Scholastic, Inc, 2008
1st in trilogy
Source: I bought this because a. it has been highly acclaimed around the blogosphere and b. it was in paperback.
Summary: In the future the country is divided in to 12 districts plus the Capitol. Every year a boy and a girl from each district is chosen to participate in the Hunger Games, where they fight and kill down to the last person standing. This year Katniss is going as a tribute from District 12 and she's rather determined to win.
WITH (minor) SPOILERS!
Thoughts: I was a little leery of this because I'm not the biggest dystopian fan and it sounded super violent. Plus it was super popular-what if it was another Twilight (Note: I am largely anti-Twilight because it is crap, crap, crap).
Now Katniss doesn't really have any female friends but she's close to her sister and fiercely protective of her family, which I love. As an older sister, I like to think that I would be able to protect my sister even if I can't shoot arrows as well as Katniss. I also loved the secondary characters, especially Cinna and Haymitch, two of the people helping Katniss during the Games. They're funny and she interacted in interesting ways with them.
There was some predictability. It was pretty obvious who would be the last to die, when Rue would die, and a bit of the love story but it didn't detract from my enjoyment.
Team: This is the big question so...Peeta! He's been in love with her for eleven years; person secretly in love with another for ages is one of my favorite romantic tropes. While Gale may be in a similar position, he didn't take the opportunity to express it. It also helps that in Forever Young Adult's handy dissections of the series, Peeta is represented by William Moseley and Gale by Ethan Peck; Um King Peter FTW! (Actually I really love their review so check that out too)
Overall: Outstanding dystopian with generous dollops of romance-highly recommended!
Predictions: Keeping in mind that I've mostly avoided spoilers for the next two books, these are some of the things I'm thinking: Katniss will lead a rebellion against the Capitol, culminating in Mockingjay; the relationship between her and Peeta and her and Gale will end in a permanent relationship of her with one of them; I am also hoping that Katniss doesn't die.
Unfortunately, I am in a book banning period right now, but books bought as a surprise from my parents don't count so I have Catching Fire and that's coming up. Sadly it's in hardback so now they don't match :-(