Friday, July 13, 2012

Reflections: Catching Fire

Catching fire is the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. I originally wanted to write a combined post on all three books, but realized that I had different things to write about each book, so here are my thoughts on the second book.

I definitely preferred the second book to the first book, probably because the gravity of the premise had finally sunk into me, or perhaps it was because of the progression of events in this book. The plot in this book deals with the possibility of a rebellion against the Capitol. It shows that even the supposedly mindless people of the Capitol still retained some humanity to feel compassion, sorrow, and intolerance towards callous cruelty. It was also a little relieving that there wasn’t as much violence as in the first book. Again, I could predict what the Quarter Quell had in store for Katniss, but I didn’t expect Katniss to be raised to such a high pedestal by the helpless people of the districts. Seeds are sown and the fire of rebellion slowly spreads. The first half of the book sets the stage.

And of course, some shape is given to the romance-triangle that seems to be the formula of every successful teen book - two incredibly awesome, perfect young men hopelessly in love with a confused, headstrong young woman. In addition to all the devastation that the girl witnesses and goes through, she is subject to yet another painful consideration to sort out her emotions and feelings. An ironic tragedy mixed with fairytale romance. This is another ultimate teenage fantasy. It sometimes gets saccharine to repeatedly read of how self-effacing and immaculately noble the men are, and how imperfect and volatile Katniss is, but, it makes for good dreaming. After all, good romance manipulates everyone - even the people of the Capitol.

Katniss and Peeta find themselves in yet another round of The Hunger Games and are thrown into a monstrous arena. Not knowing whom to trust and whom not to, the pair tries to survive for each other, but little do they know that the Game Planner and others have a bigger agenda in mind. The book ends with a completely disorienting suspense, making the third book in the series extremely sought after.

There is a lot of character development in this book, and the writing is as gripping as the first book. Hope and suspense mix into each other, making the second one a thrilling prelude to the final book.

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