Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.com
When I picked up THE HUNGER GAMES, it immediately became "The Book" that I recommended to everyone who would listen. I stayed up until the wee hours every night to see what happened next. I blogged about it. I named a stray kitten "Rue." Not surprisingly, when I got my greedy hands on a copy of its sequel, CATCHING FIRE, I practically tore off the cover in my eagerness to dive in. Happily, the second installment of this compelling series did not disappoint. Now the only problem is waiting for the third book in this exciting trilogy.
CATCHING FIRE picks up six months after Kat and Peeta won the Hunger Games. Despite being a national hero and having the ability to provide a nice house and plenty of food for her family, Kat is still worried. She managed to win the Hunger Games, despite the Panem government's plans. Her behavior is viewed by the evil President Snow as defiance, which is never tolerated. She is a well-known, popular figure, so the president will not kill her outright, but Kat lives in fear that at any moment, she and those she loves could be punished for her actions.
Soon Kat learns that her performance in the Hunger Games arena had far-reaching consequences. In beating the government at its own game the previous year, Kat unintentionally demonstrated that the all-powerful President Snow is not quite so all-powerful. Now President Snow expects Kat to prove that she is a loyal citizen who doesn't support the anti-government rumblings that are spreading throughout the country. Her support is vital since it was her act of defiance that ignited the rumblings to begin with. And if she doesn't succeed to President Snow's satisfaction, her family and friends will pay the price.
CATCHING FIRE is a gripping follow-up to THE HUNGER GAMES. All the same characters are back - with the exception of those who were killed in Book #1, of course. Even more than in THE HUNGER GAMES, Kat is largely clueless about the strategies and plots that are going on around her. At times, this can be trying for the reader because by now she should know that everyone has an agenda, and if you're not directing the game, then you're a pawn. Still, her strength is an extraordinary instinct for survival. It's ironic that the Capitol government which created the Hunger Games and tries so hard to keep its people feeling helpless is also responsible for creating a person like Kat. She gained her skills and toughness by surviving unspeakably brutal conditions.
One key difference between the two books is that in THE HUNGER GAMES, reality TV was painted as a villain. A voyeuristic public's desire to be entertained by the suffering of others forced Hunger Games competitors to behave in inhuman ways. The oppressive government that created the competition was largely an ever-present background threat. In CATCHING FIRE, however, the government's cruelty is front and center as its boot heel presses ever harder on the throats of its people. The role of television and at-home audiences shifts in this book, and they become more of a weapon against the government than against the people.
As much as I enjoyed CATCHING FIRE, there were times, particularly in the first half, that it made me uncomfortable. There are so many parallels between the excesses of Panem's government and those of governments around our modern world. Governments that spy on their own people, starvation caused not by a shortage of food but from corrupt government policies, the impossibly wide divide between the "haves" and the "have-nots," and the helplessness suffered by citizens who believe there's nothing they can do about any of it. As I read, I kept asking myself, "How much will these people tolerate before they put a stop to it?" But then I winced time and again as I was forced to ask, "How much will I?"
CATCHING FIRE feels more serious and less like escapist fiction than THE HUNGER GAMES. It executes its message equally well, though, and the fact that I saw some of its twists coming didn't lessen their impact. Author Suzanne Collins has prepared another treacherous arena for her readers - and, as in THE HUNGER GAMES, only some of the hazards are in the fictional world of Panem.
I have been waiting for this book since I read the ARC of the first book last year. I was so excited to get an advanced reader's copy of this second book that I was literally bouncing in place; and this book didn't disappoint! It was a wonderful book, as wonderful as the first book if not more so. Between reading these books, I went back and read all of the Underland Chronicles by Colllins. It is interesting because you can see how her writing has matured, her characters have gained depth, and her plots become more intricate.
This book picks up shortly after where the last book left off. Katniss and Peetra are getting ready to go on their victory tour of all of the districts. Shortly before they depart President Snow pays Katniss a visit. He knows the romance between her and Peeta was a farce, at least for Katniss. Snow warns that Katniss better convince the Capital that the actions she took to save Peeta were out of love and not rebellion; if he remains unconvinced, then her family will be the ones to pay. As Peeta and Katniss embark on their tour, Katniss realizes she has unwittingly become the focus of rebellion. As she realizes how deep the ramifications of her and Peeta's actions during the last Hunger Games were, she wonders if there is anyway she can convince Snow that she wasn't trying to turn the Districts against him.
This was a wonderful book. The plot is more complicated and entangled than the first book in the series; and this made it an even better book. Katniss and Peeta remain wonderful characters that you can really feel for and relate too. There are a ton of new, interesting characters introduced. Collins does an excellent job of making the characters well-rounded. It is hard to hate any of them, even if you may not like them sometimes. The plot plows forward at such a fast and griping pace that it is very hard to put the book down. I really wanted to stay up all night reading this book. At the same time it was such a good story that I never wanted it to end!
I really don't have anything negative to say about this book. I loved it! It was fast-paced, engaging, intriguing, and all around wonderful. The hardest part was finishing it, because I wanted to read more. Now I am desperate to read the last book in the series! This is a great series and I think people of all ages and readers of all genres should give it a go; you won't be disappointed.
*Claps her hands and squeels in giddy anticipation* I flippin' LOVE this book!!! I have chewed all my nails and cuticles off and I would wake up in the middle of the night and grab my tiny little reading light so as not to wake the hubby...Suzanne Collins tells a story the way a master carpenter builds a house...With skill and precision...I know this is gonna sound cornier than a box of frosted flakes but I felt every emotion, smelled the seawater, and when I closed my eyes; I could see the jungle...I haven't been this excited about a series EVER!!! And I love a good series...I am so excited about the movies that I can barely stand it...Bella Swan is a whiney loser compared to Katniss Everdeen...TEAM KATNISS BABY!!!
While I've never been clinically diagnosed I'm fairly certain that somewhere deep down inside of me the mysterious OCD monster hibernates...surfacing every so often to ensure all of my books are perfectly arranged on my bookshelves (in alphabetical order by each authors' last name of course), all my mp3s are within the correct format and file structure within my massive ITunes library, and that I never, ever read two books by the same author back to back.
Perhaps I relish the variety of mixing up authors & genres to keep things fresh, or perhaps I am a tad bit crazy, but for as long as I've been able to read I've refrained from reading the same author twice in a row. That is, until now.
Damn you Suzanne Collins. Surely you realized that as "Catching Fire" abruptly ended with the ultimate of all cliffhanger endings that there was no way in hell that I'd be able to keep myself from immediately reading "Mockingjay", which was already perched so perfectly alphabetically and innocently on my nearby bookshelf? Damn you....
I'll be perfectly honest, I was preparing to be disappointed by "Catching Fire", simply because I didn't think Collins would even come close to replicating the magic of "Hunger Games". "Hunger Games" was just so fresh and intriguing and fan-freaking-tastic-ible...and while "Catching Fire" may not have matched its predecessor it comes damn close.
Unlike with "Hunger Games" I found the first 100 or so pages of "Catching Fire" to be a tad bit slow as Collins recaps the life and times of Katniss since the end of the Hunger Games. This is not to say that I did not enjoy the start of this book, but rather they were not nearly as engaging as when we followed Katniss through the Games. Not to fear though...as rumors of district uprisings begin trickling into District 12 and the 75th Hunger Games begin I found myself tearing through the pages at a ravenous pace.
I'll refrain from discussing the book in greater detail for fear of giving away any of the serpentine plot twists, but suffice it to say that Collins does not disappoint when all is said and done. "Catching Fire" is an incredibly solid follow up to "Hunger Games" and I'm eager to crack open "Mockingjay" later tonight, even as the protests of my inner OCD monster continue to bubble to the surface.
I had to get my hands on Catching Fire, after reading the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. While both books are chuck full of action, corruption, poverty and survival, Catching Fire is the true beginning of the peoples rebellion against the Capitol.
Katniss is a strong-willed protagonist who isnt willing to sit idly by while her freedoms go from being few, to almost nonexistent. Even so, she isnt interested in becoming the new symbol of the revolution. Her priority in life continues to be the survival of her loved ones, at any expense.
Catching Fire, like The Hunger Games, pulls you into another world. Ive already started reading the final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay, but I hate to think my window into Katnisss world is coming to a close. Im so glad theyre making the story into a movie!
You MUST read The Hunger Games (the 1st in the series) before you read this one. Catching Fire picks up where the first left off... or should I say where the first left the readers hanging? The 2nd book does not disappoint! Just when you, the reader, thought you knew what would happen; think again! The rollercoaster ride continues...
and oh what a ride it is!
This is the second book of The Hunger Games. I can't believe the way I was drawn into the Hunger game books! I really love them and can't wait for the third book! I have never read anything like this before. I have read vampire and ghost books, but nothing futuristic/apocalyptic. I think I have another favorite genre!I seriously can't stop thinking about this book! I really wish I didn't have to wait for the third book to find out what's going to happen.
In Catching Fire things get crazy! There are so many unexpected turn of events in this book! Oh and let me not forget the action. I don't think I have ever had a book make me so nervous before. Even at calm moments your nervously waiting for the next big thing to happen.
This book is amazing and Collins is definantly one of my favorite authors now! If your new to sci-fi, as I am, I would have to say this book is an excellent one to start with!
This book was good. I do not think that it was as good as the first book. In my opinion this book was listening to Katniss cry about different things. The book did not pick up to the pace that the first book was until the Hunger Games started. I think if you enjoyed the first book that this one will be a little disappointing.
This series is absolutely compelling. This 2nd installment picks up 6 months later. I wasn't sure of the direction this one would take after the ending of the first, but I did not expect the events that occurred. A gripping continuation, I'll be diving right into the next!
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2012/01/catching-fire.html
Catching Fire is the second book in the much talked about trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It continues where The Hunger Games leaves off. Katniss and Peeta have won the games and returned home and hope to return to their lives.
However, unknowingly their actions have fueled unrest in Panem and given rise to revolt against the Capitol. Katniss and Peeta are set to begin the tour of all the districts, again as a reminder to all districts of the horror of the games and the control of the Capitol. However, things don't go as planned, and the story takes a turn. An unexpected turn. The adventure continues. The end of the book reveals yet another turn in the story and sets up the third book.
The book and the story, like the first one, is a riveting one. I stayed up all night finishing it because I wanted to find out what happens. This one did not always elicit the emotions that the first book did especially as loyalties and people came under question. The ending too reveals a different side of the story, a whole new set of players and motives. The story moves beyond the story of individuals to the story of a civilization.
I do not care for the direction in which the story is headed in the third book. However, I still can't wait to read it, see if my predictions are correct, and to find out what happens!
Its difficult to talk about this book without running the risk of divulging anything, which is sad because I really quite enjoyed this one and wish I could discuss it in more depth. I thought it was a great follow up to an excellent series opener, and it ratchets up the horrors of what people experience in this dystopian society.
One of my favorite things about Katniss is that her background has taught her that she needs to question things and think for herself. It makes her suspicious of everything, which I find to be very believable because its exactly what most of us would do if we were faced with the same situations. Its a survival instinct that makes her pretty cautious, as well as fiercely loyal.
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Read this book in a day it was so amazing. Was not expecting what happened in this book to happen, and MAJOR cliff hanger at the end. I don't want to spoil this for anyone, but I loved this book even more compared to the first one! This one really makes you go "OMG" and want to read it as quickly as possible to find out what is going on!
I tore through this one too. It was hard to see how the author would (a) resolve Katniss' Peeta/Gale dilemma; and (b) keep the reader interested, but she manages. Only one complaint: It is a bit of a contrivance to throw in the "Quarter Quell." One would think that it would have been mentioned in the first book because it would be such a monumentous event and due to the relevance of its timing in relation to Katniss' hunger game experience. Clearly the author did not have this in mind until the first book was such a hit. Still the use of the "Quarter Quell", even as contrived as it is, gives the second book the suspense it needs and moves the overall plot of the trilogy forward in a way I could not have foreseen. I am really looking forward to Book 3!!
OMG - this is a GREAT series. Another nail biter all the way to the last page that leaves you hanging and wanting to know more of the story. Easy read, but disturbing - not as disturbing as the Hunger Games but maybe after reading that one, I've become a bit desensitized to it? Still lots of surprises, twists and turns. There are over 600 on the wish list for this -- this one is worth buying your own copy of instead of waiting!
I think I'm one of the few people in the world who doesn't love these books. The first one was better than this one, mostly because all the information was new. I found this one to be fairly redundant. It kept my interest but I just don't like the concept. I can't understand why everyone has gone crazy over this series. I understand they are for young adults but the violence just seems too graphic and unnecessary. I won't be reading the third book.
Ok, so, Catching Fire picks up with Katniss and Peeta back in District 12. They are living in the Victor's Village, and just trying to live their lives as the Star-Crossed lovers still, to the best of their ability, when it's time for the Victor's Tour. They are going to tour all the districts, and show the country how wonderfully in love they are... and they better, because President Snow has come to see Katniss, and threaten everyone she knows and loves if she doesn't.
Well, Peeta ends up doing a public proposal, and he and Katniss are still majorly playing up the Star-Crossed lovers bit, but President Snow says it's not enough. And then the time comes for the Quarter Quell. And the shocker? The reaping is going to come from the districts' previous victors. Katniss is going to have to go back into the arena.
The rest of the book really covers what happens in the games, and I can't give too much away without a horribly massive massive spoiler fest. So, I'll leave it like this: The country is in major unrest, and not happy with this Quarter Quell games. What is going to happen? Will the country Catch Fire? Will the rebellion happen? And what about Peeta and Katniss? Will they get their Happily Ever After? I guess I'm just going to have to read Mockingjay and find out...
I think this is my new Harry Potter. Once again Collins does an amazing job developing the characters and keeping the reader at the edge of her seat the entire book. I can't wait to read the third book!
Catching Fire picks up right where The Hunger Games left off and personally I think you're best reading these straight through as one large novel. This one is a middle of the series book and ends with another huge unresolved cliffhanger. Catching Fire is full of shocking plot twists and emotional conflicts and to summarize this in anyway would lead to me giving away things better left read. This is a solid, if depressing, read and leagues better than a lot of the YA books out there.
After reading The Hunger Games I was eager to start on this book. I had heard that it was even better than the first and it definitely was. I didn't want to put it down once I started to read. From the first page to the last it was non-stop.
Katniss and Peeta are home and doing everything they can to help out the people in their district. Life is basically as it was with some changes. One day she gets a visit from President Snow right before they are to leave on the victor's tour. Her stunt with the berries has lit a fire under those that would revolt against the Capital and he threatens her in order to keep her in line on tour. But its too late. The districts have had enough. The uprisings have already begun when they announce the rules for the Quarter Quell. Katniss and Peeta are going back into the arena and this time only one can come out alive.
This books was amazing. I was constantly surprised at what happened next. Nothing about this book was predictable which was a breath of fresh air. I cannot wait to finish this series. It has definitely topped my list of favorites
I lost sleep reading this book. Very powerful story. I absolutely will not reveal any part of this story. You have to read it for yourself. I am currently reading the third book, Mockingjay. I will be done by 3 or 4 am tomorrow morning. Definately 5 stars.
I can say I love the 2nd book as well. I couldn't wait for this book to come out. I'll be sitting on pins and needles until the 3rd installment comes out.
The 2nd book start a few months from where the first book left off. Things will never be the same for Katniss (or for anyone around her) after the Games. Things have changed and no matter how much she wishes it would stay the same, she knows this isn't going to happen. One day, when she arrives home, she finds that she has a visitor. It is President Snow (the last person she wants to see). Snow threatens her and tells her she needs to become more believable to the people about her and Peeta's love. If she doesn't succeed, all the ones that she loves will be punished. She also finds out about a lot of turmoil going on in the other districts. Could there be an uprising going on? This blended in with all that she's going through provides a none stop story that I couldn't keep my nose out of. It was a page turner for sure.
If you loved the Hunger Games, I am sure you'll love this one. It just as fast paced and leaves you with a cliff hanger making you beg for more. I highly recommend this book.
WOW! So glad I decided to read this series. This was action packed... even more so than Hunger Games (bk 1). There were lots of unexpected twists and turns that took me by surprise. My husband has even started reading this series and my son is asking to read them when he finishes the series he is on. Great read!!
This was very interesting. I think I liked the first book better though. Katniss feels like a piece being used in every way now that she is in the public eye so often. She finds out that things are never really what they appear to be and learns so much about other districts in this book. I would say more but don't want to give any spoilers at all. I enjoyed the story but goodness there is a lot of nudity throughout this book and that bothers me since I know if they ever make movies for it, I won't enjoy it because of the content.
Wow this book was great!!! I wasn't sure if it would hold up since THG was such a stellar book,but I am pleasantly surprised. So far this is an amazing series. Not sure if I'm with the majority or not, but I would love to see Katniss end up with Peeta in the end. I am definetly rooting for them after all they have been through! I really hope that Mockingjay is an epic end to such a powerful series, but I've heard I will either hate it or love it....here's to hoping for the latter.
Collins does not disappoint in her 2nd part of the Hunger games Trilogy. This is my favorite book of the 3, and quite action packed with twists and turns. Not to mention a few surprises on the horizon. I really can't see how the movie will hold up to this book. A definite must read.
LOVED IT!! Great continuation of the series, with lots of twists and turns. I'm dying for the next one! One thing that did bother me though is that Katniss can't seem to decide between Peeta and Gale...
I think The Hunger Games can stand alone if one did not want to read the entire series. However, Catching Fire leaves one hanging so the reader is well aware that another book follows it. Excellent read with loads of action, romance and adventure. Who cannot empathize with Katniss and Peeta as they struggle through yet another series of brutal games, this time competing with previous winners? I'm anxious to read Mockingjay, the final book in this series.
Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. I'm in love. I read this book in probably less than 24 hours which does not happen very often given my busy schedule.
it sounds a little crazy and sci-fi-ish, but it is soooo good. This book has a twist that made my jaw drop and made me feel exhausted and angry for the characters. I got frustrated with Katniss even more in this book and fell head over heels for Peeta. The story between those two was my favorite part of the whole trilogy.
This one is just as exciting as fast paced as the first one. LOVED IT!
Futuristic/ Urban Fantasy, and second in the Hunger Games trilogy. Katniss and Peeta have survided the Games, and have returned to District 12, but they aren't safe. The Govenment targets Katniss as the catalyst for rebellion. When a new Hunger Game for former Victors is announced, Katniss learns she is going back into the Arena. And the government plans to make sure she doesn't make it out alive. It takes all of her skill and cunning to survive, as well as alot of allies. But Katniss is impulsive, and has to be saved from herself. I love this book. I started it, and didn't stop reading, until I was done. I love Katniss, she is shrewd, brave, and has absolutely no subterfuge.
Suzanne Collins does not disappoint in this book. She makes you "hungry" for more. With some unexpected and not so unexpected twists and turns in this book I just couldn't put it down. Then to be left with such a cliffhanger. I can hardly wait to read the third book in this series.
After the first book Hunger Games when Katniss and Peeta won the hunger games by beating the Capital at it's own sick games. They each live in brand new houses with never having to fear a lack of food or anything for that matter. However Katniss can't seem to shake the feeling that she, her friends and family will be punished by what the President sees as rebellion by choosing to try and commit suicide in the arena when she and Peeta are the remaining players as neither one can kill the other. She is haunted by her nightmares and every knock at her door makes her jump as she thinks it could be someone coming to take her into custody.
The love triangle of Katniss, Peeta and Gale is questionable. You would think by the way the first book ended that she would have chosen Gale. In this book it seems that she is still somewhat torn between the two. I hope there is a more definite answer of whom she chooses in the third.
Months later there is what they call the Quarter Quells, in which they have another drawing of names only this time it is of the Victors. Where a new arena awaits, and is more deadly than the last as it seems the capitol doesn't want any survivors, perhaps to crush the spirits of every person in each district to gain control of the rebelling that has been happening. The book certainly leaves you hanging for the final book. Overall, great read.
WARNING: Spoilers if you have not read the first book!
Fans of The Hunger Games--and come on, who isn't a fan?--will not be disappointed by this stellar sequel. Suzanne Collins once again writes a novel that's full of action, suspense, political intrigue, and innovation. Such a highly hyped book does indeed suffer a bit from overly high expectations, but on the whole I was very satisfied with Catching Fire.
One of my favorite things from The Hunger Games was Katniss--specifically, her incredible resourcefulness, inventiveness, and anti-heroine vibe. In Catching Fire, Katniss (or, should I say, Suzanne Collins, since she's the one who comes up with these ideas) continues to display brilliance at coming up with schemes to get out of snafus. I love female protagonists who are cleverer than me, and Katniss certainly doesn't disappoint.
I did find Katniss' consistently low self-esteem to be frustrating, though. Katniss is an inherently selfish person, and she recognizes it. While most citizens of Panem and even most readers of Catching Fire are on her side, it's not really because she's the most delightful character ever. Katniss makes it a point to constantly remind us that she is unworthy of her position as a symbol of rebellion, unworthy of Peeta, unworthy of life. For a character to have a modest outlook on him- or herself is one thing; for him or her to constantly put him/herself down to the point where we readers have no choice but to agree that yes, you are an unlikely protagonist and should really be dead, is another.
As I mentioned earlier, Suzanne Collins is a plotting genius. It's nothing as complex as J. K. Rowling's world, of course, but you can definitely tell that a lot of time was spent on it, and important clues built in that neither Katniss nor we may immediately understand, but we definitely take note of. Ending each chapter on a cliffhanger may seem like a bestselling writer's tool, but there is plenty in between the beginning and end of each chapter to draw our attention away from the slightly amateurish tricks. I also found the pacing to be rather uneven, the beginning a little slow and the ending rushed.
Since this is far from an actual review--more like a rant/rave in the form of a discussion--I'm not going to come up with fanciful phrases to promote this book. You've either read The Hunger Games, or you have not. If you have, you'll most likely love Catching Fire. If you haven't, then you are sorely missing out, and should pick up a copy immediately.
In the sequel to the Hunger Games, Katniss discovers that the pretending and running that she thought had ended at the end of the Games is about to ramped up several notches. The morning she and Peeta are supposed to start out on their Victory Tour (half-way between each Hunger Games), she comes home to an unexpected visitor - the Panem President. He quickly lets her know that everyone she loves is still in danger, unless she finds a way to use the tour to calm down the angry masses in many of the other districts. With that threat, her life once again spins out of control and she finds herself needing to define her feelings for Peeta, Gale, and the politics of her country - for she may need to choose sides and soon.
Without giving anything away, I would say that this is every bit as good as the first book and just as impossible to put down. Katniss is caught up in unintended consequences and while she tries to make the right decisions, she does not always have all the information. The ending twist surprised me...
I thought the first book was fantastic. In the back of my mind I felt that the sequel just couldn't be as good. How could it? Boy was I wrong! It was even better! My heart was racing the whole time I was reading it and I simply couldn't put it down. I believe Ms. Collins is the MASTER of the pageturner. Every chapter ends with almost a cliffhanger feeling. It compels you to keep reading. It physically traps you into the book so that you just can't put it down. If you can't read this book in one sitting, then I urge you not to even look at it until you can. Like the first one, you will not be able to put it down. The house could have been on fire and I doubt I would have noticed.
Since we got to know Peeta and Katniss so well from the first one, what the sequel does is invest us even more deeply into their emotional well being. I won't give any other spoilers than what has already been said. So the book starts with Katniss as the face of the rebellion because of her act of defiance in the first book. As rebellion grows, the President sets up his revenge - and when I found out what it was, I literally sat up in bed and shouted "Oh NO! I can't believe they are doing this to them!!!" Yes I was talking to my book. That's how deeply this book sucks you into this amazing and disturbing dystopian world. It makes you want to grab up a weapon and join the rebellion.
One thing I have to say, I was deeply satisfied with the ending of this book. The first book ended in such a way that I was bothered by it and itchy for the next book. With the end of Catching Fire, I felt it was absolutely right and thrilled with the conclusion. But I'm still DYING for the third and final book of this amazing book series.
Before I begin this review, I should start with a disclaimer: if I could give this book more than five stars, I would. I tip my hat to you, Ms. Collins. Not only did you surpass my expectations for the sequel to The Hunger Games, you managed to write a follow up that was actually better than its predecessor. Wow.
Catching Fire picks up six months after the end of The Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta are recovering from their experience in the Hunger Games arena, and have settled into their lives in the Victor's Village. Now that every day isn't a struggle to stay fed, Katniss has some free time on her hands. She still hunts and trades at the Hob, spends Sundays with Gale hunting in the woods, and tries not to think about the approaching nationwide Celebration Tour and the next Hunger Games, where she'll serve as mentor for the first time and have to use her lessons learned to try to keep another young girl from District 12 alive. Through it all, Katniss is also still holding her breath, waiting for fallout from her act of rebellion at the end of the last Hunger Games, and hoping that her family and loved ones aren't punished for her transgressions.
In addition to Katniss' own personal issues -- including her ongoing confusion over her feelings for both Peeta, her fellow champion, and Gale, her life-long best friend -- changes are sweeping the nation. There are rumors of uprisings in other districts, supposedly stemming from Katniss' act of defiance against the Capitol. Soon, the plot escalates to a frenzied pitch with not one, but two incredible twists that actually made me exclaim out loud. Both times.
I've called The Hunger Games the best book of 2008, and I stand by that claim. However, I can also easily say that Catching Fire is unquestionably the best YA book of 2009. I've recommended Hunger Games to almost every reader I know, and look forward to continuing to spread the word about Suzanne Collins' amazing series. I only have one negative comment to add: Collins is the queen of cliff-hanger endings, and I found this one to be especially brutal. It will be TORTURE waiting until 2010 for resolution to this thrilling story.
Fabulous continuation of the trilogy. I'm amazed at the obstacles the author dreams up to put in the way of the contestants. I won't go into them here, just prepare to be amazed! There is lots of action, extremes of emotion, and a few very heartfelt moments. All in all, a wonderfully intense roller-coaster ride of a read.
Enjoyed this 2nd book in the series - every bit as much as I enjoyed the first book (Hunger Games).
If you liked this book, then you may also like (or if you liked one of the following, you may also like Catching Fire).... A Long Walk by Stephen King (writing at Bachman) and The Host by Stephanie Meyer (author of twilight).
In Collins' follow up the The Hunger Games we began where we left off with the return of the victors of the Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta. A lot has changed back home for Katniss, including her relationship with Gale. A lot has also changed in other Districts too. Unbeknownst to Katniss, she has become the figurehead of a rebellion that is starting up against the Capitol. President Snow knows he must devise a plan to rid himself of Katniss and thanks to the fact that there is a Quarter Quell this year, the President has his chance. This year one female and one male victor of a past Hunger Games from each district must participate.
This devastates the families and the reader! The second installment has you more emotional involved with all the characters that you feel awful when you read that Katniss must endure another game. The love triangle is still very much alive with Peeta , Gale and Katniss. Who will she choose or does she even have a choice? Definitely a strong second book and I look forward to reading the conclusion!
Good Book. Loved it.
Yes, it is a "Teen" book, and writen for that age group. But I still enjoyed it as an adult.
The book picks up a few months after the last one lets off, and ends with a cliff hanger.
If you liked Hunger Games, you will like the other 2 books.
The second of the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire works well to expand the world of Panem, and its interesting to see how the politics of this world function. The increased complexity works well, and kept me quite interested, and eager to dive into the third novel of the trilogy.
I should first say that this is a direct continuation of the first book, The Hunger Games, and in this case it is very important that you read the books in order, or you won't really understand what is going on. That being said, if you enjoyed the first book, you'll really like the second one as well. The plot definitely grows thicker, as the seeds of rebellion begin to bloom, and the danger Katniss is in is greater than ever. So, it's definitely not one to be missed if you liked part one of the trilogy.
Alot of twists and turns that I wasn't expecting to happen. The games seemed to be less in depth as the last book was and had a more survivor (the tv show) fell to it. You know if survivor had killings and stuff. :) I think this book was more indepth on the relationship of the people and the head capitol, and what affects they have on eachother. I am looking forward to reading the next book and finding out where the turn of events leads.
Reviewed by http://bibliophile-bestiary.blogspot.com:
I started this almost immediately after finishing book 1. While there is a REALLY big twist in the book, you could kind of see it coming at the end of the last one. Although it doesn't make it any less shocking. The story carries on similar to the first book. Downfalls: Katniss has become a wimp in this book! She was so strong and hardcore in the first one, now it seems like she can't tie her own shoe without being a baby about it. Near the end of the book, she got a little better, but still. Also, the love-triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale. For the love of God, choose one already and stick with it. She isn't being fair to either boy or herself. My word! Otherwise, it was still an awesome book, and I HATE where it ended, but lucky me, Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) is already out and I don't have to wait to read it! 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
A fantastic sequel to the its original. It picked up the the first one left off. I love that Suzanne Collins does not pull any punches with her story. It is a brutal dystopian time, and she does not sugar coat it. The third cannot get here fast enough.
Oh, man, where to begin? The cliffhanger at the end of this book was totally brutal.
I know that some people think using a cliffhanger is cheating, or lazy writing, or just some kind of marketing ploy. Some people may think that the payoff is never worth all of the angst/tension a cliffhanger might cause, or that a cliffhanger is somehow tantamount to a betrayal of trust by the author just to keep readers hooked. Overall, I dont mind them. In a scenario like this, where I know that these books are intended as part of a collective trilogy, I expect that everything wont be resolved and tied up with a pretty pink bow until the series finale. For me, in this situation, I think it adds to the suspense and the anticipation of the upcoming book.
Do I think cliffhangers work as well in a longer series, particularly a series that isnt necessarily a continuation of sequential events, or a series in which the time gap between book releases is more than a year? Not really. We are a society accustomed to instant gratification. I consider myself to be a fairly patient person, but if I have to wait too long for something, there are times when even I will lose interest and move onto something else. Because of this Im glad that I just read Catching Fire this month so that my wait for the final book is only a few weeks.
Going back to my feelings about this book, its a close call, but I think I did like The Hunger Games better. Still, this is best children/YA series Ive read since Harry Potter and it has become one of my favorite book series in general.
I think Suzanne Collins has such a captivating writing style. It literally sucks me in to the point where, especially in the first book, it felt like I was experiencing Katnisss emotions right along with her. I havent had a reaction like that to very many books and I think its a sign of Collins's talent as an author. Im eagerly awaiting Mockingjay. I want to see how everything gets resolved. As far as the love triangle goes, my feet are firmly planted in the Peeta camp and I hope Katniss chooses him. No offense to the Gale lovers out there, because its not that I dislike him or anything, but weve just gotten to see so much more of Peeta and gotten to know him to the point where I feel for him so much and I want him to be happy in the end. Many a tear will be shed if something happens to him in the final book. I might go as far as to say that a good portion of my enjoyment of the series overall will hinge on his fate.
Im not even going to go into what this book is about because you can read the description - and other reviews - for that and I want to keep this review spoiler-free. I will say that my one issue was that the pacing in the beginning was a bit slow, but it all picked up and the book kept me consistently entertained. Im invested in the characters and the story and I wish I had Mockingjay in my greedy little hands even as I type this. But, of course, if I had it, this review might never have been written at all because Id be too busy reading.
If you havent read this series yet, give it a shot! Dont be turned off by the fact that its YA, or by the subject matter, or because its popular. A truly good novel (or series) rises above the limitations of its genre. I think this series is one in which everyone can find something to enjoy. If you have any doubt as to whether or not this series is worthy of all the adulation its received, you really should read it and find out for yourself.
I know I'm a lil behind on jumping on this band wagon, but wow this series just blows me away. I didn't want to put catching fire down, I loved it even more than the Hunger Games. I just love the way Suzanne Collins writes. I really got addicted so quick,this series is on my top ten favorites.
Book 2 in the series proves to be an even bigger cliffhanger than the first book. Very good story that moves the plot along with even more surprises and twists. I'm still surprised this is targeted to young readers -- it's very edgy, dark, ominous -- and very good.
This continues the story of The Hunger Games. It begins and digs in where the other book left off. I found it convenient to have all the books at hand to read, one after another. I didn't need to refresh my memory, nor does the book feed into that, but it was a good stand alone story just as well.
Another unbelievably good story from the great Suzanne Collins! We go even deeper into the world Katniss and Peeta share, and we meet new characters that add their own charm or mystery or horror. There are twists that I didn't expect, and two characters in particular that I had not expected to like as much as I do. In some ways I think this book is even better than its predecessor, but I love both of them. Powerful drama, strong action sequences, and deep emotion make this a great vehicle for the author's thoughts and points.
Not bad. I've heard a lot of bad things about this book and I don't think it deserves all that.
It is definitely an easy read, I breezed through a good 40-50 pages per sitting without noticing the time pass. For me personally, I don't care about Katniss's dilemma between Gale and Peeta as much as the action during the Games, so the first half was a bit boring. It picks up during the second half though, so I was glad about that. A lot of interesting characters to root for and follow, as well as the puzzles from the arena itself.
Whereas the first book had a definitive ending to it, this one definitely leaves off at a cliffhanger that will make you want to pick up the third book at once.
I'd rate Catching Fire below the first book, but only slightly. Here's hoping that the third book will have a satisfying action-packed read throughout its entirety.
My Granddaughter told me about the Hunger Games series about 2 years ago I have read the series three times since then. Suzanne Collins has done such a wonderful job of bringing these characters to life you are ready to fight the rebellion right along side them.
Catching Fire picks up a short while after the end of The Hunger Games with Katniss at odds with both Peeta and Gale and with President Snow working to contain the effects of Katniss's actions in the Games by threatening her into proving to the country that she is just a girl madly in love, who only wanted to not lose her sweetheart. She doesn't know it but unrest is growing in Panem, and she with her mockingjay is the symbol of the rebellion. This dynamic is the foundation of the story from here on out - people planning and plotting in the background while all Katniss really wants is to live in peace with her family and to spend her days hunting. She is the reluctant hero, with everybody but herself realizing her influence, and using her for their purposes.
The first part of the book is relatively slow, after all Katniss is at her best in a survival situation and whiling away her time at 12 isn't particularly action-packed, but when the rules of the Quarter Quell are announced and there isn't a shadow of a doubt that the Capitol is out for her blood action slams into high gear and doesn't let up will the very end in the best traditions of The Hunger Games.
My favorite part of this book was the introduction of new characters who enriched the world Suzanne Collins created, allowing us a peek at the past victors and their lives of annual coaching of tributes and the Capitol keeping them all on an unimaginably tight leash. Once again Katniss can't see beyond the immediate task at hand but she has a good heart and a mentor who is possibly the craftiest victor in the history of the Games. I have to say, the relationship between Katniss and Haymitch is possibly the most interesting one in the series. They don't particularly like each other but it's hard to doubt that they are as similar as any other two characters in this series and watching them interact and work together gave spice to the story.
Throughout the book I couldn't shake the feeling that while Katniss's affection for Peeta was real it somehow only bloomed under pressure from the Capitol. At home she was a teenager who did her best and was angry at him for not understanding the game she was made to play, yet as soon as the cameras were on them and no place was outside of the Capitol's earshot she began to need him, understand him and want to support him. It was like a circumstance-activated survival instinct that made her acknowledge Peeta as an ally only under certain conditions. I didn't get an impression that Katniss herself realized this, but as I said earlier, she is at her best when lives are on the line and it's time to act, not in analyzing and introspection.
Whereas The Hunger Games ended with things as buttoned up as they could be Catching Fire ended on a cliffhanger that left me staring at the page with my brain barely able to process what happened and doing the equivalent of the "Wait, what?!?!" stutter. I actually had to re-read the last few pages before things snapped into place in my mind. When they finally did I knew that Mockingjay was going to be good. Really good. Fortunately I already had the book.
I am so relieved that comparisons to the Twilight series are unfounded. I almost didn't read this series because so many people said it was a Twilight rip-off, especially the love triangle between Peeta, Katniss, and Gale. But I disagree.
Firstly, Catching Fire, while by no means the literary successor to The Lord of the Rings like I believe the Harry Potter series to be, is still a much more thought-provoking and well-written story than the Twilight series. This book had a different tone than The Hunger Games. While the first book focused more on the barbarism of a televised game that hinted at an unjust government, the second book focuses on the how a revolution is the ultimate end result of all unjust governments. I really liked how Katniss is portrayed as the initially unwitting symbol and spark of the revolution. I like how she never meant to be the famous rebel. I like how brutal she herself becomes in her attempt to outwit the Capital. And I love how, as she becomes more and more embroiled in the eventual revolution, Peeta remains her stolid conscious.
Secondly, I despise love triangles of any sort in literature or film. And I was really worried that I would hate this book based on reviews that it basically boils down to who should Katniss date? I found it to be ever so much more than that. Katniss doesn't sit around wondering who she should end up with. If anything she wants to not end up with anyone, a viewpoint I identified with myself when boys were just beginning to be interested in me and I just wanted everything to remain the status quo. I definitely identify with wanting to not have complicated romantic relationships when the rest of your world is so unstable--like a freaking uprising undermining your safety and the safety of your loved ones. Also, both boys are so likable and have a purpose. I thought Gale would inhabit more pages but he is still so important for Katniss's journey no matter how brief his physical scenes, if for no other reason than he represents the halcyon days of her youth when hunting with Gale was her ultimate freedom from the harsh reality of home. And Peeta, though not a warrior like Katniss, is by no means useless. He is her conscious. The person who doesn't allow her to become another mindless and brutal Career who kills first and asks questions later. If I hadn't unwittingly found out how the series ends I would have been okay with her ending up with either boys or even neither of them.
Thirdly, I loved how we got to know and love many of the tributes even when they weren't very likable. It made the games more interesting and more sad. I felt like the tributes in the first book were so childlike and innocent in comparison with these past tributes. As much as Rue's death was devastating and Cato's so prolonged and disturbing, the deaths of previous winners seemed even more senseless and wasteful.
If you can't tell, I really, really liked this book. It was such a fast read but it packed a lot of punch. Now I can't wait for the movie to come out! I just hope no one else passes it up because they associate it with all the comparisons with Twilight. Really, they are two different animals and the Hunger Games series is far superior.
As with the others I could not put it down and awaited each new book-just felt it should have been marketed to an older age group. I read it due to my granddaughter telling me her teacher was reading it in middle school. Think it's better for older readers.
The Hunger Games - A series of games that happens every year where 12 boys and 12 girls are put into an arena where they must fight to the death.
Quarter Quell - An event that happens every 25 years during the Hunger Games where a special rule is introduced.
Rebellion - The moment when every district notices that the Capitol will go down and begins to revolt.
Deaths will be inevitable.
Katniss and Peeta did everything they could to survive the Hunger Games. They flipped the rules and made it so that either both survive or none of them do. Either way, the Capitol loses and they are furious. Now that they are out, people are seeing their move as an act of rebellion. And this is where everything starts.
Panem is in chaos.
Districts are revolting, going against the Capitol and being punished with mass murder. New Peacekeepers are being assigned by the hundreds, equipped with machineguns and other various weapons. And it isn't much of a surprise when President Snow finds a way to put both Katniss and Peeta in the Hunger Games again, thinking they will both die off while facing 22 other previous victors.
But the joke is on them.
Catching Fire begins to show us that people are starting to take action for themselves. How the Capitol are ruthless people who do anything they want. And how those who find previous events entertaining are forced to take sides. People we have learned to love are being attacked. People we finally meet are being killed. And those who we already knew, are forced into a life or death situation.
From the very beginning to the shocking and unforgettable ending, you are taken on a ride that will leave you breathless and begging for more. Suzanne Collins brings forth her ideas and imagination to create something that we have never seen before. Making us fear for the characters lives and thanking our own government that this is not happening here.
But either way.
Catching Fire forces Panem to change. And that change is not good for any of us.