***IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE HUNGER GAMES BUT INTEND TO, DO NOT READ THIS SUMMARY OR REVIEW! YOU WILL BE SPOILED!***
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
Is it August 24th yet? What about now? Now? I want Mockingjay! Allison of The Allure of Books wrote that she can imagine Suzanne Collins sitting at her computer and laughing as she reads all of the reviews of this book, I can agree. I want to know what happens! If you haven't already read The Hunger Games, be thankful that your wait is not too long. For those who read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire long ago, I pity you and am sorry for whining, but am now one of your anticipatory ranks.
With that rant out of the way, I have to say that Catching Fire did not disappoint. After some careful thought, I'd definitely say I liked it as much of The Hunger Games, but the two books are quite different, so it's somewhat challenging to compare them. I think it was a little easier to put this down, but not by much. The settings in the two books are a little different. Catching Fire begins in District 12, and the story stays there longer than it did at the beginning of The Hunger Games, so while there is still action and plot, I find it's a bit slower than the action in the arena that readers saw during The Hunger Games. I will say that I think Collins did a nice job of tying up some of the loose ends from the first book, while still leaving her readers with plenty more to think about.
I'd say I had two favorite aspects of this book: learning more of the back stories of different characters and learning more about the different districts of Panem. I also loved how I felt that the characters were being tested even more and really contemplating what they were doing, especially Katniss. And I loved how action packed the end of the book was--not what I saw coming!
Of course, I feel that I must mention the love triangle. I love that Peeta brings out a passionate and empowered side of Katniss, but part of me is also very attracted to Gale. Perhaps I'll just swoop in and take Gale for myself. I'll have to think this one over.
To be honest, I don't really have any complaints about this book that strongly altered my overall impression of it. There was the cliffhanger, but I'll only have to wait exactly three months from today to find out about that, and I have plenty to read in between. I'm really glad I've decided to read this series, and like many of you, eagerly anticipate Mockingjay!
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.