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Books like The Hunger Games

By Kobo • June 16, 2022Recommended Reading

It's been 14 years since the first book came out and ten years since the first movie was released, and the Hunger Games phenomenon is still going strong.

Readers are still drawn to Suzanne Collins's chilling dystopian vision of a future America, and to the heroic fight for justice and equality she depicts. And while no other dystopian series have quite taken the world by storm in the way The Hunger Games has, there are plenty of other fantastic books out there for fans of the series. These eight books, many of which have been published in the years since The Hunger Games first came out, are perfect for fans of the series. Here you'll find plenty of terrifying dystopias, from societies that broadcast livestreams of executions to worlds where the government rounds up and detains teens with extraordinary abilities. But, like The Hunger Games, these series are not all bleak. They're full of strong, resilient, powerful characters—mostly teenagers—who are determined to make their world a better place.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Set in an opulent world full of riches and luxuries that hide the shadowy secrets that keep it running, The Belles is an eerie, action-packed story of romance, adventure, and revolution. Camellia Beauregard is a Belle, capable of manipulating Beauty, and transforming the bland citizens of Orleans into gorgeous, living art. Newly arrived at court, she's determined to become the favorite of the Queen—a dream that proves more dangerous than she ever imagined.

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The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Like The Hunger Games, this dystopian series features prominent themes of government control, and teenager fighting back against it with everything they have. Ashala is an Illegal, one of the teens with special abilities whom the government deems dangerous, locking them away in remote facilities to keep them apart from society. When Ashala, who has managed to live freely with a group of fellow Illegals, is betrayed and captured, it sets a series of events in motion that will change her future—and the future of the world—forever.

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S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett

Imagine if The Hunger Games was set in the present day at an elite British boarding school—that's the chilling reality that M.A. Bennett brings to life in S.T.A.G.S. When Greer MacDonald arrives at the elite St. Aidan the Great boarding school, she discovers that its reputation is correct: the students are cold and unwelcoming. That's why Greer is shocked when she gets invited to an exclusive weekend getaway with the school's most popular clique. As the weekend progresses, Greer realizes just how dangerous her classmate really are. Dark, twisty, and full of surprises, this is a modern-day dystopian thriller.

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

This bestselling YA series is often compared to The Hunger Games, both because of the dystopian world it depicts and because of the challenges the characters face as they attempt to live in that world. The series is set in a dystopian version of Chicago, in which all of society is divided into five factions. At 16, teenagers much decide which faction they will belong to for the rest of their life. Protagonist Tris struggles with the decision, and even more with the rigorous initiation process—which soon illuminates the deep fissures threatening to destroy Tris's seemingly-perfect world.

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#Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil

In this chilling dystopia, citizens can watch the execution of criminals and prisoners on a popular app called The Postman. Executions are live-streamed from a brand-new island prison, Alcatraz 2.0. When 17-year-old Dee is sent to Alcatraz for a crime she didn't commit, she has to use every ounce of skill and strength she possesses to survive the nightmare and get out alive.

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Legend by Marie Lu

In a terrifying near-future, the western United States is now known as the Republic, a deeply stratified and unjust world reminiscent of Panem. Two teenagers from very different backgrounds are thrown together when one is accused of murdering the other's brother. June grew up in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, while Day grew up in the slums. But when their lives unexpectedly intertwine, they both learn that their country isn't what they thought it was—and working together might be their only chance at survival.

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Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind depicts a disturbing future set after a civil war fought over reproduction rights. The result: from conception to age 13, fetuses and children are protected at all costs. But teens age 13–18 can be "unwound," a process by which their organs are removed and translated into waiting donors. Three teenagers slated to be unwound for different reasons team up to fight for the lives, and hopefully remake the world they live in at the same time.

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We Set the Dark on Fire by Taylor Kay Meija

With a fresh, feminist take on classic dystopian tropes, We Set the Dark on Fire will appeal to readers craving more of the revolutionary spirit found in the later books of the Hunger Games trilogy. In a deeply repressive society, prominent young women are sent to the Medio School for Girls, where they are trained for one of two roles: to raise a man's children, or to manage his house. Dani is desperate to graduate with honors and secure a good marriage—until she's recruited by a resistance group working to change the country's unjust laws.

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Photo by De'Andre Bush on Unsplash

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