This was initially recommended to my by my friend, Colleen, as a good read. Then I heard it referred to as the new Twilight, which did not bode well. But then my friend, Sharon, referred to it as the Smarter Twilight, which seemed a better recommendation.
It’s a great concept: in a post apocalyptic future, The Capitol is surrounded by 12 Districts. Every year, each district must send two of their children, one male, one female, between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the Hunger Games, a fight to the death. It’s a great, and disturbing, idea and it makes for a great jumping off point, and the novel lives up to it for the most part.
Because it’s a YA novel, the brutality of the concept is soft pedaled somewhat. Most of the deaths happen off screen, except for one notable exception that is a pivotal moment for the POV character. I couldn’t help thinking it would have been nice to see the concept handled for an adult audience, so it could really explore in detail the horror of making teens fight to the death. Other than that, my only other quibble with the story is a bit too much Team Edward/Team Jacob style emotional hand-wringing.
Those things aside, the book was an exciting read that kept me interested and has me now reading the second book, which further explores the universe. The YA writing style makes them easy reads and the characters are engaging. Worth a read.