The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, the shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-- and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Dog Gone note: This is a fast pace book that is hard to put down, and at times you want to put it down for fear of what may happen next. Katniss is a an unlikely heroine for our times. It's not just her physical skills that inspire, but also her intellect. Part dystopian novel, part "romance" it's worth a read. Books 2 and 3 are available for purchase on the site.