This book caused an explosion in YA dystopian books, ushering in a new kind of speculative fiction where the heroine takes center stage. Girls save the universe. Works for me. Teens from 12 districts outside a glittering Capital must compete to the death in a “Survivor-like” game show broadcast on national television. The Capital stages the competition because the districts rebelled, and continues it to keep the them in line. Katniss Everdeen volunteers to go when her younger sister is chosen. Katniss isn’t a likely winner because her district is poor, and she doesn’t have access to the kind of resources available to some of the other candidates. But, Katniss is smart, and she’s a survivor. This book has an entirely original plot. Collins had “the big idea.” The author sets the stage well. We can see the the poverty of Katniss’s home district as well as the kooky fashions in the Capital. The characters are well-drawn; the first person, present tense writing a grand decision. Kudos Ms. Collins!