Published by Scholastic Press on September 1st 2009
Genres: Dystopian, YA
Sparks are igniting.Flames are spreading.And the Capitol wants revenge.
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn.
I loved Hunger Games, the first book by Suzanne Collins. I loved it a lot, we even went steady for a bit. It, for me, was the American version of Battle Royale by Koushun Takami- a incredible book and fantastic Japanese film, as well as a series of manga. Waiting for the sequel was like waiting for my name to be called at the Quarter Quell.
Whatever I had braced myself for in the second book wasn’t enough. I thought I had a good imagination, but kudos to Collins for blowing my expectations out of the water without jumping the shark. I won’t spoil the book for you, so I won’t talk about the plot, but wow. Just wow, Ms. Collins.
Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Prim, and all your favorites are back (sadly no Rue, but she gets a fitting tribute). The triangle that was brewing in the first book is more fleshed out in Catching Fire, but it is never the focus, which is a relief. Unlike other love triangles (Edward/Bella/Jacob or Stefan/Elena/Damon) there’s no clear front runner for me. I feel that Katniss belongs with Gale, but Peeta is one of my all time favorite characters that I can’t see how Katniss doesn’t love him madly. Only Katniss is not me, she’s not interested in getting married and having babies. It occurs to me now that Katniss already has raised and taken care of a family, her mom and Prim, and I don’t think she can ever truly give Peeta what he needs or deserves.
Something in Katniss is broken, but it’s this very aspect that is her saving grace. The death of her father, her mother’s inability to cope in the beginning, risking her life to feed and protect her sister, all these events have left a deep mark on Katniss. But they also prepared her to win the Hunger Games, to save Peeta. I don’t know that I want Katniss healed, a Katniss that was eager to marry and raise children would be a tragic character departure. Still, I want a happy ending for Peeta….
My solution? Prim for Peeta! It’ll be very Little Women, Jo and Laurie can’t be together because Jo isn’t right for Laurie, and then eventually he falls in love with Amy. Perfect solution for Prim and Peeta.
Update Edit: Ah, I was such a sweet summer child, no clue what was in store for Prim.
I know this hasn’t been much of a review, but anything I say will be a spoiler, so if you even kinda, sorta liked Hunger Games, Catching Fire will blow your book loving mind. It’s a better, richer, more complex novel. There’s lots of Katniss, lots of Peeta. District 12 is wonderfully brought to life again, becoming another character in its own right. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll hold your breath and almost pass out until you remember to breathe again.
Catching Fire gets a Midnight Book Rating of:
*Dear FCC, despite the fact that I am rigorously recommending this book to anyone that will stand still long enough to listen, I bought the copy of the book myself. Suzanne Collins and her publishers did not solicit my opinion, nor do they return my emails or calls. They do not acknowledge my fan collages or my repeated requests to have my apartment be mentioned as District 0. The two neighborhood children I sent them as tributes were promptly returned, and the proper authorities were called on me.