In the face of all the hype, I fully expected to loathe The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’m glad to report that I was dead wrong. The book depicts a hyper-violent time in the indistinctly distant future where gladiatorial-type games amount to annual human sacrifices to serve as a reminder of the consequences of rebellion. From the hardscrabble manual labor of coal miners, to the decadence of the capitol, to the death in the arena, Collins manages to maintain an eighth grade reading level while still keeping it interesting for this non-young adult reader. Likewise, her descriptions of violence are vivid and present enough so that the reader is brought face-to-face with it, but never has their nose rubbed in it. This being the first book in a trilogy, it does an excellent job of bringing the narrative to a satisfying conclusion while still leaving the reader wanting more and wondering what happens next.