After getting this question for the 80th time this summer, I thought I’d share some of my suggestions. Here are some older, slightly different, or less popular dystopian suggestions that you may find on the shelves:
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Although fantasy and not sci-fi, The Looking Glass Wars is a dark, action-packed adventure trilogy about the overthrow of a dystopian regime.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
This may not be checked in either, but if it is, HG lovers are sure to appreciate another dystopian thriller with an angsty love triangle.
The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn
This dytopian book is less popular than HG for a reason: it is not nearly as intense or action-packed. But it may tide readers over until the HG comes in.
The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
Nancy Farmer’s dystopian vision has a sharp division of classes similar to that in Panem, but this story is from the perspective of the rich kids–kidnapped and trying to survive in the slums–and the mutant detectives hired to find them.
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
If they want HG for the action, this is not a good pick. But if their in it for the social commentary, Nancy Farmer’s dark vision of the twisted future of human cloning and drug lord rivalries is thrilling in its horror.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Despite its Printz win several years ago, Bacigalupi’s dytopian novel about impoverished teen shipwreck divers has declined in popularity. But adventure of Nailer’s attempt to save the life of a rich girl while dodging the wrath of his abusive father should have enough dark, violent action to appeal to HG fans.
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
A little older and for a little bit of a younger audience, you may find on your shelves this dystopian thriller about a illegal child trying to survive on the run in an oppressive society.