The Hunger Games
I quite enjoyed this book. I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting myself into, as I hate ruining things for myself by listening to other peoples critiques of things, but I'm really glad I gave this book a chance.
You should be aware that this is a review based on my having not seen the movie yet, just reading the book itself.
I was originally told the book was a mix of a dystopian world with "Battle Royale" mixed in. I've seen Battle Royale (have not read the book), and I have to say this book is a lot more like BR than I anticipated. BR is the epitome of a dystopian world, and Hunger Games follows directly in its tracks. I was rather surprised to find out that Suzanne Collins had neither read, watched nor even heard of BR when she wrote The Hunger Games. I'm not entirely sure if I believe that, seeing the extreme similarity between the two.
Onto the book itself! The further into the book I got, the more I felt the need to read the book. It's honestly like an addiction - the author gives you a little taste of the world for free in the first couple of chapters and once you're hooked, you're up at 3am trying to find out what happens next. Not that that...you know...happened. Or anything.
I loved the little tidbits of introduction to the world of Panem - the history of the world they now live in and how they got to the way they are now. I was grasping for more information on this history, but the author certainly knows what she's doing...slow release - keeps us coming back for more!
The character development is pretty damned good. The sense of adventure, dire need to survive...I don't know that I would actually change anything about the book.
Read it, jump on the bandwagon - it's really just "one of those books".