I have recently finished reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games series and has been turned into a movie. I choose to read this book because I previously read The Hunger Games, the first book in the series. Catching Fire was published on September 1, 2009 one year after it’s predecessor. I had seen the movie Catching Fire a long time before I read the book, but I did not remember the ending. After finishing the book I watched the movie a second time. Personally I prefer the movie because it moves a lot faster, the book is nearly half filler building up to the main event.
Katniss and Peeta return home to district 12, the poorest district in panem. They return after winning the 74th Hunger Games, a competition were 24 kids are forced to fight to the death with only one victor. Unexpectedly, President Snow (leader of Panem) shows up at Katniss’ home. He comes to explain how the actions that allowed both Peeta and her to win may cause rebellion among the districts and that her actions, if continued, will have consequences. After this meeting Katniss and Peeta are sent on the victory tour (a trip that all victors must go on, to all the districts acknowledging the dead tributes). On this trip Katniss disobeys her directions. To distract Panem from her previous mistake she continues her fake love story with Peeta, she tells Peeta to purpose, which he does. At the ending ceremony for the victory tour Katniss gives President Snow a curious look asking if the marriage is good enough to make up for what she did. President Snow responds with a simple shake of the head mouthing the word, no.
I was surprised when it was announced that the 75th Hunger Games would only consist of victors from previous years, no matter the age. This surprised me because usually the games follow a very strict pattern, for example this is the first time anyone over 18 can entire, the first time a previous victor can enter and the first time entire districts are not entered into the drawing.
I didn’t agree with the way the author started the book. I disagree because it was almost surprising to me how long it took for something interesting to happen. As I mentioned in the intro almost half of the book is leading up to the 75th Hunger Games. The only interesting thing that happened during this part of the book is foreshadowing.
I liked the way the author left no plot holes in the story. An example of this is when Katniss suggests to Gale that they take their families and run away. After this is mentioned there is no direct answer given so to leave it unmentioned afterward would create a plot hole. The author avoided the plot hole by bringing this part of the book several other times.
Katniss is at the closing ceremony for the victor tour and she is dancing with president snow. “I dare to raise my eyebrows. They ask what my lips can’t. Did I do it? Was it enough? Was giving everything over to you, keeping up the game, promising to marry Peeta enough? In answer, he gives an almost imperceptible shake of his head.” (Page 74) I like how the author formed this scene. Rather than make something that is such an important part of the book so dramatic she makes it quick and simple. Although I have never seen anything like this in any other book, I think it was a good idea.
I would give this book a 7 / 10. This book would have gotten a 10 /10 if the beginning resembled the end. Although the beginning was bad the end was enough to raise the score up from a 4 / 10 to a 7 / 10.
Sincerely, Luke Gardone