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9 Best Dystopian Books Like Hunger Games: My Ultimate List

If you loved the heart-pounding adventure and dystopian world of “The Hunger Games,” then get ready for more thrills and captivating reads with our list of the 12 best books like Hunger Games. From the gripping factions of “Divergent” to the maze-filled mysteries of “The Maze Runner,” these books will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Each book on our list offers a unique blend of action, suspense, and strong protagonists fighting against oppressive regimes. So if you’re looking for your next page-turner that will leave you wanting more, check out our recommendations and reviews of the best books like Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Yes, the original trilogy itself!)

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins is a dystopian series set in the futuristic nation of Panem. The story follows the journey of Katniss Everdeen, a young girl who becomes a symbol of rebellion against the oppressive Capitol.

The trilogy consists of three books: “The Hunger Games,” “Catching Fire,” and “Mockingjay.” Each book delves deeper into the corrupt and brutal world of Panem, exploring themes of power, survival, and sacrifice.

Books Like Hunger Games

What sets “The Hunger Games” apart is its gripping narrative and complex characters. Katniss is a strong and resilient protagonist who embodies the spirit of rebellion, while Peeta Mellark, Gale Hawthorne, and other supporting characters add depth and complexity to the story.

The Hunger Games themselves, a brutal annual event in which children from each district fight to the death, serve as a harrowing backdrop for the overarching story of rebellion and resistance. Collins skillfully builds tension and suspense throughout the trilogy, keeping readers on the edge of their seats.


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Aside from the thrilling plot, “The Hunger Games” also explores important social and political themes. It highlights the dangers of unchecked power, the impact of media manipulation, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

The success of “The Hunger Games” trilogy extends beyond the books themselves. It has been adapted into a highly successful film franchise, further cementing its place in popular culture.

If you enjoyed “The Hunger Games,” you may also enjoy other dystopian novels that offer similar themes of rebellion, survival, and societal critique. Some recommendations include “Divergent” by Veronica Roth, “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner, and “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent is the first book in a thrilling dystopian series written by Veronica Roth. The story is set in a future society where people are divided into factions based on their dominant personality traits. The main character, Beatrice Prior, discovers she is Divergent, which means she doesn’t fit into any one faction and possesses multiple dominant traits.

The concept of factions and the dystopian setting make Divergent a great read for fans of The Hunger Games. Both series explore themes of societal control, rebellion, and the fight against injustice. Like Katniss Everdeen, Beatrice Prior finds herself caught up in a dangerous and corrupt system and must navigate a treacherous world to uncover the truth.

The action-packed plot, engaging characters, and thought-provoking themes make Divergent a compelling read for fans of dystopian fiction. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games and are looking for a similar book with an equally captivating story, Divergent is definitely worth checking out.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner is a thrilling dystopian novel that follows the story of Thomas, a teenager who wakes up in a maze with no memory of his past. As he navigates the dangerous maze and tries to unravel its mysteries, he discovers that he and his fellow maze inhabitants are part of a cruel experiment.

The Maze Runner is often compared to The Hunger Games due to its fast-paced plot, intense action, and strong-willed protagonist. Both books explore themes of survival, identity, and the fight against oppressive societies.

Readers who enjoyed The Hunger Games will find themselves captivated by the suspense and mystery in The Maze Runner. The unique setting and plot twists will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver is a dystopian novel by Lois Lowry that shares similarities with The Hunger Games in its exploration of a society that controls and suppresses its citizens. The story follows Jonas, a young boy who is chosen to become the Receiver of Memory, the one person in the community who holds all the knowledge and memories of the past.

Like Katniss in The Hunger Games, Jonas questions the oppressive nature of his society and begins to rebel against it. He discovers the dark secrets behind the seemingly utopian world he lives in and must decide whether to conform or fight for change.

The Giver tackles themes of individuality, freedom of choice, and the importance of memories and emotions. It raises thought-provoking questions about the sacrifices we make for a seemingly perfect society and the power of knowledge and empathy.

If you enjoyed the complex characters and thought-provoking themes in The Hunger Games, The Giver is a must-read. It is the first book in a quartet, with each subsequent book delving deeper into the complexities of this dystopian world.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen is a captivating dystopian novel written by Victoria Aveyard. Set in a society divided by blood, the story follows Mare Barrow, a young girl from the impoverished Red-blooded class who discovers she possesses a unique ability. Her world is turned upside down when she is thrust into the elite world of the Silver-blooded ruling class, where she must navigate political intrigue and rebellion.

Aveyard’s novel draws comparisons to The Hunger Games with its strong female protagonist and a society divided into factions. Both books explore themes of social inequality, power, and the struggle for justice.

Red Queen is filled with action, suspense, and unexpected twists that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Fans of The Hunger Games will appreciate the thrilling and immersive world-building in Red Queen.

If you enjoyed The Hunger Games and are looking for a similar read, Red Queen is definitely worth adding to your list.

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend is a thrilling dystopian novel written by Marie Lu. Set in a futuristic society divided into two factions, the Republic and the Colonies, the story follows two protagonists, June and Day, whose paths intertwine in unexpected ways.

June is a prodigy, a top student of the Republic’s elite military academy. Day, on the other hand, is a notorious criminal and the Republic’s most wanted fugitive. When June’s brother is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect, their lives become entangled as they uncover the truth behind the Republic’s dark secrets.

The story is fast-paced and action-packed, filled with political intrigue, suspense, and a hint of romance. The world-building in Legend is rich and detailed, depicting a society ruled by corruption and oppression. The contrasting perspectives of June and Day provide a deeper understanding of their motivations and the complexities of their world.

Legend is a gripping read that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. It explores themes of identity, loyalty, and the power of individual choices in the face of adversity. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games series, Legend is definitely a book you should add to your reading list.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass is a captivating dystopian novel set in a society where young girls are chosen to compete for the hand of the prince and the chance to become the next queen. With elements of romance, political intrigue, and a fierce heroine, this book is a great recommendation for fans of The Hunger Games.

The story follows America Singer, a young girl from a lower caste who is unexpectedly selected as one of the competitors in the Selection. As she navigates the challenges of the competition and becomes entangled in a love triangle, America must also grapple with the larger social and political issues of her world.

Similar to The Hunger Games, The Selection explores themes of class inequality, societal expectations, and the fight for personal freedom. It also features a strong and relatable female protagonist who defies expectations and fights for what she believes in.

The Selection is the first book in a series, with several sequels that continue America’s story and delve deeper into the world created by Kiera Cass. If you enjoyed the fast-paced action and complex characters of The Hunger Games, The Selection is sure to be a thrilling read that will keep you eagerly turning the pages.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is a thrilling dystopian novel that follows the journey of Cassie Sullivan as she tries to survive in a world devastated by alien invasions. In the wake of the first four waves of destruction, Cassie must rely on her instincts and determination to rescue her younger brother and navigate the dangers of a post-apocalyptic Earth.

The novel is filled with suspense, action, and twists that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Yancey’s vivid descriptions and compelling characters make the story come alive, and the exploration of themes such as trust, survival, and identity adds depth to the narrative.

The 5th Wave is a perfect recommendation for fans of The Hunger Games who are looking for another fast-paced and gripping dystopian read. It combines elements of science fiction, survival, and coming-of-age to create a captivating story that will leave readers eager for more.

If you enjoyed the strong female protagonist and adrenaline-fueled plot of The Hunger Games, you will find similar thrills and excitement in The 5th Wave. Give it a try if you’re craving another immersive dystopian adventure!

Matched by Ally Condie

Matched is a dystopian young adult novel written by Ally Condie. It is the first book in a trilogy and follows the story of Cassia Reyes, a teenage girl living in a society where all aspects of life are controlled by the government.

In Cassia’s society, individuals are matched with their ideal life partners, chosen by the government, at the age of 17. However, when Cassia sees a different face flash on her Matched microcard, she begins to question the system and the idea of true love.

The novel explores themes of individuality, rebellion, and the search for personal freedom. As Cassia starts to uncover the secrets of her society, she must make difficult choices that challenge her loyalty and beliefs.

Matched is a gripping and thought-provoking book that will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games. It combines romance, action, and a compelling dystopian setting to create a captivating reading experience.

If you enjoyed The Hunger Games and are looking for another thrilling dystopian series, Matched is definitely worth adding to your reading list.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is a captivating series that combines science fiction, fantasy, and fairy tales. Set in a futuristic world where humans and cyborgs coexist, the series follows a group of heroines as they navigate political intrigue, rebellion, and romance.

Each book in The Lunar Chronicles is a retelling of a classic fairy tale with a futuristic twist. “Cinder” is a reimagining of Cinderella, where Cinder is a cyborg mechanic who becomes embroiled in a battle against an evil queen. “Scarlet” draws inspiration from Little Red Riding Hood, with Scarlet joining forces with a street fighter named Wolf to rescue her missing grandmother.

In “Cress,” the Rapunzel-inspired character Cress is a skilled hacker who has been imprisoned in a satellite for years. She teams up with Cinder and the other heroines to stop the queen’s plans. Finally, “Winter” is a Snow White retelling, with Winter as the beautiful princess determined to overthrow her evil stepmother.

The Lunar Chronicles is known for its compelling characters, fast-paced plots, and intricate world-building. Meyer seamlessly weaves together elements of fairy tales, science fiction, and dystopian fiction to create a unique and immersive reading experience.

Readers who enjoyed The Hunger Games will find a similar blend of action, romance, and strong female protagonists in The Lunar Chronicles. The series tackles themes such as power, identity, and the fight against oppression, making it a must-read for fans of dystopian and fantasy novels.

Conclusion

If you loved the Hunger Games and are looking for similar books to indulge in, you’re in luck! The list above provides a variety of options that capture the same thrilling and dystopian essence that made the Hunger Games so popular.

Whether you choose to delve into the heart-pounding world of the Maze Runner or explore the complex society of the Selection, each book on this list will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you craving more. So grab one of these books, immerse yourself in a new dystopian adventure, and get ready for hours of gripping storytelling.

Is The Hunger Games a dystopia?

Yes, “The Hunger Games” is considered a dystopian series. The story is set in a future society called Panem, which is characterized by extreme social and economic inequality, oppressive government control, and the annual televised “Hunger Games” where young people from the districts are forced to fight to the death for the entertainment of the Capitol. These elements are classic hallmarks of dystopian literature, where the world depicted is often grim, authoritarian, and in stark contrast to the values and freedoms of contemporary society. The series, authored by Suzanne Collins, explores themes of totalitarianism, inequality, and the struggle for freedom, all of which are common themes in dystopian fiction.

What book is similar to Hunger Games?

Top books on my list that is similar to Hunger Games are The Maze Runner by James Dashner and Divergent by Veronica Roth