The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)

The Hunger Games 
Author: Suzanne Collins
Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
Reviews:

"What happens if we choose entertainment over humanity? In Collins's world, we'll be obsessed with grooming, we'll talk funny, and all our sentences will end with the same rise as questions. When Katniss is sent to stylists to be made more telegenic before she competes, she stands naked in front of them, strangely unembarrassed. “They're so unlike people that I'm no more self-conscious than if a trio of oddly colored birds were pecking around my feet,” she thinks. In order not to hate these creatures who are sending her to her death, she imagines them as pets. It isn't just the contestants who risk the loss of their humanity. It is all who watch."
--Publishers Weekly, Megan Whalen Turner, STARRED REVIEW
"...brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced...a futuristic novel every bit as good and as allegorically rich as Scott Westerfeld's 'Uglies' books."
--The New York Times, John Green
"[A] stylish postmodern 'Lost' in direct collision with 'Lord of the Flies.'"
--The Wall Street Journal, Katie Roiphe
"Impressive world-building, breathtaking action and clear philosophical concerns make this volume, the beginning of a planned trilogy, as good as The Giver and more exciting."
--Kirkus