Can you say cliffhanger? Don't worry, I won't give anything away, but WOW! I started this book immediately after finishing the first book, Hunger Games, and the book did not miss a beat from the first one. Catniss and Peeta return home after the Games to their home, which is simultaneously the same and completely different after the defiance of the Capitol, albeit an unintentional one.
As the story unfolds, Collins allows the reader to grow more attached to Catniss and Peeta, both as individuals and as a pair. She also introduces other supporting characters, expanding Catniss' family beyond her immediate nucleus to include her family of other Victors. The relationship between Catniss and the rest of her group is complicated, because Catniss and Peeta do not understand the extent to which they are all linked, nor their individual importance in the grand scheme of things. I, like Catniss, did not completely understand the scope of the struggle, but I have every faith in Collins to finish the story in a way that will make everything make sense.
The relationship between Catniss and Gale is a complex one; are they best friends or are they something more than that? Catniss' attempt to navigate her own emotions - and the struggle she feels between Gale and Peeta for her love - reflects the different roles she plays throughout her story.
I read this book in one day - and what a day it was! I can't wait to see how Collins resolves the struggle - I can't believe that the final book in the series is not released until August!