Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
My Rating: A-

Genre: YA- Sci Fi/Fantasy
Series: Hunger Games #2
Main Characters: Katniss
Release Date: September 2009
Publisher: Scholastic


Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: g-rated

Story Overview:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

My Review:
In Catching Fire, a lot has changed about Katniss' life. It's been six months since the Hunger Games competition. Peeta is a distant stranger. Gale is working in the coal mines. Everything about Katniss' life is slightly off, although as a victor, things should be better. And it is better in that her family has food and money. Her mother seems to be more lucid and aware. Katniss has developed somewhat of a friendship with Haymitch , but she isn't comfortable with her life anymore or her place in it.

Then President Snow arrives and Peeta and Katniss must set off on their Victory Tour with a threat to everyone that she loves hanging over her head. It drives me absolutely batty that she doesn't trust Peeta and how he will react enough to confide in him about this.

For me, this was a hard book to read, simply because Katniss is floundering more than ever. She doesn't know where she stands. She doesn't know what to do about her feelings for either Gale or Peeta. After the last book, I was strongly in Peeta's corner. After this book, the only thing that I can say is that Katniss is so strong, even when she is so confused. The one thing that she does though in the midst of every event, is that she follows her instincts. So far, they have kept her alive....although that doesn't make her life any easier.

I felt like Peeta's character was weaker in this book. I'm disappointed that he didn't work harder after the games to try to win her heart. He just shuffled back into the background...I did not like that. He seems fine to sit back and let her take the lead on where their relationship is going or not going. I wanted him to step up and at least make an attempt to fight for her, but Peeta is not a fighter, is he?

On the other hand there is Gale. He's the fighter, but I think his expectations are too high for Katniss. She has just gone through this horrible ordeal and he is mad at her for the things she had to do to survive. That frustrated me. That's why the relationship between Peeta and Katniss works for me. They have this common trauma and they understand completely what the other is going through emotionally.

The one thing that I did like in this book is that the two guys, Gale and Peeta, finally do seem to hit some sort of peace between the two of them. I appreciate that and it certainly makes the dynamic more palatable to read.

In the story line of this book, there are a lot of secrets. Katniss and Haymitch are withholding facts from Peeta. Everyone is withholding things from Katniss and Peeta. Katniss is withholding things from Gale. I find it hard to believe that any of these people are ever going to fully recover from those deceptions. For me, this was the weakest of the three books, but I think that's because there is so much happening that is unspoken between all the characters.

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