Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The basics

Title: Catching Fire


Series: The Hunger Games #2

- The Hunger Games (2008)
- Catching Fire (2009)
- Mockingjay (2010)

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Goodreads Summary:

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol—a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest that she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

Read a full summary of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins below. If you can’t remember what happened in Catching Fire and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

what happened in Catching Fire?

  • The Victory Tour is about to begin. Katniss is hunting in the woods, and takes her prize to Gale’s mum.
    She stops at Haymitch’s place and wakes him up so he’s ready for the Tour to start.
  • Snow is waiting for Katniss at her house when she gets home. He tells Katniss that the berry trick from
    the Games in the first book really riled some people up. Snow says Katniss will have to prove that her
    love for Peeta is real.
  • Katniss gets prepped for the beginning of the Tour. Cinna tells Katniss she should have prepared a
    talent over the past six months, but Katniss hadn’t. They pretend Katniss is now super interested in
    fashion and design.
  • Peeta and Katniss hug and kiss a little before getting on the train.
  • Haymitch talks to Katniss about the Tour and how she’ll have to keep up the romantic charade (if that’s
    what it is) with Peeta forever.
  • The train breaks down briefly, allowing Peeta and Katniss to talk while they wait for it to be fixed. Peeta
    shows Katniss how he has recently been painting depictions of the Games.
  • The train stops at District 11. The group heads to the Justice Building, where there’s a bit of a
    performance with the mayor. They compliment Rue and Thresh and how helpful and special they were.
    This is where everyone does the District 12 salute. The man who started the song and the salute is
    executed. Charming.
  • Katniss and Peeta visit every district in turn. District 1 and 2 aren’t great places for them to be as they’re
    closest to the Capitol.
  • In the Capitol, there’s an interview with Caesar Flickerman. Peeta proposes at the end in an attempt to
    convince the public of their romantic relations.
  • Snow hosts a party. There’s a lot of wastefulness and gluttony and it disgusts Katniss. Plutarch
    Heavensbee has been promoted to Head Gamemaker. He is introduced to Katniss and the two of them
    dance. He discreetly shows Katniss his watch, which has a mockingjay symbol on it.
  • Back in District 12, Katniss goes looked for Madge. She passes by the Mayor’s office and sees an
    announcement about an uprising in District 8.
  • Katniss goes to meet with Gale. She suggests they run away. Katniss wants to take Peeta with them.
    She accidentally tells him about what’s going on in District 8, and Gale tells her he wishes to stay and
  • The Head Peacekeeper whips Gale in front of lots of people. Katniss tries to protect him and she gets
    hit in the face. Haymitch defends her.
  • Gale gets carried to Katniss’s house. The other miners fill each other in on what happened. Gale was
    taking a turkey to the Head Peacekeeper’s house, but the previous Peacekeeper had been replaced and
    the new guy was punishing Gale for poaching.
  • Katniss’s mum and sister treat Gale’s wounds. It snows and everyone stays inside for a few days.
    Katniss decides not to run and instead to stay and fight.
  • The new Peacekeepers seem to be causing havoc in town. Lots of people are having trouble earning
    money like they did before. Punishments are being held publicly.
  • Snow sends Katniss some wedding dresses for her to choose from.
  • Katniss becomes upset and goes to the abandoned cabin in the woods. There’s a Peacekeeper waiting
    for her, but it looks as though she’s a rebel on the side of the mockingjay.
  • The woman introduces herself as Twill. She explains that she fled District 8 after the rebellion. She tells
    Katniss and Peeta’s proposal kicked the uprising off, and the rebels were taking over local infrastructure.
    Unfortunately the Peacekeepers arrived and shut everything down.
  • Twill tells Katniss that District 13 still exists and it wasn’t destroyed as completely as the Capitol made
  • Katniss heads home and is greeted by two more Peacekeepers who were waiting for her to make a
    mistake. Haymitch and the others pretend that Katniss had gone looking for a local farmer.
  • Katniss watches some news footage while her injured foot heals. She sees a mockingjay in the corner
    of some District 13 footage, which apparently means it’s old stock footage and the Capitol isn’t showing
    District 13 as it is now.
  • The photography prep team show up once Katniss is able to walk again and they let slip that the
    Capitol is having trouble sourcing materials, meaning there are probably issues in other districts as well.
  • Katniss has to model six wedding dresses so the public can vote on which one she should wear.
  • Snow announces that the 75th annual Hunger Games will feature previous victors. One male and one
    female victor from each district will have to go back into the Games.
  • Katniss and Haymitch drink together and discuss tactics for the Games. They start training for the
    Games early on and study other victors in case they have to fight them.
  • Haymitch’s name is pulled at the Reaping and Peeta volunteers to take his place. The three of them are
    put on a train and taken to the Capitol.
  • Katniss and Peeta watch footage of Haymitch’s Games.
  • Katniss meets Finnick and my ship sets sail.
  • Katniss bumps into Darius, who used to be a Peacekeeper in District 12. He’s now an Avox.
  • Training for the Games begins. Katniss learns things about the other tributes, and also makes some
  • There are more interviews with Caesar Flickerman. A lot of the tributes are quite upset at being called
    back into the Games. Understandable.
  • Katniss attends the interview in her chosen wedding dress. It catches alight and turns into a dress
    made of black feathers, like a mockingjay.
  • Peeta tells the public that he and Katniss are now married and are expecting a baby.
  • Just as Katniss is about to enter the arena on her platform, some guards arrive and drag Cinna away.
  • Katniss enters the arena and is surrounded by water. She’ll have to swim to the Cornucopia. She gets a
    bow and bumps into Finnick, who’s an ally. MY HEART.
  • Finnick goes to get Peeta, who is stuck on his platform. Mags joins them and now they’re a party of
  • Peeta hits a force field and gets knocked out. Finnick has to perform CPR, which works.
  • They figure out that the Arena is a circle, with the Cornucopia in the middle.
  • Eight tributes died initially.
  • The group receives an object via sponsored airmail. It’s a spile, used for retrieving sap from trees. They
    use it to get fresh water.
  • Around midnight, they hear a bell toll and lightning strikes. A storm begins nearby.
  • Fog starts to move towards the group. It seems to be poisonous gas, so the group has to run. The gas
    starts to affect the nerves in their limbs. Mags sacrifices herself so that Finnick can carry Peeta away.
  • The trio are then attacked by monkeys because this is the Games and they can’t catch a break. A
    District 6 tribute saves Peeta.
  • They spot a giant wave crashing down across from them.
  • The trio are met by Beetee, Wiress, and Johanna. Wiress seems confused and keeps saying “tick
  • Katniss realises these events are happening in the same order, starting from noon. Katniss realises that
    the arena is set out like a clock, and the events begin in sections at the beginning of every hour.
  • Wiress is shot by an arrow. Katniss, Finnick, and Johanna defend the others. Finnick gets stabbed in
    the leg.
  • The arena begins to spin. Beetee is thrown into the water and Finnick goes in to help him. Katniss
    retrieves a coil from Wiress’s body.
  • Screaming starts and it sounds like the group’s loved ones. It’s some jabberjays. Finnick and Katniss
    are separated from the rest of the group for a bit but eventually the barrier goes down.
  • The group receives two lots of 24 rolls from a sponsor.
  • Katniss wants to leave their allies but Peeta wants to wait until the Careers are all gone.
  • Beetee tries to set a trap for the Careers. The group helps him link wire up to the lightning tree, and to
    put the other end of the wire in the water.
  • The wire gets cut as Johanna and Katniss are unwinding it. Johanna hits Katniss in the head and tells
    her to stay put. Katniss looks a bit deceased when the Careers arrive so they leave her to die.
  • Finnick runs over to look for Katniss and Johanna. Katniss follows the Careers and finds Beetee
  • Katniss plans to get rid of Finnick and the Careers. She remembers what Haymitch told her about
    remembering who the enemy is. Katniss shoots the wire at the forefield using an arrow.
  • A hovercraft with Heavensbee onboard arrives. Peeta and Katniss are taken away. Katniss wakes up in
    hospital. She tries to escape but keeps passing out.
  • Katniss overhears Haymitch talking to Finnick and Heavensbee. Haymitch explains to Katniss that the
    plan was to rescue Katniss from the arena. Some of the other tributes knew about this plan as well.
    Heavensbee is part of the rebel group. District 13 is working with them.
  • Haymitch explains that Beetee was meant to blow a hole in the force field as scheduled. The bread rolls
    were communicating the correct day and time.
  • Johanna attacked Katniss to remove her tracker, and to get the Careers away from her.
  • Peeta, Johanna, and Enobaria were taken to the Capitol. Katniss is angry that Peeta isn’t with them.
    She stops eating until one day Gale shows up. He says that District 12 was destroyed. Katniss’s mother
    and sister are okay.

That was our recap of what happened in Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Check out our recap list for more plot summaries, and if you can’t find what you need you can request a recap here!

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