The books take place in the future when the country is divided up into 12 districts. To reinforce the strength of the Capitol, each year two teens are chosen from each district to compete in the Hunger Games where they compete by killing each other. The last one alive wins. A bit grim for a Young Adult series, yes, but the books were well done and managed to completely suck me in. And as my friend Erinn noted, the protagonist, Katniss, is the anti-Bella--she's confident, capable, and very independent--a really refreshing change.
I'd recommend the books for adult readers who want a bit of an escape and also to teens who want something interesting with a really great protagonist.
The Hunger Games (Book 1)
Catching Fire (Book 2)
Mockingjay (Book 3)