Saturday, December 17, 2011

Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, book 2)
By Suzanne Collins
Published 2009 by Scholastic Press

WARNING: This review will contain spoilers for book one and this book.

Amazingly, Katniss has not only managed to survive the Hunger Games, she has managed to keep Peeta alive and now there are two victors. However, the Capitol doesn't like the trick she pulled to make this happen and is worried that Katniss is going to be more trouble than she's worth. With the 75th Hunger Games and third Quarter Quell coming up, Katniss once again finds herself fighting for survival.

I was very eager to read the second book in the series and see what happened next to Katniss. Once again, I want to be clear about the fact that I really liked the book, but once again, I had some problems with it.

First, I liked finding out what life would be like for Katniss now that she's a victor as well as viewed as a potential threat to the Capitol. I have to admit that I definitely did not see the twist of the Quarter Quell coming. I knew that Katniss was going to face serious scrutiny from the Capitol but I didn't realize that this is the way they would try to silence her. Once again, this book is action-packed and fast-paced and full of thrills. And again, Collins has populated her story with wonderful secondary characters. I absolutely loved learning about all the past victors and their different strategies for winning. And I was incredibly excited to finally learn more about Haymitch's past in the Games.

But I still had some issues with it. I still don't like Katniss. She gets even worse because she is clearly becoming unhinged during the events in this second book. And once again, I don't really understand why she's like that. Obviously, horrible things keep happening to her, things that would probably unhinge most people. But for some reason, Katniss's unhinging feels melodramatic and pathetic. I can't really put my finger on why except for maybe that I just don't like her. I am also still really irritated by the love triangle. I mean, come on Katniss, get your act together. Also, maybe this was true of the first book but I didn't notice it while listening: the passage of time is really weird. For the first part of this book, months go by in a matter of paragraphs. But then during the Hunger Games, one day takes at least a whole chapter. It's a little disorienting. Maybe this happens all the time; actually, I'm pretty sure this happens all the time. But for some reason it bothered me during this book.

Once again, I really enjoyed the book but still had problems with it.

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