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on 23 December 2015
Currently, I am re-reading the entire 'Hunger Games' series for the third time. With most trilogies, after having already read the books twice, they would be undeniably dull by the third time, but not 'The Hunger Games' and certainly not 'Catching Fire'.
Katniss Everdeen has returned to District 12, living in a huge house in the Victor's Village, with all the food, money and luxuries she could want- her reward for being joint champion of the last Hunger Games, alongside fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark.
But Katniss is far from happy. She is barely speaking to her supposed 'star-crossed lover', subsequent to an argument they had on the train, in the previous novel. Security has been heavily enforced in District 12, leading to increased suffering and punishments for all its residents. And there is unrest in the districts, stirrings of an uprising against The Capitol, that Katniss has unwittingly caused.
With the threat of the snakelike President Snow hanging over her, Katniss knows she must face up to her actions and pay the price for the spark of rebellion she has created. And pay the price she does, but not in the way that she expected...
An unexpected twist in the third Quarter Quell, the 75th anniversary of The Hunger Games, means that Katniss and Peeta are once more thrust into the arena, alongside 22 other tributes, all of them victors from past Games. This time, Katniss knows she has no shot at survival. Is this the end for the girl on fire?
I really love this action-packed sequel to the brilliant 'The Hunger Games', although it is not as good as its predecessor, in my opinion. It does come a close second though.
My favourite character is still Katniss, and she has really come along as a character, and the way she handles certain situations, such as her speech in District 11 and the news about the Quarter Quell are very mature and well-written, so it's as if you're experiencing each event through her eyes, and the same goes for all the horrors she faces in the arena. You forget you're sat against your radiator at home- Suzanne Collins' storytelling makes you believe you're fighting for your life in a ticking timebomb of an arena, alongside Katniss, Peeta and their team of allies.
I have also gotten increasingly fond of Peeta, as well. His relationship with Katniss has developed a lot and a sweet friendship lies behind their ongoing staged romance. I liked the way Katniss was striving to sacrifice herself, so that Peeta could be crowned victor, whilst Peeta was determined to give up his life for Katniss.
I loved the development of my other favourite characters too. In fact, one of my favourite parts of the whole book was when Katniss and Peeta were watching a replay of the second Quarter Quell, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Games, in which District 12's very own Haymitch Abernathy was crowned victor. I liked this bit because I discovered more about Haymitch as a character- how he managed to become champion, how the horrors he witnessed in the arena made him into the sarcastic drunkard he is today, and how there is actually a sensitive, emotional person underneath his cold, prickly exterior.
I also liked the introduction of new characters, particularly Finnick Odair. He made a great addition to Katniss and Peeta's team, and within the space of a few chapters, he developed from the shallow, self-absorbed prettyboy that Katniss and the rest of Panem sees him as, to someone friendly and helpful, who has real feelings and a deep concern for others. I particularly felt for him during the jabberjay scene.
I really liked the concept behind the book, particularly all the thought Suzanne Collins has clearly put into the arena and the horrors it contains. Each chapter brings a new key event in the story- there isn't a dull moment during the Games.
But here comes the problem, just the little teeny problem I have with this book. The bit which is the actual Games only begins about 3/4 the way into the book. The book is 472 pages long, and the Games begin on page 321. Only the last quarter or so is in the arena. That leaves a big chunk of the book to talk about Katniss adjusting back to life in District 12, and her Victory Tour. Whilst all this stuff is engaging and interesting, I felt it was dragged out too much and I wish there had been more arena time. But that's the only issue I have and it isn't enough to drastically bring down my rating.
Definitely a worthy successor to the incredible 'The Hunger Games', even if I did prefer the original.
I would rate the book.....
9 stars out of 10.
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on 23 July 2015
Four stars due to the fact that not as good as first book but still brilliant. I really enjoyed the characters joining up in the arena with the end kick starting a MUST read third book. I found the fact that each character was as vulnerable as each other good and just like the characters felt that they couldn't trust any of them fully! Can't wait to read the third. Some people's comments on the book have been critical, and their points are valid ones but keep in mind that each tribute is vulnerable as they are human and if the book feels rushed, GOOD! your need to reach the end and if the rebellion really kicks off makes you wanting it to be rushed.
As I always say....."ignore the reviews, read yourself and make your own mind up and review on it"!
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on 8 April 2013
My friend bullied me into reading this, I originally downloaded just the first book as I wasn't sure it would be my thing. But before I had finished it I had already downloaded books 2 and 3.

I had heard a few things about the story but it had totally misled me as to the subject matter. It is thought provoking and thrilling and I did not know how it would end. I would absolutely recommend that you give these books a try as they are outside of my 'usual' and I really enjoyed them.

I am a mum in my 40's and I felt the issues and 'what if's' raised were interesting, they kept my attention as I read all 3 books in about 4 days. Yes they are based in the future, so the author can use some artistic licence about what is possible and what is not - which I think is why these books are aimed at a younger market really. But if you just believe that all is possible and what would happen if we really lived in those times - wow! And the relationships between the characters, the hope, the determination and the fears and real emotions - the author has captured all brilliantly.

Don't write it off if you don't think it's your thing - I nearly did - but I am really pleased I read these books, and recommend you try it.
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on 22 October 2012
Let me just say that the Hunger Games - Book 1 - was amazing, and one of the best books I have ever read. The tight narrative, fast paced action, great characters and yes - a believable story, gripped me on every page.

So, Catching Fire was always going to struggle to match that. So I will rate it four stars, even though it may only deserve three. My reasoning is based on rating it as a book on its own, which you can't do, in all fairness.

This is a trilogy, so if we take the three boos as one whole story, then Catching Fire will stand up better, I hope.

The problem with this book, is that the pace seems rather lopsided. In the Hunger Games, the pace built up like a crescendo, and was incredibly gripping and dramatic.

In Catching Fire, it struggles to know where it is going, before really picking up the pace in the final third. Perhaps few stories could keep up the intensity of the Hunger Games, so I will reserve having a go at this until I have read Mockingjay, the third in the series.

Some have criticised Miss Collin's writing style. But this is first person - we are a fly on Katniss' shoulder, so we should expect the writing in this matter. It didn't bother me at all like it bothered others.

All in all, Catching Fire is well written, has great characters, and is described rather well. You do feel like you are there. The Peeta / Gale angle isn't resolved here, perhaps that will be in the final book. I'd like to see President Snow get what's coming to him, but knowing Miss Collin's ability to twist a twisted tale, that may not happen at all.

Do I hope for a happy ending? Well I think Katniss deserves it. She comes across as a good heroine, and not whiny as some say.

So - a really good go at emulating the first book, but fell a bit short.
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on 15 December 2013
Seen the film and now read the book. The film depicts a totally different vision to that of the one you make from the book which effectively sees you getting double value! The film is outstanding - the book is even better. Despite seeing the film first, the book still gave a slightly different take on the story and was not a disappointment. I have seen the first 2 films and read the first 2 books. Cant wait for the 3rd film to come out (not for a few years yet) so i will enjoy reading the book first. If it is written like the first 2 then i am sure it will not detract from the film.
If you have not seen the films yet - read the books first, then watch the films as it will help give a deeper meaning to the films.
Summary - Highly recommend all books in this amazing trilogy which are both suitable and recommended for most ages of reader.
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on 17 May 2012
I still can't make my mind up about these books. They have been a very pleasant surprise to me and I have not been able to put them down. My daily commute to and from University seems to have washed away since I started reading these. Yet, in a lot of ways they also leave me wanting something more. Maybe it is the feeling that while Katniss is one tough so and so, she also makes think she should come out of her shell more and start kicking some ass. She is decent with a bow yes but she just lacks something, maybe it is the image or her decisions but it makes her seem frail and weak, which when it is needed can be a daring problem to tug at your emotions in any story but this seems to stretch on and on and I just feel like there is a lot more potential from her as a character. Yet I have a feeling it will never come, and that is probably what was intended when it was written, but still not a very satisfying realisation (especially since I will 100% need to buy the next book to find out how it ends). The world is full of spineless morons, is it too much to ask to have someone with a little bit of flavour when your only limit is imagination?
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on 1 September 2014
My ten year old daughter is absorbed by this series of books. Having watched the Hunger Games on television I didn't think she would be interested in reading the book following this, but she has absolutely adored it and we have purchased the series for her. Apparently the book is 'much better' than the film.

The story is engaging and well written. The descriptive language is appropriate to her reading level and she is completely absorbed by the books and says that they are exciting - she struggles to put this down at bedtime!

I would highly recommend this series and will be looking at other books by the same author in future.
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on 18 December 2014
I haven't seen the films based on this trilogy so I had no preconceived ideas about them. I have read the first one and now am reading this. My daughter recommended them and I am thoroughly hooked! Not always a comfortable read, and they certainly make you think but are utterly captivating. I have often said that there is no such thing as a children's book; there are books that are unsuitable for children, for various reasons, but very good books aimed at younger readers are often wonderful for everyone.(Goodnight Mr Tom for example) This is one of those. Buy it!
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on 18 May 2016
Katniss doesn't have long to rest on her laurels as a Hunger Games victor before President Snow's administration comes up with a plan for a special anniversary Hunger Games to try to dispose of her and most of the previous Champions, seen as a potential focus of rebellion. She has unexpected allies, though, and things don't go according to his plans, setting the scene for the final book.
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on 10 May 2016
God I loved this one even more the second time around such fantastic characters and just such a fabulous book to lose yourself in. Peeta is my all time favourite of course I mean come on how can he not be. Haymitch and Finnick coming in second. So happy I re-read this again now to re-read Mockingjay I can already feel the heartache. As Finnick says bring on the 76th hunger games.
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