Saturday, September 1, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Title:  Catching Fire

Author: Suzanne Collins

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Year Published: 2009

 Number of Pages: 391 pages

Date Read: 9/1/2012

Series: The Hunger Games #2

Publisher:  Scholastic Press

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Gory Violence, Death and Mature Themes)

Can I just say that I think that the second book in Suzanne Collins’ famous “Hunger Games” series “Catching Fire” is easily the best book out of the entire series so far?  “Catching Fire” has everything that you would not expect to appear in any young adult novel such as drama, romance, violence and suspense and wraps it all up into one astonishing novel that really defined the excellence of good storytelling!

After Katniss Everdeen wins the Hunger Games along with Peeta Mellark in the first book, she thought that her life would be much easier now that she is the victor of the Hunger Games.  Unfortunately, in order to win the Hunger Games, Katniss ends up defying the Capitol by saving Peeta’s life and President Snow, the ruler of the Capitol, is not pleased with Katniss’ defiance in the games and starts planning the demise for Katniss!  Can Katniss protect her family and friends from the Capitol’s wrath and will she survive?

Wow…just wow…

This book has absolutely blown me away at so many turns that I am still speechless about the huge turn of events that happened in this book!  Suzanne Collins has truly woven a brilliant and intense story that continues the adventures of Katniss and this time the stakes are much higher than before!  I loved the way that Suzanne Collins gave this book a much deeper insight than in the first book as this book deals with more intense themes such as undying love and government corruption.  I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between Katniss and Peeta since we did not see too much of their relationship in the first book.  Katniss and Peeta’s relationship is strengthening in this book as they realize that not only do they have to do everything in their power to survive the Capitol’s wrath, but they start to realize how much they truly care for each other and that they are willing to put their own lives at stake to save each other.  It was also interesting seeing Katniss’ relationship with Gale as Gale was her first true love until the Hunger Games changed everything and Katniss was trying to regain whatever love she still has for Gale while having feelings for Peeta.  I was blown away by how Suzanne Collins gave a more political standpoint in this novel as the story discusses about government corruption.  The Capitol, which is the government, seems intent on taking vengeance on Katniss that they are willing to put her family and friends in danger to prove a point to her that she cannot defy the Capitol.  This was probably the scariest part of this book as government corruption sometimes happens in real life and just imagining that the government can be so corrupted that they could hurt innocent people disturbs me.

Even though this book is not as graphically violent as the first book, there is still some gory violence that happens in this book especially in the second half of the book.  Many characters are killed in gruesome ways (some characters are brutally tortured) and that might be disturbing for anyone who cannot handle gory violence.  Also, the theme about government corruption in this book might disturb some readers as the Capitol is pretty bloodthirsty in their attempts to get vengeance on Katniss.

Overall, “Catching Fire” is easily my favorite book in the “Hunger Games” series so far and after reading the huge cliffhanger at the end of this book (I will not tell you the ending since I do not want to spoil the book for anyone) I am definitely looking forward to the third book in the “Hunger Games” series, “Mocking jay.”  I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book to any fan of the “Hunger Games!”

* 2009 Goodreads Choice for Favorite Book and Young Adult Series
* 2010 Booklist Top Ten Science Fiction/Fantasy Novels for Youth
* 2010 ALA Teens' Top Ten
* 2010 Children's Choice Book Award for Teen Choice Book of the Year
* 2010 Indies Choice Book Award for Young Adult
* 2010 Teen Read Award Nominee for Best Read
2010 DABWAHA Romance Tournament for Best Young Adult

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