The Hunger Games (2000) by Suzanne Collins
Jeebuz! Is this ever the year of The Hunger Games. Not only are they making a movie but it has recently been read and reviewed by Kate, Olman and meezly. I had to give it a try to see what all the fuss is about.
In a future world 12 Districts are ruled over by a totalitarian government. There is an annual televised event where one teen from each District is chosen to compete in a ritualized fight to the death with the last survivor winning a life of fame and comfort. I was a bit surprised that more was not made of the similarities to the Japanese book (and manga and film) Battle Royale. That was the first thing that I thought of. It just goes to show you that there continues to be opportunities for making money off of translating foreign properties into something palatable to the North American audience.
To be fair, the book was quite readable and well paced.