Re-Read: Catching Fire

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?

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13 thoughts on “Re-Read: Catching Fire

  1. Glad to see this didn’t leave it’s magic with a reread. I wasn’t keen on the third book so I’m really curious to see whether it improves for you second time around.
    Lynn 😀

    1. Interesting that several folk didn’t enjoy the third book as much as the other two – I found it appropriate, I guess is maybe the best word, and I was always waiting to see how the Gale / Katniss / Peeta triangle would work out. It seemed to me that there wasn’t going to be any way that could ever be totally satisfactory (I liked both Gale and Peeta.)

      1. Margaret, I certainly still enjoyed the third book and I would agree it was appropriate. I just thought it lost a lot of its pace and structure without the actual ‘Hunger Games’ going on. That being said it was still a very good read, while the first two books I thought were great reads. But who knows I might enjoy it even more when I re-read it! 😀

  2. I haven’t seen the films or read the books, but this has been on my reading list for a long while. A lot of the people I’ve met tell me they are spectacular, but I’ve never read much dystopian, unless you count Lowry’s The Giver, which held me starstruck. I am definitely planning on reading these soon…do you recommend reading the books before the movies? I would think yes…just like with everything else hahaha

    1. Emily, I often watch adaptations when I haven’t read the book, especially when I don’t have any intention to read the book. So I might not be the right person to answer that question. I suppose if you do really want to read the books then start with them.

    1. Carmen, to be fair the film adaptation could only work with what it had when it came to the Mockingjay book. In fact, when I heard they were going to make it into two films I was dreading them, but actually I thought they did a great job with it.

  3. Read all three books in the space of 4 days before I saw the films – and then enjoyed the films also. One of those rare occasions when the films didn’t disappoint.

    1. Margaret, so pleased to hear you enjoyed these great books and their equally great film adaptations. I think these are some of the best adaptations I’ve ever watched… well except for The Lord of the Rings films 😉

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