Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Book Details
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Hardcover, 400 Pages
2009, Scholastic Press
ISBN: 0439023491
Series: Book 2 of The Hunger Games

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.

In Catching Fire, it's time for The Hunger Games in the capitol again and this year, it's the Quarter Quell. Every 25 years, there is a new twist to The Hunger Games. These twists are used by the capitol as a way to make sure the districts continue to repent for their actions against the capitol years ago. When the twist was announced, I can even describe how wide my eyes became. Oh, the shock and the horror. It took just about half of the book before The Hunger Games began, but every moment of build up and back story was worth it.

As was the way in The Hunger Games, the tears started early and occurred often in Catching Fire. It was so emotionally raw that I think every single character made me cry at some point in the book. Katniss coming to terms with having to choose between Peeta and Gale was less emotional that it could have been though. Being that we don't see her with Gale all that often and their conversations lean more towards hostile friendship than love, I find her indecision confusing. She obviously belongs with Peeta and everyone, sometimes even Gale, seems to get that. The most striking, heart-wrenching scenes were from an unexpected source - Cinna. Katniss' personal stylist proves to be so unbelievably devoted to her and their friendship throughout the book that I almost couldn't even stand it. Can I just be Team Cinna?

I am so glad I waited a little while after The Hunger Games to read Catching Fire. I don't think I could have survived a huge wait between this book and the release of Mockingjay. The powerful ending left me needing to know what happens at once. Catching Fire was simply amazing. I was never able to predict what was going to happen next and found myself totally in the moment for the entire book. It was like I was just along for the ride and my sole task was just to enjoy the experience. Absolutely brilliant beginning to end.


Suzanne Collins' website


  1. Oh Cinna does rock! I forgot how amazing he was in this one. Great review. I can not wait for Mockingjay.

  2. I agree with you on the Peeta/Gale situation, but I suppose she's young an inexperienced and she maybe confusing her loyalty towards Gale as true love. I guess we shall see how it plays out in Mockingjay. I can't wait!

  3. I'm reading this one right now to get ready for Mockingjay.. I'm about halfway through. But the part you talked about where the quarter quell twist is revealed... I had the same reaction!! And that was the last part I got to last night b/c I was so tired and had to go to sleep, but I want to read more1!!

  4. I agree- great read, and you did a great review.

  5. Why haven't I read this series yet? Why why why? Anyways, wonderful review. I have to read The Hunger Games!

  6. I love Cinna too! He's actually pretty underrated as a character in the series. I hope we get to see more of him in Mockingjay -- so excited!

  7. I just read both books too, and have to agree about the shorter wait for Mockingjay. Book one was hyped too much for me, but I thought book two finally sucked me in.

    Glad to see I'm not the only one who hadn't read these yet. :)

  8. Great review as usual, Jennifer. I really need to start this series!

  9. Waiting anxiously for Mockinjay, too.

    Team Peeta all the way!!

  10. I still haven't read the first one but I have never heard anyone bad mouth this series yet.

  11. I have books 1 and 2 but I haven't read it yet, i've just been hearing that it's a great series and everyone is anticipating the next book.

  12. @Juju - Thanks! I think I may be more nervous about Cinna's fate in Mockingjay than anything else .

    @HG - Good point. Obviously Gale is going to play a big part in Mockingjay, so it'll be interesting to see Katniss interact more with him.

    @Jenny - Ohh, yeah! I have to sit down and read these books through without interruption@ or I get cranky.

    @brandileigh2003 - Thanks!

    @Emidy - Why indeed? You really do. This series is fantastic.

  13. @Jillian - I agree. Cinna, more than anyone else in the series, seems to care about only Katniss and her future.

    @Becky - Yup, I'm usually last to the party. At least we made it time for Mockingjay!

    @Julie P - Thanks! You really do.

    @Alessandra - Mockingjay's release seems so very far away!

    @Ladytink - I actually just got my first negative comment on my Hunger Games review. It "sucks ass" to quote the commenter. Eh, to each her own. I love these books.

    @Stacey - It really is. I can't wait!