by Suzanne Collins
New York : Scholastic Press, 2008.
In a future North America, twelve Districts now exist, each providing two "tributes" - a boy and a girl - for the annual Hunger Games. The Capitol reminds each District of its power and the futility of uprising by requiring the twenty-four tributes to kill each other on national television. District 12, which provides coal and is the poorest of the districts, has only one living winner and is not expected to do well. Then, Katniss Everdeen volunteers herself in place of her younger sister.
Intense. That's the word left in my mind after finishing this story, narrated by Katniss herself. The author uses Katniss's narrative to convey details of the world in a very natural way - reflecting on memories or history lessons - making it flow with the story without overwhelming the reader. Given the premise, I was a little afraid of a bloodbath, but since this is young adult literature I was, thankfully, spared most of the gory details. Katniss is the type of heroine you're behind all the way. She is not perfect, but she struggles with what she must do and knowing what is right. I'm waiting with bated breath for the next book to come back to the library.