33 Books Like the Hunger Games for Readers

Posted on Jul 25, 2023

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Written by P.J McNulty

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Readers captivated by the gripping narrative of “The Hunger Games” need not fear a lack of similarly intense, dystopian novels. 

The list compiled here offers a selection of books like The Hunger Games that echo the suspense, societal critique, and character depth found in Suzanne Collins’s famed trilogy. 

Whether it’s the tension-filled survival scenarios or the exploration of a dystopian society, these books provide an engaging experience akin to “The Hunger Games”.

Here is a list of books like The Hunger Games:

  • The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth: In a society divided into factions based on virtues, Tris discovers she’s Divergent, unable to fit into just one faction, and uncovers a sinister plot brewing in her seemingly perfect society.

  • The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner: Trapped in a maze with no memory of the outside world, a group of boys must find a way out while discovering the dark secrets about why they’re there.

  • Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu: In a dark future, the fates of a notorious criminal and a prodigious detective intertwine as they uncover the unsettling truth about their nation.

  • The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry: In a seemingly perfect community without war, pain, or choice, a boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the real world.

  • The 5th Wave Series by Rick Yancey: After an alien invasion devastates humanity, a teenage girl fights to rescue her brother and learns the harsh realities of survival.

  • Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie: In a society where everything, including who you marry, is decided by the government, a girl rebels against the system when she falls in love with someone different.

  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: A traveling theater troupe navigates a post-apocalyptic world, in this gripping exploration of art, memory, and survival.

  • Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard: In a world divided by blood color, a common girl discovers she possesses a unique power that could upset the balance of power.

  • The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken: After a disease kills most of America’s children, the survivors develop powers and are placed in internment camps, leading to a fight for survival and freedom.

  • The Selection Series by Kiera Cass: In a society stratified by castes, a common girl is chosen to compete for the prince’s heart and the chance to uplift her family’s status.

  • The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare: A young woman is introduced to a world of demon hunting and magical beings hidden within our own.

  • Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver: In a society where love is seen as a disease, two young people dare to fall in love.

  • Under the Never Sky Trilogy by Veronica Rossi: A privileged girl and a savage hunter are thrown together in a post-apocalyptic world.

  • Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi: A girl with a deadly touch fights against a totalitarian government that wants to use her as a weapon.

  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: This series offers a sci-fi twist on classic fairy tales, set in a future world with cyborgs and lunar colonies.

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: In a future theocratic dystopia, women are property of the state, and a handmaid dares to rebel against the system.

  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy: A man and his son navigate a post-apocalyptic world, struggling for survival and retaining their humanity.

  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness: In a dystopian world where everyone can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise, a young boy named Todd discovers a strange silence, throwing him into a web of intrigue and danger. This is the first book in the ‘Chaos Walking’ series.

  • Divergent Series by Veronica Roth: A dystopian future where society is divided into factions based on human virtues.

  • The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner: A group of boys, with their memories wiped, must navigate a dangerous maze to survive.

  • The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau: In an underground city on the brink of disaster, two friends discover a way to the outside world.

  • The Young Elites Series by Marie Lu: A deadly fever leaves a select few with powerful abilities, leading to a struggle for power in a crumbling nation.

  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer: In a world invaded by body-snatching aliens, a woman fights to protect the man she loves.

  • The Giver Series by Lois Lowry: A boy chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories learns the truth about his dystopian world.

  • Life As We Knew It Series by Susan Beth Pfeffer: After a catastrophic natural disaster, a teenage girl must learn to survive in a world turned upside down.

  • Article 5 Series by Kristen Simmons: In a future United States where the Bill of Rights has been replaced, a girl fights against a tyrannical government.

  • The Stand by Stephen King: After a deadly plague wipes out most of the world’s population, the survivors must choose sides in an epic battle of good versus evil.

  • The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin: A security breach at a secret facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment.

  • The Wool Trilogy by Hugh Howey: In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep.

  • Pure Trilogy by Julianna Baggott: In a post-apocalyptic world, those protected by a Dome and those left to survive in the ruins are set on a collision course.

  • The Gone Series by Michael Grant: Suddenly, everyone over the age of 15 disappears, leaving the children of Perdido Beach to fend for themselves in a world without adults.

Common questions about books like The Hunger Games

If you’ve got questions about The Hunger Games, the genre it inhabits, and the type of books it inspires, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover answers to the most common questions we’ve come across.

What makes a book like “The Hunger Games”?

A book is typically likened to “The Hunger Games” when it incorporates elements of dystopian fiction, features a strong and relatable protagonist, and includes themes of survival, societal injustice, and rebellion against oppressive systems. Additionally, many books in this category contain a degree of intense action and emotional complexity.

Why do fans favour “The Hunger Games” books?

Fans are drawn to “The Hunger Games” due to its compelling storyline, richly drawn characters, and the thought-provoking societal critique it offers. The series, while set in a dystopian future, touches on universally relevant themes like power, oppression, sacrifice, and the human instinct for survival, making it resonate with a broad range of readers.

What styles and subgenres of fiction do fans of “The Hunger Games” typically enjoy?

Fans of “The Hunger Games” generally enjoy dystopian and science fiction, often blended with elements of action and adventure. They may also appreciate young adult fiction, given the series’ focus on a young protagonist navigating complex societal and personal challenges. Some readers may also enjoy speculative fiction and post-apocalyptic narratives.

What are the key themes of “The Hunger Games”?

“The Hunger Games” explores several key themes, including the struggle for survival, the critique of totalitarian government and societal inequality, the power of media and propaganda, and the exploration of personal identity and morality under duress. It also delves into themes of friendship, loyalty, and sacrifice.

What makes the characters in “The Hunger Games” resonate with readers?

The characters in “The Hunger Games” resonate with readers due to their depth, complexity, and relatability. The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, is admired for her resilience, resourcefulness, and moral compass, even in the face of extreme adversity. The supporting characters, each with their unique strengths and flaws, also add to the depth and emotional impact of the story.

Final thoughts about books like The Hunger Games

These novels provide an array of engrossing dystopian worlds and narratives for fans of “The Hunger Games” to dive into.

Beyond their entertainment value, they can serve as creative inspiration for those interested in writing their own fiction. Drawing from the suspense, characterization, and societal critique prevalent in these books, budding authors can construct their own captivating dystopian narratives.

So, venture into these gripping tales and let them spark your creativity for your own literary journey in the dystopian genre.

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