Catching Fire

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins

My rating: four stars

Genre: YA, Dystopian

Edition: Audiobook

Goodreads Summary: SPARKS ARE IGNITING.



Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest that she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. Katniss is about to be tested as never before.

In preparation for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (the prequal to The Hunger Games), I am trying to re-read the whole Hunger Games trilogy. Catching Fire was my favorite movie, and though I don’t remember much about the book because it has been so long since I have read it, I am hoping it is as good as I remember.

Likes: I like how we get to see the “behind the scenes” of the games, in that we get to see Katniss and Peeta travel around on the Victory Tour. The first book only really showed the hunger games, and so I liked seeing another aspect to it. I also liked the arena in this book. It required strategy and planning, unlike the arena in the first book. The arena is fluid and dynamic, and I thought that was interesting to read about – all the different elements the Gamemakers can add to the arena. I also like all the new characters that are introduced. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are a ton of new characters that add interesting elements to this story. They all have differing personalities, and it is interesting to learn how the games have affected them personally.

Dislikes: I did not care for the romance in the first book, and I still do not care for it in this book. Peeta is kept in the dark about so much it doesn’t make sense. If everyone would just be open and honest, there wouldn’t be so much drama. I don’t believe that people would keep Peeta in the dark, and I don’t believe he is as ignorant as they make him out to be. Another thing that I did not like was how long the beginning seemed to drag on. I did like seeing a different side to the games, however, it just seemed to drag on and on and it wasn’t that enjoyable to me.

Overall, I gave this book four out of five stars because, while I did enjoy it immensely, I did not like it as much as the first book which I gave five out of five stars. There were just too many secrets, too much unnecessary drama, and it seemed to drag on. I did still love the characters, the behind the scenes glimpse of the games, and the updated arena. The new characters were interesting and made the book intriguing. I would definitely recommend this book, it was a lot of fun to listen to, and the narrator was incredible!

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, Dystopian

Edition: Audiobook


In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and once girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.

I have decided to try and re-read this series before the prequel, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, comes out. I have watched the movies several times but only read the books once a long time ago, so I am excited to delve back into this world and see what I think now that I am older.

Likes: I know many people think that dystopian YA novels from around this time are overrated and overused, but I absolutely love them. I do like the plot of this story. The government that was created after the United States fell apart is interesting to read about and the lengths that Katniss goes to keep her family safe, that lead her into terrible situations, are inspiring. I like Suzanne’s writing style; it is descriptive without being over the top. The government and culture that she created is fascinating. It is horrid in too many ways to count, but the stark contrast between the Capital and the Districts is captivating to read about. I liked reading about how the Games work, along with their intricacies. There were so many factors that went along with the Games. It wasn’t just them going into an arena and fighting each other to their death. Katniss had to go through training, had a “test”, interviews, and so much more. This is the main thing that I like about this story, how intricate Suzanne went into creating this world. It could have been so simple, but I can tell that she worked hard to create a detailed world that the readers can immerse themselves in.

Dislikes: I did not care for the love story in this book. In the movies I was completely “team Gale”. I did not like Peeta at all, and felt little sympathy for him. However, I believe he was so much more flushed out in the stories and was actually given a personality. I was rooting for him, and I think that it was terrible how Katniss was using him. I understand that she was doing it to try and stay alive, but I do not believe that she would have kept it a secret from him and used him like that. It was like she did not have any faith that Peeta could keep a secret or act at all. It just didn’t make much sense to me that Katniss would do that, and I think it was very out of character for her. She is an open book usually about what she is feeling and about what is going on, and Peeta is there for her through all of her emotional break downs. It doesn’t make sense for her to not discuss things with him, and I disliked that unbelievability.

Overall, I did rate this book five stars because I did have a great time reading it. It was well paced, I loved the writing style, and the details in it were intriguing and kept me wanting to read more. Yes, I did not enjoy the romance or how Katniss treated Peeta at all, but I am not deducting a star because I still really liked this story.