I'm going to be pretty unequivocal in my opinion here: I loved The Hunger Games.
Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.I had read so many glowing reviews of The Hunger Games before I read it, I was worried I wouldn't like it after all, but I did. The plot and the writing, as befits a so-called young adult book, are straightforward, but just suck you in and make it hard to put this book down. I say "so-called young adult" because this is a very violent book, but I liked that Suzanne Collins didn't feel like she had to tone it down.
Now, all the good stuff said, I'll be nitpicky and point out the annoying stuff in the story: Katniss is emotionally clueless and I wanted to give her a good shake at several points in the story. There's a reliance on a deus-ex-machina plot device that I found a little lazy. And, as Stephen King pointed out in his review*, this book will probably remind adult readers of a lot of other dystopian future novels.
But, who cares? This is a good book. I loved it. You'll love it, too. Read it.
Buy The Hunger Games on Amazon.
Look out for the upcoming sequel, Catching Fire!
* Don't read the comments on King's review, they will make you cry. In the review, King jokingly makes a comment about that Bachman guy. Bachman is one of King's pseudonyms, a fact of which I am sure King is aware. The commenters either don't grasp the concept of a joke, or don't know that the Stephen King writing the review is, yes, that Stephen King.