What to Read Next – THE HUNGER GAMES Edition

So now that we’ve all read Mockingjay, the third book in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy—and have (hopefully!) finished processing everything that happened—the question is, what should we read next?

I’m on the lookout for another great YA dystopia because I love how they create new worlds with exaggerated versions of the flaws within our own society. It really makes you think about the path we’re on and what the consequences of our actions might be. With all the craziness of reality TV, can’t you just see a Hunger Games type show in our not-to-distant future? **shudder** I also love that the protagonists of these books are not afraid to standup and fight for what they believe in, which often goes against everything they’ve been taught. I think we all aspire to be that brave in our own lives.

While looking for the next book I’ll love as much as The Hunger Games, I put together a list of YA dystopias that sound promising. Check it out below.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
(Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas 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 morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Matched by Ally Condie
(Order on Amazon)
Matched won’t be released until November 30th, but I’ve been hearing really good things from people who received advanced copies. In fact, the movie rights for the book were just sold to Disney. If the Peeta/Gale/Katniss love triangle was one of your favorite parts of The Hunger Games, you should check out Matched.

From the publisher:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
(Order on Amazon)
This is the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. The third book, Monsters of Men, will be out on September 28th.

From the publisher:
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he 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 hostile 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? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Gone by Michael Grant
(Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
In the blink of an eye.

Everyone disappears.

Gone.

Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent.

The first in a breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves, gone is a page-turning thriller that will make you look at the world in a whole new way.

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
(Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they’re leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong–horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured–including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.

Epic by Conor Kostick
(Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Welcome to a society governed through computer games!

On New Earth, society is governed and conflicts are resolved in the arena of a fantasy computer game, Epic. If you win, you have the chance to fulfill your dreams; if you lose, your life both in and out of the game is worth nothing. When teenage Erik dares to subvert the rules of Epic, he and his friends must face the Committee. If Erik and his friends win, they may have the key to destroying the Committee’s tyranny. But if they lose . . .

 

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami and Masayuki Taguchi
(Order on Amazon)
This is a manga adaption of a Japanese film with a premise that is very similar to that of The Hunger Games. Warning: It’s extremely graphic and not suitable for children.

From the publisher:
One ninth-grade class, 42 students, marooned on an island and forced to kill or be killed in a government-sanctioned, televised game called The Program. The rules: after three days, only one student can remain alive or they all die. Weapons are handed out and each student is sent out into the field alone–unprepared for the horror that awaits them. Many classmates quickly turn on each other in this twisted battle for survival, but amid the betrayals and rising body count, new friendships are forged and existing love gives new meaning to the phrase, “Till death do we part.” With a hard-hitting English adaptation by acclaimed writer Keith Giffen, this series is brutal, honest…and not to be missed.

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
(Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
As a modern gladiator’s daughter, Lyn and her family live 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. To win her freedom, Lyn will do what no girl has done before: enter the arena and fight her father’s murderer—even though she’s falling in love with him.

 

 

The Declaration by Gemma Malley
(Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
In the year 2140, it is illegal to be young.

Children are all but extinct.

The world is a better place.

Longevity drugs are a fountain of youth. Sign the Declaration, agree not to have children and you too can live forever. Refuse, and you will live as an outcast. For the children born outside the law, it only gets worse – Surplus status.

Not everyone thinks Longevity is a good thing, but you better be clear what side you’re on. . . . Surplus Anna is about to find out what happens when you can’t decide if you should cheat the law or cheat death.

 

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
(Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible.

And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside—she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye, and escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know. Because Incarceron is alive.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
(Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
(Order on Amazon)
This zombie novel might be more paranormal than dystopian, but I’ve heard great things about it and wanted to include it on this list.

From the publisher:
In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

 

If you want to find even more Mockingjay readalikes, check out:

Children’s Books: Apocalypse Now on Publisher’s Weekly

The American Library Association

Bookshelves of Doom

Follow me on Twitter @kristendaemons

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  • http://www.tvovermind.com Mark O. Estes

    OMG I am soooo glad to see Battle Royale on this list! The movie is crazy wild, but I hear that the manga and novel are even worse in terms of content. Great list, yall!

    • http://www.daemonsbooks.com/author/kristen Kristen

      Thanks Mark! I haven’t seen the Battle Royale movie yet, but I’ve got it on my Netflix queue.

  • http://amckiereads.wordpress.com Amy

    Some really great books there! A few I’ve loved and a few I’m really looking forward to reading. I love it :)

  • http://twitter.com/jessygt Jessica

    I’ve already read The Declaration, both great. The others made me curious. Definitely adding to my rading list hahaha :)

    • http://www.daemonsbooks.com/author/kristen Kristen

      I really want to read The Declaration. The premise sounds so interesting!

  • http://twitter.com/jessygt Jessica

    *The Declaration and Graceling, I meant. hahaha sorry