Katniss Everdeen has led a difficult life in the Seam, the poorest section of District 12. She had watched her father die in a coal mining accident and her mother fade away from her and her sister Prim. Now that Prim is twelve, her name has been entered in the yearly Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games is how the Capitol keeps the outlaying twelve districts in line. Each district has to give two tributes, from the between the ages twelve to eighteen (one boy and one girl), to fight in a game were only one can survive. When Prim's name is called during the reaping, Katniss knows her only choice is to volunteer to take her sister's place.
To Katniss, the Games mean almost certain death, but for a girl who has had to struggle to survive she will make sure to go down with a fight. Without really trying, Katniss and her fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark, become top contenders. In order to win Katniss will have to put everything she believes to the side - humanity and love have no place in the fight for survival and that is exactly what Katniss intends to do.
While the book may start off a bit slow, it quickly picks up the pace. Each chapter leads into the next almost without any break. As readers learn Katniss' story, they will fall in love with her and with Peeta. It is a story of survival and a story of death. This novel will keep readers in suspense, even long after the book has been set down. This is not a happy story and while the ending does give the reader hope, it is not a hope of happily ever after. Even with all of the darkness in the story, readers will fall in love with the dystopian world that Suzanne Collins created in this first book of The Hunger Games trilogy.