Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Posted by Caitie F on August 30, 2010

Title: Catching Fire

Author:  Suzanne Collins

Hardcover:  400 pages

Publisher:  Scholastic

ISBN: 0439023491

Rating: +++++

Summary:

You don’t get one for this book! I read the second book in the Hunger Games series with knowing nothing about it, and you should do the same! These books are so much better when you know nothing.

Review:

If you have not read this book yet, please don’t read the review. There will be spoilers. So don’t read this, go read the actual book! And again, it is so much better when you know nothing!

I feel like I should have gone and read Catching Fire again, since I have read Mockingjay since finishing it…but I have so many books I want to read that there just isn’t time.

This book is almost as good as the first, which I raved about here. Collins is an extraordinary writer who takes young adult books to that next level. I didn’t really understand how brutal the Capitol really was until this book. Snow is a great villain – ruthless, terrifying, and manipulative (Michael Emerson in the movie?). If he feels any defiance among people he will do anything to crush it, something that was seen so many times in this book.

Tears fell the first time in District 11 when Peeta so generously gave money to the tributes families and Katniss said those wonderful things about Rue, then to witness a man get shot for a small act of remembrance and defiance. It made me realize how terrifying the Capitol is, and made me worry about what may happen in District 12.

I can honestly say I was not expecting Katniss and Peeta to have to go back into the games. I thought Prim and one of Gale’s siblings would be chosen to punish Katniss and that she and Peeta would have to really do something amazing to keep their tributes alive. Instead, the worst thing that could happen did, they got sent back.

Seeing the diverse group of former winners really was emotional. I thought the prep team showed what these people mean to the citizens of both in the Capitol and the Districts. Not only are they something to be proud of, but they are also signs of hope…but the Capitol wants to take about that hope. I loved the interactions before the games started and what they showed about Katniss. She automatically wanted to team up with the intelligent people who no one thinks has a shot. She is smart enough to see past strength and look at who people really are, one of the many reasons I love her.

Once the games started, I knew my heart was going to break. Having to read about Katniss and Peeta going through all of this again was so difficult, but so exciting because I knew something had to be coming, there had to be more to these games. The clock was brilliant – it was something they could figure out and defend against. I felt silly for not getting it before they did because of the GameMasters clue when he first met Katniss. I should have known right then that these Games would end in a very unexpected way.

I loved how the book ended. Yes, it was a cliff hanger, which I know people take issue with, but I still think it worked. My jaw dropped as I read that last page. I couldn’t wait to read Mockingjay . . . and luckily I only had to wait a few weeks.

This book furthered my opinion of being on Team Katniss. These books are not about the romance, that is just a small part of the whole story. I didn’t care who she ended up with or form opinions about who is better for her. I think she is a strong woman who doesn’t need a man . . . but when she wants one she will make her own decision for her own reasons. I wanted her to survive and make the world a better place.

I wanted to write this before Mockingjay came out because I had a couple of predictions (that both came true), but I will talk about those in my post on that book that will be posted later this week.

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6 Responses to “Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins”

  1. […] Catching Fire by Suzanne […]

  2. Amanda said

    This was my least favorite in the series because I felt like Katniss had turned from a strong girl with a bit of a blindspot into a complete idiot, and that made me so sad. There was too much focus on the love triangle, too. I need to go back and reread it now that I’ve read Mockingjay. I’m hoping I will like it better in retrospect. This will be my third read-through.

    I didn’t expect them to go back through the games either. I expected them to be mentors in the next games, and to see the arena from a mentor’s pov. That would have been fascinating! And heartbreaking.

    • Caitie F said

      I actually didn’t see the love triangle that much even in this. I think readers decide that is what they wanted to get out of it and they made the focus about it. If you didn’t go looking for it, it was still a very minor part of the book. I also don’t think she turned into an idiot, I just think she was a little naive about what the Capitol was really about and she was scared for her friends and family. She was always about protecting the, so she did what she had to do and kept the focus on them. Even in Mockingjay, she isn’t really about taking down the Capitol for everyone, she is about making it safe for her sister. Her focus is not on the big picture, which can make her seem like an idiot, but I understand where she is coming from.

      • Amanda said

        Oh no, that’s not what I mean. What bothered me was that in the first and third book, she was such a good judge of character, even if she was blind when it came to emotions. She always knew how to read people when they were using a strategy. The fact that she couldn’t figure out ANYONE’S strategies in Catching Fire was too much of a stretch for me. She was backward and misunderstanding in everything, and that bothered me. It felt out of character.

        As for the love triangle, I wasn’t looking for it at all because I didn’t think it was important in the first book. I was unpleasantly surprised by how much was in Catching Fire.

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  4. […] Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne […]

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