Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Book Review: Catching Fire

By Suzanne Collins

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.

Why I read it: I had read and loved The Hunger Games and so I was eager to read Catching Fire as soon as it came out. My parents gave it to me for Christmas.

What I liked: I was a little worried about this book. After all, the first one had brought a whole chapter of the story to a close and so Collins would have to come up with something different. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but the plot of Catching Fire ends up being quite close to The Hunger Games without giving us needless repetition and it works just as well.

More characters are introduced in this story and they’re all interesting in their own way. To begin with I found both Joanna and Finnick annoying, but as the story progressed I grew to like them. The old characters were just like before: Peeta is just as amazing, we finally see a bit more of Haymitch’s real personality, Cinna continues to be one of my favourite characters and Prim, even though we don’t see her much, is still so sweet.

What I disliked: Very little. The plot seemed a little repetitive of the first book but the ending completely opens it up in a whole new way and increases the stakes, which makes me a little worried about the third book. Like the first one, this is a very violent story so I wouldn’t give it to anyone under around 13.

From a Christian Perspective: Like the first one, this book is quite clean. There’s no swearing and no real sexual content. This book is a little edgier however; Peeta and Katniss do share a bed (although it seems like it doesn’t go farther than that) and Joanna strips naked at least once.

To buy or not to buy: To anyone who liked the first one, this is certainly a worthy sequel. If you haven’t read The Hunger Games, go read that first and then buy this book. 

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