Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins – Book Review

Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire, Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire, by Suzanne Collins is A Must Read.

Just a note: If you plan on reading The Hunger Games skip this review for now.

As the second book in The Hunger Games Trilogy begins, Katniss Everdeen has settled into the victory village, now neighbors to the still perpetually drunken Haymitch and Hunger Games partner Peet Mellark.  Katniss is struggling to forgive her mother for her past mistakes and adjusting to a new life where she has much less to occupy her time.  Thanks to  winning the Hunger Games she no longer has to scrounge for food to feed her family.  Her relationships with both Peeta and her “cousin” Gale are strained as she prepares to embark on the victory tour of all the districts and the Capitol, and she struggles to balance the harsher life and restrictions in District 12 as well as deal with menacing encounters with President Snow.

I loved reading this book.  Just like the first one I was into it immediately and couldn’t put it down until I had finished.  It was a great mix of bringing back some old characters and learning more about them and their histories and what their  motivations were, and at the same time introducing new characters into the thick of things.  The story begins to unfold more and I love that Katniss has shown some growth as evidenced by the inroads that she is making in her relationship with her mom, and also see inklings that she is wanting to do something about the increased hostility of the Capitol and President Snow to the residents of the districts.  She is starting to realize that her actions have given her a place in the beginnings of a revolution that might take place and has to make decisions about what she wants that place and her responsibilities to entail. This book also sees Katniss reach out for help more, and she is better able to express how she is feeling, particularly in her dealings with Haymitch.  I was pleased to see that his history comes to light and that we get to meet some of the survivors of the other Hunger Games.  The insidious evil of the Capitol is also more clearly defined throughout the course of the novel.  They are really, really bad people.

Something major happens along the way which I expected (not that it was obvious or a given, but I had a feeling that this particular thing would happen, and I wonder if other readers of Catching Fire were expecting it too), that also leads to a whole host of things which were a surprise to me  and which completely opens up the book in new ways and leads to the last installment (Oh my,talk about cliffhanger!  It’s even better/worse, depending on how you look at it, than in The Hunger Games).  Katniss continues to struggle with her feelings for Peeta and Gale and unfortunately to keep the both of them safe she has to hurt them in ways that she never anticipated.  No matter what horse you have in this race further revelations are made about both young men and developments come along that up the ante for everyone involved.

The same intensity and suspense that made it impossible to put The Hunger Games down is in full effect and then some here.  It’s all about action and things are constantly happening.  Suzanne Collins sure knows the way to tell a story and she has you just as soon as you flip open that distinctive front cover and start reading the first words.  Set aside the day for this one because once you start you’ll go to great lengths to not be interrupted (and I do mean great lengths- crossing the streets while reading, sneaking to the bathroom at work and reading, not cooking and eating, putting off cleaning- you get the picture!)

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Presenting Lenore

How do you read series?  Do you wait for all the books to come out first and read them all together?  Do you read them out of order? Are you breathless with anticipation until the latest book is released or can you easily forget about it and move on?

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20 Comments

  1. I was a little scared to read your review (i didn’t want to know too much about the plot) but I really wanted to know what you thought of it because I am looking forward to reading it so much! I’m so glad to know you enjoyed it and that you wrote a great review without giving anything away. 😀
    .-= Icedream´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday 7/13/09 =-.

  2. I know what you mean! That was one hell of a cliff hanger…and now I’m dying for book 3 :p I think I liked this one even more than book 1. Great review!

  3. I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about this author’s books! I gotta get me some!

    Sheri

  4. I like to know when I need to set aside a day for reading a book, and I’m glad to know this one is as good as the first one in that way. I’ll read it when it comes out and then have to hold my breath for the next one. Sometimes I manage to wait until a whole series is out before I start reading the first one, but usually it’s because I didn’t know about the first one back when it did come out…
    .-= Jeanne´s last blog ..The Year of the Flood =-.

  5. I haven’t yet read Hunger Games, and so I skipped your review as you suggested.

    I read quite a few series, and depending on the series, my enthusiasm varies. I’m not quite as breathless over the latest release for any of them as I once was. My first choice is to read a series in order, however, it doesn’t always work out that way. And I’m okay with that. I’ll try and go back to start from the beginning as soon as I can though.

    Too many of the series I read are continuing with no end in sight and so I can’t say I need to wait until they’re all out before reading. I’ve discovered that I do better at remember characters if I read the first three books in a series close together. After that, waiting a year or so isn’t such a big deal.
    .-= Literary Feline´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Pitstop at the USAF Academy (Part 6) =-.

  6. God, I didn’t think it was possible to read Catching Fire any more than I already do. Thanks for not giving anything away, but I think I hate you just a little bit for already having read this! 🙂
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Winner of If I Stay =-.

  7. This is my OH MY GOSH I NEED IT book. I’ve been entering every contest know to man to win a copy of it. I’ve been waiting for almost a year….

    it sounds so amazing. hunger games is my favorite book of all time…oh if i could only get a copy….
    .-= mary´s last blog ..Can You Keep a Secret? =-.

  8. Just dropping to ooze jealousy….

    And to let you know that once I read the book I’ll want to talk all about it with you. 🙂
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Booking Through Thursday =-.

  9. I havent read it yet but I CANT WAIT! I already read the first and second chapters and I want more. I comes out in three days where Im out and I have a question. What is going on? Gale and Katniss or Peeta and Katniss? I think Gale and Katniss have a better ring to it. And get real why couldnt Peeta work up the courage to talk to her once if hes been in love with her since preschool? I know they both love her though. Doesnt love triangles make books soooo much more interesting!

  10. Catching fire is great i finished it up to day she has so many twist and unexpecting things happen if the book 3 doesn’t come oyt till fall that will really stink but suzanne collins if u actually read this(mean nothing by that) i hear u are starting a hunger game movie can u message me back and tell me when casting starts

  11. Suzanne Collins is a fantastic author. Another of her books which Ive read is called “The Hunger Games”. Like Catching Fire it is a top quality read and a book that you typically cant put down once you start it!
    .-= Aaron @ Werewolf Costume´s last blog ..Child Werewolf Costumes =-.

  12. Holy cow, these books are popular! And they deserve it! I would love it if you would stop by my review (website’s linked to the name). Thanks! Love your site!
    .-= Madeleine´s last blog ..Reading Meme =-.