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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Catching Fire

"In that one slight motion, I see the end of hope, beginning of destruction of everything I hold dear in the world. I cant guess what form my punishment will take, how wide the net will be cast, but when it is finished there most likely be nothing left.So you would think that at this moment, I would be in utter despair."

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CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins
2009, Scholastic Press, 400p
buy here
Notable awards: None so far
Notable books by the author: The Hunger Games
Summary: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
Review: Sometime in March or April of this year, I read The Hunger Games, which, for any YA fan who's taken up residence under a rock, is the first in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins about 24 teenagers who battle to the death on live TV. It may sound kind of stock, but trust me, Collins' brilliant handles on suspense and plotting is not. The Hunger Games was one of the 20 best books I've ever read.
So Catching Fire came out on Sep. 1, and I really wanted to read it except that I was seriously broke, so I put a library hold on it and waited 1.5 months, and finally it came in about two weeks ago. I retrieved it from the library that Saturday, waited until Monday to started reading it (a torturous task), and then eventually started reading it.
I was a little worried before I read it. After all, we've all heard stories about how the second book in a series just doesn't measure up. I'm glad to report, though, that there was none of that here, for me at least. Catching Fire took me three days to read, and while that's nowhere near the fifteen hours it took me to read Hunger Games (sleeping's included in that), it's not because I couldn't get into it. It's just because I was really busy, it being October, a procrastinator's least favorite month. Anyways, CF was excellent. Collins is in top form in this book, ratcheting up the suspense like nobody's business. Katniss was just as...ah, illogical as in the last book, but I couldn't help but like her anyway. I gasped a lot while reading this book, though I don't gasp in real life, and I laughed a lot too (esp. on page 256--ha ha). Some people may feel that CF is a rehash of the events of HG, but I disagree--after all, the main focus wasn't supposed to be the Games, but instead the looming threat of possible rebellions AS NOTED ON THE SUMMARY, SO DON'T SAY I SPOILED YOU.
VERDICT: CF was really, really good. Being a person who can't write book reviews for squat, that's really all I have to say.
Really, really good.
Thoughts on the cover: The cover gets a 9. Simple, yet effective. It gets the job done.
Note: I know it seems I only review books I like, and I guess that's true now, but trust me, that's going to change. I check out way too many books from the library for me to like them all.

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