The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games #1)
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.
First off... This has been on my wish list for as long as I can remember because someone told me there were vampires in it. Well, they LIED. Am I sorry they did, though? Most definitely not.
This was one of the most exciting books I've read in a while. I honestly wouldn't expect to find something like this among the YA category. There's a main character, Katniss, but all the others had their own unique voices and personalities, which has become very rare in books lately.
There were times when it reminded me of gladiator movies. And then, at times, it reminded me off this Japanese (?) movie Battle Royale. But there was so much more action and emotion in this one. In general you just sympathize with almost all of the characters and find yourself not wanting them to die.
I'm not sure how books #2 and #3 are going to be, but I'll find out soon enough.