Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Happy Thursday, everyone! As you can see from the title I have finally finished the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire! Yay! And I'm eagerly starting the third novel, Mockingjay. But a little note about the review first. I've adopted this review format from new literary agent Vickie Motter over at her blog, Navigating the Slush Pile. I really enjoy her reviews and love the formatting, so let me know what you think of this new format in the comments, and to Vickie, I hope you don't mind that I used your style =) Now onto the review.

Synopsis: "Sparks are igniting. Flames are spreading. And the Capitol wants revenge. Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mallark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of
rebellion against the Capitol--a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may    have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even  more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn."

Genre: Dystopian--young adult

First Sentence: "I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air." I have to say, not the most intriguing of first lines, but for anyone who read or will read the first book, that doesn't matter, as I'm sure you will be as eager to dive into number two as quickly as I was.

Beefs: For about the first hundred or so pages of Catching Fire I wasn't quite as intrigued as I had been previously. I can't say it was slow moving, because it wasn't, but I didn't feel the urgency to keep turning the pages as I had throughout the entire first book. But after those hundred or so pages, the novel quickly made up for it's slightly less invigorating beginning.

Brownie Points: Suzanne Collins is an AMAZING author and one thing that I have to hand to her is that every time I think the Capitol can't be any more evil, it is. Every time I think Katniss and Peeta can't be any more gutsy and defiant, they are. She is amazing at torturing her characters, which is a major compliment, because who doesn't love tortured characters? It makes for fantastic conflict, raw and honest characterization, and characters we can ultimately identify with.

Ending: FANTASTIC! There were certain parts that I somewhat expected, but others that totally blew my mind. I don't like endings that come out of nowhere and are completely unexpected, so this ending was perfect to me, both surprising and realistically fit to the story at the same time. I couldn't have asked for a better ending. Collins is a master at great endings.

Recommendation and General Comments: I'm absolutely and completely head over heels in love with this series. When I fall for a series, I fall hard and I have fell so hard I've smashed into the ground with this series. It is definitely in my favorites. It's right up there with the Harry Potter Series and the Southern Vampire Series. Harry Potter is still my favorite hands down, but the Hunger Games is a close rival and definitely an equal favorite to SVS, though for different reasons. Because of this, I bestow Catching Fire with a rating of full moon!

This is the mother of all recommendations. You NEED to read these books. There is nothing I can say to give them the proper amount of praise.

Would I aspire to write like this author? ABSOLUTELY! She is a master of plots, something which I feel I struggle with in my own writing (I'm better with characterization and dialogue), and the tension she creates is amazing. I would give up many many many things to be able to create as page-turning of novels as she does.

I hope you all liked the review. Don't forget to enter in for the 250 Follower Giveaway. All you need to do is be a follower and leave me your name and email address in a comment. But remember, we have to reach 250 followers by January 12th in order for there to be a giveaway. So keep spreading the word. Have a great weekend!

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