Suzanne Collins’ dystopian novel and film series The Hunger Games has become a cultural touchstone for young adults. The story takes place in the dystopian future of Panem, a North American nation. The wealthy Capitol governs the country’s 12 districts.
“The Hunger Games,” a death-defying tournament, is held in each district every year. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are chosen from District 12, the poorest district, at the start of the series.
Unlike Katniss, who has raised her small family since she was a child on her own, Peeta comes from a humble background and must learn to rely on his father’s support. Because Peeta once gave Katniss bread to keep her from starving, it’s doubly difficult for her to kill him in the arena this time around.
The two are taken by train to the Capitol, where they are pampered to the utmost extent. After that, they’ll be thrown into a fight with 22 other tributes, with the expectation that they’ll fight until only one is left. And it’s all just for fun.
Here are some books to read following the Hunger Games!
Books Similar to The Hunger Games
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Veronica Roth’s Divergent series is often recommended as a starting point for those looking for a book series similar to The Hunger Games.
Beatrice (Tris) Prior is the protagonist of Divergentis, which takes place in a dystopian future. Humanity was divided into five distinct ‘factions’, each containing a distinct group of people, in an effort to prevent war.
Amity, for peace; Candor, for honesty; Abnegation, for selflessness; and Dauntless, for bravery, are all examples of virtues.
Before taking an aptitude test at the age of 16, children grow up in whatever faction they were born into. Test results reveal a person’s faction; the next day they must decide which path to take for the rest of their lives at an event called the Choosing Ceremony. That’s a lot of pressure!
Tris is an Abnegation native who makes the decision to join Dauntless. However, during the test, she discovers a secret about herself that forever alters her life. She faces serious repercussions if she admits to leaking the information.
Rebels are fighting against the system and uncovering the truth about the strange, segregated world they live in, just like in The Hunger Games.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
On a list of books similar to Hunger Games and Divergent, The Maze Runner is a definite inclusion. It’s a popular YA series that was boosted in popularity by a series of 20th Century Fox film adaptations.
In a box, Thomas arrived at the Glad. He has no idea who or where he is or where he came from. There are no adults or females in the Glade, so he is surrounded by a small group of teenage boys. There is only one way out of the Glade, which is surrounded by enormous concrete walls.
Large and dangerous mazes surround the Glade. This is a daily occurrence, allowing Gladers to explore the Maze in search of a way out. Although the Maze is full of dangerous and violent Grievers, it’s still possible to survive.
Two years into their incarceration, and despite numerous failed escape attempts, the Gladers have yet to find freedom from the Maze.
As in the Hunger Games, a group of teenagers are stranded in an arena with no hope of escape and must fight to the death. Who’s in?
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Status in Red Queen is determined by one’s blood type. The Reds are lowly peasants, while the Silvers are the aristocracy, each with their own superpowers. At 17, Mare Barrow comes from a poor Red family in the Stilts and has no hope of ever making it big in the world. After that, she’s stuck working at the Silver Palace for no apparent reason.
She discovers she has deadly power here, surrounded by the people she despises the most. Despite the fact that she is red. This secret has the potential to upend society and destabilize the balance of power in the world.
For this reason, when they discover that she is unique and powerful, they decide to turn her into an icon, like Katniss Everdeen after the first Hunger Games.
The Silvers believe they have the upper hand, but Mare is quietly working with a resistance group to bring the Silvers to their knees.
#MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil
Some of the other young adult books on this list, such as The Hunger Games, are more widely known. #MurderTrending is less popular. However, it has one of the most tantalizing plotlines.
After being imprisoned, murderers in this world are executed. And it’s all been captured on film for the benefit of the entire world. Everyone is tweeting about the latest viral phenomenon: watching killers get their comeuppance.
Accused of the murder of her stepsister, Dee Guerrera wakes up on Alcatraz 2.0 in prison. However, she wasn’t actually responsible for it. She forms the Death Row “Breakfast club” in an attempt to survive because she is determined not to die for a crime she did not commit. Will they be allowed to continue because of the rising popularity of television shows?
Those looking for a suspenseful novel with a morbidly fascinating premise and a dash of romance should definitely pick up this book.
Amazon, Book Depository, Waterstones, and Blackwells are all great places to purchase #MurderTrending
Legend by Marie Lu
When it comes to books like Divergent and The Hunger Games, Marie Lu’s Legend is a popular choice.
As the military fights to keep the rebels at bay in a dystopian America, the story takes place.
In society, there are rich and poor people, and the test you take as a child determines where you fall on the social scale. There are many options for further education and military service if you are successful.
Children who do not pass the test are taken away by the state and sent to labor camps to finish their education. The poorest sections of society are plagued by diseases for which they have no means of treatment. Meanwhile, the wealthy are routinely immunized.
Featuring two intelligent and fiercely loyal protagonists, this is an action-packed story with lots of twists and turns. Several times, I had my hand over my mouth to keep from sobbing, and other times, my heart broke for these characters.
As the secrets of their society are revealed, these two characters begin to work together rather than against each other. An enemy to lover romance does develop, but I don’t think it does much for the story.
There isn’t as much emphasis on world building in this one as there is in other YA dystopian series, but it looks like book two will make up for that.
This dystopian novel is written by a diverse author and features characters of various ethnic backgrounds. It’s always a good thing to win!
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Like Hunger Games, The 5th Wave is a sci-fi dystopian crossover novel for young adults. Following four ‘waves’ of an alien invasion, there is little left of the human race.
Most people were swept away by a tsunami as a result of the first wave’s power outage. While most of those who survived were wiped out by a lethal disease in the third round, the survivors turned on each other in the fourth.
No one knows how many people are still alive, and no one is sure who to put their faith in. The aliens and humans share a lot of characteristics.
When soldiers arrive at the refugee camp where Cassie and Sam are hiding with their father, Sam is separated from his younger brother, Cassie. Soldiers round up and execute anyone younger than the age of 15 who stands in their way. Her father has disappeared, but Cassie has survived.
She sets out on her own in an attempt to track down her brother’s whereabouts. She meets Evan while on her travels. But can she believe him?
My favorite stormy teen heroine, Cassie, reminds me a lot of Katniss when it comes to fiercely protecting her younger sister, Prim.
Matched by Ally Condie
Fans of The Hunger Games will enjoy Ally Condie’s quick read, Matched, which features many classic YA dystopian themes. Typical of the teen genre, the main character comes to realize that life doesn’t have to be so regimented after growing up in it.
This is a world where teenagers are “matched” by society, their futures are decided by society, and their meals are prepared by society. In this world, there is very little room for personal choice. It’s ostensibly for the benefit of the general public and the smooth operation of business. There will be less conflict if there are fewer options available, right?
Two strange things happen on the day of Cassia’s match. In the first place, she gets to date her lifelong best friend and soul mate, Xander. A match from the same school district is extremely rare, and even less likely that they know each other. However, she’s overjoyed, and the other teenagers are envious of her happiness.
After the official match, Cassia opens her matching microcard, which should contain all the information she needs about Xander. In spite of this, a glitch causes her to see another face, that of Ky, one of her neighboring residents.
It seems as if she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Ky since she saw his picture in the matchbox. Why don’t we find out the truth about Xander and see if he’s the one for us? Cassia begins to have doubts about the orderly world she has known her entire life as a result of this small mistake.
S.T.A.G.S. by M A Bennett
S.T.A.G.S by M. A. Bennett is a good choice if you’re looking for something new to read after The Hunger Games but are sick of dystopias. Aristocrats are depicted in S.T.A.G.S., which takes place in the real world.
S.T.A.G.S. is a prestigious boarding school for the children of the world’s wealthiest and most traditional families. However, the story is told from Greer Macdonald’s point of view, the scholarship student with a completely ordinary upbringing and upbringing.
Snobbish classmates refuse to speak to Greer, who has always felt out of place. That is, until she receives an invitation from Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular boy at school, to spend half a term at Longcross Hall.
No one tells Greer and the other outcasts that they’re the intended prey when they accept the invitation to spend a weekend hunting, shooting, and fishing with them. S.T.A.G.S. has a surprisingly Hunger Games-like feel for a story set in the real world because of its remote location and lack of adult supervision.
There are many people who enjoy tales of survival and rebellion or tales of the despicable elite in this novel.
The 100 by Kass Morgan
With The 100, by Kass Morgan, and its accompanying TV show, you can get books like the Hunger Games for young adults.
On a dystopian future Earth, the story of The 100 takes place in a world that is uninhabitable. Because of a nuclear war, the Earth is now covered in radiation, and the rest of humanity has been relocated to a spaceship orbiting above the planet. It is, however, becoming increasingly urgent for the ship’s leaders to find a way to return to Earth.
The Earth’s current state is unknown, and no one knows if it is still dangerously radioactive or not. 100 teenage delinquents are sent to Earth instead of the entire shop because the Chancellor doesn’t want to risk the entire human race.
Each teen is equipped with a bracelet that transmits their vital signs to the ship via Bluetooth. The ship will return to Earth if the crew survives. They’ll have to stay in the spaceship for a little while longer if they die, as the Chancellor knows all too well.
All contact with the ship is lost during the ship’s impact with the surface of the planet. Because they haven’t been to this land before, the teenagers have no idea what dangers await them after so long. During the conflict, did anything make it out alive? Are there still any of you here?
After reading The 100 you’ll immediately want to pick up the second book. It’s short but packs quite a punch.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Scott Westerfeld’s dystopian novel Ugies was one of the first of its kind for young adults, published long before either The Hunger Games or Divergent.
For some reason, this book has fallen out of favor since the release of the more popular YA series, but I still included it on my list of books related to the Hunger Games because it came first in the series.
In addition, Joey King, star of The Kissing Booth, will produce and star in a film adaptation that will be released in the coming months.
It’s Tally’s world, and there are ugly and beautiful people. Despite the fact that everyone is born ugly, all teenagers undergo surgery at the age of sixteen to become beautiful. Also, Tally is ecstatic. So eager is she to be a Pretty that she’s even spied on the residents of Prettyville to see what fun she’ll be missing out on once she becomes one.
Shay becomes her new best friend after Peris, her only other friend, departs for Prettyville. Tally’s world is opened up by Shay, a rebellious teen who is a source of inspiration for Tally.
Some rumor has it that a group of 16-year-old Ugly rebels escaped before the operation and are now free to live their lives in their own Ugly community. Shay, on the other hand, is adamant about finding them.
Tally doesn’t want to be a part of the investigation, but her connection to Shay has drawn the authorities’ attention. After finding and revealing the location of the rebels, they refuse to make her Pretty unless she does.
This is a classic YA series about a resistance group fighting against an authoritarian state, even though the story moves slowly at first.
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
One can compare Under the Never Sky to The 100. (already mentioned). There are some similarities to the other dystopian novels on this list despite the fact that it is closer to science fiction than dystopia.
As a result of climate change, humans are either sheltered in bubbles or left to fend for themselves out in the wild. Unlike Perry, Aria has always lived in one of these protected domes.
When Aria is forced to leave her dome in the search for her mother, the two form an unlikely friendship. This novel features two complex protagonists, each of whom is dealing with their own set of problems.
Aria and Perry’s love story is strong, and you’ll be rooting for them, but this is more about the action than romance.
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
There are many dystopian novels out there, but We Set the Dark on Fire stands out from the pack because it isn’t a direct sequel to The Hunger Games.
Class, privilege, and political revolution are still prominent themes in this book, but it is refreshing to read a book for young adults with such a diverse cast of characters.
Students at Medio School for Girls learn how to be either housewives or mothers, and Daniela is one of those students. However, Daniela has a secret that threatens to bring down the life her parents have meticulously built for her. Her ancestry is a fabrication. A better life was possible for her because her parents forged her identity papers.
On graduation night, Daniela is confronted with a decision she didn’t expect to face: marry a wealthy suitor and lead a privileged life, or join a resistance group fighting for equality in Medio and become a spy. Daniela is a reluctant heroine, but fans of Katniss will enjoy her as much as we did.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, you’ll enjoy Unwind by Neal Shusterman.
Unwind, a thought-provoking and disturbing young adult novel, is a must-read. Human life is protected from conception to the age of 13 after the second civil war. However, between the ages of 13 and 18, parents have the option of having their children “unwound.”
This means that their entire body will be dissected and donated to another person in need. Because no part of the body should be thrown away, every hand, eye, and organ is up for grabs. Nobody ever really dies, because their parts continue to live on in other people. Very depressing.
Three “unwinds” on the loose are the focus of our attention in this episode: Connor, Risa, and Lev. Each of them was destined for harvest camp, but destiny brings them together, and they seize the chance to escape their dreadful fate. They’ll be completely different by the end of book 1 than what you remember them as.
Among the many intriguing issues that Unwind addresses are the right to abortion as well as the increasing commodification of, well, everything in the twenty-first century. For the sake of “the greater good,” could we use humans in this manner?
Despite the fact that abortion was legalized in the United Kingdom in 1968, the pro-choice versus pro-life debate continues to rage around the world. The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States has reignited interest in the issue.
It’s incredible that such fundamental rights are still up for debate, but that only serves to highlight how close our reality can be to dystopia. Many scenes in Unwind were disturbing, but I would still recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the Handmaid’s Tale or Never Let Me Go.