Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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Title: Catching Fire

Author: Suzanne Collins

Series: The Hunger Games #2

Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction

Audience: Young Adult

**4 stars**

I was actually really quite excited to read Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins. I’d already watched the first three movies, and read the first book. I didn’t particularly like The Hunger Games, book or movie, but loved Catching Fire (2013). So reading the book was great!

After coming out victor from the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen is trying to cope with the confusion and hurt her pretending in the Games caused … and also being haunted day and night by the horrors she’s witnessed and been a part of.
     It doesn’t take her long to realize that the Games haven’t really ended for her. The president of Panem is still watching her. Threatening her. Threatening the lives of her mother, Prim, Gale, and Peeta.
     What will Snow’s next move be? And will Katniss be able to hold up under it? Will she succumb or fight?

Reading Catching Fire was intriguing and exciting. It was basically the same as the movie, but with more of Katniss’s thoughts obviously. Some things were made clear, that I didn’t quite catch in the movie. Overall, it was great and just made me want to watch Catching Fire (2013) again … right away! *grins*

Some downs: I’m pretty sure I liked Joanna Mason better in the movies. Probably Katniss too. In the books they can be quite hard and calloused at times. I guess the movies just makes, overall, all the characters a tad more soft and whatnot. They’re still broken, scarred, hurting, angry, and sometimes clearly wrong … but just a little more relatable. I don’t know. I remember with The Hunger Games, Katniss was definitely made out to be more calloused and hateful than in the movie. In the movies she (and Joanna) is still hard and does wrong things at times, but she’s a bit more innocent than the books! Arg. Do you HG readers understand what I’m trying to say?
     Another thing, some scenes were narrated instead of lived out. In the movie, they’re lived out. In the book, just kind of like Katniss telling us about them. Definitely preferred the movie in that aspect.

All in all? I really liked it! Exciting. Complex. Emotional. Captivating. WAY better than The Hunger Games. I’m forgetting already, but it probably was still violent and gory. Just not as much as the first book. The books tend to be radical … violence, gruesomeness, (non-sexual) nudity, and the movies more gloss over those things. They’re not as violent, not near as gruesome, and people have on more clothes. Characters are a little more kind and soft.

So Catching Fire was fun to read after watching the movie, kind of figure things out more. Still like the movie more, because of the things I explained above. But it was a good read for me. If you don’t know what THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy is about, be warned that it’s a story of a terrible government with extreme cruelty and evil involved. These are not light reads. I would strongly caution younger readers. I don’t think I myself would have been able to read these any younger than 17/18 … but apparently I’m sensitive. *shrugs* I just appreciate the realness and emotion of these stories. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer.

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