Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

So I have started a new thing. At work and on my way home I listen to an audiobook and at night I read a book. I totally love this. It's allowed me to absorb so much material and I'm surprised how easy it is for me to jump between two worlds. I started this for a few reasons. First, I need to start reading more YA novels. I'm in my last year of my master's and soon I'll be a school librarian. I need to know what the kids are reading. There's no way around it. Most of these books I don't want in my library and I don't want to take the time out of my regular reading schedule to read them so I've decided to try the audiobooks. Luckily, if you buy the kindle ebook the narration is MUCH cheaper than if you buy the actual audiobook. That shit is expensive!!! Secondly, the A Song of Ice and Fire series takes a long time to read and I'm impatient.  Most of the books I read are huge and it's annoying, but it cannot be helped. I'm a sucker for epic fantasy and most of those books are 1000 pages. Anyways, I'm going to give this blog another try. I've missed it. I'm doing things differently this time around. I burned out before because it felt like a job. I already work full time and go to grad school - this is supposed to be fun! So I'm going to make it fun.

Thoughts on Catching Fire: 
Rating: 4/ 5 Mockingjays

This book was actually a lot of fun. I moderately liked the first installment. I read it a few years ago and just never felt the need to go on. But I saw the series on Kindle Unlimited and decided to give it another chance. I'm glad I did! It's hard for a sequel to live up to the first installment and I thought this one surpassed The Hunger Games

I enjoyed the games a lot in this book. I thought the clock idea was pretty creative. It was a good combination of physical and psychological challenges (or should I say torture).  I thought the supporting characters like Finnick, Johanna, and Beetee were well developed. I especially liked Betee. I was cheering for him the whole time. Of course, I still found Katniss and Peeta a little annoying. I enjoyed the other characters more than I enjoyed their little attempts at keeping one another alive. 

This story feels deeper almost. You can feel the districts rebellion beginning to boil. The whispers Katniss hears about other districts helps this feeling. I wish we could have seen a little glimpse into the other districts, but it's not their story. I also would have enjoyed a little more interaction with President Snow. He's such a good villain! 

One of the main things I enjoy about this book is that there are casualties. This is a country at war and on the brink of rebellion. Collins doesn't sugar coat that for her younger audience. It's not graphic, but it still hits home knowing that nobody is safe. These characters will probably all be dead soon but that's the price of war . I like that about this series. I also like that even though Katniss loves both Peeta and Gale, she states that she isn't interested in children or really marriage. I think that is completely reasonable for her situation. I know I wouldn't want to bring a child into that awful world. She's not a romantic - sure she's very emotional, but you can't say she's romantic. There's no room for romance in Panem. There's only room for survival. I think that's what sets her apart from all the other female protagonists in other teen books. Go Katniss! Ain't nobody got time for babies during a rebellion. 

Overall, I found this book to be a great addition to the series. The narration was wonderfully done and it's a fairly quick listen. Now I'm on to Mockinjay!

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