With the recent release of Catching Fire’s film adaption, I thought it would be a good idea to re-read the book. Suzanne Collins certainly had a lot to live up to after the brilliance that was ‘The Hunger Games’, and she did not disappoint. I read ‘Catching Fire’ in the space of a day. It was gripping, addictive, and emotional. I did have a few issues with it to start with, such as the fact that writing seemed quite young for a book that is classified as young adult, but once I got into it, the issues disappeared. The story really kicked off once the quarter quell began. It was at this point that I found I could not put the book down. There were moments that had my heart racing, and moments that had me in tears. The characters were well rounded, and each had their own story to tell. A fabulous read.
The film was also brilliant. It stuck close the books, only removing parts that would not transfer well onto screen or that were not particularly relevant to the overall story. The first half was a bit clunky, and some moments from the books were included without explanation and seemed to be included because it was a great part of the book, instead just seeming odd on the big screen, even with the backstory from having read ‘Catching Fire’. That being said, Jennifer Lawrence’s performance was great. The depiction of PTSD that each of the victors suffered cut right through me, and really pulled my heart-strings, as did their reactions to the theme of the quarter quell. One poignant moment was the part of the arena with the jabberjays – truly terrifying.
All in all, both are great pieces of entertainment. It is definitely worth reading ‘Catching Fire’ before seeing the film though – to get inside Katniss’s head and understand some of the things a bit more that appeared in the film.
Book: 4.5 stars
Film: 3.5 stars