In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
I read this book for the first time last September because it was our book club pick for the month. This was when I had just started dabbling in YA Fiction and probably, honestly, would never have heard of it, or given it a chance (based on the descrpition) otherwise. Let me just say, I am so glad that I didn't miss out on this book. It is the first in The Hunger Games Trilogy and this is one trilogy you'd be VERY sorry to miss out on. I have yet to meet someone who had read these and NOT liked them.
All year I have been waiting patiently (and dying on the inside!) for the final installment in the trilogy to be released so I could re-read the first two and have it be a continuing story. Even with the year that has passed since I last read this book, I was still as enthralled with it as I was last September. Knowing how it ended, and knowing the events already of Book 2, I was still captivated by Katniss and Peeta and the Hunger Games in general. My heart was still in my throat as Prim's name was called at the reaping and as Katniss volunteered to take her place. I was still appalled by the Capitol and their endless parade of shallow citizens who condone CHILDREN killing each other for their entertainment. I fell in love with Peeta all over again as he repeatedly tried to protect Katniss and as you see their individual characters develop and grow together. And, of course, I was still shattered by the ending... and wanting more.
I didn't realize how much I had forgotten about in this book and am SO GLAD that I read it again. If you have not read this, you have NO IDEA(!!!) what you are missing out on. This is such an amazing trilogy. Now, go read it! :)