(For ages 12 & up)
Suzanne Collins is a genius. This is the first book of her trilogy... and while I HIGHLY recommend you read this book, I'll also give you a warning. If you don't have any time or energy to read, DO NOT START READING this yet. You won't be able to put it down. It hasn't been a week yet, and I'm nearly finished with the 3rd book in the series!
Unfortunately, since this series has been labeled "Young Adult", there are few adults that have heard of it, or would bother to pick it up. Just like the Harry Potter series. Boy, are you people missing out! The last books I read so voraciously were HP 1-7. I can't decide if young adult authors are really that much better, or if their books just provide more of an escape from every day life. I can't imagine reading sci-fi or fantasy... I always thought plain old fiction was my favorite genre. Now I'm reconsidering.
I might finally have to read the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. (I've been boycotting, since the Oscars completely ignored "Moulin Rouge" to dump all of their awards for the 3rd year in a row to that series. I didn't get all the hype. An eclectic group of weirdos trek across beautiful landscapes to entice more weirdos to join them in an epic battle against some seriously scary-looking things. War ensues. And REPEAT.)
I don't really want to give you a synopsis of "The Hunger Games" series because it's better to go into it with no idea of what will happen next. Suzanne Collins builds a new world from the remains of our current one, with well-developed characters, ingenious twists and turns, and so much imagination. Under everything is a moral... and commentary on how war affects people, families, communities, and countries.
Read it. Now. (If you have the time to read 3 books)