Okay, so this book was good. Maybe even better than the first, although it’s a little hard to tell since it was darker than the first one. Not in a small way, darker. There is a large revolution brewing, obviously, and bad things are happening. Lots of them.
I felt bad for Peeta in this book. The girl he’s in love with clearly cares for him and needs him, as evidenced by him holding her through her daily nightmares, but she also cares for, and possibly needs, someone else. That’s rough. She even sort of picked that guy at one point. Which is not to say it was easy on Katniss, cuz it wasn’t, but I really think Peeta got the fuzzy end of the lollipop in this book.
I have to say, it was kind of brilliant how Suzanne Collins handled the deal with Katniss and the Capitol. I was kind of afraid it would degenerate into political manuevering and boring crap. That would have ruined the book, and I didn’t see how she would get them back into the arena. I mean, the deal with being a victor was you never went back in. But she managed to both have the Capitol make a bold move to deal with her while making big, interesting things happen that are what made the first book so exciting. And honestly, those Games? Horrible, like way, way worse than the first time around. I can’t wait to see the movie version of it, cuz that is gonna be epic on the big screen. Expensive as hell to make, I’d imagine, but epic.
I’m not sure how I feel about District 13 still existing and just letting the other districts be ground under the Capitol’s heel for all those years. On the one hand, they weren’t really in a position to help anyone since they were just trying to survive. On the other, dick move. I don’t care your justifications, letting all those people be basically slaves and years and years worth of children be slaughtered for the entertainment of the Capitol while you sit aside and do nothing is a serious dick move. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself, personally.
And poor Katniss, finding out that Haymitch has been lying to her all along, that he used them, just like they’ve been used before. That he used them as a piece in his personal games… I don’t think I would forgive him. That kind of crap would be a serious trigger for me. And poor Peeta was left behind… That will lead to nothing but badness.
I’ve said this before, but I will say it again: these are not kids books. I don’t care that they’re labeled “Young Adult”, I don’t care they’re in that section in the bookstore. There’s no way they’re kids books. I heard a rumor a while back that the Harry Potter books were classified as kid’s books only because the characters are kids. Anyone who has read those books will agree with me, I’m sure, that they aren’t really meant for kids either, not with the surplus of murder, not to mention other unsavory things, in those books. The same has to be true of these books. There’s no way this kind of thing was meant for teenagers. Not when main characters are whipped into unconsciousness, twelve year olds are murdered, young women go crazy in the arena and old men are executed in front of crowds that include their families. There’s just no way.