Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins
391 pages
Remember how I pretty much ranted and raved about The Hunger Games?  Well, don't worry, you're not about to get more of the same.

Don't get me wrong, I really did like the book.  But only now that I've read Mockinjay and finished the series do I truly appreciate the plot of Catching Fire.  When I first read it, I sat down one evening and didn't stop reading until it was 2 a.m. and I had finished the last page.  And my first reaction was anger. I'll try not to spoil anything for those of you who haven't gotten around to reading the book yet, but all I could think was that Collins had reused the plot from the first book!  Now I know better.

So this is my piece of advise to those of you just deciding to tackle this trilogy.  If you finish Catching Fire and are angry, confused, or considering whether or not you should go on, take a deep breath.  Then go out and buy Mockingjay, because seriously, this book will make so much more sense once you've read the entire series.  Trust me.  It gets better.

The biggest beef I have with this book, besides the feeling of reused plot, was that nothing much happens for the majority of the book.  There's a lot of plotting, conspiracy, emotional drama, etc.  But I'm an action girl, and it's really easy to lose me if things don't pick up early on.  But what I absolutely loved about this book are the interactions between the two main characters, Katniss and Peeta.  What I love is that they challenge traditional gender roles within an "action" genre.  Normally it's the girl who hangs back and falls for the bold male character, but in this book the roles are reversed.  Katniss is a powerful female character who takes the lead and is action oriented.  Peeta, on the other hand, is a softer male character than we as readers are used to seeing, but we love him because of that.  He is the voice of reason, the sappy, lovestruck character.  He is also proof that you don't need to be ripped and emotionless to be a hero.

And between the two of them readers of all ages get to learn that sometimes things go wrong, no matter how good our intentions are.

Overall, my recommendation would be to read Catching Fire.  If you've already started the series, chances are that you're already too sucked into the world to resist anyways.  So go ahead and give in; it'll be worth your while.

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