Well, I broke down and read the Hunger Games. I was hearing all kinds of hype and read a ton of reviews about the movie and I thought, I'd better get in the pool and swim before I comment on the water content. So I did.
It takes place in a post nuclear war North America that has been divided up into 12 districts that are separated by vast expanses of wilderness, traveled between by train, and walled in by electrified fences. It feels like holocaust Germany to me. There were 13 of these districts, but one of them is a poisoned wasteland that is now uninhabitable after an attempt to overthrow the Capital's harsh rule.
The Capital of "Panem" is portrayed as a materialistic, ego filled, plastic surgery addicted luxury land of plenty where the people arrogantly live off the enslavement of the other 12 districts and the goods they provide. For "sport" and as a punishment for the rebellion, each of the districts have to annually send one 12 to 18year old boy and one girl into the "Hunger Games": a large televised reality show drama where 24 teens must fight to the death, emerging one victor who then is paraded around like some kind of hero. It's like the Roman Coliseum really.
Told from the point of view of the 16 year old teenage heroine, Katniss, she is humble and simple and lives in he poorest of the districts and ends up in the hunger games when she volunteers to take the place of her 12 year old sister who had won the lottery and was surely headed to her death. Enter Katniss Everdeen and cue the rest of the story...