When I wrote my review of The Hunger Games, I mentioned that I hesitated to start because it was part of a trilogy. Sometimes I yearn for a stand alone book. However, the aforementioned book was definitely worth reading and it’s sequel, Catching Fire, didn’t disappoint either.
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.
Catching Fire is much different from The Hunger Games in many ways, the most noticeable being the shorter duration of the actual ‘Hunger Games’ in the narrative. This book focuses more on Katniss’ conflicting emotions: her feelings for two men and her realization and unease with the fact she has fueled the fires of an uprising. That isn’t to say there is no plot; there are many things occurring such as dramatic changes in District 12 and President Snow’s presence is more prominent.
There are deeply emotional moments as well as truly shocking ones. I smiled, chuckled, held back tears and gasped during my time reading this wonderfully crafted book. Suzanne Collins does not disappoint.
All in all, Catching Fire is a superb follow-up to The Hunger Games and I recommend it highly to fans of young adult novels, especially those interested in Dystopian settings.