by Suzanne Collins
This was definitely a re-read, but after seeing the movie I just had to drop everything else and rip through it again. Catching fire provides a wonderful follow-up to The Hunger Games, and despite being the second book in a trilogy it does not fully consist of fluff. In fact, there is no fluff.
The first two-thirds of the book overflows with glorious character development, though at the same time the plot continues to move forward at a comfortable pace and there is no time or reason to be bored. Warning: make sure you have a few spare consecutive hours before you begin part three in this book. It may be divided into chapters, but you won't even notice. It's full of action and some very intense scenes.
The ending. Oh my goodness the ending. "It won't be as bad, since I'm expecting it," I thought, "I've already read it once AND seen the movie." Nope. It's bad every time. The epitome of CLIFFHANGER (yes, in all caps). On the positive side, the third book has already been published--just make sure you have a copy handy before you finish Catching Fire.
Just a note about the movie, since some of you may be wondering. I loved it, my husband loved it and even my brother loved it (who is studying film and is a pretty reliable movie critic). Naturally, there were a few parts it left out that I wish it hadn't, but otherwise it stayed pretty true to the book. And the cinematography was sooo much better than in the first movie.