Are you looking for books like Red Rising or the Hunger Games?
If you enjoyed Darrow’s or Katniss Everdeen’s personal struggle narrated in a visceral, unforgiving style then you are going to absolutely love all of these young adult dystopian novels. All are brimful with zippy plots that set wry, complex individuals (and their doughty companions) squarely against the reigning dystopia and its drooling conformist societies.
Books like the Hunger Games You Need to Read Now Before the Dystopia Seizes Them
But time is not on your side.
With every moment that passes the dystopia grows stronger and society sinks further and further into its submissive sleep, nursed on the narcotic fog of mass media, consumerism, and the worst disease anyone could possibly contract: a job.
Do you really think the Dystopia is going to let these rebellious tomes stay in print for too much longer so people can learn how to think for themselves and start to question the lies their governments are telling them?
The peacekeepers are lighting fires and marching towards your home as we speak and they are looking for all your books like the Hunger Games!
So what are you going to do?
Don’t go to work today. Start reading. Start thinking. Start revolting.
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.
Newborn #485GA18M died on June 30, 2076 at 6:07 in the morning. She was three days old. The average lifespan of a human child, in the time since the Break, was fifty-six hours. They didn’t even name them anymore.
This book has one of my favorite covers, which is why the Dystopia’s peacekeepers are trying to snatch up all the copies! It also has one of the absolute best opening dedications of any book on this list:This book is dedicated to the rule breakers, the trouble makers, and the revolutionaries. Sometimes the hand that feeds you needs a good bite.
It’s the year 2076 and the average newborn lives a mere 56 hours after birth due to the release of an airborne virus during a war between humanity and the Partials.
The surviving government’s solution is that every 18 year old female needs to be impregnated as often as possible, but a decade after this policy has been implemented no children survive more than a few hours after birth.
Enter 16 year old medic Kira Walker who is determined to discover a cure once her friend Madison gets pregnant.
How is she going to accomplish this?
Well, she’s going to have to capture a Partial: genetically enhanced machines with a number of superhuman abilities, one of which is the uncanny knack of killing humans. But there is something else attempting to kill humans too: a fringe group known as the Voice of the People.
Partials is written in a terse, hard-hitting style which is exactly what you would expect from a world that has been reduced to a population of 40,000. As with most of these books like the Hunger Games, Partials is followed by two other incredible entries entitled Fragments, and Ruins. You need to read these at once!
“The first thing you should know about me is that I am my father’s son. And when they came for him I did as he asked. I did not cry. Not when the Society televised the arrest. Not when the Golds tried him. Not when the Grays hanged him. Mother hit me for that. My brother Kieran was supposed to be the stoic one. He was the elder, I was the younger. I was supposed to cry. Instead, Kieran bawled like a girl when Little Eo tucked a haemanthus into Father’s left workbook and ran back to her own father’s side. My sister Leanna murmured a lament beside me. I just watched and thought it a shame that he died dancing but without his dancing shoes.
On Mars there is not much gravity. So you have to pull the feet to break the neck. They let the loved ones do it.”
Out of all the books like the Hunger Games, Red Rising has the most harrowing opening passage so you know this is going to be one amazing read. Pierce Brown has written a book that is full of everything that riotous usurpers love and oppressive governments hate: thinking and violence.
To be sure, there is a surfeit of cruelty and violence, but that’s what living in an oppressive dystopia engenders. There are lots and lots of gritty, gory bloodydamnfine battles as Darrow goes from Helium-3 mining Helldiver to plotting courtesan and ruthless warrior.
Red Rising is also pulsing with beautiful, melodic prose that demands you slow down and read it and then read it again. So, dear reader, it’s time to rise up and get this book!
What could be better than Red Rising?
Pierce’s writing actually got better in the follow up to his first dystopian novel. So if you loved the Hunger Games, especially the mindblowing conclusion then Golden Son will not disappoint.
Brown writes extremely fast and has actually completed this trilogy (but has promised more books) with the closing entry titled Morning Star.
The Maze Runner
“He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.”
It seems like all the best books start out with amnesia, don’t they? Such is the case with the Maze Runner, which is a slow and enticing start to an amazing series of books like the Hunger Games.
16 year old Thomas wakes up in the Glade and at first the only thing he can remember is his name. After joining his fellow males in a makeshift colony a girl shows up things start to get interesting. And by interesting I mean really disturbing.
“She spoke to him before the world fell apart.”
I enjoyed this book way more than the Maze Runner. The Scorch Trials continues the journey of The Gladers and Thomas is sporting an ominous tattoo which reads “To Be Killed by Group B.”
Full of deception and manipulation you will find yourself as conflicted and confused as Thomas. The concluding entry to this group of books like the Hunger Games is Death Trials which I will report back on once I reach my own safe haven.
Legend, Prodigy, & Champion
“My mother thinks I’m dead.
Obviously I’m not dead, but it’s safer for her to think so.
At least twice a month I see my wanted poster flashed on the JumboTrons scattered throughout downtown Los Angeles. It looks out of place up there. Most of the pictures on the screens are of happy things: smiling children standing under a bright blue sky, tourists posing before the Golden Gate Ruins, Republic commercials in neon colors. There’s also anti-Colonies propaganda.”
Stop everything you are doing and go read this book, or at least this review. Of all the books like the Hunger Games, this is probably my favorite and it has more plot twists than the giant labyrinth in the Maze Runner.
There are also very complex and entertaining relationships that are formed, broken, and reformed between all of the characters and so many change of allegiances you would think each character has a little bit of Coriolanus Snow buried deep inside themselves.
I went ahead and listed all three of these books because after you read the first one, you aren’t going to be able to stop until you finish the whole series. So just do yourself a favor and set aside a weekend, (or better yet Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week) to devour these books.
It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty three since the scientists perfected a cure.”
What is the one thing you can be sure every dystopia is absolutely terrified of?
Love. That’s why they try to get rid of it either with corrupt laws or science.
Imagine growing up in a world where love was labeled a disease and as a youth you eagerly looked forward to being cured of it! Such is Lena Haloway’s disposition in Delirium, until she falls in love with an “invalid” named Alex.
Written by Lauren Oliver, this is one of the books like the Hunger Games that reminds us of the sheer power of love, which is just another reason why you will love reading it.
“There is one mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my hair.”
This is almost obligatory by now isn’t it?
The first thing that comes to mind when someone requests me to recommend books like the Hunger Games is Divergent, though admittedly it should probably be Splatterism.
Essentially, the remnants of civilization have been divided into 5 factions so that the threat of anyone exercising any independent will and threatening the rest of the world order.
If the dystopia loathes love the most, it hates those who possess the ability to think for themselves (sapere aude!)the second most, and those who are different must follow closely behind those two traits (probably because they possess the ability to love others fully and the ability to think critically).
Enter the Divergent “class” from Divergent, who are seen as a threat to the prevailing social order because they have the aptitude for many different abilities and cannot be easily pigeonholed into a single tightly defined area of life.
Written by Veronica Roth, the immensely popular Divergent features Beatrice, who foolishly renames herself to Tris, (I love the name Beatrice because it always makes me think of Dante ok?) a plucky, questioning female protagonist narrating her anguishing journey through a post-apocalyptic Chicago in a sparse, almost barren style.
There is suicide, murder, political scheming, and brain-washing galore–everything you would expect in modern American life I mean a dystopian novel.
Divergent is followed by Insurgent and the stunning conclusion that will leave you screaming, Allegiant.
Wait, Have You Read All of These Books Like the Hunger Games?
If you are a voracious reader (and if you’re not then the dystopia is winning) and have already studied each and every single one of these bloodydamnfine novels then you should be ready to lead the revolution–or at least be prepared for it when you are called upon to usurp the prevaricating rulers and liberate your fellow liber-lovers.
Readers of the world unite, you’ve got nothing to lose but your chains!
What are some other books like the Hunger Games we should all be reading in order to band together and free ourselves from the despotic dystopia?