Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
This book is recommended for readers in 9th Grade and up
Genre: Science Fiction
After making history as a competitor in The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen hopes to live comfortably ever after in District 12, her futuristic society. However, her success in the Games has made her an unexpected symbol of rebellion, and ultimately, a threat to the government. Frustrated by her lack of privacy and lack of choices, Katniss never expected to be going back to the arena that first made her famous.
I remember once discussing the movie "Speed" with a friend, who said it was entertaining enough, but after a while, how much more could really happen to these people? For me, Catching Fire suffers from a similar problem. The first book is impressively addictive and hard to put down. This book still has that addictive quality to an extent, but it is also more blatantly manipulative to the reader. Hunger Games might be a fattening Caesar salad, but at least it delivers some satisfaction, while Catching Fire is more like a bowl of cheese puffs--you think it will taste good, but the empty calorie grease-fest is disappointing. The violence in this book seems more gratuitous; it goes too far over the top to try to keep readers hooked. The love triangle between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta is too similar to the Twilight saga for comfort, and most of the other relationships are too predictable or stale. However, the story remains full of interesting discussion points about choices and freedom, and many teen readers will not mind the re-hashing of a favorite tale dressed in some catchy new twists.
This is the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. Readers are advised to begin with the first book, as this one does not stand alone easily.
If you like this book, you may also like . . .
the Uglies trilogy, by Scott Westerfield
The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
Book Poll: Catching Fire