Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire
Hunger Games, book 2
by Suzanne Collins

Having survived the Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta are back home in District 12. But although they’re out of the arena, living in comfortable housing and with plenty of food, the game is far from over. Because the two of them defeated the Capitol by forcing a change in the rules, the government considers them dangerous enemies of the state, even while publicly celebrating them as victors. Some people in the Districts view their victory as an act of defiance, and there are rumblings of unrest.

A visit from President Snow makes the stakes clear: Katniss and Peeta must play the role of young lovers perfectly, and convince the world that they are no threat to the Capitol, or everyone they love will die. But as they begin the victory tour, events rapidly spiral out of control, and Katniss must make a choice between playing the game, and standing up to a government bent on crushing every last scrap of resistance.

I was a little nervous about reading Catching Fire because I was so excited about it that I worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. I needn’t have worried: Catching Fire delivers. It’s a gut-wrenching, pulse-thumping, roller-coaster of a ride. If anything, it’s more intense than the Hunger Games. If you thought the government of Panem was cruel in The Hunger Games, in this book you discover just how truly brutal they are, and to what lengths they will go to maintain control. Yet even in the face of such extreme brutality there are people willing to risk their lives to defy the government--even some in the Capitol. I read this book on vacation, and literally screamed out loud in several places, attracting some strange looks from my family. (They’ve since read the book, too, so now they understand.)

If you’ve read The Hunger Games, I probably don’t need to convince you to read Catching Fire. If you haven’t read the Hunger Games, I highly recommend it! It’s a great teen series. I think it will appeal to both reluctant readers and good readers. It may be too intense for some readers: Bad Things Happen. And it definitely ends on a cliffhanger. Now I’m waiting for book 3. Write faster, Suzanne Collins! Please!

My review of The Hunger Games

Review copy provided by the publisher and signed by the author at BEA.


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