Normal Public Library Teens

The Hunger Games Readalikes

The Hunger Games and its sequels, set in a future America in which 24 teenagers are pitted against each other every year in a televised fight to the death, have been flying off the shelves lately.  If you’re looking for a read with a similar dark futuristic feel, you can’t go wrong with one of these.

Feed by M.T. Anderson

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any trip to the moon—a chance to party during spring break. But that was before the hacker caused their feeds to malfunction. And it was before Titus met Violet, who has decided to fight the feed. (S)

Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard

Those Earthies. First they ruin their own planet, and now they’re going to ruin the rest of the solar system! No wonder Jack and the other Spacers on Freedom Station call them “rats.” Then Jack meets Kit, a rat, and her sentient Bot, Waldo, and against his better judgment finds himself drawn into their orbit and fleeing for his life. (M, S)

Exodus by Julie Bertagna

Less than a hundred years from now, almost all land has disappeared beneath the sea. Only Mara has the vision and the will to lead her people in search of a new beginning in this harsh, unfamiliar world. (M)

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

When brilliant Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is drafted to Battle School to learn to fight against the aliens threatening humanity, what he thinks are just battle games carry some very real consequences. (A/YA)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

When Thomas wakes up with no memory of his past life, he finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade – a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every 30 days a new boy is delivered.  Then one day, the first girl arrives.  And she brings with her a shocking message. (M, S)

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

While skipping school one day, technogeek Marcus is caught near the site of a terrorist attack on San Francisco and held by the Department of Homeland Security for six days of intensive interrogation. After his release, he vows to use his skills to fight back against an increasingly frightening system of surveillance. (S)

The City of Ember by Jeanne Du Prau

The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. Now she and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever. (M)

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Matteo Alacrán is a clone of El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium—a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and the land that was once called Mexico. As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters who seem to want him dead. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. (M, S)

Gone by Michael Grant

In the blink of an eye, every adult in the world disappears. Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. And the teens themselves are developing new powers that grow stronger by the day. It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent. (M, S)

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He’s lived his entire life in hiding. Then, one day Luke meets another shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows – does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? (M)

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through.  Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family.   The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him… (S)

Epic by Conor Kostick

On New Earth, society is governed by a computer game, Epic. If you win, you have the chance to fulfill your dreams; if you lose, your life is forfeit. When Erik defies the rules of Epic, he and his friends must face the Committee. If they win, they have the key to destroying the Committee. But if they lose… (M, S)

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Jonas’s world is perfect. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back. (M)

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, everyone can hear what each other thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him – something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With  men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? (S)

The Inferior by Peadar O’Guilin

Stopmouth and his family know nothing but a savage, desperate existence, struggling to survive. But then, a strange and beautiful woman falls from the sky. It is a moment that will change Stopmouth’s destiny, and that of all humanity, forever. (S)

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Who is Jenna Fox? She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn’t remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers? (M, S)

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

After an asteroid knocks the moon closer to earth, worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun. In her journal, Miranda records the events of each desperate day, while she and her family struggle to hold on to their most priceless resource—hope. (M, S)

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
 

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to wake up on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, Amy’s cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed. Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed’s passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir. Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again. (M, S)

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight to survive. If they make it to their 18th birthday, they can’t be harmed—but when every piece of them is wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away. (M, S)

Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Trella is a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. She’s got one friend, does her job and tries to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if she occasionally uses the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is her own…until she accidentally starts a rebellion and becomes the go-to girl to lead a revolution. (M, S)

 

The Comet’s Curse by Dom Testa

When a deadly virus begins killing the adult population of Earth, a renowned scientist proposes a bold plan: to create a ship that will carry a crew of 251 teenagers to a home in a distant solar system. (M, S)

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

In Tally’s world, your 16th birthday brings an operation that turns you into a pretty and catapults you into a paradise where your only job is to have a great time. But Tally’s friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns there’s a darker side to the pretty world. Then the authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. (M, S)

 
 

Grade Level Interest
M Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

 
 
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One Response to “The Hunger Games Readalikes”

  1. carol beam said

    Thanks so much for putting this site together. Working at a public library in Pennsylvania, I just used it to give a teenager a stack of book recommendations. She had already read some of the books on the list and had really liked them, so it seems like a great match.

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