Books Like the Hunger Games

After the release of the best-selling series The Hunger Games book trilogy, many reading enthusiasts were clamoring for more books like the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games had such an interesting plot of political unrest, dissent, and violence that ultimately instigated the “games” that led mere children fighting to the point of death until only one remained–all for the purpose of keeping the whole state of Panem in check. These themes and protagonists are quick to spark an interest in readers since they can somehow reflect the depravity of human society and how bad the violence can become. For the many fans of this book series, there are fortunately other books like the Hunger Games that are available in the market with the same genre.

1. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Battle Royale is book written by Japanese writer Koushun Takami. The setting of the story is in the year of 1997 at the Greater Republic of East Asia which is a dictatorship state of Japan. There is a policy every year where a random junior-high class is chosen in “The Program”. In “The Program”, the students are forced to fight each other to the death until only one remains. To ensure that everyone participates, the students are forced to wear a collar which is equipped with a detonation bomb and a listening device. In the event where a student tries to escape from the “The Program” or attempts to enter forbidden areas, the bomb detonates automatically to kill the student. Also, in a period of 24 hours, one student must die or else, all the collars detonate to kill everybody. The winner of the program receives a government pension. The Program is executed yearly to discourage the citizens from rising up against the government.

The main protagonist of the story is Shuya Nanahara, a beacon of hope. He represents the part of humanity which does not become animal-like in bloodlust to kill for survival. There will be quite several parallels that the reader will discover towards the Hunger Games.

You will be surprised at how similar this novel is to the Hunger Games, even with small details such as how one character in Battle Royale has hair that looks like “a duck’s tail.”

2. The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch is apocalyptic in nature. It shows America after plague and war, known as “The Collapse.” After the Collapse, remnants of the pre-Collapse period are deciding whether to rebuild America like the one previously or to completely start from scratch. The main protagonist in this novel is Stephen Quinn, a 15-year old traveling with his family. Several bad things happen to Quinn that results in him being forced to travel alone. As he journeys through the ruins, he finds Settler’s Landing, a place with people who survived from the pre-Collapse era. After a series of events, chaos ensues and starts war amongst them.

The similarity of The Eleventh Plague with The Hunger Games series is its apocalyptic genre as well as its main protagonists found in young people whose innocence have been stripped from them from the effects of violence and chaos.

3. The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld

The Uglies series (with sequels Pretties, Specials and Extras) are similar to the Hunger Games series in a way that the government is an all-dominating one—one bent on trying to manipulate the citizens and keeping them under control. Unlike the Hunger Games which uses violence and scare tactics to scare the population from rising up in revolt, the Uglies takes on a different approach. The novel uses physical beauty to bring the society under control. The society which the novel has been set in is post-war: the world is rebuilt into a futuristic and sustainable place where there is no chaos. In this society, the citizens are forced to have to cosmetic surgery at the age of 16 to turn them into a “Pretty.” People who have not undergone surgery are called “Uglies”, while the people in charge of the maintenance of the place are called “Specials.”

That is the setting that takes place for main protagonist Tally Youngblood. Unlike her peers who look forward to their transition from being an Ugly to a Pretty, Tally is convinced by David and escapes into the forest with her bestfriend Shay. She escapes to try to find out the truth about what it means to become a Pretty. As she becomes a rebel, she realizes that becoming a Pretty not only changes your appearance.

These books like the Hunger Games show many themes that can interest a wide range of readers. The themes vary from an apocalyptic nature, violence, dissent and the depravity of human society to totalitarian government control, the effects of control on society and many more. Whatever themes that the authors are trying to express, the novels were written to make readers think to the possible repercussions of our actions. All these well-written novels are page turners that not only make the readers think but also leave the readers hungry for more.

~ Will be adding more books as soon as I finish reading more that are similar to the Hunger Games.