Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)" by Suzanne Collins

If you haven't read or seen The Hunger Games book or movie, there might be spoilers in this review for you. My review of The Hunger Games is here.

Personally, I don't think Catching Fire and Mockingjay add much to the excellence of the original book. If you really, really loved The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen, and her lovesick puppy Peeta, then you'll definitely want to read this book. This is a pretty great book, but compared with its predecessor, it lacks a certain something.

I think the biggest drawback for me of this book was the focus on what I'd call 'politics' and romance. Katniss must convince Panem that she's madly in love with Peeta, all while enduring flashbacks and what we'd label Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But then there's a twist that changes the course of the book, and we, the readers, are then sent off in another direction altogether.

The Plot:
Katniss and Peeta give their 'victory' tour, all while Katniss valiantly tries to convince the world she's in love with Peeta. But with an apparent rebellion beginning to heat up, will they be able to stifle it?

Because the synopsis doesn't mention it, I won't be discussing the major plot twist this book packs. What I will be discussing is although this book has a lot of plot points in it, it didn't strike a chord with me the way the first book did. Maybe because I never quite connected with the central characters, and without the one person I loved in the first book, Rue, I didn't feel all that sad when something bad happened to another character I didn't care about. The enigma that is Katniss Everdeen continues, and although I am *always* her when I take the book character quizzes, I still have no idea why. Perhaps because I don't feel anything for this book's characters?

Not that it matters that much now that the third book (and one of the third book's movies) is out, but the ending for this book is a cliffhanger. And I am of the opinion that this cliffhanger is not acceptable. It stops, I kid you not, in the middle of a conversation. Galling is the word I'd use to describe that lovely ending, and galling is not a lovely word.

Catching Fire is great, but has nothing on The Hunger Games. It's hard for a sequel to live up to its potential, and with this book, it had enormous shoes to fill and great expectations from me. I will admit, I'm a little hard to please with just about any book I read, and second books rarely seem to please me more than the first, but still. I recommend this one to those who love a good dystopian rebellion build-up, as long as you have Mockingjay on hand to finish the journey.

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars for a sequel with a wince-worthy ending.

Content: Ages 14+ for the same reasons as its predecessor.

Page Count: 472 pages in my paperback edition.


  1. As for me, I really loved Catching Fire! It was my favorite among the three because of the arena, as well as the ending :) Nice review!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

    1. I have to admit, the arena for this one is much more suspenseful than the first- I hadn't guessed what it was until it was explained. I guess I like a little more of an ending on most books (even if the next one is already out) because I imagine the frustration of those who had to wait for the next one. That last sentence would drive me nuts.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Raffy!
      ~Litha Nelle


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