The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) - Suzanne Collins Imagine a reality show like Survivor, except that the contestants don't vote home their opponents, but they have to kill them instead!

This YA novel was surprisingly good. I expected that it would somehow be more "Twilighty" - you know, in terms of love triangle and desperate teens doing what they have to do to endure. It was definitely a pleasant surprise so see that my assumptions of this book were unfounded. The story was good, well written (even for a first person POV), fast paced - a real page turner.

Like other people have mentioned before me, this book was not very rough or gritty. As it's set in a post-apocalyptic future, where teens are forced to fight to the death, I honestly expected there to be more bloodiness, more gore, more nastiness and despair. It was a bit too clean for what it was supposed to be, IMHO.

In all fairness, when you think about it, it makes sense that a great deal of time also goes with dealing with the contestant's challenge to be able to survive on their own with gathering food, finding water, shelter, and also avoiding contact with their opponents until they are "ready" for them. And of course they think of home and their loved ones - that seems natural, especially because the protagonist(s) are placed in such extreme circumstances.

One thing didn't like so much about this book was Katniss's preoccupation with appearing good to sponsors and acting well on camera. I know that in her reality, she's grown up with the Hunger Games, she knows that the eyes of the world are on her every move, and she knows that her chances of survival only increase if her "performance" can get her sponsors that will aid her by sending her items and supplies that will help her. Still, it seems wrong somehow that she's that focused on it, when any moment she could be dead at the hands of her competitors. Was it me, I would probably be experiencing fear and anger more frequently than she is, just to mention two emotions that she doesn't display often enough, IMHO.

On a side note: I haven't watched the movie which was based on this book yet. I want to wait with it until I have read the remaining books of this trilogy and all movies have been released - there's nothing like a movie marathon ;-)