“The Hunger Games” takes place in a dystopian society, in a place that was once called North America. A world that should be difficult to imagine comes alive effortlessly. Suzanne Collins created a world and characters that, while entirely different from what we know, are vivid and realistic.

Katniss, our 16-year-old protagonist, volunteers to represent her district in The Hunger Games, the annual fight to the death created by the government to keep the fear alive among its citizens. The participants range in age from 12 to 18.

The concept of such violence as a regular part of life could be difficult to swallow, but because the book is written so well, the violence and the will to survive felt as average as the battle preparations for each Black Friday.

Don’t get me wrong. The violence is not something the characters poo-poo at. Not at all. It’s just a fact of life, one they must face and not waste time being horrified by.

The book ends with a MAJOR cliffhanger, and dammit, dammit, dammit, I’m currently No. 32 on the library’s wait list. I hope Santa brings me the second book, “Catching Fire.”

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