Nan’s Notes: Catching Fire

catching fire

  • by Suzanne Collins
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Pub. Date: September 2009
  • ISBN-13: 9780439023498
  • 391 pp
  • Series: Hunger Games Series, #2
This review contains a spoiler part way through. The spoiler is labeled and you will need to highlight the text in order to read it.

I read The Hunger Games this summer after seeing it on so many blogs. I loved it and couldn’t wait for the sequel, Catching Fire, to come out. I was too busy the week it came out to get to the bookstore, but a colleague at school bought a couple of copies and let people borrow them.  🙂  (I’ve already returned the book to my coworker. It’s hard for me to write a review without the book in front of me… I’ll do the best I can!)

I didn’t know what to expect with the story line in Catching Fire. I had read several reviews of it already, carefully avoiding reading any spoilers. I loved Amanda’s review over at The Zen Leaf. Amanda reads books through the lens of a writer. I think that is why she notices things that I would miss. That got me thinking about how I often read books, not as a writer, but as a teacher of the reading process. More about that on another post. 🙂

Anyway …  back on track here…  Amanda mentioned that both books in this series were written in first person present tense. I hadn’t even noticed that in the first one! But after reading her review, I became very aware of it as I read Catching Fire and I did notice a couple of awkward parts. If I hadn’t read Amanda’s review, I probably would have thought I was a bit tired when I was reading and assumed that the awkwardness was on my part.

This next part contains a spoiler…

As I mentioned above, I didn’t know what to expect with the sequel. I was as shocked as Katniss when she found out that she would be heading back to the arena as a tribute in the Quarter Quell Hunger Games. I was dreading it for her again and I was thinking how tired I was going to be after reading about the battles again! Those battles in the arena just wore me out.  I don’t mean they wore me out in a bad way. I would get so stressed out for Katniss that I was exhausted by the time I got to the end. These parts were also what made it impossible for me to put down both books. I just had to find out what would happen next.
End of spoiler…

The book kept me hooked just as the last one did. Good proof of this is that Catching Fire is the first book I have finished since school began. The beginning of the school year is so busy and I’m so tired in the evenings, that reading is tough for me. But, this book kept me turning page after page. I think it was exactly the type of book I needed for this time of year. A book filled with characters I already know and care about, tons of action and suspense. I hopped on and enjoyed the ride that this book offered.

My biggest problem with the book was the ending. The ending felt a bit abrupt to me. I know there is another book coming, but I still would have like a bit more of a conclusion. Now I have to wait for the next one to come out…

If you have read The Hunger Games, you will read this book. (If you haven’t read The Hunger Games yet, what are you waiting for?) Catching Fire is a quick read that answers some questions (what happens when the victors return home) and then leaves you with more which I won’t ask here because I don’t want to add any more spoilers! 🙂

Rating: 4/5


7 Responses

  1. I’m glad you were able to finish a book! A lot of my teacher friends seem to be pretty bogged down right now. I understand what you mean about the end. I want to reread everything from that spoiler part onwards over again a bit slower.

  2. Hi! I just finished the Hunger Games yesterday and I can’t wait to get my hands on this book.:)

    And here’s to us teachers who do their darndest to sneak in reading time inspite of our workload.:)

  3. I’m waiting until the end of this week to see if I can get it from the library and if not then I am buying it. I’m very excited about reading it!

  4. Amanda – A reread would be good for me too. I was reading so fast because I kept wanting to see what would happen next. It will be interesting to see what I may have missed from reading so fast!

    Honey – i can’t wait for you to read Catching Fire! But the bummer is having to wait now for the third one.

    Alyce – I hope you get it soon. I’d love to read your review of it.

  5. Hello, Nan! I got here via Honey’s blog. I just love this book! Although, I did love The Hunger Games More. I can’t wait for the third and final installment!

  6. Peter – sorry it took so long for me to respond! I can’t wait for the third one too.

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