Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching FireTitle: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #2
Published: September 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Press
From: Shawna Freeman
Rating: 9/10

Catching Fire is the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy written by American author Suzanne Collins. It’s a continuation of the first book, The Hunger Games, and to be perfectly honest, a more intricate book that delves deeper into the human condition than even the first could have.

In the second post-apocalyptic revolution novel by Collins, Katniss Everdeen suffers the mental damage done to her in the first Hunger Games she participated in in Collins’ novel The Hunger Games, and is forced to relive everything all over again.

Katniss and Peeta are sent back into the arena thanks to the Quarter Quell, a special Hunger Games that happens every 25 years. They caught the dodranscentennial, or the 75th anniversary of the quelling of the rebellion President Coriolanus Snow mentions regularly.

In the arena, it’s all about showing everyone how they will survive together; Katniss and Peeta continue the love story, and there may even be a bit of a spark between them again.

But, what catches everyone off guard is what happens at the end.

I think I enjoyed this one better than The Hunger Games, and definitely enjoyed my second reading of this more than the original reading of Mockingjay. The characters are different, but there is more interaction between them. I loved the first arena the most, with the beautiful greenery and an environment that matched Katniss’ personality so well, but this one had more action that continued and was more complex.

The complexity was definitely the highlight. There were so many intersting exchanges between characters, such as between Finnick from District 4 and Katniss, that you couldn’t get rid of the nagging in your head. Up until the explosive ending did that nagging persist.

What I didn’t like this time around was the lack of adult theme. Collins mentioned a few things in passing, but never really went into great detail. Compared to Amy Ewing’s young adult novel The Jewel, which discusses how teenage girls are impregnated and kept as royal incubators, Catching Fire was pretty tame.

But, the Catching Fire film was pretty much awesome, as they all have been. So there is some redeeming quality there.

Overall, though, this series is fabulous. I love the story line, the variety of characters and their personalities, each small moment Collins weaves to show how intricate the characters’ experiences are. I think it’s time to speedread Mockingjay.

Suzanne Collins’ young adult Hunger Games trilogy, which consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, can be found online and in book stores, as well as her other publications. The films can all be seen on a television screen, as the final film Mockingjay, Part II, has finally been released.

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