Title: “Catching Fire”
Author: Suzanne Collins
Length of Audiobook: 11 hours 41 minutes (9 CDs)
Narrator: Carolyn McCormick
Synopsis (from back of CD case):
“Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.”
Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:
- character death
- PTSD symptoms
- disordered eating
Representation in the novel:
- mental illness (PTSD)
- disability (prosthetic limb)
- black characters
- non-black characters of color
Oh my goodness.
That’s all I can say after I read the last chapter.
Catching Fire takes place a few days (weeks?) after The Hunger Games ends, where Peeta and Katniss get back from the Capital. They and their families both settle in to the Victor’s Village, as they get ready for the Victory Tour after they won the previous Hunger Games. Meanwhile, there’s things happening in the other Districts. Possibly…revolutionary…things.
It’s not much better than what the back of the audiobook case gives, but it’s better than nothing, right? Seriously, though, if I say too much else, it would start to get kinda spoiler-y. Just know that there’s also a power struggle between Katniss and President Snow (the jackwagon).
Anyway, Catching Fire caught me off-guard, to say the least. With the trilogies I’ve read, the second book seemed to be the weakest link, the one that was kinda “meh.” Not that it was horrible by any means, but that compared to the first and third book, it wasn’t as strong. However, I didn’t get that with Catching Fire. Instead, I was sucked into it almost as soon as I started listening. This may be funny, but I thought a lot more happened in this than in The Hunger Games. I could just put my earbuds in, and before I knew it, an hour and a half already passed. That was partially because the narration was phenomenal once again (thanks, Carolyn McCormick!), and partially because the tension seemed to be much higher in this book than the first one. Which, yeah, that’s weird considering the first book dealt with staying alive in an area full of other kids who want to kill each other, but that’s just how it is, I guess.
In the second book of the trilogy, we get a lot more political tension, as well as tension between Katniss and President Snow. Even though Katniss never intended to be a revolutionary icon amongst those in the different Districts, there she is, being the poster child for uprising throughout Panem. And with that, President Snow forces her into a sort-of deal, where the stakes are extremely high, and if Katniss messes up, she won’t be the only one to pay for it.
And can we talk about the side characters? This is the first series in a while that I read where the side characters are actually pretty well-developed. I absolutely adore Cinna, even in The Hunger Games, but especially in Catching Fire. I just felt like he was a wonderful character, and I loved his relationship with Katniss. And Haymitch! Talk about character development. In the beginning of the trilogy, he seemed to just be a no-good mentor who liked to drink too much, but throughout Catching Fire, and certainly by the end of it, the reader realizes how much he actually cares for both Katniss and Peeta. And, uh, hello, he’s actually really smart. And is there any character in this series that hasn’t been through a more traumatic experience than him? Probably Katniss and Peeta, but it would be close.
There was just one little thing that I pretty much strongly disliked throughout the book: Gale. I just. Don’t like his character whatsoever. I understand where he’s coming from, with wanting to start a revolution against the Capital, but the way he treats Katniss makes me want to pull my hair out. It’s like he doesn’t even care what she went through during the Games, or what she’s going through in the aftermath. Instead, it’s almost always about how he feels, or what she “has” to do to lead the Districts against the Capital. I just don’t like how he pressures Katniss, and I really don’t like how he makes her feel guilty about what she felt she had to do with Peeta in the Games, and then subsequently beginning to care about him a great deal.
I’m not sure if this was supposed to be a love triangle sorta thing, but from my perspective, it’s more of a “Katniss cares deeply about two people, and one of them loves and cares for her and the other is possessive of her” thing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Overall, I loved Catching Fire, and I can’t wait to start reading the final book of the series, Mockingjay.
Tell me what you thought of the book! Loved it, hated it, neutral about it?
Until next time~