- Series: The Hunger Games (Book 2)
- Hardcover: 391 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (September 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0439023491
- ISBN-13: 978-0439023498
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Catching Fire (The Hunger Games) Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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Before I read this book, I read many bad reviews saying that it was the worst book in the trilogy, and that no one would like it. I disagree with many of these insults, but, however I do have one complaint. Why why why, did she HAVE to invent the Quarter Quell? WHY? It ruins the whole story(and yes, I know I wrote that it was incredible amazing eta, but Y'no what I mean.) there is only 1 Hunger Games. She tried to make another Hunger Games, changed a few rules and called it something else. Not good, it makes it more commercial and totally makes the ACTUAL Games seem petty. The Games where the whole point. The first book revolved around the Hunger Games, and the second was supposed to revolve around Katniss being in trouble with the Capitol, not a stupid spin off of the Games. I just think that it would be a LOT better if the Capitol forces all the earlier victors to compete as a new idea, not something that has been around for a while. The Quarter Quell is a ridiculous idea.
That all said and done, the second book in the Hunger Games Trilogy was still mind-blowing, and is worth all the $7 buck it was. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go rush off to buy the third and final in the trilogy. Thank you for taking the time to read my review. I hope it helped gather perspective. Goodbye
With her success in the Hunger Games, Katniss has unwittingly created more of an impact than she realises and the rumblings of a rebellion are coming to the boil. As the name of this book suggests, the spark of defiance that she showed during the games is slowly but surely catching fire across the districts. Katniss has become the symbol of defiance and hope.
President Snow (what a shifty guy) is keen to keep his hold on power and makes thinly veiled threats towards Katniss to ensure that she doesn’t promote any thoughts of uprising during the tour. She needs to tow the line to keep her family and friends safe, and continue the on-camera romance with Peeta. It’s a tough gig, but she has no choice.
Suzanne Collins really captures the extremes in Katniss’s thoughts, and does a great job of enabling the reader to relate to her constant struggles with her conscience. It seems that the more Katniss tries to remain cool and calm, the more her charisma gives courage and hope to the downtrodden. The fate of the old man who saluted her from the crowd gave warning of worse things to come.
Once the big twist is revealed and the victors find themselves heading off to the arena again, the pace and drama picks up. I had hoped that there would be some sort of united stand and refusal to play the game by the contestants. Without giving anything away to those who haven’t read the book I can at least say that I was satisfied with how things panned out in the end. This series is full of surprises and Johanna’s final act teaches that things aren’t always as they seem.
I watched the movie after reading this book, and easily spotted the sections that had been dropped (eg. Katniss meeting some runaway girls in the cabin who were searching for the fabled District 13). So, which one did I like the best? Well, I try not to compare books to movies, and to just accept them as different ways of telling a story. Yes, books give more details of thoughts and settings and decisions than a movie, but a movie can show so much in an instant that would have taken a lot of explanation in a book. The main thing for me is enjoying the story. Each medium gives a slightly different perspective of the story, which I like. They both have strengths, they both have weaknesses. So, my favourite out of book and movie is… a tie.
In a nutshell: A great second instalment in the Hunger Games Trilogy. I loved this one as much as book 1. It held me captive from start to finish.
Recommended for anyone with a love of characters who overcome hopeless situations and exciting plot twists.
Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.
As she and Peeta travel, they witness this rebellious attitude personally and it seems no amount of hamming up their romance for the cameras will make any difference. They even stage a public engagement, which turns on the wedding fever in the Capitol, but does little to change feelings in the Districts. Once they arrive home, they get devastating news…they are both going back into the arena for the 75th Anniversary of the Hunger Games.
Beyond having an exciting story, this book has a lot to say about government oppression, rebellion and how small acts can be interpreted as symbols, setting off unintended consequences. I love YA novels with depth. Each of these characters are dual-natured in that they have both good and bad qualities. Even the dizzy people of the Capitol grow on you once you realize they are innocents.
I love the character of Peeta. (I am definitely Team Peeta all the way!) He is probably the most genuinely good person in the books, yet he is strong and brave as well. He is not afraid to take risks for Katniss whom he loves. While I am still in the point of Katniss not committing her heart to either Peeta or Gale, I definitely see Peeta as the better match for her. They have had such a shared history of the most traumatic times of their lives. Gale seems like trouble to me. His rebellious nature is reckless, where as Peeta’s comes across as smart, calculated and brave. Peeta always frames his rebellion in such a way that the people are on his side and therefore, the government can’t afford to retaliate against him.
Overall, I give Catching Fire…
Plot – 5 bookmarks
Character Development – 4 bookmarks
Love Story – 4 bookmarks
Social Commentary – 5 bookmarks
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Kristin Stewart (Katniss), Hunter Parrish (Peeta), Phillip Kelley, my best friend from high school (Gale), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Haymitch), Megan Mullally (Effie), Tim Gunn (Cinna), Chris Pine (Finnick), Kelsey Batelaan (Prim)
Top international reviews
I had heard a few things about the story but it had totally misled me as to the subject matter. It is thought provoking and thrilling and I did not know how it would end. I would absolutely recommend that you give these books a try as they are outside of my 'usual' and I really enjoyed them.
I am a mum in my 40's and I felt the issues and 'what if's' raised were interesting, they kept my attention as I read all 3 books in about 4 days. Yes they are based in the future, so the author can use some artistic licence about what is possible and what is not - which I think is why these books are aimed at a younger market really. But if you just believe that all is possible and what would happen if we really lived in those times - wow! And the relationships between the characters, the hope, the determination and the fears and real emotions - the author has captured all brilliantly.
Don't write it off if you don't think it's your thing - I nearly did - but I am really pleased I read these books, and recommend you try it.
This has to be one of the best sci-fi books I have ever read.
Im completely addicted, I loved this 2nd book better than the first which I loved.
This trilogy of books has seriously changed my life to the point of having sleepless nights and unable to put the books down. I thought the first book and the capitol was cruel and twisted for forcing children to fight to the death; wow how wrong was I; this second book showed how cruel a city can get.
But cruel or not I was completely addicted; this book too I completely devoured like my favourite galaxy bar.
I honestly couldn't put this down I started it at approx midnight and finally read the last page at around 5am and I seriously do mean I couldn't put it down, knowing I had only a few hours sleep before having to get up.
It completely starts where the Hunger games finishes so you don't have to waste time having a whole chapter to remind you, you can simply read on.
I absolutely loved the first book boring my OH to tears insisting he needs to read it, but I truly believed the 2nd book wouldn't be as good, how could it....I was so wrong.
Katniss is thrown into a new world as she and Peeter miraculously come out of the hunger games as victors; plus she is leading a lie to gain popularity claiming that Peeter and herself are in love and will be married as the city love her, but she is now a pawn in the Capitols plans. She now lives the life of luxury for herself and her family but she has to hide certain deceptions from the people to prevent uprising who are still suffering the poverty striken living within the townships.
I have to say this is my favorite book in the whole trilogy as we know about her relationships, we know the characters and the many horrific twists are brilliantly placed and believable despite the book being in the future with so many sci-fi type scenes which I loved.
As you can guess Katniss ends up back in the Hunger games alongside Peeter again through a ruthless twist of fate to prevent the towns from uprising. I did feel this games although absolutely brilliant and very creative was slightly rushed I was expecting more from the games themselves. But the ending to the games has an incredible twist I really wasn't expecting a great addition and explosive ending.
But this doesn't mean its not a great read its a super fantastic amazing read, yes Im raving about it. We watch as Katniss's relationship becomes even more complex between Peeter and Gale a lovely touch running parallel to the violence and politics of the aftermath of the games.
President Snow is a cruel ruthless man who will stop at nothing to stop the uprisings starting within the towns, his imaginative cruelty keeps you addicted to these books.
What I loved about these books is Suzannes knack of keeping the suspense and flow fast paced; you simply cannot put this book down...seriously you cant. You feel connection to all the main characters, they actually feel like close friends and I love having Katniss as the first person so we can see, feel and hear everything that is going on. It really has so much despair and humanity you want to reach into the book and help, its so heart wrenching in places.
This really has changed my life while I have been reading this trilogy, Im now downloading the Mockingjay as I type I cant wait to read the final book in the series as I cannot see how this can end, there are so many ways this amazing series can go and I cant stop reading. This whole series has been on my mind for days, its an unbelievably brilliant read.
As for being a young adult book Im in my forties and I loved every minute of this series I cant wait to see the film, I so hope its every part as good as this trilogy. This trilogy has really opened my eyes to more sci-fi genre books as I was completely engrossed into katniss's world and Im sure you will be too.
Review first published on Secret Paths: http://about-books.secret-paths.com/?p=17
So, Catching Fire was always going to struggle to match that. So I will rate it four stars, even though it may only deserve three. My reasoning is based on rating it as a book on its own, which you can't do, in all fairness.
This is a trilogy, so if we take the three boos as one whole story, then Catching Fire will stand up better, I hope.
The problem with this book, is that the pace seems rather lopsided. In the Hunger Games, the pace built up like a crescendo, and was incredibly gripping and dramatic.
In Catching Fire, it struggles to know where it is going, before really picking up the pace in the final third. Perhaps few stories could keep up the intensity of the Hunger Games, so I will reserve having a go at this until I have read Mockingjay, the third in the series.
Some have criticised Miss Collin's writing style. But this is first person - we are a fly on Katniss' shoulder, so we should expect the writing in this matter. It didn't bother me at all like it bothered others.
All in all, Catching Fire is well written, has great characters, and is described rather well. You do feel like you are there. The Peeta / Gale angle isn't resolved here, perhaps that will be in the final book. I'd like to see President Snow get what's coming to him, but knowing Miss Collin's ability to twist a twisted tale, that may not happen at all.
Do I hope for a happy ending? Well I think Katniss deserves it. She comes across as a good heroine, and not whiny as some say.
So - a really good go at emulating the first book, but fell a bit short.
This is the background for this "Hunger Games - Catching Fire" sequel. Civil unrest spreads throughout the Districts. On tour, covering the 12 Districts, the victorious couple is paraded and thus comes in touch with the bloody and brutal repressive reality. The minimal deviation can be deadly! Everyday life is increasingly unbearable.
An alleged big cover up also adds to the atmosphere; that of District 13, thought to have been razed in the war, not only exists but is independent of the Capitol.
Last, but not least, this is "Quarter Quell" year! A special edition of the Games, every 25 years, which holds some unique feature that will tell it apart from the regular Games; this year the 24 tributes, male and female, will be chosen from the pool of victors! Peeta and Katniss are due back in the arena! What Katniss doesn't know yet is that arrangements, of a conspiratorial nature, will be at play to get her out alive, come what may.
To the rebellion ,she's now a symbol, a too valuable "asset" to let go of. Will they succeed? Read on and find out.
Great reading entertainment for all.
Starting with The Hunger Games, the first in the series, and the best of the lot. The story of a girl, Katniss Everdeen, who is chosen to be in the titular Hunger Games, a barbaric TV show where two people are chosen from various poor districts and made to fight to the death for the amusement of the Capital who are the rich part of society in what is left of an apparently mostly destroyed united states while the districts starve to death and produce everything for the fat Capital and are only given food if they put their children into the games.
The main crux of the story of Katniss and Peeta, from the same district and share a kind of love; in the case of Peeta this is true love that any young man would have for a young girl and in the case of Katniss it is just the love of friendship, at least until she decides that showing a fake relationship for the audience actually benefits them both and produces some kind of added likelihood that they may survive this together.
The Hunger Games is excellent and enthralling, enjoyable to the very end, and although this is advertised as a children's book its very violent and adult in its themes.
The second book, Catching Fire, is not quite as good as the first but still very good, showing how Katniss and Peeta get on after the events of the first book and showing the full extent of the evil of the Capital, something only hinted at in the first book, and showing more of what the outside world is like. This book repeats much of what happened in the first book and ends up being just a little shallow for it. The uniqueness of the first is lost when the author decides to repeat it but it has a surprise ending that makes it worth the while.
The third book, Mockingjay, is probably the weakest of the bunch but don't let that fool you into thinking its bad. Its not. Yet it does have something missing, no real main topic or plot point to cling onto while showing you the actions of the Capital feels a little over the top and unrealistic. The character of President Snow in particular goes from being someone interesting and intelligent while being subtly menacing to just being a straight out bad guy and that is disappointing.
The last book is entertaining and as the last of an apparent trilogy its a suitable bookend, especially with the bleak and dark ending which is a very different thing to read.
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins is a great read for adults and teenagers alike just maybe read it first before you give it to any kids as the violence can get extreme.
Still frustrating how Katniss seems to refuse to admit that she really loves Peeta, I mean we now know that Gale kissed her and that the only two kisses that have made her want more (want more quite literally now) were with Peeta, and then there's her reaction at the end of the novel that just drives home that she is in fact totally in love with Peeta (don't forget the baby ;) )
The other characters, particularly the other tributes, Finnack and Johanna, also have more depth to them than say Rue and Thresh in the previous novel and its easier to see how they can be liked/disliked.
In Catching Fire the emotions and interactions between the characters just seem more real and the story gets more complex, more like what I am used to when reading fantasy or dystopian novels. Now to get on with Mockingjay!
I reviewed The Hunger Games a while back and, actually, the gap between me reviewing the books is much longer than it took me to read them both! These books were the first paid for books I'd read on my Kindle and I have to say that I snatched every spare moment I could to read them as they were so blimmin' good.
Catching Fire continues where The Hunger Games left off - Katniss and Peeta have survived the arena and returned to District 12 - but all is not sweetness and light, as both have nightmares of what they went through and, having learned that their relationship was all an act, Peeta is distinctly cool with Katniss and she's not sure whether this is good or bad. At the start of the book there is a really well written sense of Katniss and Peeta being out of place, they're no longer sure where they fit since their return and it's easy to see now why Haymitch chooses to live in the bottle.
A year after the events of the first book, it appears that Katniss's small rebellion in the Hunger Games has sparked off unrest in the other districts and to stamp it out - and potentially kill Katniss and what she stands for - The Capital decide that for this year's Hunger Games, they will return former tributes to the arena. Katniss and Peeta find themselves back in danger, fighting for their lives, but this time they make some new alliances that will save them time and again.
I found this book a little slower than the first, but liked that it examined more about Katniss's state of mind and about her feeling of being an outsider, even in her own home. The `love triangle' was not really to my taste as I thought it was obvious who she should choose, but then I know others have differing opinions! The action when it came was paced well and Suzanne Collins dreams up more inventive ways to kill people.
The Hunger Games is a good stand alone book, but it's great that Catching Fire doesn't let it down and paves the way brilliantly to Mockingjay, the third book, which I will review sooooon!
I'll admit, I found this one a bit tedious in places, but there are far more twists and turns as Katniss comes to terms with the fallout of her attempt to defy the control of the Capitol. Up until the point that the Quarter Quell games are announced, I found the to-ing and fro-ing from Peeta to Gale a little boring.
What I did like with this book was how Katniss grew, yes she acted like a petulant child when she realised she'd be back in the arena, and when she realised that she'd been `used' by Haymith and the others to aid the rebellion against the Capitol. But behind all this she started to realise that, despite everything, Peeta was very genuine person who really does love her.
Halfway through this book I was already thinking that I probably wouldn't bother with the third instalment, Mockingjay, but the last 20% of Catching Fire is brilliant, and the ending is another real cliffhanger - so few books leave the reader on the edge of their seats, desperate to learn the fate of the characters. It'll be interesting to see how Collins finishes off the trilogy, and to see who, if anyone, survives and whether they actually do manage to overthrow the Capitol.
Catching Fire sees much more manipulation of the characters, and from quarters you don't expect. It is hard to try and make sense of who's on which side, and whether, ultimately, you can trust anyone in `the games'. There are far more twists and turns in this book than the original Hunger Games, and if you can get past some of the more tedious bits at the beginning, it's another cracking instalment.
So... It got frustrating for me to see children sent to an arena to kill each other in the first book. But, being sent there A SECOND TIME? I was speechless. Outraged. It was downright cruel, knowing how it had affected all the previous winners. At least the people from the Capitol were discontent with their decision as well. It eased me a bit. This time I was fully prepared for what was to come: the trip to the Capitol, the preparation, the training center, the games, so I enjoyed it a lot more.
An then there are the love struggles. Oh, boy, did I enjoy reading about them. This time the tension was palpable. I still don't know how to feel about the love triangle. When they were in the games everything pointed to Peeta, but then they return and there's Gale, but then they go off again... I hope it all gets solved in the third book, Mockingjay, hopefully without anyone getting hurt (hey! A girl can dream, right?).
I think I can safely say that Catching Fire is my favorite of the series. I feel like the first is special on its own because it is the "original", when things happen for the first time, but I fully enjoyed myself with the second. Cannot wait to see what the third is like!