EW readers are in the midst of a bitter battle to crown the greatest YA book of all time. So who better to influence your opinions than the cast of one of the most popular young adult series of the moment — The Hunger Games.
At the London premiere for the upcoming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (in theaters Nov. 22), Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and more opened up about their favorite YA series.
Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss): “Harry Potter. I was so crazy about Harry Potter I read it twice. All of them twice. I didn’t have a favorite, I thought they were all amazing.”
Josh Hutcherson (Peeta): ”I kind of, unfortunately, stuck to what the school made me read. I didn’t get to step out of that zone. I had the opportunity but I just didn’t take advantage of it. But my favorite book growing up was probably Catcher in the Rye. I loved that; it’s a great book.”
Elizabeth Banks (Effie): ”It depends on my age. I guess for the same age as these guys, I was a big fan of the Flowers in the Attic series. I was not really allowed to read those, but I snuck them anyway. I love those books.”
Sam Claflin (Finnick): “Mate, I don’t read. That’s why I got into acting, so I wouldn’t have to read books. I basically played a lot of football growing up — or soccer, whatever you want to call it. Basically, any class at high school that I didn’t have to read or write [in], I got involved. So no, absolutely not, no favorite book or book series… My wife will tell you that I do not read. I literally read Lord of the Flies about a year ago, I’m not kidding. I think this is the third project that I’ve been involved that’s based on a book and, until this franchise, I hadn’t read a single one. But then I did read all three of these in five days.”
Jeffrey Wright (Beetee): ”I was a big fan of The Hardy Boys when I was in elementary school, primary school. So they were probably my favorite series…it’s really pretty cool that we’re part of this franchise that encourages kids to read, much like the Harry Potter series. It also encourages them to take into consideration some of the challenges that we face, contemporarily in society, issues of classism and war and all of those things that as the world gets more and more kind of daft in its interests, you know, that we can encourage younger audiences and younger minds through a popcorn movie to focus on and ask questions about these things. I think it’s a really healthy thing.”
Willow Shields (Prim): “I like any book by John Green. He’s my favorite author ever. He’s amazing. I love him. But right now, I’m reading the last Divergent book [by Veronica Roth], which is really exciting. I’m kind of nervous. I love those books, too.”
Francis Lawrence, director: “I’m not sure about book series. I remember loving — although I guess it might have been when I was a little younger — all the Roald Dahl books. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. I remember those were the big books for me when I was a kid.”
Jon Kilik, producer: “The things that I think kids like about this are what I liked about Brave New World and Lord of the Flies and 1984. Those were the books I grew up with and that’s what I immediately connected with when I read [The Hunger Games]. I thought this could be that for kids today.”
Nina Jacobson, producer: “I was a huge fan of the Narnia series. I loved them and had the good fortune to get to make those when I was at Disney. I couldn’t get enough of those books when I was a kid.”