Okay, this review has no spoilers (unless you haven't read The Hunger Games). I know, I know, but sorry, that's just not how I roll.
Basically in the first book, Katniss Everdeen is forced to play the Hunger Games, and she pretends to be in love with Peeta Mellark (a boy from her own district) in order to win. That majorly pisses off the Capitol officials, who basically control everyone and everything, but but they allow Katniss and Peeta to live (for now, anyway).
Now, in Catching Fire, Katniss and Peeta must go on a tour through all of the districts (where the families of the people they killed live) and deal with their deception of the Capitol. They begin to notice signs of an uprising, for which they are the poster children. Katniss must also choose between Peeta, her fake lover who also helped keep her alive, or Gale, the childhood friend who she has surprising feelings for. The only problem? People from the Capitol expect Katniss and Peeta to be in love and happy together, and officials will go to extreme measures to make sure they stay that way. Also, a twist that no one expected is just around the corner...
Let me just take a minute to say that I am a huge fan of The Hunger Games, and I was a little wary of it's sequel. Would it live up to the original? Would it turn into a "who will she choose" series? Would I like it as much? How many more questions could I ask myself before I became delusional (Answer: a lot)? There are so many literary sequels that flop, and i crossed my fingers and bit my nails for this one to not be like that. I shouldn't have worried. Not one bit.
First of all, I'm really glad that this didn't turn into one of those which boy will she choose novels, because it totally could have. Sure, there was some romance, but what young adult fiction book doesn't have romance (Answer: none)? The love aspect didn't overshadow the big picture. On the other hand, you get to see just how vile the capitol really is. They do some pretty sick stuff (let's just say that the officials there don't have a problem with killing people who oppose them in front of others to make an example of it-and believe me, there are a lot of things to oppose). There were also a lot of really cool twists (one big thing in particular, but, as I said, I don't do spoilers). This is definitely one of the biggest must reads of the year. Catching Fire is a sequel that won't disappoint fans of the first and will leave you hungry (get it? Okay, sorry, bad joke) for more.