Lately, there have been quite a few posts explaining why The Hunger Games really isn’t as good as many of us believe it is. Well, I happen to think that the Hunger Games is a great series, but everybody is entitled to their opinions. Maybe in a couple years, us HG-fanatics will look back, reread the trilogy, and realize that we were no better than the Twihards, but until then, please let us enjoy our new fandom in peace. To keep you Hunger Games haters entertained in the meantime, I’ve compiled a list of YA novels that, based on the standard arguments against THG’s awesomeness, I think you might enjoy:
*Warning: There will be spoilers.
For those of you who aren’t huge fans of whiny protags (and for the record, few of us HG-lovers are; there are many fans who love everything about the books except Katniss): A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The Baudelaire orphans also have some pretty tough luck, but they weather every storm with wit, charm, and their various quirks and talents. They do stop and smell the whiny roses once in a while, but not nearly as often as Katniss does.
For the HG haters who can’t stand dystopias with economies that can’t possibly sustain themselves: 1984 by George Orwell
Economics (and really anything to do with numbers) isn’t my strong suit, but Oceania seems to be functioning, mostly. Ya know, except for the rampant poverty, poor health care, lack of decent food, and general unhappiness.
The Giver by Lois Lowry: The society of The Giver keeps things going by forcing people to do various jobs (it’s unfair, but it works).
For those who are peeved by unexplained post-apocalypses: The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner (backstory is in the second book)
Occurrences in The Maze Runner only happen because of the events that led to the post-apocalyptic world the characters reside in.
For everyone who’s annoyed at Peeta’s undying love for a girl he’d never spoken to: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
SPOILER ALERT ALPHA: In The Luxe, Elizabeth chooses Will, the sweetheart she grew up with, over Henry, the bad boy that she knew mostly through rumors. Undying love for someone you’ve known your whole life>love at first sight, right? (It is). Also, I promise you that this series isn’t as fluffy as it seems. I’m not saying it’s HP-level, but it’s not The Clique either.
For people who can only read novels so original they make The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy look like Star Wars fanfiction: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
It takes hella imagination to even begin to grasp what’s happening in this book, but it’s good, I promise. Scout’s honor.
For fans of gray areas: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
This isn’t YA per se, but it is pretty dang awesome. The Things They Carried was assigned reading for me in 12th grade and I REALLY didn’t want to give it back at the end of the year (I did though)…Wait, there’s a point to this post, isn’t there? Anyway, The Things They Carried is about the Vietnam War; don’t get much grayer than that.
For anyone who wanted more thematic exploration: Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Unwind takes the time to seriously consider the various ethical implications of the unwinding operation (unwanted teenagers’ organs are harvested for transplants), examining both the positive and negative sides, and considering what it really means to be alive and to have a soul. Best of all, Shusterman manages to work in these discussions, and many more relevant issues, without sounding preachy.
For people who wanted to hear more about the minor characters: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Monte Cristo is incredibly long, but it’s also incredibly wonderful. Just about every minor character gets their back story explained, which may seem pointless, but Dumas does it in such a way that you’re just like “Revenge plot? What revenge plot? What’s up with Maximilien and Valentine? And Albert, we haven’t heard from him in a while. Give me more Albert Mondego!!!”
Post by dac213!
Have you read any of the books on this list? Do you have any more recommendations for HG haters?
Related post: 5 Reasons The Hunger Games Doesn't Live Up to the Hype