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 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 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.
Character Development: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 10/10
Age Appropriate? (Minor Spoiler Alert!)
Cussing: Some, yes.
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: A drunkard is a prominent character, and there is one scene with underage drinking and drunkenness. A few minor characters who are drug addicts, but it doesn't go into detail.
Sexual Content: Some brief talk, and discussion about teen pregnancy... It's sort of hard to explain. But it is quite a bit more mature than Hunger Games was.
Disturbing Images/Violence: Many deaths, some gruesome cruelty and violence.
(Minor Spoiler Ends.)
Review (sort of):
Perfect. That's all this book is--a perfect, flawless continuation of Hunger Games. It's been hours since I finished reading it, and I'm still jittery with excitement and longing. If you've read Hunger Games, you'll know how I feel. Unlike some sequels, Catching Fire seems to flow beautifully from its prequel, almost as if they are the same book. The feel of them is the same, that potent atmosphere that the mastermind Suzanne Collins created in the first book is still present. I went insane for this.
These novels are wonderful things--they prove exactly how awesome Young Adult fiction can be. Suzanne Collins' outstanding writing skills have caught the attention of e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e, male or female, old or young. Some schools are even reading it in English class--instead of Great Expectations! Can you imagine? Is this a revolution?! But if anyone deserves every ounce of praise that I and all the English teachers in the world can bestow upon her, it is Collins.
Catching Fire was gut-wrenching, heart-rending, and emotional. It's more torrential and moody than the prequel, and a bit more grown-up. Collins has an incredible ability to realistically develop unique and twisty relationships between characters. And there characters themselves are something else entirely--Katniss made me alternatively hysterically angry, disturbingly frustrated, or deliriously happy. I don't think, from the moment I picked up the beautiful book, I stopped living in that world. I dreamt it, breathed it, imagined it, eagerly lapped it up. It's hard not to be drawn to the terrorized, tyrannical, sadistic place Katniss lives in, and hard not to, for some bizarre reason, wish you were a part of this story, too.
And of course, because it's Suzanne Collins, it ends in a gigantic, whopping cliffhanger. A tear-inducing, heart-stopping, wait-what-the-heck-is-this-blank-page-doing-here cliffhanger. Then you realize...it's over. That is when I started pining, and I won't stop pining until the third book comes out in Fall of 2010. Yes--ONE WHOLE YEAR. Why must we wait again?
Just read the book.