Book: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Published: Scholastic, 2009
Pages: 391 pages
Where I got it: library
Buy It: Amazon
Summary (from Goodreads): Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol. Catching Fire maintains the adrenaline rush of Suzanne Collins's series launch.
My thoughts: The second installment in The Hunger Games trilogy was just as action packed and exciting to read as the first. I decided during book one that I was team Peeta, and Catching Fire confirmed my stance. I love Peeta's devotion to Katniss in this book, despite how he knows that a lot of it was acting on Katniss' part. The announcement of the way the Hunger Games will occur in their 75th year came as a complete shock to me, although looking back I should have expected something so dramatic from the evil President Snow. There was so much violence and betrayal present, I had to keep reminding myself that this is a series aimed at teens.
As with the first book, I liked how Collins portrayed Katniss as a real teen. There were times where she had selfish thoughts or arguments with the other victors but they were balanced out by the connections she made with Finnick and the older woman, Mags. The cliffhanger is pretty intense so I'd suggest if you're reading this series for the first time, you make sure you have Mockingjay on hand and some time on your hands because you will get sucked into the story! I finished Catching Fire in just a couple of days and dove immediately into Mockingjay, which is why I'm doing a combined review here. There are certain parts that are overlapping in my brain and I had to return the books to the library today, so I apologize if this review is lacking. I no longer have the books on hand to reference.
The verdict: 4 stars
Book: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Published: Scholastic, 2010
Pages: 400 pages
Where I got it: library
Buy It: Amazon
Summary (from Goodreads): Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Kattnis, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding.
My thoughts (*spoilers*): I've heard from quite a few people that the third and final installment of the Hunger Games series was a letdown. I would agree that it's not on the same level as the first two, but I did not feel completely let down. I enjoyed reading about life in District 13 during the rebellion from the Capitol. It was a nice change of pace from the first two books being set during the Games. Mockingjay is set during an all out war. I believe this book also has the most violence in it out of the three. It was interesting to see a completely different, hijacked Peeta. I was still rooting for his recovery all along and happy with how Collins ended the story as far as Katniss and Peeta's relationship went.
However, I was really bummed about the deaths of both Finnick and Prim. Finnick's death seemed very unemotional for Katniss which was a little unbelievable to me after how close they had gotten. He was finally able to be happy with his one true love, Annie, and Collins killed him off without much of a second thought. Prim's death was just awful. The whole series began with Katniss volunteering for her sister so that she would not be put in harm's way, and she still ended up gone too young. I also felt that there were far too many details unresolved. After the rebellion and defeating the Capitol, was life really better for the people of Panem? What became of Gale or Annie and she and Finnick's child? Overall, this was a great trilogy that was fun and quick to read, but I would have enjoyed a more detailed wrap up of the story from Collins.
The verdict: 3 stars