Ms. Nystel has read this book!
***DO NOT READ if you have not read The Hunger Games. This is the second installment of the series and you will either be lost to referenced events or character development.***
Refer to my review of The Hunger Games at https://www.libib.com/reviews/566-387445
The best description for this book/series in 10 words or less:
"Girl with savior's complex and trust issues kills to survive."
I have read The Hunger Games series so many times that I lost count on how many times I have read it. I feel like the first book is full of so much world-building that you don't see as much of Katniss' growth as you can see it here. There is still some more world-building when it comes to seeing the other districts outside of District 12, but it's more character development and plot development that you see in this installment.
The twists and turns of this entire book were so good, which is why Catching Fire is my favorite book in the trilogy. I thought the arena was absolutely clever in how Suzanne Collins structured it. The part that really intrigued me was how much the other victors truly hated the Capitol. It makes sense but the things they do and say when they go through their pre-arena process. I liked being able to see Katniss' growth as she gets to know and work with the other victor tributes.
The first few times I've read this series I was all Team Gale, but as I get older I have become much more Team Peeta. I think it was Gale's boldness I liked but realized it's more of a boldness out of hatred of the Capitol rather than a real boldness for Katniss. Sure, Peeta never said anything to Katniss until their reaping and (coincidentally) found that the last time he could express his true feelings was then.
I think the star crossed lovers piece in this book is much easier to swallow because you start to see that it may not be entirely fake on either end. Peeta definitely softens Katniss' rough edges and you can see that through her time in both arenas with him.
And boy, that ending! I never saw that coming when I first read the series, but I won't give that away.
I think this book and series deserves all the praise it gets. It's usually one of the first book series I recommend to people who want to get into reading because it takes you for a wild ride.
Refer to my blog for a different view of this review:
School Library Journal and Common Sense Media: The violence includes deaths by stabbing, shooting, animal attacks, and poison, as well as torture, threats, and explosions. The language includes "s--t," and one bleeped out use of "f--k" and other expletives.