Post by Ashley
The second installment in the Hunger Games trilogy just came out at the beginning of this month. We had a low grocery bill last week, so I justified adding the $12 book to the cart instead of waiting for four months for my name to come up on the library waiting list. Just like the first, the storyline and writing are extremely engaging. It's the kind of book you shouldn't pick up on a day when you have lots of other things to do. Because the other things you have to do simply won't get done.
The first half of the book was relatively slower paced (though still gripping), but a surprising midbook twist will have you biting your fingernails all the way to the last page. Definite cliffhanger.
As a cohesive, stand-alone book, Catching Fire doesn't measure up to its predecessor. The plot feels slightly scattered, and I finished it feeling like, That was awesome ... but was this book really necessary? It seemed like the plot-forwarding elements introduced in it could easily have been packed into the end of the first and beginning of the third installments. Yes, Katniss and Peeta defied the Capital. Yes, she's become an unwitting symbol for revolution. Yes, she's unsure how exactly she feels about Peeta. These are things I already knew as the first book finished, and they're basically the three points that Catching Fire focuses on. So no earth-shattering revelations here. Just a further developing of plot points that were already in place. There's no doubt that this book acts as a kind of knot-tier between first and third, as do most second books in trilogies. (Obviously I haven't read the third, but this is what I imagine after reading the second.)
That being said, I still say the book is a must-read. It's a great series, and I am really excited to see how the third book will end it all.