Hollis: You had me at dystopian teen lit trilogy.
And so, may I present the first installment of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Audible, my audiobook service, happened to be having a "first in the series" sale so I got it cheap. The audio version is narrated by Carolyn McCormick.
The book takes place in a post America future in the fictional country of Panem. I'm actually not sure how its spelled because I listened to this, rather than read it. Chad, correct me if that's wrong. There is an all powerful and rich Capitol with 12 oppressed districts who make and grow things for the Capitol's enrichment. There is massive inequality and injustice between and within the Capitol and the districts. Our heroine, Katniss, lives in the coal mining District 12, which is what used to be Appalachia.
Many years ago the districts rebelled against the Capitol and were subsequently crushed back into submission. To remind the people of the Capitol's absolute power, every year the Capitol holds the Hunger Games. I won't reveal what it is, but if you have seen Battle Royale, you know what's coming.
Why you will like this book: It's pretty short and moves very fast. The main character is a self-reliant, smart teenage girl. The Hunger Games talks openly about class oppression. It's part of a dystopian teen lit trilogy.
Why you won't like it: It's short. It's violent. Really violent. It leaves many questions unanswered (but presumably at least some of them will be answered in the next two books).
A word about the audio version: I generally liked the narrator, but at times I found her voice to be too mature for a sixteen year old, no matter how responsible and resourceful she is supposed to be.
The Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins