Susan Adrian had a contest back in November and I won this book from her. Being free, it jumped up to the top of my list. (Especially after I painfully could not finish the Midnighters by Scott Westerfield.)
The Hunger Games is fantastic! I devoured every word until the bitter end. I could not put it down and I have already ordered the second book in the series Catching Fire. The concept is disturbing but the battle for the underdog is amazing. Suffrage and starvation motivate the weakest of people to rise above their calling. The slow building romance is unexpected. Not something I'd normally read even though I love dystopia type stories.
Here is my mini synopsis (No spoilers, don't worry.)
The Capital, aka district 13, is a socialistic government that controls the food, limits communication/transportation and forbids leaving the perimeter of your district. There are 12 districts under the Capital's control. Over seventy years ago, 12 of the 13 districts revolted against the Capital and lost. As a reminder/punishment of the revolt the Capital created the Hunger Games.
12-18 year olds are forced to be apart of this lottery. ("Lottery" is my term.) A boy and a girl are picked from each district, 12 districts in all, and put into an "arena" to battle until the death. The "arena" is a deceptive word, it implies a football size stadium but it's quite the contrary. It could be a vast desert, snow tundra, or forest, etc. Kind of like survivor but instead of adults it's 12-18 year olds and instead of winning a million dollars you get your life. Again, not anything I'd jump to read but it was free mind you. Katniss, the MC, only values things that provide food for her starving little sister and mother. Her only way to provide is to risk going outside the parameter to hunt. Coming from the poorest district, number 12, with only one winner to date, she has the least chance of surviving. And her hunting skill is the only thing that might save her.
I absolutely recommend you add this book to your 2010 must read list. If you like any one of the following books: City of Bones, Ashes, Glass or The Forest of Hands and Teeth you will love this book.