Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire. Second book from the Hunger Games.I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air.

After I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I created a Pinterest board based on my interest in Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, and the country of Panem. I rated that book at four and a half stars, which is a good rating from me; over half the Harry Potter books received that rating. But I think I expected Catching Fire, the successor, to rivet me just as much as its precedent--and it certainly, and unfortunately, didn't.

Months ago, Katniss Everdeen volunteered to take her sister's place in the seventy-fourth Hunger Games. Her victory in the Games was marred by the fact that she openly taunted the Capitol by daring to attempt suicide with her fellow victor, Peeta Mellark, with whom she was supposed to be in love. Just as she begins her Victory Tour, President Snow visits her--threatening her that if she can't convince everyone, including him, of her love for Peeta, bad things will happen. It just so happens that the next year's Hunger Games are the Quarter Quell--the seventy-fifth--and this year's tweak to the usual Games is that participants will be reaped only from the living winners.

Steal Katniss's Wedding Dress from The Hunger Games: Catching FireThe plot sounds good from a distance, but Collins had some serious problems with executing it. If you think about it, it's just another excuse to have another set of Hunger Games--which is, granted, what the series is named for, but . . . really? Things never happen the same way twice. And when authors try to make it look like they do, it all gets old pretty fast. The Games themselves were cheap, not like the Games of the previous novel. And you know how I said in The Hunger Games's book review that I would definitely choose Team Peeta over Team Gale? I doubt that now. The more I get to know Peeta, the more he annoys me; maybe it's because he just seems to lack a personality. Gale, on the other hand, I actually liked a bit more in this novel. Also, if Katniss knows that he's the guy who knows her best in all the world--why would she have to choose between him and Peeta?

Overall, this was just subpar in comparison to what I hoped. I'd heard others say that Catching Fire was their favorite; my cousin liked it less than The Hunger Games. I should have listened to him. I rate it as FOUR, and hope that Mockingjay will be better. And honestly, I think the movie adaptation of this book looks way more interesting than the book itself. Hopefully that's actually true.


  1. "The Hunger Games" series is alright, though not my favorite. I finished "Mockingjay" last week and found it to be better than I expected (seems it isn't the popular favorite of the three). I admit it was hard to get into (Katniss has developed a pretty nasty attitude), but over all, I have to say it's my favorite of the three.

    1. I agree--it's an okay series, but it's definitely not the best, and I'm not really sure it completely deserves all the hype it's gotten. Mockingjay awaits me at the library and I plan to pick it up today and will probably read it tonight, but I've already seen Katniss's nasty attitude in Catching Fire, so reading her won't be super fun in the next installment, I'm afraid. . . .

      Thanks for reading!

    2. You're welcome, Hannah (for some reason your posts are not showing up on my reading list, so I haven't seen anything that you've blogged lately until today when I did a blog check up).
      Yes, as I wrote, it was hard getting through the first few pages because of her attitude, but if you hang in there it does get better in an interesting way. Not perfect, and I'm not 100% happy with the end, but I feel like this one did good with making me feel depths of emotion.

    3. Huh, that's odd. It says you follow me on GFC so I'm not sure what the problem would be. Oh well. Sometimes Blogger does strange things :)

      Okay, I'll be sure of that! I've heard that the ending is hard to take, but it is nice at times to read somewhat "realistic" endings at least. And since THG so far has not been very emotional reading for me, I'm glad you thought Mockingjay did a better job at that.

  2. Ironic that you didn't care for this one as well, Hannah. If I remember right, this is the book everyone RAVES about. I need to read it yet, though will admit, I much preferred the 'Catching Fire' movie over the first film and certainly The Hunger Games book. Hope you like Mockingjay lots better! :)

    1. Indeed--in fact, I almost feel a liar even giving it four stars. I think it deserves more like 3 1/2. Granted, I did stay up to read the whole thing in a few hours, but it didn't "hold" me as much as The Hunger Games book did. And honestly, I can hardly understand the reasoning behind this book being such a favorite!

      I was able to watch both movies back-to-back last night. I enjoyed both of them very much and thought that the Catching Fire movie improved a LOT on its book. The Hunger Games movie was good, and improved on the book in that it showed occurrences happening outside of Katniss's knowledge--like Haymitch's pity for her, his vying for both their lives, Seneca Crane and President Snow's differences, Caeser Flickerman and Claudius's opinions on the Games--I found those additions great. Anyway, enough about movie ranting--I probably won't be reviewing either one, though I might include a few tidbits about them in my book review of Mockingjay :)

      Thank you as always for being a reader and commenting, Rissi!


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