Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
I had no clue what to expect from Catching Fire, the second in The Hunger Games trilogy. I had somehow managed to avoid the interviews and film trailers for the second film, so the plot was a complete revelation to me.
We left the first book with Katniss and Peeta crowned as the winners of The Hunger Games. To be frank, I wasn’t sure where the second book was going to go: were they going to mentor the next games? Was it going to be about their newfound celebrity?
Nope, they were going back in to the arena. The first half of the book focuses on Katiss’s failure to come to terms with her newfound status as a hero. It’s brought her wealth but it definitely hasn’t provided her with happiness. On the first day she returns to District 12 with Peeta she has an unexpected visit from President Snow who tells her she has broken the rules as two people are not allowed to win the Games.
And worse is yet to come, there’s a growing rebellion between the Districts which threatens to escalate at any moment. To make maters more intriguing Katniss happens to meet two runaways from District 8 who believe there is still life on the previously destroyed District 13. To diffuse the growing problems within the Districts Peeta proposes to Katniss during an interview, which she accepts.
But these young lovers are not meant to be. President Snow announces for the 75th Hunger Games 24 previous winners will be forced to compete. Katniss wrestles with her feelings for Peeta but decides she will do her upmost to sacrifice herself for him considering all the times he has saved her in the past.
The two befriend other competitors and battle their way through poisonous fog, savage animals and ferocious storms. The Games abruptly end when Katniss defects lightening at a force field in the arena and destroys the Games. Katniss wakes up to find she’s going to District 13 as it becomes apparent there was a plot by the other competitors to break free from the arena. And at the very end of the book Gale has an almighty bombshell to drop….
As I didn’t know what to expect it was quite a surprising read. I did feel as though the first half was lacking direction. I thought Katniss became quite self-indulgent as she struggled with her feelings for Peeta and the aftermath of the previous Games. However I did enjoy the book as a whole and will be watching the film ASAP.
Echoes of Scotland Street – Samantha Young
Echoes of Scotland Street is the second book I’ve read in the sexy and seductive on Dublin Street series. I read Fall from India Place a few months ago and fell in love with Samantha Young’s emotive and captivating style of writing.
This novel tells the story of Shannon and Cole. The pair first meet briefly as teenagers and both leave a lasting impression on each other, so much so that years later they instantly recognise one another when their paths cross again.
Shannon has fled Glasgow in search of a new life away from her past, her family and her love life but she soon realises she cannot escape her previous life no matter how hard she tries. After being offered a job as a receptionist at a tattoo parlour she is in for the shock of her life as she discovers one of the tattooists is none other than Cole. Shannon wrestles with her feelings for Cole and struggles to ignore the constraints of her past. After coming out of an abusive relationship and being abandoned by her family, will she be able to love and more importantly trust someone again?
The tension between Shannon and Cole is unbearable but in a good way! From the very offset Young creates a smouldering chemistry between the pair and the perfect will-they-won’t-they plot. The novel is unbelievably sexy and I developed a little bit of a crush on Cole!
It felt very confessional and real, you could easily know someone like the characters in real life. Echoes of Scotland Street is dare I say it better than Fall from India Place, I loved the edginess of the setting and the emotional rawness of the characters. Samantha Young has written real winner here.
Read my review of Fall from India Place here…https://sweetsdelights.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/fall-from-india-place-by-samantha-young/
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
All the hype for The Hunger Games seemed to pass me by. I remember my friends saying how good the books were and all the excitement over the films but I was still in recovery from all the Twilight marlarky and couldn’t deal with another series of fantasy books sending the world into a frenzy.
But here we are several years later and I have jumped on bandwagon rather belatedly.
I also did the unthinkable and watched the first film before I had read the book. I did really enjoy the film and was completely absorbed in the drama and action. I felt compelled to read the books. So in my sick bed last week I thought it was the opportune moment to start the trilogy.
For those of who you don’t know the story I will summarise. Set in the future, Katniss Everdeane lives in District 12, one of 13 Districts who attempted to start a revolution against the all-powerful Capitol, a capitalist region and ruling state. As a punishment District 13 were destroyed and as an annual reminder how revolution will not be tolerated The Hunger Games was born. Two participants from each district are selected each year to fight each other to the death. The last person alive is the winner.
Katniss is chosen to represent District 12 that year a long with Peeta. The competitors are paraded like royalty in front of TV audiences and the Capitol before the Games begin knowing that only one will survive. As she battles the other contestants with little food, water or shelter she develops a close bond with little old weakling Peeta. But perhaps it’s not necessarily as real as the Capitol believes it to be.
Katniss is a real warrior (think the complete antithesis to Bella in the Twilight saga), usually I’m not a fan of those characters who are head-strong yet perfect in every way however I really liked Katniss. I had forgotten little bits of the film but once I started reading it the plot came flooding back to me. The book seemed very similar to the film however I’m sure there will be die hard fans which will disagree with me.
It’s a really easy, quick read and made a change from the more ‘high-brow’ books I had been reading. The only change I will make when reading the second book is to read it before I watch the film.