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Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – It’s Only Just Begun

By Hippiebookworm @HippieBookworm

Catching_fireYou ever feel like you’ve just won the battle only to face a war? I feel that way about this blog sometimes. As much as I’ve been able to accomplish with this blog over the past year and a half, from design to creating a following, if it’s going to reach it’s full potential of becoming a forum where avid readers can meet and read together, there’s still a lot more work to go.

Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) picks up with Katniss and Peeta on their victory tour. After a trip to District 11 in which the crowd gets riled up, it’s obvious that The Capitol is barely holding off another rebellion from the Districts of Panem. Not only that, but upon returning home Katniss encounters two District 8 runaways heading towards District 13, a place that was supposedly destroyed during the first rebellion.

At the same time, the Quarter Quell, a Hunger Games that comes around every 25 years and includes a sinister twist, is on the horizon. This year President Snow has decided to have past Victors from the 12 districts come back and compete against one another. Katniss and Peeta are headed back to the arena and they are up against some more formidable opponents this year.

The new cast of tributes that follow Katniss and Peeta into the arena are a colorful bunch. Finnick, young and sprite, and Mags, Finnick’s 80-year old mentor, are an odd pair from District 4. District 7 offers us the cold and cruel Johanna. Beetee and Wireress are District 3’s genius tributes who put mind over bruteness to stay in the game. Finally, District 2 gives us Brutus and Enobaria, both bread to kill and not showing any remorse for being brought back into the spotlight.

The action that ensues within the arena is not unlike what was experienced in the first game. Both the other tributes and the arena itself works against Katniss and Peeta as once again they fight to keep each other alive. The one exception this year? Katniss and Peeta are forming alliances with the other players at the behest of their mentor.

Soon it becomes clear that the object of the game is to break out of the arena rather than try and be the last man standing. The problem is, not everyone will get out alive.

True to her first novel, Suzanne Collins continues to develop the characters of Katniss and Peeta as their life becomes even more unstable and uncertain. Both characters are suffering from PTSD and the uncertainty of their relationship with The Capitol isn’t helping matters. In true form, Peeta tries to downplay the deceit of the last games with his charm while Katniss desperately tries to keep up.

Another staple of YA novels? A love triangle. Gale and Katniss have been close since they were kids. Had either of them never been called to go into the Games, they would have inevitably ended up together. But the trauma Katniss and Peeta experienced together along with the rouse of romance they put on for The Capitol, is bringing them closer and leaving Gale as a third wheel.

This book definitely gets 5 stars from me and I recommend it to anyone who doesn’t want The Hunger Games to end with Katniss and Peeta’s first victory.

Are you looking forward to the film adaptation coming out this month in theatres?

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