Feb 1, 2013

Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Like the dummy I am, I started this incredibly addictive trilogy in the middle, with the middle book. I was hooked on this middle book & of course had to eventually get all 3 books either in ebook or print format.

I had heard such great reviews about the Hunger Games from my sister, her 2 teen sons, and she said her co- workers were going on & on recommending it to her, then my step son of 14 showed me this part 2. I thought I'd take a look & see what all the fuss is about. I was hooked! I could not put it down all weekend. Unfortunately it was a library book he had to take with him, so I purchased the ebook from Amazon, with my step son's promise to bring me part one & three in 2 weeks, if I could wait that long. I couldn't wait. I then went to part 3 (Mocking Jay). . . I had to know what happened next.

I got the basics of what happened in The Hunger Games in the first pages of this book, but not the full horror (as I later realized when I finally read the first book last). In reading this second book in the trilogy, it had its own horror of the Capital's ruthless control and brutality to the citizens of Panem (which was formerly the USA). It is a horrible, heart breaking tale of what could be in a country with a controlling, blood thirsty government. The eerie, possible reality of it creeps me out, yet glues me to it. There are hints of hope in subtle talks, gestures, & conversations that are of course forbidden by the Capital.

The 12 districts of starving people are kept from even communicating with each other to avoid possible discussions of rebellion by the controlling government, and from openly discussing anything negative about President Snow, or the government.

Katniss and Peeta survived the fight to the death (Hunger Games)in book 1 by outsmarting the game makers & also making the capital look a little foolish in the eyes of the President. No disobedience is allowed. Each of the 12 districts have to sacrifice 2 kids - teens to the fight to the death Hunger Games every year & the Capital treats it as a televised celebration. Here in book 2 Katiness is being punished because of her actions that resulted in 2 winners of the games rather than the allowed 1 winner. President Snow feels her actions have given some districts too much hope & caused unrest that Katiness is of course not even aware of.

Katinss & Peta pretended to be lovers to help them survive the games & now hardly speak living as neighbors. They both fight their own battles with the awful, horrific things that happened to them in the game arena as they fought for their life. Peta actually is in love with Katniss & she is torn between him & her childhood friend & is really too torn up to even think about love because of her mental anguish.

Katiss & Peta have unknowingly given some of the districts the courage to begin to plan to stand up to the stand up to government themselves. Of course because of the separation of districts Katniss & Peta accidentally find out that the other districts are beginning to rebel.

Katniss' loved ones are threatened by President Snow, if she does not do as told by him, yet everyone is still in danger, and there is no way she can think of to help herself, her family, nor the people in the other districts fight against the Capital. She & Peeta find themselves thrown back into the fight to the death "Hunger Games" AGAIN which is suppose to be against the rules because they survived in book one & were suppose to never have to be involved in again. What's worse is they are thrown in with all of the previous winners from years passed. This time is is not timid children as they were going in. They will fight to the death with 2 previous victors from each of the 12 districts this time. Their trainer Haymitch wants them to make alliances this time & the story is full of little things that are confusing to Katniss & the reader, but it all makes sense in the end.

I loved the books / all 3 of them and have read the many commentaries & essays others have written about this trilogy. It is a lot to think about and very scary when many of the things in this trilogy are compared to real life & to also think about what horrors could actually happen. Things like this have actually happened... Roman gladiators used to fight to the death, they just didn't have a tv broadcast of it.

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