Hold Your Breath For 'Catching Fire' [It's Worth It]

catchingfireCatching Fire. Yes, dear readers, that Catching Fire. The MUCH anticipated sequel to Suzanne Collins’ dystopic thriller Hunger Games magically appeared in my mailbox just before the long weekend. And let me just say thank goodness for that. Because, honestly, it pretty much took all of that time to consume and digest the second heart-wrenching installment of Katniss Everdeen’s trials and tribulations. Oh, Katniss.

Rest assured, I wouldn’t dare deprive fans of the same roller coaster reading experience.  So, no plot details here but, get ready for some vague emphatic praise because WOW does it deliver. More than that. It sends. Literally. If readers think they know what life after the “Games,” the annual death match that takes place between children ages 12-18 in the fictional nation of Panem, brings for Katniss, Peeta and their families, they don’t. Even if they guess at a sliver of what’s in store for these characters, there is no preparing for the emotional deftness with which Collins handles its progression. Seriously, my eyes started tearing up 15 pages in, my heart was in my throat by the end of part one and by the end , well, I literally staggered out of my bedroom and said, “But.. how..?” (as in how can I wait an entire year for the third book..) Sigh.

All gushing aside though, I should warn that the novel isn’t without its moments of intense frustration. Yes, I know, withholding information and building suspense come with the territory of a second act, but still! There were times I just wished I could reach in and shake Katniss for her denseness. In my head, I begged her to just ask one more question, to just get one more answer!

On the bright side, for teens who read this together (and like its predecessor, this is totally one of those books you are compelled to pass on with a conspiratorial whisper, “You have to read this”) it does present a prime opportunity for some lengthy speculation and quality fan fiction both online and off. And surely, reading and writing some of that material will make the wait for book three slightly more bearable. Just slightly.

For more coverage of YA books and publishing, check out the Ypulse Books Channel sponsored by The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (LB Teens).

3 Comments

  1. Catching Fire – on Fire! « Jacket Whys

    [...] the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion. (CIP) Ages 12+. Reviews: 1, 2. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Disappointment!!!Fantasy Loves Circles – [...]

  2. » Blog Archive » The Jacket Covers, Wh

    [...] Hunger Games: In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place. (CIP) Ages 12+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Trailer. Videos of Collins talking about the Hunger Games. Catching Fire: By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion. (CIP) Ages 12+. Reviews: 1, 2. [...]

  3. Ypulse Best And Worst Of 2009: Books | Ypulse

    [...] Fire. Suzanne Collins’ second book in "The Hunger Games" series was, as Meredith wrote, well worth the wait. I can’t spoil too much, but it begins with the complications of Katniss Everdeen’s (who, along [...]

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