Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Catching Fire" Review

As you know from my previous review of "The Hunger Games," I read all three books over the past few days and am reviewing each seperately.

BOOK 2 - Catching Fire

We were left off with Katniss dreading leaving Peeta to be on her own yet hating the fact that she's hurt him with being honest on how she feels...torn between her friendship with her handsome hunting partner, Gale, and her partner in the Hunger Games Area, Peeta.

The beginning of the story we're back in Katniss's head (not always a fun place to be) and its the dawn of the day the camera crews will show up at her house for the Victory Tour, so to speek, of she and Peeta to each of the 12 districts. Seeing as she and Peeta are estranged, though now living a house or two away from each other, we're stuck with only Katniss and her head of doom.

But, she's not far off. She receives a visit from the President, where they agree to no longer lie to each other and lay it all out on the table. Simply put, Katniss has to calm the districts down from her act of rebellion at the end of the games so as to not ensite a rebellion of the people of Panem. She must sell to the people of the country that she defied the gamemasters because she is in love with Peeta. She then realizes this means, "forever" in marriage, etc. There's a snag here of course, she doesn't want to get married, have kids, and so, she's still not sorted out her feelings for Gale or Peeta. Katniss is a little slow...we know, we know.

And so the story plods along...without much going on (except for the amazing visit to District 11). We have this GREAT concept of visiting the districts in front of us, yet Ms. Collins skips it (except for listing Katniss' amazing dresses, of course). She gives you District 11 and then skims the rest, mostly. Hell, I couldn't tell you what every district does and I've read all the books. She skims through that section with angsty Katniss and Peeta trying his best to bring us back to liking her when the unthinkable happens...


President Snow decides the 75th Annual Hunger Games (which they confuse you by calling it The Quell and for awhile you think it's something seperate) will be played by victors of other games in the past.'re going BACK into the arena with Katniss and either Haymitch or Peeta by her side.

Well shit. There's now way TWO can be the victors again so you're going to loose one of them...and damn it, you know it can't be Katniss if there's a book three. The only charater we actually like and connect with and there's a chance he's going to be gone. Crap.

Needless to say, you're's the great part...once they're thrown back together into the situation you spend more time with Cinna, Peeta, her sobbing prep team, Effie (gotta love a well rounded crazy character like her, right?) and now a new fave, Finnick Odair. I'll be honest...I laughed so hard at the humor in the second half of this book that I was loving Peeta, Cinna, and Finnick a lot. They were so "on fire" that they made Katniss seem much more bearable as well. I was enjoying her again. What an amazing relief!

Side Note: How, after seeing the mockingjay burned into bread and the mockingjay on the watch does she not see they are trying to show her they are with her...that they are part of the rebellion? Especially after seeing the watch. To have her thinking he was showing her his expensive watch is just plain ignorant. The fact that she can't put two and two together just make me want to choke her. Just sayin'.

Anyhoo...moving on...

So after Katniss has to watch Cinna get beaten horribly (my heart was broken), the games begin! And the idea for the Arena is brilliant, interesting, and scary. Plus, we get to hang out with AND get to know MORE of the Tributes this time around. Which is wonderful! As they die we hurt...not like we did with Rue. It's differnt, but still moving.

Like I said before, Ms. Collins can write fight scenes! The slow plodding of the first half of the book has been forgiven for how great the story is moving along now. I'm riveted. I'm tense. My heart breaks as Peeta gives her the's just so well done...and then...

You guessed it...

It all goes to shit.

I won't spoil any further but I'll say this...Katniss is a crazy bitch. Her "jumps to conclusions" ideas and how to deal with them (I'm talking of the syringe, if you've read the books) is just ridiculous. Honestly. But, her anger at Haymitch for what he's done moves me and the news Gale gives her breaks my heart. Poor District 12. That's all I'll say.

I'd normally give the book 3.5 out of 5 stars because we have to wait so long for the goods to start...but because of the fun that ensues and the amazingness of the concept for the next set of games, I'll bump it to 4 out of 5 stars as my final score. Plus, you're DYING for book three...always the sign of a good book.

Happy Reading!

Tamsin :)

P.S. The title is again linked to the Wikipedia page of the characters list for all the books. In case you need them.

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