We answer the age-old question, “What Should I Read After The Hunger Games?,” with books based on 5 of our favorite themes…
The Post-Apocalypse Landscape
Panem is a country that rises after an unspecified cataclysmic weather event alters the landscape of North America. If you like books set in a familiar but post-apocalyptic landscape of the future, try:
by Jo Treggiari
In a future Manhattan devastated by environmental catastrophes and epidemics, sixteen-year-old Lucy survives alone until forced to join a band of survivors – but soon they learn that she is the target of Sweepers, who kidnap and infect people with plague.
by Margaret Atwood
[Adult Fiction: Contains adult themes]
In the new Republic of Gilead, social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate create a regime that has reverted to – and gone beyond – the repressive strictures of the original Puritans.
The Fight to Survive
Katniss has been fighting the system in order to feed her mother and sister since she was 12 years old. If you go for stories about young women who have to develop the skills to stand on their own, try:
by Kirby Larson
Alone in the world, teen-aged Hattie is driven to prove up on her uncle’s Montana homesteading claim.
by J.L. Powers
Fourteen-year-old Khosi’s mother wants her to get an education to break out of their South African shantytown, although she herself is wasting away from an untreated illness.
The Warriors Code
Killing and dying are a regular part of life in District 12, and of course in The Games. If you’re fascinated by societies where sympathy for the weak can be unwise and dangerous, try:
by Ann Aguire
In a post-apocalyptic future, fifteen-year-old Deuce, a loyal Huntress, brings back meat while avoiding the Freaks outside her enclave, but when she is partnered with the mysterious outsider, Fade, she begins to see that the strict ways of the elders may be wrong– and dangerous.
by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
In eighteenth-century Japan, young Seikei becomes involved with a ninja as he helps his foster father, investigate the murder of a samurai. In the process, Seiki discovers that the cherished Samurai Code of Honor is not always the best standard, and that things are not always purely black or white.
The Love Triangle
Both Gale and Peeta care deeply for Katniss, but her own emotions are unclear – to her and them. If you love stories that include the untangling of complicated feelings, try:
by K.M. Grant
Having returned to a politically unstable England after the Crusades, brothers Will and Gavin attempt to rescue their friend Ellie who is held prisoner by an enemy of King Richard I. Book 2 of the Blood Red Horse series.
by Brodi Ashton
A story loosely based on the Persephone and Hades myth – Regretting her decision to forfeit her life on Earth to become an immortal on Everneath, a world between Earth and Hell, teenaged Nikki is given the chance to return to the Surface for six months.
The Weakness That Turns Into Strength
Peeta’s love for cake decorating sounds silly, but it turns out to be invaluable in The Games. If you love stories in which being yourself leads to unexpected success, try:
by Nnedi Okorafor
Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers – which she and three similarly gifted friends must use to catch a serial killer.
by Kami Garcia and Margi Stohl
In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.