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic, 2009)

*Please be wary of spoilers pertaining to Hunger Games and/or Catching Fire.*

Summary: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

What can I say? My head was glued to this book. I couldn’t stop reading. I was itching to read it while at work, but couldn’t. And now that I have read it, I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year for the next one.

So what happens? Catching Fire takes place soon after the events of the first book.  Katniss is going through the motions that are required of her as winner of the Hunger Games. But it seems her win has sparked hope, and rebellion, amongst the Districts.  This is all I’m going to say in terms of summary because I really, really don’t want to give anything away; there are so many plot twists and turns that I’d want you to experience it for yourself.

However, here are some random thoughts:  It’s wonderful to see Gale back in this book, and to see the new interaction now between him and Katniss. I wish there was more Prim though, since she was saved by Katniss in the first book after all. I know Katniss expresses her love for Prim in her own ways, but I wish there was a scene between the two sisters. Peeta is as charming and warm as always. And oh, Katniss, Katniss…I can understand her pain: trying to keep her loved ones alive at the expense of her own happiness and life.  In this book, she continues that struggle but you felt more for her and you want her to win and to see her take control of everything that’s going around her and stand up to the ones that threaten her. Makes you want to scream, “FIGHT!”

Oh and Haymitch…for some reason, he is my favorite character. He just tells it like it is and he knows what he is doing, even if no one else does, or understands for that matter. He knows he has to survive in order for Katniss to survive in order for her family to survive, and ultimately for the Districts to survive. It’s a vicious cycle.

Suzanne Collins has written a great sequel, and I have to say, when I got to the very last chapter, I felt like all those people must have felt 25 years ago when watching the end of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. A satisfying read but you want to know more!

If you haven’t read Hunger Games yet, believe the hype. I know I did.

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