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Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins.




Main Character Description:


-Katniss Everdeen:
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Is the main character in Catching Fire. Katniss is a fierce, independent girl. She intends to help those who need it, but she could be your worst enemy, to. She fends for herself, and takes chances. She is strong, tough, and is diligent in all that she does. Katniss takes care of her family, including herself, even though she is not supposed to be outside of the large barbed wire fence separating freedom and a harsh life. The strong bond between sisters is shown in the first book of the three book series, The Hunger Games. Katniss volunteers to take her sister, Prim’s place when she is called to participate in the Hunger Games at the reaping. Through out The Hunger Games, it is shown that Katniss is both diligent, caring, supportive, and many other qualities. Helping her new friend Rue was an act of outstanding kindness, as it was necessary to kill, if you wanted a life yourself. Later in the second book, Catching Fire, Katniss is faced with the attitudes of others, and the harsh reality of District twelves fate when she returns. I am astonished at the strength Katniss has to pull through the loss of her father, the reaping, the Hunger Games, and even the final blow of news on District 12. Even with these major happenings, and the small bumps in between, Katniss somehow manages to obtain sanity. If I were her, I would not have been able to make it through such tough times. I find her independence to be surprising, but at the same time expected. Because her father had passed away in a mining accident, Katniss is left to fend for her family, due to her mothers slight depression, and her sisters young age. Every day, she manages to gather food for her family. Without this, her and her family both could not survive. After the Games have finished, on the Victory Tour around the country of Panem, Katniss tends to keep to herself whenever she can. She seems to like to care for herself, and be alone most of the time. She maintains a level head through all the struggles she faces from the death of her father, all the way through the reaping and Games, and even after the Games. Katniss seems to be very smart, in many different aspects. In the book The Hunger Games, it is shown that Katniss is able to hunt, and is exceptional when it comes to the bow and arrow. During the Games, it is proven that she knows how to survive on her own, and knows how to gather the right kinds of plants. In Catching Fire, the reader is made aware that Katniss has the strength to pull through tough times, like when the mayor came to visit her home. She was able to talk him out of hurting her or her friends or family, and is able to convince him that she will stop any uprisings from taking place. This and many other things shows to me that Katniss is able to make appropriate decisions on her own, that she is strong, independent, and kind.

- Peeta Mellark:
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Peeta Mellark is Katniss' "husband." Because he is a bakers son, he is richer and better fed then most of the residents of District 12. Peeta is both kind and witty, as well as bold and outgoing. He does not have very many talents other then painting and camouflage. He is persuasive, able to sway crowds to do what he says, and is an outstanding liar, however, he only does so to protect those he loves.


-President Snow:
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A hard nosed, determined, strong man. In the beginning of Catching Fire, it like President Snow wants his way with the victory tour and reaction of the audience, and will stop at nothing to get it. He seems to care for the feelings of others, but his own more. His style is outrageous at previously described in The Hunger Games, as are all the outfits and hair styles of the Capitols people. President Snow seems to try to do all that he can to prevent an uprising in his nation, but at the same time he is perceived as a reluctant, prominent figure.

-Haymitch:
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Firstly perceived as a man always in a drunken stupor, it's shown that Haymitch is a good mentor, and has the smarts to be something great, when he's sober. It's also proven that he has an excuse to be drunk all the time, as he was the previous Hunger Games victor, and has suffered from problems since, as anyone would after the horrific Games would. He appears to be a strong, tough man on the outside, and a bit of a softy on the inside. Originally, he seems like a trustworthy person, but by the end of Catching Fire, the reader sees that he is capable of many lies. He becomes the victor of the Second Quarter Quell, after he manages to kill the District 1 tribute.

Gale Hawthorne-
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Gale is Katniss' best friend, the person that's always been there for her. He is her hunting partner, and takes care of Katniss' family while she participates in the Games. In Catching Fire, President Snow finds out that Gale and Katniss had a kiss in the woods, beyond where they were supposed to go. She is afraid that Gale will be injured if she doesn't try to forget about him, and remain to be Peeta's "wife". Not much is told of Gale in Catching Fire, other then towards the end of the book when he saves Katniss' and his own family from the destruction of District 12. While with her in District 13, as she is healing, he tells her the fate of her own home.

Description of the setting:

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Catching Fire is the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy. The bulk of the setting is located in the country of Panem in Katniss's home District 12 and the Quarter Quell arena, as she prepares for the next game and to be in the arena as a contestant. This is where the new years Hunger Games will be held. The arena called Quarter Quell, is in the shape of a clock, as later found out by the tributes. It's said the clock shaped arena seems to be ticking away the last few minutes of a tributes life. Other then here, the setting is placed in District 12, as the beginning of the book shows Katniss and Peeta's new lives as the victory tour unfolds. The book begins 101 years into present day future, with District 12, Katniss and Peeta's home; being one of the poorest.


Author Information:

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Suzanne Collins, the author of the Hunger Games trilogy has had much experience in writing. She is the author of a large variety of books, from children's books, to adult novels. She is the Head Author of Clifford's Puppy Days, and a free lancer on Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Her interest in writing children's books started when she met author James Proimos while working on a kids show. The Hunger Games trilogy is her number one set of books yet, with rave reviews from many different notorious figures and authors. It became and international best seller. Currently, Collins is working on her newest book, a picture book she is collaborating on with James. She also currently lives in Connecticut with family.


Six Direct Passages:


"As my mentor in the Games it was his duty to keep me alive. I only hope he’s still up for the job. " -Katniss, page 33.
I chose this because it jumps out at me. I like Katniss's way of thinking.

"Isn’t it strange that I know you’d risk your life to save mine…but I don’t know what your favorite color is?" Peeta, page 52.
I liked this quote, because it's true that as little as Katniss and Peeta know about each other, the one thing they do know is of each others loyalty and fighting styles.

"Gale is mine. I am his. Anything else is unthinkable." Katniss, page 117.
I like this passage because it shows Katniss's true feelings, and what she really wants.


"No wonder I won the games. No decent person ever does." Katniss, page 117.
I choose this passage because it shows Katniss is a girl with not much self confidence, or so it seems, but at the same time, she is wise.


"What about you, girl on fire? Do you have any secrets worth my time?" Finnick Odair, page 218.
I choose this, because Katniss is known as "the girl on fire", and I find that to be an appropriate title, not only for her outfit, but for her personality as well. She's a tough, hard nosed girl who will never give up and will not stop at anything to protect her loved ones. I also like it because Katniss actually does have secrets, such a hunting in the woods with Gale; although President Snow is aware.

"We had to save you because you’re the mockingjay, Katniss. While you live, the revolution lives." Plutarch Heavensbee, page 386.
I choose this direct passage because it speaks on how Katniss and indirectly Peeta are legends due to the win of the Games.



Two Possible Themes:


Theme One: Dependence.
In this book, Katniss and Peeta must depend on each other, as well as the other new tributes for survival. They each help each other to be at an advantage as they put the survival of others before their own. At first, Katniss wanted to return to her normal life, consisting of hunting and gathering with her best friend Gale, but she finds out the hard way that this is not the case. President Snow makes it aware to Katniss that she must continue to "pretend" to be in love with Peeta. If she fails to do so, an uprising could happen in the country of Panem, and as a result, President Snow has promised to at least injure Peeta. To save him, Katniss must be dependent on Peeta still even as the Games have finished. She must still act as though she is his soul mate, as much as she occasionally doubts that. Peeta's survival is dependent of Katniss's actions towards him, and his own actions toward her, as "the whole world will be watching."

Theme Two: Loyalty.
In Catching Fire and the previous Hunger Games as well, it is made clear by the Capitol that they expect loyalty. Any doubt of not being loyal can end up in severe consequences, some unrealistic. Katniss is loyal to Peeta, in that she acts the way she does to spare his life. Without the actions of affections towards Peeta, President Snow would soon take over and apply consequences. In turn, Peeta is also loyal to Katniss by doing his part in the "fake love" front put on to the Capitol, even though it is shown in the Hunger Games that he truly does love her. Katniss is very loyal to her family. She puts her family before her self, and she tries to do everything in her power to keep her mother and Prim happy, healthy and safe. She stops at nothing to take care of her family, even as she puts herself in harms way to go hunting beyond the big electric wire fence with Gale. Without this, her family could not effectively survive. Through out all the struggles faced in Catching Fire, by all the characters, Katniss and Peeta maintain loyalty to each other and others.




Review and Recommendations:


The text flows thoroughly from page to page. The suspense of the story and the building climax keeps the reader enticed. The only recommendation that I can come up with for such an amazing book and series is that the book seems to skip around a lot, and the author seems to provide extensive detail. For some, this can be appealing, but not for all. There plot of the story is covered thoroughly, and the suspense and building climax keeps the reader hooked. The struggles of some of the characters are fascinating to read about, and the descriptions of appearances and personalities are well written. I feel the deep descriptions of gore entice the reader, as it's not expected to see such a terrible thing descried with such thorough and deep detail. It was hard to put the book down. I believe the introduction captures the readers attention, as Suzanne and the ending is left with a hint of suspense, leaving the reader to wonder what happens in the next book. Suzanne Collins has received many positive reviews of her Book Catching Fire, as well as most of the other many books she has written or collaborated on. I feel she is a strong writer with a good hold on properly adding extensive detail to her stories. I would recommend this book for teenagers, given that the book is directed mainly on the hardships and struggles of a teenagers life, as well as much more violent happenings.

Summary of the book:


A lot has changed in the new book, such as a new Head Peacekeeper, laws are being strongly enforced, and District 12 is getting more attention then ever from the media. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins is a compelling follow up story of the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy. In the second book of the three, Collins continues to tell the story of the lives of main characters Peeta, Haymitch, Katniss, and many other important characters. In the beginning of the book, the reader finds Katniss and Peeta adjusting to their new lives as they return home from their victory tour for winning the Games. They find it hard to adjust, as their lifestyles are completely different then they used to be, and much more complex then they wanted things to be. The victory was won by defiance of the Capitol. Katniss and Peeta should both be happy, they have just won a lifetime guarantee of safety and supplies such as food for themselves and there families, but there are rumors of rebellion, and Katniss and Peeta, to their demise, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry, and wants revenge, and they will stop at nothing to get it, even when it comes down to putting the victors in harms way. To prevent an uprising, President Snow will also do anything in his power to stop a riot, even if it means harming Peeta. Katniss must continue to pretend to love him, and if not, she puts herself, her family and her friends in harms way. Towards the end of the book, Katniss and Peeta must return to the Games with the new chosen tributes. In the arena, the tributes find that it is shaped like a clock, and every hour, on the hour the tributes face another danger that is designated to kill them, that is, if they don't kill each other first. The book gives a view into the ruins of District 13, the place the Capitol has been trying to cover up since the first uprising happened, and the reader will also learn the fate of Katniss's own home, District 12, and her loved ones that reside there.



Music, Videos and Links:


Safe and Sound lyrics, by Taylor Swift. Specifically made for the Hunger Games movie.
I remember tears streaming down your face
When I said "I'll never let you go"
When all those shadows almost killed your light
I remember you said "Don't leave me here alone"
But all that's dead and gone and past tonight.

Just close your eyes
The sun is going down
You'll be alright
No one can hurt you now
Come morning light
You and I'll be safe and sound

Don't you dare look out your window
Darling everything's on fire
The war outside our door keeps raging on
Hold on to this lullaby
Even when the music's gone
gone

Just close your eyes
The sun is going down
You'll be alright
No one can hurt you now
Come morning light
You and I'll be safe and sound

(INSTRUMENTAL)

Just close your eyes
You'll be alright
Come morning light
You and I'll be safe and sound

Link to the video of the song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFEDTtKaFzU

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