The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins captivated readers with its gripping tale of survival, rebellion, and the resilience of the human spirit. There are plenty of books out there that can capture your imagination just like The Hunger Games. Many of them centre around a nefarious ruling class and challenge the limits of humanity’s capacity to maintain order.
Here are the top seven books that capture the essence of The Hunger Games while offering their own unique twists.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent is set in a future Chicago where society is split into five factions, each representing distinct traits. Beatrice Prior, a sixteen-year-old, is about to undergo her aptitude test to determine her faction. But when she doesn’t fit neatly into one category, she discovers she’s viewed as a threat that must be handled.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
In Red Queen, people are split into two groups: the Reds, the lowly commoners, and the Silvers, the powerful ruling class with magical abilities. However, when Mare gets a job at the Silver Palace, she uncovers her own extraordinary powers, despite being born a Red. Fearing her potential, the Silvers declare her a lost princess of their own and arrange a marriage to a Silver prince. Meanwhile, Mare secretly aids a rebel faction plotting against the oppressive Silvers.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
If you enjoy a dystopian novel with a touch of science fiction, this book is a perfect fit. The book is about Thomas, a sixteen-year-old boy who wakes up in a metal elevator, having no recollection of his past life or how he ended up there. Thomas is one of the new recruits who are brought to the Glade every month. The Glade is a compound made up of stone walls that form an ever-evolving labyrinth. The only way out of the Glade is through the stone walls, and no one has ever successfully made it.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Red Rising takes place on Mars, it takes place seven hundred years into the future, long after humans have colonised the rest of the planets. Darrow is 16 years old enslaved as a miner, along with many other low-level Reds. Darrow believes that his people have suffered for years because of the luxurious lifestyles of the ruling class, and he seeks revenge by infiltrating the Gold caste. He wants to destroy the ruling class from within.
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Set in a dystopian Japan, the story follows 42 junior high school students who are transported to a remote island, where they are armed with deadly weapons and must kill each other until there is only one survivor. Collars are placed around their necks to monitor their movement, and the organisers can hear every word they say. The book is violent, but the stories of its characters are heartbreaking.
Legend by Marie Lu
June comes from a privileged background in one of the richest areas of the Republic, once the western U.S. She’s a genius undergoing rigorous military training until tragedy strikes with the murder of her brother, Metias. The prime suspect is Day, a 15-year-old from the slums. Determined to seek justice, June sets out to avenge her brother’s death. However, they soon discover they’re bound by fate for a greater purpose to expose the sinister secrets within their nation.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The novel is set in the near future. The United States government has been overthrown by a patriarchal, religion-based, and totalitarian regime known as the Republic of Gilead. The book is set in Gilead and tells the story of one of its handmaids, Offred. Offred is one of the women who are enslaved and forced to procreate for the benefit of the ruling class. It is a captivating and challenging exploration of what happens to women when they lose the power and the right of their own bodies.
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