Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
I first read this book back when it was first released and loved it. I was already a fan of the Japanese novel Battle Royale (which I need to read again) and this was a similar plot, although a little watered down for the teens. I decided to reread it before I see the movie in March.
Katniss (ohhh how I loathe her name) lives in District Twelve in the dystopian society known as Panem. Each year, every district has to draw the names of a boy and a girl teenager to participate in The Hunger Games. In the Games, they all will fight and kill each other until only one person is left alive. Supposedly this is a way to keep the districts in order, but I still don't really get how that works. I figure they'd just be MORE likely to form an uprising if you keep killing their kids. Oh well, we can overlook that since there'd be no story otherwise.
This year Katniss's little sister is drawn to go into the games, so Katniss volunteers to go in her place. The boy whose name is drawn is Peeta, the town baker's son. There's a slightly annoying teen love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Katniss's childhood friend Gale. Fortunately, Collins succeeded in creating possibly the least nauseating love triangle in YA history. Gale and Peeta are actually fully formed, likable characters and Katniss is a strong female who doesn't rely on the men in her life to get her though problems. In fact, Katniss ends up saving Peeta half the time.
Overall, I love this series. The book is just as good when reading it again. I think just about everyone on earth has read these books by now. I've seen everyone from kids to senior citizens reading the series. It really is one of the few YA book that fully succeeds in crossing the barrier between teen and adult books. Maybe the first series that's done that since Harry Potter.