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Customer Review

28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Repititive, unnessecary love triangle and a whiny Katniss, March 25, 2010
This review is from: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games) (Hardcover)
Let me first start on the supposedly love triangle in this book. In the first book, we only have a few pages of Katniss talking to her best friend Gale (few meaning, maybe around 5 pages or so). We then completely forget about Gale in the first book and we get a lot of Peeta instead. Now in the second book, Katniss is suddenly saying she wants Gale, and doesn't want anyone else to have him, and how could she be so blind and never see it before? Blahblahblah, we still see Gale only in flashbacks (yes .. flashbacks), and on another few pages. The rest is still Peeta.

Now I'm supposed to be rooting for Katniss and Gale? What kind of love triangle is this? Not only do I loathe love triangles, this one is just pathetically written. We barely see Gale, yet we're supposed to believe Katniss really cares for him. Then we're supposed to believe that Peeta loves Katniss, even though she's a selfish, whiny girl who would kill him if it ever suited her.

Katniss became very whiny and selfish in this book. She lost her spunk from the first book, the one where she didn't care she was being honest to herself and kill anyone she'd like. Now she's telling herself that she needs to save her family! Because otherwise they'd be killed, because of her! She muses about Gale and the complications of a relationship with him. Then she talks about running away, like a big fat coward. Then she needs to make sure Peeta stays alive, not because she likes/loves him, but because she owes him big time. Ugh, this whiny selfish girl was really annoying to read about the entire time. Where did Katniss go from the first book?

Then there's the Quarter Quell (or something), just another Hunger Games in disguise. Katniss and Peeta are thrown into the Quarter Quell because the author has lost any ideas for the plot, and guesses, hey the first book did so well, let's throw them back in there! It was horrible. It wasn't exciting like the first book. The first book made you very aware of Katniss's weaknesses, and that she needed water and food constantly, and be on the look out of other tributes. This quarter quell is about nothing but gaining allies (that she didn't want anyway), she gets weapons first before water, and water and food are easily thrown in her lap because of the sponsors. The only threat they really have, is the actual Gamemakers trying to kill them with monsters/lightning etc. The quarter quell also happens in the third part of the book, so it's written as if the author was in a rush, and it really feels sloppy.

Now ... those were the annoying parts of the book. Which brought it down to a 3 star rating. The pathetic love triangle, the whiny main character, and the sloppy written Quarter Quell.

The best part of the book is easily Peeta, he makes reading this whole thing worth it. He's the most sympathetic and honest character in the whole book. You can't help but root for him, but you have to wonder what a great guy like him, sees something in the whiny and selfish girl Katniss. He still loves her, and would give his life for her ... for some reason. Even so, Peeta is the light and heart of this story. Without him, all we'd be reading about are unsympathetic characters who are trying to overthrow the capitol. Like Katniss says, he's good with words, and he is. Reading about Peeta definitely makes everything feel lighthearted and safe, because Peeta protects everyone and is the big, lovable guy in the bunch.

Then there's the rebels trying to overthrow the capitol. It starts very ... very slowly in the beginning. If you weed out the whining of the main character, you can see that the districts are trying to stand up against the capitol, but because they are all separated, none of the districts know about the others trying to rebel. There's a lot of corrupt politicians involved, and people working undercover. Katniss's symbol, the Mockingjay, has now become the rebel's symbol. For some reason, Katniss has become the starting point of the rebels, and she is now the anchor to the overthrow. I don't know why, as Katniss really is nothing special, I'd figured Peeta would be the one who wins people to his side, not Katniss.

Either way, Catching Fire is just a bridge book between the first and last. I really want to know what happens next, as I expect the capitol to go down, a few characters get killed, and I'm hoping to god that the author decides to throw away the silly love triangle, and just decide on Katniss's partner already (or none, as that would suit her more). Catching Fire is just something to read for fans of the first book, so that they can wait until the third one comes out.

Had Catching Fire ever stood alone as a single book, I would have undoubtedly given this a 1, as this feels so incomplete, rushed, and filled with characters who are such backstabbing bastards and really don't invoke any sympathy in me. However, I give it a 3 star rating because it continues to the story of the first book, and Peeta is still in there to save the story. Let's just hope he'll be int he third book as well.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 29, 2010 12:41:20 PM PDT
I cant really disagree with anything that you said, only add that growing up with sisters and remembering them when they were 17, it's not such a stretch for me to forgive Katniss flopping back and forth between whiny, self-serving Katniss and caring, confused Katniss. Catching Fire might not have the same wallop as The Hunger Games, but it is still a brilliant portrayal of what adolescent girls must go through painted against a Stalinesque backdrop. It's not perfect, but it works, and I couldn't stop turning the pages!

Posted on Jul 18, 2010 10:33:30 AM PDT
Book Lover says:
I am in total agreement with what you wrote about Peeta. Wonderful character.

Posted on May 9, 2012 11:18:59 AM PDT
Gone Fishing says:
Totally agree with your comments. First two thirds of the book was just plain boring. The last third is where all the action happens - the Games. First they hide from each other, then they join together and go up and down the hills to the water and back to the jungle, eat all they want, talk nonsense. And finally they defeat the system the smart engineers from the Capital designed with the wire the size of human hair that can carry the electric current of a lightening. Common now...

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 6:42:02 AM PST
A. Rippey says:
"I wanted to experience Katniss's first meeting with Gale after she returned from the Games. I wanted be part of her trying to get her life together after her horrific experiences. But that's not the way this story is told."

I think this is the core reason you gave such a tainted review. I have no idea why you 3 raters (haters) wrote this diatribe on this wonderful book. It sounds like you need your Harlequin Romance novels again. The movie even follows the main premise of this book. You wrote a novel-sized review about your disappointments and that is all. It's supposed to be a book review, not how disappointed you are with yourself that you can't find a book that matches your statement above.
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