I reread this one. Firstly so I could remember, you know, the actual story. And second, to see if I was softened towards Peeta at all.
Put it this way, after reading this book I wanted to be gearing up for a Catching Fire release – not a Hunger Games one.
THERE WILL BE SPOILERY INFO AHEAD, SO IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS ONE YET, PROCEED WITH CAUTION GUYS. OR, YOU KNOW, CRAWL OUT FROM UNDER THAT ROCK YOU’VE BEEN OCCUPYING. YOUR CHOICE.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
This is the book that sets the bar for this series and every dystopian that followed it. I’m not ashamed to say I loved it. I know I told my fifi (fiancé) on at least one occasion that he would love this book and why doesn’thejustreaditalreadybecauseit’sreallyawesome! *deepbreath*
At Face Value: Meh. They go okay. Not as bad as the first cover but not as good as the new one. Still screamed Sci Fi like there was nothing else in the world that mattered.
Immediate Reaction: Holy to the muthacussing macarolli! What a cliffhanger! What a book! On the first read I nearly cried when I realised Mockingjay wasn’t out for MONTHS! Damn those forums and their engaging Team Gale/Peeta discussions!
High Five: OH MY GOD! YES! I can’t believe it. I’m actually giving a book 5! 5 people! I’ve been waiting for this day to come and I really can’t think of a good reason not to. It makes me a little sad to realise I’m replacing Cinder, though. BUT I'M FINALLY GIVING OUT FIVE! *thud*
Favourite Quote: “I squint down at my feet and see that my metal plate is surrounded by blue waves that lap up over my boots. Slowly I raise my eyes and take in the water spreading out in every direction.
I can only form one clear thought.
This is no place for a girl on fire.”
For those lame-os that don’t know, Catching Fire is the sequel to the Hunger Games and occasionally, just rarely, a sequel comes along that blows its previous companion out of the water. This is that book. The title is clever, especially if read as ‘Catching Katniss’ and opens up a whole lot of questions before you even open that awful cover.
There are three main reasons why this book got a five. And one clear reason why it shouldn’t have. But we’ll get to the latter, later.
The magnificent first reason: the tributes. This time around I can see them all (at least the ones that are described). I loved Johanna Mason. To be honest, I kind of just wanted the book to be about her an itsy bit. She was fun, she was so alive, and she was the kind of character that just stays with you. Nuts and Volts were cute as a button, and Mags made me smile. And cry.
But let’s talk about Finnick Odair for a second. I love him. More than the others even. Maybe even more than Gale by a smidgeon (yep, can’t believe I just said that). He’s brave and strong and smart and just oh-so-good-looking. He’s a tease and has a big heart and THAT SCENE WITH THE JABBERJAYS! What a poor, tortured, pretty thing he is!
The second reason: the arena. The Hunger Games have been taken to a whole new level of disturbing, ladies and gentlemen. And of course they have; it’s the Quarter Quell! Instead of just having tributes hunting your arse, the arena is literally fighting back. Not just a flame ball here or a poisonous berry there, but real threats that attack your body and screw with your mind. There’s also less of Katniss acknowledging the viewers and more of her calculating her moves against the Capitol. It was like some warped game of chess. I’m not going to give away too much over the arena but Plutarch Heavensbee puts Seneca Crane to shame.
The third reason this book garnered a hard-to-come-by five is because of Gale. We get to see so much more from him in this one. He’s strong and knows exactly what he wants. He lights up every page and I reckon he and Johanna should get it on a little bit. The thing is though, the chemistry between him and Katniss is just so ALIVE! I know people will disagree with me, but it was clear, in this book at least, who Katniss chose. Her heart was Gale’s and if the series had ended there she would have chosen him.
Now let’s talk a little about Peeta. I promised to try and like him a little more and I actually did (surprise!) but he really took a back seat in this one (maybe that's why!). There were some really sweet moments between him and Katniss but it’s clear they don’t have the same spark as her and Gale. The strange thing is, even though Peeta inhabits a lot of this book, I hardly remember him having a really active role. He was more like Katniss’s shadow than a character in his own right. This is pretty much the only reason Catching Fire wouldn’t have gotten a five. Then I remind myself that if Peeta had more of a role, the others wouldn’t have, and suddenly I’m okay with how it all went down.
Katniss grows a heck load, and her already sarcastic inner self snarks up the pages. It’s awesome. I love how she reacts in the districts and to President Snow and towards the other tributes. I love pretty much any page that both she and Haymitch occupy.
Then there’s these scenes that the book would have been nothing without: Johanna stripping down after the chariot ride, the announcement – and Katniss’s subsequent breakdown – of the Quarter Quell. The visit to District 11, Katniss telling Haymitch who she wanted as allies, her prep team, any part with Cinna or Gale. AND THE ENDING! THAT I WILL NOT SPOIL BUT IS ABSOLUTE AWESOMENESS!
So, after my reread I think there should be more teams than just Gale and Peeta. I’d also like ones for Johanna, Finnick, Haymitch, Cinna and Wiress. Umm… I think that is all. Pleaseandthankyou.
Now onto Mockingjay!