The second in the Hunger Games series, Catching Fire is just as riveting and exciting as the Hunger Games. Though I find the Hunger Games to be a better read.
Catching Fire picks up where Hunger Games left off. We are back in District 12 with Katniss who no longer lives in poverty at the edge of the community; instead, she now resides in the middle of town in the Victor’s Village, the place where all winners of the Hunger Games dwell in beautiful houses. She now has all that her family has ever needed and then some but she is not happy. She is plagued with nightmares of what happened in the arena, she is somewhat estranged from her best friend, Gale, and she now has President Snow hounding her since she defied his orders to kill or be killed. Furthermore, she unintentionally incited hope in the people of the Districts thus causing revolts to pop up, which threatens the dominating hold that the Capitol has on the Districts.
Yes, the Districts are now in uprising against the Capitol and Katniss is their mockingjay that gives wings to their cause, strengthening their hope to make them push towards a better future. Because of this, President Snow uses the Quarter Quell as an underhand way of ridding the world of Katniss. Again, only one victor is allowed but instead of fresh tributes, the previous victors are recycled. Only one male and one female is allowed, as before, thus both Peeta and Katniss are back in the arena (Katniss by default and Peeta because he refuses to let Katniss enter the arena without him). Along the way (through the usual preparations for the Games), Katniss realizes that not all who live in the Capitol are ignorant of reality, of what occurs in the Districts, and that some are down for the rebelling cause. Also, the relationship between Peeta and Katniss grows stronger, while her feelings towards Gale becomes more muddled.
Many people that I’ve spoken to claim to enjoy this book more but so far, Hunger Games is my favorite. I think it is my favorite simply because it is the first in the series and the one that got me hooked to the story; that’s usually the case. I can understand why people would like Catching Fire more. The story intensifies in this installment and it develops a greater meaning. Now instead of being a story about a girl from an inconsequential town/District who dared to stand against the strictness of an overbearing government, it is now about how one person’s actions can incite hope in a nation and cause the downtrodden to stand up and fight. That makes for a great story.
My favorite part was when Katniss’ outfit turned into a mockingjay dress. I had to pause at that moment then go back and reread the passage, watching it in slow-motion in my mind. The scariest part was when Katniss and Finnick were locked into a part of the arena with the jabberjays, birds that can mimic the voices of their loved ones being tormented. That was disturbing.
Peeta is still not my favorite. I still find him to be weak. I know that he is all about compassion and honesty and love and represents all the positive things that human beings must aspire to be but I cannot take him too seriously. I would care for him a bit more if I knew more about him. What is his life like? How is he around his family? How does his family feel about him being in the Games and having to go back and falling in love with Katniss? Does his mother still hate him? So far Peeta seems to be a character that pops up when needed, which is to protect Katniss through the use of words and provide a sort of love triangle to add another conflict to the story. He is not the protagonist but since he is always around Katniss, he gets some of her spotlight and because of that, I need to know more about him…..and he always gets hurt in the arena. Why must he always get hurt? He’s not a bumbling buffoon!…..And that’s my rant on Peeta.
Mockingjay (book 3) ->
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (fortitudeandpatience.com)
- Lionsgate Circling Writer for Hunger Games Sequel Catching Fire (dreadcentral.com)
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (creativedeeds.wordpress.com)