In a not too distant future, the U.S. no longer exists and has been replaced by the country of Panem, consisting of 12 districts (the 13th was blown to bits) and one center of power, The Capitol. Now, the Capitol isn't to happy with the districts (because of the rebellion that lead to the destruction of District 13) and to show it's power, each year, The Capitol demands that each of the districts presents one boy and one girl as tribute, said tributes are made to compete against each other in the annual Hunger Games - which basically means they kill each other in a televised survivor/deathmatch competition until only one of them is standing.
The victor is spared and his or her family is showered with riches. This year, Katniss Everdeen watches in shock and horror as her little sister Prim is chosen to be their district's tribute. Knowing the tributes from District 12 rarely stand a chance (with only 2 winners in over seventy games), Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place and is sent to the Capitol along with boy-tribute Peeta, the baker's son. Peeta is not exactly a stranger to Katniss, in fact it could be said he saved her life once, which only complicates things even more.
Once in the Capitol, it's all about survival as the games begin...
Okay! confession time: I HATE dystopic books, they just depress the heck out of me, I had a constant expression of "Huh?" all though A Brave New World when we read it in ethics class back when I was in Prep school, and I could barely stomach Fahrenheit when I read it in college - I still maintain that the only good part is the first one, the rest are kind of meh - so for me it was a bit of a stretch to read The Hunger Games, but I had heard lots of hype about it since last year and when my paws landed on the book I decided to try it.
And I can't say I regret it, the writing is good, I liked the characters and I even mustered some of that like for the narrator, Katniss but I still can't say The Hunger Games is my cup of tea. On the other hand, well, the story is quite good if you can stomach the whole ambiance of the book, and I had some other more particular issues with the book, like Katniss' relationship with Peeta (which reads too much like something forced sometimes, even though that's a bit of the point), and Katniss relationship with her best friend Gale when it's suggested to be more than friendship.
But, all in all, it's a good book. I think that if I were a different reader and I lacked my dislike for this type of book, I could even love it. And there were parts that really sparkled and caught my interest.