I. Am. Obsessed.
The Hunger Games. If you haven't read this book, don't walk, speed to your nearest bookstore and pick it up, along with the second book in the series, Catching Fire. The third book in the trilogy, rumored to be titled, The Victors, won't be out until September of 2010, but trust me when I tell you that you will read and re-read the first two books again and again before the third book is released.
The Hunger Games is about smart, independent, sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen. When her twelve-year-old sister is called to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death among 24 teenagers with only one winner, Katniss immediately demands to take her sister's place. In volunteering, she essentially agrees to a death sentence. I loved Katniss's character and the underlying love story in the book left me wanting more ... and more ... and more. The suspense carries through each page and the brutality of the games is countered by the fact that the characters are so willing to give their lives in exchange for the lives of the people they love.
I finished The Hunger Games and immediately picked up Catching Fire. I read both books in about 10 hours, then turned around and started reading them again. It's been a very long time since I've read a book that made me think so hard about: life, death, love, motivations, repercussions, symbolism, and how I treat the people in my life, both strangers and loved ones alike.
I love the idea behind The Hunger Games so much that I even carved a Mockingjay into my Halloween pumpkin. I'm trying to figure out what I own that's bribe-worthy enough for me to get an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of the third book in the series. The book is also being made into a movie. Suzanne Collins is writing the script, so the movie should stick pretty close to the book and I'm sure it will be fantastic!
I'm amazed by the writing and story in the first two books and can't wait to see how Suzanne Collins wraps it up in book 3. The Hunger Games series is one of my new obsessions and will always be at the top of my favorite books list.