Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire is the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It was published on 7th September 2009 by Scholastic and the book is 480 pages long.

After winning the brutal Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen returns to her district, hoping for a peaceful future. But Katniss starts to hear rumours of a deadly rebellion against the Capitol. A rebellion that she and Peeta have helped to create. As Katniss and Peeta are forced to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. Unless Katniss and Peeta can convince the world that they are still lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying…

What I thought
After reading The Hunger Games, I wanted to wait a while before carrying on with the series. I had heard really mixed reviews about

Catching Fire brings back a whole host of old characters but also manages to throw in a lot of new and exciting ones at the same time. I loved watching favourites like Katniss, Peeta and Gale deal with the new characters and the situations they were put in. Each new character is fleshed out extremely well and I felt like I knew them just as well as the characters from the first book. Each character in this book, and the series, has something incredibly interesting about them from new villain President Snow to Katniss’ mother. Although each character is completely different, you can see aspects of them that are so real that you cant help but connect with them.

Katniss, for me, was so real. After following her through an insane experience of The Hunger Games, you cannot help but feel sorry for the girl. Anyone who doesn’t feel sorry for her at this point must be missing a heart. The thing about Katniss for me is that she is so real. She beats up on herself for things that have happened or are happening around her and can’t help but feel like she is to blame for everything. Unlike other female characters in other books who do this, it never feels like Katniss is whinging about everything. Her complains are well justified and I could see why she feels the way she did. Getting to read the story from her point of view really makes it possible to understand everything that she is going through and how she reacts to everything.

Although the first half of the book seems to plod along at quite a slow pace, it was worth while. The first half of the book concentrates on the repercussions of Katniss and Peeta surviving the games together and what happens because of that outcome. In the first half of the book, we get to learn a lot more about the Capitol and how things work which was an aspect of the book that I loved. I really enjoyed getting to see a whole different side of the world that Collins created because we really didn’t get to see too much of it in the first book. Another thing I was glad to see was how Katniss and Peeta’s lives had changed since the games. I really liked being able to see the difference in quality of life between winners and those who were just regular citizens.

The thing that I was most glad to see in Catching Fire was the return of the games. I was wondering how Collins was going to keep the same kind of energy and suspense in this book after The Hunger Games had finished but she definitely surprised me. I wasn’t expecting for there to be another round of the games at all and the way it was done was impeccable. There were so many twists and turns where the games were concerned and I was always wondering what would be thrown in to the arena next. This round of the games was so exciting and the tension was incredible. At times, I liked reading about this round of the games more than the original.

While I don’t think that Catching Fire was as good as The Hunger Games, it was certainly a lot better than I had been told it would be. It did make me want to pick up Mockingjay straight away though so I was happy with how it ended. A great read.

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