Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
I really liked The Hunger Games. But I love the new book, Catching Fire…Collins has done that rare thing. She has written a sequel that improves upon the first book…Katniss is more sophisticated in this book, and her observations are more acute. We see this when she notices how much more difficult it is to kill people once you know them, or when she observes the decadent (and for the reader perhaps uncomfortably familiar) citizens of the Capitol gorging and then taking pills to make themselves vomit, or with her gradual realization that she may just stand for something greater than herself. All this is accomplished with the light touch of a writer who truly understands writing for young people: the pacing is brisk and the message tucked below the surface.