Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, Book 2) Review
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At the end of author Suzanne Collins’s thrilling young adult adventure, The Hunger Games, it seemed like there was really nowhere else to go with the characters and their story. Though rebellious 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen and sweet, thoughtful Peeta Mellark were obviously in danger, it didn’t seem to be serious enough to build an entire series—especially after such a gripping and intense first novel. But Collins still manages to throw enough curveballs to make the follow-up, Catching Fire, just as suspenseful as its predecessor.

As she prepares to leave on the victor’s tour of the twelve districts of Panem, Katniss is all too aware of the pressures on her. After her act of rebellion in the Hunger Games arena, she’s expected to be on her best behavior—to act like the lovesick teenager she played during the Games, no matter how much it may hurt her best friend, Gale.

But Katniss has no idea how much pressure she’s really under until she gets a visit from President Snow. Her rebellion has sparked revolt around the country, and unless she behaves as expected while on tour, Snow is sure to kill anyone she loves.

Still, with uprisings spreading through the districts, even Katniss—the girl on fire—may not be able to stop them.

Now, I’ll admit that I was skeptical about this second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. After all, following the action and suspense of the Games, it seemed as though the series had nowhere to go but down, spending the final two books trying to find the same levels of excitement and anticipation. But the follow-up is even bigger and bolder—starting with the threats from President Snow, building into stricter rules and harsher living conditions in District 12, and truly catching fire as the country prepares for the long-awaited Quarter Quell. The 75th Hunger Games comes with some shocking surprises—which, on top of the growing tension around the nation and the building pressures on Katniss and Peeta, bring the levels of danger and suspense close to (if not equal to) those of The Hunger Games.

The story may be heading in a new direction, but the tension continues to build. Now more than ever before, Katniss has to be cautious. And though her constant suspicion and distrust are sometimes frustrating, they’re for good reason—because there are so few people whom she really can trust. In fact, as you read, you’ll often find yourself wondering who’s on which side—and what their motives may be. And all of the guessing and second-guessing and unexpected twists are sure to keep you on your toes.

No matter what your expectations for Catching Fire may be, this second book in the Hunger Games series is guaranteed to surprise you. And once you’ve followed the fast-moving tale to its riveting conclusion, you’ll be eager to pick up the final book in the series, to see how the story ends for Katniss, Peeta, and all of Panem.

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