Almost anyone who has read books or watched movies in the last few years knows about the existence of The Hunger Games trilogy and its prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins. While that trilogy is an amazing series that has spawned four incredible movies and has inspired movements, here are some recommendations if you are missing Katniss, Peeta, Gale, and two of my personal favorites: Finnick and Prim.
1. The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
Around the same time that The Hunger Games came out, the Divergent series was released by Veronica Roth. Fans are quick to point out similarities between these two series, thanks to the protagonists being teenage girls, different “class” systems, revolutions and fights to the death. Additionally, there is a love story included (when don’t stories typically have love stories?) and familial members who keep the protagonists somewhat grounded despite the intense life-or-death situations that they are put in.
2. The Slated Trilogy (and Prequel) by Teri Terry
This series is less widely known, but is no less good. In the Slated Trilogy, underage girls and boys who have broken the law have their memories wiped to give them a second chance at life; however, their “levels” are monitored with a Levo, thus ensuring that they do not commit any more crimes. These Levos kill the underage girls and boys if their “happiness” levels drop too low. This trilogy delves into the discrimination that these “criminals” are given in schools, the way society is controlled when people do not conform to what is expected of them (either imprisonment or mind-wiping) and how people try to break free from their metaphorical restraints.
3. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
Unlike the aforementioned series, there is less violence and more romance in The Selection Series, thus making it a more ideal series for people who are a fan of TV series like The Bachelor, seeing as thirty-five girls are given the opportunity to become the Princess of Illéa through marriage to crown Prince Maxon. While it can be viewed as a little derogatory in having thirty-five women compete for one man, the fourth and fifth books in the series flip the situation where it is thirty-five men competing for one woman, the crown princess of Illéa.
4. The Partials Sequence by Dan Wells
This series might be a tad triggering, seeing as we are currently in a pandemic, but the Partials Sequence touches upon the dystopian world after the RM virus has struck, pushing humanity to the brink of extinction. Mandatory pregnancy laws are limiting the options of the characters and Partials, engineered organic beings that look identical to humans, threaten the safety of those remaining survivors. This series was published long before COVID, and serves as a reminder that no matter how hard we think the pandemic is right now, it’s nowhere near as bad as that dystopian future!
5. The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
Similar to how The Hunger Games and the Divergent series were made into movies, The Maze Runner series was made into a movie series starring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Thomas, Teresa and Newt respectively. This series deals with the destruction of the world, a mad science corporation – WCKD – and their version of zombies, otherwise known as Cranks. While stories about zombies typically scare me, this goes beyond jump scares and everyone turning into zombies.
Dystopian series have definitely increased in popularity in the last few years. While the end of the world is something that no one wants to think about if they can help it, it is also reassuring to know that while we humans have overactive imaginations, no matter how stressful our lives and the world is right now, the world we’re living in is nowhere near as terrible as any of the worlds that we humans have dreamed up!
Featured Image via Amazon