Catching Fire Book Review

Sparks are igniting.

Flames are spreading.

And the Captiol wants revenge.

-front flap

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire is the sequel to the Hunger Games. It continues the story of Katniss, who last year, won the Hunger Games with her friend Peeta. They now have returned to district twelve, and life is anything but normal. Yes, they have all the comforts of living in the warm and perfect Victor’s houses, but they know that savage Hunger Games will continue to kill innocent people year after year. Not to mention Katniss might have started a series of uprisings, that will have dire consequences if she cannot stop them. The only way? Prove that everything she did in the Hunger Games, including defying the Capitol by threatening to eat deathly berries,  was out of pure love for Peeta. The only problem with that is that Katniss isn’t sure whether or not she is in love with Peeta. And it doesn’t help that Gale has admitted his feelings for her. Packed with action and romance and just as gripping as the Hunger Games, Catching Fire is a book to read and remember.

Catching Fire. Well. Hmm. What to say about this here bad boy?

Let’s start with the plot.  Catching Fire was just as addicting as the Hunger Games was. The plot moved at an excellent pace, never slowing down too much before picking back up again. I have to say that Collins is an author that writes action very well. She makes the brief short sentences work for her in those scenes, drawing the reader in completely. I was totally engrossed. In fact, I can bet you that most people who read this book started it and didn’t stop until they were done. I had to have to book literally pried from my hands by my mother so I could go to sleep.

This is because of the plot. A book. With plot. It’s so refreshing to have a focus on survival and anger rather than lovey-moony-eyed paranormal crap. Not to say that this book didn’t have romance in it…just that the balance was perfect. There storyline focuses around something called the Quarter Quell, which is a special type of Hunger Game that happens every 25 years. I thought it sort of came out of nowhere, but my friend pointed out to me that there was no really good space to put it in the first book, so whatever. It works.

I expected the plot of this second book to focus on the rebellion and it did, but in most unusual ways. I was surprised many a time– by the characters, their decision and the twists this book took.

Like I said, there is romance, but it’s not overwhelming. Which is nice. I think it makes the book more available for people who aren’t 13 year old girls. My brother and dad read this book. I don’t think they would have it there had been more smoochy smoochy in it. So thank you Collins, for making this a family event.

Anyways. The romance. Can I just say that there is nothing I hate more than a flimsy female who can’t make up her mind. I don’t know when Katniss lost her backbone in this respect but all of a sudden it was, “Peeta? Gale? I don’t know!”

Obviously it should be Peeta.

Seriously.

Collins writes him as a much nicer, more selfless dude. He clearly loves Katniss. They are clearly going to end up with each other. So why drag it out with boring love triangles? I can understand how utterly fascinating these geometric pairings can be in certain genres, but it’s so out-of-place and crowd-pandering here that I legitimately cannot understand why Collins makes it happen. Nevertheless, it does. But thankfully, as I stated before, it doesn’t take up too much of the focus. So you can just pretend it doesn’t exisit.

Until people start making out. Then you kinda just have to deal.

Last thing on this subject– no matter how infuriating fickle girls are, at least it was well-written here. Short, blunt, and even sweet. Collins makes it work.

As you know from book one, the writing is done without excess. Lots of short sentences, which really show the innards of Katniss’s mind. It shows that Katniss neither cares nor has the time for flamboyance. This sounds like I’m writing an essay. I offer you my apologies.

The ending is a real shocker. Cliff hanger. I’m dangling here. And the only rope that can save me isn’t coming out for a while. So my advice? If you lack patience, wait a few months for the third book to come out. Otherwise, you just might die.

This review was choppy. I’m experimenting with a new style. Okay. I lied. I just suck at writing. Let’s just drop it, okay?

Catching Fire was just as good as the Hunger Games, meaning that if you liked one, you’ll like the other. But, that also means that if you didn’t like one, you probably won’t like the other. So, be smart about it when deciding if you’re gonna read it or not. I read it. I loved it. I’ll read it again and again until the last book comes out and then one day I’ll read it with my kids.

In terms of literary history, this book breaks no boundaries. But it’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s gritty and bold and fresh. And it’s just worth your time. Just…yeah. Read it.

Ri’s Rating:

QQQ/QQQQQ

35

 

0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

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3 Comments

  1. pfruit

     /  November 15, 2009

    I agree that Catching Fire seems to be very fast paced, maybe too much so. The short sentences cause me to lose interest quickly so I didn’t really enjoy this read.

    Reply
  2. I really like the plot for the first book of this series, but now that I’ve read the second one I’m really not sure what to think. It was iritating to read the same things again and again but the worst thing was the lack of fluxuation in the author’s writing. the tone was always the same and this constant rushing made it impossible for me to enjoy the other parts of this book.

    Reply
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