Sunday, January 16, 2011

CB #4 Catching Fire

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins  (YA)
                Catching Fire is definitely the second book in a trilogy. It has the non-beginning and non-ending that sometimes happens with trilogies (think Pirates of the Caribbean). It’s not necessarily the fault of the trilogy format, especially since The Subtle Knife is my favourite of the His Dark Materials trilogy and Back to the Future II is just plain awesome. However, it makes me wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to have the stories of Catching Fire and Mockingjay put in one book. NB: If you haven’t read Hunger Games yet, you might want to stop reading.

You're still with me? Katniss and Peeta survived the game, but now the Capitol is basically out to destroy Katniss and her family’s life. They can’t do this overtly, because their entire audience loved the star-crossed lovers who could not live without each other story that Katniss used to save both their lives. However, Captiol saw her actions as rebellion and as the spark that may convince the Districts to rebel against the Capitol. Now Katniss must use all her skill to  convince the Capitol that she really does love Peeta.
Now I did have a few issues with this book so if you haven’t read it, you won’t want to read further.
                I HATED the idea of the Quarter Quell using previous victors. I know it was just a way to get back at the Katniss. This time there would be no way to save Peeta and herself, so she’s going to want to sacrifice herself to save the better person. I was mainly bothered by the way it brought the Hunger Games back into the novel. I know it adds excitement and tension to the story, but it felt cheap. It felt like a repeat of the first novel. What did surprise me was how many of the previous victors weren’t completely mentally destroyed by their experiences in the ring. Haymitch, Katniss' mentor, is an alcoholic, and there are a few drug addicts, but otherwise the victors are surprisingly stable. One roommate noted that this was probably because those who survived the ring were mentally strong and had an incredible will to live, and would never do anything that would harm their ability to survive. Once again, I would be a complete mess if I survived anything like that. All I'd do is cry.
               There were still a few things that I liked about this book though. I liked that Peeta pretended that Katniss was pregnant with their child. It’s one way to make the audience in the Capitol remember that those who fight are people too. I also liked that Katniss and Peeta basically ignored each other for a while after the Games. Of course they were forced to go around the Districts on tour together, but for a while they could pretend to be differnent people.

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