Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, Book 2)

Catching Fire - Suzanne  Collins I found "Catching Fire" to be as engaging of a read as the first book in the series, if not expanding more on the political and personal turmoil that Katniss Everdeen undergoes as a winner of the dangerous and harrowing experiences she experienced in the Hunger Games. This book picks up where the first leaves off, where Katniss returns home as the dual winner of the event with Peeta. Things seem well for a while as the families of District 12 profit from Peeta and Katniss' win, but turmoil ensues in Katniss'conscience. She struggles with her tangled emotions between Peeta, her fellow competitor in the Games, and Gale, her hunting partner and the boy she left behind in District 12. Not only that, she learns that she's become a symbol of a rising resistance force against the Capitol, one that President Snow sheds light upon and threatens Katniss for inciting. As the resistance movement grows in power, Katniss struggles with her role, but is thrown into turmoil once again when former winners of the Hunger Games are called upon again to compete in a special showing of the Hunger Games, putting Katniss and Peeta back in the middle of the horrible ordeal once again. And in doing so, creates an all new set of challenges for Katniss to overcome, even down to the shocking ending of this particular book in the series.This book, in my opinion, had more symbolic value than the first book as it juggles both Katniss's personal and political roles in a refreshing way, all while retaining the same voice from the first book. There are many personal tragedies that come across in this book - and they feel very vivid and real and make the reader sympathize with the main character the whole way through. While Katniss is far from being a perfect heroine, there are moments that make you want to stand up for her as much as those where you sense her confusion, loss, and anger/anguish.Part of me suspected the events of the ending, but still left me in complete surprise the way they unfolded. You're caught in the confusion of events, but as Katniss sees clarity and learns the truth, it makes the unfolding of events that much more surprising. I think young adults will like this book because it juggles the atrocities of war, an interesting love triangle caught in the crossfire of events, and provides enough action and character dimensions to engage on many levels. Beautiful story, and I'm looking forward to reading the last installment of the series.Overall score: 4.5/5