7 Books Like The Hunger Games Worth Reading

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Ever since Suzanne Collins published the first installment of The Hunger Games trilogy back in 2008, the world has gone crazy for Katniss Everdeen’s dystopian adventures in Panem. As soon as each novel hit the shelves, they were instant bestsellers, and the movie franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence helped to bring a whole new set of readers into The Hunger Games fold.

But what do you do when you’ve finished all three books, and you’re longing for something just as thrilling and addictive? Well, I have good news; these seven books all explore similar themes of survival in terrifying dystopian worlds. And just like The Hunger Games, these titles aren’t just for young adults; they have a hugely broad appeal and are loved by readers young and old.

At a Glance: Our top recommendation for Books Like The Hunger Games

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  3. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  4. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  5. Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil
  6. The Girl Who Dared to Think by Bella Forrest
  7. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
IMAGE PRODUCT
Divergent
  • Publication date:January 1, 1896
  • Print length: 487 pages(first edition)
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The Maze Runner
  • Publication date:August 24, 2010
  • Print length:375 pages
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Delirium
  • Publication date:May 17, 2016
  • Print length:480 pages
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Red Queen
  • Publication date: June 7, 2016
  • Print length:416 pages
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MurderTrending
  • Publication date:July 9, 2019
  • Print length:368 pages
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The Girl Who Dared to Think
  • Publication date-August 9, 2017
  • Print length:410 pages
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WRed Rising
  • Publication date-January 1, 2014
  • Print length:416 pages
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#1. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth
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Beatrice Prior lives in Chicago, but not the 21st-century version that we’re familiar with. In Beatrice’s dystopian world, society is split into five separate factions, each dedicated to living out a particular virtue. There’s Candor- the honest, Abnegation- the selfless, Dauntless- the brave, Amity – the peaceful, and Erudite- the intelligent.

Each year, every sixteen-year-old across the land must choose which faction to devote themselves to for the rest of their lives. Once they make their decisions, there’s no going back. Like many young people faced with such a choice, Beatrice is torn about which path to follow. Does she stay with her family? Or does she leave behind everything she’s ever known to follow her truth and become who she really is, deep inside?

Beatrice’s decision takes everyone by surprise, including herself, and now she must live out her destiny and take on a new name; Tris. Tris and her fellow initiates are put through a series of grueling challenges which push them beyond their physical and mental boundaries. Now, as allegiances are formed, bonds are broken, and the perfect veneer of the future starts to fall away, Tris must work out who she can really trust. After all, everyone has their secrets, including her.

#2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
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The only thing Thomas can remember is his name. Everything else is a mystery, and waking up in this strange place surrounded by other teenage boys, he soon finds out he’s not the only one with amnesia.

Together, the boys are trapped in “The Glade,” a mysterious place flanked by four doors that open at sunrise and close at sundown. Beyond these doors lies the Maze, an endless and ever-changing labyrinth filled with terrifying biomechanical monsters.

Every month, a new boy, just like Thomas, arrives via an elevator known as “the Box.” All the Gladers know is that together, they must find their way out of the Maze. But the Maze is constantly shifting, and its paths are filled with terror. Every day, some of the boys, known as “runners,” sprint through the shifting labyrinth in the hopes of mapping it and finding some sequence so that they might escape.

But when one day the Box delivers a new arrival, it’s not who any of them were expecting. It’s a girl, and she’s bearing a sinister message. “She’s the last one. Ever.” Now, everything is about to change.

#3. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
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In a dark dystopian future, the United States government has declared a new pandemic. The disease? Love.

Through rigorous psychological conditioning of all citizens, they have society convinced that love is deadly and should be avoided and eradicated at all costs. One way to do this is to ensure every person undergoes “the treatment” as they enter into adulthood. And so, as Lena approaches her 18th birthday, she is excited for what’s to come. She can’t wait to be cured and live a predictable and safe existence. She watched her own mother’s life destroyed by love, and she’ll do everything she can to avoid the same fate.

But then Lena meets Alex, a mysterious boy from the “Wilds.” He’s unlike anyone she’s ever met before; he’s free, unchained by the government’s oppressive gaze. Now, her world quickly begins to change. Alex shows her that love isn’t a disease, after all; it’s the very essence of life and existence, and it’s worth fighting for.

But will she throw away the future she thought she wanted for a life of true yet forbidden love with Alex?

#4. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
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There are two types of blood in the world; red and silver. The Reds are the peons of society, suppressed by the elite, slaves to a system that keeps them down. The Silvers, and their god-like powers, are the elite. They’re the puppeteers of the world, the ones who always have, and always will, hold power.

Young Mare Barrow is of red blood, born and raised in the desolate Stilts, where every day is a struggle for survival. It’s all she’s ever known, but one day, she gets an opportunity that changes everything; she starts work at the Silver

Palace, serving her powerful oppressors. It’s here that Mare realizes that she has an extraordinary power of her own, one that could finally bring justice for her people once and for all.

The Silvers, recognizing and fearing Mare’s potential, decide the best course of action is to hide her in plain sight. And so she is betrothed to the Silver prince and declared the long-lost Silver princess.

From her position on the throne, she begins to secretly conspire with resistance group The Red Guard to bring an end to the Silver Regime. But one foot out of line would seal Mare’s fate forever, and in a world where she can trust no one, the fight to restore the balance of power is deadly.

#5. Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil

Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil
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In a future not too far from our own, society’s justice system has taken a dark and sinister turn. Convicted felons are locked away in Alcatraz 2.0, where they’re publicly executed. Meanwhile, the good citizens of the world watch on as it’s live-streamed via The Postman app. The method of execution? A bloody fight to the death against The Postman’s team of state-sponsored killers. Only the ultimate winner gets to survive.

When teenager Dee Guerrera wakes up to find herself sprawled on the floor of a dark and dingy warehouse, she quickly realizes she’s the next in line for Alcatraz 2.0. But the seventeen-year-old shouldn’t be there. She’s been wrongly accused of murdering her stepsister, and now, she must prove her innocence before the unthinkable happens.

With the help of her fellow inmates in the Death Row Breakfast Club, she begins unraveling some dark and long-buried secrets that will ultimately control her destiny. If she’s to avoid execution, she’ll have to face her demons head-on.

#6. The Girl Who Dared to Think by Bella Forrest

The Girl Who Dared to Think by Bella Forrest
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In Liana Castell’s dark dystopian world, The Tower reigns supreme. Her every thought is monitored by a device implanted inside her skull, which is designed to keep humanity loyal and faithful to The Tower at all costs.

The more obedient her thinking mind is, the better the score on her wristband is, but if her thoughts turn against her powerful rulers, her ranking will drop. With her current score of four, the lowest number possible before the terrible consequences begin, she’s on thin ice. Threes are given drug treatment, twos are banished to isolation, and ones disappear forever.

Others around her, including her parents, find it easier to comply. They’re so brainwashed by The Tower and its perceived role as the protector of humanity that they keep their scores at a perfect 10.

But Liana’s defiance is part of who she is, and her rebellious spirit won’t quit, even when it puts her in extreme danger.

Deep inside, the seeds of resentment refuse to die. As an overseer in training, she does her best to keep her score, but it’s impossible. She drops to a three, and the nightmare begins.

#7. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
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In the future, a color-coded system separates and segregates the population, and unfortunately for Darrow, as a Red, he’s part of the lowest-ranked caste of them all. He spends his days working a grueling job in the mines, but it’s all for the greater good. Darrow and his fellow Reds toil day in and day out to make the surface of Mars more hospitable for future generations. At least, that’s what they’ve been told.

But Darrow discovers a devastating truth; his whole life, and all of his service, has been a lie. He and others like him have never been anything but slaves to a wicked regime that will stop at nothing to keep society oppressed.

Now, fueled by rage and a desire for justice, Darrow sets out to infiltrate the elites in their esteemed Institute. Here, the highest-ranking members of the Gold caste battle it out for ultimate power, and Darrow heads undercover to join them. He’s determined to bring an end to the evil ruling class, even if it means he has to become one of them.

Conclusion

These fantastic reads are perfect for anyone who loved Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy. With their dystopian themes, strong protagonists, and an ever-growing sense of dread and suspense throughout, these novels are the perfect remedy if you’re missing your Katniss Everdeen fix.

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