Sunday, September 19, 2010

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

I'm a bit on the fence on this one. Not in the way whether it's a good book or not, but how i feel about it. The one thing i can say for certain is that i liked the first book more. I literally could not put the first one down. The same could not be said about this one till Katniss got to the games again. 

The whole first half of the book was quite depressing and a bit disturbing at times. I understand that Suzanne Collins was trying to represent a tyrannical government and she succeeded. Perhaps she succeeded a bit too much. When i go to pick up a YA book i look for a good time. Not something that gives me nightmares and disturbing thoughts for days. I really wasn't prepared for it. In some ways i think it crossed a line from being a YA book to an adult book. 

That isn't to say i don't think the book was brilliantly crafted. I loved the expanded characters and the small rebellions that were going on. I loved Katniss the best when she stopped being self absorbed and was being kick ass and f-you to the Capital. I understand the girl is seventeen but there comes a time when she needs to stand on her own two feet and suck it up. She really appeared quite weak in spirit sometimes and always seemed to need to be told what to do. I hated how the other tributes had to make sure Peeta stayed alive so Katniss wouldn't fall apart. That really shouldn't have been the case. A good leader needs to face adversity and be willing stay strong in the face of loss. I really miss how she was more self-reliant in the first book. From what i heard about the next book Katniss is just going to keep on becoming a more and more pathetic heroine. 

I will say Peeta grew on me some in this book. The only thing is that i still like Gale better. Peeta really has no place in the rebellion. There is no fire to him. While Gale is burning with it. He'd be more suited to stay with "the girl on fire" than the boy who can't even make it down a beach without needing to be saved. 

I'm not sure when i will get my hands on the third book since i'm at the bottom of the pile at the library. I'm almost glad since it'll give me a reprieve to be able to digest things over a longer period of time. 

Final rating: 4 1/2 Bunnies.

Even with some disturbing elements it's better than half of the other YA books out there (cough twilight series sucks cough)