I mentioned reading The Hunger Games last week, and having the second book on order.
Well, Amazon outdid themselves, and managed to deliver it on Monday (ordered Saturday). So, not wanting to lose the storyline, I dove right in. It didn't pick up immediately where the last one left off, but not too far from it.
As expected, much of the focus of this one is in moving beyond Kat's significance in the Hunger Games themselves. Unsurprisingly, she has become a bit of a symbol for many others. This is evident very early on, although Kat herself doesn't realize it for quite a long time.
What I found particularly compelling is her gradual conversion from fighting that to embracing it. At first, she wants to quell it, then to run away before she finally accepts how things are. Also, I thought her relationships with Gale and Peeta were extremely well done. I'd want to hit her over the head for how confused she gets at times, but then I remind myself how I was in dealing with the opposite sex at seventeen. And I didn't have anything like the pressure on myself that she had. Nor her reason for not wanting to ever have children.
The big thing I didn't expect was actually revisiting the Hunger Games, and especially not the way it happened. If you're thinking something along the lines of, "Well, it is called the Hunger Games trilogy", I'm fairly sure the third book will not be going there. I guess I'll know for sure when it arrives (Tuesday, hopefully).
Anyway, overall, I think this was a better book than the first one (helped, probably, by not being weighted down by needing to introduce the setting and characters). Certainly, it was harder to put down. Let's hope that continues in the third.
I'm less convinced about a movie working with it, though. I think more will have to be cut, and the movie will suffer for it. But I hope I'm wrong about that. And I hope it won't take two or three years for it to come out.