Julia’s Letter Essay #7: Catching Fire

Catching Fire


For the past two weeks with my reading group I have been reading Catching Fire. This novel is a sequel for the Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins. There are 391 pages in this novel and it is a very suspenseful book. This book is a fiction novel about a society were 24 kids one girl and one boy from each district must attend the Hunger Games a fight to the death. The Hunger Games happen to show all districts 1-13 that the Capital is in charge. It also occurs because the Capital is trying to remember all of the fallen people that used to be in district 13.

Catching Fire is a very popular novel in the present day. This novel was published on September 1, 2009 and has sold more than 19 million copies. In addition, this novel has won many different rewards. For example, it has won #1 New York Times Bestseller, #1 USA Today Bestseller, A Time Magazine Top Book of the Year, A People Magazine Best Book of the Year and many more.

The reason I read this book was because the book club before this one I read The Hunger Games. I really enjoyed reading The hunger Games so I decided to stick with the trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins. In addition the reason I am now reading Catching Fire was because the Hunger Games was originally recommended to me and that is why I read that book.

In the novel Catching Fire Katniss and Peeta are getting back from the bloody 74th annual Hunger Games and have to go on a Victory tour throughout all of the districts. It is very hard from them to see the faces of the parents that belong to the fallen tributes. Katniss just has to finish the tour and then she’s home…to Prim, Gale and her mother. Katniss doesn’t know if she can handle looking into some parents eyes saying I am very sorry for your loss when she was the one that killed the child. In this novel, when Katniss is finally home to her family she thinks everything is over but it isn’t. Katniss is surprised when President Snow greets her at her house. Why is he there? Is something wrong?

When President Snow enters the home Katniss and him have a chat. He warns her that she has started a revolution. That he knows that she doesn’t love Peeta and she really loves Gale the one she sneaks off into the woods with. What does this mean? What will happen to Katniss if the Capital wants her dead? There was one other thing that he tells her about. It is about the 75th Annual Hunger Games. But the 75th is special, it isn’t annual it is different and happens every 25 years. He tells her about…The Quarter Quell. This means that all of the pre-existing victors of the district would be put in a pool of names and get picked out again for the Quarter Quell. The Quarter Quell has twice as many people, that means they have less of a chance of dieing. There is another down fall, Katniss is the only girl in district 12 and Peeta and Haymitch are the only boys. That means that Katniss is definitely going back into the games, and that Peeta has a 50% chance of going back in too. This book is very suspenseful and action packed with fights to the death by previous and experienced victors. Some of the victors are allies with Katniss and Peeta in the games. Will the allies turn against them? What will happen? Will Katniss die? Will Peeta have to go into the games? If he does will he risk his life again for Katniss? Will they survive?

I wish that in the novel Haymitch was picked and Peeta didn’t volunteer for him at the reaping. I believe this action would have made the novel just a little more interesting. I think this because if Haymitch was in the games then we could understand and learn how he tries to survive. In addition, if Katniss were in the games without Peeta it would be interesting to see what Peeta does to try and save Katniss even though he can’t. Lastly, this change in the book would make the novel have a lot of more suspense. For example, will Katniss and Peeta ever see each other again?

I liked how the author added suspense in many different ways. For example, she would use again and agains, memory moments and many other unique strategies to capture the reader’s attention. My personal favorites were the again and agains. For example, after the reaping when Katniss was headed to the Capitol she kept seeing the sign of a Mocking jay. On the gamemakers “watch” and on other tributes. What did this mean? Are the other tributes allies? These question made me read on to try and find the answers. Lastly, without Suzanne Collins skills with providing suspense this novel would have left you with no questions and you would have stopped reading.

This novel reminds me of the book The Fault in Our Stars, in some ways. I think this because in both of the books the main characters have to deal with the deck they handed. For example, Hazel and Augustus both have cancer and in the novel they both have to fight for their lives. This connects to Catching Fire because Katniss and Peeta both don’t get to choose if they want to go into the Quarter Quell so they have to fight for their lives like Hazel and Augustus.

Lastly, the passage I enjoyed the most was when Katniss and Haymitch were talking about the Quarter Quell and what was going to happen at the reaping.


“ Ah, there she is. All tuckered out. Finally did the math, did you, sweetheart? Worked out you won’t be going in alone? And now you’re here to ask me…what? I’ll admit, it was easier for the boy. He was here before I could snap the seal on a bottle. Begging me for another chance to go i. But what can you say? Take his place, Haymitch, because all things being equal, I’d rather Peeta had a crack at the rest if his life than you?” Haymitch says.


“ I came for a drink,” says Katniss


Haymitch bursts out laughing and slams the bottle in the table before Katniss. She runs her sleeve across the top and takes a couple gulps before she comes up choking. It takes her a few minutes to compose herself, and even then her eyes and nose are still steaming. But inside her, the liquor feels like fire and she likes it.


“ Maybe it should be you. You hate life anyways,” says Katniss


“ Very true, and since last time I tried to keep you alive…seems like I’m obligated to save the boy this time,” Haymitch says.


“ That’s another good point,” Katniss says, wiping her nose and tipping up the bottle again.

(Pages 176-179)


This is my favorite scene because it has a lot of suspense. For example, it made me read on because I wanted to see who would end up going into the games. In addition, this scene show the readers that Katniss has a side like Haymitch, were she doesn’t want to worry about anything and just relax. If I was to rate this novel out of 10 I would give it a 9 out of 10. I strongly recommend this novel to people that have read the Hunger Games and people that like to read action packed novels.



Julia Hartmann

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1 thought on “Julia’s Letter Essay #7: Catching Fire

  1. To Julio i think that you shouldnl’t have spread out your quoted passage soo much because it looks like you are making your essay longer.
    From Bhiggz36

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