Sunday 19 June 2011

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

It doesn't happen too often, but I think this sequel was even better than the first book.

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!

Rating: 5/5

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.
Eye Candy
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.


  1. LOL at Justin Beiber!

    Great review again. I am so glad you are loving this series. Are you reading Mockingjay now?

  2. Haha. You totally got me with the Justin Bieber thing! I have to say, Finnick was one of my favorite characters in the series. And I liked Catching Fire better as well - I thought the story had more depth, and I thought the character development was great. Can't wait to see what you think of Mockingjay!

  3. @Nic - Thank you! I'm about a quarter of the way through Mockingjay now, trying to force myself to stop so I can get some sleep hehe.

    @Sarah - Finnick is awesome! At first I thought he was super creepy, but he grew on me. I think it was the moment he dove in the water for Mags that did it.

  4. Great review Belle! And thank you for no spoilers - I'm the same as you. At least warn people if there may be spoilers in a review and they can choose whether to continue reading or not. I'm glad you enjoyed this - it's sitting in my TBR pile waiting for me. And after this review it may get shuffled up a few spots. :)

    The Word Fiend

  5. Thanks Shelagh! I agree, spoilers are OK as long as there's a warning, but with no warning it makes me so mad!

  6. I agree about the spoilers. I personally love them but I don't try to force them on unsuspecting readers.

    I like this cover of HG,and I enjoyed reading your review, though I'm not really a fan of the series :D

  7. Great post. I am halfway through Mockingjay but stopped reading so I can prolong the series. How said is that?

    And on the topic of Finnick...Ryan Reynolds?

  8. @Alex - Thanks! Wow, you're the first person I've come across who hasn't loved it - was it just not your thing?

    @Lan - Thank you! I am about a third of the way through Mockingjay, I don't think I have the restraint to hold back though! I just can't wait to find out how it ends. I didn't think of Ryan Reynolds, but now that you mention it, he could be a great Finnick! Though perhaps a little bit too old?

  9. Belle! (Feeling close all of a sudden?) I just finished reading Catching Fire and I immediately checked your review to see what you have to say/have said. And I guess that's why I love your blog and your reviews and you because we think alike! I do wish some more Gale because I think I can't help rooting for Peeta because he's the one I know.

    I also gave THG a 4/5 and CF a 5/5 and I found CF really gripping. I just thought there's more to just the Hunger Games now and the stakes are all high. I never would have thought in a million years that the second book will top the first one in my heart but I guess like I said in my review (shameless plug), it just made me feel more. I still think you took the words out of my mouth in this review since I can only provide a semi-rave/rant and not a full review.

    I said I'll be postponing reading Mockingjay while I was on the first third of the book and thought of continuing reading Lola and the Boy Next Door for a light read but then I think after finishing the book, I have to read Mockingjay stat.

    1. Aw, so glad you feel the same as I do about the books! I have to say, I went straight onto Mockingjay because of the cliffhanger at the end of CF. It was good, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first two. I'd be interested to know what you think!