The Best YA Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Books like Hunger Games

Dystopian and post-apocalyptic YA books are very popular, and for good reason. They are able to highlight the concerns of young adults while putting them in a larger perspective that includes the problems of society – and that’s why they resonate with readers who are young and those who are young at heart. But with so many dystopian and post-apocalyptic books, it’s so hard to keep track of which ones are great – and even though we’ve made the Best Dystopian and Best Post-Apocalyptic Books lists, there’s still so much ground to cover. So we’re giving you the Best YA Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Books of 2013, as part of a series of posts covering different YA genres in different years!

So if you’re looking for a post-apoc/dystopian fiction from 2012 and 2013, here’s a list of some of the best ones – from the popular to the underrated!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth


The last book in Veronica Roth’s bestselling Divergent trilogy closes off the entire series with a bang, as Tris and Tobias fight to understand human nature and its complexities, dealing with love and loyalty, and with explosive revelations.

What do the readers say?

  • “The story line was great, and the friendship was remarkable. ” Alexa Scott, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]





Fragments by Dan Wells


Kira Walker sets on a journey into the heart of post-apocalyptic America, on a quest to uncover the means for the survival of the human race.

What do the readers say?
“Great series I would recommend to any one who is in to Dystopian Post- Apocalyptic Fiction.”Tom Lowe, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]





Fuse by Julianna Baggott


Partridge has escaped to the outside world, filled with Wretches who are struggling to survive. And the Dome, upon the command of Partridge’s father, is bent on unleashing nightmares on the Wretches just to get Partridge back. But Partridge has friends on his side, who are united and stand against the Dome: the warrior Lyda; the revolutionary Bradwell; the guard, El Capitan; and the young woman with the mysterious past, Pressia. Now Partridge must risk his own life returning to the dome to save the lives of a million others.

What do the readers say?
“I really enjoyed this second installment. The characters grew and the plot thickened! I especially appreciate the characters’ dimension. The author has successfully avoided the terrible sin of making characters one-dimensional — all good or all bad — they have wonderful nuance and are challenged by their humanness. I’m starting the third book this moment, and can’t wait to continue this story and this journey with these characters.”Tracy, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Control by Lydia Kang


Zel and Dylia’s overprotective father is killed in an accident, and both girls are left in grief. But then strangers start appearing, and the life both girls had are quickly slipping away from them. Zel winds up at a safe house for teens who shouldn’t even exist. Dylia is lost to her. Now, Zel finds help from an angry tattooed boy, who might be her key to find Dylia – but only if she’s willing to let the boy go.

What do the readers say?
“I bought Control because the heroine has Ondine’s Curse – a rare medical condition that causes her to stop breathing when she falls asleep – and my daughter was born with this condition in real life. I didn’t necessarily expect to like it – I am a picky reader – but I wanted to support an author writing about this subject matter. As it turned out, the book is great! Fast-paced and engaging from the get-go, it reminds me a bit of Divergent and The Hunger Games in tone and style (though not a copycat of either book at all). I highly recommend.” – Review from Amazon

Pawn by Aimee Carter


Kitty Doe has ranked as a failure in her ranking test, and now she’s faced with a lifetime of cleaning sewers and being separated from the boy she loves, Benjy. But when Kitty is given the chance to escape, it seems as if Kitty’s life is turning for the better. But she has to become Masked, transformed into the Prime Minister’s niece Lila Hart, who actually died mysteriously. She will famous and she will matter in society, but she also has to quell the rebellion fostered by the original Lila – a rebellion that Kitty actually believes in.

What do the readers say?
“I honestly was blown away by this story. It was action packed with story lines that kept you guessing with each page. Just when you think you have figured out who Kitty can trust at court, something happens that makes you second guess who is actually Kitty’s friend and who is using her for their own alternative motives… And almost toward the end OMG there is a huge twist that I DID NOT SEE COMING and the end was absolutely amazing. It does not end on a cliff hanger, but with a decision that will leave you anxious for book 2!”A Reading Nurse, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Born by Tara Brown


In a changed world where the buildings have fallen, the roads have crumbled, and the forests have started to creep back on the land, Emma strives to survive using the skills her crazy father gave her. but then she meets Anna, who desperately wants to save her wounded brother – and this meeting changes Emma’s entire world.

What do the readers say?
“Tara weaves this delicious story so well that I was literally sucked into her world. I stayed up all night reading just so I could find out what happened next. So, with that being said, you are seriously missing out if you don’t go read this! Or any book by Tara Brown for that matter! She has a way with words that seems to be lost among most Indies today. Hope you enjoy!!”Ruthi Kight, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Intermix Nation by M.P. Attardo


Nazirah Nation is an eighteen-year-old intermix, living in Renatus – a country that has replaced North America, and that has imposed rules of segregation by separating races and forbidding interracial love. When Nazirah’s parents are murdered, she joins the growing rebellion which seeks to fight against the government. But along the way, she learns that things are not purely black and white, and that every human is intermix – and that those who can take things away are also those who can give things back.




The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe


Kaelyn lives in a world where a virus has taken her friends and family, and it has spread beyond her home island. No one is safe. But then Kaelyn vinds samples of a vaccine in her father’s laboratory, and she knows that she can do something: look for someone to replicate the vaccine. But Kaelyn’s quest isn’t simple, nor is it easy – not everyone wants to help Kaelyn, much less see that she succeeds. And some even want the vaccine for themselves. Kaelyn must struggle to survive and to sacrifice in order to save the human race.

What do the readers say?
“All in all I loved the direction the storyline went in The Lives We Lost, and I appreciated how the environment and situations really tested the group so we get to see more of their character. It was an excellent example of how to avoid an underwhelming middle book in a trilogy.”ReadMyBreathAway, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Prodigy by Marie Lu


The Republic is becoming increasingly chaotic, and the death of the Elector Primo – and his being replaced by his son Anden – doesn’t help. June and Day are in trapped in the middle of this situation. The two join a group of Patriot rebels who can help Day rescue his brother and give them a passage to the Colonies, but there’s a catch: June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

What do the readers say?
“Overall, PRODIGY was a bombshell of a second book, with twist and turns that made me what to scream, cry, and laugh my heart out. I loved June and Day together or apart, they are just awesome protagonists! And with that serious cliffhanger ending, I’m dying to sink my teeth into the next novel, CHAMPION and see how it all ends. Because it seems like with that ending it could go so many different directions, and I’m eager to see which path Marie Lu takes us on!!” Alicia, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Elite by Kiera Cass


Six girls remain from the thirty-five girls who have to compete for Prince Maxon’s heart. The competition is fiercer now, but America Singer’s heart is unsettled as she needs to figure out what she really wants – Prince Maxon and being a queen, or Aspen, her first love?

What do the readers say?
“The fairy tale-esque style to it all has me addicted. Honestly, it is not easy to explain. All I can say, is check this out. You may love it, you may hate it. For me, it sent me to a happy place in my mind that I didn’t want to leave.” Jamie E., Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]



Mind Games by Kiersten White


Fia and Annie are two sisters who look out and protect each other. Most importantly, they keep each other’s secrets. Annie’s blind but can see the future. Fia, meanwhile, has flawless intuition. When they are given the opportunity to study at an elite boarding school, Fia finds that something is wrong – she just doesn’t know how wrong it is. Because the Keane Institute isn’t an ordinary school, and the things Fia learns from there are out of this world – from picking stocks, to planting bombs. And whenever she refuses, Annie’s life is threatened. Now Fia is falling in love with a boy who has his own dark secrets, and he’s ready to help her fight back.

What do the readers say?
“If I could give this book 6 stars instead of 5, I would. I enjoyed this book SO much. I listened to the audio, and the reader was fantastic. I found myself making up excuses to do things–laundry, dishes, anything–just so I could keep listening.”Lindzee, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa


Allison Sekemoto was cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she loved, in order to save her creator Kanin from the vampire Sarren. But the trail to the vampire leads to Allie’s birthplace in New Covington, and what she finds is unexpected and deadly: a new plague is rising, and the Red Lung virus that wiped out humanity can kill vampires and humans alike. The only hope Allie has is Kanin, and only if she gets to him on time.

What do the readers say?
“As usual Kagawa’s world building and plot line also astound rounding out the top three most important aspects in a book for me : Character development, Plot, and World building and therefore making this one a home run. Trust me: This is so much more than just another Vampire Series.”Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Asunder by Jodi Meadows


Ana is a Newsoul, and this has always made her feel alone. Residents of Heart are afraid of Ana, who serves as a reminder of change and the unknown. And when people start becoming violent, Ana must stand up for herself, and for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

What do the readers say?
“I love all the descriptions of music and how this plays such an important role in their relationship. The plot kept me interested the whole way through, and secrets are revealed at the right time and place. We get to see more character development of some side characters, which I enjoyed. And we get to learn more about sylph and the mysteries of the Temple. Now, I’m dying for the finale.” Christine (Ensconced In Lit), Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Life Beyond by Susan Winnacker


Sherry’s father is infected with rabies mutation, and the only thing that can ensure his survival is found beyond the fence separating the country, in a lab that on the other side. Sherry isn’t the only one who needs to save a loved one, however – Joshua also wants to save his sister, but his sister has been a Weeper for years, and probably cannot be saved. With their friends Tyler and Rachel, they set off on a mission that pits them against brutal military forces, and that tests their strength and their love for each other.

What do the readers say?
“I loved this book! I’m so glad we got to see more of Sherry and her family, and this was a great way to tie up the story. The tension and suspense is off the charts and the author ups the romance as well. I loved that there were real consequences and sadness in this post-apocalytpic world…but we also get our happy ending. I definitely recommend this series…if you like action-packed, adventurous books with some steamy romance, you won’t be disappointed!”T. Banghart, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Rules by Stacey Kade


What do the readers say?
“All in all. With the spazz before you, I hereby declare The Rules to be one of the best books I have read this year. Uh-Maze-Ing-Sauce! Stacey Kade is totally a favorite of mine and I can not wait to see what she has in store for us, after that ending. It’s not a cliff-hanger but OOOH I just want more.”Inky, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]





The Breeders by Katie French


Riley Meemick is one of the last free girls in the world. Riley’s mother was able to escape doctors called the Breeders, who experiment on people to bolster the human race. They’re in control of everything, and they’re hunting Riley. When the Sheriff abducts Riley’s family members, she and her eight-year-old brother Ethan are left to starve. But then they meet the handsome, gunslinging Clay, who wants to help Riley and make up for past sins. The three journey across New Mexico, to find out what happened to Riley’s mother – a horrible fate, and a fate that Riley is determined to escape.

What do the readers say?
“I can safely say that I loved this book and I will be waiting anxiously for the next book in the series to come out. It is dark, edgy, creepy and beautiful all at the same time. The writing is excellent and I can only see a very bright future for Katie French. Well done!”Ocean_Angel, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Killing Trial by Drake R. Todd


A “graduating” class of young teenagers raised in Area 51 will have to compete in a game that aims to get four child soldiers from the class so that they could fight in World War III. Facing the possibility of fighting friends and their own twins, the children’s ideals are challenged, their loyalties shaken, and their belief in what being a soldier really means changed.

What do the readers say?
“Drake Todd has captured a very scary future world in an uncanny and unique way. While the story is reminiscent of “The Hunger Games,” it is set in an even crueler future with unforgettable characters and nonstop action. Todd clearly understands combat and the effects of being forced to kill the people you grew up with. If you love this genre, you will love this book! And this is only the first of a trilogy. Can’t wait to read the next two. Thanks, Drake!” jmw, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Rebel Within by Lance Erlick


Annabelle Scott lives in a world where a female-dominated government fores males to fight to death in order to train the military elite. When Annabelle is trained as a mechanized warrior tasked to capture escaped boys, Annabelle does what she’s not expected to do – help some of them elude authorities. This act endangers everyone she loves, however, and puts her in a place where she has to make a number of decisions – that may mean life or death.

What do the readers say?
“The Rebel Within has an interesting premise that I enjoyed. The dystopian world was well built and the novel has great elements of action and suspense. Erlick created a “Hunger Games”-esque story that keeps his audience entertained from start to finish. I look forward to reading the second book.”Tasha M. Sorenson, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Splinter by London Cole


Drake Adair is an Acquisitions Specialist, and he’s very good at what he does: obtain any object from anyone, anywhere, and without getting caught. But one job goes different, as he ends up on the run from an enemy Guild and finds refuge in a cave – where he eventually becomes trapped. And he’s not alone. Kelsie Blake, Drake’s closest friend, meanwhile, keeps secrets that even Drake doesn’t know. When she sneaks out of the Gates and into the wild, she risks everything, and now her lies threaten everything she cares about. Kelsie and Drake team up and tackle their struggles head-on, to find answers before it’s too late.

What do the readers say?
“The world-building is fantastic. The action scenes are great, as are the interactions between Drake and Kelsie, the two protagonists. The dialogue is full of wit and humor. The pace is spot-on and kept me turning the pages quickly. I enjoyed the combination of supernatural, dystopian, and romantic elements, but at its heart, this is a true adventure story, and the author developed it superbly.”Rebecca L. Fisk, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Shadows of Tockland by Jeffrey Aaron Miller


David Morr runs away from his home to join a travelling circus and to meet a set of quirky characters who challenge him as he embraces his new life. But it’s not a simple life as the road perilous and the world full of sickness. A plague sweeps the land, turning people into monsters. Soon, David and his companions have to fight for their lives. And in the middle of it all, the Empire of Tockland is rising, and its tyrant ruler Joseph Mattock plans to let his flag fly over every nation. David and his friends unwittingly travel further and further into the heart of the Empire’s tyranny, where there is only a brutal struggle for survival.

What do the readers say?
“With precision and vision, Miller introduces us to a world of terrible choices and determined hope. Shadows of Tockland is a five star read and one you won’t want to miss.”Cheri L., Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

And that’s all for our list of amazing YA post-apocalyptic/dystopia books of 2012 and 2013! Stay tuned for more lists for different genres in different years!

Do you have a favorite YA post-apocalyptic/dystopia book from 2012 or 2013? Let us know in the comments!

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