Thursday, October 7, 2010

Catching Fire with Kelly Clarkson

Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike love triangles? Well, I do.

They typically end in one of two ways:

Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)1) Girl, being torn between Guy 'A' and Guy 'B,' watches in horror as Guy 'B' dies valiantly defending her and then shrugs it all off and marries Guy 'A.' Thereby showing how much she really cared about Guy 'B' and how much Guy 'B' really cared about her.

2) A Girl 'B' inexplicably enters the picture and leads Guy 'A' off to his happily ever after...which shows us how Guy 'A'  really felt about Girl 'A.' This is generally not played off well, and although it tends to mollify the reader it is rarely delivered without a large amount of cheesiness.

Either one of these scenarios happens after a long, exhausting book where we are shown how truly indecisive and fickle Girl is, how selfish and self-serving Guy 'A' is, and how inhumanly wonderful Guy 'B' is.

I tire very quickly of books like this.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins is a book like this. Except... I wasn't so annoyed by it this time.

Katniss isn't so much fickle as she is trapped, Guy 'A' isn't so much selfish as he is trapped and Guy 'B' isn't so much inhumanly wonderful as he is... well okay, he's still inhumanly wonderful (in a last-man-standing don't you dare think of hurting her or I'll rip your throat out sort of way) but he's also trapped.

Here these three people are, thrown together by circumstances not of their making who never really get the chance to explore their feelings in a healthy manner. Katniss and Guy 'B' spend two books trying to save each others lives from murdering madmen while Guy 'A'  as loving is forced to stand by watching (no really he's required to watch) as the girl he's grown up loving falls for someone else.

It's a gripping, heart-wrenching story (one of the reasons I hate love triangles... the heart-wrenching part) and it becomes unclear which guy should prevail.

So... add to all of this that if Katniss doesn't do exactly what she's told to do, to the convincing of her adversaries, Guy 'A' and Guy 'B' might die.
   When we reach the square, it's clear somethings happening, but the crowd's too thick to see. [Guy 'B'] steps up on a crate against the wall of the sweetshop and offers me a hand while he scans the square. I'm halfway up when he suddenly blocks my way. "Get down. Get out of here!" He's whispering, but his voice is harsh with insistence.
   "What?" I say, trying to force my way back up.
   "Go home, Katniss! I'll be there in a minute, I swear!" he says
   Whatever it is, it's terrible. I yank away from his hand and begin to push my through the crowd. People see me, recognize my face, and then look panicked. Hands shove me back. Voices hiss.
   "Get out of here, girl."
   "Only make it worse."
   "What do you want to do? Get him killed?"
   But at this point, my heart is beating so fast and fierce I hardly hear them. I only know that whatever waits in the middle of the square is meant for me. When I finally break through to the cleared space, I see I am right. And [Guy 'B'] was right. And those voices were right, too.
   [Guy 'A's] wrists are bound to a wooden post. The wild turkey he shot earlier hangs above him, the nail driven through it's neck. His jacket's been cast aside on the ground, his shirt torn away. He slumps unconscious on his knees, held up only by the ropes at his wrists. What used to be his back is a raw, blood slab of meat.
   Standing behind him is a man I've never seen, but I recognize his uniform. It's the one designated for our Head Peacekeeper. This isn't old Cray, though. This is a tall, muscular man with sharp creases in his pants.
   The pieces of the picture do not quite come together until I see his arm raise the whip.
Yeah, that's a real problem.

It's always hard to decide between two men when everyone keeps trying to kill them.

Kelly Clarkson seems to understand the situation pretty well too.
Already GoneRemember all the things we wanted
Now all our memories, they're haunted
We were always meant to say goodbye
Even with our fists held high
It never would have worked out right, yeah
We were never meant for do or die...

I didn't want us to burn out
I didn't come here to hurt you now I can't stop...

I want you to know
It doesn't matter where we take this road
Someone's gotta go
And I want you to know
You couldn't have loved me better
But I want you to move on
So I'm already gone,
I'm pretty glad I don't have to choose between men like women in books seem to always be doing, especially Katniss.

If you haven't read the Hunger Games trilogy then you are in for a doozy of a series. In my review for the first book I said that I wasn't sure how I felt about the book. Well, Catching Fire is incredible.

It's been a long time since I consumed a book so quickly, less than twenty-four hours, and it was worth every second. I am, however, super glad the last book has already come out so that I don't have to wait, because 'Catching Fire' leaves you hanging by a fraying vine over the side of that proverbial cliff.

And you still aren't sure which guy you're rooting for.

Books: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Music: Already Gone by Kelly Clarkson


Sarah said...

I think this was my favorite of the trilogy. But don't get me wrong - Mockingjay is also thrilling, but its just... in a different way. But I did love trying to figure out who I was rooting for throughout the entire series...

Anonymous said...

I gobbled down Catching Fire as well, in audio <3 After a while, when I had done all my chores and couldn't think of anything else to occupy my time with, I found I just could not stop listening.

I like how neatly you've summarized the situation between Katniss and her men - so trapped! So claustrophobic! But I love love love too how the romance of the trilogy is a sideplot - one that plays intricately into the story, but more icing on the cake than the cake itself.

Love triangles, xD They make me tear out my hair too.

Evelyn @ Hanging by a Silver Lining said...

And I don't think you ever can really decided which guy is "better" for Katniss. Even after reading the third one...

Rowena said...

Hello, I'm hopping by from the blog hop and I'm a new follower here too. What a great review/post. The Kelly Clarkson song fits so well with the tone of this series. I loved this book (this one was my favorite) and enjoyed the series a great deal.

Team Peeta!


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