Sunday, April 29, 2012

What (And Why) You Should Read After "The Hunger Games"

As someone who loves to read, as well as being a bookseller, I'm all for anything that encourages light, or non readers to pick up a book.  Even if that means it has to be made into a movie first. And lets face it, there's no denying that book adaptations seem to be the current Hollywood trend.

While making books into films has been going on for quite some time, it seems within the past year or so unoriginal screen plays have really taken off. As a small example, 11 of the Academy Award Nominees during this past Oscars were based off of books.  That doesn't even come close to the amount of made-into-movies that weren't nominated. The pattern continues into 2012 with The Hunger Games, The Vow, Great Expectations (Fall 2012), The Lucky One, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 2012), and many, MANY more.

These movies ALWAYS bring in customers looking for the original book, and who can blame them? Have you ever read a book that wasn't better than the movie? Most recently, "The Hunger Games" has exploded since the film was released.  And I've seen so many people on Facebook alone become huge fans of the books. But, I bet most of you didn't realize the first book of the series was published back in 2008.  That means for four years this amazing book has been sitting on the shelves, and you didn't even know! Now think of how many other amazing books might be sitting in a bookstore that you don't know about!

It can be hard to find the right book with hundreds and hundreds of choices around you. Being apart of an amazing bookstore, Booksellers at Laurlewood (previously named Davis Kidd), and having loved reading my entire life, I'd like to offer some expert recommendations for those of you looking for your next "Hunger Games," so you don't have to wait for someone to make a movie in four years or more!

For Those Looking for Similar Action of "The Hunger Games"
"Divergent" by: Veronica Roth
Beatrice Prior lives in a dystopian world in which society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue: Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), and Erudite (the intelligent). Once a year, all 16 year olds must choose which faction they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the choice falls between staying with her family, or being the person she truly is. Her decision becomes more difficult after discovering shes a rarity that does not fit into just one group, and that the seemingly perfect society around her is not what it seems.

Why You'll Like It:
One of the reasons "The Hunger Games" is so engaging is the kick ass main character, Katniss Everdeen. As you read "Divergent," you'll witness Beatrice Prior evolve from a seemingly shy, frail young girl to a strong, powerful female lead that rivals Katniss herself. This book is also full of action and suspense (and violence) that made "The Hunger Games" impossible to put down.  But unlike the Suzanne Collin's book, "Divergent" also includes many aspects of psychology that makes this book a one of a kind dystopian novel.

What Others Are Saying:
"Compared to other dystopian futuristic books, I liked how society had been rebuilt and how richly imagined it all was. I feel in other books, like "The Hunger Games," the back story was largely ignored until the end, but in "Divergent," the conflict was built in from the start. I also loved the main character.  She was strong and independent but not cold at all."
- Becca (Bookseller at Black Bear Books, YA Guru, AND Reading Fanatic)

For Those Who Liked the Team Peeta/Team Gale Love Triangle
"Matched" by: Ally Condie
For her entire life, 17 year old Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her, from the little things like what to eat, to the bigger decisions such as what to believe.  So when her childhood friend, Xander, is chosen for her during the Matching ceremony, she knows he is her ideal mate...until another boy's face, Ky Markham, flashes briefly in the screen. Even though the Society assures her it was a rare glitch and that she should focus on planning her life with Xander, she can't stop thinking about Ky. As their relationship grows, Cassia's faith in the Society begins to waver and she is faced with an impossible choice: Xander or Ky, the life she's known or a path no one has dared to follow.

Why You'll Like It:
While this book isn't action packed, it is complete with a compelling love triangle that made "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight" so popular. (Even though I mentioned Twilight, don't mistake Cassia for being obsessive like Bella!) But this book doesn't just dwell on romance, there is also a large focus on the importance of creative freedom.  While you start to choose between Team Xander or Team Ky, you'll also find yourself asking philosophical questions, making this story much deeper than the likes of "Twilight." And while Cassia may not be shooting off arrows like Katniss, or firing a gun like Beatrice, she still finds herself fighting an internal battle over the standard of perfection that the Society has set for her.

What Others Are Saying:
"Ever since reading 'The Hunger Games,' I am forever searching of a good dystopia read.  From the synopsis, you would think this is just another "girl is torn between two boys love story," but it's so much more! Not to mention, the book is beautifully written, almost lyrical. I enjoyed it so much that read the entire thing within 48 hours!"
- Melissa (Always Lost in a Book)

For Those Looking for a New Katniss Everdeen
"Legend" by: Marie Lu
Set in the future, North America is divided into two states at war, the western Republic and the eastern Colonies. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, 15 year old June has been groomed to become the one the most promising prodigies in the Republic's military. She remains obedient, passionate, and dedicated to her country until she crosses paths with 15 year old Day, a boy who has become one the country's most wanted criminals... and the number one suspect in her brother's murder. But together, they will discover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the extreme length's their country will take to keep its secrets.

Why You'll Like It: 
This book was recently nominated for the Indies Choice Book Award, and its not hard to see why. The nonstop action, constant plot twists, and thrilling romance between two unlikely characters makes it easy to finish this book as soon as you pick it up. Unlike Beatrice in "Divergent," June is already the epitome of a hardcore heroin. She is perfectly matched against her original male nemesis, Day. And as opposed to the"The Hunger Games," this dystopian novel features dual points of view from both characters, which will likely renew the interest of those burnt out by this genre.

What Others Are Saying: 
"This book is powerfully written with its alternating points of views. You just fall in love with the characters so easily. The story had it all from action, to some romance, to suspense that you just want more. I can't wait for more of this series to come out!" 
- Emily (Fellow Book Addict) 

All of these books can be found at my store. And if these titles aren't doing it for you and/or if you're looking for something more complex than a Young Adult novel, come in and talk to one of our booksellers. Some of my coworkers have been working there for 20 years!

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget John Carter, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Lorax, Think Like a Man, Life of Pi, and The Great Gatsby (movies). I'm looking forward to that adaptation. The Hobbit, On the Road, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley and Jude Law), Les Miserables, Bel Ami (by Guy de Maupassant), Stephanie Meyers' The Host, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and Devil in the White City (another with Leo DiCaprio signed) ...and a hundred others... are slated to be made movies.
    The trend is definitely books turned movies.
    -Dianna :)