Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching-Fire-largeCatching Fire, the highly anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games is finally here! Before you start it, though, you must read the first book in the trilogy: The Hunger Games!

About The Hunger Games: In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 14 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, hungerPrim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. Collins’s characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing. This book will definitely resonate with the generation raised on reality shows like “Survivor” and “American Gladiator.”

And if you have already read the Hunger Games and Catching Fire, check out these other young adult novels featuring dystopias and survival:

exodusExodus by Julie Bertanga (2008)

In the year 2100, as the island of Wing is about to be covered by water, fifteen-year-old Mara discovers the existence of New World sky cities that are safe from the storms and rising waters, and convinces her people to travel to one of these cities in order to save themselves.

uglies

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (2005)

Just before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have a great time, Tally’s best friend runs away and Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all.

sharpnorth

Sharp North by Patrick Cave (2006)

In a futuristic world, Great Families rule Britain through a caste system where reproduction is seriously restricted, while the families keep illegal clones or “spares” of themselves.

hole

Hole in the Sky by Pete Hautman (2001)

In a future world ravaged by a mutant virus, sixteen-year-old Ceej and three other teenagers seek to save the Grand Canyon from being flooded, while trying to avoid capture by a band of renegade Survivors.

howilive How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (2004)

To get away from her pregnant stepmother in New York City, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land.

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About Steven Deineh

Steven is a librarian at San Diego County Library headquarters. He mostly enjoys reading young adult fiction (some of his favorites include Feed by M.T. Anderson, Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan, The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling), science fiction/fantasy (Ender's Game & series by Orson Scott Card, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke), and fiction (anything by Sarah Waters, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett). When not reading, you can find him sleeping, drinking coffee, and wanderlusting all over San Diego County and the world.