200px-Hunger_gamesA friend first told me how great the Hunger Games was and I dismissed it, prematurely, as a YA novel, much in the same vein of Twilight as fantasy YA books goes.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The country is divided into the capital (based in the Rockies) and thirteen districts, each in charge of a type of industry that benefits the whole country. Seventy-something years earlier, District 13 rebelled and was crushed by the capital. It no longer exists. To commemorate the Capitol’s victory and reinforce the dominance of the Capitol over the other districts, every year, the country participates in the Hunger Games.

When twelve-year-old Primrose Everdeen is selected as District 12’s female representative in a lottery selection process, it means certain death.  Then the unthinkable happens, her older sister, Katniss, volunteers to take her place.  The male representative is Peeta Mellark, the boy who once saved Katniss’ life.

Although Katniss expects certain death, she finds an unlikely ally in her mentors, Effie, a pink-haired Capitol Type-A personality; and Haymitch, the only living winner from District 12 and a drunk to boot.  Haymitch’s unorthodox methods, Effie’s military-like efficiency, Peeta’s likability factor, and Katniss’ stubborn, sometimes borderline rebellious, personality (along with some great stylists) combined will give them an edge over the competition and immediate media exposure.

But the biggest complication may end up being Katniss’ friendships — the ones she made back home and the ones in the Hunger Games arena.  After all, there can be only one victor.

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