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Catching Fire (Book 2 of The Hunger Games)

Catching fire "A visit from President Snow. Districts on the verge of uprisings. A direct death threat to Gale, with others to follow. Everyone I love doomed. And who knows who else will pay for my acions? Unless I turn things around on this tour. Quiet the discontent and put the president's mind at rest. And how? By proving to the country beyond any shadow of a doubt that I love Peeta Mellark." -- From Catching Fire

In the second installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch and the stylists are headed around the country of Panem on the Victory Tour. After 75 years of the brutal, twisted Hunger Games pitting children ages 12-18 against one another, this particular Game detailed in the book Hunger Games was different: there are TWO victors instead of one.

Usually, only one victor can win the Hunger Games. But midway through the last one, the Game Makers decide to do something unprecedented: they announce that TWO can win this time. Relieved that she won't have to face attempting to kill her male counterpart from District 12 (who has professed his love for her), Katniss Everdeen yells out Peeta's name in relief.

They team up. They win. But at the last moment, the twisted Game Keepers announce that the "two can win" rule has been revoked. They now have to fight to the death. Katniss remembers the poisonous berries from earlier in the Games and hands them to Peeta. On the count of three, she says. After they pop the deadly fruit in their mouths, a horn blares and a hurried announcement broadcasts: Katniss and Peeta have BOTH won the Hunger Games!

But what Katniss doesn't realize is that her action, born of desperation, is seen as an act of defiance against the Capitol's brutality. Her decisions sets off a spark that blazes across the Districts--causing unrest and rebellion.

In the second book of the Trilogy, Catching Fire, President Snow visits Katniss right before the Victory Tour, telling her that if she doesn't convince the cameras--and the citizens of each district--that her actions were born of love for Peeta and not a political act, everyone she loves will pay.

However, what happens on the Victory Tour--what she witnesses and what her presence provokes among the citizens--is far more out of her control than she realizes.

She has become the Mockingjay. The symbol of the revolution. The last revolution that happened 75 years ago resulted in the nuclear devastation of District 13. What will happen THIS time when cruel President Snow feels like he's losing control by the minute?

As arresting as book one, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire will leave you breathless and hungering for more. I just finished book 3, Mockingjay, last night and I can honestly say that--out of thousands of books--the Hunger Games trilogy is the best I've ever read...YA OR adult fiction.

Buy it. Devour it. Treasure it. These are destined to become classics, right up there with The Lord of the Flies.

-- Janet

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