Every Hunger Games Book, Ranked


  • The Hunger Games
    The franchise explores power dynamics, class struggles, and rebellion through its compelling narrative and characters.
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
    serves as a prequel centered on President Snow. It offers a new perspective on the world of Panem, but it doesn’t live up to the trilogy.
  • The three books in
    The Hunger Games
    The trilogy is strong, but
    On fire
    It is the most exciting and memorable.


The Hunger Games The books have become modern classics, and each of them does a stellar job of delving into the realities of power, class dynamics, and rebellion, but some installments of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling series are more compelling than others. The first The Hunger Games The book debuted in 2008, resulting in a rise in dystopian fiction in the following years. On fire and Mockingjay It continued Katniss’ story, giving readers insight into Panem’s power dynamics and how they could be dismantled.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes stands out from the other The Hunger Games books, as it came out a decade after the original trilogy concluded. It told a different story, serving as a prequel about Coriolanus Snow rather than an addition to the Katniss Everdeen narrative. The 2023 film adaptation of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes made people talk about The Hunger Games franchise again. And with Collins announcing a new The Hunger Games prequel by 2025, it’s safe to say the story will still be around. Readers can even revisit the best books in the series.

A composite image of Haymitch looking angry in The Hunger Games in front of a red background with question marks.
Related New Hunger Games Prequel Book Will Finally Explore History’s Bloodiest Games

Another Hunger Games novel is on the way and, based on the timeline teased by author Suzanne Collins, it will finally explore the worst of the games.

4 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020)

A strong addition to the franchise (but not to The Hunger Games)


The Hunger Games All the books are incredibly close when it comes to quality, but The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes He’s probably the weakest in the franchise. This is not so surprising; the other novels make up a three-book narrative, while The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes It takes readers into a very different story. And the fact that this prequel focuses on a young President Snow is part of the reason why he’s not as strong as his predecessors. While Lucy Gray offers a compelling perspective, Snow is not a lead readers want to root for.

The fact that Snow is unpleasant already puts her story at a disadvantage compared to any of the books chronicling Katniss’ journey.

The fact that Snow is unpleasant already puts her story at a disadvantage compared to any of the books chronicling Katniss’ journey. However, it is not just his personality that makes him Ballad lower rank than the other The Hunger Games novels. The fact that readers have a pretty good idea of ​​where things will go also lowers the stakes. Lucy Gray’s fate may remain a mystery, but there’s never any doubt that Snow will emerge from the prequel story, or that the Hunger Games will continue.

However, even with these disadvantages, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes proves a strong addition to the franchise. With a few more books, Lucy could easily win over readers the same way Katniss did. The prequel’s commentary on good and evil (and what leads people to choose the latter) is thoughtful. And watching an older version of The Hunger Games is a fascinating experience, especially for longtime fans. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes may not compare to The Hunger Games, but it gets its average rating of 3.96 on Goodreads.

3 Mockingjay (2010)

Suzanne Collins sticks the landing, but it can’t compare to the first two books


Mockingjay It is the third and last book of The Hunger Games trilogy, and offers a satisfying ending to Panem and the characters that reside there. Not all dystopian series stick the landing, but Mockingjay manages it. Collins’ ending is both exciting and emotional, and has a huge impact on her final chapters. While there are no official Hunger Games in this installment, watching Katniss and her companions navigate a Capitol full of booby traps is more than enough to keep readers interested. Watching Katniss take on the role of Mockingjay is also satisfying.

Prim’s death and Katniss’ decision to kill Coin elevate the ending of Mockingjay, completing the circle of history in a tragic way. Katniss’ only reason for participating in the Hunger Games is to save Prim. And although it brings about massive changes for the people of Panem, The Hunger Games’ The heroine ultimately fails to save her sister. Her death is one of the most heartbreaking in the series, while Coin’s has another purpose. Katniss’s murder of Coin sparks debates about tyranny and how it arises. Through President Coin, Collins suggests that the response to oppression sometimes threatens to repeat it.

Although Mockingjay provides a great ending to The Hunger Games (certainly deserves its 4.09 rating on Goodreads) has some shortcomings that cause it to rank lower than its predecessors. For one, Mockingjay It could have easily been a little longer. Katniss and Peeta’s endings are well done, but supporting players like Gale take a backseat. The future of Panem is only briefly mentioned, despite how interesting it would be to see the characters rebuild. Essentially, MockingjayThe conclusion could have gone further than it did.

2 The Hunger Games (2008)

An opening worthy of generating a franchise


Some series take time to find their balance, but the original The Hunger Games The book makes an instant impression and then keeps readers hooked from start to finish. The opening of the series does a great job of establishing its main cast, its oppressive world, and its deadly tournament without going overboard on exposition. Collins masterfully weaves his story into The Hunger Games, and that’s precisely why the 2008 book spawned an entire franchise. There’s a lot to love about the first novel, from its unflinching social commentary to its well-developed characters and setting.

Katniss is easy to support at all times The Hunger Games, so it’s no surprise that she became something of a model for young heroines after the first book came out. Katniss and Peeta’s love story is compelling and does a solid job of drawing readers in. Collins deftly draws them in with the book’s characters and relationship dynamics, then sends them heartwarming messages once he gets their attention. Scenes like Rue’s death and Katniss’ decision with the berries will undoubtedly stay with readers long after the 2008 novel ends.

There’s a lot to love about the first novel, from its unflinching social commentary to its well-developed characters and setting.

The Hunger Games has the highest average Goodreads rating of the entire series, at 4.34. It’s right above On fire in terms of reader reviews, but it’s arguably a bit weaker than its sequel. Although The Hunger Games It starts off strong, it still takes some time to get used to your world. And despite Katniss’ bold actions throughout the first book, there is less focus on the rebellion. The first delivery and On fire They are almost equal, but the latter wins for these reasons.

1 Catching Fire (2009)

The most exciting installment of The Hunger Games


The Hunger Games It is a series that does not suffer from second book syndrome; Actually, On fire is the best installment of Collins’ youthful dystopian trilogy. On fire It benefits from letting readers know who the characters are and how the world works, and it can raise the stakes of the Hunger Games in a way that feels natural. The Quell of the Twenty-Five is an exciting journey into the arena, and its enhanced threats and challenges come with some interesting twists. Watching Katniss and Peeta be forced to return to the Games is heartbreaking, especially after meeting them in the first book.

The Capitol increases its cruelty towards the districts, even before the 75th Hunger Games begin. This allows Collins to explore how tyrannical governments control their citizens and perfectly sets the stage for what comes next. On fire is the book that firmly pushes Katniss and the people she loves into rebellion. There are many great moments of defiance against the Capitol, from Katniss’s wedding dress transforming into a Mockingjay costume to the tributes holding hands and standing together on stage.

On fire It benefits from letting readers know who the characters are and how the world works, and it can raise the stakes of the Hunger Games in a way that feels natural.

On fire It also briefly touches on propaganda, with President Snow hoping to control the masses by presenting a certain image of Katniss and Peeta during their Victory Tour. It’s impressive that Collins can provide social commentary before, during and after the Games. Every part of On fire has something important to say.

On fire It also has the best ending The Hunger Games trilogy, slapping readers with multiple twists before coming to an end. The revelation that District 12 is gone is devastating, and is only surpassed by the fact that District 13 actually exists. Even realizing that Haymitch and the other tributes were planning to take Katniss out of the arena is surprising, and Peeta’s fate is a punch in the gut. These events, along with the brutal Quarter Quell itself, make On fire the best The Hunger Games book, even if its average rating of 4.31 on Goodreads falls slightly below that of the first book.

Source: Goodreads

The Hunger Games Franchise Poster

The Hunger Games $47 $55 Save $8

The Hunger Games is a multi-film franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. The films are based on the young adult dystopian book series by author Suzanne Collins. The first film was released in 2012, followed by Catching Fire in 2013, Mockingjay Part 1 in 2014, and Mockingjay Part 2 in 2015. In 2023, the fifth film in the series, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, was released.

Created by Suzanne Collins First Film Hunger Games Cast Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz, Willow Shields, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel Zegler, Tom Blyth, Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman Expand $47 at Amazon See at Best Buy See at Walmart

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