Yeah, yeah, insanely late to the party. However, this book is worth the hype.
Description: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The 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. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.
My Thoughts: Yeah, consider me a fan without any reservations. In a world swimming with YA heroines who think of little else other than getting a boy to love them (and more often than not express that love in ways that deserve a VPO), Katniss is sharp, clever, and focused. In every chapter, it seemed, she found another way to please my competence kink, and I laughed out loud when she thought to herself, regarding Peeta, "Geez, I hope I'm not the one who has to kill him." (In a black humor kind of way, admittedly, but come on. It is not news at this point that I'm kinda creepy.) While your basic brooding, socially maladjusted hero would be simple (though admittedly remarkable for being applied to a female character), Katniss isn't cold, just a survivor. I loved how sweetly her relationship with Peeta played out, and how inevitable their rift. Yeah, Peeta is probably sweeter to be around, but Katniss keeps people alive. I will always root for the pragmatic, fast-thinking utilitarian over just about any other character archetype.