We left off with Katniss and Peta having won the Hunger Games as a team, the first time two winners ever existed in the history of the games. Their inseparable bond that grew inside the arena unfortunately for Peta did not continue outside of that same arena. Peta had been in love with Katniss and that love just grew deeper and deeper as the games came to pass. Katniss who was growing closer and closer to him though was still very confused on her feelings toward the baker's young son. The terrible news that she was acting came past Peta's ears by Katniss' own tongue and the book ends with heartbreak for Peta and an unsure future for Katniss.
That ending I felt was fine for the book. It was the type of ending that allowed a reader to know this book is over and the story finalized. You had great speculation on the future but weren't sure if a sequel was in the mix (although secretly you wanted one.) Catching Fire was next. Oddly enough this book actually had a title that made sense unlike some book series (like Twilight.) The world wasn't literally on fire, neither was the Hunger Games but what was catching fire was the spirit of the citizens across all of the districts. Their souls were cast ablaze with the hope of revolution all because a young 16 year old girl nearly committed suicide by eating berries.
It begins with Katniss living in the nice area of town, Peta and good ol' Haymitch. Haymitch is still drunk as ever and Peta and Katniss live a normal life apart from each other. Peta got put into the friend zone hard core at the end of the first book so he learned his lesson. They still must keep up the facade in front of the cameras or else the Capital might know that they are faking it...well Katniss is faking it.
What nobody expects is the Quarter Quell which takes place every 25 years of the Hunger Games. This Quarter Quell takes previous winners and puts them back into the arena...and of course as District 12's only female winner Katniss is back in the fray. Peta joins her in the fight and Haymitch is left to coach the two of them all over again, this time Katniss forces him to agree that he will help Peta win even if it is at the cost of her own life. Katniss begins to see signs of revolution existing from a random television screen, to the "threats" issued to her from the President and she is certain that her death would ensure the safety of her family and loved ones.
Back in the Capital they meet their fellow competitors all of them much older than a normal competitor and many of them very famous. Time starts to tick down slowly and of course her wonderful stylist Cinna has outdone himself again and again withe her outfits and she is again the talk of the town and in some people's eyes a favorite to win the whole thing.
This time around the arena is very watery. In here she discovers over time that the place is a giant clock and each hour that passes means a different travesty occurs in what would be considered the corresponding spot on the face of a clock. Alliances are formed and death befalls allies and enemies alike. When Katniss is outside of the arena we as readers don't remember the full hardship and hunger, depravity and pain that occurs in the arena. It is as if we are with her the entire time and experiencing everything with her. By the close of the book almost everyone is dead (as the theme of the arena dictates) but there is an extremely major plot twist. Now I don't care if you want to know it or not, it is a great twist and you gotta read the book to find out this one!
Now that you read a basic synopsis of the story and feel adequately prepared for the film (which many will watch without reading the story) I hope you have some knowledge going into this one. I myself figured out the major plot twist from the beginning of the first book but that is me and not everyone. I hope you can pick this up and read it but be sure you have Mockingjay at the ready because I can promise you you will want to read that one right after this!