This is an incredible story of an alternate civilization following something cataclysmic to our present world. Each year, a government organized event, somewhat similar in theme to the gladiator spectacles of old, called the Hunger Games are conducted, complete with a full onslaught of 24/7 media coverage. Participants falling in a specific age group are selected at random, two from each of the districts that comprise the new country. It's a fight to the death and the last one standing is the victor. I was struck by the extraordinary rawness of this story but at the same time, the complexity of the tale. Katniss Everdeen, the 16-year old heroine, is wise beyond her age and chronicles the games from her perspective. The concepts of this new society are provocative and disturbing but somehow, you find yourself considering the possibility as it taps into the baser aspects of the human condition. I found this book fascinating and am bound to finish the trilogy. This isn't your typical young adult story so if you're not a fan of books directed to this age group, don't let that be a barrier to reading this story, as it was for me. I just wish I'd read it earlier.