September 12, 2018

Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire (Hunger Games series #2)

by Suzanne Collins

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian Fiction
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Length: 497 pages
Published: September 2009
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Note: Spoilers ahead.

My Goodreads Ratings: 3 out of 5 stars

Official Book Summary:

"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."


"I always channel my emotions into my work. That way, I don't hurt anyone but myself."

Excerpt (from Chapter One):

"By noon they will all be at my new house in the Victor's Village. The reporters, the camera crews, even Effie Trinket, my old escort, will have made their way to District 12 from the Capitol. I wonder if Effie will still be wearing that silly pink wig, or if she'll be sporting some other unnatural color especially for the Victory Tour. There will be others waiting, too. A staff to cater to my every need on the long train trip. A prep team to beautify me for public appearances. My stylist and friend, Cinna, who designed the gorgeous outfits that first made the audience take notice of me in the Hunger Games.

If it were up to me, I would try to forget the Hunger Games entirely. Never speak of them. Pretend they were nothing but a bad dream. But the Victory Tour makes that impossible. Strategically placed almost midway between the annual Games, it is the Capitol's way of keeping the horror fresh and immediate." 

My Book Review:

3 stars for the second installment in the series.

After reading The Hunger Games, I was curious to see where Collins would take the story. I imagined a massive rebellion against the Capitol was forthcoming, but I did not anticipate Katniss and Peeta having to go back in the ring and that, for me, really made Catching Fire quite engrossing.

I appreciated that Katniss was angry and confused and broken after surviving the games--any other reaction would have been insincere. When President Coin announced that the players would be reaped from the existing victors, I was definitely hooked.

Again, some of the dialogue was cheesy but I liked the action and forward movement. The cliffhanger at the end of book two was a smart move by the author: even if I was bothered by elements of the writing quality, I knew I'd fork over more money to buy the last installment because at this point I had to know what would happen. I've stopped reading many YA series halfway through, so if an author can drive me forward and keep me wanting to read the next installment, that says a lot.

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