Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games: She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol-a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.
I liked this second book of the Hunger Games trilogy as much as the first one. No, to be honest I liked it even more. It’s probably because I was already familiar with the characters and I had witnessed their struggles and (deadly) endeavors in the first one, so that I found myself really attached to them while reading “Catching Fire”.
Suzanne Collins delivered another sensational adventure where Katniss, Peeta and Gale are thrown into a new vortex of danger and that kept me glued to the book page after page.
Katniss is still the courageous heroine we met in the first book and she’s required to face a lot of new and unexpected challenges both emotionally and physically. It’s not always easy to keep strong in that world though, and Katniss does have a few moments where she’s almost tempted to give up, but this allows her to grow and to really show what she’s capable of. I’ve always believed that her inner strength was far more appealing and worthy of praise than her physical one. It’s her strength of mind that makes her that kind of character whom one can look up to.
Her relationship with Peeta and Gale becomes more complex this time around. She’s not ready to give a name to the feelings she has for both of them and she’s not to blame. She obviously feels much affection for Peeta, with whom she went through so much during the Games and on the other hand there’s Gale who seems to be more forward with her in this second book. No doubt she’s torn between them. I’d be too, to be honest. Even after finishing this sequel, I’m not sure whom to root for yet. Both Peeta and Gale are great characters that show loyalty and responsibility towards what they believe is right, and they never back down even when they inevitably have to bear the brunt of the choices they make. I loved the interactions between the three of them in several scenes.
Now as far as the Capitol goes, if I hated them in the first book for the sorrow and harm they caused to the people of the Districts, I thoroughly despised them in Catching Fire. I couldn’t believe they were capable of even more evil and malice than what they’ d already shown. I gasped when I read about the twisted actions they were responsible for. I seriously didn’t see it coming. There are some scenes where the Capitol shows absolutely no mercy towards anyone and where their actions reach a whole new level of ruthlessness that made me want to scream and join Katniss, Peeta and Gale in the fight against them.
A character I’ve really grown fond of is Cinna, Katniss’s stylist. He shows his loyalty to her in such a way that touched my heart and I believe he’s one of the best characters in the story.
And wow! What a cliffhanger Suzanne Collins chose to end the book with. Thankfully, the third book in the series is already out! ( I already bought it 😉 ) . Can’t wait to see how everything will unfold now. I hope there will be a happy ending, because they all deserve it.
I give this book 4 of 5 stars.
And now some of my favorite passages :
” I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now and live in it forever. “
“I guess this is a bad time to mention I hung a dummy and painted Seneca Crane’s name on it…”
“Peeta, how come I never know when you’re having a nightmare? ” I say.
“I don’t know. I don’t think I cry out or thrash around or anything. I just come to, paralyzed with terror,” he says.
“You should wake me,” I say, thinking about how I can interrupt his sleep two or three times on a bad night. About how long it can take to calm me down.
“It’s not necessary. My nightmares are usually about losing you,” he says. “I’m okay once I realize you’re here.”
“His eyelashes flutter and he looks at me through a haze of opiates. “Hey Catnip.”
“Hey, Gale,” I say.
“Thought you’d be gone by now,” He says.
My choices are simple. I can die like a quarry in the woods or I can die here beside Gale. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay here and cause all kinds of trouble.”
“Me too, ” Gale says. He just manages a smile before the drugs pull him back under.”
“Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.”
” When Peeta holds out his arms, I walk straight into them. It’s the first time since they announced the Quarter Quell that he’s offered me any sort of affection. He’s been more like a very demanding trainer, always pushing, always insisting haymitch and I run faster, eat more, know our enemy better. Lovers? Forget about that. He abandoned any pretense of even being my friend. I wrap my arms tightly around his neck before he can order me to do push-ups or something. Instead he pulls me in close and buries his face in my hair. Warmth radiates from the spot where his lips just touch my neck, slowly spreading through the rest of me. It feels so good, so impossibly good, that I know I will not be the first to let go. “