Are you looking for books like Divergent?
If you just finished reading that incredible series of young adult dystopian novels by Veronica Roth, then you are probably still wiping your eyes and breathing hard.
The ending to that book!
27 Books to Read if You Like Divergent
Right, so here they are. You probably thought you could never find another young adult tale containing a journey like the one Tris and Four went through, but the marketing departments at the Big Six are far too clever to let you suffer.
Well, I am a little biased on this particular entry but I think you would be thrilled to read this.
When a minor incident of insubordination at an exotic vacation city turns out to be the first tremors of a revolution, Castillia turns to its eleven-year old military prodigy Innocence and her loyal Guardians for help.
Castillia has enemies, that’s for sure. But who is fomenting this uprising?
Sedition is an old trick the southern Republic, Ausonia, with its towering obsidian pyramids, is typically fond of. In fact, the exotic city used to belong to Ausonia and they have always wanted it back.
But could they really organize such a revolt between all their dancing and drinking?
Or has Vesper, the mighty Republic to the North finally woken from its slumber? It has plenty of old scores to settle with Innocence’s City.
For Innocence, squashing the uprising could be the perfect way to end the most legendary military career Castillia has ever witnessed and begin a new, exhilarating life as a prominent politician. Perhaps the only politician in any Republic with the power to unite humanity and evacuate it from the dying planet.
But it also might just be the perfect way to start what she has secretly always yearned for:
her own Empire.
Carve the Mark
Carve the Mark is for fans of Divergent and Star Wars and is a story Roth has been working on since she was 12.
You already know this is going to be an insane story when the author describes it as “not about good people doing the right thing to save the world–it’s more about desperate people doing whatever it takes to get what they want.”
We are introduced to Cyra and Akos on a planet where violence and vengeance are the norm and in a universe where everyone has a unique power. Cyra’s brother is a ruthless, brutal tyrant who uses her powers for his own purposes.
Akos is from the peaceloving country of Thuvhe, but when his brother is captured by Crya’s despotic older sibling Akos vows to do anything to save his younger brother.
Together Akos and Cyra must try to reset the balance of power–if they don’t decide to kill another of course.
The Gender Game by Bella Forrest
Readers of YA dystopian novels in general will enjoy this trope-heavy, romantic, and twisty romp that has become a near instant best seller. Part 1 of a 7 book series, the Gender Game features a strong female protagonist in a world where Women rule the East and Men rule the West. In the center of it all is a young girl named Violet Bates. Violet has been sentenced to death and the only way to save her own life and figure out why her brother mysteriously disappeared is embark on a perilous journey and cross a toxic river into the land ruled by men.
This newish series by Joelle Charbonneau caught me by surprise. While it is definitely similar to Divergent it is unique in its own exciting ways.
Inspired by the bloodsport that is modern-day college application process, these novels allow you to channel your inner-insecure seventeen-year-old-self and see what it’s like to become the chosen one and get into Princeton.
After the Seven Stages War left most of the world in post-apocalyptic ruins, humanity’s only hope for survival rests with an elite group. In order to join this new world order, candidates must succeed in a brutal trial called “The Testing.”
Cia Vale has everything she dreamed of: a boy she loves, a place at the University, and a bright future as one of the leaders of the United Commonwealth.
There’s just one problem: Cia remembers everything about the brutal and horrific Testing, and the government can’t allow that kind of truth to live—or the person who can tell that kind of truth.
“A knock makes me jump.”
With civil war on the horizon between the United Commonwealth and the rebel resistance, Cia Vale is finally in the position to help create a brighter future.
All she needs to do is kill 12 important government officials in order to get rid of the brutal test forever.
But is that really the right thing to do?
Partials by Dan Wells
Hopefully if you are a fan of Veronica Roth’s books then by now you have heard of the Partials series which has many similarities with Divergent.
Humanity has essentially been completely wiped out after we created a race of super soldiers to fight our wars for us. Then the elite killing machines, the Partials, turned on us and unleashed a devastating plague that only a fraction of humans were immune to.
When Kira’s best friend becomes pregnant (when the infant mortality rate is essentially 100%) it drives Kira to hatch a desperate plan: sneak into the territory controlled by the Partials, capture one, and figure out why it is immune to the virus so she can save the life of her best friend’s child.
This book will forever hold a very special place in my heart.
It was one of the first science fiction and fantasy books I ever read and while it is not strictly dystopian it has enough in common with Divergent that should make it an enjoyable read for you.
The ending of this book is probably the single greatest ending to any book I have ever read ever. And I’ve read a whole lot of books.
Red Rising borrows quite profitably from Divergent, stuffs its pockets with Greek and Roman lore, then fills its sack with some classic sci-fi slang.
Rather than divide a post-apocalyptic city into factions like Divergent, this novel features a society structured on colors.
Pierce Brown models the upper tiers of society, the Golds, as blonde haired, golden-eyed British gentlemen from the 18th century who imperiously rule the galaxy and have a fondness for dueling (pistols at dawn old boy?), efficiency, and zero sense of mercy or traditional morality.
So basically the East India Company, but no verbal duels between Shelley and Peacock.
The lowly working class have changed their blue-collars for red (those who work in the mines on Mars), while Pink serves to please in all the carnal ways available to one’s imagination.
In place of Tris and Four we have Darrow and Mustang, whose romance is much more uncertain and complicated than the one between your favorite characters from Divergent.
This is the second entry in Pierce Brown’s series which he describes as “the Count of Monte Cristo in space” and it does not disappoint.
I think I finished this in 3 days tops, so depending on your coffee supply and your ability to either miss class or lie and not show up for work, you can probably finish it just as fast as you finished Divergent.
Two years after the events of Red Rising, Darrow is now fully embedded with the ruling class of Golds. There are some major deaths and there are so many betrayals you will have whiplash from trying to keep up with them all.
Once you finish the book watch this ecstatic video by @kat_tastic.
Four: A Divergent Collection
If for some reason you still haven’t read the origin story of Four then you have to.
This book gathers the personal history of Tobias Eaton into four compelling stories:
- The Transfer
- The Initiate
- The Son
- The Traitor
“Grace Somerfield was the first to die.”
(Actually hundreds of thousands of American children had died before Grace Somerfield. Michael Everheart was the first to die.)
Written by a young Alexandra Bracken, this dystopian yarn introduces us to a young girl named Ruby.
Ruby has survived Everheart’s disease—a disease that killed most of America’s children—and is rewarded with a trip to Thurmond, a “rehabilitation camp.”
You are shivering appropriately at that phrase.
When Ruby breaks free of the rehabilitation camp and heads to East River where others who share her immensely powerful gifts are, she could never have known the sort of fight she was about to enter or the terrible choices she will be confronted with.
If you were on the fence about reading this book, and you really shouldn’t be, look no further than what S. J. Maas had to say about it:
THE DARKEST MINDS is one of the best books I have EVER read. No Joke. I can’t even properly express how much I love this book. It touched my soul—it’s THAT incredible.
“I was born during the second holocaust.”
How is that for an opening line?
This is probably one of the more grittier young adult dystopian novels I’ve come across recently—even for a genre that comfortably works in the dark and grey shades of existence. So while its definitely one of those books similar to Divergent its also a lot darker.
In a post-apocalyptic New York City (not Chicago), the surviving population is confined to living below ground and divided into 3 groups: Breeders, Builders, and Hunters.
You only get a name if you manage to stay alive for your first fifteen years, so life is set at a Bubonic Plague style pace.
Enter our heroine Deuce, a Huntress who is tasked with venturing out into the dangerous tunnels and bringing home meat for her underground colony.
Sounds pretty simple right?
Well, she has to avoid fierce monsters known as “Freaks,” which are like Dauntless zombies.
And things are made increasingly complicated when a young, handsome, brooding, and irreverent boy (do they come any other way though?) by the name of Fade pairs up with her.
It’s hard to pay attention to the things that matter the most when she is next to her new charming male companion and his dangerous thoughts—which could get them both thrown out of their underground haven if he doesn’t mind his words.
Speaking of thoughts, that is something the mindless Freaks seem to be having more of recently, which spells certain disaster for Deuce and the remnants of humanity.
“I woke to the cold kiss of steel on my throat.”
I recommend these books like Divergent solely on the account that this book has an immaculate city named Salvation.
And Salvation needs saving.
Deuce wrestles with identity issues as she goes from someone with a clear status in her former life to a “brat” that needs to be trained. Thankfully she is able to enlist in the summer patrols to help protect fieldworkers.
But as below, so above. The Freaks are becoming freakishly intelligent again and it might be up to Deuce to save Salvation.
“I left without looking back”
The stakes are the highest in the third and final installment of the Razorland series. It’s not just a single settlement that stands to fall if the Freaks succeed—its all of humanity.
Horde is a suspenseful, sensual, and altogether satisfying conclusion to a pacy, zombie-slaughter in an urban wasteland.
This book is for Divergent enthusiasts who really enjoyed exploring the relationship between Tris and Four.
In Cassia’s world, the Society has it all figured out for you. They tell you which job to do, what food to eat, and who to love. And they get it right, every time.
Cassia has always trusted the Society and is even confident that they have chosen the perfect mate for her in her best friend, Xander.
But right before she leaves, the screen displays the name and countenance of another handsome boy: Ky Markham.
While the Society tries to brush it off as a simple glitch, for Cassia and Ky its too late.
As they slowly fall in love their world slowly falls apart.
The new questions they ask it come away with fewer and fewer credible answers. Of course, the Society has a big problem with this, and will go to great lengths to ensure that the truth is suppressed.
Your inner young adult will relish this dystopian novel and the drama of love that unfolds within.
“Beth and Ryan were holding hands. It was enough to risk a formal citation for indecency, and they knew better, but I didn’t say anything.”
Article 5 introduces us to a post-apocalyptic America whose major cities have crumbled and are essentially abandoned, along with most of the things that made America…America.
17 year old Ember Miller can still remember when there was a Bill of Rights and instead of soldiers enforcing Moral Statues there were police and a legal system.
Then her mother is arrested for violating Article 5 of the Moral Statues and one of the arresting officers is Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.
“The Wayland Inn was behind the slums, on the west end of Knoxville.”
Breaking Point picks up as Ember and Chase–now renowned as celebrities who have stood up to power–are recruited into the Resistance.
But the dystopian government increases the stakes when they clear all soldiers to fire at anyone who they think might be Ember, who is listed as public enemy number one.
While Ember was hoping to lay low she now has no choice but to fight. The only problem is, she can’t even be sure that the Resistance is really on her side anymore.
“The dream was changing. Even asleep I sensed it.”
On the run as highly wanted criminals and pursued by the Bureau of Reformation Ember and Chase make it to a safehouse only to find it in smoking ruins.
Unlike Four, Three is a resistance group who might be the only way that Ember can survive–and fight back.
“It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and fourty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.”
If science was to ever figure out a way to cure love (other than the one’s Ovid recommends) I would generally think this probably isn’t such a bad thing since the world would be spared volumes of terrible poetry.
In Lauren Oliver’s Delirium, science has found a cure for love though no mention of its impact on bad writing.
Lena Holloway has always looked forward to the day she would be cured of love. She thought that a life without love would be a happy and safe life.
But then the unthinkable happens.
Only 95 days away from her treatment date, she falls in love.
The Hunger Games Series
If you read Divergent than you have most likely already read the Hunger Games trilogy which consists of:
- The Hunger Games
- Catching Fire
However, we are never really done with reading such fascinating journeys like the one Suzanne Collins took us on with Katniss, Peeta, President Snow, the Capitol, and the rest of the Districts, are we?
This is one of those books like Divergent that is always worth another read.
The Maze Runner
This along with other books like the Maze Runner, including the Hunger Games, are probably forming an early 21st century dystopian canon. Maybe even the 21st century canon…I just hope there are English department’s still around to lecture on it in the next 10 years.
Written by James Dashner and featuring a male protagonist named Thomas, this might be a refreshing departure from your current stack of dystopian books, but still similar to Divergent in enough ways to keep you entertained.
The Scorch Trials
With the new Scorch Trials film out, now might be a good time to reopen the pages of this book if you have already read it. And once you do, you will realize how similar this book is to Divergent.
The Glader’s are infected with the Flare and the only hope they have of obtaining a cure is making it across the vast and desolate and appropriately named desert, “The Scorch.”
The Death Cure
“It was the smell that began to drive Thomas slightly mad.”
Do you like the conclusions of your dystopian trilogies gritty and bittersweet? Of course you do, you read Divergent.
In the final installment of Thomas and the Glader’s journey and there’s just one last test…
…but will anyone survive?
June is a 15 year old military prodigy born into an affluent family in the Republic of America which is essentially the flooded coast of Los Angeles.
Born in the Republic’s squalid Lake District 15 year old Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal, which is an impressive title for someone who isn’t even 16.
When June’s brother is murdered it’s clear as day that the murderer was Day (heh).
Prodigy is a solid riff on both the Hunger games and Divergent. June and Day become aligned with the rebellious Patriots who want the newest Elector of the Republic to be assassinated.
Complicating things of course is the fact that the new Elector Andin is nothing like his father. In fact, he might be the key to a new beginning the world so desperately needs.
Champion constitutes a fitting conclusion to this group of books like Divergent.
An interesting diversion from most of the dystopian novels here is that this book really shows how the main protagonists live “after the revolution.”
That doesn’t mean this book is slow or a waste of your time.
Packed with mayhem and tumult and a dark yet poetic ending this is a book I can’t recommend enough.
Uglies by Scott Westerfield
When I saw the cover for Uglies I actually immediately discounted the book.
Don’t be like me. This is an incredible book like Divergent and the series only gets better and more challenging in the subsequent novels.
Westerfield introduces us to a world where everyone at the age of 16 becomes beautiful through the magic of surgery.
While Tally can’t wait to turn sixteen, her best friend Shay has other plans–like running away and living in the Smoke–a rebellious settlement of people who don’t believe in the same values that the leaders of Tally’s world want them to.
In the end, Tally must decide between saving her friend and becoming pretty or siding with a new lover who claims that to be pretty comes with a deadly cost.