Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review of Catching Fire

In short

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and 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 a 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 a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. (

My two cents

Catching fire, what to tell about it.
I read it a significantly long time after I read The Hunger Games. As the first novel blew me away, the second kind of left me hanging.
Katniss wasn't the strong character she portrayed in The Hunger Games, but clouded with fear, guilt and too much doubting. Instead of being the fearless girl she had been during the games, she turned into a vessel for other people to use.
President Snow for his intention to smother the uprisings in various districts. Peeta for his undying affection. The rebels as symbol for their cause.
Never did you see what her own agenda was, only her somewhat strange want of Peeta's survival in their second run in the Games.

Also, her supposed lovelife was a jumbleberry crumble to say the least. One minute it's Gale she's meant to be with, the other she realises she can't live without Peeta. Safe to say she loves both, but I don't get it why she just doesn't realise it? This is something common in YA books. As if loving two different people at the same time is such a taboo.

Peeta's character was empty. Completely devoid of emotion. He acted like he was in love with Katniss, but it didn't sell. The one I thought was truly in love with her is Gale. He's the one devastated when she needs to play out her romance with Peeta which brought them both back alive in the first Games. He's the one too proud to stand his ground and try to claim her.
Not the calm Peeta, with his declarations and calm behaviour. Love is a fight, an ugly fight at that.

Aside from all that, the plot isn't that interesting. It didn't sell. The only part I loved reading were of the days in the training center, getting to know the tributes of the other districts.

I hope that Mockingjay can rise like a phoenix from this novel and be as good, or better than The Hunger Games.

Personal rating: **
Thickness: 391 pages
First published in 2009