Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.
After watching the new film, The Hunger Games, my love for this series has been rekindled and I was eager to get back into reading the other books in the series. Faced with a stack load of revision I decided that this was going to be the holiday that I picked up a good book again. Not one that's on my English reading list, but some good old teenage fiction. It is fair to say that I was slightly distressed when 30 pages into reading this novel, the select button on my Kindle decided to stop functioning rendering it useless. I immediately ran for my laptop determined to keep reading this captivating novel and I haven't moved since. Six hours later, I have finally finished Catching Fire, my bum is completely numb from the lack of activity and my laptop has heated up so much I think it might just melt - but it was worth it.
Catching Fire is the second instalment in The Hunger Games trilogy and picks up right where the first book left off. After Katniss and Peeta were both crowned victors of the 74th annual Hunger Games, there have been murmurs of rebellion in all twelve district of Panem and it's fair to say the Capitol is not happy. The whole point of the Hunger Games is to remind the twelve districts of the power of the Capitol and Katniss has seriously undermined their authority by threatening to commit suicide alongside her 'lover' Peeta at the end of the last Hunger Games. The Capitol had no choice but to let there be two victors that year or face having no victor at all but now Katniss and Peeta must bear the consequences. Katniss has become a Mockingjay, a symbol of rebellion for all those in Panem and the Capitol is determined to suppress this. With the 75th annual Hunger Games coming up, or the third Quarter Quell, a special Hunger Games with a twist that comes about only once every 25 years, the Capitol's got a trick up it's sleeve to quiet the unrest in Panem, and it's a shocker.
Whilst the first instalment of the series is predominantly a dystopia novel, there were some suggestions of a romance forming between Peeta and Katniss. This is explored much further in the second novel as the pair have to face the Capitol together. Whilst their relationship was all an act in order to survive in the arena (at least from Katniss' point of view), their lives are now forever intertwined by the Capitol. Personally, what I find most interesting about this series is the love triangle between Peeta, Gale and Katniss and since the first Hunger Games is over the focus moves onto this strand of the plot.
As I mentioned before, I literally just sat down and read this book for six hours straight. That is how addictive it is. I was completely engrossed in the novel and was basically dead to the world until I finished it. This book is a real page turner that's really easy to read. The plot flows from page to page seamlessly so you don't even realise how much content you're going through. There were a lot of shocking moments for me during this novel that I, in no way shape or form, saw coming, which is refreshing after reading so many predictable teen novels. This book took hold of me from the moment I read the very first word and I was completely drawn into the world of Katniss Everdeen. There are some really beautiful and heart warming moments but also some which have you tearing your hair out or clasping your hand to your mouth in shock. This book made my heart pound like few books have done before it and is definitely one of the books at the top of my recommendations list. Whilst there are some elements that are similar to those of the first book, this book is still full of completely original ideas and it isn't in the least bit repetitive.
Now that I've finished reading the book and it's review, I'm straight off to read the third and final instalment of the trilogy, despite the mountainous pile of revision I've got to get through. Yep, it's so good that A-Levels have been completely shoved to the back of my brain. If you haven't read the series or watched the film then you are seriously missing out on what's deemed to be the 'next Harry Potter and Twilight' and I highly recommend this book to boys and girls of all ages for a thoroughly gripping read.