Weekend Recs: The Hunger Games Universe
Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week.
As far as 2010s Young Adult novel-to-movie adaptations series go, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins is highly regarded by hardcore fans and casual viewers and readers alike. With its captivating (and eerily familiar) world-building, political intrigue, compelling (but not overwhelming) romance, and a healthy dose of angst, its popularity is unsurprising.
In the past few weeks, likely due to Netflix’s featured advertising, the fandom has been experiencing somewhat of a resurgence. Fans, largely on TikTok, have been posting video essays and deep dives into their favorite characters, scenes, and lore. Following this resurgence, this weekend’s recs will dive into The Hunger Games universe and all it has to offer. (And, obviously, spoiler alert for the majority of these recs)
If you have 51 seconds…and are excited for the upcoming The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes film, watch this behind the scenes footage. The new movie, set to come to theaters mid-November later this year, features a well-rounded cast, including Viola Davis, Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, and Tom Blyth.
If you have 1 minute…and want to learn the origins of the iconic three-finger salute from the series, watch this TikTok from luckyleftie, a creator leading the fandom resurgence. If you’re in the mood for some more series analyses and interesting takes, check out their other videos.
Bonus: check out this TikTok discussing Rue and her role in sparking the rebellion in the series.
If you have 2 minutes and 50 seconds…and haven’t heard this absolute bop, listen to the Caesar Flickerman theme from the films. It’s hard to focus on Caesar Flickerman’s problematic role when his song is so catchy.
If you have 15 minutes and 9 seconds…and are interested in the series’ world-building, watch this Youtube video. It discusses the lore of Panem and each of the 13 Districts.
If you have 25 minutes and 26 seconds…and are feeling a bit morbid, watch this YouTube video running through every death in all 4 books in The Hunger Games universe. Unsurprisingly, there are countless deaths in the series, so settle in.
If you have 45 minutes…and are competitive, test your knowledge of the (book) series with The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Quiz Book, available online through Falvey. Although some movie trivia is included, this challenge is definitely for fans of the book series.
Bonus: if you’re more of a foodie, try a recipe from this unofficial Hunger Games cookbook, which includes recipes for the (burnt) nut bread Peeta throws Katniss and the hot chocolate Katniss drinks on the train, available online through Falvey.
If you have 6 hours and 30 minutes…and haven’t read the books (or want to refresh your memory), read The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins’ first book in the trilogy. Not pulling any punches, this introduction to the series really hones in on the horrors of Panem while subtly setting up the in-universe political plot that will become apparent in the rest of the trilogy.
If you have 9 hours…and want to binge-watch the movies before they leave Netflix (on March 30th), watch The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II. Although there are definitely some gripes fans of the books have with the movies, they are arguably the best young adult book-to-movie adaptations with some stellar casting choices, including Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Jennifer Lawrence, and (as always) Stanley Tucci.
If you have another 9 hours…and want to dive deeper into the lore of Panem, read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, available through inter-library loan. This prequel focuses on the younger years of the icy (fascist) antagonist of the series, President Snow and the earlier years of the Hunger Games. Although Snow is the main character, the book also features characters you can root for, such as Lucy Gray Baird.
Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.