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Book review – Catching Fire

May 28, 2010

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

As soon as I finished The Hunger Games (see my previous review of this book), I just had to get my hands on this book.  Thanks to the librarian I am working with for my 7-12 fieldwork, I did not have to wait long.  I started reading the night I brought it home, and ended up finishing it in the wee hours of the next day. 

Collins really is an amazing storyteller.  Even when you know things are not necessarily as they seem, Collins still manages to surprise her readers.  The story starts out where The Hunger Games left off, with Katniss and Peeta as the victors of the recent games.  Publicly, they have declared their love to one another, but privately Katniss has an unresolved relationship.  Gale was her hunting partner, her confidante, her partner, but she had to leave him behind when she volunteered as tribute in place of her sister.  Katniss is unsure of exactly what her feelings for Gale are, but exploring them puts all of them in danger. 

Katniss and Peeta travel through Panem on their victory tour, but it is anything but a pleasant experience.  The threat of revolt hangs heavy in the air in several of the districts, and the government responds swiftly and mercilessly.  Although they continue their public love affair, even to the point of planning their wedding, Katniss and Peeta are blamed for the unrest. 

Both Katniss and Peeta should be safe from the games this year, and will instead be mentors to this year’s District 12 tributes.  But Reaping Day brings the unthinkable – in honor of the 75th anniversary of the games, the government has declared that all living victors will be this year’s tributes.  After getting over her initial shock and horror at this unexpected twist, Katniss makes it her mission that Peeta be the ultimate survivor of this year’s games. 

The games are full of surprises, alliances, and dangers.  The previous victors are a motley group, and it’s hard to be sure which ones can be trusted and which ones can’t.  The biggest surprise is at the end of the book, and is one that I did not see coming at all.  I am eagerly anticipating the conclusion of this story, and have already pre-ordered my copy of the final book of the trilogy, Mockingjay, which has an August 24 release day.  If you haven’t started this series yet, I highly recommend it!!

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