A Matter of Style

Mentioned previously, I'm reading CATCHING FIRE, by Suzanne Collins. It's the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. With the exception of this morning's dumb decision on the part of the main character, the book maintains the style of the first book I enjoyed so much. There doesn't seem to be a lot going on, though. Well, there's enough, but nothing that says "THIS IS THE CHALLENGE THE PROTAGONIST MUST FACE!" It's just a continuation of a theme with no real plot point propelling the story forward. There is one, I guess (President Snow, I will say without spoilers), but it is treated in such a way that I don't find myself genuinely concerned with the main character.

And I think it's because of how THE HUNGER GAMES ended. It was a fair ending. I did not feel cheated. I did not roll my eyes or swear or throw my nook across the room. But if I had been writing the story, there would have been one significant change.


At the end of THE HUNGER GAMES, the gamemaster predictably reverses the rule that says there can be two victors, forcing Peeta and Katniss to face off. But they have poisoned berries, so they start the game of chicken. If the capital expects them to kill one another, they'll refuse and kill themselves instead. They pop the berries in their mouths, the capital caves at the last minute, they spit the berries out and stand triumphant.

That's how it happened in the book. In my book, the capital caves, announces them as the winners, and then they both fall down dead.

At the point, everything that's happened in the first 100 pages of CATCHING FIRE could have been summarized in a single epilogue. And I think because I'm effectively reading a continuation of a story that I would have condensed into a single chapter, I'm finding it kind of hard to sign onto the premise of the story like I did with the first one.

I'm not done with CATCHING FIRE. As long as it is average, I will read MOCKINGJAY. I'm curious whether either/both characters survive the story. Since it's a YA trilogy, I will assume they do. I would have been more satisfied if THE HUNGER GAMES had been a single book and they had died at the end.