To get you excited for books like The Hunger Games and its subsequent sequels, a new Suzanne Collins book exploring Panem before Katniss is due out in May. (pun absolutely intended). For those who enjoyed the dystopian setting, the reality television spin or even the average girl taking on government plot, there are plenty of young adult books like The Hunger Games to choose from.
THRILLING BOOKS LIKE THE HUNGER GAMES
MURDERTRENDING BY GRETCHEN MCNEIL
Convicted felons spend their final days on Alcatraz 2.0 in the latest iteration of America’s reality television, attempting to survive their impending executions. It’s clear to Dee that she won’t be leaving alive as one of the latest prisoners, even though she knows she’s innocent of any wrongdoing. To avoid the murderous executioners and to prove her innocence, she joins forces with a group calling themselves the Death Row Breakfast Club. In the meantime, the inmates are haunted and tortured by the comments of the show’s viewers, but Dee might find the key to her survival if she can look at them closely.
UGLIES BY SCOTT WESTERFELD
Tally isn’t just looking forward to turning 16 for its own sake. When she reaches the age of 16, a whole new world of opportunities will open up for her, including the opportunity to undergo cosmetic surgery to transform her appearance from ugly to pretty. Then she’ll be able to live the life she’s always dreamed of, with a glamorous job and an even more impressive group of friends. It’s going to be a blast! That’s the problem: Before she can get the surgery she meets Shay, who is anti-surgery and believes in a better life where the destination is not decided by those in power but by the people who are actually living it. As soon as the authorities learn of Tally’s relationship with Shay, they give her an ultimatum: either bring Tally to them or give up on her aspirations to ever be beautiful.
SHADOWS OF SHERWOOD BY KEKLA MAGOON
If you’re looking for something a little more kid-friendly than The Hunger Games, give this one a shot. Robyn and a group of outlaws set out to find her parents after her home was taken over by the Ignomus Crown. They join forces to take on Ignoramus Crown, each bringing a unique skill set to the table. Though the more in trouble Robyn finds herself, the more she learns about her place in Nott City and the changes that are to come. Shadows of Sherwood is a thrilling and adventurous coming-of-age story that demonstrates that anyone can stand up to an authority in the wrong, based on the Robin Hood legend.
FLICKER AND MIST BY MARY G. THOMPSON
Myra, who is half-Flickering, hides from the Plats, who don’t trust those who can turn invisible at will, by keeping half of herself under the threat of death. Despite her best efforts, Myra’s world comes crashing down when something strange starts happening in her city, and it appears that the disappearing people are to blame. Over time, the battle between the two factions becomes increasingly clear, leaving Myra with a battle both within herself and on the streets. Myra’s first love and the future of her city are at stake, so she must decide if going invisible is the best option.
GONE BY MICHAEL GRANT
Everyone is simply gone before anyone can even realize what has happened. Everyone, except those under the age of fifteen. Those stranded in the Fallout Alley Youth Zone, or FAYZ for short, are on their own in a hostile environment. In the absence of adults, children and teenagers form opposing camps and compete for basic necessities. It’s also possible that some of the remaining children have powers that only get more powerful. It’s up to everyone else to choose a side and weigh their leaders’ intentions against the likelihood that they’ll survive this—if there’s an end—alive.
LIFE AS WE KNEW IT BY SUSAN BETH PFEFFER
In the first book of the Last Survivors series, a catastrophic event outside Earth’s atmosphere changes life as we know it. Immediately following the meteor strike on the moon, everything goes haywire. As a result of massive natural disasters, many people find themselves fighting for their lives. Miranda spends her time writing in her journal, relying on what she, her two brothers, and her mother can bring into their sunroom to survive as they approach summer, which has turned into a deadly Arctic winter in the last few months. Miranda and her family must rely on each other and their faith in God to get them through these trying times, as they have no other options.
SHATTER ME BY TAHEREH MAFI
Juliette has been imprisoned because she has been given a power that makes her own touch fatal. The Reestablishment, on the other hand, has fallen short in its efforts to preserve the populace. Juliette has a chance to leave the ravaged environment, but to do so, she must become an ally of the Reestablishment. As she fights for her life, she must now decide if her freedom is worth betraying the things she believes in and the people she cares about the most.
THE BUNKER DIARY BY KEVIN BROOKS
After helping a man who appeared to be blind on the street, Linus has no idea that he will be kidnapped and kept in a bare bunker for days on end. Others who are perplexed as to why they’ve been imprisoned soon join him. When the group is left alone with no communication from their captor, they reflect on the reason for their capture amongst themselves. Desperation pushes some of them to the brink, while others form bonds with others, but it soon becomes clear that not everyone will see the light of day again.
THE DECLARATION BY GEMMA MALLEY
In a world where science has made near-immortality a reality, the ruling class has enacted legislation making youth illegal. Anyone who signs the Declaration and agrees to abstain from having children in exchange for a long life is outlawed by the population control effort. It’s up to Anna to decide if she wants to follow the law and die or live a life of constant fleeing in order to stay alive. The authorities are closing in on Anna, who has no one to turn to now that both her parents are behind bars.