I've had this book on hold at the library for quite some time now. I first dismissed it as a simple YA book, but when TIME Magazine included Suzanne Collins in The 2010 TIME 100, I knew I had to find out for myself why her books were being given so much praise.
The story starts out with the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, volunteering to take her sister's place in the Hunger Games, a yearly tournament run by the Capitol, which controls all of the districts in Panem. Katniss, who lives in District 12, realizes her act is equivalent to suicide, but her love for her sister is paramount. She, along with Peeta, the other "tribute" from District 12, set out for the Capitol, where they will fight to the death with 22 other tributes to win ultimate glory. The object of the Games is simple: make sure you are the last one alive. Katniss battles many obstacles in the Games arena, but it is ultimately her love for others and her resistence to give in to the Capitol's inhumane mindset that seals her fate. I have to stop at this point before I give anything too important away.
The Hunger Games kept me at the edge of my seat for a good day and a half; I simply could not put it down (which resulted in my getting a B on my Anatomy quiz, but it was worth it). While the writing is not absolutely remarkable, Collins does a very good job conveying the emotions running through Katniss' head. I also enjoyed the parallels to today's society that Collins illuminates; she certainly opened my eyes. I would recommend this book to everyone. Seriously, I cannot think of a single person who would not find some sort of value in it. As for me, I am anxiously awaiting my copy of Catching Fire, the next book in the trilogy.