I have a sneaky suspicion that these books will be forming one of my major obsessions for 2012. I was ill just after Christmas with the stomach bug from hell (on the positive side it was a good start to my diet because no Christmas snacks passed my lips) and I swear I would have been feeling very sorry for myself if it wasn't for my discovery of this book series.
I ended up reading the trilogy over a four day period and have felt a little bit lost without them since I finished. I don't want to spoil anything about these books...I went into them knowing very little and this really helped with the impact of the story. Written by Carolyn McCormick, the triology - The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay are classified as 'young adult' fiction and I think 'young adult me' would have loved them, but for different reasons than 'old decrepit me'. Aside from the heavy dystopian theme and the hunger games themselves - a truly horrifying game where children fight to the death for the entertainment of the privileged and the suppression of the masses the characters themselves were the hook that dragged me in, particularly Katniss, a particularly interesting female lead (the books are written from her first person perspective), and Peeta, adorable Peeta, one of the love interests in the book, but so much more besides - a symbol of how good humans can be, even in the crappiest of situations.
I can't recommend the books highly enough, and am now counting the days until the film release in March (the casting for which looks, at first (and tenth) glance to be perfect).
I have a few Hunger Games related crafty projects floating around my head now...more to follow about that next week hopefully.
If anyone can recommend a new book for me to read which might fill the gap they've left I would be very grateful ;-)