The Hunger Games, where teenagers are sent to battle each other to the death, and Katniss Everdeen has just volunteered. She did it to save her sister, and now she'll have to find a way to survive and make it out alive because her family depends on her. But she's never killed anyone before, and the boy with the bread, the one who saved her once, it's one of her opponents. There are so many things to talk about this book, but I don't think I can do it without spoiling anything. So, I'll leave the story to you guys and concentrate on the characters. Because you NEED to meet them. Katniss is probably one of the most complex characters I've found, in the sense that I can't decide if I hate her or if I adore her. She's in turn insufferable, cold, calculating, and way too stubborn, yet courageous, kind to those weaker than her, and selfless. But mostly the times she comes off as cold and stuff, is because she's trying to survive. And she needs to survive because her family depends on her. I want to do something, right here, right now, to shame them, to make them accountable, to show the Capitol that whatever they do or force us to do there is a part of every tribute they can't own. That Rue was more than a piece in their Games. And so am I. Katniss's relationship with Peeta is one of the hardest things to watch. We don't know if it's really acting what's going on, or if there are feelings involved. For her part, Katniss always convinces herself that it's all part of an act, but I really do think she feels something. It’s just not in her to be emotional. She can't afford to be emotional. On the other hand, Peeta clearly is. He's always felt something for Katniss, and now that he believes it’s the end (because of the Hunger Games) he's not afraid to express those feelings. I'd forgotten he was so funny, always making cute commentaries that leave Katniss confused. "Peeta, you were supposed to wake me after a couple of hours," I say."For what? Nothing's going on here," he says. "Besides I like watching you sleep. You don't scowl. Improves your looks a lot."This, of course, brings on a scowl that makes him grin. Rue is my favorite character after Katniss and Peeta. She is this tiny sprite of a girl from District 11, than makes you fall in love with her in just one chapter. She's smart, observant, and she's the one who teaches Katniss the "mockingjay song". She really makes Katniss shine in the arena, allowing her to show just how kind and caring she can be. Gale's voice is in my head. His ravings against the Capitol no longer pointless, no longer to be ignored. Rue's death has forced me to confront my own fury against the cruelty, the injustice they inflict upon us. But here, even more strongly than at home, I feel impotence. There's no way to take revenge on the Capitol. Is there? Gale doesn't appear much in this first book, but the short time he does is important. He's the only one whom Katniss is comfortable with, whom she can be relaxed with, the one she confides in. In the woods waits the only person with whom I can be myself. Gale. I can feel the muscles in my face relaxing, my pace quickening as I climb the hills to our place, a rock ledge overlooking a valley. A thicket of berry bushes protects it from unwanted eyes. The sight of him waiting there brings on a smile. Gale says I never smile except in the woods.Haymitch is a drunk. As the only winner from District 12, he is Katniss and Peeta's mentor for the games. He has a devious and calculating mind. "I know we promised Haymitch, we'd do exactly what they said, but I don't think he considered this angle.""Where is Haymitch, anyway? Isn't he supposed to protect us from this sort of thing?" says Peeta. "With all that alcohol in him, it's probably not advisable to have him around an open flame," I say. Cinna is just fabulous! He's the head stylist and designer for team District 12. His designs are revolutionary, and some might think he's doing it on purpose. Katniss likes him, and she finds it odd because she thought she'd hate everyone from the Capitol. "Yes, this is my first year in the Games," says Cinna."So they gave you District Twelve," I say. Newcomers generally ended up with us, the least desirable district."I asked for District Twelve," he says without further explanation. Effie Trinket has a wicked sense of style, and she's pro-Capitol all the way. She's like the representative for District 12, in charge of taking care of the tributes. I hear Effie Trinket's voice, calling me to rise. "Up, up, up! It's going to be a big, big, big day!" I try and imagine, for a moment, what it must be like inside that woman's head. What thoughts fill her waking hours? What dreams come to her at night? I have no idea. Like I said, I won't get into the story because you all really need to experience this. It's a strong and powerful story that deals with all sorts of political, emotional, and personal issues. It's just the perfect example of how popular fiction isn't just about fantasy, and fairy tales. This is one book that I'll be re-reading again, and again, and again!