"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 is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival."
This book was amazing! I loved it! It doesn't take long to get going, which I loved. It starts out right where the games do, at the reaping. The present-tense, first person narrative made it really easy to relate to Katniss. The writing almost gave the sense that you weren't just reading about Katniss, you were Katniss. Everything Katniss felt, you felt. When Katniss was in danger, you were in danger. It was a little stressful, but made the book all the more exciting!!!
The way they lived in the districts, starving and hunting their own food and working in coal mines, made it really easy to forget that the book was based in the future (then a hovercraft would drop out of the sky). In just about every other book based in the future (except, of course, post apocalyptic nightmares), things like that don't happen. People don't starve to death in a little town where electricity can only be counted on during mandatory-viewing broadcasts. I loved how different it was from most peoples' view of the future.
I have to admit, Peeta's name bothered me a little in the beginning. I mean, come on! Peeta, the baker's son! It was almost too comical for the extremely depressing country of Panem. But after the Games started, I got over it. Because after the Games started, they no longer lived in a world with bakers. After the Games started, nothing existed outside of the arena. It was just so hard to think that while 24 teenagers hunted and killed each other, there was a civilized, and very advanced world beyond the barriers of their prison.
Katniss was a great character. Though, it annoyed me how she seemed to get so caught up in winning the crowd's favor. I know it was a means of survival and she needed sponsors, but it still bothered me.
Collins did an excellent job of making you like all the characters Katniss liked, and hate all the characters Katniss hated. The villains were some of the best I've read about in a while.
There's a lot more to say about this book, but I don't want to give anything away. :)
Anyway, I loved this book. The writing and characters were great, and the story and world were absolutely amazing! I totally recommend this to EVERYONE!