Posted March 17, 2013 by in New Reads

Love The Hunger Games Movie? What to Read While Waiting for Catching Fire.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins has been wildly popular in both bookstores and box offices. The second movie in the trilogy, Catching Fire, is scheduled for release on November 22, 2013. Waiting is hard, but it doesn’t have to be! The following reading suggestions can help ease the longing for Katniss’ next installment on the big screen:

Catching Fire and Mockingjay

Hunger Games Trilogy

I’m probably preachin’ to the choir here, but if you haven’t read Catching Fire and Mockingjay yet, do it. What are you waiting for? The Hunger Games is just the beginning of the story. We’re talking rebellion, unrest, overthrowing governments, plotting, and all sorts of revolutionary goodness. And love triangles. And a trident-bearing kid named Finnick Odair who will steal your heart. Seriously, Finnick gives Peeta a run for his money bread.

All this talk about Finnick Odair makes me want to read the whole series again. Which brings me to my second point: while waiting for Catching Fire, a re-read of the series would be a great way to pass the time. Try looking at the trilogy from a different angle. Think about the details in a different way. Re-reading can ensure that the events of the novel are understood on a deeper level, enhancing the viewing of the movie that much more. This style of re-reading was popular with the Harry Potter movies, so go ahead a make it a thing with The Hunger Games. 

Books About The Hunger Games

About the Hunger Games

But what if you’ve already read the trilogy a dozen times and/or want something fresh to read? Well, I’ve got you covered there, too. Two books, The Girl Who Was on Fire (edited by Leah Wilson) and The Panem Companion by V. Arrow offer essays on the series for readers looking to delve into the finer points of Collins’ world. The Girl Who Was On Fire features thoughts from popular YA authors, including Carrie Ryan, Jackson Pearce, and Terri Clark. Essays such as “Did The Third Book Suck?” and “Gale: Knight, Cowboy, Badass” will certainly inspire debate. The Panem Companion is more serious, tackling topics such as race, gender roles, and sexuality in Panem. Arrow is best known for a very popular map of Panem that can be found all over the internet. Both books almost veer into over-analyzing the trilogy, but they are fun reads.

If literary analysis isn’t your thing, don’t fret. The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook lets fans try recipes from the story, including a recipe from the Mellark family bakery. Whether you seek decadent treats from the Capitol or creative dishes from District 12, you could keep busy until the Catching Fire premier. With recipes calling for raccoon and tree-rat meat, some actual hunting might have to be on the schedule, too (can’t buy that at Trader Joe’s!).

Books With Similar Themes

Hunger Games Readalikes

Okay, okay. I may not have sold you on literacy analysis or raccoon meat stew. If what you really loved about The Hunger Games was the action, adventure, and storytelling, you can spend the next eight months reading similar books and trilogies. Divergent by Veronica Roth has similar action and survival themes, as Beatrice “Tris” Prior fights for initiation into a fearless faction of society. After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia is a short story collection with something for everyone, including stories by Carrie Ryan, Beth Revis, Gregory Maguire, and Garth Nix.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is about to become the next book-to-movie sensation. Though situated in the adult sci-fi genre, the novel has children training to fight in the wars started by earlier generations. For anyone who wants a little romance in dystopia, Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy would appeal. Set in Portland, Maine, Delirium features a dystopian society where citizens have been cured of love with an operation designed to pacify the masses. Of course, plotting and rebellion aren’t far behind.

As young adult dystopian novels are hot right now, the opportunities for Hunger Games read-a-likes are endless. Check out Lauren’s post, A Reading List of Popcorn Dystopia, for more ideas. Have a Hunger Games-ish book you want to share? Leave your read-a-likes in the comments!

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Former middle school teacher and school librarian, current doctoral student in education. Reader of all things young adult. I'm particularly fond of dystopian societies, sassy female protagonists, and clever dialogue. I can often be found asleep with a book on my face. Check out all my articles.