Read the first book and found it very, very similar to "The Long Walk", "The Running Man" (both Stephen King short stories) and "Battle Royale" as someone mentioned. Also, man, I can handle blood but these books are pretty graphic and violent, esp. considering they're for the younger set. Goes to show how kids/teens are growing immune to violence these days.
Nonetheless, I will continue the series because I do like the rebels vs. tyrannical government struggle.
I loved The Hunger Games and Catching Fire but was very disappointed in Mockingjay. Total letdown.
I just finished "Catching Fire" and loved it even more than the "Hunger Games". I like the political intrigue as well as how the rebellion is slowly revealed. But so sad to hear (not just from you but from lots of reviews) that the third part is not so good. I still have it on reserve, though, because I hate to leave a series dangling.