Read By: Caroline McCormick
This is the second book in The Hunger Games series and this review contains spoilers. Both Katniss and Peeta have achieved the impossible: they both survived The Hunger Games. Once you are declared the winner, there's no going back. However, the incident that lead to both of them winning is seen by President Snow and some of the districts as an act of rebellion against The Capitol instead of an act of love. Without even knowing it, Katniss has become a symbol for hope and a target for The Capitol. They get the biggest surprise of their lives when they are thrown back into the games for the Quarter Quell and the results are much different from the first time they went in. Can they both come out alive, again?
I have really enjoyed listening to these books. I loved learning more about the world they live in. I anticipated the love triangle that would play out between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. I was looking forward to learning more about Gale since he wasn't really a presence in the first book after she went off to the games. I like Gale but I still feel like I want to know more about him. It's obvious that he loves Katniss and I think she's leaning more towards him because of their history. However, I am Team Peeta all the way! I can't help but love him and I found myself wanting to scream at Katniss. I don't understand how she can be so clueless and it's borderline annoying. Their "fake" relationship was kind of painful knowing that she doesn't love Peeta back. The only thing she can think of to convince President Snow that she is in love is to kiss him a lot. She doesn't seem to really love either guy, in fact, it seems like she's confused because she feels sorry for both of them for liking her. So, I was disappointed in that aspect of the book.
I have to admit I liked the first book a lot more than this one. For a middle book, it delivers. There is action but not as much as the first book. We learn a lot more about the districts and what's been going on outside of District 12, which is nice but some of it was a little unnecessary. Katniss was ignorant to how much her performance at the games affected the world as she knew it. Also, I didn't like how she was left out of some key bits of information though I understand the reasoning behind it. Katniss is still a likable character but can be annoying at times especially when it comes to Peeta and Gale. The plot twists are a little far fetched. Like, first they have to get married because of President Snow, then they are already married, and then Katniss is pregnant? Lies on top of lies on top of more lies. Despite my gripes I still really enjoyed the book. There was more I needed to look past in the book though.
Since Caroline McCormick also read the first book, I knew what to expect going in. Still, it did bother me that Katniss sounded much older than I would have imagined her sounding. It wasn't too bad listening to her this time around and she does an okay job.
Catching Fire does a good job at setting up the final book Mockingjay and I can't wait to read it. The book ended with a cliffhanger but no type of wrap up. It just stops which I didn't like too much. If you're going to read this one I suggest having the next book handy.
Side note: After thinking about it, this series reminds me of The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld which isn't a bad thing. District 13 = The New Smoke, The Capitol = Special Circumstances, secret rebellions and people/animals being genetically altered.