Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Review: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic
Publishing Date: September 2009
Length: 391 pages
Genre: YA, fantasy

5/5 ***** Catching Fire is like a single spark, sufficient to cause a roaring fire and a rush of adrenalin. A must-read! 

 ~ The Author ~

Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.

While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.
Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, she was struck by how pastoral the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in urban surroundings. In
New York City, you’re much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you’re not going to find a tea party. What you might find...? Well, that’s the story of Gregor the Overlander, the first book in her five-part series, The Underland Chronicles.

Suzanne also has a rhyming picture book illustrated by Mike Lester entitled When Charlie McButton Lost Power.
She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.

The books she is most successful for in teenage eyes are the Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. These books have won several awards, including the GA Peach Award.

Author profile by Goodreads 

For further information check out

~ The Novel ~

Catching Fire, released September 2009, is the second novel in The Hunger Games trilogy. The first novel in this series is The Hunger Games (October 2008) and the final instalment Mockingjay (September 2010).

~ The Story ~

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol.

Summary by Goodreads 

~ The Review ~

Catching Fire continues the story around Katniss, Peeta and the Hunger Games. In my experience second novels in a trilogy or quartet often lack of adventure or originality. They show the major elements of separating the main couple, following their grief and desperation to end with their reunion. Catching Fire binds Katniss and Peeta even more together, but with no less danger.

What I liked most about Catching Fire is that Katniss and Peeta start as a team right from the beginning of this new Hunger Games. They are no longer on their own, which makes them strong and superior. We already know about their complementary characters and their feelings for each other. The more Peeta and Katniss grow together the more I like them and feel emotionally affected by their every disappointment or victory.
Another likeable aspect about the second Hunger Games novel, in so far an inhuman battle can be likeable, is that there are not only enemies, Katniss and Peeta make new friends.

Catching Fire displays two games simultaneously. The first is a major political and social against hunger and death and for life and reputation in form of the Hunger Games. The second is a personal and emotional one that may have the power to be even more destructive than any Hunger Games before. Cruel actions and traps change with most emotional scenes, affection and signs of love on the one hand and senseless and sudden death of beloved characters on the other.  Collins powerful story moves me to tears, makes me feel angry, flustered and ecstatic at the same time, but the end it always leaves me craving more. 

This novel is Collins’ opportunity to give room for "positive" emotions in a world that feeds from hatred and fear and provide a smooth transition to the last and decisive battle.
The structure of action is comprehensible and as exciting and adventurous as in The Hunger Games before.

Suzanne Collins once again shows her talent as a brilliant storyteller and “event manger”. Catching Fire is an unequalled book in the dystopian YA genre, I couldn’t lay it down.

~ We love this book because… ~

1) it’s possible to trick time itself
2) age doesn’t hinder you from being brave and fearless
3) sometimes surviving  means keeping someone else alive whatever the cost  
4) a new house doesn’t equal a new home
5) a tiny pearl can give as much faith as the dropping of hundred parachutes

~ The Verdict ~

Keep a fire extinguisher near you when starting the second novel of this hugely successful trilogy, you’ll easily catch fire. And your agitation can only be satisfied by Mockingjay, the final instalment to The Hunger Games series!


  1. I loved the Hunger Games...but thought this book took too long to, well get somewhere. I really like the way it ended though, what a cliff hanger!

  2. Nice review. Thanks for not put any spoiler
    I have the copy of this book. Indonesian Translation. But I have not read it yet.Because I still have pile of books to read.

    So in which team are you?

  3. Awesome review. This is my favourite in the series. I miss this series :)

  4. Excellent review. I'm adding "Catching Fire" to my TBR list.
    Mike Draper

  5. Nice review.

    I like the Hunger Games, and this book is fantastic

  6. Its a really brilliant review. Suzanne Collins has truly captivated my attention through her word choice, plot, as well as characters. The Hunger Games series is awesome!!

  7. Thoroughly enjoyed this sequel. Loved how action packed it stayed throughout. Great review.