If you’ve long-finished the Hunger Games series and are looking for a list of thrilling books like Hunger Games, you came to the right place.
Hunger Games became one of the most popular sci-fi dystopian books and highest-grossing movie franchises of all time, and it’s not hard to see why. Its gripping storyline, tension-filled deathmatch, great action with a bit of romance, strong and selfless Katniss, and other interesting characters make it one of those can’t-put-this-book-down series!
So, to satisfy your cravings for more thrilling books like Hunger Games, here are 15 most favorite dystopian books — stories that’ll draw you, a lead character you’ll root for, and survival games that’ll leave you at the edge of your seat.
Survival Games Books Like Hunger Games
If you’re looking for intense action sequences in a terrible game of bloodsport, these survival games similar to Hunger Games are for you.
1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
It’s impossible not to mention The Maze Runner in a list of books like Hunger Games. It is another popular sci-fi dystopian young adult series propelled to fame through a series of film adaptations in 2014.
Thomas wakes up in the Glade, an open arena surrounded by massive walls, with no memory of himself. He finds other teenage boys trapped within the Glade, where the only way out is through a deadly, always-changing Maze.
But, as they find their way out through the Maze, they uncover secrets, leading them to fight for their lives in a destroyed world ruled by scientists called the WICKED.
As far as books like Hunger Games go, this YA dystopian series has an intriguing plot packed with action.
2. Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
Here’s one of the books like Hunger Games where a girl is pulled into a suspenseful deathmatch.
Lyn is a modern gladiator’s daughter, and her family lives by the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association. But those rules can turn against you.
When Lyn’s seventh father dies in the ring, his opponent, Uber, captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet and her hand in marriage. Lyn will do what no girl has done before to win her freedom: enter the arena and fight her father’s murderer – even though she’s falling in love with him.
3. S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett
Greer MacDonald is ignored and mocked by the elites at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, also known as S. T. A. G. S.
So when the elite of the elite invited her for a weekend of huntin’, shootin’, and fishin’, she is as surprised as she is flattered. But, Greer quickly realizes that she is not in for a simple weekend of recreation when she arrives on Henry de Warlencourt’s family’s estate.
Greer must now survive the weekend using only her wits as she deciphers the strategy behind Henry and his friends’ sick game.
Dystopian Government Books Similar To Hunger Games
Is it the Draconian government or the segregated society aspect that most appeals to you in the Hunger Games? Then, this list of books might be just what you need.
4. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent is another popular YA dystopian novel that hit movie theaters. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chicago where humanity is divided into five factions based on their perceived traits: honesty, selflessness, bravery, peacefulness, and intelligence.
Children live within their family faction until they reach 16, where they have to take an aptitude test to identify which faction they belong to. When Beatrice “Tris” Prior’s results come out inconclusive, she discovers a secret about herself and is warned to tell no one.
Tris has to decide whether to stay within her faction or switch, and she makes a shocking choice that alters her life forever.
It’s a book similar to Hunger Games in that a group of rebels rises against their system and uncovers the truth about the strange and segregated world they live in.
5. Legend by Marie Lu
If you love Hunger Games, you’d sure love this young adult series, too.
It’s because the Legend series has everything you liked about The Hunger Games: a secretive nation divided into districts, a simmering revolution, and a fiery and unlikely couple who are ill-fated from the start.
The Legend is set in a dark, futuristic Los Angeles. June is on her way to joining the Republic’s elite military force. Then there’s Day, who is the country’s most wanted criminal.
After June’s brother is murdered and Day is accused of being the perpetrator, June sets out to find Day and exact vengeance. However, when the two cross paths, they discover a government secret that will shatter everything they know about the world they live in.
6. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
In a dystopian world, scientists have found a cure for love which is already understood as a dangerous disease, a disruptive force to society. And the authoritarian government makes everyone at age 18 be cured of it.
Lena Haloway, like other people, looks forward to undergoing the procedure to have a safe and predictable life, unlike her mother’s. But, 95 days before her treatment, she meets the enigmatic Alex, who lives in the Wilds under secrecy from the government.
What happens when Lena falls head over heels with Alex?
7. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Uglies is set in a not-so-distant future where everyone is born ugly until they reach 16 and undergo surgery to make them pretty. Tally can’t wait not only for becoming pretty but for all the privileges that come with it: amazing parties, lavish lifestyle, and fabulous friends.
But, she meets Shay, a rebellious teenager who refuses to take the procedure. Through Shay, Tally learns about the ugly truth of the pretty world. But the authorities threaten Tally to either turn her friend in or not be pretty at all.
8. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
The Red Rising is another young adult series that Hunger Games fans will binge-read.
Darrow belongs to the lowest rank called Red in a color-coded society set in the future. They are assigned to hard labor, and just like his fellow Reds, he works to make Mars liveable for others – or so they were told to believe.
But, Darrow discovers they’ve been lied to; his kindred are made nothing but slaves to a heartless ruling class. In his longing for justice, he joins the Legendary Institute, where he fights in bloodletting trials against other competitors to dethrone his ultimate foes.
9. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Laia lives under the Martial Empire with her grandparents and older brother, where defiance is met with death.
However, after Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia agrees to spy on the Empire’s most powerful military academy in return for her brother’s rescue.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s best soldier—and, secretly, it’s most reluctant. He and Laia will quickly realize that their fates are intertwined—and that their decisions will affect the future of the Empire itself.
10. 1984 by George Orwell
Here’s a classic dystopian book for you.
Winston Smith, a low-ranking member of ‘the Party,’ in Oceania, is frustrated by the party’s omnipresent eyes and its ominous ruler Big Brother. ‘Big Brother’ has complete control over people’s lives.
The Party controls everything, even the people’s history and language. It is forcing the implementation of an invented language called Newspeak, which attempts to prevent political rebellion by eliminating all its words. Even thinking rebellious thoughts is illegal.
Fantasy & Dystopian Books Like Hunger Games
Here’s a book list of other great fantasy or sci-fi dystopian series.
11. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
In the Red Queen, one’s status is determined by the color of their blood — the Reds are lowly commoners serving the Silvers, the ruling class with superhuman abilities.
Mare Barrow is a Red girl who finds herself working in the Palace. And it’s here, in front of the king and other nobles, that Mare discovers she can wield power. To cover up the impossibility, the king makes her play the role of a lost Silver Princess, but Mare plays a different game of her own.
The Red Queen is a young adult series with an excellent blend of fantasy, action, politics, and romance.
12. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Game is a great classic, sci-fi novel of a young boy’s recruitment during an interstellar war.
Ender Wiggin, a young boy, is sent to a training academy called Battle School, built to train people to become soldiers who will, one day, battle against a vast alien race known as “Buggers.”
Ender attempts to advance in the difficult training scheme, while his brother and sister try to restore the world. But, his training is difficult, and he further battles against loneliness, rivalry, and fear.
He is given a very special teacher who will assist him in becoming a commander to save humanity from the Third Invasion.
13. Gone by Michael Grant
In a flash, everyone was gone. Everyone except those under the age of 15.
With no adults to produce and provide necessities, the children and teenagers form opposing camps and compete for survival.
Then the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. Everyone else must choose a side, and a fight is shaping up.
14. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Humanity barely survives a series of ‘waves’ of alien invasions.
The earth has gone through four waves, and after the last one, there is only one rule: trust no one. The aliens and the humans look just the same.
Now the fifth wave dawns, Cassie sets out in a lonely stretch of the road to find her younger brother. Staying alone is the only way to stay alive until she meets the mysterious Evan Walker, who may be her only hope.
Like Katniss’ selflessness to save her sister, Prim, you would also adore Cassie’s will to protect her brother, whatever it takes.
15. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Aria has spent her entire life in Reverie’s safe dome. Her whole world is confined to its boundaries, and she has never dared to imagine what lies beyond its gates. When Aria’s mother goes missing, she knows her chances of surviving in the wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets Perry, an outsider. He, too, is looking for someone. He’s also wild—a savage—but he might be her best chance of survival.
They are each other’s best hope for finding answers if they ever survive.
Looking for more book lists?
Explore other fantasy novels to cure your Hunger Games hangover. Here is an awesome list of Books Like From Blood and Ash you might like.
Nothing scratching that Hunger Games itch? With the release of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, maybe it’s just to reread the Hunger Games books in chronological order.