Picking up months after the events of The Hunger Games, the characters are still dealing with the aftermath of their actions. I have to say, I thought I knew roughly where the story was going - but boy, was I wrong. I discovered this when I was about a quarter of the way through and came across a review of Catching Fire on a blog with a massive spoiler in the first paragraph.* It was definitely not something I was expecting to happen, and I felt a bit frustrated - but also curious to see exactly how it would work, if it did at all.
Of course, work it did. Without giving anything away (ahem), I'll just say it was one helluva twist, organically woven into the tale and making for some awesome action. I was once again so impressed with Collins' writing - she definitely knows how to keep readers on their toes! The story just got more and more interesting, without expanding too much and over-complicating matters, as some series tend to do (I'm looking at you, Sookie Stackhouse). As for the characters, I fell in love with them in the first book, but found them even more amazing in this one. They just got stronger, and I found myself identifying even more with Katniss' actions this time round. To top it all off, there were a number of intensely powerful scenes that were so beautifully written, I immediately reread them just to try and absorb their awesomeness. I'm officially a Hunger Games addict - Mockingjay, here I come!
*Spoilers without warning are one of my pet peeves. So unnecessary and unfair!
Spoilery Talking Points
- I'm still firmly on the fence between Peeta and Gale, though I have to say Peeta really grabbed me towards the end. That kiss, those speeches, phwoar! But I once again wished for more Gale. It's easy to lean towards Peeta when you get to see so much more of him. Maybe that's Collins' intention...
- I can't quite get my head around the whole rebel conspiracy and the part everyone played in it - especially Haymitch - and why Peeta and Katniss weren't told at all. Hopefully it's explained more fully in the next novel.
I stuck with my original picture of the main trio, but Jennifer Lawrence popped up for me in this book. Funnily enough, it was not as Katniss, who she's playing in the film, but as Johanna:
When it came to Finnick, a guy who could make thousands of girls swoon with the mere toss of his hair, who else could I picture but...
Just kidding! I did picture Robert Pattinson, though.