17 Dystopian and Thrilling Books Like Hunger Games

Books Like Hunger Games

Based on the same topics discussed, I’ve compiled a list of the 17 best dystopian books like Hunger Games.

Teens have devoured the film adaptations, and their sheer passion (and fandom) has helped make The Hunger Games book series a worldwide phenomenon. 

We’re once again flying through the pages of this fascinating novel thanks to Suzanne Collins’s latest release, the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel to the trilogy that exposes President Snow’s past. 

But what happens when you’ve read them all? Fortunately, there are a plethora of addicting teen novels to choose from, and one or more of these series should pique the interest of your favorite young reader.

Some books, like Hunger Games, will appeal to young adults and adults. 

Table of Contents

1. Divergent

By Veronica Roth 

If you’re looking for a book series similar to The Hunger Games, The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth is frequently the first recommendation.  

Divergent is a dystopian novel about Beatrice (Tris) Prior set in the future. However, to avoid the onset of violence, humanity was divided into five ‘factions,’ each putting similar people together. 

For the wise, there’s Erudite; for the peaceful, Amity; and for the honest, Candor; for the selfless, Abnegation; and the brave, Dauntless. 

Additionally, in Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a different virtue: Candor (honesty), Abnegation (selflessness), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peace), and Erudite (intelligence) (the intelligent). 

Every year on a specific day, all sixteen-year-olds must choose which side they will spend the rest of their life on. Beatrice must choose between staying with her family and becoming herself—she can’t have it both ways. As a result, she decides that astounds everyone, including herself. 

2. Uglies

By Scott Westerfeld 

Uglies is one of the most thrilling books like hunger games. Tally is looking forward to her 16th birthday for more than usual reasons. 

When she reaches the age of 16, a whole new world will open up for her, beginning with a cosmetic operation transforming her from ugly to gorgeous. 

She’ll be able to live a wealthy lifestyle with a beautiful profession and even more fantastic friends after that’s done. 

Life will be exciting! Tally meets Shay, anti-surgery, and believes in a better life where the destination is determined by the people living rather than by those in authority. 

When the authorities discover Tally’s connection to Shay, they give her an ultimatum: bring Tally to them or give up her dream of being pretty.  

3. A Great And Terrible Beauty

By Libba Bray 

This series began before the first book in the Twilight series, and even though it deserved to be given the same, if not greater, reception, it was eclipsed by those glitzy vampires. 

Gemma Doyle, a feisty 16-year-old from the Victorian era who is haunted by visions, one of which predicts her mother’s death, is at the core of the trilogy. 

Additionally, she meets a trio of new friends at her new London boarding school who want to learn more about Gemma’s otherworldly adventures. Furthermore, Bray’s dedication to exploring the condition of Victorian age society ladies is the best part of the book series. 

4. The Maze Runner

By James Dashner 

On a list of books like Hunger Games and Divergent, The Maze Runner is an easy choice. Another well-known YA series has benefited from a succession of film adaptations by 20th Century Fox. In a box, Thomas arrived at the Glad. 

He has no recollection of where he came from or who he is. However,  he is bewildered when he finds himself surrounded by a tiny group of teenage males (the Glade has no grownups or girls!). 

Additionally, there is just one way out of the Glade, surrounded by massive concrete walls. A vast and hazardous maze surrounds the Glade. 

The walls open every day, allowing the Gladers to walk out into the Maze and try to discover a way off. On the other hand, the Maze is rife with Grievers, ferocious and lethal monsters. 

5. The 5th Wave

By Rick Yancey 

The 5th Wave trilogy, another YA thriller that recently entered theaters, is an epic narrative about surviving and maintaining humanity. 

Additionally, the Others are causing havoc in waves to rid the Earth of its seven billion inhabitants, and Cassie is determined to keep her brother safe. Furthermore, she has no faith in anyone, including the mysterious Evan Walker, who may be her only hope. 

6. Delirium

By Lauren Oliver 

Delirium is a dystopian love officially declared a hazardous ‘sickness,’ a disruptive force in this totalitarian reality. 

The authoritarian government forces anybody who reaches the age of 18 to undergo a surgery known as the Cure to eliminate feeling.  

Additionally, People are conditioned to think of the Cure as a good thing for the most part. Lena Haloway, the protagonist of the series, is no exception. In addition, she is eager to be ‘cured’ as she approaches adulthood. 

This, unlike her mother’s life, guarantees a secure and predictable future for her. However, as her procedure date approaches, Lena encounters an intriguing young man named Alex. He lives in secret, away from the sight of the government, and makes a living as an oddball. 

7. Shadow Of Sherwood

By Kekla Magoon 

Try this book if you’re seeking a younger version of The Hunger Games. Robyn hooks up with a crew of misfit outlaws on a mission to find her parents when the awful Ignomus Crown takes over her house. 

Additionally, they work together to defeat Ignomus Crown, each particular skill. But the farther Robyn gets into this world of mischief, the more she realizes her place in Nott. 

However, Shadows of Sherwood is an exciting and adventurous coming-of-age story based on the traditional Robin Hood myth, depicting how anyone may stand up to corrupt authority. 

 8. Gone

By Michael Grant 

Next on our list of thrilling books like hunger Games is gone. It happens before anyone notices—everyone suddenly vanishes. Except for those under the age of 15, everyone. 

Furthermore, those left in the Fallout Alley Youth Zone, or FAYZ, are left to fend for themselves. Because there are no adults to create and give basic requirements, children and teenagers from competing camps compete for survival. 

Then there are the powers shown in a few of the remaining children, which are only growing in strength. 

As natural leaders emerge from the groupings, everyone else must choose a side and evaluate their leaders’ aims against the possibility of getting them through this—if there is an end—alive. 

9. MurderTrending

By Gretchen McNeil 

MurderTrending is not as well-known as some other young adult books on our list, such as The Hunger Games. It does, however, have one of the most intriguing premises. 

Murderers on this planet are executed after being imprisoned. It’s also being filmed for the entire world to watch. Watching killers suffer their just deserts is the next viral sensation, and everyone is talking about it on Twitter. 

Additionally, Dee Guerrera awakens on Alcatraz 2.0 after being found guilty of the murder of her step-sister. The thing is, she wasn’t the one who did it. 

Further, she forms the Death Row “Breakfast club” to avoid being executed for a crime she did not commit. However, will they be able to survive, though, if television ratings continue to rise? 

10. Flame In The Mist

By Renee Ahdien 

Flame in the Mist is set during Japan’s feudal period and revolves around Mariko, the daughter of a powerful samurai. 

Mariko survives an ambush by the Black Clan while going to the imperial metropolis to see her betrothed. 

Furthermore, she infiltrates the organization in disguise to find out who plotted her assassination — and unintentionally falls in Love with one of its members. Nothing is as it seems in this thriller that builds to a dizzying finish. 

 11. Life As We Knew It

By Susan Beth Pfeffer 

Life as we knew it is also one of the best books like Hunger Games. In this first installment of the Last Survivors series, a terrible event occurs beyond Earth’s atmosphere, altering life as we know it. 

Everything is thrown into disarray after a meteor collides with the moon, bringing it closer to Earth. Natural disasters of enormous proportions wreak havoc on communities large and small, leaving many people fighting for their lives. 

Additionally, Miranda keeps a journal of her new life, relying on what little she, her two boys, and her mother can carry into their sunroom to stay alive as they approach summer, which has turned into a dangerous Arctic winter. 

Additionally, Miranda and her family must cling to one other and believe that they will make it through the ordeal.  

12. The Bunker Diary

Kevin Brooks 

Linus does not expect to be kidnapped and held captive in a bare bunker after assisting a presumably blind guy on the street, but this looks to be his new reality as the days pass.

Others soon join him, all of whom are perplexed as to why they’ve been apprehended and imprisoned. 

Additionally, when the gang is left alone with little interaction from their captor, they discuss the reason for their capture amongst themselves.

Furthermore, some establish bonds, and forces of desperation push them all to the brink in their ways as they try to figure out a way out, but not everyone will see daylight again soon long. 

13. The Testing

By Joelle Charbonneau 

The Testing is a fantastic story that combines survivalist and dystopian fiction into an epic tale that I’m sure Hunger Games fans will like. Additionally, Valencia ‘Cia’ Vale, 16, is ecstatic.

She’s hoping to be picked for The Testing, a United Commonwealth initiative that tries to find society’s most promising young leaders. 

However, her wishes have been granted; she has been chosen. However, her father issues a terrible warning: The Testing is not what it appears to be! He also warns her not to put her trust in anyone.

Cia follows his cryptic advice and travels to Tosu City to begin her trials. 

14. Red Queen

By Victoria Aveyard 

Your blood determines your standing in Red Queen. The Reds are the ordinary people, while the Silvers are the ruling class with superpowers. Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the impoverished Stilts, has little prospect of ever achieving success. 

Then she ends up at the Silver Palace, where she works. And it’s here, surrounded by the individuals she despises the most, that she realizes she can wield destructive power, even though she is Red. Furthermore, this secret can upend society and shatter the power balance.  

Additionally, they decide to create her an emblem, a puppet they can control, similar to Katniss Everdeen after the first Hunger Games when they learn she is unusual and powerful. 

15. Matched

By Ally Condie  

Matched is also one of the dystopian books like hunger games. Ally Condie’s Matched is a quick read with many typical YA dystopian themes, making it ideal for Hunger Games enthusiasts. 

It follows the traditional plot of a teenager growing up in a regulated society who discovers another way to live. In this universe, society “matches” teenagers, chooses their careers for them, and prepares their meals for them.

Everything is in its place, and there is very little room for individual choice.  

Furthermore, It’s intended to be for the people’s benefit and keep everything running correctly. Isn’t it true that there will be less conflict if there are fewer options? 

Two weird things happen on Cassia’s matching day. The first is that she’s paired with Xander, a long-time buddy whom she’s known since birth.

It’s incredibly uncommon for one’s match to be from the same district, let alone know each other. However, she is ecstatic about it, and the other teenagers are envious of her.  

Cassia opens her matching microcard shortly after the official match, which should contain everything she needs to know about Xander. However, due to a glitch, she is shown the visage of Ky, another of her neighbors.  

She hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Ky since she saw his picture in the matchbox. What if society was wrong and Xander wasn’t the right match for her after all? 

16. Empress of a Thousand Skies

By Rhoda Belleza 

The space operas Empress of a Thousand Skies and Blood of a Thousand Stars are best. Rhee, the last living heir to a long-ruling dynasty, and Aly, a war refugee turned star turned fugitive, must navigate interplanetary deception and avoid a galaxy-ending conflict.  

Furthermore, Rhoda Belleza subtly infuses pertinent social commentary into the intricately constructed story. 

17. Rebel of the Sands

By Alwyn Hamilton  

Last on our list of most thrilling and dystopian books like hunger game is the rebel of the sands. Amani Al’Hiza believes her chances in the desert nation of Miraji are bleak. 

She may be a skilled gunfighter, but as a young lady without a family or financial resources, this world of mythological animals and magical djinn is a terrible reality. 

Additionally, she feels her first hope for liberation when she meets a foreigner named Jin, but the dramatic series arc sees her trying to liberate her entire country. 

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