Friday, November 30, 2012

[Review] Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Published: September 1st 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Series: The Hunger Games (Book #2)
Source: I purchased a copy from a bookstore.
Blurb from Goodreads: Sparks are igniting, flames are spreading and the Capitol wants revenge. 
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss shoul be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol -a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped created.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before... and surprising readers at every turn.


Review

First thoughts: After reading The Hunger Games, and being blown away by it, I just needed to start Catching Fire right away. I was afraid, though. Because with such a powerful first book, there's so little to do in a sequel. So I started this one feeling a little bit uncomfortable, hoping it wouldn't ruin the whole story. And it didn't. It just blew me away some more. I read a comment from Stephenie Meyer, the Twilight series author, which describes pretty much the exact feeling I have about this book: “Catching Fire not only lived up to my high expectations, it surpassed them. It's just as exciting as The Hunger Games, but even more gut wrenching, because you already know these characters, you've already suffered with them.”

About the plot: This book is divided in three parts and each of them show a different stage in this story. Each one is full with excitement and unexpected turns
In the first one, we get to see what's been going on since Katniss and Peeta won the 74th Hunger Games. We learn about the others districts when the couple goes to visit them for the Victory Tour. It shows the consequences of what Katniss did in order to stay alive in the Games. Some of the districts are starting a rebellion. And President Snow knows exactly who is to blame. Besides, things are really mixed up in Katniss love life. Peeta won't talk to her if there isn't a camera shooting them, because of what she said on the train, about everything between them being a just-to-survive kind of thing. And Gale suddenly throwing his heart out to Katniss. So, our girl is pretty confused. On top of that, the President threats Katniss friends and family, so the girl on fire has to keep pretending that Peeta is the love of her life and that everything she has done so far was just because she's insanely in love with him.
The second part was the most unexpected one for me. We can almost see the feelings shifting from fear to pure rage on Katniss behavior. The Quarter Quill is coming and everything that Katniss and Peeta has being trying to forget is starting all over again. But this time, Katniss has made a commitment to herself: she will keep Peeta alive, whatever it takes, even if it is her own life what's on the line.
The third part is the coolest. I love it so much! We get to know some new characters like Finnick  Odair who is the sexiest guy who has ever walk on the face of Earth. Johana Mason the girl who won the Games a few years ago pretending she was all scared and then turning into a killing machine. 

About the writing: The first part of the book is a little bit slower that the first book. But then it all starts spinning around so fast that you don't have time to worry about it. The story is told from Katniss point of view like the first book, but now that you already know her, you understand why she thinks and does everything and sometimes you are able to predict what she's going to say next, like she is one of your best friends and you know her that well. I found that pretty amazing, because I love to feel related to the character I read about.

About the ending: I was NOT expecting that. God! I don't know how Collins manages to keep amazing me that way. Picture the most unfortunate turn of events and there you go! 

I would recommend it for: If you read the Hunger Games and liked it. You can not miss this one. And if you haven't read the first book, what are you waiting for?!

Rating:


Quotes:

“My nightmares are usually about losing you. I'm okay once I realize you're here.” 

“I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.” 

“Really, the combination of the scabs and the ointment looks hideous. I can't help enjoying his distress.
"Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven't looked pretty?" I say.
"It must be. The sensation's completely new. How have you managed it all these years?" he asks.
"Just avoid mirrors. You'll forget about it," I say.
"Not if I keep looking at you," he says.” 

“The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol's plans. The symbol of the rebellion.” 

“At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.The hard thing is finding the courage to do it.” 


About the author: 


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.
Website: http://suzannecollinsbooks.com/

5 comments:

  1. This was my favorite of the trilogy- completely amazing :D
    With The Hunger Games, I like the supporting cast far better than I like Katniss, Peeta, etc, and Catching Fire had the best supporting cast by a longshot. And so much attention was paid to them, which was great.

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  2. Great review! I really like how you broke things down into different sections. I'll definitely be reading more of your blog. :D

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  3. I was nervous about reading this one, too, but it ended up being my favorite book of the trilogy. Finnick rocked my socks off, lol. ;) I was blown away by this book and so scared when I found out Katniss was going back into the Arena. You're absolutely right--this was so gut-wrenching because we had already suffered with the characters and were highly invested in them. I even came to love Haymitch though I really couldn't stand him at first.

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  4. Great review!:) This was my favorite out of all the three books :) Collins is so good at doing cliffhangers that you just can't stop reading! :)

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  5. I was a bit scared to read this book too.. scared Peeta will die but he didn't and it was great!

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