The book centers around a teenage girl, Katniss and her family and friends. They are living in (maybe?) post-apocalyptic North America, in an area known as District 12. There are 12 districts, which are all controlled by the all-important Capital. Each district has a specialty: coal, agriculture, technology, but most residents are near starvation. There is no such thing as luxury - each family is on the verge of breaking. Each year, all children aged 12-18 are entered in to The Hunger Games. Two tributes are chosen - one male, one female. These tributes then enter an arena and face off against the tributes from the other 11 districts (a total of 24 teens) and fight each other to the death. The last standing is crowned the victor, and is then able to return to his/her family and live a more privileged life.
I don't want to share more here, but suffice it to say that I thought I'd be reading the first book only and never reading the other two - and I DOVE through the first two. I literally couldn't put them down. It's the kind of book that makes you stay up past your bedtime and read until you can't stay awake. I am anxiously awaiting getting my hands on the third in the trilogy.
(Sidenote to anyone that's read the books: for the first 100+ pages, I thought Katniss was a boy. I was very surprised when "he" started discussing "his" feelings for Gale. A few pages later, I realized Katniss was a girl... whoops).