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Is the Hunger Games worth a damn?

I know there are quite a few fans of the Hunger Games on this wiki. I ask because I'm debating reading the first book in the trilogy and then moving on to it's subsequent sequels. I first heard all the hub-bub about the series last year when it was announced who would be portraying Katniss. A quick glance on Wikipedia to get a quick synopsis kind of intrigued me. But reading further it seemed a blatant rip-off of the supreme "Battle Royale" novel and then with the last line along the lines of whether "choosing between humanity or love" pretty much turned me off to the series. I later found out the author had never even heard of "Battle Royale" and the idea of a televised death match isn't exactly a revolutionary idea.

I'm pretty much done with teen romance. I'm closer to the 30 than I am to my teens. The only real teenage series I regularly watch is "The Vampire Diaries." Although, I really wish they would knock off the school charity nonsense and pretty much any school function, but I digress....

Fast forward to the present and my younger cousin gave me her dog-eared Hunger Games book to read. She is a big fan and is eagerly anticipating the upcoming movie. So since I'm getting the book for free and I can read rather fast I'm pretty much leaning to reading it, but I wanted to know what other people think. And please keep it spoiler-free.

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