When I first heard of this book, the premise struck me as being very similar to Battle Royale, a Japanese graphic novel which I know mainly by reputation. The Hunger Games is the story of a dystopian future where the continent-formerly-known-as-North-America is united under the name Panem. Every year, the corrupt Capitol takes two children from each of the 12 Districts to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal reality-TV style event where the children are expected to kill one another so that only one survivor emerges.
This is a brutal book. Although it is a Y/A title, there are a few scenes not for the faint of heart, and the author does not shy away from the brutality of the Games. A few of the characters got on my nerves at times, but overall, I enjoyed it enough to read the sequel and see where the author goes with it in the aftermath.