After my book club read and enjoyed The Hunger Games, we all decided that September's choice would be Catching Fire, the much anticipated sequel and the second in The Hunger Games trilogy. Suzanne Collins has done it again! She's made me get so involved in a book that it's dangerous for me to read on my work commute! This is one book that I read while walking from the bus stop to work because I couldn't bear to put it down. (But I'm proud to say I managed not to miss my stops, and I didn't read while crossing the street.)
I won't say too much about the plot because I don't want to ruin it for people who haven't yet started the second book. Basically, the oppressive government of Panem, known as the Capitol, is upset about the outcome of the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss is seen as a rebel by the government and an inspiration to the people of the districts, who have grown tired of starving, living in fear, and sending their children to die in the Games. How does Katniss feel about talk of a resistance movement? And how does she feel about the young men in her life (Gale, her best friend and hunting companion, and Peeta, the supposed love of her life)? Collins addresses these issues in Catching Fire, with a cliffhanger ending that almost makes me wish I'd waited until the final book comes out next year to read this one. Let me tell you, it's going to be one long year for me and for everyone else who is captivated by the world and the characters Collins has created.
Like The Hunger Games, Catching Fire is told in first person from the point of view of Katniss Everdeen, a 17-year-old girl who has no qualms about putting her life on the line to save the people she loves. She's just as brave and selfless as she was in The Hunger Games, and despite all the hardships she must endure, I love how Collins gives her the qualities of an ordinary teenager. She's naive, impulsive, innocent, stubborn, and confrontational. While some of the other characters in the books feel one-sided, Katniss and Peeta are well rounded and well developed.
Catching Fire has a lot going on, so it kept my attention throughout. There's some romance, some action, and lots of tension. It's just as good, if not better than, The Hunger Games, so I don't think anyone who enjoyed the first book will be disappointed. And for the record, I kept switching from Team Peeta to Team Gale throughout the book, but after thinking about the book in the few days since I finished it, I'm going with Team Peeta.
Disclosure: I received Catching Fire as a gift.
© 2009, Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or reproduce content without permission.