Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
First Impressions: Catching Fire has got to be amazing. It's the sequel to the Hunger Games, for god sakes. It's pretty much THE most anticipated YA book of 2009.
Catching Fire does not let down. I wouldn't say it's better than The Hunger Games, because I prefer the latter more, but Catching Fire is indeed amazing.
There are many twists, turns, and of course suspense and action. I won't go into details in case some of you (losers is too harsh, but really, if you haven't read this series, you are seriously missing out) haven't read this.
Katniss shows just how strong she is. While she wavers at the beginning on who's "side" to be on, she ultimately is determined and tough. I am now a Katniss fan. She can be naive and as Peeta, says, pure, in a sense, but she's made of awesome strength. She doesn't seem very decisive with the big stuff (meaning who to side with and which boy to pick) but she's good at surviving and doing what she must.
Going onto the aforementioned boys.... Gale and Peeta. Personally, teams Peeta. I can see the attraction to Gale, him being strong and brooding and all that manliness, but Peeta is adorable. Sweet and loyal, protecting and good. He's easy to be with and easy to talk to. He has a way with words. He's just.... aaaaw.
I found Catching Fire less powerful than The Hunger Games. While Catching Fire is much broader in range, and deals with bigger issues, I thought that it had less of an impact. This is my personal opinion, of course. The Hunger Games was so horrible in that 24 kids were forced to kill to the death. Catching Fire is also horrific, but it isn't quite so focused like THG. Catching Fire deals mostly with the revolt and Katniss's love triangle. There's lots of other stuff in between, but it seemed to pale in comparison.
I hate not being able to say the huge twist in the middle. Maybe others were able to see it coming, but I sure wasn't. Complete surprise. I had to reread the passage, just in case I misread it. But even that huge event didn't quite have as much an impact as The Hunger Games. While amazing and brain-exploding, it just seemed less powerful.
I did love the new addition to characters. Finnick, a previous Games winner, is devastatingly handsome and charming. Katniss's stylists come back and are as usual their silly and trivial selves. There are lots of new additions to characters, and we learn a lot about older characters.
Final Impressions: I compare this a lot to The Hunger Games and how it just doesn't quite live up to it, but Catching Fire is still wonderful. It was able to make me stay up all night to read. And, I need the third book NOW.
Add to Shelf: YES! Of course!
Note This! Have you wondered about the names? The book's mentioned how Katniss is a weed that can survive and thrive. Peeta = pita bread. Bread, being the baker's son. Gale, I was actually able to find on a name meaning site. Gale means "a stranger", which seems pretty accurate, as the reader still doesn't find out much on Gale. Maybe in the next installment. And Finnick reminds me of water... maybe?- Alex :D