With the release of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes less than a month away, I’m sure you’ve started (or started thinking about!) your Hunger Games series reread or movie marathon. If you’re anything like me, you might be anticipating a pretty severe reading slump from all the nostalgia and emotion that comes with returning to a much beloved series, but never fear! We have you covered with a list of similar reads you can read to avoid that end-of-series slump.
In the mood for more dystopia? Suzanne Young’s The Program is the first book in another compulsively readable dystopian series, (now with stunning new covers), where teen suicide is an epidemic, and showing any emotion will land you in The Program. To go through The Program is to lose everything, and with a heart-wrenching romance on the line, you won’t be able to stop turning pages.
If you’re looking for another deadly competition complete with forbidden romance and all the tension and banter you can dream of, look no further than Powerless!Paedyn Gray survives as a thief in the slums of Ilya, until she unwittingly saves a prince of the Elite, and finds herself in the center of the Purging Trials, where Elites compete to showcase their powers. The problem? Paedyn is powerless, and it will take everything she has to survive.
Want something that's more grounded in reality but still has a deadly edge? Try Their Vicious Games, a heart-pounding thriller with, you guessed it, a deadly competition! In this must-read new release Adina is desperate to regain her Ivy League acceptance and soon realizes that if she wants to survive and secure the future she deserves, she’s going to have to rewrite the rules to the game.
If you’re struggling to choose between fantasy and thriller for your post-Hunger Games read, you don’t have to with A Door in the Dark. This fantasy-thriller follows a cast of teenage wizards as they fight to make their way home after a spell-gone-wrong leaves them stranded in a punishing wilderness, much like Katniss when she competes in her first Hunger Games.
If you’re caught up in the nostalgia of the golden days of YA dystopias, a paranormal romance like Cruel Illusions might be the perfect pairing for your dystopian obsession. Featuring another deadly competition, a magical secret society, and a heroine intent on revenge (plus an added bonus: vampires), Cruel Illusions provides all the escapism and delicious romance necessary to recover from a Hunger Games marathon.
Interested in a historical-fantasy? The Bones of Ruin will transport you to a dark and dangerous Victorian London, where an African tightrope walker, Iris, gets embroiled in a secret society’s deadly gladiatorial tournament (deadly competition, check!). Iris can’t die and has no memories of her past, but the more vicious the tournament becomes, and the closer she gets to uncovering the mysteries of who she is, the more she begins to realize that some questions may be better left unanswered.
Craving the angst of Katniss and Peeta being thrown in the games together and (slowly) falling in love, knowing only one of them can survive? Try Blood Like Magic, a fan-favorite fantasy that follows a young witch tasked with killing her first love to save her entire bloodline’s magic. With a delightfully infuriating love interest and richly imagined world, this book is sure to help you get out of your post-Hunger Games slump!
Though shalt kill. The first book in the Arc of the Scythe series brings you to a world where humanity has conquered death, and the grave responsibility of culling the world’s population falls to the Scythes. Scythe brings the pulse-pounding action and plot twists of The Hunger Games and amps up the moral and existential themes, making it a read you’ll be thinking about long after you put it down.