So, like pretty much everyone else, I decided to buy into The Hunger Games phenomenon and give it a shot. Although written at an adolescent level (and I believe for that age group), I had heard such strong support of the book from the adult crowd that I though I should at least give it a chance. I was not disappointed.
I wrote a blog along time ago (I was too lazy to find it and provide the link) about how when something becomes a cultural phenomenon (i.e. music, tv show, movies), it's worth buying in to...usually, that many people can't be wrong. Quick examples that prove the point for me: Kanye West, The Sopranos, and now The Hunger Games.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year, The Hunger Games (and it's additional two books in the trilogy) have been huge fan favorites and the recent release of the movie have made it even bigger. In case you know nothing about it, I will provide a one sentence synopsis of the book: In a future world, 24 kids have to fight to death and only one is left as a survivor. Doesn't that sound awesome? Now, throw in some evil people, some good people, imaginative futuristic stuff, and a awesome female, teenage protagonist and you got a hit.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Although it's a fairly long book, it is at such a low reading level and is so interesting, that I couldn't help but finish it in about a week (though it took me 3 weeks to blog about). After a fairly slow start that puts all the pieces in place, it's very fast paced and once you get to the actual competition, it is very difficult to put down at all.
I definitely want to see the movie though I am not sure about whether I'm up for two more books. First, I have not heard such raving reviews about those two. Second, I really feel like I don't want to know more about what happens to the characters and places after what I've already read. I liked how this book ended though I was a bit perturbed that there was sort of an expectation that you continue into the other books. That ending, along with the fact that it really is kind of a kid's book, are what prevented it from getting a full 5 stars. Nonetheless, it was a very entertaining book and received a fairly rare 4.5 star review.
All -- don't be fooled by this being a 'pre-teen' novel, this phenomenon is for real and I would bet that you would enjoy this read as much as I (and millions of others) did.