Catching Fire by: Suzanne Collins

Book: Catching Fire
Author:Suzanne Collins
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher:Scholastic Press
Date Published:September 1, 2009


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. Suzanne Collins continues the amazing story of Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire, the second novel of the phenomenal Hunger Games trilogy.

Why did I read this book:

Second book in what I could tell was going to be an awesome series.  Also I started reading this a week before the release date of Mockingjay and waiting that last week was absolutely pure torture of the literary variety that is.


This book took everything that was right about Hunger Games, and improved on it.  It took what was wrong and tried to explain it more to us, so we got it.

We got to know more about each character and see more of their growth, some still need more than others.  The author does an amazing job of while telling the story in first person, presenting a cast of well rounded characters.

Katniss still tries to deny some basic things to herself.  Her feelings for Gale are one thing.  It takes him being whipped before she can actually 100% admit to herself what he means to her.  And even afterwards she tries to pull away from that.  The idea of district 13 too.  I get her reasoning for dismissing it, but I also like that she looks into the clues herself.  She still takes an adults word on it though in the end, and if she’s going to be the heroine she needs to learn how to make up her mind and go with it.

Peeta, my poor lover boy.  He loves Katniss and she just keeps stomping on him.  He is what she needs when she wants him, but when she discards him he accepts that too and I can’t help but hurt for him, want more for him.  Want to give him a girl who loves him just as much.  And perhaps I might want him to be in love with Katniss for more than just her voice, because she can be a bit of a bitch sometimes, and maybe I might want this acknowledged too.

Gale.  I am still attracted to you and wish you would push Katniss a little harder, but your silence I suppose is push enough.  It lets her know where you stand in regards to her behavior. Lets her know you won’t be a Peeta and be what she needs when she wants it.  Either you get her or you don’t, but we’re not going to shut our eyes and pretend like everything is like it used to be, because it is not.  But when it matters, you make sure her family is taken care of.  You are brash and bold (from the rants I can tell you have in the forest) but you also know how to be a man and do what needs doing. I wish I wish we had more of you to fall in love with, but I guess less is more and your distance speaks its sown language.

Post Traumatic Stress. Am I ever glad they dealt with this in the book.  The nightmares, the way Katniss freaks out in regards to having to go back to the arena.  This is not pretty stuff, but it is real and I appreciate that this was acknowledged and not just brushed over.  You don’t go through that kind of situation and not come out the other side without some serious mental scarring.  This also explains Hamitches drinking and the morphlings.  Not a healthy option for dealing, but a realistic one.

Did I mention how much I dislike Snow.  I want to know why his breath smells like blood and roses.  I want to know why he is the oppressive dictator that he is?  Just the way he thinks society should be controlled, or something else, stemming from childhood?

This is the book for the uprising.  Where we see exactly what had happened during Katniss stand in the arena.  How it was the tipping point.  A part of me wishes she hadn’t fallen for Snow’s manipulation of her on tour, she could have done so much in helping the revolt had she been able to speak.  Except I don’t think she was ready for that kind of responsibility.  I also don’t think she would have survived it.  There would have been a bullet to her head. And maybe the districts were not ready yet either. Some yes, but all, no.  And she did have to go to all of them, so maybe peace while on tour was the way to go.

The part I did not love so much was the Arena. It was short lived.  I get using the arena as a means of showing final revolution, it is the only way to communicate to all as it is televised, but I also hated that they kept Katniss in the dark about her role and Peetas too. I guess I get the reasoning sort of.  But it is a piss pore way to treat someone you want to be the symbol of your revolution.  And I can’t help but feel that Katniss is justified in being upset at them.  But at some point she will need to smarten up and prove that she is worth confiding in.  Grow up a little more. Prove her savvy and her smarts. Because we really need her to be big picture thinking kind of material to lead what needs leading and be more than just he girl in the dress with the Mockingjay pin.

Final Thoughts:

Loved this book even more than the first.  It took something good and made it great.  It improved on what it was already doing right and tweaked the weaknesses.  We get to know even more about the characters and the worlds.  I didn’t squee so much in this book as the last, but I was definitely more emotionally involved in this story.

Rating: 9/10


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