≡ Menu

The Sunday Salon: I Finally Read ‘Catching Fire’

The Sunday Salon.com I’ve been on the waiting list for Catching Fire, the second book in Suzanne Collins Hunger Games series, for like six months now. I went to the library yesterday to pick up another book and discovered the book finally came for me! Yay!

So instead of working on a paper while I babysat last night, I just sat down and read the book straight though. I didn’t like it as much as I liked The Hunger Games, but second books in a series are tough. They have to continue the story, but they have to leave enough open to justify another book in the series. So second books are rarely my favorite anyway.

But, it’s impossible to deny that Catching Fire is compulsively readable and certainly made me want to get the third book when it comes out (when is it coming out??). I think the way Collins wraps up all the politics and stories and people is going to be awesome.

I don’t feel like reviewing the book since I’m probably the last person in the world to read it, so instead I’m just going to do some random thoughts. The rest of this post is full of spoilers. If you haven’t read Catching Fire, you plan to read it, and you hate spoilers, STOP READING NOW! I’m warning you, for real, stop reading.

CatchingFireAre you sure you want to keep reading? I’m serious about the spoilers. They start right now and I have lots of questions. Let’s discuss!

First of all, President Snow is a scary, scary guy! I would not want him around if I could help it. And all those Capitol people, ugh. Terrible. I hope seeing the victors get slaughtered will kick them into gear to help the rebellion.

And oh my gosh, they sent Katniss and Peeta and the other victors back to The Hunger Games? What? I did not see that coming at all. Do you think that really was the instructions in the Third Quarter Quell or did President Snow mess with the process in order to get back at Katniss and try to quell rebellion?

And Katniss, oh Katniss. She’s so oblivious to what’s going on around her sometimes, it’s aggravating. I know Haymitch and the others keep things from her, but sometimes I think she doesn’t put things together enough. Or maybe refuses to put them together. I’m not sure. And her romances, what to say about that?

I’m not sure I’m really on board with Team Peeta or Team Gale. I mean, Katniss seems to love both of them in different ways. But I also don’t think she really knows what love is or has had the chance to look at all of it and figure out what she wants. The Hunger Games have messed with her emotions so much I don’t think she’s ever had the chance to just sit down and decide what she wants. For people already on Team Gale or Team Peeta, why did you pick one wonderful guy over the other?

I loved Cinna in this one, not making Katniss be anything other than the powerful warrior she can be. The entrance and the costume and the wedding dress that turned into a mockingjay were awesome. I would love to see those costumes in a movie. Actually, this series would lend itself really well to film, I think. Thoughts?

And what is going to happen in the next book? I’m not sure I can even speculate. Obviously they’ve got to try and save Peeta, and get to District 13, and then eventually take on the Capitol. And Katniss is going to have to step up and be the symbol of the rebellion, although I really want her to find herself so she can be more than just a pawn. I think the realization at the end that even her allies were using her might spur that change, but I hope she doesn’t do anything foolish.

What else? Oh yeah, the pregnancy! What are they going to do about that? The baby is going to be a symbol too, but Katniss isn’t pregnant and Peeta isn’t around to get her pregnant… that’s going to be a sticky one. I hope there are no fake pregnancies. That would annoy me. But that whole issue is a big deal.

So that’s what I’ve got. There’s still so much to talk about! Talk to me, answer my questions, what was going on with this book? As good as the first? What do you think of what happened? What are your speculations for the next book?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kathy November 22, 2009, 2:49 pm

    I didn’t read the whole post since I haven’t read the book yet. My hubby’s read it and as soon as he closed the cover for the final time, he said, “Where’s the next one?”

    • Kim November 27, 2009, 4:12 pm

      Kathy: That’s exactly how I felt! This book had a serious cliffhanger.

  • Nymeth November 22, 2009, 6:32 pm

    I skipped the spoilers because I’m That Weird Girl Who Hasn’t Started This Series 😛 I go back and forth between wanting to read it soon or waiting until all three are out and spare myself the suffering. Then again, the suffering CAN be fun.

    • Kim November 27, 2009, 4:13 pm

      Nymeth: I remember the suffering between the Harry Potter books — the time between six and seven was awful! There’s one fantasy series I read in high school that I’m still waiting on the third book for… I think the author may never finish it. You might just wait for all three and read them straight though. I think that’d be interesting.

  • Eric November 22, 2009, 6:45 pm

    the Cliff Hanger has me dying for book three!


    • Kim November 27, 2009, 4:13 pm

      Eric: Thanks for the link to your site!

  • Samus November 22, 2009, 7:48 pm

    I love this series.

    ~Samus, admin of team-peeta.co.cc

  • softdrink November 22, 2009, 7:58 pm

    The return to the Hunger Games was actually a big disappointment for me. I felt that part of the first book dragged on, so when it happened again I was all “Nooooooo.” And Katniss’s cluelessness was another big turn-off. I wasn’t really feeling the love for this one. Until the end. OMG. The end. That made it all worthwhile.

    • Kim November 27, 2009, 4:14 pm

      softdrink: The part of the Games in this book went a lot faster than in the previous book, I thought. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to feel like Katniss was just out of it for major plot points. And yeah, the end… are you kidding me! I saw District 13 coming, but nothing else.

  • Kailana November 22, 2009, 8:10 pm

    This is a really great series! I am looking forward to book 3. 🙂

  • Jenny November 22, 2009, 8:20 pm

    I like Peeta – but I kind of want Katniss to go ahead and decide on neither, and do exactly as she said she wants to do, stay independent and not marry and have children. Like Queen Elizabeth!

    • Kim November 27, 2009, 4:15 pm

      Jenny: I sort of want that too. It’d be sort of refreshing to have her go with what she originally wanted rather than getting pushed into being with one or the other. I feel like we know a lot more about Peeta than Gale, so it’s hard for me to pick one or the other.

  • SuziQoregon November 24, 2009, 2:36 pm

    I think my two favorite characters in this one were Cinna and Finnick. I still have a soft spot for Haymitch too. At times I just wanted to smack Katniss and tell her to get a clue. I agree that she loves Peeta and Gale in different ways, but her cluelessness bugged.

    • Kim November 27, 2009, 4:16 pm

      SuziQOregon: I loved both of them too. Katniss needs a small smack on the head, and then a big hug and someone to sit down and talk through her problems with 🙂

  • Louise November 25, 2009, 11:27 am

    I liked this book a lot, but not as much as the first one. I am desperate for number three, and keep checking various sites to see if its out yet, even though I know that its not due until next year.

    I actually got my little brother (who is not so little, he is over 30) back into reading by lending him Hunger Games, and he came here the other day, almost panting, asking for Catching Fire 😉

    I was also a bit tired of Katniss and her indecisions. And I think I like Peeta better than Gale, but not sure. I forgot about the pregnancy! But now I remember.

    • Kim November 27, 2009, 4:17 pm

      Louise: I liked Book 1 better too. This one was just too much of a race to get to Book 3, I think. Still pretty good, but not as interesting as the first book.

  • Kay November 26, 2009, 9:19 pm

    I agree with a lot of what you said! The fact that Katniss couldn’t see what was so obvious for us really annoyed me, and the story’s repetition too. It was a page turner yes, with a very surprising twist (and huge cliffhanger!), but it really felt like a second in a series.

    As for the “teams”, I’m team Katniss all the way! I can’t choose between the two of them and I don’t believe that she should either, not until she has had some time to clear her head and make some clear decision.

    • Kim November 27, 2009, 4:18 pm

      Kay: Yay Team Katniss! I’ll jump on that bandwagon, even if she’s sort of clueless. I don’t think she should decide about either of them until she gets out of the spotlight and can actually act on her feelings without worrying about the bigger political consequences. It’s too bad all the formative years of her love life are being lived under this huge microscope.

  • Jennifer March 14, 2010, 3:47 am

    The pregnancy question makes me really nervous. I keep thinking about the way Katniss woke up at the end of the 74th Hunger Games with her stylists around her talking about surprising her with a breast augmentation. To me, it really drove home the point that her body is no longer hers. While I don’t believe that Katniss would ever have sex with Peeta or Gale, I wouldn’t put it past the medical ethics of either Panem or the rebels to artificially inseminate Katniss while she is unconscious. And I find that utterly frightening.

    • Kim March 15, 2010, 3:42 pm

      Jennifer: Ugh, that’s something I never really thought of! I hope that’s not the case… too awful.

  • KoolKendrSturk June 28, 2011, 9:48 pm

    I just recently started reading this series and love it!! I actually stayed up until about 2:30 one morning just to finish the first book! My favorite character has got to be Cinna, and it freaked me out when the Peacekeepers pounded him and made Katniss watch while it happened! The Pregnancy: Whoa. I was confused for a moment because Katniss had never mentioned anything happening between her and Peeta. But then I realized it was another act to A. Keep Haymitch happy. and B. To account for why he was trying so hard to protect her. Team Peeta! At first I was totally rooting for Gale, but then Peeta was just this sweet guy and comforted Katniss when she was having her worst experiences. I thought the Games kind of droned on a bit in the first book, but they kept it more brief in Catching Fire. I loved it!

    • Kim June 30, 2011, 5:43 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the book!