The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins

Okay, so I am a little late to this particular party. I watched the movie before I read the book, which is something I seldom do.

In this book, Katniss Everdeen comes from the most impoverished district of Panem: District 12, the former Appalachians. When her sister's name is drawn as "tribute" from the District, Katniss volunteers to go in her stead. Her partner tribute is Peeta Mellark who, as we discover very early on has had a crush on her for as long as he can remember.

In any event, Katniss, Peeta and their alcoholic mentor Haymitch go to the Capitol for the games - the point of which is to kill other young people for the entertainment of the masses in what amounts to televised gladiatorial sport.

This dystopian novel is positioned as "young adult" in terms of marketing, because its heroes are teenagers. It's also positioned as "clean" because the heroes never do anything more sexual than kiss. However, not surprisingly in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic tale, it's pretty violent. I would be concerned about younger teens reading this book and would hope that this would be taken into consideration. Still, I did find the book entertaining, and its emphasis on teamwork cannot be dismissed.