Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

It’s bizarre how I posted about The Hunger Games last Thursday after I finished reading it the night before and then I was able to finish Catching Fire last Sunday. I was planning to give myself a week of break from reading so my eyes could also rest. But instead of a week, my hands started to itch so I ended up reading the second book after a day. It’s a good thing that all the books are out because the waiting could have been unbearable for me. The last series I read was the Twilight Saga. I have to admit that the first book got me hooked. The second was terrible. The third was bearable. And when Breaking Dawn came, I read it just for the sake of finishing the series. The Hunger Games is a very hard act to follow so I was apprehensive whether Catching Fire could deliver. But it didn’t simply deliver. It definitely surpassed The Hunger Games. This is probably the first book that I literally couldn’t put down that I even had to break my own rule of not reading inside a moving vehicle! :p

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The pacing is perfect. Writing is definitely extraordinary. I remember promising myself that I’d stop reading at a certain chapter. But that chapter made me want to know what would happen next so I’d read the next. It turned into a cycle that’s why my husband was so surprised that I finished the book in two days.

It’s nice that Collins was able to quickly go through some important parts of the first book and continues with how the Hunger Games affected not only Katniss and Peeta but also the other previous victors. I love how the old characters have developed and how their past experiences have somehow led them to their present. Some of my questions which rooted from the first book, like how Haymitch won the Hunger Games are clearly discussed.

With the constant reminders of Rue’s death, Cinna’s deeper relationship with Katniss and the addition of a very heartbreaking end for Mags, Collins absolutely took advantage of every reader’s vulnerability. A lot of new interesting characters are also introduced. Although I already sensed it in the middle of how his character would turn out, Finnick is my favorite among the new characters.

Collins is really good with playing with the readers’ emotions and imagination. While reading, I despise the Capitol as every bad thing surrounding it somehow mirrors either the past or the present state of our society. Though some are over the top, the depictions of violence, hunger and abuse of power are close to reality.

The ending? Oh my goodness! It’s the best cliffhanger! Ever! But my eyes need to rest and I need to catch up some sleep. So I’ll start with Mockingjay… uhmmm… tomorrow! :p

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