Second Opinion: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I can't believe that after two years of waiting, Mockingjay is almost here!  In keeping with my habit of re-reading really great books before the next in the series comes out, here's my second opinion on Catching Fire.  

Click here to see my original review of Catching Fire.  

Things I like about Catching Fire:
I love it all---see my second opinion on The Hunger Games to find out more.

Things I don't like about Catching Fire:
I really can't think of anything!  Suzanne Collins has me in a frenzy for Mockingjay with the way she ended Catching Fire

Something New:
Since I don't have much to say in this review, I've decided to do something different.  It’s no secret here at I’d So Rather Be Reading that Natalie and I are a house divided on The Hunger Games teams. I am Team Gale while she is Team Peeta.

I went into the re-read with an open mind with regards to the love story. I was fully prepared to soften my feelings on Peeta, if not change teams completely. I have heard from many Team Peeta the same complaint: “I just don’t know Gale well enough.”  Okay, I said. I see your point. So, during my re-read, I found some things I’d like to share.  The following is my basis for being Team Gale:

A Case for Gale:
We’re at the very beginning of The Hunger Games when we first hear about Gale. The Hunger Games, page 6:
“In the woods waits the only person with whom I can be myself. Gale. I can feel the muscles in my face relaxing, my pace quickening as I climb the hills to our place, a rock ledge overlooking a valley. A thicket of berry bushes protects it from unwanted eyes. The sight of him waiting there brings on a smile. Gale says I never smile except in the woods.”
One thing I really like about Gale is that he has known Katniss for so long---six years by the start of Catching Fire. She has had an easy partnership with him through that time and is close with his family.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Catching Fire about Katniss and Gale.  Read it and weep, Natalie! 

Page 5:
“The only time I really get to see Gale now is on Sundays, when we meet up in the woods to hunt together. It’s still the best day of the week…”
Page 96:
"His skin, his whole being, radiates heat from being so near the fire, and I close my eyes, soaking in his warmth.  I breathe in the smell of snow-dampened leather and smoke and apples, the smell of all those wintry days we shared before the Games.  I don't try to move away.  Why should I, anyway?  His voice drops to a whisper.  'I love you.'"
Page 117:

"Gale is mine.  I am his.  Anything else is unthinkable."
Page 121:
"I have chosen Gale and the rebellion, and a future with Peeta is the Capitol's design, not mine."
Page 125:
"Of course, I love Gale."
Page 185:
"Gale knows I chose him over Peeta when I didn't make a run for it." 
Page 220:
"...but Peeta wasn't Hob the way the rest of us were....the last thing I want is his sympathy and comfort.  I haven't changed my mind about saving him in the arena, but I don't owe him more than that."
Page 390:
'Until one time, I open my eyes and find someone I cannot block out looking down at me.  Someone who will not plead, or explain, or think he can alter my design with entreaties, because he alone really knows how I operate.  'Gale,' I whisper."
If that's not proof, then I don't know what is!  I'm Team Gale because Katniss has always been sure of him.  She doesn't question her feelings or have to fake things the way she does with Peeta.  There are times where she talks about her feelings for Peeta, but she never outright says she loves him.  I know that she cares for Peeta and is confused about her feelings for him, but with Gale she can always be herself. 

Yes, I want Katniss to end up with Gale, but I also want Peeta to be happy too.  I have a sinking suspicion that Suzanne Collins will not give us our neatly tied up happily ever after, though.  I can honestly say I have never been this excited about a book as I am about Mockingjay!

Still not convinced?  Read this post about the men of The Hunger Games by Persnickety Snark.  Or this one by Ava at Book InfinityOr this one by Danielle at Every Last Page

I want to know what you think: are you Team Gale or Team Peeta and why?

Original Score/Second Opinion Score:


  1. I haven't read any of the books, but with all the frenzy I'm very tempted. Very nice of you to review book #2 before the new one comes out.

  2. Gale sucks! What exactly has Gale done? Nothing. Peeta has gone to the games twice...twice!

  3. I still need to read Catching Fire. I'm excited for Mockingjay but I'll hold off reading it until for awhile. It'll probably be a few months before I get to Catching Fire.
    Alison Can Read

  4. THANK YOU for posting this, I keep seeing Team Peeta stuff everywhere. I am team Gale because he does not smother Katniss and she has feelings for him too. I think its just plain annoying that Peeta loves her so much and she is just confused about him. In the end I just want Katniss to be happy though. I can't wait for Mockingjay! Mind if I steal these quotes for my blog? I will give you credit of course :)

  5. Ok Kelli, I admit you make some good points about Gale. But there's something selfless about the love Peeta has for Katniss. I mean obviously he'd give his life for her.

    But I don't hate Gale though..he's just got that emotional wall up and doesn't profess his undying love. He hasn't put himself on the line for her. Maybe he does love her more than Peeta, but if he doesn't say it or show it, then it doesn't mean that makes him #2 for me.

  6. Let me start out by saying "OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!!" I should have KNOWN Kelli had some trick up her sleeve when she texted me a Katniss quote about gail (I won't even capitalize his name!). I will not have time to post a proper rebutle to this ATTACK on poor Peeta :(

    Completely agree with Abby, Toby & Aly. What has Gale done that is so wonderful and earth moving... tick, tock, tick, tock... He hasn't done crap!!!

    gale IS SO B TEAM... Even his name is lame :)

  7. I would just like to point out that everyone who is Team Peeta has just been forced to admit that I have some good points about Gale.

    Find me ONE QUOTE in the book where Katniss says outright that she loves Peeta................... still looking? Well, you won't find it because it's NOT THERE!

    I am Team Gale, have always been and will always be. Peeta has never been her first choice. The line in the sand is drawn and I am not moving!

    Nat, what is more lame than a name that evokes "PETA---People for the ethical treatment of animals?" Peeta is a kitten. A mewling kitten!!! Oh please take care of me Katniss while I lay here in the cave and HOLD YOU BACK. Oh, please find me some food Katniss since I'm crashing through the woods and scaring off all the animals. Oh, man, I didn't mean to kill Foxface with the poisoned berries. Wah, wah, wah. Give me a break!

    Might I remind you that it was Gale who helped Katniss learn how to hunt and provide for her family? Or what about when he takes the beating for her instead of giving her up to Thread? Gale's done a lot, everyone is just too blinded by Peeta (since he's there the whole time) to see it.

    So this is it, this is my stance and I will NEVER change, no matter what!

  8. Just one question - which of the two would step up and sacrifice himself for Catnip? Not Gale...remember he just stood there doing nothing when Catnip volunteered for the games. If he loved her so much, why didn't he volunteer to be in the games and take Peeta's place so he could watch out for her. Nope...I'll just stand here and watch you die.

  9. FYI everybody, Toby is my husband so I can say whatever I want to him. :)

    Toby, I would like to remind you that Gale is the sole provider for his family of 5. He would have been sentencing his family to death if he took Peeta's place. And, he didn't know that both tributes could win. Would you sentence Rory, Posy, and the other sibling who's name I can't remember as well as Hazelle to certain death?

    And I would also like to point out that I was reading over your shoulder as you typed your comment and yelled out, Gale couldn't take Katniss' place because a GIRL tribute had to volunteer and you backspaced to correct your comment. Therefore, your argument is invalid.

    Love you! :)

  10. Senor Gaylord (Gale) is a good hunter and can provide but is slow to express his feelings. Wow...He can kill animals and provide for a family of 5 but sucks at loving and expressing his feeling...if he even has any. I think he is emotionly disturbed and a very angry "boy" . He had years to express to her the love but he didn't. Peeta made his move right away. GO TEAM PEETA!!!!!

  11. Hi Donny! Way to back your wife's POV---you could teach Toby a thing or two!

    Gale was waiting until Katniss was a little older---remember he is 18 and she is 16. And he does tell her he loves her----plus he's trying to express her feelings at the beginning of THG when he brings up running away together!

    At least he's not all whiny, emo, clingy, and dependent like Peeta the painter!

  12. i love this post.

    it was weird, i read the books tucked away in Australia and didnt even know there were teams. i just assumed ti was obvious that gale and katniss were for each other and peeta was a great guy but unfortunately the third wheel in the whole thing.

    am still amazed at all these fervent peeta supporters. obviously, they personally like peeta for themselves, but gale is the best pick for katniss.

    also, gale is hotter.

    and i really feel for him being out of the hunger games loop and all the emotion and turmoil he must have gone through.

    peeta sulks. gale broods. i'll take brooding any day :)

  13. This is a great post. I just posted a post about Team Gale on my blog too! Different angle, but I completely agree with everything you said.

  14. Good points, Kelli, but I'm still TEAM PEETA all the way!

  15. Wonderful post! I haven't read the series yet. But based on what I've heard...I'm a future-team-Peeta-girl. Who knows? Maybe I'll change my mind once I read it for real.

  16. Great post! I am eager for Mockingjay but won't have time to read the first two again before I start it. I'm glad you refreshed my memory.

  17. I wish my bookseller would open at midnight...I'm dying to know what's going to happen!

    Here from the CEP.

  18. Definitely Team questions about it!

  19. Kelli, we shall continue this battle after tomorrow night!!! If Peeta suffers an ill fate it will just make it even better that I stood behind him and his master icing fingers :)


  20. Ok and one other thing. All the points about Gale are from Katniss's POV, we still have heard nothing from Gale's mouth...nada. When it's a one-sided love, I think we call that a middle-school Crush, not LOVE. Peeta loves Katniss, Katniss has a crush on Gale. Katniss Loves Peeta, just won't admit to it YET.
    Sorry Kelli- Nat got me fired up with a phone call.....=)

  21. Okay, okay... I am waving the white flag! I feel bad that we are at odds just days before one of our most anticipated books is released. To let everyone know Kelli and I have been wearing Mockingjay pins on our work jackets for over a year now... I hope we can agree to disagree... but just until we have time to read Mockingjay tomorrow ;0)... then flag removed!

  22. @ Abby---allow me to point you to the page 96 quote from...wait for it...GALE: "His voice drops to a whisper. 'I love you.'" Has Peeta EVER said that out loud to Katniss? NO!

    @ Natalie---Peeta has master icing fingers because he has no other skills besides whining. Oh, yeah, I did just say it!

    Nat, you know I love you...thank you for surrendering to my indisputable case for Gale. I knew you would see the light eventually. Thanks for the white flag!!!! :) :) :)

    I am going to buy my copy of Mockingjay now---I have my "Down With The Capitol" t-shirt on!


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