Okay, I spent the weekend reading The Hunger Games trilogy and I have to admit I couldn't put them down (not even for long enough to publish separate posts). They're intended audience may be young adults but they impressed this more than young adult reader. They're well written, gripping adventure stories, horrifying at times but a complex love story too. I'm not even a big science fiction fan but this glimpse at a post-war future was close enough to our world at times I almost forgot it wasn't. The basic premise is that North America has deteriorated into 13 districts and the Capitol following a rebellion by the districts that are being punished by the Capitol so they're not tempted to rebel again. The punishment is an annual culling of two teenagers (one boy, one girl) from each district who are put in a televised arena to literally fight each other to death until there's only one survivor. All for the entertainment of the privileged folk in the Capitol while their relatives in the districts are forced to watch (when they're not toiling away to produce goods for the survival of the Capitol).
The main character is Katniss, a 17 year old girl from District 12, who steps in to replace her younger sister whose name is picked for the annual Hunger Games. It's great to see such a strong female character - she's torn between the love of two boys but really only relies on herself. Her relationships with her family, the boys, the other "tributes" (as the teenagers in the Games are referred to) and the various adults who surround her during the Games and at home are fascinating to watch. The sick satire on reality television is also interesting.
I recommend these books for anyone looking for an easy reading escape - even if you don't think they're really your kind of book. I didn't.