Meg's Reviews > Catching Fire

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
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's review
Nov 28, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: ya
Read in November, 2009

** spoiler alert ** Boy do I feel Scroogey about this. Also I'm not sure I'll be able to exactly explain why this felt two stars to me. Okay. Let's go.

1. I still like the concept of these books a lot. I am still really anxious to read the next one.

2. Katniss is good, but she's starting to feel underdeveloped. How can someone start to feel underdeveloped after I've spent two books with her? Exactly. I almost feel like I learned negative information about her, despite the fact that she herself at one point proclaimed she was starting to understand who she was.

3. As others have pointed out, the Quarter Quell feels like a rehashy cop-out. There was a moment where I really thought that THINGS WERE GONNA GO DOWN and the Quarter Quell was a red herring, like, Katniss would get up the idea to start the revolution via signals done in the Quell, or she was going to do something to destroy the Quell altogether, or actually she was somehow going to unite the Quell participants (an idea that was mocked in the book, although, I think it could have been interesting to watch them try). It was kinda disappointing to just run through Sonic the Hedgehog 2; a slightly too-clever version of the same thing (really? a clock?).

4. Rushed. Was the main feeling I had while reading this. Rushed through scenes, plot, rushed by characters. Rushed through development. Look, if you don't want to write about a certain thing, take the story somewhere else, see #3.

5. Overall, I get super-bored of a book in which a WHOLE LOT OF INFORMATION is kept from the main character, WITHOUT ANY GOOD REASON. The reason always ends up being "we didn't trust you" or "you weren't ready for it" or blah blah blah fishcakes. I don't even care, and also when you keep things from her you keep them from me, and that's not necessarily good storytelling! Particularly with a world as rich in pain and strife as this one; were there not a hundred million ways for these characters to clash, without these secret half-baked underground plans? Why do I just have to feel confused all the time? It makes me feel like I'm Harry Potter in like Book #5, WHY WON'T SOMEONE JUST EXPLAIN WHAT'S GOING ON, I AM CLEARLY THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO KNOW AND IT'S EASIER TO MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS WITH INFORMATION. Katniss has enough bitterness without everyone she trusts lying to her, and ultimately, the denouement was (#4) rushed, as she and I had to quickly be filled in just in time for the book to end.

6. There seriously is gold in those hills, and when I say hills I mean characters, I mean, how has Katniss' little sister not really been given a full line at all recently? Use what you have, don't do tricks in the corner.

7. This is not a criticism, but I really would like to know if anyone has mapped the descriptions of each District to a part of the world as we know it; I always like trying to figure that out. For some reason I have it in my head that District 12 is a Nordic place? Who knows.

8. Oh yeah and Gale vs. Peeta. At this point I don't even care. I was kind of hoping one of them would die so we'd be able to really work through something. But I guess we're just going to have to see this rivalry through.
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Lizzie I think the first book explicitly said that 12 "used to be called Appalachia," and the Capitol is perhaps in the Rockies? Definitely the first one, not sure about the second one. She says something about it when they're traveling to the Capitol for the first time in book 1, if you want to fact-check.

What I didn't get was, how come 12 seems like this little tiny town when it is actually a whole region? That doesn't make sense. They can point out that their district is the smallest one and blah, but -- why is it? If it's all being controlled, why have one tiny straggler district hanging on? I really want to know more about Panem.

Also, I really want it to be called something that isn't Panem.

Alison Blah blah blah fishcakes!!!!

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