#728 – Book Review: Catching Fire
This weekend will see another blockbuster gracing the silver screen. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire looks to dominate the box office and add more excitement to the world of Katniss Everdeen. I plan on seeing the movie this weekend but thought I’d read through the book before catching the film.
Here are some thoughts I had while reading Catching Fire.
I like Katniss Everdeen. I think she is a strong, well-written, multi-layered character. In my review of The Hunger Games I wrote that Katniss was a much better role model than Bella Swan from the Twilight series. The Hunger Games did a great job of establishing Katniss as a strong character and Catching Fire better showed us the world in which she lives. Panem is a country founded on social injustice and the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Suzanne Collins does a great job of identifying the social injustices in our country by pointing them out in Katniss’s. Luckily for us we can work against social injustice by serving those in need instead of having to fight to the death.
Katniss’s life is very different after she wins the Hunger Games. She does get to experience the benefits of her newfound wealth, but she also has to deal with the pressure of standing up to the Capital. Her small act of rebellion in the arena upset President Snow and the Capital. Instead of living a quiet life back in District 12, Katniss is forced to protect those that she loves. Without giving away too much, Katniss commits to sacrificing herself for those that she cares about. Instead of living for her own desires or her own wellbeing, she wants to place the needs of others above her own. This is one of the characteristics that makes Katniss such a strong character. While she does have a self-centered inner monologue, she usually acts in the best interests of others. And while we all can’t be an expert archer, we can all seek the good of others above our own.
Katniss’s world is defined by her relationships. It’s interesting to note that even when she’s thrust into unbelievable circumstances, it’s still her relationships that matter most. The same is true for each of us. Our circumstances are always going to be changing, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. The people we have walking with us through those circumstances, though, don’t have to change. I know that my wife will be with me no matter what, as will my two best friends. God created us for relationships. He knows we need people to support us through the difficult seasons and celebrate with us during the joyful seasons. Having those relationships made Katniss’s difficult seasons more bearable and it can do the same for us.
I enjoyed Catching Fire more than The Hunger Games. While reading The Hunger Games I was far more interested in the political plot than the romantic plot. Catching Fire focused more on the politics and kept the teenage girl drama to a minimum. I’m excited to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this weekend as I really enjoyed the original movie.
What are your thoughts about the book Catching Fire?