Definitely a guilty pleasure. Brilliant idea for a story given our obsession with reality tv. I was definitely manipulated by the author, being told whom to root for, whom to wish dead (if not exactly wishing to kill them). I was okay with this because that's all part of the package. You know it's not really reality and there's someone back there pulling all the strings, figuring out which way "reality" will lean. So when the sponsors drop off the right thing at exactly the right time, you have to be okay with this. No one wants the "show" to end with a wimper, with someone dying of starvation or a festering wound. That's no fun. The author way able to create interesting characters with a few swipes of her pen. I cared about them pretty early on. She also did a good job of getting the reader up to speed about what the hunger games were all about. Such a perfect read I'm afraid to read the second and third books, I hope the author doesn't let me down.