The Hunger Games: a brutal game that the government forces each district to participate in. Every year two children are chosen by lottery and are sent to the arena where they are forced to fight for their lives against champions from every other district, as the whole country watches this horrific reality show on television. The last child left standing is crowned the champion.

And this year, with a simple draw from the basket, Katniss’s little sister becomes one of the chosen two sent to the games. Fiercely protective of frail Prim, Katniss steps forward and takes her place next to the other chosen champion. The two of them are an unlikely pair: a baker’s son and a healer’s daughter. What kind of talents can such a pair have, to keep them alive in the arena? And why should they be friends when only one person can win and, as a result, live beyond the games?

I’m not too crazy about dystopian novels, I generally find them depressing. But this book, it sucked me in from chapter one and kept me up late reading it. It’s face-paced, gritty and, yes, it is violent. If it this book is made into a movie, I don’t know how they’ll manage to keep the rating down for violence. Still, the book packs a punch as far as a storyline goes and leaves you anxious to read the sequel, Catching Fire. Definitely worth the read if you can handle violence.