Was ‘Catching Fire’ A Blaze Or A Fizzle? YA Authors Weigh In

MTV News asks the literary set for their 2 cents on the 'Hunger Games' sequel.

It’s safe to say the odds were definitely in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”‘s favor when it comes to critical response and box-office sales following the sequel’s premiere last week. But what do the toughest critics out there have to say? You know, those who can relate to “Hunger Games” author Suzanne Collins? Those whose books have served as the source material for a whole new crop of films?

We’re referring, of course, to YA authors.

Katniss Everdeen splashed across screens last week — decked out in a series of seriously enviable sweaters — in “Catching Fire,” the second installment of wildly popular YA series-come-wildly popular film series “The Hunger Games.” The electrifying and sob-inducing film earned its share of praise from critics following its premiere, and handily nabbed the November opening record from “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” Not bad for a sequel.

The page-to-screen transition has become pretty popular of late when it comes to YA books. There’s “Divergent,” set to hit theaters in March 2014; “Mazerunner,” due out in February; and the next installment in the “Mortal Instruments” series, to name a very few.

In honor of this YA trend, MTV News hit up some authors of that ilk to get their thoughts on the newest “Hunger Games” flick. Check out their reviews below, and keep your eyes trained on the silver screen — maybe one of their books will be the next blockbuster.

Dressed For Success
“Larger than life, ‘Catching Fire’ hit all of my emotional buttons. The parallels to the real-world with people rising up against a too-powerful, dictatorial government were completely relatable. A strong, smart girl (who wasn’t blonde or perfect) who saves the day was icing on the cake. And that dress that catches fire? Yeah, I want that too. Awesomeness.” — Liz Fichera, author of “Hooked” and “Played”

Tears And Fears
” ‘Catching Fire’ was everything I wanted it to be. Unsettling. Brutal. Thought-provoking. The themes were more sophisticated than the first movie, the motives more complex. Jennifer Lawrence was so damn riveting, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her — the Rue speech just about broke me, and I’m not a movie-crier. This sequel was downright stressful to watch. But that’s also what made it so brilliant.” — April Genevieve Tucholke, author of “Between The Devil And The Blue Sea”

Sequel Success
“I thought ‘Catching Fire’ surpassed the ‘Hunger Games’ movie in every way! Jennifer Lawrence made movie Katniss both fiercer and more vulnerable than book Katniss. And Jena Malone was a scene-stealer as Johanna.” — Kara Taylor, author of “Prep School Confidential”

The Next “Star Wars”?
“‘The Hunger Games’ was a wonderful adrenaline-spike of an adaptation, but ‘Catching Fire’ is something different: It’s a fully-realized film that stands apart from its source material, and like ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ it deepens and darkens the saga. This is a movie that achieves the quality of myth and nightmare, and gives the audience a true sense of a world thrumming beyond the edge of the screen. I am in love with this thing.” — T. Michael Martin, author of “The End Games”

Page To Screen
“It’s so common for movies to water down a book’s darker elements, to gloss over with special effects and CGI until they’re far removed from the images we see of foreign oppression on the news and the fears that live in the dusky back corners of our minds. Like the book, the movie version of ‘Catching Fire’ faced the darkness in our world and in our spirits head-on. Of course it’s fiction, but its themes of power, defiance and allegiance are all too real, and it was refreshing and sobering to see them come to life on the big screen.” — Anna Schumacher, author of “End Times”

Brenna Ehrlich is a reporter for MTV News as well as the senior writer/editor for the O Music Awards. In the past, she served as associate editor at Mashable, penned a netiquette column for CNN and co-authored the blog and book "Stuff Hipsters Hate." She likes trying not to die in moshpits and listening to songs on repeat. Follow her on Twitter @BrennaEhrlich for news on cats and punk bands.