Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Catching Fire--Suzanne Colllins

Dear God, Please grant me the talent that Suzanne Collins had while writing Catching Fire.  Thanks! Amen.

Warning: Spoilers:

Collins did it again with her second book in the Hunger Games series, Catching Fire. How many twists and turns can this woman come up with?

The first time I read it, I went into it thinking, there's no way she can surprise us like she did in the Hunger Games. NOT TRUE!  There were so many surprises in Catching Fire, I couldn't keep up. From whipping Gale to the announcement of the Quarter Quell to the "pregnancy" to all the tortures in the games themselves. I could barely keep up.  No, seriously, I wanted to stay awake to read the whole thing, but since I'm not a teenager anymore and since I have children to look after, I had to keep closing the book to get some rest. (Stinkin sleep!) In my opinion, this was more of a page turner than the Hunger Games.

Side note: Think about it, Collins must have planned out these two or maybe all three books when she got the idea.  She started Hunger Games at the 74th games, leading up to the quarter quell. I love when writers have ideas like this and it just blossoms into something amazing.

Okay, enough of me blabbing about that. Let's get to the actual story... We know that tension has to increase as we step into the story.  Collins does this, not by jumping into the games again, but rather by playing up the situation in the districts. We get to see most of the districts on Katniss and Peeta's victory tour. It's here that the uprisings begin to take shape. I almost cried when Rue's district gives the sign of goodbye after the announcing Rue's four note whistle. AHH!! Then, when they get back to district 12 and new peace keepers are present..  Rules are harsh and beatings begin...with Gale.  I think I was screaming aloud at that part. Add the subtle tortures of Darius being an avox and Cinna being beaten in front of Katniss for turning her into a mockingjay in defiance of the capitol and you have and edge of your seat page turner.

It's funny, whenever there's a love triangle developing, normally, I take sides.  Here, I can't decide who she should be with. Every time she's with Gale, I want her with Gale.  Every time she's with Peeta, I want her with Peeta.  Both are upstanding men who love her and want to protect her.  And they don't fight over her like in some other book series. :)

I also loved the other characters.  Haymitch totally rocked!!!  He was awesome, and I loved the insight into his own Hunger Games. Peeta even makes the observation that Katniss is like Haymitch.  That's why he chose to help her stay alive in the first games. My second favorite character was Finnick. Probably because he has that cocky attitude, but inside he's a softy who cares for people.

My one complaint in this one was how dense Katniss seemed to be. I mean, when Mags ran into the fog, and then Johanna brought Beetee and Wiress, she should have made some connections, although the explanations in her mind made total sense.  If I were her, I'd probably be the same way: wary of everyone around me.

Her goal in this games is to save Peeta because she believes that he's the better person, which, if we're all honest, is true. He has leadership capabilities and can gather a following with his words instead of his weapons.  He's what a new country would want as a leader.  Which, by the way, is my prediction for the next book. With district 13 alive and well and the uprising already underway, I can only guess as to how Collins will sum up this series.  And based on the twists in her previous two stories, I'd probably be wrong.


  1. Mwahahaha! I AM a teenager and DID read Catching Fire in one night! Oh. =)

    Suzanne Collins is absolutely amazing. I never saw anything coming. When they announced the theme of the Quarter Quell, I definitely felt Katniss's pain. To go through that kind of horror once is awful. But twice? Unliveable.

    Katniss was a bit dense, but still a lot smarter than other supposed 'heroines' I've seen. She's strong and determined, and I admire that. I actually think she should be with Peeta. Normally I end up rooting for the underdog - and LOSING. What is up with that?! The underdog is supposed to WIN, people! Did you MISS the memo? But in this one, I'm not. I'm all Peeta. Gale could easily find someone else. Peeta, on the other hand, is alone. And didn't Collins hint at the Mayor's daughter having a crush on Gale or something like that?

    And Haymitch...ah, Haymitch. Just because he is essential to the rebellion and Katniss and Peeta's survival in both games doesn't mean I have to like him. He's still an a-hole. I'll give him recognition, but not respect.

    In the end, I came to the same conclusion. Peeta as the leader of a new world with his persuasiveness. Katniss by his side, a warrior with common sense and enough defiance to rally the troops. So, in short, Peeta has to be alive. If he isn't, and they don't get together, I might just stop reading books. I hardly ever win. =(

    In other news, they're selling Hunger Games shirts at Hot Topic now. Random fun fact. =)

  2. Awe! You have to love Haymitch for the very reason that he is a jerk! And, besides, Katniss is just like him. Why hate him and not Katniss? :)

  3. He's a lot less nicer than she is. And I've grown up disliking drunk people. Maybe a prejudice, but I've seen too much of it.

  4. Hi there! is organizing a short story writing contest.

    We do think that you too might have a marvelous story to tell, one that is your own! So if you can compose it in not more than few words, we would want to hear from you. Also, you stand a chance to get your story published on our site and win cash prize of USD 100.

    “Then what are you waiting for? …put on your thinking cap and get writing. For registration and other information check -

    Happy writing!

  5. I love this series! And I can't wait for MOCKINGJAY to come out later this month! Wouldn't it be nice if we call could write like Suzanne Collins? BTW, I left something for you over on my blog. :)

  6. Ok, so I don't see an e-mail address anywhere, so this appears to be the only way to contact you. I apologize, and you can delete this comment if you'd like.

    I saw on Robin Brande's Twitter that you hosted a read-a-thon, and I'm wondering the specifics of this event. Would you be willing to e-mail me what this event entailed, and what sort of planning it involved?

    Thanks in advance.

  7. I clicked over from Amy Jo Lavin's blog. It's fun to find a fellow aspiring author. I think I might start saying the same kinds of prayers as you. ;)

  8. MT, Thanks for joining us! I'm always looking for new followers. Amy and I are critique partners. We hooked up through Mary Cole's agent blog.