Friday, November 27, 2009

Book Inspection: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Plot Sketch: You'll probably want to skip this part if you haven't read The Hunger Games, but you can skip over to my inspection of that book if you haven't seen my whiny complaining about it yet. START: Finally starting to settle-in at the Victor's Village, six months have passed and Katniss and Peeta live three houses away from each other. There is no perpetuation of their romance, but no movement on a romance with Gale either. Katniss is determined never to marry and never to have children who may be primed for The Reaping. She continues to hunt and meet Gale every Sunday he's not coal-mining. One day she comes home and has a surprise visitor, President Snow. He basically tells her that she has to keep up appearances with the romance between she and Peeta, or everyone she loves, starting with Gale will be executed. So they head off on their Victory Tour, pretending to be "star crossed lovers" and incite rebellion in their wake. Unintentional, but still done, the Capitol retaliates by announcing the catch for the Quarter Quell (the special 25 year mark Games) which is that the tributes for this year's games will be gleaned from the pool of existing victors from each District. Guess what? That means Katniss is a shoe-in. She's going to the Games, again, and Peeta is too. So, this is the story of a second Games.

Verdict: I Heart It. Most of my detail-focused beefs were corrected in this volume. I think that where death is concerned and painted as such a certainty, the story should not be told from the first person, especially when you know there's at least one more book to come. The writing is adequate, but the plot itself in this installment was more captivating than the last for me which is what tipped the balance toward an I Heart It rating rather than a No Love one. I actually found myself caring about these characters, but shaking my head at their stupidity. It seems like from the first three chapters I had this book figured out as to how it should go and it followed the plot
I predicted almost exactly. If you liked the Hunger Games, I don't see how you could not like this sequel because it is definitely an improvement. Some call it a cliff-hanger, but I disagree. It's pause is at a natural break in the story and a great place that doesn't leave you wondering what actually happened in the book. You're filled in on the pertinent details, so you won't find yourself super disappointed that there's not more story right away. Eager for more? Sure, there's definitely more story to come. But I can wait until next year for sure.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
I guess it mostly takes place in The Capitol

What is the main character's name?
Katniss Everdeen

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
She's as strong and capable as ever, but I wonder about her IQ... seriously, she's dense sometimes. I like her, but I want to slap her. Know what I mean?

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
about eight hours

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?

Is this a good read for Monster?
Yeah, if I can get him to read The Hunger Games (which I think he'll probably really like)

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
I'd change the narrative. First person just doesn't work for this story.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
It must be very fragile if a handful of berries can bring it down.

How many chapters were in the book?


Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition
Publish Date: September 1, 2009
ISBN-10: 0439023491

Acquire It:


  • Galleysmith created these awesome buttons so that you can declare which team you're on... Gale or Peeta. I'm so totally Team Gale it's not even funny. Thanks for creating great buttons, Michelle (even though you are Team Peeta)! Follow her @galleysmith on Twitter.
  • Read some other reviews of Catching Fire at Steph Su Reads and My Favorite Author. All great book blogs by the way, so check them out if you have the chance.

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