People who have known me for more than twelve minutes probably know that I have the literary interests of your twelve year old daughter / niece / cousin. Don’t get me wrong, I read “grown up books” and even enjoy them but if I’m geeking out over a book or series, it’s probably of the YA variety and quite often the YA dystopian variety.
So obviously, I puffy hearts adored The Hunger Games (and still get slanty faced when I think about some of the stuff that went down in Mockingjay). Anyway, if you read The Hunger Games also and are desperate for another fix of something similar, might I suggest…
Ten Books To Read If You Like The Hunger Games
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (only $2.99 right now on Kindle) | I read this in college before I’d ever heard the word dystopian so in a lot of ways it is responsible for my obsession. “Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.“
- The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer | Perhaps the most fascinating take on dystopian fiction that I’ve read in a long time and utterly addicting. Book one, Cinder, is basically a cyborg Cinderella story but it’s also so much more than this and as the series develops it becomes more and more fascinating.
- Divergent by Veronica Roth | Probably you don’t need me to tell you about this one since it’s also gotten a motion picture and become a media darling, but the whole faction / divided society / unlikely hero thing is all happening here as well so if you haven’t read it yet, definitely check it out.
- The Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld | This was one of my first forrays into dystopian fiction and although I know that Westerfeld did not invent this style, it still feels iconic to the genre to me and required reading for any fans of The Hunger Games or similar books. Tally will absolutely own your heart by the end of the first book, I promise.
- Matched by Allie Condie | This is a story that came out around the same time as Divergent and a few other similar books and initially it didn’t seem as impressive as the others – but by the time I had finished the third book, Condie had blown my mind and her story is one that sticks with me today after others have been largely forgotten.
- The Song of the Lioness series (and everything else) by Tamora Pierce | This one isn’t really dystopian at all but it has Strong Female Lead going for it in spades. Alanna of Trebond sneaks her way into becoming a page at the palace of King Roland after disguising herself as a boy and although you might be able to guess some of the rest, it is still one of the best stories I’ve ever read. I also really enjoyed the series about her daughter.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry | An oldie but a goodie and a quick read to boot. “[The Giver] centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.”
- A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray | This one is more fantastical than dystopian but it’s another great series with a strong female lead who comes of age throughout the series and the stories kind of grow and evolve as the books unfold. “It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?“
- The Selection by Kiera Cass | This one is kind of like if The Hunger Games and The Bachelor had a baby and I’ll warn you, it’s ridiculously addictive and you will not be able to put it down and you will find yourself buying the next books in the series before you have even finished the first book. #sorrynotsorry
- The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde | One of the things that I love about dystopian fiction is that the world in the books is in a lot of ways really similar to the world you live in, in a way that it almost seems plausible that the events in the story could almost happen in real life. This series is not dystopian but I find that it shares that “stranger than fiction” quality and the world building in the Thursday Next series is outstanding. “Fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse will love visiting Jasper Fforde’s Great Britain, circa 1985, when time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously: it’s a bibliophile’s dream. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career.“