One of the things I find of most note in the Hunger Games trilogy is how gender roles appear to have generally been flipped with regard to the characters Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick. It is not simply that the rules have been flipped, as characters such as Haymitch and Primrose are more traditional while still regarded as acceptable. The individual characters are strong enough that the gender role difference is acceptable. Additionally, the foreign country of Panem can be considered a place where things are done differently, and its citizens are not judged the same way as modern Americans.
Basically, the main reason I like Katniss is because she is a refreshingly realistic, flawed character. She is also rare in another way - Katniss is a well thought-out, well-written female character, rather than just being there to be a love intrest for a male hero (this might have somethig to do with the fact that Suzanne Collins herself is female).
The Hunger Games
In the first book, Katniss is motivated by a need to get out of the Hunger Games alive. She manipulates Peeta, kills people, and runs on base instincts. What a more typical (read: Mary-Sueish) character would have done would...