The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic, 2008)
Katniss is a sixteen-year-old girl living with her younger sister and mother in the poorest of the twelve districts of Panem, the remains of what used to be the United States. The districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in a television reality game, Hunger Games. Kat's sister draws the lottery for their district but Kat steps in to go in her place. The rules and audiences change as the games proceed but the outcome never does; fight to the death. Kat has to not only defeat the other entries from the districts but also the boy, Peeta, from her own; whom she has learned to care for as the games go on. The idea and popularity of reality tv makes this an interesting read and the pace of the adventure is one to keep you up reading all night! Because of the idea of human-against-human violence, "The Hunger Games" is best for older readers. Although Collins intends this as a trilogy, I was perfectly pleased and thrilled with the adventure of one book, standing alone.
For a complete review see Deseret News 2/8/09 (desnews.com)