Books similar to Divergent are all about a person who is in a society where they have to follow certain rules. Some books are set in the future, some in the past. Others take place during different wars or uprisings. What they all have in common is that these characters are fighting for something bigger than themselves and you’ll find yourself rooting for them every step of the way!
Here are some books that you might enjoy if you’re looking for something just like this:
Maze Runner By James Dashner
Like Divergent, Maze Runner is about a group of teenagers living in an enclosed environment that is run by adults. They are given jobs and expected to do everything the adults say without question. The teens don’t remember their pasts and can only rely on each other for help when faced with terrifying obstacles such as the maze in Maze Runner and the trials in Divergent. The series has been praised for its action, suspense, and short chapters which make it a quick read.
Mortal Engines By Philip Reeve
This series is also set in a world where cities have become mobile and roam around the country devouring smaller towns and fighting each other for resources. There are factions within the cities that are used to further the plot just like in Divergent. It has been hailed for its creativity and critics have called it a great substitute for Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter fans who didn’t enjoy The Hunger Games series.
Red Queen By Victoria Aveyard
The protagonist in this story is also a young girl who lives in a world divided by blood. There are the silver-blooded Silvers that rule the world and the red-blooded Reds who are thought of as less than nothing. The main character eventually becomes involved with them because she discovers she has powers like them and eventually becomes involved with the Silvers. Critics have enjoyed the new perspective on a dystopian world and praising Aveyard’s writing style.
The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins
This book is about a boy and a girl who are chosen from their small district to fight in a competition run by the Capitol. They have to kill each other off until one remains. This story is often compared to Divergent because they both take place in dystopian societies where teenagers have to fight for their lives and they both involve a young girl who is forced to be involved in the competition.
Angelfall By Susan Ee
This series also involves an apocalypse and takes place after most of humanity has been wiped out. Survivors band together and try to make sense of what happened to them all while hiding from angels that hunt them down relentlessly. The protagonist lives with a small group of survivors who are trying to rebuild society, but she is thrown into a position of leadership when one day an angel shows up at their door. Critics have enjoyed the unique take on angels and praised Ee for her vivid descriptions.
The Selection Series By Kiera Cass
This series is about a girl who lives in a dystopian society where people are chosen by lottery to become either the wife of the prince or remain commoners for the rest of their lives. The protagonist ends up being chosen as one of the potential princesses and has to live in the palace surrounded by other girls competing for the prince’s affection.
Both of these stories are about a society that divides people into factions based on their personalities and they both have a protagonist who finds out they belong in a different faction than everyone else thinks. They discover an important secret about themselves through fighting against another faction or with another faction. They both involve forbidden love and action-packed fight scenes, with books in the series getting longer as they go along.
Book Of A Thousand Days By Shannon Hale
This is a story about a young maid who is imprisoned by her lady’s cruel father for writing about an affair between his daughter and the stable boy. She ends up locked away in a tower and has to survive by her wits. She keeps a diary of the days she spends locked up and fights off rats and other pests that try to eat her food rations. Critics have enjoyed the unique premise and Hale’s writing style
The Winner’s Curse By Marie Rutkoski
This story is about a young girl who was raised as a servant and is now part of an arranged marriage where she will become a member of the royal family. The prince she is betrothed to has fallen in love with her as well and everyone is trying to figure out how they feel about one another since it’s forbidden for them to be together. Just like Tris, the protagonist’s parents are killed in an attack and she has to deal with a power-hungry family.
The Young Elites By Marie Lu
This story is about a girl who survived a pox that wiped out everyone in her village, but instead of being left scarred, she comes out with magical powers. She must hide them from everyone because the people who have powers are feared and hated. She becomes a leader of a group of outcasts and they go from town to town overturning the leadership everywhere they go. Critics have enjoyed Lu’s writing style and praised this story for its unique take on magic.
The Diviners By Libba Bray
Bray has written several books about the apocalypse, but this one is set in 1920s New York. A girl moves to New York with her uncle who runs an occult museum and she discovers that supernatural forces are wreaking havoc on the city. She gets wrapped up in trying to stop them while also figuring out herself what powers she possesses. Readers have enjoyed the characters and being immersed in a rich, historical setting.
Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson
This famous book is about two men who are trying to find cheese in a maze and the kind of choices they have to make when it comes to being comfortable or not. These are similar themes that readers have found in Divergent. Most people have read this book at some point because it’s frequently referenced in business and self-help books.
The Gender Game by Bella Forrest
This story is about a war between the sexes. The women, thinking they are superior to men, live in gated communities and only come out at night for work or other necessary things. The men do not know that there are separate societies until one of them accidentally finds out. He ends up joining this secret world (and its matching game) to overthrow the women’s society. Critics have enjoyed the action and adventure that this story has to offer, as well as a unique take on a sex war.
Independent Study By Joelle Charbonneau
This story is about a girl who enters a contest to win a spot at a special school where she will learn how to be a leader. The catch is that participants have to fight for this prize, so the more ruthless and cunning you are, the more likely you are going to win. Readers have enjoyed seeing who comes out on top in this intense environment.
The Future of Us By Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
This story is about two teens who discover an old desktop computer in their home’s basement. They go on the computer and find out what Facebook looks like fifteen years into the future, once they are an adult. It gives them insight into what life is like for adults and how it might be different from their high school lives. Critics have noted that this story is a good reflection on what social media can do to one’s self-esteem or value in society.
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly By Stephanie Oakes
This novel is about a girl who was imprisoned for committing a crime at age ten. While she’s being held, more secrets are discovered about what happened on that fateful day. Readers have enjoyed the world-building and suspense of this novel, as well as finding out why Minnow had to be imprisoned in the first place.
Partials by Dan Wells
Partials is a sci-fi story about an apocalyptic event that results in the world being decimated by disease. Wells has written several other books, but this one is unique because it takes place years after everyone else has died and focuses on the human survivors. Readers have praised the suspense and action of this novel as well as its complex characters and unique take on a post-apocalyptic world.
Red Rising By Pierce Brown
This series is about a teen living in a caste system who pretends to be someone he’s not in order to climb his way up and eventually lead a revolution against those who lord their power over the lower classes. It has all the hallmarks of political intrigue and danger that readers have loved, as well as complicated characters and an action-packed storyline.
Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
This story is about a girl who has special powers in a world where most kids do not. The book focuses on how she copes with gaining and losing the trust of those around her as well as dealing with people who label her and want to use her for their own means. Given this plot, readers have enjoyed the mystery and action that this novel has and the way it makes them think about what they would do if they had these powers.
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
This story focuses on an evil girl who wants to be Empress and does whatever she can to make that happen, one step at a time. The more people she kills, the closer she gets to her goal, but there’s still a long way to go. Readers have liked the backstory and character development of this story, as well as the different take on an evil protagonist.
Article 5 By Kristen Simmons
This story is about a girl who was raised in a religious extremist group, where any sort of freedom to think differently about the world is outlawed. She ends up being arrested and escaping to join another safe society, but there are people out there who want her back to continue brainwashing her. Readers have enjoyed this dystopian world that forces its characters to challenge the morals they were brought up to believe, as well as the romance and action packed storyline.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
This story is about a future where it’s legal to unwind children who are injured or sick and unable to be saved. The catch is that these children will have their consciousness transferred into someone else via organ donation. Critics have noted how the interesting premise of this story parallels social issues in real life, such as abortion and euthanasia debates.
These are all wonderful books that readers have enjoyed for their fast-paced stories, compelling characters, and thoughtful messages. If you’re looking for a way to spend your time, be sure to pick one out of this list. Whether it’s dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction you prefer, there is something here with lots of action and romance!