In that one slight motion, I see the end of hope, the beginning of the destruction of everything I hold dear in the world. Katniss Everdeen, p. 75
Suzanne Collins’ second book in The Hunger Games series is “Catching Fire,” and like I had previously mentioned, it is my favorite. This 212-page-long book is about life after the Games: the political and romantic consequences of Katniss’ desperate actions as she struggles to save her life and Peeta´s. After getting back to her hometown, Katniss faces the magnitude of her defiance to the power of the Capitol by being threatened and manipulated into trying to pacify the anger of the districts that are eager to break free from their misfortune. Katniss finds herself trying to please the unforgiving President, subdue the violent districts, protect her loved ones no matter the cost and as if this wasn’t enough, pick between Gale and Peeta, who continuously drive her crazy with their mood swings and love declarations. Throughout all the events and parties, Katniss struggles to find a solution to her dilemma until finally, either by chance or as punishment, she is faced with something completely unexpected that hadn’t occurred even in her worst nightmares. She is going back to the arena.
Collins, once again, meets our expectations by developing the characters even further, providing a little more of Haymitch´s background and giving the audience a clue of who he really is – when he´s not drunk, of course. Reading this book again, I was surprised to notice how much content Collins managed to provide without compromising the detail and emotional depth.
As a Peeta fan, something else I had previously been unwilling to acknowledge is that Gale is a pretty good choice as well. It feels wrong to write this, but it is true. I had failed to see Gale as a passionate, loyal, selfless and brave man who is willing to fight for others to have the freedom he could seek for himself if he just ran into the wilderness with Katniss like she asks him to. That’s pretty cool. I still like Peeta the most, though.
Contrasting the book and movie was similar to the comparison in my first review. The most important parts of the book were included in the movie but had some slight modifications when it came to where things took place and the scenes that portrayed more of the Capitol than the book. On the other hand, details such as the extravagant clothing, makeup, decoration, feasts and even the shallowness of the Capitol’s citizens were very accurately represented. Although Katniss and Peeta´s romance wasn´t developed as much in the movie as it was in the book – some important romantic scenes are cut out – it was definitely more thorough than the first movie. In my opinion, the biggest weakness of the movie was the lack of Katniss´ internal monologue. Her perspective is what draws us and makes us feel invested in her battle when we read the book, but when we watch the movie, she sometimes just comes across as quiet, indecisive and cranky.
Overall, Collins did a great job of keeping us glued to the book with the unfolding of her creative and exhilarating story and faithful character development. The movie summarized the main parts of the book dependably, and the actors and actresses did a great job at portraying the characters´ personalities and struggles.