Friday, March 4, 2011

Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins
391 pages
My Rating: 4.5/5

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol.

My Thoughts:
I know I know.  How could I wait an entire month to write a review on the second book of this incredible series?  Well, honestly, it's taken me almost that long to gather my thoughts about it.  With lots of "OH MY GOSH?!" moments, I had to pick up my jaw and process this novel.  Occasionally, I have to do that with books.  It almost seems surreal when I read such type of book that I have to go over the book in my mind to remind myself that I read it and to decide how I feel about it.

First of all, can I just say that Katniss annoyed the heck out of me in this book?  I don't know, she just seemed selfish and different.  I mean, I can understand the development and the fact that her life had completely changed, so she as a person had to adapt to that change as well.  But she was not my favorite character in this novel.   I'm hoping she grows past this frustrating part in her development in Mockingjay.  She did not ruin the novel for me by any stretch of the imagination, but I was definitely annoyed.

Moving on:  pretty sure my favorite aspect of this incredible book is that fact that Ms. Collins again dropped my jaw and blew me away.  I was completely clueless as to the ending, and I loved that it shocked and surprised me both.  Her writing is very good and intriguing in the way she sets up the ending/major plot turning.  I don't want to go into too much detail because I'm afraid I'd ruin it for someone, but it was excellent.  Never saw it coming.

I've heard some people mention that Catching Fire was simply an in-between book in a trilogy.  Necessary, but not the beginning or middle.  I read one review that stated that the status was the same at the beginning and the ending of Catching Fire.  Um.... I disagree.  Now, I haven't read Mockingjay.  So I'll disclaimer this and say I have the right to change my mind.  But Catching Fire is so much more than the in-between book.  Ms. Collins really develops the story outside of the arena.  The Hunger Games seems to set up the setting and adds some good action inside the arena.  I got to know Katniss, her personality and quirks.  But in Catching Fire, I felt that I got to know the setting of the story.  I learned more about the going ons within the story; and through Katniss's frustrating annoyances, I saw the development of other characters beside her.  To me, Catching Fire is the book that adds the depth to make it a three book series.  It reminded me of some history that I've studied, and it gave me a personal, emotional connection to the book.  It went beyond simply being a fiction novel and characters that I was reading about.  As weird as it sounds, I experienced the novel.  I'm sure I'll do the same with Mockingjay.  But experiencing a novel in a way that affects me - makes those novels stand out above the others.  These two novels of Ms. Collins have definitely stood out with flashing lights and flying colors.

Ok, last bit of drooling before I insist that you go buy this book.  Can I just say lots of kudos to Suzanne Collins for her incredible creativity in writing the plot?  Again, don't want to say too much.  But looking back after I finished the novel, I said, "That's SOO cool!" so many times my mom (whom I was visiting) kept giving me weird looks, and I had to very literally move my mind into a different track for conversation.

Here's my pitch:  Catching Fire is every bit as good as The Hunger Games.  If you haven't read these novels yet, I don't know what else I could say to convince you beyond the fact that you will regret the time you spent not reading these books.  They are incredible.  Go to your nearest bookstore (or e-bookstore if you have an e-reader) and splurge on yourself.  You deserve it.  Probably should just buy all three and figuratively (or literally) post a sign at your door saying, "Busy.  Reading incredible books.  Don't bother."

1 comment:

  1. I still haven't gotten around to reading The Hunger Games yet! I feel bad because I borrowed a friend's copy and it's been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of months now but I just haven't had the time since I've been so busy with school. I've made a commitment to myself to read it by the end of next month so I'll let you know what I think of it then.