SPOILER ALERT!
The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins

I tend to avoid books that have a lot of hype surrounding them. Because I like to be a rebel. And also, because I don't want to be disappointed. I avoid the Hunger Games for so long because of that. Then I watched part of the movie and thought, what the heck? Why not read it? I figured I'd give it a go, and if I didn't like it, I'd DNF.
I am so mad I waited so long to read it. It was really good.

For starters, I love Katniss; she was funny. She was a capable, strong heroine and I liked that about her. I liked her friendship with Gale, her relationship with her sister Primrose, and the brief alliance with Rue. I was really sad when Rue died.

I wasn't a big fan of the romance with Peeta. Then again, I'm not a big fan of romance in general.

This is a pretty decent dystopian world, IMO. The author spent some time on the setting and world building, and I appreciated that. I was just a bit curious how the nation of Panem was created in the first place. And how they have televisions and stuff when they can't afford food and clothes.

And I would've liked to see Katniss struggle with the morality of her situation. She doesn't make many kills, but when she does, it is a mercy killing (ex: Cato) or in revenge of another person's death (boy from District 1 who killed Rue . It would've increased the tension if Katniss felt some guilt for killing someone. I would have liked if the author swapped out the romance for this.

Overall, a few minor things kept me from giving it five stars, but I actually really enjoyed The Hunger Games and will definitely read the sequel.
Still kicking myself for waiting so long to read it, though