Whether you are looking for a competition or a dystopian, these books like the Hunger Games should be added to your TBR immediately!
If You Like The Hunger Games, Read These Books
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I remember waiting up and going to midnight movie releases for The Hunger Games! I had read all of the books, loved the movies, and was obsessed with Peeta. This threw me down a rabbit hole of great (and some not-so-great) dystopian books in my search to find books that were similar to The Hunger Games.
Because of this in-depth search, I was able to come up with this ever-growing list of books that you need to read if you loved the Hunger Games as much as I did.
Dystopian Books Like the Hunger Games
The Hunger Games set off a cultural phenomenon of dystopian books. Some were great, some not so great. If you are wanting to read some great dystopian to quench your thirst for Hunger Games like books, then pick these up and be ready to binge.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Okay, let’s get the obvious one out of the way. The Divergent series came out not long after the craze of The Hunger Games started.
It takes place in a dystopian world where people are sorted into factions based on their innate skills. Our main character Tris, gets herself sorted into a group that she may not seem to belong in.
This book is heavy on taking down the corrupt government. Very similar in feels to the government of Panem. While I personally did not love the last book in the series, it is still worth a shot if you want some dystopian goodness.
The Maze Runner by James Dasher
Another obvious pick, The Maze Runner is one of those dystopian that came out around the same time as the others. People loved this one, and it even got its own film series. Though it was never actually completed (similar to Divergent in that way).
We follow Thomas as he wakes up in a box in a maze with a bunch of other teens. They have to work together to survive and figure out why they are there. These teens also need to figure out how to get out of the maze.
This series again has a corrupt government and a central romance.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
We love to see a badass woman take down a corrupt government. Extra points if she has X-men-like powers. Even more bonus points if there is a love triangle. Sound like fun? Check out Shatter Me.
Okay so the love triangle isn’t something I love, but I really did love this series. Juliette is imprisoned in an asylum because a single touch from her can kill people. She can’t control this power. When she escapes her imprisonment, she is thrust into a dystopian world with a corrupt government that she knows she needs to help take down.
After the initial trilogy was completed, the author wrote three more books too. Full disclosure, I haven’t read those yet. But I do plan on it!
Battle Royalle by Koushun Takami
So Battle Royalle actually came out quite a while before The Hunger Games. Many people actually say that The Hunger Games is a clear rip-off of this book. Collins says she had not read this book prior to writing her dystopian modern classic though.
In Battle Royalle, teenagers are taken and placed on an island and forced to fight to the death until only one returns. This is a government-run sanctioned event. The one winner gets fame and money.
Sounds super familiar right? Well, it should. Of course, there are a lot of differences. For one, Battle Royalle is much more violent and bloody. This one isn’t for the weak of the stomach if you know what I mean.
Fantasy Books That Remind Me of The Hunger Games
Okay, now we have covered some of the more obvious Hunger Games book comparisons. I want to give you a few more out-of-the-box recommendations as well. A book doesn’t have to be dystopian to remind you of the Hunger Games. There are a lot of ya fantasy books similar to The Hunger Games in feel and tropes as well. For me, I mainly get that feeling when there is a corrupt government and/or a competition.
Fireborne by Rosario Munda
The reason this reminds me of The Hunger Games is that we have a corrupt government. Not only do we have a corrupt government, but we also have competition! Granted, this isn’t a “too the death” competition, but still.
We also have some side romance plot in here, and a lot of confusion when it comes to if the government is better, worse, or the same as the previous corrupt government! Plus there are dragons! Who doesn’t love books with dragons!
All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody & Christina Lynn Herman
Magical competition to the death? Say no more! All of Us Villains is a dark ya fantasy where seven teens have to compete in a to-the-death magical competition in order to control the magical world for the next generation.
This book is loaded down with morally grey characters and dark magic. These teenagers are brutal and do everything they can in order to survive.
So if you liked the competition aspect of The Hunger Games but wished there was more magic, then this may be the book for you!
A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova
And here we have another magical competition. While in Trial of Sorcerers the contest isn’t meant to be to the death, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t turn into a much more dangerous situation than it was initially meant to be.
With this book, you will honestly want to read Air Awakens by Elise Kova first. Trial of Sorcerers is set in the same world and while you don’t need to know any of the information from the earlier series first, it does help.
This is a self-published fantasy book. We follow Eira, who decides to compete to be a representative of her nation in an upcoming Tournament. In order to be a representative, she needs to first compete for the right.
This world is fantastic. We have elemental magic, family dynamics, political intrigue, and of course some sweet romance!
The Hunger Games was a cultural phenomenon. People are still reading and loving it, so it is obvious that people will want to read similar books as well. These books are all fantastic in their own right. The fact they give off Hunger Games vibes really is just an added bonus.