Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Published by Scholastic, 2009
How I discovered this book: I discovered the book a few months before The Hunger Gamesmovie, and decided to read the trilogy before watching the movies. As Catching Fire will be in theatres by the end of the year, I thought that now was a good time to start reading the final two books of the trilogy.
Review: I have a thing for dystopian novels. One of my favourite books of all time is 1948, by George Orwell. I like to explore the social and political structures of a society that could as well be ours, if it isn’t already and we’re just to blind and distracted to see it. I like to read dystopias because they make me think and see the world around me differently. They’re usually heavy stuff, but sometimes you come across a dystopia like The Hunger Games, that has all that deep insightful concerns and rotten society characteristics of the genre, but is also really entertaining. Despite all the violence and poverty of the world of Panem, teenagers murdering each other, the book didn’t feel so heavy as others I have read. Suzanne Collins has a way of making me laugh in the middle of a war, while Katniss and Peeta are running for their lives, that kind of makes me concerned about my sanity. But seriously, she can pull the funniest situations in the middle of the arena, and also the greatest demonstrations of love, compassion and humanity between the characters. This being said, The Hunger Games was an awesome book and a part of me was a little bit worried that prolonging it would spoil what was already a really good story.
However, Catching Fire was a good sequel for me. I was dreading to read the book because several people told me it only gets worse after the 1st book, and I really don’t like cheesy love triangles, but the truth is that I really liked the direction the author took with this book. Yes, Katniss has her not so courageous moments in the beginning, whining a little bit over how her life is being reshaped after the Games, but who wouldn’t break a little with the pressure? It kind of annoys me that she doesn’t how she feels, towards Peeta and Gale because in truth I think she does and is just in denial. Nevertheless, I liked that she showed weakness, because that’s what being human is. To be desperate and lost and want to give up. To cry your eyes out because you see no way for you anymore. But at the end of the day you wash your face, straight up and face what’s coming with all the strength you got.
Another thing I liked about this book was the development of the political story of Panem. We get to know more about the other districts and how they are reacting to what happened in the end of the first book. We get a little pick of what’s behind the veil in District 13. President Snow is hideous as ever. And we also get a lot more of Katniss’s family dynamic and the development of her relationship with her mother (which is a plus!). We also have a new arena, (that was just amazing and unexpected to me!), new compelling characters (I absolutely loved Wiress and Beetee!! and I liked Finnick too) and lot’s of action.
About the Peeta vs Gale thing…I honestly like Peeta. I like his good-natured heart and his selfless way. I think he would be a good balance to Katniss. But honestly, in the middle of a bunch of life threatening situations, thinking about love and marriage isn’t really a priority. I agree with Katniss in this.
Overall: I really liked this sequel and I can’t wait to read Mockingjay. I’m hoping the final installment gives the trilogy a good closure. Well, let’s see how it goes when I start reading it.
Quotes worth mentioning:
“At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.The hard thing is finding the courage to do it.”
“I really can’t think about kissing when I’ve got a rebellion to incite.”