When I’m not writing, I make sure to spend some quality time with books–because my love of reading is what sparked my love of writing in the first place! Here are some of my favorite gems, originally posted on my review blog.
Catching Fire (Requires a Secluded Room for Gasping Out Loud)
by Suzanne Collins
As if the first Hunger Games wasn’t spectacular enough, Suzanne Collins outdid herself on my personal favorite of the trilogy. Catching Fire from start to finish is gripping and near impossible to put down. I was actually glad of a client cancellation for the chance to get through more of this amazing read. Following the racing pace the first book set, this one continues to rise in tempo with all the mounting threats becoming greater and greater until the devastating and simply stated end. This book had me so engaged you’d have to grapple it out of my hands and even then, I might bite you in the arm. My favorite thing about this book though were the constant twists and surprises.
WTF Moment #1 The Victors tour when they visit District 11. Their appearance there started off awkward and fumbly. Katniss desperately wanted to keep attention away from her and Peeta because Snow had threatened her so early on in the book. Peeta’s own kindheartedness gets the better of him and he unwittingly one-ups Snow. But when Katniss speaks out to the families and they respond with rebellion? From that point on, you know the rebellion sunk in and she’ll never be able to act as Snow wants her to. Especially when they all salute her and the man whistles the four notes. It was an absolutely bone-chilling moment.
WTF Moment #2 Thread’s reign as Peacekeeper sent tremors of change through District 12. More notably, what he does when Gale’s caught. Gale and Katniss have been tense through the whole beginning half of the book, but moments of their deep friendship poke through even if they’re stolen away seconds later. The scene where Gale’s being flogged made my jaw drop. Not only was the beating so brutally described, but you felt the extreme emotions of their changed home along with Katniss. Everything Thread did, from tossing Darius over to become an Avox, trying to trick Katniss into getting caught beyond the fence and Gale’s beating drives in a personal sense of how desperate these times have become.
WTF Moment #3 The 75th Annual Hunger Games. Every second of this was a constant surprise from the horrifying announcement that demanded the victors return to the games to the fierce reactions of everyone around them. The scenes that had me shouting, cheering and literally yelling out ‘what the fuck’ were all regarding this part of the book. First off, Cinna’s mockingjay costume. He’s a side character, but a constant sense of support for Katniss and seemingly someone who has a calm sort of vibe surrounding him. So when he pulls out this ballsy ‘fuck you’ to the Capitol via Katniss, I was floored. It made the scene as Katniss was leaving him all the more devastating when he’s dragged away and you know there’ll be no return for him. From there, Finnick Odair stole the show. He was a constant puzzle that surprised you in the end. All their time figuring out this Hunger Games led to the amazing moment where Katniss discovers where to aim her arrow. And breaks open the arena so they can escape to District 13.
But of course Suzanne Collins couldn’t leave her ending on something like that. Katniss wakes up to discover Peeta’s been taken to the Capitol and Gale’s by her side to tell her that District Twelve is gone. This was the Empire Strikes Back of the Trilogy and by far my favorite book I’ve read in a very long time. It was dark and brutal, but the fierce flames of rebellion build to such a blaze by the end that all explodes in the final installment.
If you haven’t read it yet, add it to your Goodreads list!