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review: “catching fire” August 16, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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[Please run away if you haven’t read “The Hunger Games!” There will be spoilers in the review for the first book.]


Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.
Scholastic // ARC // 400 pages.
Reviewed from an ARC, received through ALA Annual Conference 2009.

No one thought Katniss Everdeen would walk away alive from The Hunger Games, especially not with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. But now they have caught the eye of The Capitol. And a government known for creating The Hunger Games in the first place is rarely known as a forgiving government. They are known for revenge. As Katniss is thrown into more unexpected circumstances, she fights to figure out who she is and to remain true to herself.

I loved this book. I am dying to talk about it. I cannot wait until it comes out and I won’t have to worry about spoiling people. This book made my jaw drop. I cried. I flailed. And you can bet that I pouted when I turned the last page and discovered there weren’t any more words. Furthermore, you can understand that I also squealed and immediately re-read the entire book.

I’m having a hard time saying all the things I want to because there are huge twists and turns in this book that I can’t imagine talking about until everyone else has read it.

That being said, I loved where this book took characters that we’ve already established, I loved the sense of immediacy and urgency that Collins builds for her readers, I loved revisiting The Hunger Games (and this whole world) under different circumstances.

This book ends on a horrible cliffhanger. I am already dying for the next book in the series and we don’t have a name, release date, or cover for it. That’s really the only downside in this amazing book.

Pre-order it now if you haven’t and expect long lines at your library. The sophomore slump does not exist. Not in Suzanne Collins’s world.

SWAN catalog
Suzanne Collins



review: “the hunger games” July 23, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Scholastic // Hardcover // 384 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Let me first say that I have to thank two of my co-workers for nagging me to start this book. So, thanks Sarah and Amanda: you were right. This book is amazing.

I’ve never been a big sci-fi reader. In fact, I’ve been disappointed by a lot of sci-fi. Especially but sci-fi that’s full of alternative world building and long drawn-out explanation of weaponry and spacesuits. Okay, so it sounds like I hate sci-fi. Not true — I really liked “The Adoration of Jenna Fox.” And I would highly classify that as sci-fi.

And I loved “The Hunger Games.”

Katniss was a real character, a character that drew me in from the beginning of the book. You see, I have a little sister. And I know that I would do exactly what Katniss does for Prim. In a heartbeat.

The action of this book, the adventure was like a downward spiral. I kept reading faster and faster, yet when I finished turning the last page, I nearly cried because the book was over and I knew the story wasn’t. And when I found out that this was a trilogy, I thought I would go mad from waiting for the next books.

This fire — for lack of a better term — has calmed down…if only slightly.

Collins is a master world builder. I knew everything I needed to so that I could understand the story, but I wasn’t bogged down in the details. The few things that were told to us about the evolution of Katniss’s world were necessary, were plot points, and were welcome.

I think I’ve finally realized what makes a truly successful sci-fi story. It is not the world building and details. It is the characters. And the characters in “The Hunger Games” are the first sci-fi characters I’ve related to so closely, so immediately.

A highly recommended, addictive read that will have teens impatiently on the edges of their seats for the sequels.

SWAN catalog
Suzanne Collins