Just in case you don't know, Catching Fire is the second in Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games Trilogy. If you haven't read The Hunger Games (click for my review), then skip to below the asterisks.
After they defied the spirit of the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have returned home to live in their district's Victor's Village. Peeta seems to adjust fairly well, but Katniss misses her freedom and the hours she used to spend in the woods with her true love, Gale Hawthorne.
In the months since the seventy-fourth games ended, Katniss has learned three important lessons: (1) winning the games doesn't bring happiness and independence, (2) life in the districts is not what it is reported to be, and (3) the Capitol expects her to marry Peeta. She is not surprised about the first, doesn't quite know what to do about the second, and is hoping she can get out of the third.
Before Katniss can formulate all her options, President Snow finds a way to take control, leaving her stunned and helpless. Can Katniss find solutions that will not have unthinkable consequences for the people she loves?
On the other hand, Catching Fire lacked the suspense of the first novel. Once the Capitol's plans were revealed, we began to suspect the outcome. That is not to say that the ending was predictable in its details but that we had a sense of how it must end, especially knowing that a third book will follow.
My hope is that the next book is the last one, so that we can begin reading with the notion that the story line is fairly open-ended. And in case you're wondering, I'll proudly announce my loyalties (thanks to Michelle from Galley Smith for the badge).
I both read the print version and listened to the unabridged audio edition (Scholastic Audio). The audiobook was narrated by Carolyn McCormick. McCormick kept me fully engaged in the story and on the edge of my seat during the action scenes. Recommended for first-time reads or rereads.
Catching Fire has won numerous honors, including best young adult book of 2009 from Kirkus Reviews, Publisher's Weekly, and The Los Angeles Times. For the full list of honors and to learn more about Suzanne Collins, visit the author's website.
Published by Scholastic, 2009
Challenges: 2010, 100+, Young Adult
Source: Bought (see review policy)