Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins *May Contain Some Spoilers*

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Title:  Catching Fire
Author:  Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic  Press
Published: September 1 2009
Format: Hardcover
Pages:  391
How I Received This Book: Got it as a gift
Read: June 3rd-4th
My Rating: 5 Stars
In  A Few Words: Gripping and intense

Goodreads Synopsis
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol-- a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before... and surprising readers at every turn.

Melissa's Musings:

I devoured Catching Fire. Collins really pulls through and keeps the high paced, action packed energy going. There's a slight calm in the action at the beginning, since Kat and Peeta have now returned home and are seemingly safe after their victory in The Hunger Games. Though they get to live a more privileged life in the comfort of Victor's Village, they are far from safe.

Katniss (and everyone else) knows that she defied the Capitol with her actions in The Hunger Games. That simple act of picking up the berries does not sit well with those in power. President Snow is none too happy with her and makes certain to tell her so. The action just gets better and better from there with sharp twists and turns that left me guessing and gasping all the way through.

The plot is so strong, so intricately woven and full of detail. Each new twist leaves you wondering what could possibly happen next.

 I love the way that Peeta develops even more in this story. You can tell the depth of his feelings for Kat in his actions (or lack thereof in some instances, ) and that her spurning him has hurt him. Although for the sake of appearances, he will keep up their charade. Collins explores his painting/design talents and his descriptions of colors in certain  scenes are breathtaking and really add to the emotion of the overall scene. I also enjoyed the fact that it's through his talent that Peeta makes his own act of defiance against the Capitol.

Gale's feelings for Kat are more thoroughly revealed in this novel as well, which I was pleased about, since I was disappointed that they got cut off previously.

There is a bit of a struggle for Kat's attention/love triangle element, but I have to say, I'm really glad that it's done in a subtle way. It makes it much more palatable and realistic.

Another character that I was thrilled to see more of was Cinna. Oddly, every time I read his name, I kept wanting to call Cinna "Cinnamon". I'm not sure why, it just came automatically.  I love the simple complexity  of his relationship with Katniss. They have a sort of unspoken  bond that is extremely powerful. Cinna's beautiful dresses are powerful statements by themselves, and with Katniss wearing them, as symbolic as certain ones are, even more so. I think I enjoy Cinna because he is the one who seems the most removed from the Capitol way of life even though he is smack in the middle of it. He's the least marked of any of Kat's prep team, the most down to earth I suppose. I was shocked when they beat him in front of Kat before the Quell, and I could feel for her when she saw it, feel part of what she must have felt.

Another thing that I was relieved to see was the obvious struggle both Peeta and Kat go through in dealing with what has occurred in The Hunger Games. I was rather concerned about the fact that they didn't seem to be affected by having to kill their peers, but those concerns  were put to rest once I read the inner demons that both Kat and Peeta were having to deal with as a result of the games. And after being thrown back in a second time for the Quarter Quell, it's obvious just how much it really affects them.

Along with the Quarter Quell there are also instances of uprisings among the districts and all of the problems that those create. Though the majority of Catching Fire focuses on the Quarter Quelll games, I have a feeling that Mockingjay will focus more on the uprisings, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with that.

I'd again recommend this for anyone who likes a fast paced adventure.


Ashna Banga said...

Ooh I liked this one too ! And Cinna! I sometimes wished he would design something for me too ! His creations were always so thoughtful... :) agree with you about Gale. I don't know why but I kind of feel sorry for him . :|

Great review! :)

Lilian said...

Cinna was always one of my favorite characters as well! I only wish I could know more about him..and why he seemed to be the less influenced by the Capitol.

I think one of the things that "irked" me in Catching Fire was that it felt like Suzanne Collins was trying to bring back the thrill from The Hunger Games by making the Quarter Quell...and it was like "oh gosh, back in the arena we go again." There was the high energy and pace...but it felt like it was all done before (and better) in The Hunger Games.
But I am so glad you liked the book!
Happy Reading,
Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

Melissa said...

Thanks! I had the same thought, that I wish he could design a dress for me, they all sounded so beautiful. I felt a bit sorry for Gale too, though I was on Peeta's side for most of the series, to be honest.

I completely agree, I really wish we got to know more about Cinna and why he was less influenced by the Capitol. Katniss had such a connection to him, I was really disappointed that it wasn't explored further.

I completely understand what you mean about the Quarter Quell. I had the thought of "Again, really?" when I read about it. But, I still liked it all the same. I think Hunger Games has to be my favorite of the three though.

kimbacaffeinate said...

I loved this one too. I agree about Cinna, I haven't read Mockingjay yet but I am anxious to do so..sweet review!