The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins *REREAD ON 06/22/2011*

This book has been in my TBR pile for a long time, so Friday night right before going to bed I decided to start it. That was a mistake. I read the book all night long, I just couldn't stop. When I was done with it in the morning, I started the second one in the series, Catching Fire, and read it all day long. I read both books back to back, no breaks. That should tell you something about how good these books are.

I won't do my usual recap of the book before writing my impressions because I don't want to spoil you, even a tiny bit. I was spoiled about the ending a little while back (Missie, I'm looking at you), but it didn't diminish my enjoyment of reading this novel. I'd probably have enjoyed it a little more (although I don't know if that is possible), if I didn't know how everything would turn out, nonetheless I'll spare you the details.

At first, I had a little trouble getting into it, because it's all written in the present tense, but after a few pages I got used to it and so will you. The story just sucks you in.

This is the first Dystopian Fiction novel that I've tried, but I've enjoyed it so much that I'll be looking into more of them.

Katniss Everdeen is a great heroine. She is a survivor. She is fierce. She is strong, courageous, determined, skilled, an all around bad-ass in the best sense of the word. But to me the heart of the book is Peeta Mellark, the boy with the bread.

Peeta and Katniss are the tributes from District 12, the boy and girl who are going to participate in The Hunger Games. They knew each other from school, but they have never been close. However, Katniss owes Peeta, since an act of kindness on his part a long time ago saved her and shaped her to be who she is now. Katniss is all hard edges, but Peeta delivers some of the much needed heart warming moments in the novel.

I really don't understand how this can be labeled as an YA book. This novel is dark, heart-breaking, and brutal. In my opinion, this is an adult book, and a very overwhelming one at that.

I cried all throughout the book. I really did. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to add that I'a cryer. I get very emotional reading books, or watching movies, although I'm not so emotional in real life. Go figure. Anyway, the book really moved me. It's engaging, fast paced, action packed, very violent, and gut wrenching. It's one of the most powerful books I've read in ages. It's the type of book that once you are done with it, it stays with you for a long time. You just can't stop thinking about it.

It's a must read. So, grab a box of tissues, clear your calendar, and get comfortable, but please read it as soon as possible. You won't regret it. Just remember to have the sequel, Catching Fire, close by because you'll need it.

I give it 5 out 5 stars.