Books for readers who like The Hunger Games!
So I talked about Katsa, the protagonist of Graceling, in the last Top Ten Tuesday I did, which was about heroines, and she's the primary reason I think this book is great for fans of THG. While the book is fantasy and THG is dystopian, I see so much of Katniss in Katsa, and they both have the same determination, drive, and attitude, as well as just personality. Katsa is seen as a bit standoffish and rude and takes time to open up, and there are a lot of interesting parallels, so if you liked all the character development of The Hunger Games but want to take a break from the dystopia for a book or two, check out this severely underrated series.
The Maze Runner is a series that's been gaining momentum in the media lately, especially since the movie for the first book came out recently (right? That happened? I'm not making that up in my head???) and I really enjoyed the books a lot when I read them and I think someone who liked THG would definitely like the books. They've got the elements of a dystopia with the fact that the characters appear in this existence outside of our own reality that's explored as the books go on. They've also got the same sort of feel to the writing, and I would totally recommend them to Hunger Games fans.
I reviewed Cinder a while back so if you want a more in-depth explanation of why I enjoyed the book as a whole, check that out, but as for why I think readers who like The Hunger Games should read it, it's this great futuristic book and it's so well-done and a completely brand-new refreshing reimagining of the traditional fractured fairy tale. It's a book I wasn't expecting and that's so much of what THG was and why so many people loved it -- it was something new and not full of things that were being written to death, and just a nice series full of unexpected things.
I thought I'd throw in another fantasy novel to keep things interesting. I absolutely love this book duo and, just like the other fantasy novel on this list, the characters are why I think the two series relate so well. The main character has a lot of gall and takes a lot of risks, as well as being super badass. The book revolves around a 16 year old girl disguising herself as a 12 year old boy because girls can't train with dragons and if she's caught she'll be killed. So it's all very high stakes and fast-paced and I think Hunger Games fans will not be disappointed.
I wrote a review of Gone last year so again, if you want more deets about my opinion go read that. Anyway, in the book, all the adults of the world mysteriously vanish and the kids are left to fend for themselves. I think readers of THG would definitely really like Gone because first of all, a large portion of The Hunger Games involves kids fending for themselves. I like the way you see the kids in Gone form their own subgroups and alliances, similar to the alliances in THG. Of course, don't think you're going to get bored reading the same book because they've got tons of differences seeing as the central plot lines are very different, they just have these nice parallels that I think fans of THG would enjoy.
This book is particularly kick-butt in my opinion. Female, ethnic lead? Count me in. Seemingly cold and sherlock-y lead? Count me in. I just love June. She's nothing like Katniss but her world definitely is. As in THG we see the corrosion of characters (for the most part), rather than standard character development. Also it's less heavy-handed than THG with much of the similar lessons.
Okay it may be really weird to have two books by the same author but Marie Lu is just that good. While Legend shares much of the dystopian rhetoric and social commentary that the Hunger Games does (albeit in a different way), but this novel hones in on the psychological aspect and the importance of having a complicated, non-hero protagonist. This is mentioned somewhat in THG, especially in Mockingjay, where Katniss basically fights for her right to simply be a person. In TYL, our protag goes through a buttload of trauma and she does not stay on the golden road. Also there is magic and plagues and all that good stuff.
While I love the landscapes of THG and it's setting, I also loved when they ventured out of this -- like the cabin on the outskirts of District 12. I liked to see how confined individuals worked in non-confined spaces. This is very subtle in THG but TDM is like a cowboy road trip -- literally most of it takes place in or near a road -- but instead of cowboys you have super-powered teenagers fighting for their lives against the government. And they're also fighting each other to survive. The protag has been locked away for fifteen years and doesn't really know how to function as a human being and it's friggin awesome. Not for her, of course. But can I get a hell yeah with these female leads? While it's premise is very dark, and the book never shies away from the most gruesome parts, the novel still lilts with humor and Percy Jackson-esque quiet camp moments.
Yeah, I'm putting a classic up. Sue me. This book is pretty essential if you're into how the whole dystopian fiction genre came to be as it is today. Huxley creates a fictional utopia based off the literature of H.G. Wells, and then proceeds to show how it is not a good thing. Many characters end up dead, and only one who lives is liberated from the dystopia. The novel is a philosophical counter, but it doesn't read like that. It reads like the fiction we're used to -- just without the young lead.
Oh come on, you have to. TOG is just so good. SO SO GOOD. I promise. I promise it's good. It's got the brooding dark and mysterious female lead and the two hot guys who will never understand her because she was held captive as a slave for over a year in the worst slave camp in the world. I promise it's good. Please read this book. The language is beautiful, Maas is hilarious, and the characters are just so interesting and they never fully fit the roles you would expect them too. As for its relation to THG, that lies mostly in the protagonists. They have similar ways of dealing with the world, which in TOG has somewhat worse implications.
What would you recommend to readers who like The Hunger Games?
Let us know in the comments!