It’s been several years since the popularity of the books but I thought you might be needing some good books like the Hunger Games to keep you in a dystopian fix. What do you think? If you’re in withdrawal from no more Hunger Games, try these books — they’ll keep you reading and reading and reading.
Books Like Hunger Games
Bot Wars by J.V. Kade
Trout’s looking for his dad. He makes a plea for his missing dad on a vid that goes viral, things go crazy FAST. Like the government trying to kidnap him. And it’s all connected to the Bot Wars that his dad was fighting. Excellent action and adventure with a surprise twist!
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
In this dystopian world, the super-powerful evil individuals called Epics have extraordinary powers and they control the cities. Only the secret group called the Reckoners try to fight the Epics. David wants to join their group and get revenge on the Epic Steelheart for killing his father. I couldn’t put this book down – it was action-packed from the first page with tons of plot twists and surprises.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
The writing, the concept, the plot, and the characters in this book totally blew my mind. It’s about a world split into two sides, the Chimera and the Angels. Karou knows about the monsters even though she lives with humans because she works for a sorcerer named Brimstone. She meets and feels a connection with a beautiful angel named Akiva which leads her down a path of her true identity and secret past. I couldn’t put this book down – totally AMAZING.
Cinder Lunar Chronicles #1 by Marissa Meyer
A Cinderella-dystopian story. In this book, Cinder is a skilled mechanic cyborg, a human with machine parts, and lives with her not nice step-mother and sisters. Prince Kai asks Cinder to fix one of his machines. Cinder becomes entangled in a plot which puts her life at risk and the entire country’s fate is hanging in the balance. SO GOOD — I couldn’t put it down.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Mars has a color coded caste society. Darrow is a low-caste Red who infiltrates the ruling Gold caste’s training school with the idea of leading a revolution. In this school, to survive, he must participate in war games, either leading or becoming enslaved. Not only is it like the Hunger Games because of the survival of the fittest – I thought it was better especially for boys who don’t want to read about romance and really get enthralled with battle strategy. A must read!
The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey #1) by Richard Paul Evans
After medical experiments, a few select children have electrical powers. Of course, some want to use their powers for evil and world domination. Tons of action, suspense and adventure.
Freakling by Lana Krumwiede
What I loved about Freakling was the author did an amazing job with the ending – thank you to her for that! There is a group of people with the power to do things with their mind. It’s a power that can be used for good or bad, and the leaders of the city, Taemon suspects, are using the power for supreme control. It’s a great story, with a different angle than most dystopians. I really enjoyed it.
Origin by Jessica Khoury
Pia has been been raised in seclusion (captivity?) in the Amazon jungle with no knowledge of the outside world. When Pia finds a hole in the electrified fence and meets a village boy who helps her see that why she is the only immortal in the world might be a secret the scientists will kill to guard.
Shade’s Children by Garth Nix
Nix creates a dystopian world of evil Overlords who turn children on their 14th birthday into hybrid-machine-animal killers. Shade, a holograph projection of his original adult self, guides a group of escaped children who are trying to fight back. So many plot twists and lots of action makes this a great read!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Alina lives in a country fearful of a darkness called the Shadow Fold. The magical leader, the Darkling, wants Alina to train and serve him. When strange things begin to happen, she must discover the secret behind the source of the Shadow Fold’s power. Mesmerizing.
Variant by Robison Wells
Variant is a wild ride that kept me guessing because it defies the stereotypes of typical dystopian novels. Benson feels lucky to attend Maxfield Academy on scholarship only once he gets inside, he’s locked in with the other kids with no adults. Once he figures out what’s happening, he’ll escape. But not alone.
Psion Gamma by Jacob Gowans
The dystopian world of the U.S. where some have unique powers (psion powers). Excellent.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
In this dystopian world, kids are either killed or must kill to survive. But not everything is as it seems – so many surprises this book series will keep you on your toes.
Above World by Jenn Reese
The world’s humans have been genetically modified into part-human and part animal — either horses, snakes, mer, or birds. Aluna is a mer who is on a quest to convince the different groups of species to band together in order to fight the evil man who started the genetic modifications. Loved this series!
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Deuce becomes a huntress who has to hunt for food outside her tribe’s underground enclave. When Deuce is assigned a partner named, Fade, who came from the outside, she begins to wonder about everything she’s accepted as truth. Interesting and entertaining.
Wither by Lauren DeStephano
In this dystopian world, humans die at 25 years old. To keep “breeding,” young girls are kidnapped, married, and mated to rich young men before they die. Rhine wants to escape her marriage situation but becomes attached to her pregnant sister bride and one of the servants. Romance.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
One is one of the best dystopian books like Hunger Games. Tris must pick her faction from the five choices. She picks a different faction than the one from which she’s been raised and she discovers the world is not as it seems. But of course, she’s not all that she seems to be either. Romance.
Pure by Julianna Baggott
This is the same premise as many books like Hunger Games — dystopian, post-apocalypse stories of hell. In this world, the Pures are safely inside “The Dome” and the rest of the creatures, including what is left of humans, is outside the Dome fighting for their survival. Good.
Legend by Marie Lu
Wealthy elite girl June wants to kill slum-kid Day for murdering her brother. But, the truth is that the country is manipulating them both. A great dystopian story like Hunger Games.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Set in Florida, the world has changed into a bleak, crime-ridden place of despair, child labor and poverty. (How like the Hunger Games!) Our hero, Nailer, scavenges boats for his “crew”. When Nailer stumbles upon a fancy boat and a rich girl it leads him to reconsider his life, his friends and his family to hope that he won’t always be a ship breaker. Have no fear, this is a dystopian-ish novel with hope. Ship Breaker is excellent – I hope there’s a sequel!
Download my "Can't Put 'Em Down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!