Saturday, February 4, 2012


by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic Press
ISBN: 978-0439023498
$9.99, Hardcover

This follow-up to The Hunger Games finds Katniss back in District 12, residing in a prestigious house in Victory Park with her mother and sister. Peeta and Haymitch live nearby although Katniss rarely sees them. She occasionally goes on hunting sprees with her best friend Gale but they never speak of their feelings for one another. Just before Katniss is scheduled to leave with Peeta for the mandatory Victory Tour though the 12 districts, President Snow pays her a visit, letting her know he believes she does not truly love Peeta and used this to manipulate the prior games. Snow tells her that her small act of rebellion has incited unrest in the districts and threatens her if she does not thwart this. Although Katniss tries to downplay her victory and let Peeta do most of the talking during the tour, a speech she makes in one of the districts does the very thing Snow warned her against. Snow’s punishment is to make the upcoming 75th Hunger Games a special one, throwing prior victors into the arena to fight to the death. Katniss and Peeta are chosen from their district and once again Peeta tries to protect Katniss by proclaiming she is carrying his baby. Katniss makes the decision that Peeta will be the one to survive these games and she will do everything possible to ensure he is victor. But Haymitch has been working behind the scenes and Katniss soon finds she has no control over anything, including ending her own life.

Book 2 of The Hunger Games trilogy skips over scenarios readers may be curious about such as Katniss’s reunion with Gale after her return from the Hunger Games, how she and Peeta dealt with the aftereffects of the games, etc. However, this does not take away from a powerful tale of love and danger, the confusion of a young woman over her feelings for two men, and the political insights into a corrupt government sliding into rebellion. Collins gives her readers characters to love and hate; an intensely graphic, bloody battle; and three people caught up in an at times agonizing triangular relationship. Undoubtedly, fans will be anxious for the next and final book in this galvanizing series.

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