February 8, 2010

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Who would have thought young adult lit could be so enjoyable for an adult? I read The Hunger Games (the prequel to this novel) out loud to my 7th grade students last year and they couldn't get enough of it....and neither could I. I had to take the book home to finish it because I couldn't take the suspense any longer. Read my review of The Hunger Games if you're interested in my thoughts on the first book in Collins' series.

Catching Fire is the second installment in what looks to be a trilogy. Set in Panem, a nation crippled by the dictatorship of "The Capital," our heroine Katniss Everdeen returns. Her actions in The Hunger Games have made her the biggest celebrity in Panem, but also Enemy #1 of the Capital. Rebellion is stirring in the districts and if she wants to keep those she loves alive, she must do everything she can to stop the uprising. When all she does is fan the flames, Katniss once again becomes a pawn in the Capital's deadly game.

Collins has really hit a home run with this series. Aimed at the young adult reader, this book is a very fast read for an adult, but it never feels like you're reading something "beneath" you. Catching Fire takes the same topics of government power, the strength of the masses, love, survival, and loyalty and turns them on their heel. Collins' descriptions are precise and spark the imagination - my particular favorite being President Snow who smells of "roses and blood." In a society where the district one in born into can mean a meal ticket or a death sentence, Katniss represents hope and her actions make her a character we are quick to root for. The arena Collins creates for this novel is as imaginative and original as it is horrifying.

Make no mistake, these two books are violent - very violent. I would make the argument that Catching Fire offers slightly more "adult" content (not sexual per say, but certainly not G rated) than its prequel. Once again, however, Collins succeeds in grabbing her reader's attention right out of the gate and leaves the last page with a cliffhanger that leaves you begging for the next book. Not for readers under the age of 12, in my opinion, but enjoyed thoroughly by this 26 year old. 5 stars.

**NOTE: You absolutely MUST read The Hunger Games before Catching Fire or it won't make much sense. The third book comes out on August 24, 2010!


  1. I loved The Hunger Games. I didn't realize the sequel was out already, I'll have to put it on hold at the library.

  2. I love The Hunger Games. Catching Fire isn't as enjoyable, personally (though I'm re-listening to it right now). I'm interested in seeing how she ends the series!

  3. I'm so glad to know that the third book is coming out this year. I thought that I would have to wait a long while.


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