Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After reading The Hunger Games I quickly jumped in and read "Catching Fire" I find the title of the book to be ironic as the books have caught on...like fire. I suppose like Katniss says “Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!” I really enjoyed this second book; I think a bit more than the first. I've really had to work on getting over my dislike for first person perspective but it helps now that I'm getting use to Katniss' voice and her persona.
At the end of the Victors tour in which Katniss and Peeta travel the other districts and meet with the families of those that participated in the Hunger Games—it is announced that for the first time in history the reaping will come out of the list of surviving Hunger Games victors. This means that Katniss, as the only surviving female victor for district 12 is going back to the arena. Of course this is a way to punish her for stirring up rebellion, even though she wasn’t trying to start a war! When Haymitch’s name is drawn as the second contender—Peeta steps up and volunteers so that he can protect Katniss.
And so it is that the pair makes their way back to the arena. Only this time they have surprising allies that seem willing to die for them—though neither Katniss nor Peeta can figure out as why that is. I think one of the tributes I enjoyed the most was Finnick. At first he seemed like such a cocky jerk but that was before I knew his entire story—of course I wouldn’t know his story until later on but really—he was a great guy. Finnick cared deeply about the woman he loved but also about doing his part in undoing a great injustice in his world. He put his own wellbeing and the selfish desires of his heart aside to do what he thought was the right thing.
I won’t go into any more detail than this because I really think it’s a book you should just read for yourself. I think this book had a lot more depth to it and insight into the other characters than the first book had. I was really pulling for some way for the majority of the tributes to remain alive whereas the first time around I nearly sighed in relief every time one of the careers died. I am so glad that my daughter kept bugging me to read and I hope that my review convinces a few friends who have been “on the fence” so to speak about this series to give it a shot!
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Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.
While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.
Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, she was struck by how pastoral the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in urban surroundings. In New York City, you’re much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you’re not going to find a tea party. What you might find...? Well, that’s the story of Gregor the Overlander, the first book in her five-part series, The Underland Chronicles.
Suzanne also has a rhyming picture book illustrated by Mike Lester entitled When Charlie McButton Lost Power.
She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.
The books she is most successful for in teenage eyes are the Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. These books have won several awards, including the GA Peach Award
You can find out more about this author by visiting her website at http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/