It is gruesome and violent, but incredibly intriguing. The book starts out a bit slow, but once the games begin it picks up the pace and it was difficult to put down. It reminded me of Ender's Game, which I read last year. However, I found the characters in The Hunger Games to be more interesting, and the story was more fluid.
I believe this book is written for a teenage audience, but it was still interesting enough for a more mature reader. I give The Hunger Games 3.5/5, mostly because of the slow start. However, I am intrigued by the story enough to want to read the other two books in the series.