Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins


From Goodreads Summary:

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should 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 create.
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 […].
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…

I cannot believe how fast I read this book.  I flew through each page as if it was being consumed by fire.  I needed to know what Katniss and Peeta’s life would be like post the crazy-making/revolution-inducing hunger games.

Many times during this book I found it hard to believe that a seventeen year-old girl with authority issues has the capacity to bring down an entire regime.  Or even be the inspiration for a revolution – but, that’s the point, right?  Empowering young people.  Our actions, when they are most pure and honest, will produce the most impact.


Life in District 12 is vastly different for Katniss and Peeta.  They have grown apart, yet they cannot stop being in-love for Panem.  They defied the Capitol with their threat to commit suicide and therefore put everyone they love in danger.  President Snow commands them to convince all of Panem that they remain deeply in-love.  The show has not ended with the conclusion of the hunger games.

So, poor Katniss must kiss Peeta everywhere she goes and pretend to be in-love with a great guy all while being primped by top stylists and designer.  Wouldn’t most girls love that problem?  Oh right, except of course she has been directly threatened by the President and is still confused about her feelings towards Gale.  What’s a girl to do?


Slowly, Collins chips away at all the reasons Katniss should remain passive, obedient and in fear.  There are new Peacekeepers in District 12 and everything is different.  The Seam is watched more closely; life in District 12 is dangerous…clearly, there is no escape.  The only way out of the shadow and grip of the Capitol is to fight – but Katniss hasn’t the faintest clue that there is a fight elsewhere, who would she fight with, what would she fight with?  Her feelings of powerlessness radiate.

And then, she must return to the arena with Peeta – a moment for gasping indeed!  Her agenda with Haymitch is valiant – keep Peeta alive.  She allies with unlikely characters who seem adamant to help her, such as Finnick Odair – who is just awesome.  Each former victor carries a certain darkness, but they hide it well because they must seem forever grateful that the Capitol gave them a chance to kill 23 innocent children when they were children themselves in order to be wealthy for the rest of their lives.

This book is full of rich characters and interesting plot twists.  And, I must admit, the adolescent girl in me enjoyed the continued love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale. Catching Fire simply does not stop.  Even in it’s final paragraph the action is gripping and I had to know the conclusion of Katniss’ story in Mockingjay.  If you haven’t read these, buy them at the same time.  You’ll close book 2 and simultaneously open book 3.

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