The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
borrowed from library
Summary from Goodreads:
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?
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.
This book was a very pleasant surprise. Not the subject, mind you, but the book. The Hunger Games is set in a dystopian world called Panem and the children must enter a lottery to be part of the Hunger Games -- a fight to the death between the chosen boy and girl from each district. Katniss is the heroine of the books and she is a strong, independent girl trying to take care of her family when she volunteers to take her sister's place in the Hunger Games. Peeta is the boy chosen from her district to be part of the games. Will they work together to survive or each go their own way? Gale is Katniss' lifelong friend - and maybe something more - who is left back home when she goes off to the games. Suzanne Collins has written a wonderful story that really pulls you into the world. There is quite a bit of violence in the book --kids fighting to the death and all. But it does make the reader think about this world and what could have caused things to go so horribly wrong. I highly recommend this book.
You can also read my review of The Hunger Games at my main book blog ABookGeek.
The second book in the series is Catching Fire.
The third book, Mockingjay, should be released August 24, 2010.