So after I finished the first one and directed my boyfriend's mom to it she immediately made me borrow this one. I love having someone with the same taste in books.Anyway, this one starts right where the first one leaves off and you hit the ground running. In a way the pace really helps you to understand just how Katniss is feeling throughout this. One moment you're relaxed and fairly calm, and the next you're on edge and anxious because you're life is in danger again. I personally think that it makes the story that much more enjoyable because it has that ability to pull you into the story and make you feel the actions and emotions. It also matches pace with the first one so the story doesn't feel uneven. The plot has an interesting twist to it as well that I wasn't expecting at all. The harshness of the world is still there of course and so is the violence, so there is absolutely not loss in the gritty nature of the first.This like the first also has clear character development as well. I really enjoyed how Katniss becomes a sort of idol even though she did nothing but try to survive, I also enjoyed learning about the other contestants like Finnick who has such a raw story that I immediately adored him. As the book continues you realize just how these Games take their toll on people and how much acting goes into helping them survive both in the arena and out.The ending will definitely leave you wanting more and I suggest having Mockingjay near by when you finish.