Sunday, April 1, 2012

Reading: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

After reading the first Hunger Games novel there was one thing I was sure of – that the book was amazing and I couldn't wait to read the next two in the series!  Seriously, the hype this book gets is well worth it.  The question is, is the book series worth the hype?  After all, Twilight is a flop.  Harry Potter proves it's worth.  The Inheritance series (Eragon) does a pretty good job.  I was curious how the Hunger Games would continue and curious to see if it would stay consistent or turn into a forced novel written just for it's popularity factor. 
            I picked up Catching Fire about a week before the Hunger Games film debuted in theaters.  I didn't really have a clue as to where Collins was going to take the book series but overall, she did a good job of holding my interest.  Basically, Catching Fire starts after Katniss and Peeta have won the 74th Hunger Games.  The two victors must go on a victory tour and visit each district in Panem.  After Katniss and Peeta "rebelled" against the Capitol with the poisonous berries, a revolution began and while it was small, it was enough to make President Snow stir in his seat.  Katniss had expected her life to go back to normal but instead she must be on her guard 24/7 which includes keeping up her love story with Peeta and cutting Gale out.  No one is safe.  Not even people in the Capitol are safe from President Snow's wrath after Katniss and Peeta's stunt.  At a time when Katniss should be happy that she is safe, she finds little to be happy about.  Little does anyone know what is in store for the future of Panem…well, maybe more people know than we think.
            If you have read the books, you may know what I mean by the last sentence.  For those of you who haven't gotten to the second book or are in the middle of reading it, you will know in time.  This book at times was just as good as the first Hunger Games book.  It was full of intense mystery and suspense.  The entire book is basically the Capitol lashing back at Panem for what Katniss and Peeta did.  The beginning parts were engaging and at some points vulgar (in a good way)!  My heart was racing sometimes!  When I got to part two and three, my heart was beating even faster.  I loved where the book was taking me!  I can’t really say why without spoiling anything so you will all just have to wait to read the book yourselves! 
            One thing I didn't like about the book (and the first) was Katniss's narration.  I mean, I know Katniss is a great heroine and I think she is great.  She is always surprising me and showing her incredible strength.  But oh my goodness, her narration seemed to become a Bella Swan imitation – clumsy and downright annoying!  Things got better as the book went on so hopefully the third book stays that way.  Something that annoyed me was the fact that Peeta and Katniss seem to be meant together and Katniss is ignorant to it.  For example (spoiler alert): Peeta sleeping with Katniss when she has bad dreams!  I mean, come on.  That's a bit much to say you aren't a little bit in love…or on your way to falling in love.  It could be a brother/sister relationship but if we are being honest here, that doesn't seem to be the case in this book series.  I'm torn between Gale and Peeta so I am interested to see who she chooses though.  Another thing that sort of annoyed me about the book was the ending.  It seemed a bit too easy and predictable.  I just hope the third book gets better because the ending of Catching Fire didn't seem to be taking me anywhere exciting (or maybe exciting but expected).
            While the first Hunger Games book is definitely a favorite of mine, this one doesn't quite reach the first book's standards.  I still really enjoyed it though and can't wait to keep reading!  

I give the book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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