The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.
Rather less 1984 and rather more Death Race 2000, hers is a gripping story set in a postapocalyptic world where a replacement for the United States demands a tribute from each of its territories: two children to be used as gladiators in a televised fight to the death.Katniss, from what was once Appalachia, offers to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, but after this ultimate sacrifice, she is entirely focused on survival at any cost.
It’s quite good. I liked the premise, and once I started it I sat up til 12:30 burning through the first 5 chapters in one sitting. It’s gotten 2,209 4- or 5-star reviews on Amazon out of a total of 2,405 which I usually find to be a good recommendation (and the 1-star reviews were the sort of lengthy, well thought out negative reviews that are so personal you either agree with them or ignore them, and which I also find useful and a good recommendation because they usually mean the book has sufficient substance for people to take the time to write them).
It is the first of a trilogy – I have my doubts about the story’s ability to hold up across 3 books but we’ll see,
Evidently it is being made into a movie, which should be interesting. I’m not entirely sure about the casting but I haven’t seen a lot of the younger folks act in anything (I may have seen Jennifer Lawrence on the Bill Engvall Show when she was younger, and of course pictures of her at the Oscars last February cluttered my RSS feeds for weeks *g*) so I just don’t know. Woody Harrelson as an obnoxious, drunken former Games winner intrigues me; I’m thinking a drunken version of Tallahassee from Zombieland.