This past weekend I drove to Nevada to pick up my two younger kids. (They were staying with my parents during their Spring Break -- which incidentally is NOT during the same week as MY Spring Break at the college.) Even though I knew I'd be exhausted from the long 8 1/2 hour drive, I decided to take Book 2 from the Hunger Games series, "Catching Fire" with me, in the off-chance I'd have some down-time. Besides I just didn't know how much longer I could wait before reading it. I was even beginning to have dreams about Katniss and Peeta and Gale, haha.
I don't really want to give too much away about the second book, in case some of you are still planning to read it. Some felt the first book was extremely gruesome; I did not. The second book has even less than the first, although it is just as intense for other reasons. I felt like I couldn't read fast enough.
One of my friends stated she didn't like the 2nd book at all, while another one hated the first but loved the second. After reading it, I honestly think it all depends on how you, the reader, perceives Katniss. Someone commented to me just last week that while they felt the first book portrayed her as strong and confident, the second book made her seem weak and stupid. Now that I am done with book 2, here are my thoughts on Katniss...
In the first book, yes, she does appear strong in many ways. But remember that she was a skilled hunter and knew how to survive in the woods. In the second book however, her surroundings are different; she is not in some ordinary woods. She is not in "familiar" territory. She is not simply trying to outsmart other kids. It's a whole new arena.
Additionally, in the first book she was a confident "girl" who felt comfortable in her own skin when she was in her own environment. However, she still felt lost when she visited the Capitol, around people and places where she didn't feel she fit in. In the second book, even though she is still a girl by age, her experiences have propelled her into adulthood in some regard. However, her lack of other life experiences (i.e., love, raising children) may make her come across as "weak" or "stupid", because she is so unsure of herself in these types of arenas and of course she lacks the wisdom that many adults obtain over the years.
I think the writer did a great job portraying her how any of us might feel in a brand new situation; a lack of confidence and uncertain about many things. Personally, I do not perceive her as weak or dumb in the second book at all. I think she is just a girl who is trying to figure out her new "normal", who longs to be comfortable and safe in her own skin once again.
Lots of twists and turns in this one. The ending definitely leads right into Book 3 and now I'm anxious to finish that one.