All I need to be entertained are cats within ear-scratching distance and a good book . . .OK, maybe that's not ALL I need, but it's a good start.

I love to read. And I love to get recommendations for books to read.

I started Cats and a Book to share the books I read with others. Some I love, some I don't, but you may love the ones I don't, so you're welcome to post your own comments and suggestions.

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Happy reading!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Catching Fire and Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins

The second and third books in the The Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, read seamlessly as a continuation of the first book, The Hunger Games. Darker and more violent than The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay are full of unexpected and dramatic twists and turns as Katniss Everdeen, the teenaged heroine of the series, becomes the symbol of the revolution against the evil President Snow’s Capitol district.

In Catching Fire, the reaping (selection for the annual Hunger Games) is for the Quarter Quell, which occurs every 25 years. To the dismay and outrage of prior years’ victors, this reaping will draw from their group, regardless of their age or physical condition. Since Katniss, Haymitch, and Peeta are the only available victors from which to draw from District 12, readers know this means they will have to return to the arena.

With Haymitch as mentor and the knowledge of the underground compound in District 13, long believed to have been uninhabitable after the last war, Katniss and Gale, her long-time hunting companion, begin to believe that revolution against the Capitol is possible, and a plan is formulated with Katniss as the Mockingjay, the symbol of the revolution. As the Quarter Quell Hunger Games get underway, allies for the revolution work together to bring the Games to a sudden end . . . at least in the arena.

Mockingjay picks up the thread of the Games as it moves to the streets of the each district, with graphic descriptions of battles that seem tailor-made for movie adaptations. The story is tragic, violent, and gripping, and much like the Harry Potter series, becomes darker as it progresses and its characters are damaged by what has happened to them, their friends, and their families.

This is not a light-hearted series, but an adventure story of good versus evil, in which the ending is not all happiness. Because of its teenaged heroine and the writing style, it is better suited for older teens.

Catching Fire was published by Scholastic in 2009, and Mockingjay was published in 2010.

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