For my first February read, I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The story centers around Katniss Everdeen, who is a sixteen year old girl from District 12 in Panem. After a war in the future, what was once North America is now the nation of Panem, which has been broken up into 12 districts and run by the Capitol. Each year the 12 districts have to send one boy and one girl to the Hunger Games where they will fight to the death on live television.
Katniss is a strong character and this story was enjoyable to read from her perspective. The book is easy to read and quite engrossing so it moves quickly. I found myself really rooting for Katniss and the author does an excellent job of describing the games. You get swallowed up into the story and feel like you are there with her, perhaps even wishing you were able to send her a sponsor gift.
As someone who got kind of hypnotized by Twilight (it did something to my brain and I could NOT put it down until I read all four books) I was afraid to start a trilogy in the teen genre. I found this one to be better written and while not sucking me in like Twilight did (thank goodness) I am looking forward to reading the next book to see what happens to Katniss, Peeta and Prim. I find myself imagining what will happen to them next, which tells me this book is a definite winner.
I think you would especially enjoy this book if you enjoy survivalist stories, strong female characters or imagining what our country could be like in a distant future. While the idea of a world where teenagers fight to the death seems like a long shot, when you think about our world's reality TV obsession and the lust for gore in films it actually seems pretty plausible.
I really recommend reading this book. I'm excited to start book two (Catching Fire), perhaps for one of next months reads.