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20 Riveting Books Like “The Hunger Games” for Thrill Seekers

Discover Your Next Adventure with These Dystopian Gems Similar to The Hunger Games
by Chris Allmer | Feb 22 2024

Top 20 Books Similar to The Hunger Games | Must-Read Dystopian Novels

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins has a gripping storyline, a strong protagonist, and a thought-provoking social commentary, which has made it a favorite among millions of fans. If you find the adrenaline rush of this book addictive and are looking for more stories that transport you to worlds where survival, rebellion, and resilience are critical, you’re in luck!

We’ve put together a carefully curated list of 20 books that capture the excitement of The Hunger Games. So, dive in and discover your next enthralling read!

The 20 best books to read if you enjoyed reading “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins


1. “Divergent” by Veronica Roth

This novel sweeps you into a society divided by factions based on virtues, where Beatrice Prior must navigate her own path. 

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A society with complex rules and divisions
  • A strong, young female protagonist
  • Themes of rebellion and self-discovery


2. “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner

Trapped in a massive maze with no memory of the outside world, Thomas must piece together clues to escape.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A survival trial in a controlled environment
  • Teamwork amidst an overarching mystery
  • Unraveling a dystopian society’s secrets


3. “Legend” by Marie Lu

In a dark future America, two teens from opposing backgrounds uncover a sinister government conspiracy.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • Government oppression and societal divisions
  • Dual narratives presenting different perspectives
  • A mix of action, strategy, and romance


4. “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—red and silver—but her abilities challenge the status quo.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A protagonist with unique powers
  • A rebellion against a corrupt elite
  • Twists and turns involving loyalty and betrayal

Looking for more Fiction books? Explore our curated list of best fiction titles 

5. “Battle Royale” by Koushun Takami

In a totalitarian Japan, junior high students are forced to fight to the death in a government-held competition.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A fight-to-the-death competition
  • Government surveillance and control
  • Themes of friendship and survival


6. “Delirium” by Lauren Oliver

Imagine a world where love is deemed a disease, and there’s a cure. Lena looks forward to being cured until she falls in love.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A controlling government with a questionable agenda
  • The power of love and choice
  • A complex female protagonist challenging societal norms


7. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry

In a seemingly utopian society without pain or suffering, a young boy is chosen to learn the truth about his world.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A controlled, dystopian community
  • The burden of knowledge in a sheltered society
  • Themes of conformity vs. freedom


8. “The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey

Following alien invasions, Cassie searches for her brother while trying to survive in a devastated world.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • Alien invasion as a metaphor for catastrophic change
  • A strong female protagonist
  • Survival in a hostile, changed world


9. “Under the Never Sky” by Veronica Rossi

Aria, expelled from her safe haven, and Perry, an outsider, must rely on each other to survive.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A stark contrast between technological and natural living environments
  • A journey through dangerous landscapes
  • The development of trust and partnership under duress


10. “The Selection” by Kiera Cass

America Singer enters a competition to win the Prince’s heart and secure her family’s future, but her heart is elsewhere.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A high-stakes competition with societal implications
  • Themes of love amidst adversity
  • Critique of class and social structure 


11. “Matched” by Ally Condie

Cassia starts to question the Society’s choices for her, especially when it comes to love.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • Questioning societal norms and control
  • The concept of rebellion for personal freedom
  • A love story that defies the status quo


12. “Graceling” by Kristin Cashore

In a world where some are born with extreme skills—Graces—Katsa discovers the dark secrets of her kingdom.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A powerful female protagonist with a unique ability
  • A journey of self-discovery and rebellion
  • An exploration of power dynamics and moral ambiguity


13. “The Knife of Never Letting Go” by Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt must flee his town after uncovering a horrific secret, with only his dog and a mysterious girl by his side.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • Fleeing from a corrupt governance
  • The significance of knowing and sharing the truth
  • The bond between characters in dire situations


14. “Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld

Tally Youngblood awaits her turn for a surgery that turns everyone “pretty” at sixteen, but discovers a dark truth behind it.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • Societal pressure to conform to a standard
  • Rebellion against a superficially perfect society
  • Friendships challenged by societal norms


15. “Ship Breaker” by Paolo Bacigalupi

In a future world where cities are drowned, Nailer scavenges ships until he finds a clipper ship and its rich survivor.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • Survival in a dystopian future
  • Class struggle and the dream of a better life
  • Making morally complex choices in extreme situations


16. “The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon

Paige Mahoney, a dreamwalker in a future version of London, is captured and taken to a secret city governed by a powerful, otherworldly race.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A unique and complex dystopian setting
  • A protagonist with extraordinary abilities
  • The theme of resistance against an oppressive regime


17. “The Host” by Stephenie Meyer

Earth is invaded by a species that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A protagonist struggling with identity
  • Themes of love and loyalty in a changed world
  • Resistance against an invading force


18. “Shatter Me” by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette’s touch is fatal. After being locked away, the Reestablishment sees her as a weapon, but she wants to fight back.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • A protagonist with a deadly power
  • A corrupt government exploiting individuals
  • Themes of personal empowerment and rebellion


19. “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

In a future society where books are banned and “firemen” burn any that are found, one fireman begins to question his role.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • Government control through censorship
  • The power of knowledge and rebellion
  • The journey to enlightenment and resistance


20. “Pretties” by Scott Westerfeld

Continuing where Uglies left off, Tally has undergone the operation but comes to question the cost of the societal standard of beauty.

Elements in common with The Hunger Games:

  • The evolution of the protagonist’s understanding of her society
  • The rebellion against a controlled, superficial society
  • The importance of true identity and friendships

Embarking on these journeys will not only quench your thirst for adrenaline-packed narratives but also challenge you to ponder deeper about society, identity, and resilience. Each tale is a testament to the human spirit’s unyielding nature in the face of adversity.

So, ready your reading nook, because your next adventure awaits in the pages of these compelling books like The Hunger Games. Happy reading!


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