The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins,

Book cover of The Hunger Games

Book description

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before - and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

42 authors picked The Hunger Games as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Katniss Everdeen volunteers to replace her sister in a life-threatening situation and so puts herself in grave danger.

I think she’s a great heroine and I love her character, the way that a generous act draws her into a nightmare of strife and peril. She’s tough, independent, and refuses to compromise. The awful post-apocalyptic world is vividly drawn, as are the creepy people who manipulate the contestants in the games. The romantic element featuring Peeta is compelling and I felt for both of them.

It’s a very skilful construction and the ending drew me immediately into the next book in…

From Phill's list on young people meeting a challenge.

I love to read children’s books as well as grown-up ones. This book is just as dark, gritty, and challenging as any adult novel and has a fantastically compelling premise. It also has a heroic and endearing protagonist in Katniss Everdeen and a wonderfully bleak backdrop in District 12.

I’m a big fan of sci-fi novels, and Suzanne Collins is such a great world-builder; everything feels plausible and timely, the stakes are dizzyingly high, and she pushes it all to the limit. 

The Hunger Games is a gripping experience that really got under my skin.

The whole idea of the Hunger Games hit me square in the gut, making me think hard about how far we could go for entertainment. Katniss Everdeen, with her gutsy determination and sacrifices, felt like a reflection of strength we do not often see in our current society. Her strength became a source of inspiration that went beyond the pages.

Collins' portrayal of this eerie dystopian world hit too close to the reality we have currently found ourselves in, making me shiver at the thought that our…

From Katerina's list on dystopian books that leave a mark.

Shadow of the Hidden

By Kev Harrison,

Book cover of Shadow of the Hidden

Kev Harrison Author Of Below

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Storyteller Traveller Horror addict Reader

Kev's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

It’s Seb’s last day working in Turkey, but his friend Oz has been cursed. Superstition turns to terror as the effects of the ancient malediction spill over, and the lives of Oz and his family hang in the balance. Can Seb find the answers to remove the hex before it’s too late?

Journey with Seb, Oz, and Deniz across ancient North African cities as they seek to banish the Shadow of the Hidden.

Shadow of the Hidden

By Kev Harrison,

What is this book about?

It’s Seb’s last day working in Turkey, but his friend Oz has been cursed. Superstition turns to terror as the effects of the ancient malediction spill over and the lives of Oz and his family hang in the balance. Can Seb find the answers to remove the hex before it’s too late?

From Kev Harrison, author of The Balance and Below, journey with Seb, Oz and Deniz across ancient North African cities as they seek to banish the Shadow of the Hidden.


I love Katniss Everdeen and the simplicity of her wish. She just wants to save her little sister. Her life has been one of hardship and tragedy, and she will do anything to keep her sister alive.

I love her tenacity and how she grows and survives in the face of overwhelming odds, all while living in a constant state of terror.

This is a brilliant story about growing up and surviving in a harsh world. The world-building is excellent, doled out in small pieces as needed without over-explaining. We enter the world of Panem, District 12, and the Reaping…

Collins’ hugely successful trilogy was given solid foundations in this, the first outing.

As with all memorable dystopian books, detailed and solid worldbuilding is in abundance; where differing sections of future society (or in this case, districts) are pitched against each other in a television fight-to-the-death, with the champion winning food for their famished communities.

Katniss Everdeen, principal protagonist, and reluctant champion, is staunch and principled, determined to undermine the games that cause so much pain to participants and society overall. As the series progresses, Everdeen’s rise from Hunger Games champion to hardened freedom fighter, is one of the most…

The Hunger Games is considered YA Fantasy but I believe Thriller can added to the descriptors.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. Fifty pages in, I had three thoughts: this type of event has happened in the past—think Roman coliseum shows—and will happen again in our future; it’s too believable and making me angry and I should stop reading; no way could I ever put this book down.

We stand by Katniss as she gets everything possible thrown at her and again, never gives up.…

From Dan's list on thrillers that just won’t stop.

I picked up The Hunger Games and couldn’t put it down.

Suzanne Collins created a unique dystopian future filled with rich characters that inhabit a post-apocalyptic world ruled by a totalitarian government. The winners of the war that preceded the events in The Hunger Games created a brutal fight to the death between “tributes” (children ages 12-18) from the vanquished districts to remind those in the districts that they lost the war.

Great characters like the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, draw you into the horror that is the Hunger Games. From an innocent teenager on the verge of love, Katniss becomes…

He waited until he was the right age. This book is rightfully compelling, but some kids read it far too young.

The premise of children going off to be sacrificed in a tribute (reaping, here) goes back to ancient Greece, but this futuristic twist is one heck of a read.

She takes a tough topic (children being told to kill) and creates a compassionate story that is full of non-stop action and friendship.

I’ve always loved The Hunger Games since I read it 10 years ago with my friend.

Now after watching the movies, I could barely wait to get my hands on the books and start the whole thing again. I wasn’t disappointed. Reading the series was absolutely exceptional. I’m a major fan of suspense and this book is filled with action. I couldn’t put the books down!

This book was recommended by a creative writing teacher as a perfect example of how a plot should develop – the three-act structure, the perfect arc of the story, the pace, with rising and falling tension and edge-of-the-cliff plot points. 

But I love it because of the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, surely one of the most endearing heroines in literature. It’s a classic story of a character overcoming all the odds, and while it’s widely perceived as a dystopian novel for young adults, I found it much more than that.

I was gripped by Katniss and her challenges – all of…

From Susanna's list on featuring a feisty female.

Want books like The Hunger Games?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like The Hunger Games.

Browse books like The Hunger Games

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in survival, competition, and dystopian?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about survival, competition, and dystopian.

Survival Explore 189 books about survival
Competition Explore 20 books about competition
Dystopian Explore 541 books about dystopian