Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #2
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: September 1st 2009
In my opinion, Catching Fire was not better than its predecessor (an almost impossible task as The Hunger Games was phenomenal!) but it was still an excellent read. Initially, it was a little on the slow side as we were getting into the serious politics of things, but as we went on, the story picked up and once again we were sucked right into the addicting world Collins has created.
Catching Fire begins a short while after the end of the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta return to District 12, where tension and emotions are running high. Not only are they dealing with the shock of still being alive, Peeta is heartbroken after learning that Katniss's emotions in the arena were not fully genuine. The first half of the book centres around Peeta and Katniss as they face the repercussions of their suicide attempt in the Games. Unknowingly, Katniss has become the mockingjay, the symbol for rebellion and change. As the two go on their victory tour throughout all of Panem, they learn about how chaos is just around the corner, with districts planning to fight back against the Capitol. Katniss is then forced by President Snow, the antogonist in the series, to convince himself and the rest of the world of her love for Peeta. This brings the two somewhat closer together, with some feelings being realised and revealed. I thought the scenes between these two were either really sweet or really sad. Peeta seems to be strung along as Katniss tries to sort out her feelings and readers are brought to the brink of insanity, waiting for a declaration of love or even a "really like"! Yes, we're that desperate.
In this sequel, we really see more of the Capitol's corruption and how they have forced and manipulated the entire country. It's hard not to read it and be in shock at the absolute absurdity. At the very end of the book, this power play comes in the form of a big and painful slap in the face. Catching Fire ends on a massive cliffhanger and we are forced to bite our nails in anxiety, praying for our characters' safety. It really has to be the worst cliffhanger I have ever read in my life. I truly and honestly sat gaping, flipping back and forth between the pages to really make sure that it was the end. It is a shocker and will get you hooked onto the series if you haven't been already.