Books Like the Hunger Games

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Want to find more good books like the Hunger Games? It’s been several years since the popularity of the books but I thought you might be needing some good Hunger Games read alikes to help you find your next favorite, compelling, heart-pounding dystopian novel.

What do you think?

If you’re in withdrawal from The Hunger Games, try one of these books next. They’ll keep you reading and reading and reading.

Books Like Hunger Games

good books for teens
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 and Cinder becomes entangled in a plot that puts her life at risk while the entire country’s fate is hanging in the balance.

Maze Runner books like The Hunger Games
The Maze Runner
by James Dasher
What a wild ride! Kids can’t put these books down. In this dystopian world, kids are either killed or must kill to survive. There are tons of plot twists that kept me surprised and entertained. Boxed Set HERE.

Books Like Hunger Games
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.

Books Like Hunger Games
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 Hazel Wood
by Melissa Albert
Alice grows up running from something but when her mother is stolen, she knows she’ll have to run toward the danger — toward Hinterland, the supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice partners with Ellery, a superfan of Hinterland, to help her find out if it’s real and where it is…Then she learns the horrifying truth about her grandmother’s past and her own shocking origins, and why her mother told her to stay away. Captivating storytelling, gorgeous world-building, and impressive characterizations add up to make one of the best books I’ve ever read. *mature content

books like The Hunger Games
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.

books like Hunger Games
 by Jessica Khoury
Pia has 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.

books like Hunger Games
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!

books like Hunger Games
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.

good books for teens
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.

Maze Runner book like Hunger Games
The Maze Runner
by James Dasher
What a wild ride! Kids can’t put these books down. In this dystopian world, kids are either killed or must kill to survive. There are tons of plot twists that kept me surprised and entertained. Boxed Set HERE.

Above World
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!

good books for teens
 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.

books like Hunger Games
 by Veronica Roth
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. I loved the first book but thought the rest of the series wasn’t as strong.

books like Hunger Games
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, are outside the Dome fighting for their survival. Good.


books like Hunger Games
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.

books 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!

Lockdown (Escape from Furnace)
by Alexander Smith
Action and intrigue from the get-go, this is an amazing book because you, like our main character, have no idea what’s going on. Alex is framed and sent to the underground Furnace jail where the other prisoners are also under 18 and randomly killed or tortured by beast-like creatures. But Alex won’t listen to his cellmate and survive, he wants to escape.

The Marrow Thieves
by Cherie Dimaline
What a page-turner! Indigenous peoples are being hunted for their bone marrow because it gives them — and whoever steals it– the ability to dream. But when the worst happens, Frenchie isn’t even sure he can trust other indigenous people. He eventually finds a small group of people that help him survive and maybe even thrive –only if they can stay one step ahead of the government’s Recruiters and avoid the traitors among the People…It’s a harrowing quest for survival with echoes of genocide that is, unfortunately, all too familiar.

books for teens
The Selection
by Kiera Cass
Well-written and very popular, this book series for teens is about a selection process for the prince to find and marry a princess. Many girls like this love triangle story filled with drama and political intrigue. I didn’t make it through all the books — only the first three — because this type of book isn’t my cup of tea but they’re a great choice for kids who like romance.

Want to find more good books like the Hunger Games? It's been several years since the popularity of the books but I thought you might be needing some good Hunger Games read alikes to help you find your next favorite, compelling, heart-pounding dystopian novel.

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  1. How is The Selection series not on here? It’s basically this: 35 girls are chosen to live in the palace. These 35 girls are slowly eliminated, as the Prince searches for his true love and whatnot. It’s predictable, but good, Tons of suspense.If you’ve ever seen Grey’s Anatomy, they’re kinda like Meredith and Derek, but it’s still a really good story. I loved it. It’s basically The Bachelor in a book, but again: REALLY GOOD BOOK!!!

  2. As a rule, dystopian are not my favorite. 🙂 But I really liked Cinder on this list!

    My daughter and I preferred the Matched series to Divergent; I found it a tad more hopeful, especially in the end. But Divergent is very well written and has excellent vocabulary! Have you read the Matched series?

    Brandon Sanderson is a very cool author!

    1. Yes but I lost interest in the Matched series after the 2nd book. Don’t you love Sanderson – he’s so brilliant! Have you read Mistborn? Such a great series!

      1. Yes, Mistborn is still my favorite of his. I think my son likes another series of his that’s MG, something to do with Librarians?

        I’m going to look up “Bot Wars” for him.

        For a “lighter dystopian” you might try Erasing Time by CJ Hill. It’s time travel to a dystopian future, and it’s not nearly as dark as dystopians tend to be. Maybe that goes against the definition 🙂 but like I said, as a rule dystopian isn’t my favorite genre.