6 Great Gifts for Hunger Games Fans Who Are Hungry For More

Kid reading under the covers

Throughout the holiday season, we’re gathering books that make the perfect gifts for everyone on your list—from your mother and the teen in your life to your foodie friend and the coworker who loves Harry Potter. Need more ideas? Check out all of our amazing gift guides

You’ve already stuffed yourself with multiple readings of Suzanne Collins’ YA sensation The Hunger Games and its two sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. For dessert, you popped in your copy of the first movie adaptation (for the fifth time). But you still aren’t satiated—even after preordering your tickets for the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, in theaters tonight.

What’s a starving fan of brutal, proactive dystopian young adult novels to do? Check out one of the six book series below, guaranteed to soothe your Hunger pains. (They will unfortunately do nothing for the pain caused by this extended metaphor…I’m sorry.)

The Giver Quartet, by Lois Lowry (The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, Son): The grandfather of modern YA dystopian lit offers a gentler take on the story of oppressive governments controlling your every thought and deed. The Giver, published 20 years ago,  is a classic for a reason, the heart-rending story of a boy forced to choose between the world he knows and the freedom he realizes has been stolen from him. The first two sequels are only loosely connected, but the final book, 2012’s Son, brings all the story threads together.

The Chaos Walking Trilogy, by Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men): Like The Hunger Games but thought it was a little too cheerful? Patrick Ness’ grimmer-than-grim series is the one for you. Set in a world where men can hear one another’s thoughts (a jumble of sounds and feelings they call “noise”), the story follows a boy named Todd who is thrust into a violent world of politics and civil war when he happens upon an outsider from another world—a girl named Viola. The fact that men can’t hear women’s “noise” is only a hint at the themes of gender equality and feminism that come into play—and even that is only another element in a larger story focused on gray moral choices, security vs. freedom, and race relations (even if one of the races is truly alien). Word of warning: dog lovers, bring tissues.

The Divergent Trilogy, by Veronica Roth (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant): The clear successor to the subgenre throne, the just-completed Divergent trilogy is sure to become even bigger next year with the release of the first film adaptation. It’s set in a postapocalyptic Chicago whose inhabitants are tested as teenagers and placed into one of five factions that make up the “virtues” of humanity: Amity (peacefulness), Abnegation (selflessness), Candor (honesty), Dauntless (bravery), and Erudite (intelligence). Unfortunately for our hero, Tris, she doesn’t fit into any of the factions—she is Divergent. That’s a big no-no. Like The Hunger Games, the Divergent series offers a perfect blend of fight against government oppression and swoon-worthy romance. (Not to mention a controversial finale.)

The Maze Runner Trilogy, by James Dashner (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure): If your favorite part of The Hunger Games are the titular games, this might be the series for you. A boy named Thomas wakes up in a mysterious setting called the Glade with no memories of his past. The only inhabitants are other boys, who all work together to try to solve the treacherous Maze that surrounds the Glade. As seems to be a recurring theme in these books, everything changes when a girl shows up. This series will also be getting a 2014 film adaptation.

The Matched Trilogy, by Allie Condie (Matched, Crossed, Reached): Perhaps closer in spirit to The Giver than The Hunger Games, Condie’s trilogy nevertheless features many of the same themes, including a rigidly structured society (in this case, all teenagers are told who to love), a fight against government oppression, and a well-executed love triangle.

The Silo Trilogy, by Hugh Howey (Wool, Shift, Dust): Though not marketed as YA lit, Howey’s series (which began life as a self-published collection of novellas before attracting major readership—and major publisher interest) pushes all the same buttons. It takes place in a future world devastated by nuclear war, where the remnants of humanity huddle together in a giant underground missile silo–turned-habitat. Protagonist Juliette, who could give Katniss a run for her money in the badass department, starts off the series as a lowly engineer but quickly takes on a world-changing role when she discovers those who run the silo aren’t telling people the truth about what’s really going on. The second book, Shift, is a prequel that explores how things got so bad, while the final installment, Dust, continues Juliette’s story.

What dystopian series are you reading next?

  • Jill Noble Blouch

    I’d like to try the Chaos Walking Trilogy. I’ve read most of the others and this one sounds very good!

  • Michelle Wise

    I agree with The Giver, Divergent, Maze Runner, and Matched. The other two, not so much. I’d probably replace those with Enclave and maybe Delirium. ~Library Nerd~

  • Amy Rose

    There was a rec on this blog for Cori McCarthy’s THE COLOR OF RAIN as the next big YA dystopia, and I agree!

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/the-next-big-thing-in-ya-dystopia/

  • redstilettos

    The Matched trilogy.

  • Andy Bosch

    How about the Tripods series by John Christopher?

  • Polly

    Scott Westerfeld’s UGLIES series. Terrific reads with a good message.

  • Ana Berkovich

    If it’s the love in a dystopia world, I’d suggest Delirium. I’d also suggest the Chemical Garden Trilogy, about a society where the newest generation of men live until the age off 25, and the women only live until the age of 20. Both are great stories!

    The Giver may be one of the best books I read in school, such an incredible story. I haven’t actually read any of the other books, though.

    I’ve heard of/read most of these. I really want to start reading the Chaos Walking trilogy!

  • deschwertner

    Though I loved the first two books of the Delirium trilogy (and most of the third), I cannot recommend the trilogy to anyone. The ending was not put together well at all. Too many strings were left untied, and sadly, I think that boils down to completely rushed ending to what could have been a fantastic trilogy.