The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins
(3.5 stars) I read it in a day so that I could go back after Christmas break and tell my students that I have finally read this book, so they can stop nagging me to read it. As I was reading, I figured I'd be itching to get to the rest of the series, but actually, I'm okay with ending here. I enjoyed this book, but I don't particularly care about either of the characters enough to want to know what happens later. Besides, so much of what happened in here was predictable once I figured out that the author lets Katniss off the hook in so many ways, at least emotionally. What I mean is this: there were 3 situations in particular where I wanted to know how the protagonist would respond when it came down to the wire because I would have known then who she really was at her core--but each one of those situations was conveniently taken care of so that Katniss never had to confront them once and for all. She's a strong young lady, no doubt, and I enjoyed the book, but I'm not all caught up and don't feel a need to finish the series. The book is fast paced, interesting, and I can really understand why so many people love it, especially younger readers, but even though I found it interesting, I didn't make a strong connection to the characters, and I have so many other books I'm champing at the bit to read that I can bypass the other two in this trilogy. I really do get why my students are crazy about it, though.