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The Hunger Games takes place in what they describe as the ruins of North America. There have been floods, fires, and famines, among other terrible things, and what came out of it all was Panem: a country with a wealthy, posh Capitol city and 12 districts where life is hard.
Every year, the Capitol requires each district to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight to the death on national television. The book opens on the day of the reaping (when the kids are chosen) and you follow Katniss, who is 16 and nervous about it all.
This book is what kicked off the huge amount of dystopian novels that are popping up in the Young Adult (i.e.-teen) book market these days. And I, for one, am not complaining b/c I am loving it.
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This book is one that is set in real life. There aren't any faeries, ghosts, demons, werewolves, aliens, or any other supernatural force at work. That is a real novel concept at this point in time.
This book follows Francesca, who is one of a small number of girls attending a school that used to be an all boys school. She came from an all girl's school, so she's having some adjustment issues.
Top that off with the fact that her mother, who is the rock of her family, has suddenly lost her marbles, or so it seems, and the only other girls that she knows at her school are girls that she doesn't really want to be friends with.
She feels kind of lost, to say the least.
I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't amazing or shocking or anything, but it was a nice read. The author recently put out a follow up book called The Piper's Son which picks back up with the same characters 5 years after the end of Saving Francesca. I haven't read it yet, but it is on my list for sure.