Friday, July 2, 2010

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Since I'm not sure how the weekend will shake down, I wanted to write my review and get it posted before things get crazy.  My BFF Doc is heading home on Saturday night, and another friend is flying in at the exact same time, so we'll be trading off visitors. In the meantime, I'll get my thoughts about Catching Fire down!  What can I say though, that hasn't already been said?  I'll try to keep this short...if I'm capable!

Yes, I finally got around to reading the two books in The Hunger Games series so that I can now say that I get the "Team Gale" or "Team Peeta" buttons on people's blogs, or random conversations about said teams on Twitter.  What team am I on?  Well, I think I want to see where things go with Gale.  I'll have to wait until August though to see how all of that shakes down though, eh?

Synopsis:  "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."  (Goodreads)

Review:  As with The Hunger Games, I did think that Catching Fire started off pretty slow.  The difference between the two books was that in book one, I felt like I knew what was going to happen, yet still needed the story spelled out to me so that I had a solid background.  In book 2, I really didn't feel as though I knew what was going to happen, which was nice.  Because of the way their society was set up, you begin to realize in book 2 that there must be a lot more going on in the "Capitol" (government) than we at first believed, and that gives the entire book a real sinister feel.  The evil that the Capitol doled out on its citizens was cruel and unnecessary, and had me considering what I would do.  This is the question that Katniss had to ask herself, as she was turned into a major catalyst for a rebellion that she didn't even realize she had started.

As I said, I enjoyed book 2 a bit more.  I didn't ever really feel like I knew what was going to happen next in this installment, which kept me flipping pages by the last 150 pages.  There is a fair amount of terror involved again in the story, along with characters fighting for survival.  Collins has created a well-written complex story, with well-developed characters, that I liked a lot more, and felt more invested in by this point.  After reading this second book, I can also say that if you haven't yet read these books (or feel hesitant to because everyone else already has), to give them a try.  Things really pick up in the story and get more complex and engaging as you read farther into these books.  Overall, this dystopian story, although familiar in some ways, is really engaging and has you caring about its characters in no time at all.
 Watch for the final installment in The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, out on August 24th.  I'll be waiting, along with everyone else!

*FTC Disclosure:  Review based off of a purchased, personal copy of the novel.

This review counts as my 8th out of 12 in the 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge.


  1. Aarti just read and reviewed both of these books and she liked The Hunger Games a bit more, so it is interesting to see all of the different opinions based on how close people read the books together, etc. I think that I liked Catching Fire a bit better too. I am curious what I would think if I had been able to read them back to back. Glad that you enjoyed them.

  2. Team Gale! I'm shocked...I though t for sure you'd be a Peeta fan. :)

  3. Nicole--I do think it's pretty interesting to see which books others liked. I just didn't like the predictability in the first novel though, especially after all the hype. I did really like both books though, and am for sure waiting the third installment!

    Buckeye Girl--That's funny. Why would you think I would like him? He was nice, but there's something mysterious and hunky about Gale. Maybe I'm bringing my own ideas of a love interest into this? :)

  4. Great review! I enjoyed the sinister feel of book two... it had me flipping pages to see what was going to happen next.

  5. I definitely like this one better too! Counting down the days to the 24th!!