Thursday, February 11, 2010

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Who would have thought young adult lit could be so enjoyable for an adult? I read The Hunger Games (the prequel to this novel) out loud to my 7th grade students last year and they couldn't get enough of it....and neither could I. I had to take the book home to finish it because I couldn't take the suspense any longer. Read my review of The Hunger Games if you're interested in my thoughts on the first book in Collins' series.

Catching Fire is the second installment in what looks to be a trilogy. Set in Panem, a nation crippled by the dictatorship of "The Capital," our heroine Katniss Everdeen returns. Her actions in The Hunger Games have made her the biggest celebrity in Panem, but also Enemy #1 of the Capital. Rebellion is stirring in the districts and if she wants to keep those she loves alive, she must do everything she can to stop the uprising. When all she does is fan the flames, Katniss once again becomes a pawn in the Capital's deadly game.

Collins has really hit a home run with this series. Aimed at the young adult reader, this book is a very fast read for an adult, but it never feels like you're reading something "beneath" you. Catching Fire takes the same topics of government power, the strength of the masses, love, survival, and loyalty and turns them on their heel. Make no mistake, these two books are violent - very violent. I would make the argument that Catching Fire offers slightly more "adult" content (not sexual per say, but certainly not G rated) than it's prequel. Once again, however, Collins succeeds in grabbing her reader's attention right out of the gate and leaves the last page with a cliffhanger that leaves you begging for the next book. Not for readers under the age of 12, in my opinion, but enjoyed thoroughly by this 26 year old. 5 stars.

**NOTE: You absolutely MUST read The Hunger Games before Catching Fire or it won't make much sense. The third book comes out August 24, 2010!

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