So I signed up for the Clear-Off-Your-Shelves Challenge and I have books I need to finish for my after-school book clubs. I really was going to check out Catching Fire on CD, just to listen to as I ran errands. It wasn’t available at my library in CD, but I did find the book there, just waiting for me. All other reading material has had to wait.
Let’s talk about Gale, Katniss, Peeta, and all other things connected with The Hunger Games and Catching Fire (I’m not done yet –maybe 75 pages to go–so please don’t give anything away!).
Things I’m loving:
1. The world building is not overdone or over-explained. Collins has created a really intriguing and disturbing place that isn’t bogged down with extras.
2. The pacing of the two novels is so different, and it works. The hyper-speed pacing of Catching Fire assumes our understanding of the first book (with some introductory material for those new readers) but also mirrors the urgency in the possible rebellion.
3. The romance is too fun. I really like Gale and would have picked him for Katniss if there weren’t this Peeta guy.
4. The development as Haymitch’s character (through backstory) is interesting, as is the relationship between Katniss and Haymitch. He’s a multi-layered character I’d love to learn more about. Book three?
5. The commentary on modern society is scathing. Though we are not these people, we treat violence at entertainment without a second thought. I so wish I had known of The Hunger Games while teaching about ancient Rome.
6. I love the way Katniss out-smarted the Capitol. Only in taking her death into her own hands did she have any control.
7. While reading The Hunger Games I kept thinking there was no way both Peeta and Katniss would be killed. The change in rules (to keep two from a District alive) and the sudden switch back (to only have one Victor) were excellent plot devices.
Things I would have done differently:
1. I found the Tribute muttations at the end of The Hunger Games a little much. I understand the idea: even in death these people are not in control of their destiny. Still, a little goofy.
Actually, I think that’s it! The rest I’ve found really compelling. How about you? What are your thoughts on this series?