The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Katniss is sixteen. She lives in Panem, the country where the United States used to be. Every year, The Capitol requires two tribute children from each district to participate in The Hunger Games, a battle to the death. As someone who has had to fend for herself and her family since childhood, Katniss is used to hardship. How will she fare in this year's Hunger Games?
Okay, I know all of you have heard of this book. I put off reading it because I knew it had sequels as yet unpublished. Also because I heard so many people talking about it. "Oh, The Hunger Games! It's amazing!" There are other book series proclaimed by teens and adults to be amazing that I was... shall we say... disappointed with. (Carol you know what I mean.) So I waited.
So, let's just get it out of the way. The Hunger Games is amazing. Collins' world building is impeccable. Her characters are complex and believable and riveting. She lays out the heroine's story with a sure hand. I am thoroughly impressed. I look forward to reading Catching Fire and the recently released conclusion: Mockingjay. The Hunger Games: read it!