She had me from Page 1.
I expected the same from Catching Fire. Maybe it's because I read half the book a few months ago, and just finished it this weekend, but something about the story didn't feel as urgent, or awe-inspiring. With Hunger Games, I wouldn't have stopped reading - regardless of what was going on in my life.
There's certainly nothing wrong with Collins' talent (if only I could write half as well), and the concept of the games is scary, and so well done.
I just felt like something was missing.
Maybe it was the emotion. Save for the ending chapter, I didn't do a lot of crying (I cried a lot in Hunger Games - surpise!) And I predicted many of the plot twists.
I didn't, however, guess how this book would end, and I love the cliffhanger. At the end of Hunger Games, I couldn't comprehend how this would become a series - it seemed so complete. I get it now. And I'm excited for Mockingjay, which I hear is as compelling (or more) as Hunger Games.
Now I just have to get my butt to the book store and buy it!