The Most Popular YA Dystopias Since 'The Hunger Games'

Posted by Sharon on May 11, 2020
As fans of The Hunger Games know, your enemies always seem to reemerge right when you least expect them. That's right, this month, Suzanne Collins takes readers back to Panem with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a highly anticipated Hunger Games prequel featuring none other than Coriolanus Snow himself.

To mark the occasion, we're looking back at the most popular YA dystopias of the last decade. While stories of shady totalitarian societies have always been part of young adult literature (think The Giver), it's undeniable that these tales have completely dominated the field ever since the publication of Mockingjay. Call it the Collins Effect, maybe?

To define popularity, we reaped titles with over 100,000 shelvings and an average rating of 3.5 or above. And for series with multiple chart-topping books, we listed the first novel so you can revisit those adventures from the very beginning. Take a look at our list, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Comments Showing 1-50 of 66 (66 new)


message 1: by Chyanne (new)

Chyanne DeLong Another one that is good and is also a dystopia, coming age, but it has romance I do recommend it from reading it. The Book of Ivy yes it's a two book series but it is a good series.


message 2: by Atlanta2200 (new)

Atlanta2200 I recommend the 5th wave series its really good with a bit of romance!


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Lawless My son loves the Gone series by Michael Grant


message 4: by Zehra (new)

Zehra I really recommend Legend by Marie Lu. Very underrated but one of the best dystopian YA series I've ever read!


message 5: by H-Rex (last edited May 13, 2020 11:49AM) (new)

H-Rex The Birthmarked trilogy by Caragh M. O'Brien was an exciting read. So was the Pure series by Julianna Baggott. Both series have the standard YA dystopian themes, but are unique in their own ways. The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield and the Unwind series by Neal Shusterman are fantastic too.


message 6: by Kerry (new)

Kerry Fielding the slated trilogy by Teri Terry


message 7: by Pristine (last edited May 15, 2020 12:24AM) (new)

Pristine Pen I am flabbergasted. WHY, OH WHY, is not The Atlantis Grail series on this list? :( I guess it didn't meet the requirements. Heavily underrated for people that are fans of this genre.


message 8: by Shelby (new)

Shelby Patterson Michael Grants Gone series was the first YA series I ever read. I absolutely loved them.


⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess) I wouldn't classify The 100 as a dystopia (even though I'm the biggest fan of the show). It's a post apocalypse. But in the end, nothing beats The Hunger Games, it's the mother of ya dystopia!


message 10: by ally (new)

ally yes matched and scythe! but why shatter me, just why


message 11: by Žaneta (new)

Žaneta I also loved Cecelia Ahern's books Flawed + Perfect!


message 12: by Lawful (new)

Lawful Corvid This is a decent list. Many of these books follow overused tropes and cliches, most of which were born in The Hunger Games series. It’s a shame that people give THG shade for that, too.


message 13: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Hadly Legend is my OG. I’ve been a fan ever since I found this book at the library and almost everything in my room has the Republic sign, anybody down for a re-read?


⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess) Ugh I loveee Legend. It's the only ya dystopian trilogy that comes close to THG for me.


Ⓟⓔⓐⓒⓗⓨ Ⓚⓔⓔⓝ Ⓡⓔⓐⓓⓢ Okey dokey. So a series that has had over 100 million copies sold didn't make this! I'm very sorry Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter.


message 16: by Nicole (last edited May 15, 2020 05:52AM) (new)

Nicole I think "Shatter Me" is very overrated. I had such high hopes for the book after reading the mindblowing first chapter but the rest of it did not live up to that promising beginning. The sequels were even worse. The plot is unoriginal and a bit lacking. The characters are shallow stereotypes whose actions often don't make any sense.


message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim Although it's sci-fi, I would probably include the Red Rising series in this list.


message 18: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Hadly ⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess) wrote: "Ugh I loveee Legend. It's the only ya dystopian trilogy that comes close to THG for me."

Yesss!!! Fellow legend lover!


message 19: by ally (new)

ally Nicole wrote: "I think "Shatter Me" is very overrated. I had such high hopes for the book after reading the mindblowing first chapter but the rest of it did not live up to that promising beginning. The sequels we..."
yeah totally!!! literally same, just i have no words...


message 20: by Lawful (new)

Lawful Corvid Ally wrote: "Nicole wrote: "I think "Shatter Me" is very overrated. I had such high hopes for the book after reading the mindblowing first chapter but the rest of it did not live up to that promising beginning...."
You have no words? Could I say...you’re an Avox?


🥨books-are-life🥨 Shadowhunters TID TDA and TMI


message 22: by Secretherb (new)

Secretherb Elizæ wrote: "Ally wrote: "Nicole wrote: "I think "Shatter Me" is very overrated. I had such high hopes for the book after reading the mindblowing first chapter but the rest of it did not live up to that promisi..."

hahahahahahahahahah! hunger games fan, I see?


message 23: by Lawful (new)

Lawful Corvid Secretherb wrote: "Elizæ wrote: "Ally wrote: "Nicole wrote: "I think "Shatter Me" is very overrated. I had such high hopes for the book after reading the mindblowing first chapter but the rest of it did not live up t..."

You bet.


message 24: by Secretherb (new)

Secretherb Elizæ wrote: "Secretherb wrote: "Elizæ wrote: "Ally wrote: "Nicole wrote: "I think "Shatter Me" is very overrated. I had such high hopes for the book after reading the mindblowing first chapter but the rest of i..."

awesome! i hope you enjoy The Ballad, which comes out next tuesday


message 25: by ally (new)

ally Elizæ wrote: "Ally wrote: "Nicole wrote: "I think "Shatter Me" is very overrated. I had such high hopes for the book after reading the mindblowing first chapter but the rest of it did not live up to that promisi..."

haha, maybe, you'll never know


message 26: by Tarsis (new)

Tarsis I like The winner´s curse, and Red rissing too.


message 27: by Lawful (new)

Lawful Corvid Ally wrote: "Elizæ wrote: "Ally wrote: "Nicole wrote: "I think "Shatter Me" is very overrated. I had such high hopes for the book after reading the mindblowing first chapter but the rest of it did not live up t..."

Oh no, what did you do to make the capitol mad? Hah.


message 28: by Borders Are Global Apartheid (last edited May 15, 2020 08:14AM) (new)

Borders Are Global Apartheid These all sound bad, but wow, The Gender Game sounds fucking awful.


message 29: by Autumn (new)

Autumn Nester Kerry wrote: "the slated trilogy by Teri Terry"

yes! these were really good!


message 30: by Kadence (new)

Kadence Lets be real here, nothing will ever beat the hunger games.


message 31: by Nicole (new)

Nicole H-Rex wrote: "The Birthmarked trilogy by Caragh M. O'Brien was an exciting read. So was the Pure series by Julianna Baggott. Both series have the standard YA dystopian themes, but are unique in their own ways. T..."

The Uglies was such a good series!


message 32: by Eden (new)

Eden Richardson Would highly HIGHLY recommend The Selection series. One of the best YA book series I have ever read. Its like a combination of The Hunger Games and The Bachelor!

Also, Reboot is a great YA book. Its only a 2 book series, but awesome!


message 33: by Natalia (new)

Natalia Elisa wrote: "Legend is my OG. I’ve been a fan ever since I found this book at the library and almost everything in my room has the Republic sign, anybody down for a re-read?"

Legend is also my OG! I read it and my world exploded. While I have read better books since then, there is no series more precious to me. I could never forsake June and Day.


message 34: by Max (new)

Max I recommend the Unwanted series by Lisa Mcmann.


message 35: by AℳY♔Teens against YA♔ GET IT LET IT ROLL (last edited May 17, 2020 04:23PM) (new)

AℳY♔Teens against YA♔ GET IT LET IT ROLL *coughs* The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) by Patrick Ness *coughs*

*coughs* Unwind (Unwind, #1) by Neal Shusterman *coughs*

*coughs* Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1) by Pierce Brown *coughs*
*coughs Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1) by Susan Ee *coughs*
Where's The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1) by Amy Engel ??Where's Reboot (Reboot, #1) by Amy Tintera ??
In my humble opinion, TKONLG, Unwind and Red rising are much better than hunger games because the romance never takes over and the writing is more immersive than hunger games. I love hunger games , Divergent, Maze Runner and Shatter me, but they're too PG13 for my liking. Good adaptations of Unwind (Unwind, #1) by Neal Shusterman and Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1) by Susan Ee would have to be a R-rated film directed by Christopher Nolan .

I also love New adult dystopia, those books that have 18-22 protagonists and as much thrill as hunger games but with sex and gore! The Queen of All that Dies (The Fallen World, #1) by Laura Thalassa The V Girl A Coming Of Age Story by Mya Robarts
Pestilence (Les Quatre Cavaliers, #1) by Laura Thalassa

New adult is in! YA is out!


message 36: by nat (new)

nat This list hurts


message 37: by Lawful (new)

Lawful Corvid AMY ♔♔Anti-Young adult Teen Queen♔♔ wrote: "*coughs*The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) by Patrick Ness*coughs*

*coughs*Unwind (Unwind, #1) by Neal Shusterman*coughs*

*coughs*Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1) by Pierce Brown*coughs*
*coughs Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1) by Susan Ee..."


Well, the hunger games movies, especially the last ones, had a lot of trouble staying under an R rating. They actually had to take some details out in order to keep it PG-13.


message 38: by Sara (new)

Sara i opened this to see if i could find something new to read only to realize i have all of these already....i really liked the testing and the 100.


message 39: by Nadia (new)

Nadia Max wrote: "I recommend the Unwanted series by Lisa Mcmann."

I love this series. One of my favorites other than Wings of Fire and Keeper of the Lost Cities.


message 40: by Marco (new)

Marco Harris Jim wrote: "Although it's sci-fi, I would probably include the Red Rising series in this list."

Totally agree! It might not be on this list due to the YA factor. Red Rising is sometimes viewed as an adult book.


message 41: by ally (new)

ally Eden wrote: "Would highly HIGHLY recommend The Selection series. One of the best YA book series I have ever read. Its like a combination of The Hunger Games and The Bachelor!

Also, Reboot is a great YA book. I..."


Oh my gosh, yes! I can't wait to see how the Netflix adaption will turn out!!!


message 42: by Stacey (last edited May 15, 2020 05:29PM) (new)

Stacey ⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess) wrote: "I wouldn't classify The 100 as a dystopia (even though I'm the biggest fan of the show). It's a post apocalypse. But in the end, nothing beats The Hunger Games, it's the mother of ya dystopia!"

The show is quite different from the books and the two basically only share a premise and a few characters + their traits...not even a rough outline I don't think. In the books, there is a protagonist named Glass (she doesn't exist in the show) who stays behind on the space station and through her we get a much deeper view of the society on it which is definitely messed up so this book 100% qualifies as a dystopian. :) Another example of how the books are quite different is that... (view spoiler)


message 43: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Hadly Natalia wrote: "Elisa wrote: "Legend is my OG. I’ve been a fan ever since I found this book at the library and almost everything in my room has the Republic sign, anybody down for a re-read?"

Legend is also my OG..."


Yesss I love finding my legend fans on here. And Rebel, I cried so hard lol


message 44: by Dean (new)

Dean Sarah wrote: "My son loves the Gone series by Michael Grant"

I have just read the first book and I really enjoyed it.


message 45: by Mimi (last edited May 15, 2020 07:48PM) (new)

Mimi The Gone Series is so amazing! It is my all time favorite series!


message 46: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Lmao. It's actually a really good series though in my opinion, one of my favs.


message 47: by Sara (new)

Sara I love the reboot series....one of my favs!! i also really liked the series divergent, and the hunger games (of course):). I know people are saying how the shatter me series are overrated and all....but i cant help liking the book even if its only cause of Kenji!! But i actually hate Matched series. i think it was just sooo bad, it was so clingy and cheesy. it was basically like oh look there was a flash of a hot guy on the screen, now lets fall in love, and oh now they know about us so we have to separately run, then they find each other and then the rebellion blah blah blah. one of the worst book i have ever read. But thats just my opinion you could love it just the same.


message 48: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Hadly Sara wrote: "I love the reboot series....one of my favs!! i also really liked the series divergent, and the hunger games (of course):). I know people are saying how the shatter me series are overrated and all....."

Haha! Yes Matched was horrible! I felt like it was a complete waste of my time to read it and I also feel like Matched was the book to start the stereotype that five star books most likely sucked. I also really really want to read Reboot and Shatter me even though Shatter me I’ve heard sucks. You should try reading Legend by Marie Lu


message 49: by Shona (new)

Shona Sarah wrote: "My son loves the Gone series by Michael Grant"
I LOVE The Gone Series by Michael Grant soo much!


message 50: by Shona (new)

Shona Mimi wrote: "The Gone Series is so amazing! It is my all time favorite series!"

SAME!!! I LOVE IT TOO!


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