Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sweet Anticipation -- Thoughts on Catching Fire

Don't hate me, but I finished Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins this weekend.

And it's good. Really good. Better than The Hunger Games. And the ending definitely leaves you longing for the next book. In the best possible way.

In a world where instant gratification rules, it's nice to know that there's still something to wait for. To wish for and long for.

I like to watch my television shows on DVD. I will absolutely binge on them. For example, over Christmas break I watched the entire first season of Mad Men in two days. It was, of course, that compulsively good but I like the instant gratification of being able to see what happens next right away.

And while it can be really fun to watch this way, you totally and completely miss out on all the fun of waiting.

Waiting...fun? You say. Well, yeah. The anticipation. The build-up of excitement. The fan community. It works really well for certain shows. Like LOST. 24.

And I think the same can be true for books. Since the loss of Harry Potter, we're in a serious void of books that bring readers together. It makes me sad to know there will never be another Harry Potter book, but it also makes me sad to think we have no other books quite like it, that bring readers of all countries and ages together to celebrate a story...in eager anticipation, scouring the internet for details, going to release parties, and befriending total strangers when we see them with a Potter book. So yes, of course we have the movies (I will so be there opening day) but it's not the same.

For me it's fun...fun to anticipate the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy even though I felt a bit emotionally traumatized after Catching Fire. Fun to see other readers eager to get their hands on the book. Fun to be part of something..part of a community of readers. And I hope it spreads a bit more. I hope it truly catches fire.

I hope and wait for another series that will remind us how fabulous it is to simply love a story...to lose ourselves in the pages, to carry it outside of us and to let it bring us together.

As far as the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy? Well, I'm going to savor the anticipation.

Have you read The Hunger Games? How about Catching Fire?

(This post was inspired by Natasha's suggestion that people wait to read the books until all three are available.)



Jen - Devourer of Books said...

You're all such teases with your Catching Fire posts!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

It's curious. I have Catching Fire and I haven't read it yet. I feel like The Hunger Games ended in a pretty good place for me. The huge ordeal was over, there are some rumblings for things to come and I know she has some issues to work through with the men/boys in her life.

I feel like Catching Fire's cliff hanger will be so much worse and then I will have to wait, nit a few months but an entire year! I was spoiled. I had just read The Hunger Games the week before BEA. I had virtually no wait time.

Deborah said...

i would have never heard about these books if it hadn't been for all you guys talking about it on twitter. so no i haven't read them yet but since i can't wait, i just put them on my holds list for the library. i'm in the 60s so it'll probably be a while but that's ok.

Unknown said...

Better than The Hunger Games? That can't be possible!

KT Grant said...

ARG! I missed getting this book at BEA by 5 minutes. *grumble grumble*
Isn't it great when you read such a book you can't stop talking about?

bermudaonion said...

We could never hate you! I bought Hunger Games in the airport as we left New York, so I can read it before Catching Fire and I haven't gotten to either of them yet.

Lenore Appelhans said...

Great post Amy! Anticipation can be good for you :) I have my copy of Catching Fire right next to me and can't read it because of prior obligations! It is maddening!!!

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

Ah, the anticipation! When I think about it I really enjoyed the anticipation with the Harry Potter and Twilight Books. But then again, none of them ended on such a cliffhanger like this one. I just want the third book NOW!

Stephanie said...

Love this post. You are right, I was so sad when Harry Potter ended. Half the fun was waiting for the next book! I have Catching Fire from BEA, but haven't read it yet. Will very soon though!

Ana S. said...

I haven't started this series yet, but I agree: the anticipation can be so much fun!

ibeeeg said...

I hear you about anticipation. When I finish a book - a good book, yeah, I am antsy to get going on the next in the series but I am finding that waiting is good. Gives me a chance to let the story really sink in. I have just read The Hunger Games. I loved the book. It lived up to all the great reviews. I am so looking forward to Catching Fire. I am savoring in The Hunger Games story and so looking forward to reading more of Katniss and Peeta. Glad to know that Catching Fire is receiving positive reviews.

Ruth King said...

I can't wait to read Catching Fire. I absolutely devoured The Hunger Games (so much so that I took absolutely no notes and will have to re-read more slowly before doing a coherent review -- I loved it, though!). Glad to know the sequel is worth waiting for!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read Hungar Games yet, though I do have it currently checked out of the library. I didn't even know it was a series until everyone started twittering and blogging about how they finally got a copy of Catching Fire and LOVED it, and now I'm thinking I should wait to read it because I HATE waiting for the next book in a series. I waited to read Twilight until Breaking Dawn had been released because I didn't want to wait.

Needless to say, I'm really, really, really impatient.

Anonymous said...

I haven't had the opportunity (before the Twilight series) to read all of them at one time. I did enjoy it, but I also LOVE the anticipation of a new book in a series. I think I would go for waiting over having cake and eating all at once. Moderation is the key, you know.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Nicole if you aren't going to read it can I borrow it :)

Anticipation is good but I'm so impatient. I wouldn't have been able to wait to read it.

Angiegirl said...

I think it's an interesting dichotomy. On the one hand, I adore discovering a new (to me) series and just blowing through five or six with reckless abandon. On the other hand, I never EVER wait for an entire series to be out before starting it. Cool book out? I'm there. I will happily (if not quietly) wait for the next one, and the next one after that, year after year. I can savor the anticipation.

Jen said...

I totally know what you mean. For me, anticipation is always part of the fun. It is especially true when I'm planning a trip.

I liked The Hunger Games, but I didn't love it the way most people did. I'm glad to hear that you thought the second book was even better. Can't wait to read it!

Les said...

I am green with envy!! As I read your post, I found my pulse beginning to race. I can not wait to read this book! I loved The Hunger Games and was so disappointed when an ARC showed up at work and went to one of the managers who was heading out of town and needed a good plane read. I know it will make its rounds next week and I am really looking forward to finally getting my hands on it. I just wish I had gotten to it first. I know -- greedy! ;)

Anyhow, I just had to pop in and say hurray, I'm so happy to hear it's even better than The Hunger Games.

BTW, I've heard your name mentioned for many, many months and have finally taken the time to peruse your lovely blog. Sorry to hear about all the negative comments regarding BEA. Sigh.

Jenn M. said...

I've had Hunger Games in my TBR pile for a while. I'm hearing a lot of good things about both books. I might have to move it up a few places.

Lorin said...

I'm relieve that CF is as good as/possibly better than HG. Nothing worse than a series that starts out strong and goes downhill.

Anticipation is fine, I guess, but I'd rather have it now!! =)

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