The latest teen book-craze to be turned into a Hollywood film is not to be dismissed.

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

DON'T dismiss The Hunger Games as another Twilight/Harry Potter type series, it's the first book in a gripping trilogy centred on a brutish annual tradition that sees 12 children pitted against each other in a fight to the death.

Collins has created an enthralling post-apocalyptic world where The Capitol rules mercilessly and its impossibly wealthy inhabitants have regressed to Renaissance levels of splendour.

Surrounding The Capitol are 12 increasingly impoverished Districts, of which the poorest of them all, District 12, is home to our heroine, sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen.

This first book follows Katniss, from her days illegally hunting with her friend Gale to feed her family, to the heart-breaking 'selection' for The Games and through her experiences in The Arena, where she must compete for her life against blood-thirsty candidates from much wealthier Districts.

Despite the extraordinary premise, every detail is delivered with such authenticity by our narrator, Katniss, which puts The Hunger Games at the upper-end of the'Young Adult' genre.

Collins says her inspiration for the story came from the "unsettling" blurring of television coverage of the Iraq war and mindless reality shows.

Indeed, the senseless plight of Katniss and her family isn't a million miles from what we know happens in war-torn areas of our own world.

Not wanting to tie the series too much to the afore-dismissed Twilight franchise, but advance ticket sales for the film adaptation's March release have already surpassed last year's vampire-fest.

Written and produced by the author herself, The Hunger Games is sure to find a much broader fan base when it hits cinemas in its big-screen form.