Vinaya's Reviews > Catching Fire

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
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's review
Jan 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-loved, ya-fantasy

I originally gave the book five stars, but let me be honest, that was just me being carried away on a wave of Katniss euphoria and peer pressure. Everybody just raved so much about how each book was better than the last, and I almost felt like I HAD to give it five stars.

But some calmer reflection led me to the conclusion that Catching Fire was not worth more than four stars. Which is not to say that the book isn't brilliant. Because it is. If I hadn't read Hunger Games, it would be flat out the most un-put-down-able book of the year. But Catching Fire, as the middle book, seems to have suffered somewhat from the middle child syndrome.

As the middle book in a trilogy, there was one of two ways the book could have gone. It could have been flashy, dramatic, ending in a cliffhanger the size of the Grand Canyon (see how much faith I have in you, Suzanne!)or it could have been quieter, a slow, steady build-up that explodes in the third book. I think Suzanne Collins decided to take the latter route for the Hunger Games trilogy, and it's not a bad route per se, but I feel like she didn't do it full justice.

The book felt more like a filler, something to pass the time while she plotted the final book, the big showdown, or whatever the hell else is going to happen to Mockingjay, which I haven't gotten around to reading yet. Most parts of the story were unnecessary, in my opinion. The entire first half of Catching Fire was interesting, but largely unconnected to the larger theme of the trilogy. The whole bit with the wedding and the wedding dresses, for example, was just way too much padding.

And I must admit I was hoping for something a little bigger and better than Katniss and Peeta going back into the Games. Right up until the last few chapters, I kept hoping something different was going to happen, that they weren't actually going to play in the games AGAIN. I mean, I know these Games were supposed to be different and all, but they just felt like the same old book with a new cover.

However, I am still as much in awe of Katniss as ever. I can't wait to get started on Mockingjay, and I hope Katniss remains as indomitable as she's been so far. Catching Fire may have been a bit of a disappointment in terms of plotline, but Katniss still remains my pick for YA Heroine of the Decade. Go, Katniss! And even though Catching Fire didn't approach the blazing brilliance of Hunger Games, it sets a great atmosphere for Mockingjay, which I am now going off to read, yay!
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Reading Progress

January 7, 2011 – Started Reading
January 7, 2011 – Shelved
January 8, 2011 – Shelved as: books-i-loved
January 8, 2011 – Shelved as: ya-fantasy
January 8, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Megan Great review ~ you're right, Catching Fire does suffer from "middle child syndrome." Interesting way of putting it, lol :)

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Out of all the reviews I've read for this series. And I've read quite a few. This s the one that most perfectly describes my feelings about this book. I don't know how i missed it till now.

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