When I discussed reading this series with my students, several of the boys said I should just skip the second book and go straight to the third book. Well, I didn't listen to them because that would be silly. When I asked them why, they couldn't give me a clear answer, the best I got out of them was, "It's just not that good."
I liked this book, I actually liked this book a lot more than Hunger Games. I started this book a while back, and then set it aside and read a few other books. (Mostly because I had this on my Kindle and tend to read the Kindle when I'm away from home. When I'm home I read actual books, and I had several I needed to finish now that I'm home for summer vacation.)
When I went back to reading this though, I couldn't put it down. I was probably on chapter two or three when I started back on this book Friday and I read until I finished it. This book has more of the romance I'd hoped for in the first book, but in noticing that, I could understand why the boys might have skipped this. My students are fourteen and fifteen year old boys and I can just imagine the looks on their faces when they read that Peeta climbs into Katniss' bed to comfort her after while she's having nightmares. I'm kind of surprised the boys even kept reading the book after that scene. Books 1 & 3 (which I read as soon as I finished this book) focus more on fighting and war, so of course these boys enjoyed that more.
But I liked this book. Katniss and Peeta are forced back into the Hunger Games, this time with other past victors -- to show that even the strongest cannot escape the power of the Capital. But this isn't enough to stop the uprisings in the Districts, influenced by Katniss' defiance of the Gamemakers at the end of the first book.
Lots of action, the story keeps you guessing, likable characters, and enough romance to make me happy, not so much to ick me out.
I'm going to recommending these books to everyone.