By now, everyone should know that Katniss survived the Hunger Games, because she's the main character, and there wouldn't be a sequel if she'd lost. However, she also managed to pull Peeta out alive, even though there's only supposed to be one winner in a Hunger Games. Hey, love conquers all, right? So now the two of them are in the lap of luxury. They and their families don't have to starve anymore, because they enough food and money to last the rest of their lives.
That doesn't mean that Katniss and Peeta's troubles are over. Far from it. They have to go on this Victory Tour around the country to celebrate their winning the Games (and rub it in the other Districts' faces, I think), and still pretend they're in love. Well, Peeta is for real, but Katniss is on the fence. At the same time, there's some kind of rebellion stirring up among the 12 Districts. If Katniss and Peeta can defy the Capitol by coming out both winners when it's always been one, couldn't anything happen? Well, I couldn't tell much about the rebellion, maybe they'll discuss it more in book 3. ^_^ Yes, there's got to be a book 3, because the ending to this one was so open-ended! I'll tell you why.
Now the Hunger Games isn't just going to disappear from Katniss and Peeta's lives, because now they get to be mentors for the following Hunger Games. Remember, this thing happens every... single... year! No excuses. It's been that way for 75 years. And every 25 years they have a special version of the Hunger Games, called Quarter Quells. This year, the new rules of the Hunger Games is that instead of having fresh blood in the arena, the competitors are the people who have won the Hunger Games before. Now quickly, do the math! District 12 only has 3 victors who are still alive. Katniss, Peeta, and their drunk friend Haymitch, who was their mentor in the previous book. Now out of those 3, who is the only female in the group, and therefore will HAVE to compete in a game she thought she'd never have to do again, especially not in the following year?!!! That's right, Katniss is back. Man, you should read the scene where she finds out she has to do the whole thing again. She almost cracks! ~,~
My favorite part was when they and the other people were in the arena, which was very different from the one in the original book. It was weird, because to me it kind of felt like the Games were much too short. In the story it only takes a couple days, but the chapters covering it took a very short time to read, I felt. I won't tell you much else about the Games, except that Katniss and Peeta make a lot more alliances than they did in their first Hunger Games.
I really, really, really liked this book! Even when it had been ages since I read the last book, Suzanne Collins had made her characters memorable enough for me to remember them fondly when they were introduced in this installment. And then she manages to stuff a few more cool characters into my head, but I think I'll be able to remember them all when I read the next sequel. You know, I'm noticing more and more how cool it is when an author decides to write in the present tense. Like, not as if it's happened already, but as if the story is happening right now, as you turn the pages. It really gets you into the thick of things, especially when the story is in first person, so it's like you are the person the book's about. It's just funny that I've only started noticing it now. =P
Read this novel! It's a keeper!