Chalk me up as a latecomer to a fantastic series. Talked into reading this book by my friends (and not my daughter, for once), Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games deserves every bit of the accolades it has received. The story of a post-apocalpytic U.S., in which the remaining populace is living in Districts, divided up by the skills and resources they bring to the country. Katniss Everdeen, the heroine, takes the place of her younger sister who was selected by lottery to compete in the annual "Hunger Games" in which one boy and one girl from each district are put into a Highlander-esque Survivor game: Winner take all, literally. The tributes have to kill each other in order to survive, and the winner takes spoils back to their district.With thematic elements of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, Steven King (as Richard Bachmann)'s The Running Man, and The Highlander, The Hunger Games is a thrilling, and often deeply moving, story of a girl forced to question everything about humanity as she struggles to survive the games, figure out what to do with her fellow tributes, and get back to her family intact.