You can read The Hunger Games books in order, either chronologically or by publishing date. Each approach has pros and cons. Read the article to understand the topic better.
Hunger Games books in order
The Hunger Games series is arguably the most iconic young adult (YA) work ever written. Despite targeting young adults, the themes in the saga explore mature themes like government corruption, power, war, and rebellion.
The series consists of four books. The work that came out most recently, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is a prequel to the rest. If you want to read the books chronologically, you should start with the most recent book.
The author, Suzanne Collins, is most famous for this very series. She has a dramatic writing M.F.A. from New York University and started her career as a television writer. Collins also wrote the Underland Chronicles, a bestseller for middle-grade readers. Today, everyone knows her as the creator of the legendary Hunger Games series.
The Hunger Games books in order
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes events occur 63 years before The Hunger Games. The novel follows Coriolanus Snow before he became President Snow. He is 18 years old and preparing for his shot as a Games mentor.
If you wish to read the books in publication order, you should then leave this book for the last. The noticeable difference in pace and tone may put you off to the wrong start, which is why some readers prefer to leave the trilogy for last.
In terms of action, the prequel can’t match The Hunger Games trilogy.
The prequel is the origin story that explains the history of the Hunger Games, the Capitol, Snow’s early days, and so on. Readers that read the trilogy first will be intrigued by the details shared here.
President Snow’s descriptions in the prequel will give you a completely different image of the character as you progress to the trilogy.
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games takes place in a country in North America called Panem. Panem has a Capitol and 12 districts. Extreme poverty is all over, and the Capital has strict rules over the country.
The Capital holds the Hunger Games each year. A boy and a girl from every district get to participate in the tournament that airs live on TV. The 24 participants enter an arena where the fight for life and death occurs. The last person that remains is the winner.
Katniss Everdeen participates in the Games to replace her younger sister. She takes her participation as a death sentence. However, she’s been close to death many times before. Surviving the Games seems to be in her nature. But winning won’t be easy either.
The male participant from Katniss’s District 12 is Peeta Mellark, who previously saved Katniss’s life.
The readers follow Katniss’s journey as it slowly takes rebellious roots. Peeta and Katniss risk punishment from the Capital after winning the Games, and their future is in danger.
The first book received excellent reviews, and together with Catching Fire, it is one of the New York Times science fiction bestsellers.
The second book of the series, Catching Fire, continues the story of Katniss in Panem. She wins the annual Hunger Games and is miraculously still alive. She gets to come home to her family and best friend, Gale. However, things aren’t the way Katniss wishes.
Gale is now cold to Katniss. Peeta has left her as well. Rumors say that a rebellion against the Capitol is on the way, one that she and Peeta created.
A rebellion against the Capitol starts, and Katniss and Peeta must return to the arena for a special Hunger Games anniversary. Survival, revolution, and interdependence are some of the dominant themes of the book.
The second part of the book series puts Katniss to the test more than ever before. The readers can also expect plenty of twists and turns.
The trilogy’s final book, Mockingjay, describes some of the most challenging moments for Katniss.
Katniss and her family have survived the destruction of her home following the rebellion. She learns that Gale, her best friend, has escaped. The Capitol has captured Peeta. And, as it turns out, there really is a District 13 packed with rebels.
In Mockingjay, District 13 emerges from the shadows and openly supports a rebellion against the Capitol. It seems that everyone has things figured out except for Katniss.
Still, the rebellion can only be successful if Katniss plays as a pawn. To make this happen, Katniss must set everything aside, including her distrust and anger. She must become the Mockingjay of the rebels at all costs.
The Hunger Games movies
The Hunger Games books have made it to the movie screens. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth play the lead roles in the movies.
All the movies received excellent reviews and are some of America’s highest-grossing films. The Games is only second to Harry Potter.
The film adaptation is equally exciting, thrilling, and breathtaking. However, the same question may arise. Should you watch the movies chronologically or by the release date?
Well, the good news is that at the time of writing this article (January 2023), the film adaptation of the prequel has yet to come out. The air date is scheduled for November 17, 2023.
When it comes to the trilogy, it’s best to watch the movies in the order they were released:
- The Hunger Games (2013)
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015)
The movie director is Gary Ross, while Lionsgate Entertainment has the distribution rights for The Hunger Games films.
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Is The Hunger Games 3 or 4 books?
The Hunger Games is a trilogy, so there are three books. The latest released book (number four) is a prequel.
What audience are The Hunger Games books for?
This dystopian novel targets young adults (YA). However, many parents have also enjoyed the book since it came out.
Can I get The Hunger Games series as audiobooks?
Yes, all The Hunger Games books are now available as audiobooks on numerous platforms like Amazon Audible and Spotify.
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