After I finished blogging yesterday, I went to our library's website and accessed the online catalog to see if the sequel to The Hunger Games was available. It was, so I made the library one of my stops yesterday and checked that book out. Once I was home and had more chores finished, I started to read and finished that book last night.
Wow. I just can't say enough how much I like this series. Here's the scoop: The world as we know it has changed drastically. The ruling authority is now centered in a region known as The Capital with the outlying areas called Districts, each one devoted to producing a resource for the Capital. At one point, one of the Districts rebelled against the ruling authority and was bombed out of existence. As punishment for this act and as a reminder to stay in line, every year each district must select by lottery two children from the ages of 12-18, one boy and one girl, to be 'tributes' for The Hunger Games. The Games are a survival contest, to the death, that insures the victor food and money. Our heroine, Katniss Everdeen, winds up being a tribute after she switches places with her sister whose name was drawn for the Games. Tough Katniss from District 12, the coal mining district, must face down 11 other tributes, including the baker's son from her own village, in order to return to her family.
Beyond that, I don't want to spill any more details. The books are great reads, the cover a lot of topics in a very clever and subtle way in some regards but yet the author doesn't pull any punches when she needs to make a point. Just, very well done on all fronts. The books do contain violence, although it is not overly graphic, as well as some very mild romance.