Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire

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I know, I know.  Green.  Green. Green.  What can I say?  I’d be green with envy too.  But I’m writing this to let you know that you have a wonderful reading experience to look forward to.  Collins does not disappoint.  And rest assured that I will not divulge anything here that might compromise this upcoming pleasure for you.

***

So I came home earlier this week to a package with a mockingjay on the cover. Heart pounding I opened it and found an ARC for Catching Fire, the highly anticipated sequel to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, one of my favorite books of last year.  Instead of immediately scarfing it down, I decided to nurse it.  Now I admit that it defies logic that I managed to take a few days to read it as it is as much a page turner as its predecessor.  However, I knew it would be a year until the third volume and so I wanted this reading experience to last as long as possible. As a result, in addition to appreciating the remarkable plotting, world building, and character development that are as strong as ever, I was reading slow enough to register (and recollect) Collins’ little humorous asides here and there, especially some wry comments from our girl, Katniss.  Unfortunately, I can’t quote them without giving stuff away, but do look out for them.

Is it as good as The Hunger Games? Yes.  Yes, indeed.  Certainly, I’d wondered.  With the games over and Katniss and Peeta due to take off on the Victory Tour, wouldn’t this be a bit of a let-down of a read?  Well, no, not at all.  I promised no spoilers so I’m not going to provide any plot info.  I’m sure you can find that elsewhere if you want it.  I can only say that Collins is developing this story in a way that is thrilling, confounding, and occasionally mind-blowing.  Major and minor characters from the previous volume reappear and become more complicated in every way.  The world does too.

Now I have read a lot, a lot.  So I can often see where an author is taking me.  But Collins?  She managed to surprise me over and over as I read this book.  The twists and turns of the plot are brilliant and I definitely did not see things coming.  What is going to happen in the third volume?  I have to say — given the many astonishing moments in this second one — I haven’t a clue.

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire

  1. You got that right: GREEN! Thanks for the spoiler-free preview!

  2. What an awesome review – and all without giving a single thing away. It is greatly exciting to know that you enjoyed book two so much. Thanks!

  3. I am also feeling “green”. However, like you said, I feel lucky that I have Catching Fire to look forward to. I’m so glad to hear it doesn’t disappoint!

  4. elissa

    Wow! Thank you for this review. I hope you’ve sent it to Scholastic. I’m sure it’s exactly what they were looking for when they sent you the ARC. I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!

  5. A writer friend who has connections has promised to share an ARC with me. I can’t wait – and am so glad to hear that you loved it. The more I write, the fewer books delight me – and I am really looking forward to this one.

  6. Deanna Day

    I can’t wait to read this book! Thanks for the review.

  7. Beth Kanell

    Great to hear how much there is to look forward to in the sequel to The Hunger Games — thanks for giving us a spark from the new fire! Katniss and her author have given me a good example of courage and stamina, and it’s nice to know there’s more to come.

  8. Connie Rockman

    Spot on, Monica! I agree in every way – especially how she constantly surprises the reader. I read with my jaw dropping every other page.

  9. Catherine Balkin

    I couldn’t wait to read it before. After reading your review, I’ve having trouble keeping from asking Lizette if she has any more ARCs. But I’ll wait. I will. I think.

  10. I cannot WAIT!!! Great review. You made me even *more* excited about it, which I didn’t think was possible.

  11. Amy Sears

    I actually liked this better than the first, which is really odd with a second book. I think the characterizations were deeper.As you said there were plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing
    in terms of plot- I for one could never figure out where it was headed-a good thing. A thrilling ride that Hunger Games fans won’t be disappointed in.

  12. Amy, I loved the first book, but agree with you about this one vis a vis the character development. I think it may be a tie for me as which I liked better. But I agree, this is all the more remarkable being the second in a series.

  13. I think I’m bound to get pummeled for this, but I’m halfway through and I simply cannot make myself pick it up again. I don’t care about the romance, and that’s a huge problem with this one. Far more than the previous book, where Gale was just this brief fellow at the start. Should I keep going? Or pass on the title to someone who’ll adore it as it deserves?

    • I’m not a Gale/Katniss fan either so it was bugging me but really, it picked up no matter how much complaining about that pairing I did first.

  14. Hmm, Fuse #8. As I just told you (at the Amulet event), you aren’t the only one to be underwhelmed. I enjoyed it tremendously and it definitely picked up hugely midway. I think it might be worth your while because tons happens in the second part that is different from the first part. (Email me or call me —let’s talk further!)

  15. Nice to see so much enthusiasm. I had seen somewhere that Hunger Games was not for the adult reader, but it sounds like you would disagree with that.

    Is this sequel the end, or is there more? Ask she who despairs when even more sequels have to be found time for.

  16. Interesting — I hadn’t seen that about it being not so much for adults. I think it is solidly for kids and YA. While the premise is brutal — kids killing kids — I felt Collins handled it so well that it really is something a pre-teen who doesn’t get fazed by violence can handle. Several of my fourth graders have read it and liked it tremendously. That said, I know of many adults beside me who enjoyed it too!

    I believe it is a trilogy and this second volume ends in a very dramatic cliff-hanger. (Not as bad as The Knife of Letting Go, though. That has gotta be the most intense one I can think of and I’m so glad the next of that series is about to come out here. They are sending me the ARC now and I can’t wait!)

  17. Amy Murphy

    If I was excited before, I’m ready to EXPLODE after this. I cannot wait for September to get here (I think this is ecplising the thought of turning 16).

    Thank you for the spoiler-free review.

  18. Pingback: Book Blog - Bookends - Children’s Book Reviews - Booklist Online » Blog Archive » Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins: Worth the Wait

  19. Pingback: Catching Fire Envy and Tidbits to Quell Impatience… « Shelf Elf: read, write, rave.

  20. thats for the spoiler free review and I’m waiting for this book too.

  21. Can’t wait! So glad you didn’t give all the juicy details. I want to curl up in the hammock and digest it all nice and slowly. May check out your good reads group. On thing Collins does know how to do is to write hum-dinger plots. I also really enjoyed her Gregor the Overlander series.

    Shutta

  22. Maggie

    I saw they had copies of the ARC on ebay and I tried to bid on it but they’ve cancelled all the auctions I saw so far!!! I really want to read it!!! September is such a long way off but I guess good things come to those who wait, so they say!!!

  23. I seriously had a mild heart attack when I snatched up the ARC we got in at the bookstore in which I work. Great job talking about it without giving much away. It was INCREDIBLE and I really tried to savor it. (I failed though, and read through it just as quickly as I did The Hunger Games.)

  24. You have pitched this review perfectly. My family has not felt this kind of anticipation about a book release since…Harry #7. How fun it is to have a book to look forward to again.

  25. Pingback: Magpie Day « educating alice

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