Searching high and low for books like Divergent? Your search ends here. We’ve compiled the best young adult (YA) books like Divergent so you can continue on your dystopian reading adventure.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This New York Times bestseller from Suzanne Collins is a beautifully written story that unfolds in the nation of Panem. The city is carved out of the ashes of North America following an apocalyptic event that divided the country into 13 Districts. Each represents and is responsible for a specific industry that keeps Panem alive and habitable.
Eventually, District 13, the weapons supplier and communications center of the nation, rebelled against The Capitol but failed. As punishment, each district must send two tributes, a boy and a girl, to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a deadly contest that is broadcast live.
After 75 years of the failed rebellion, Katniss Everdeen, the 16-year-old protagonist of Collons’ trilogy series, volunteers as tribute to take her sister’s place in the Hunger Games. Like Beatrice or Tris in The Divergent series, Katniss is left with no choice but to compete and survive. And little did she know that she would spark another rebellion.
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
This storyline is full of twists and turns and presents a fascinating portrayal of loyalty and friendship. In it, we follow the stories of Akos and Cyra, two teenagers with extraordinary gifts but from two different worlds.
Cyra is from the planet Shotets, and her gift gives her power and causes pain. Unfortunately, her brother, a brutal ruler, abuses her gift. On the other hand, Akos is from the planet Thuvhe. He uses his gift to protect his family and the people on his planet.
So, when Akos stumbles onto Cyra’s planet, the rivalry between their countries seems insurmountable. However, within a short time, the two people grow to respect and love each other.
Similar to Divergent, this book takes place on a dystopian planet with divided societies.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
This dystopian fiction novel is worth adding to the list of books like Divergent because it’s a page-turner! The storyline starts with a group of boys living in a place called the Glade. Outside of the Glades is a maze of stone walls that never seems to end. There is only one way out, and no one has ever escaped.
The boys are hunted by creatures called “Grievers in the Maze.” Thomas is introduced to the group when he wakes in a metal elevator that took him to the Glade. He does not know his name or how he got there.
Later, Thomas finds out that Alby and Newt are the group’s leaders. The group goal is to find a way out of the Maze and how they can safely avoid the Grievers. Then one day, a girl shows up with a message.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Yancey’s The Fifth Wave is also included on our list of books like Divergent. This epic book combines several genres, including aliens, apocalyptic events, and dystopian fiction. Plus, like Divergent, it is about a 16-year-old girl battling for survival.
The Fifth Wave put us in an apocalyptic event caused by aliens bent on destroying the earth. Alien invaders are not only destroying the world, but they are doing it in waves.
One victim is Cassie, a 16-year-old who lost her entire family. Her mother died in the third wave, her father in the fourth wave, and her brother in the 5th wave. Cassie is surviving by hiding from the human-like enemies.
She feels lonely, but then she meets Evan Walker. Evan, along with others, fights gallantly against the gaining force.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver’s Delirium is a must-read when searching for books like Divergent. In this thought-provoking book, the government has mandated that feelings of love should be “cured.” They believe that there is no escape once love, or delirium, hits the bloodstream. So, all citizens who reach the age of 18 must take a serum.
Lena Haloway, a Portland, Maine native, anxiously awaits the cure. After witnessing love destroy her mother, she longs for a predictable life that is free of risk. But when she meets Alex, her life changes. Alex is from the “Wilds,” a place unregulated and likely destroyed by bombs. He pretends to be cured to live undetected in the city and participate in the resistance. Will Lena follow Alex in opposing the government’s directive? Are there secrets that Lena is unaware of?
Like Divergent, the teenagers are denied choices, creating division and chaos.
The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Gender Game by Bella Forrest
In this torn society, men live in the west while women live in the east. Both societies have rules set in place, and if broken, a deadly consequence is inevitable.
Nineteen-year-old Violet Bates resides in the Matrus (east), an area with strict laws for women. Consumed by anger ever since her younger brother disappeared, she was imprisoned and now facing a death sentence.
The only way she can save herself is to travel to Patrus (west) and submit herself to men.
Matched by Ally Condie
What would you do if you were born in a society where everything is pre-determined, including who you end up with? Can’t imagine it? Well, that’s the life of Cassia, the protagonist in Ally Condie’s Matched novel.
She trusts the choices made for her. So, when she is Matched with her best friend Xander, she assumes that it is the right companion. However, she sees Ky Markham’s face flash right before the Matching ends. Is it a glitch or faith?
Legend by Marie Lu
This book takes us to the Republic, a nation forever at war with its neighboring countries. The country is divided into wealthy and poor districts. The government decides that a Trial should determine the children’s future roles in society at the age of 10.
Fifteen-year-old June, who comes from one of the wealthiest districts in the Republic, is an aspiring military leader. Many consider her a prodigy because she was the only child to receive a perfect score on the Trial.
She was raised by her older brother Metias, who was murdered after a confrontation with the nation’s most wanted criminal, Daniel Wing.
Daniel is a 15-year-old boy born into a poor district. Everyone, except for his older brother, who has the plague infection, believes he is dead.
June and Day come from different districts in the Republic. It is unlikely that their paths would ever cross. But, after June’s brother is killed and Daniel is a suspect, they find themselves caught up in a cat-and-mouse game. However, circumstances reveal the truth behind their relationship and their country’s dark measures to protect its secrets.
Partials by Dan Wells
Dan Wells’ Partials is also wonderful to read if you’re looking for books like Divergent. The storyline picks up after humanity has mostly disappeared after a showdown with Partials, engineered human-like organic beings. The Partial has mostly wiped out the human race with a weaponized virus. Some survivors have taken refuge on Long Island. However, the Partial threat is still present, and, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in more than a decade.
However, 16-year-old Kira is determined to find a solution, especially since her best friend is pregnant. As she struggles to save the remnants of her race, she learns that human and Partial survival depends on her ability to determine the origin of the war. This book is similar to Divergent in that a young female is at the forefront of saving the world.
Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
In this gripping story, a mysterious disease runs rampant and kills nearly 90 percent of children. Survivors of the disease are left with unusual abilities. So, they are sent to Thurmond, a horrific government “rehabilitation facility.”
Ruby, a 16-year-old survivor of the disease, found herself at Thurmond. While convalescing there, Ruby discovers that she has an ability she has no control over. Fortunately, she learned how to suppress her new ability. This ability was not her choice, and it almost took her life. But now, she must rely on them to defeat a corrupt government in a country where children are being massacred.
Ruby leads the rebel group fighting against the government, and she must form an unlikely alliance to succeed. She controls the fate of an entire generation, but one wrong move could cause the world to burn.
The apocalyptic theme is present in this novel. Its similarity to Divergent stars a young female protagonist taking on the role of a leader, hero, and loyal citizen.
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
This story will make you laugh and cry with its unexpected twists and turns. It tells of a dystopian world divided into caste. Those in the Gold caste consist of the rich, including the governors and rulers. On the other hand, the Reds caste includes the poor and the working class. They hope to have their own land and provide a better life for their children. Unfortunately, the rich have taken over the land to build cities and parks.
Darrow belongs to the lowest caste in the new color-coded society. He observes the sprawling parks, huge cities, and the spread of humanity nearly to the limit. He realizes that the Reds are nothing more than enslaved people to a corrupt ruling class.
With a sense of justice and a desire to reclaim his lost love, Darrow is willing to do anything to gain access to the legendary Institute. Darrow enters the Gold Institute and puts his life and civilization at risk to bring down his enemies. There is nothing he will not do to bring down the institution.
Like Divergent, this novel explores poverty, the power of the rich, corruption, and what they do to protect their wealth.
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
We’re ending our books like Divergent list with Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky. This intriguing book tells the story of Reverie, a dystopic city 300 years after a devastating catastrophe. The city is technologically advanced and protected by a dome. However, outside the dome is a wasteland called Death shop. It is a harsh environment filled with Aether storms and cannibals. Even the air can kill you.
Aria is a 17-year-old girl exiled from Reverie for setting a fire that killed her best friend and two others. She faces imminent death in the Death Shop. However, she discovers outside air does not harm her. She also has a few other options for surviving the savage land.
Aris then meets Perry, an Outsider who is searching for someone too. Despite being wild and savage, he may be her only hope for survival. But, Perry is reluctant to help a privileged girl from Reverie even though he has an opportunity to redeem himself.
This book is similar to Divergent in that it is dystopian fiction, and the hero is a teenager trying to stay alive in a divided nation.
Which of These Books Like Divergent Are You Going to Read?
If you love Veronica Roth’s dystopian trilogy, it’s only natural that you want to read other books in the same genre. Hopefully, our list of books like Divergent helped you find the dystopian series to read next.
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