Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Book #2) by Suzanne Collins
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
CATCHING FIRE was as much of a rollercoaster ride as THE HUNGER GAMES. Thinking she is finally free of the hold the Capital has on her and living a life of plenty as winner of the Hunger Games, Katniss thinks her life might actually be getting better.
This book delves more into the relationship between Katniss and Gale, and we start to understand more about them. We also get a glimpse of life in some of the other districts. Many reviewers were not happy with all this backstory, but I thought it added to the overall plot of the story.
Because it is the 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games, it is also time for the Quarter Quell - special games that take place every 25 years. The Capital claims the rules of the Quarter Quell have been predestined by the founders of the games, but when the rules are announced, it becomes apparent these games will be used as a punishment for the residents of all the districts. This year's reaping will only consist of the winners from each district - in Katniss' case, she is the only winner from District 12. She will be heading back into the arena. Still waiting to protect Katniss, Peeta volunteers as the tribute after Haymitch's name is drawn.
Now the Capital will show the people that anyone is expendable - even the much loved winning tributes. 24 winners will go into the arena - only 1 will come out alive.
This book is more about the rising rebellions in the districts. There is a plan in place that the readers - and Katniss and Peeta - are not aware of until the end. Katniss and her mockingjay pin have become the symbol of the rebellion and are therefore a target of the Capital.
Katniss continues to be a strong character and I enjoy seeing her reactions to situations and the maturity she shows when solving problems. She is definitely not a normal 17 year old, but she does have some of the same fears and insecurities of other kids her own age. She is a polarizing character and has the ability to draw people together.
I thought this book was a great stepping stone to bridge book one and book three of the trilogy. I wasn't crazy about the cliff-hanger ending, but in all practicality, it was the obvious way to end the book. Now it makes me anxious for the final book in the trilogy. I hope Ms. Collins has pity on all us rabid fans and hurries with the writing of book three.