Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reading Reflection: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)

by Suszanne Collins
Published September 1st 2009
P. 391
Rating: 4/5 

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. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

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... and surprising readers at every turn.

Alright, writing the review for this book was the most difficult so far.  It's strange to put words to my particular feelings.  I liked the book as a whole.  I liked how it carried the story from the first book to the next, it kept me interested to find out what was going to happen.  The cliff hanger at the end was absolute torture.

With that said, when I dissect the story and look at the individual pieces there's not much I like... which is what makes it strange.  Katniss started trouble with her shenanigans at the last Hunger Games.  Some of her acts created a disgruntled ripple effect through the districts.  Good, the capital is horrible and it's about time something started stirring.  This is my favorite part of the book, knowing that people are started to question those in charge.  
That's it though.  The individual scenes, especially the beginning seem to drag.  I wasn't entirely interested with life after the Hunger Games or their tour through the districts, though they provided some information into the peoples new views of the capital.  They seemed bland.

Now the love triangle, or lack there of, is strange in this book.  Katniss doesn't seem genuinely interested in anyone, but continues to pursue these boys at select times in the book.  It bothered me and I'm not sure why.  I like both of her options, they're both strong in different ways, but I'm not really interested in a connection for Katniss.  Gale and Peeta are just convenient at different times.  Gale when she's at home hunting, Peeta when she's dealing with the Hunger Games. 

This sense of convenience rather than connection is the problem. It seems like either way she's passively choosing a future "just because."  I don't like it.  Make a decision or stop messing around. 

I'm going to give the story a four just because it kept me interested, even when I didn't really like what was going on, I wanted to know.  I hope the next book meets my expectations, because they are set high.

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