40 YA Dystopian Sci-fi Books to Read if You Loved Divergent

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If you’ve read the Divergent series cover to cover, and have watched the movies to death but still crave another YA, dystopian fix, this article has you covered!

Books Like Divergent

Divergent is a book series that along with The Hunger Games and Twilight defined the YA obsession of the late 2000s and 2010s, particularly in the realm of dystopian fiction.

Many readers flocked to Divergent for its gripping plot; strong, female protagonist; and the love story between our protagonist, Tris, and Four.

To this day, Divergent is still one of the most popular YA dystopian novels out there.

But if you love Divergent, then you’re sure to enjoy books like The Darkest Minds, Delirium, Legend, Red Rising, The Maze Runner, and, of course, The Hunger Games!

Below, we’ll take you through each of these novels and discuss their plots, themes, and how similar they are to Divergent.

But first, let’s take a look at some of the themes in Divergent.

6 Books Like Divergent

Themes In Divergent

Divergent Series Four-Book Paperback Box Set: Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, Four


Divergent is of course a novel that revolves around identity, and how much choice we have in becoming who we are.

This is a particularly important theme for YA novels, as the characters are often teenagers and young adults who are still trying to discover their identities (If you liked this, also check out Books Like They Both Die At The End).

Divergent is targeted toward readers of a similar age who are also wrestling with questions of identity, fitting in, and dealing with cliques.

The ‘factions’ in Divergent are cliques taken to the extreme!


One of the first things you notice about the post-apocalyptic society in Divergent is that they are rigorous.

Almost everyone is placed into one of the five factions, and within these factions, members are consistently assessed and ranked according to their personality and abilities.

This fosters a competitive atmosphere in the lives of the characters, which also means intense rivalries are part of their everyday experience.


During her time training with the Dauntless faction, Tris learns how to face her deepest, darkest fears, and this is the main lesson she learns from her mentors in Dauntless.

After all, the members of Dauntless believe that fear is a fundamental problem facing the human race, and overcoming fear is key to progress and change.

Books Like Divergent

The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games / Catching Fire / Mockingjay

Because of the time it was published, Divergent has long been compared to The Hunger Games and is often placed in its shadow.

The Hunger Games takes place in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, where The Capitol rules the 12 districts.

Every year they hold an annual Hunger Games where a young man and a young woman from each district are selected to fight to the death on live television.

Katniss Everdeen is our 16-year-old protagonist who volunteers to compete instead of her sister in the Games.

Katniss soon becomes a symbol of rebellion to the downtrodden districts, and she has to choose between survival and love.


  • Dynamic female protagonist.
  • Has a compelling love story like Divergent.
  • A salient commentary on reality TV.


  • Might be too similar to Divergent for some readers, and drawing comparisons between the two can be distracting as you read.

Themes: Power, injustice, violence, poverty, reality television

The Maze Runner By James Dashner

The Maze Runner (Book 1)

The Maze Runner is also in the pantheon of YA books that dominated the 2010s.

However, what sets it apart from Divergent and The Hunger Games is that it has a male protagonist, Thomas.

The story begins with Thomas waking up in the Glade, an open space that is contained in huge walls.

Thomas is experiencing amnesia, not remembering how he arrived in The Glade.

However, he discovers that about 50 other teenage boys are also in The Glade, and that the only way to escape is through a constantly changing, deadly maze.


  • Many readers enjoyed that the protagonist is a boy, as this can be rare in some YA novels.
  • Good psychological mystery element.


  • The story is more plot-driven than character-driven, which might be off-putting to some.

Themes: Bravery, resilience, friendship

The Darkest Minds By Alexandra Bracken

Darkest Minds, The (Bonus Content) (A Darkest Minds Novel)

The Darkest Minds is set in a future where a mysterious disease kills nearly all American children.

Those who survived have developed superpowers and are considered a threat by the government, who send them to concentration camps.

Our protagonist Ruby is one of the children who have developed dangerous superpowers.

She manages to escape from the camp, joins a group of children who are also fleeing the government, and heads to a safe space where she can survive, but she has to use her powers in order to get there.


  • Has a protagonist who is an outsider like Tris in Divergent.
  • Many readers enjoyed its world-building.
  • Many readers also praised the writing style of Bracken.


  • Not as much romance as Divergent.

Themes: Individuality, rebellion, oppression, love, fear

Delirium By Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium Trilogy, 1)

What sets Delirium apart from other dystopian novels is that it explores the theme of emotional control.

In a dystopian United States, love is believed to be a dangerous disease that every citizen must be ‘cured of’ in the form of lobotomies by the age of 18.

Our protagonist is Lena Haloway, who is desperate to be cured of love and live a simple life like everyone else.

However, 95 days before she can undergo the procedure, she meets Alex, a mysterious young man who lives off the grid and who Lena falls in love with.

Where you can buy the book: Delirium.


  • Easy to follow narrative that isn’t convoluted.
  • Has a ‘star-crossed lovers’ romance.
  • Many readers enjoyed the ending.


  • Many readers found the writing style overly simple.

Themes: The importance of choice, freedom, coming of age, romantic love, destiny

Legend By Marie Lu

Champion (Legend)

Legend by Marie Lu is an action-packed, fast-paced trilogy set in a dystopian Los Angeles where a secretive government has divided society into different classes.

The narrative is split between two characters, Day and June.

June comes from an elite family and is a military prodigy, quickly on her way to joining the highest military force in the Republic. Meanwhile, Day comes from a poorer district and is the most wanted criminal in the country.

Given his notoriety, when June’s brother is killed, suspicions immediately turn to Day.

June sets out to get revenge on Day, but when their paths finally meet they discover the truth about the secretive government and what has brought them together.


  • Has a mystery element to it.
  • Great dystopian world-building.
  • Readers praised the pacing, finding it exciting and that it didn’t drag.


  • Some readers found the characterizations lacking.

Themes: Injustice, poverty, vengeance, prejudice, logic vs emotion

Red Rising By Pierce Brown

Red Rising Series Collection 5 Books Set Bundle By Pierce Brown (Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star, Iron Gold, Dark Age)

What sets Red Rising apart from Divergent is that instead of being set in a post-apocalyptic society that is divided into factions, it is set in a universe where humans live on Mars and their Martian society is divided into colors.

Our protagonist Darrow is a Red, which is the lowest rank in society. Reds work underground and perform grueling labor in order to keep the Martian society running, or at least that’s what they’ve been told.

However, Darrow soon learns the truth that he is a slave to a ruling class and infiltrates the Institute to find justice and fight his enemies from the inside.


  • Has a sci-fi twist.
  • Many readers have praised the protagonist, Darrow.
  • Great pacing.
  • Many readers also praised the prose of Pierce Brown.


  • Fairly graphic violence, which might be off-putting to some readers.
  • More of an adult read than a YA novel.

Themes: Oppression, war, class, politics, love

The Finisher by David Baldacci

The Finisher (Vega Jane, Book 1) (1)

In the village of Wormwood, fourteen-year-old Vega Jane lives a simple life as a Finisher– someone who adds the final touches to handicrafts before they are sold. She never leaves the village, due to the Quag that surrounds it–a deep, dark forest filled with horrible beasts and worse. 

When Vega’s friend Quentin disappears into the Quag, she begins uncovering secrets about Wormwood that set her out on a magical life-or-death adventure. Get a copy of The Finisher here.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Skyward (The Skyward Series)

Seventeen-year-old Spensa wants nothing more than to become a fighter pilot of the Defiant Defense Force–just like her father. She wants to prove her bravery and fight the Krell–aliens that have been attacking her home planet of Detritus since long before Spensa was born. 

Unfortunately, her father’s legacy of abandoning his wingmen during an infamous battle has barred her from doing so. After Spensa is secretly invited to train under one of her father’s former wingmen, she discovers something hidden in a cave that may just help her to prove her bravery after all. Find Skyward here

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen (Red Queen, 1)

The best part about Red Queen is that it’s a mash-up of both dystopian sci-fi and fantasy. Set in a world ruled by kings and under threat of war, this society’s citizens are divided into two groups: those with Silver blood–the elite ruling class who possess special powers, and the Red bloods–the poor powerless commoners who serve the Silvers. 

Seventeen-year-old Mare Barrow is a Red, living in poverty and forced to steal to survive. When Mare ends up as a servant for the king and accidentally reveals she has the power of telekinesis, she is captured–and her adventure begins. Find Red Queen here.

Uglies by Scott Westerfield


If you live in Uglies’ dystopian world, then you start life out as an Ugly: someone who hasn’t been surgically transformed into society’s idea of perfect beauty. On your sixteenth birthday, not only do you get this surgery, but you also cross the river and enter your new home with the other Pretties. 

Tally Youngblood can’t wait to become a Pretty, so much so that she sneaks into New Pretty Town to get a peak at what her future holds. It’s not long, though, before she begins uncovering unsettling truths about the government, the surgeries, and the mounting rebellion against all of it. Find Uglies here.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Enclave (The Razorland Trilogy, 1)

After war and disease wiped out most of humanity, those left retreated underground to fight for survival. Deuce and Fade, two teenagers living in an enclave beneath what was once New York City, have been paired together as Hunters–those who brave the tunnels outside their enclave to bring back food. 

When they discover that Freaks–mutated humans turned monsters–have begun attacking neighboring enclaves, the enclave elders are skeptical of their story. Deuce and Fade are sent away to prove themselves–and realize they must work together to survive the journey. Find Enclave here.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One: A Novel

It’s 2045 and Wade Watts, a teenager who lives in poverty-stricken Oklahoma City, escapes his bleak reality by logging into OASIS, a massive virtual world where most of humanity now spends its time. As the avatar Parzival, Wade makes his way through OASIS searching for the Easter eggs left there by James Halliday, the world’s eccentric creator. 

When Wade solves a clue to Halliday’s puzzles and earns a Copper Key, an evil corporation known as IOI begins to hunt Wade down to kill him and claim ownership of OASIS. With the help of his friends, Wade must navigate the mystery and dangers of both the virtual world and the real one. Grab a copy of Ready Player One here.

Unwind by Neal Schusterman

Unwind (1) (Unwind Dystology)

Three teenagers, Connor Lassiter, Risa Ward, and Lev Jedediah Calder live in a not-so-distant-future United States where the government–in order to end the Second Civil War–has passed The Bill of Life, which bans all forms of abortion. 

All three have been chosen by their families for “unwinding,” meaning they will be killed so their organs can be harvested and donated to others. When all three teens escape and go on the run, they launch themselves into the ultimate fight for their lives. Get Unwind here

Scythe by Neal Schusterman

Scythe (1) (Arc of a Scythe)

In a futuristic society where there is no disease, no suffering, and no death, an important job emerges: that of the Scythedom–the group in charge of culling the population. 

Sixteen-year-old Rowan Damisch enjoys the perks of living in a peaceful world guided by the Thunderhead, a benevolent and loving artificial intelligence that is the protector of humanity. Unfortunately for Rowan, he–along with a girl named Citra–is chosen as an apprentice Scythe, and must begin the brutal training of learning to kill. 

When Citra and Rowan learn that they will be forced into a life-or-death battle for the role of Scythe, they very quickly realize that the reaches of the Scythedom go deeper and darker than they could have imagined. Get Scythe here

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing (The Testing, 1)

Sixteen-year-old Cia Vale is thrilled when she is chosen by the United Commonwealth to go to the capital Tosu City for The Testing, an opportunity given only to the best of the best. 

When her father secretly warns Cia about the nightmares he still has from his own Testing, she begins to think there may be danger in store for her. And when she arrives in Tosu City, she sees first-hand the terror that begins to unfold. Get The Testing here.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

The Marrow Thieves

Long ago, the earth dried up, resources became scarce, and human populations lost their ability to dream. When the Canadian government discovered that Indigenous people could still dream because of the unique composition of their bone marrow, it constructed residential schools where the marrow was forcibly extracted from children to give to others. 

Now, sixteen-year-old Frenchie lives his days with the group of Natives who rescued him. In this dark and violent world, the group battles to survive every day, holding on to the hope that they can one day defeat the Marrow Thieves. Get a copy of The Marrow Thieves here

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

The House of the Scorpion (House of the Scorpion, The)

Set in the futuristic country of Opium, a land near the border of the United States and Mexico, The House of the Scorpion tells the story of young Matt, a boy who was created from the DNA of a powerful drug lord named Matteo “El Patrón” Alacrán. Although the world believes Matt to be a monster, he is protected, educated, and treated with respect by El Patrón, and as heir to the empire, Matt feels secure in his status. 

When El Patrón becomes sick, however, Matt learns that his ultimate purpose is not to one day take the place of El Patrón, but something much more sinister. Find a copy of The House of the Scorpion here.

The Roar by Emma Clayton

The Roar

Life behind The Wall in futuristic London isn’t great–but it’s better than what lies behind it: bloodthirsty plague-ridden animals and a toxic gas that kills anyone who breathes it. 

When twelve-year-old Ellie returns to her home after being missing and presumed dead for a year, she learns that her home–and the rest of the world–is no longer what she once believed it to be. Knowing she’s in danger, she flees again, and this time her twin brother Mika knows he must follow her. Find The Roar here.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship Breaker (National Book Award Finalist) (Ship Breaker, 1)

Although life is bleak for Nailer, a 15-year-old boy living in the US’s flooded Gulf Coast Region, he is a survivor who has something special in store for him. His mother died years ago from illness, and his father is an addict who depends on Nailer for everything, including what little he makes from scavenging grounded oil tankers. 

When he finds a clipper ship worth so much it could change everything for him, he also discovers that a girl–Nita–has survived on the ship. Now Nailer must decide between his own future and that of the beautiful and mysterious Nita. Grab Ship Breaker here.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave: The First Book of the 5th Wave Series

Aliens are attacking the earth in waves: First, they shut down communications. Second, they unleashed natural disasters. Third, they sent a plague to ravage humanity. During the Fourth Wave, humans are turning against themselves, and Cassie Sullivan finds herself alone and on the run. 

When a boy named Evan Walker rescues her, Cassie has a strong suspicion that he may not be exactly who he says he is. If she wants to rescue her little brother and survive whatever horrors are coming in the Fifth Wave, however, she has no choice but to trust him…for now. Find The 5th Wave here.

The 100 by Kass Morgan

The 100 (The 100, 1)

Since a thermonuclear apocalypse, Earth has become too radioactive to support human life. Survivors now live on a series of joined satellites orbiting safely above Earth. In order to keep the population tightly controlled, the government has declared that all crimes are punishable by death, unless the perpetrator is under the age of 18.

Now, Clarke, Wells, Bellamy, Octavia, and Thalia are members of The 100, a test group of criminal teens who have been sent to Earth to see if life can be sustained. As the group struggles to survive on a planet vastly different from the earth we know, they soon discover–they are not alone. Find The 100 here.

Matched by Ally Condie 


In seventeen-year-old Cassia Reyes’ Society, young adults do not fall in love on their own. Rather, they are paired with another boy or girl deemed to be their ideal “match” by the sorters. Cassia is matched with her best friend Xander Carrow and she is certain they will live out their lives together, peacefully in their perfect Society. 

When there is a glitch in the matching process, however, and Xander’s face is replaced by that of a different boy, Ky Markham, Cassia begins to question the Matching process–and everything she’s ever known. Find Matched here

Talented by Sophie Davis

Talented (Talented Saga)

Seventeen-year-old Talia Lyons wants only two things. 1. Become an assassin and kill Ian Crane–the man who murdered her parents when she was a child, and 2. Use her gifts of reading and influencing minds in order to do so. 

This is exactly what she is training to do at the McDonough School for the Talented, but the strong mental connection she has to her first love keeps getting in the way. The further Talia goes down her road to revenge, the more she learns that her life and her gifts are more complicated than she once thought. Get a copy of Talented here.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, 1)

Fairy tales and romance are the name of the game in The Selection. In this futuristic version of the US, people are divided into castes, with Eights being the poorest of the poor at the bottom, and Ones being the royal ruling class. 

America Singer, a Five, is madly in love with Aspen, a Six, and life in the middle seems like it will be okay if only they are able to be together. When America is chosen as a contestant for the Selection–a televised ceremony where Prince Maxon will choose his future wife–everything she thought she wanted suddenly shifts. Get The Selection here.

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Grace Year

Tierney James lives in Garner County, a place where people believe that a woman becomes dangerously magical upon her sixteenth birthday. To keep them safe and tamed and unmagical, 16-year-old girls are sent away for a year–The Grace Year–to live in a group by themselves, suitable for marriage when they return. 

When Teirney heads out for her own Grace Year, she quickly realizes she will need to survive not only life in the wilderness and the horrors within, but also a group of young women who all believe themselves to be dangerous. Find The Grace Year here.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles (The Lunar Chronicles, 1)

A dystopian sci-fi retelling of the timeless fairytale Cinderella, Cinder takes place in a futuristic city known as New Beijing. The population has been decimated by a fatal disease called Letumosis, and Earth is under threat of the ruthless Queen Levana, ruler of the Moon country Luna. 

As a cyborg, Cinder is treated poorly by others, especially her cruel stepmother and step-sisters. She is, however, the best mechanic in New Beijing, and this is how she meets Prince Kai, whose father has recently died of the plague. Cinder soon becomes a key player in the drama that unfolds as Prince Kai decides how best to protect his people from both disease and Queen Levana. Find Cinder here.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files)

It’s 2575 and Kady Grant, who lives on a tiny mining planet called Kerenza, is not only dealing with the recent breakup with her boyfriend Ezra, but her planet is also being attacked by BeiTech, one of two rival megacorporations fighting over Kerenza’s resources. 

When a deadly plague breaks out on board the evacuation ship and the fleet’s AI begins attacking those it was meant to protect, Kady reluctantly admits she’s going to need Ezra’s help to fight back and survive. Get Illuminae here.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi 

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky Trilogy, 1)

Blamed for starting a fire that killed three people, seventeen-year-old Aria must survive exile from her home in the Pod city of Reverie. Outside the Pod and disconnected from the technological realm that helped Podmembers escape their dreary existence, Aria faces a terrifying wasteland full of monsters and poison gas.

When an Outsider named Perry finds and helps Aria, the two begin forming a bond that will not only help them in their quest to reunite with family–but also to survive. Get Under the Never Sky here

The City of Ember by Jeanne Du Prau

The City of Ember (The City of Ember Book 1)

The City of Ember was built as a refuge for survivors to live for at least two centuries. It is a place of artificial light in a world otherwise cloaked in utter darkness. In the Ember year 241, Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow, twelve-year-old classmates who’ve recently been given their roles as Messenger and Pipeworks laborer, begin to unravel the secrets and mysteries surrounding the construction of the City. 

The light is running out, and it’s up to them to help the City and its inhabitants find a way to survive. Find a copy of The City of Ember here.

Sylo by DJ MacHale

SYLO (The SYLO Chronicles)

For fourteen-year-old Tucker Pierce and his best friend Quinn Carr, life is good on the quiet, idyllic Pemberwick Island near Maine. 

But when a healthy high-school football player drops dead on the field for no apparent reason and the two boys witness a strange shadow and mysterious explosion near the island’s coast, it becomes clear something very mysterious is happening on their island.

And when a secret branch of the US Navy–SYLO–shows up, Tucker and Quinn realize that they might be the ones to solve the mystery and save their island. Get Sylo here

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (The Jenna Fox Chronicles, 1)

In a futuristic world that has begun to experiment with advanced life-saving technologies and preserving consciousness, seventeen-year-old Jenna wakes up from a year-long coma. 

As she pieces together flashes of memory from her life before the accident that put her in a coma, she meets new friends who help Jenna uncover the secrets of what Jenna’s father–head of a medical research corporation–has really been doing over the past few years. Find The Adoration of Jenna Fox here.

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Among the Hidden (Shadow Children #1)

One of the “oldies but goodies” on the list, Among the Hidden tells the story of twelve-year-old Luke Garner, who lives in a future where having more than two children is a crime punishable by death. 

As a secret third child, Luke must stay hidden away in order to protect himself and his family. When one day Luke discovers another third child who lives in a neighboring house, however, he learns there is an entire network of Shadow Children out in the world, and they want him to come out of hiding. Grab a copy of Among the Hidden here.

Rated by Melissa Grey


Rated tells the stories of six special students at the prestigious Maplethorpe Academy, a school where you must keep your ratings up or you will swiftly be expelled. In fact, everything in this futuristic society is determined by your ratings: housing, career, health, your entire future. 

When each of the six main characters begins receiving mysterious riddles and clues that something is, well, off, within the rating system, Bex, Chase, Hana, Tasmin, Noah, and Javi must work together to figure out what really lurks behind the numbers. Find Rated here.

The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick

The Last Book In The Universe

Many years ago, the Big Shake left most of the United States crumbling into desolation. Resources are scarce, and the city where teenage Spaz lives (cruelly nicknamed for his epilepsy) is controlled by dangerous gangs. Spaz can’t check out from reality with mind probes–the way so many others do, and sees the world for what it really is. 

So when he is sent by his gang leader to steal from the old man who watches over what’s left of the city’s art and books, he is drawn into the magic of stories–and onto a journey to a more hopeful future.  Grab The Last Book in the Universe here.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, 1)

Told in alternating points of view between the main characters Cyra and Akos, this story is set in a galaxy far far away on a planet called Thuvhe or Urek, depending on who you ask: the planet is locked in war between two groups desperate to control the planet.

Cyra, who possesses the gift of causing pain through touch, has been used by the brutal dictator Ryzek to gain domination over the planet.

When Ryzek’s soldiers abduct Akos to be kept as a servant, Akos and Cyra finally meet and begin to have feelings for each other. Eventually, they realize that together they might be able to escape Ryzek’s clutches. Find Carve the Mark here.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver: A Newbery Award Winner (Giver Quartet, 1)

Although you may already have read this modern classic, no extensive list of most-loved YA sci-fi books is complete without The Giver. Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a futuristic utopian community where every person gets exactly what they need, including a job, partner, and family. 

There is no lack, no pain, no suffering. When Jonas is assigned the role of Receiver of Memory, or the one person whose job it is to remember humanity’s collective history and knowledge, however, he begins to see the world–and the dark, controlling side of his community–the way they truly are. Find The Giver here.   

Feed by M.T. Anderson


As soon as babies are born into the futuristic world of Feed, a version of the Internet is implanted via microchip straight into their brains. This feed assures that every person on Earth becomes the perfect consumer, and that their every whim and desire is met nearly instantaneously. 

When Titus and his friends take a trip to the moon for a spring break rager, their microchips are hacked, and they end up needing repairs in a hospital. Life goes back to normal, but Violet–the girl Titus has been spending lots of time with lately–isn’t quite herself anymore. 

She begins questioning the feed, its objectives, and why they are all still plugged into it, even as the world around them disintegrates. Find Feed here.

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson

Witch & Wizard (Witch & Wizard, 1)

Until now, siblings Whit and Wisty were normal teenagers. Sure, The New Order has slowly been taking over every aspect of society, but until now, Whit and Wisty were largely unaffected. 

This all ends the day they are arrested by soldiers, accused of being a wizard and witch. By the time the siblings are sentenced to death, they realize that they actually do have incredible powers, and that it’s up to them to save themselves and help stop The New Order once and for all. Find Witch and Wizard here.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, 1)

Seventeen-year-old Juliette Ferrers has been locked up in an asylum ever since she accidentally killed a little boy with her otherworldly ability to kill with only a touch of her hand. The Reestablishment believes Juliette can be used as a deadly weapon, and she’s been held in isolation for so long she’s beginning to question her sanity. 

When Juliette finally gets a cellmate–a boy her age named Adam–she feels as though there is something familiar about him and that maybe, Juliette and Adam can finally escape The Reestablishment’s clutches–together. Grab Shatter Me here.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game (The Ender Saga, 1)

A classic sci-fi book still beloved by readers, Ender’s Game tells the story of the young boy Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a gifted child who is recruited to Battle School, where he will live on a ship in space and train to defend Earth against hostile alien attacks. 

While Ender is at school, fighting in mock battles and dealing with bullies and rivalry, he also experiences isolation and loneliness. When Ender’s siblings use their talents on Earth to wage their own battles, all three must fight to save Earth and the human race. Get a copy of Ender’s Game here.

Dystopian Novels – Final Thoughts

We hope our picks for books that are similar to Divergent have piqued your curiosity and will scratch that itch for more YA, dystopian novels!

However, while these books have their similarities to Divergent – such as themes of identity, oppression, and love – they also have key differences that set them apart from Veronica’s Roth successful trilogy.

Red Rising has a sci-fi element and is a lot darker than Divergent, while The Maze Runner has an almost psychological element to it, as Thomas attempts to escape the Maze and overcome his amnesia.

No matter what novel or series here takes your fancy, we hope you have a wonderful time reading, and that you have discovered your latest YA, dystopian obsession!

Frequently Asked Questions

u003cstrongu003eHow Popular Is Divergent?u003c/strongu003e

The first book in the trilogy was at the top of the New York Times bestseller list for children when it was initially published and it remained there for 11 weeks. So it’s safe to say that Divergent is fairly popular!

What Is Insurgent?

Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent trilogy, and precedes the final book in the trilogy, Allegiant.

u003cstrongu003eHas Veronica Roth published any other books?u003c/strongu003e

Yes! In addition to the u003cemu003eDivergent u003c/emu003eand u003cemu003eCarve the Marku003c/emu003e series mentioned here, Veronica Roth is also the author of u003cemu003ePoster Girl u003c/emu003e(2022), u003cemu003eThe End and Other Beginnings u003c/emu003e(2019), and u003cemu003eThe Fates Divideu003c/emu003e (2018), among others. Find out more about her at u003ca href=u0022https://veronicarothbooks.com/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopener nofollowu0022u003everonicarothbooks.comu003c/au003e.

u003cstrongu003eWhy are so many dystopian sci-fi books written in series?u003c/strongu003e

Because the science-fiction genre tackles themes of technology, war, human nature, and other such sweeping undertakings, many authors require more than one book to fully tell the tale of their protagonists’ adventure. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThese types of stories often lead writers (and readers) wanting to know…what happens next? And because of the limitless nature of sci-fi, there is always more to write, read, and enjoy.

u003cstrongu003eWhat age ranges are these types of books suitable for?u003c/strongu003e

The books on this list are all classified as Young Adult, which can cover anything from 11 to 20. Some are written for an audience on the younger side of this range, and some for the older crowd. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThat being said, however, there are millions of adults like myself who love and read YA books all the time. If you like a book, you should definitely read it, regardless of who it’s intended for.

u003cstrongu003eWhy is dystopian sci-fi so popular? u003c/strongu003e

Readers who crave non-stop action and adventure will almost always enjoy dystopian sci-fi. Because writers immerse their readers in a strange and unfamiliar world from the start, this genre is entertaining because our brains love novelty. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eSecondly, as humans, there is something about imagining the u003cemu003eworst-case scenario–u003c/emu003ethat is, a dystopian future where literally everything is awful–that makes us feel better about our current circumstances. Or, we feel comfort in knowing that even in a terrible future, people can still be in touch with their basic humanity and find love, empathy, and compassion. In a word, it brings us hope.

u003cstrongu003eWhy should I read dystopian sci-fi? u003c/strongu003e

Immersing yourself in a futuristic world is a great way to examine your own beliefs about our real-life world. It can expose you to situations and events (from the comfort of your couch) that you might never actually be faced with, and through reading, you will naturally begin to form your own opinions about where we, as humanity, are headed. But also, dystopian sci-fi is just really entertaining!


Allison Fitzpatrick