Thursday, 26 April 2012

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - Book Review

When I had finished the first Hunger Games book I was gushing my love for it. I gave a glowing review for both the book and the the movie and couldn't help telling anyone who cared to listen that they needed to read this book. But part of me wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy the second book. I knew of course I would read it soon, but because I enjoyed the first one so much, I didn't think that the second book, Catching Fire, could ever live up to it. And it didn't. But it wasn't half bad either!

***Spoiler alert!! I try as always not to give away ANY spoilers for a book, but with a series this is particularly difficult. If you haven't read the first book, please go ahead and read the review first and then the book before coming back to this one. I don't want to give away anything that might spoil it for you! ***

***Second note, if you haven't read this book yet I do give away one piece of information that could be considered a spoiler, but is in the description of the book. It is something I think will make you want to read the book even more. Read this review under your own discretion***

Summary courtesy of Amazon:  Katniss survived the Hunger Games. Now the Capitol wants revenge. It's payback time, and her chance of survival is even slimmer than ever...

Like the first book, the opening chapters are back in District 12 and could be considered a little slow. A lot happens and things change dramatically after the end of the Games but nothing that is essential in my eyes to the narrative. The awkward love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale does develop better than I expected but I am left more confused than Katniss appears to be as the second book closes around her love life!

The second half of the book though was fantastic. As we return to the Hunger Games arena our favourite capitol characters return along with some new ones that build fantastic relationships and add to the narrative. The new arena is so complex and exciting that I was left again reading in a frenzy. There is something about the building rebellion in the districts and the new dramas within the arena that makes for fantastic reading. I was setting my alarm an hour early just so I could cram in another hours reading before I got started with my day, it was like an addiction.

The concluding events to this second book are well worth the slightly tedious start. The cliff hanger of a final sentence left me dying to read the next book. However I was left with a slightly sour note. Katniss' character developed scarily out of control in the final chapter and the result was not nice. I have heard a lot about her character in the final book and I couldn't help but agree with the rumors she turns from a strong female lead we all want to look up to into someone that is imperfect, selfish and some what unlikable. Haymitch on the other triumphs yet again to become a character I truly adore, along with the selflessness of Peeta they restore my faith in Collins character development.

This all taken into consideration it is difficult to score this book. I gave the first book in the series 10/10 and although it wasn't as good as the first, it still had me reading like a mad woman and consumed my life for the four days it took me to read. I think it will have to be:


Have you read this book? What did you think it compared to the first one? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x


  1. I loved the second book, too. I thought the second Hunger Games and all the new characters were great. I read it faster than I've read anything since Harry Potter finished!I agree it was a bit of a slow starter, but nothing compared to the third book. The third book was more like, wait, is there a plot in here somewhere? I'll be interested to see how they pull off the film, since the books focus so much on the love triangle, and the first film barely skipped over it.

    1. I have to agree that I finished this book in record time, but I am not in a rush to read the final one as people slate it so much.

      I think it is one of those series where people love to not like certain aspects of it. Its not perfect. Well thats what I think anyway.

      Thanks for the comment :)

  2. This was my favorite book of the series by far, i just think it showed more character development and streamlined plot progression than the other 2.

    1. I cannot comment yet on the series as a whole as I have not yet read the final book. But I will take this into consideration when I read the final book, I have the feeling the final book in the series is quite controversial!

      Thank you for your comment :)

      Love Rie x