Fantasy, Post-war, young-adult ... that is normally not a combination I am really interested in reading, and if it wasn't for a friend who mentioned the book series in her blog, I would never have bought this book in the first place. And even after I did some research to find out what this book (series) was about, I wasn't even sure if it was the right book for me. But I ordered it anyway - mostly, out of curiosity.Now, I'm glad I did. Now, I know that I should listen more often to recommendations that - on the first look - doesn't seem to be something I could be interested in.I think the combination of a game show, Reality TV (even though I hate watching these on TV) and the post-war setting, mixed with a young girl fighting for her life (and of the ones of her family and friends) is what made this book so special, and to tell the story from the girl's point of view only adds to this. Learning more about the characters, about the world and the games from Katniss, while seeing everything through her eyes, was a great technique that made me fall in love with most of the characters instantly (at least, the ones on Katniss' side). And once the introduction (that wasn't boring at all!) was done I could hardly put the book down until I was done. Overall, the story is well explored and told. Only, one twist in the second part of the book didn't feel right to me and made me roll my eyes. But once I continued reading and realized where this was heading (and how cruel the development of this twist could become/became - I hope this wasn't too much of a spoiler) I could even live with this twist. I finished the book last night and I just had to start with book 2, instead of going to bed. I just needed to know how the story continued - and, for me, this says it all ...A perfect mix of adventure, fantasy, mystery, thriller, romance and the simple urge to survive (without giving in too often too soon). That deserves 5 stars.