Back in September, I picked up Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins which continued my planned re-read of Collins’ highly successful, young adult dystopian trilogy. A trilogy that went on to spawn a film franchise that was a massive box-office success. After enjoying the films a lot, I was excited to remind myself of the extra details in the books. (Warning: this will probably contain spoilers for the first book).
Against all the odds, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have both survived the Hunger Games and come home as joint winners. Katniss should be relieved, perhaps even happy, but her brave act to save them both has set a dangerous spark of hope and now there are whispers of bloody rebellion against the Capitol. To protect herself, her family and her friends from the wrath of President Snow, she must convince everyone she is just a silly girl, madly in love with Peeta. In love and not a rebel! Which is made hard as Peeta truly loves her, but she has complicated feelings for her longtime friend Gale.
Again I really felt for Katniss, because she is a young woman who finds her life and love taken out of her control. While she has true affection for both Peeta and Gale, the real truth is she isn’t ready to fall in love with anyone. (Although for me it would hands down be Peeta!). However the show must go on, so Katniss and Peeta find themselves packed off on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour of the districts. Where they must come face-to-face with the people of the other tributes that did not live, some of whom they killed or failed to save, like little Rue. And with all eyes on them, they can make no wrong move or the consequences could be horrifying.
Then, if it didn’t seem bad enough for Katniss, The Capital announces the 75th Quarter Quell, a special Hunger Games that happens every twenty-five years. The shocking twist for this Quarter Quell is that the ‘tributes’ will be chosen from the existing pool of winners. Even on re-reading it was heartbreaking as realisation dawns that Katniss is the only female to ever win from District 12. It would seem someone has it in for her! And so with stomachs churning we witness Katniss enter the arena for the second time. Can she possibly beat the odds and win for a second time?!
Again Catching Fire is a gritty, dystopian young adult adventure, full of hardship, danger, love, death, friendship and courage; that has lost known of its edge or shock on re-reading it. I am now intrigued to move on to a re-read of the final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay, because I was a little disappointed with it first time around. Great read.
Have you read this? Have you watched the films?