>Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

>It has been an unbelievably long time since my last entry. Has it really taken me this long to find a worthy young adult novel? In a sense, yes, it has. I’ve started quite a few young adult novels since my last posting. I’ve also been wrapped up in some wonderful teacher-type books, the sort of reading I wouldn’t necessarily review here.

After reading The Hunger Games, I practically counted the days until the release of this second novel. Students did the same. The release of Catching Fire pushed many of my students to remarkable feats. One young many even called his mother to buy and drop off a copy during lunch. The buzz was unbelievable. Sometimes hype simply can’t be matched. Catching Fire is a wonderful follow-up, but it falls short.

I would liken my feelings for Catching Fire to Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue. I enjoyed the follow-up to The Giver, but it left me wanting more. Thankfully, Messenger, Lowry’s third in the series, conquered my appetite and tied up all of the loose ends. Suzanne Collins’ second offering, in my opinion, holds readers in place while she works to finish the story in book three. Just as Lowry sandwiched Gathering Blue between two outstanding novels, Collins, hopefully, will do the same.

The book is not without its high points. We learn more about Katniss and the strength of her relationship with Gale and Peeta. This is one serious love triangle. Collins presents it honorably and respectfully. We also see more government corruption, the kind that overpowers people, which plays into the theme of the series. Haymitch becomes sympathetic, and we begin to see cracks in the governmental facade. But these are just open acts, I hope, priming us for the main event in book three.

When all is said and done, Catching Fire left us wanting more. It was inevitable. We’ll just have to wait for book three. Catching Fire was a very good book. But like all sequels, it didn’t live up to the hype, an almost impossible task.

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Filed under Catching Fire, dystopian fiction, Katniss, Peeta, Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

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