The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins Holy crap, I loved this book. The premise initially reminded me of Battle Royale, so I kind of figured it would be just another take on the whole trap-some-kids-together-and-make-them-kill-each-other-off story. You know, a book about survival in a tyrannical world, filled with bloodshed and gore. But I kept seeing this trilogy all over Goodreads and bestselling lists so I figured I'd try it. Turns out, this book is really nothing like Battle Royale. Whereas the Japanese students of B.R. are essentially anonymous (they do have names, but they're also all assigned a number between 1 and 21 and it's easier to just keep up with them by their numbers) and almost indistinguishable (only three students are given small glimmers of stereotypical personalities and differences in character or appearance), the characters of The Hunger Games are easy to invest your emotions in and love. Once I started reading it, I just couldn't stop. I had to know what happened to the main characters. I'm now in the process of hunting down the next two novels of the trilogy at all my local libraries just so I can devour them over the weekend and not have to take breaks from them while at work on Monday. I couldn't believe this is a young adult trilogy. I didn't think the violence and murders were extremely graphic or anything (although if you get queasy at the idea of people beating each other to death you might want to be wary); I just couldn't believe a young adult novel could blow me away like that. I'm just hoping the plot doesn't become too Twilight-y in the second and third books. There's a hint of that in the way that Katniss becomes confused and torn about her feelings for Peeta and Gale toward the end, but I still have high hopes for them.