I don’t really need to review this book, do I? Is there anyone left that hasn’t read The Hunger Games that is going to read it? Didn’t think so.
I remember at one of our DC Kid Lit Book Club meetings, Susan Kusel brought out the ARC for this new Suzanne Collins book and told us that it was going to be big. Not my thing, I thought, and turned it down. So oops. Could have been on the front of that wave, but nooooo.
After everyone was talking about it, I broke down and read a copy from my library. I still wouldn’t call it my kind of book, but I did find it quite the page turner especially about halfway through, when the actual Hunger Games began in the story. I enjoyed the book, but didn’t love the book. I also didn’t have the sense of needing to know what happened next that’s driven the ARC of Catching Fire to be such a hot item.
I bought a copy during the week because my seventh grader had heard about the Catching Fire buzz at school, and when she realized I had it, she knew she had to read it. Bragging rights. One problem: She hadn’t read the first book. That’s how she ended up spending a lot of Friday reading The Hunger Games and most of today on Catching Fire. I told her that I should have signed her up for the 48HBC, because she’s doing as much reading as many participants.
For me, I wanted to read The Hunger Games again because I was afraid that I’d have forgotten some of the important parts as I moved to the new book. My book retention is terrible. On the second reading, it didn’t hold up for me. It was fine. It was still fast. But the sense of surprise was gone, and with that, the energy of the book.
What do you think? Is this a book you can read again, or is the magic gone the second time around?