Saturday, November 14, 2009
Reading The Hunger Games, the first of the Hunger Games series, I was hooked into reading the next book, Catching Fire. When I started reading the book, I didn't know it was going to start a long series that Collins would hope to become the next Twilight. It's certainly not the next Twilight, but it still is gaining a lot of teenage readers.
I thought the concept of the series was really unique. I think it's an interesting way to look at a post-apocolyptic world. Total government control. Extreme poverty. Overworking. Starvation. Human beings as entertainment (especially toying with their lives). Sounds like reality TV, eh?
The first book did a great job at hooking me in. The last line of the first book basically set up the next book. It was a cliffhanger to leave the reader hanging. And what did I do? I bought the next book just like others who read the first book like me.
If you have not read Catching Fire, you might not want to read everything below this line.
We all knew the second book was going to be about the tour. But the book was set up in different "books" or sections which took the plotline in different directions. We start off with the tour where Katniss keeps trying to fool others that she is in love with Peeta. They try to prove to the Capital (and to the people) that they are going to get married, and eventually Peeta even drops that Katniss is pregnant, even though she is not.
I won't lie that I get very bored with Katniss's act to fool everyone. Her internal narrative definietly bores me at times. She says the same things over and over and worries about the most predictable plot details. If I heard her say that she had to save Peeta in the arena one more time, I was going to scream!!
At the beginning of the book, Katniss parades around with her mockingjay which ends up being a sign for revolt. Katniss, unknowingly, makes a comment about her dead lost friend to their district, Rue, and the district revolts. Different districts start revolting, and Katniss is their unofficial leader.
Almost as a way to get rid of them, the president sends all (I should say most) of the winners from previous Hunger Games into the arena. This is his way to kill off Peeta and/or Katniss. Especially since they are young and fresh, they might get killed off by more talented, wisened, skilled hunters from previous years who have had more practice and studying.
I thought sending them back into the arena was a bit lame. I thought we were getting away from the Hunger Games in this book. I thought maybe they'd send in Gale (Katniss's real love??) to piss off Katniss. They definitely drew out their love affair. I get so frustrated with Katniss's thoughts as she torn between these two men. I'm having a very hard time liking this narrator as she frustrates me more than makes me want to keep reading. I want to read more to get to the end than to enjoy her telling of the story.
The last third of the book transfers to the Hunger Games where Peeta and Katniss team up with older, stronger winners from previous years. Katniss's main focus this year is to keep Peeta alive (as aforementioned), but more unexpected turns come in the arena. They insert a force field, introduce new animals, and use new weapons. Katniss's team tries to rig up an explosion which eventually triggers her group's rescue from the Hunger Games.
Katniss wakes up in a hospital where she will now assist her friends in revolting against the government, hence book three. And just like the first one, Collins leaves us with something to think about until the next book comes out: Katniss kept eluding to a District 12 where they could escape. But, at the end, she reveals that there is no District 12. Yikes! Then what was it? Where will they go now? How will they revolt? Will they succeed? (Probably)
I think it is a good read for young adults; I think I'm just having trouble reading it as an adult. It may be a little violent, but it's not anything too much worse from what's on television. And it is thought provoking. It could draw up some really interesting coversations too.
I do get a little tired of the simplicity of the reading. Maybe I'm used to more in depth reading. I just think Collins tells us more than she shows us. I want to analyze and interpret on my own. She tells too many things and repeats too many things. Maybe it's because it's a young adult novel. Teenagers like to be told information. They don't always like to 'figure it out for themselves.' Well, then they'd like this book. It says it all for them!
Does anyone know how many books there are going to be in all? Has it been announced? Does anyone know the next title?
Maybe I'm being too critical of this book. I really liked the first book and was completely hooked. I just felt a little bored with this one. It was too repetitive like the first one, too many similarities. And this time, unlike the first, the narrator bothered me. Hopefully the third book will impress me more. I will buy it. I will read it. I will recommend it. I just can't admit that I really enjoyed it. Have others enjoyed it?
What do you think of Catching Fire?