Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire. Suzanne Collins. Scholastic Press, c2009. 391 pages.

Plot: Catching Fire is the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. After winning the 74th Hunger Games in the previous novel (The Hunger Games), Katniss returns to District 12 only to find out that she must compete once again! At the end of the Hunger Games, Katniss threatened to commit suicide if both she and Peeta, her fellow tribute from District 12, weren’t allowed to survive. This defiance of Capitol rules sparked thoughts of rebellion among Panem’s twelve districts, threatening the Capitol. In order to quell any approaching rebellion, and communicate the Capitol’s power over Panem’s citizens, President Snow announces that 24 of the previous victors, including Katniss and Peeta, must compete in the 75th Hunger Games. Entering the dangerous arena for the second time, Katniss vows that she’ll do whatever it takes to protect Peeta.

Review/personal thoughts: Not surprisingly, I loved this second installment in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. Initially, I was skeptical as to whether or not Collins could maintain the novelty and excitement introduced in the previous novel when I discovered that Katniss would be going back to the arena. However, the introduction of intriguing new characters (in the form of past victors) and an even deadlier arena delivered excitement and novelty aplenty! Finnick Odair, for example, managed to win a previous Hunger Games at just 14 years old. On the surface a handsome ladies man, Katniss discovers Finnick’s deep loyalty to a crazy girl back home in District 4. Catching Fire won’t disappoint fans of The Hunger Games, but will instead leave them anxious to begin the trilogy’s final chapter.

Genre: science fiction

Reading level/interest level: ages 12 & up

Similar titles: Gregor the Overlander

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