Friday, September 4, 2009

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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.


Serena said...

Sound like this one was a great selection for this month. I haven't started yet, but the hubby has finished one chapter, which is a feat for him.

I probably will tear the book out of his hands at some point to read it myself.

Team Peeta, huh?! I haven't officially declared...:)

bermudaonion said...

I got an autographed copy at BEA and Carl read it earlier this summer. As soon as he finished, he said, "Where's the next one?" I've got to make time to read these books!

Unknown said...

So far I've only read Hunger Games, so I'm still on Team Gale. I wonder if I'll switch camps after Catching Fire.

Julie P. said...

Great review! I really enjoyed this book too! Can't wait for the next one.

Blodeuedd said...

I feel like jumping up and down after reading your post. I really need to read it this second.
Team Peeta, I think I would like that :D

Amanda said...

Sadly, I *was* disappointed by Catching Fire, and The Hunger Games is one of my favorite books all year. CF was just so awkward and weirdly paced and then she turned Katniss into a really stupid person instead of just naive and blind, which I really didn't like. It made me so sad.

Btw, I'm Team Katniss. I don't think she should end up with either guy. Gale is like her brother, and things are just too messed up with Peeta, not to mention she doesn't WANT to fall in love. She should stay alone or wait until she finds someone she can fall in love with.

Staci said...

First I need to read Hunger Games and I so have to buy this one for my son!!!

Nise' said...

Looking forward to reading this one too! Great review.

Arielle said...

Definitely have to read this one...after I read The Hunger Games that is!

Marg said...

I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

Book Escape said...

This series sounds great. I'm going to wait for all three than read them back-to-back because it sounds like I'll get hooked and won't be able to wait.

Anonymous said...

Haven't read the Hunter Games yet but after hearing so much about both it and Catching Fire recently it sounds like I'm going to have to get started ASAP so I can read both and learn about what all the hype is about.

Anonymous said...

I have got to get around to Hunger Games and now Catching Fire. I think I may be the only one who hasn't read either.

Corinne said...

Oh YAY!! I was so hopefully that this would be good :)I'm still waiting to get my library copy - I've gone from #63 to #19 :)

S. Krishna said...

I loved this book - I'm actually glad I waited so long to read Hunger Games so the wait wasn't nearly as long for this one. I'm on Team Peeta as well, but I have a feeling that Team Gale is going to win!

Anna said...

~Serena: Since our book club meeting is tomorrow, I certainly hope you've finished the book!

~Bermudaonion: I can't wait until you have a chance to read them. Looking forward to your thoughts.

~Lilly: I'll keep an eye out for your thoughts.

~Julie: It's too long of a wait, in my opinion!

~Blodeuedd: I do hope you get to read it soon!

~Amanda: Team've given me something to think about!

~Staci: Go read The Hunger Games...NOW! ;)

~Nise': Thanks!

~Arielle: You really should read them soon. I loved them.

~Marg: I hope you get a chance to read it soon!

~Book Escape: I'm beginning to think that would have been a better strategy. I'm dying to know what happens in the end.

~justicejenniferreads: I hope you enjoy them both!

~Carolsnotebook: Nope, you're not the last. So hurry up before you are! (Boy, I'm in a pushy mood today. LOL)

~Corinne: Hope you're closer to the top of the list now!

~S. Krishna: I have no idea which one will win out. I certainly won't be disappointed either way.