For fans of Veronica Roth’s dystopian masterpiece “Divergent,” the quest for similarly enthralling reads is a journey worth embarking on. With its captivating blend of action, romance, and thought-provoking themes, “Divergent” has left an indelible mark on many readers.
If you’re seeking another literary adventure that delves into complex societies, rebellious protagonists, and high-stakes challenges, look no further.
This curated list offers a selection of books that will ignite your imagination and keep you riveted, just like “Divergent” did.
Get ready to dive into new worlds and uncover thrilling tales that will leave you breathless.
Best Books Like Divergent
1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In a dystopian future, the totalitarian nation of Panem is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. The televised games are broadcast throughout Panem, with the participants forced to fight to the death until only one survivor remains.
Major Similarities: Like “Divergent,” “The Hunger Games” features a strong, resourceful female protagonist navigating a dystopian society. Both novels explore themes of survival, societal division, and rebellion against oppressive governments. The central competitions in both books also serve as a critique of entertainment and violence.
2. Legend by Marie Lu
Set in a future Los Angeles, now part of the Republic, “Legend” follows the intersecting lives of two teenagers from very different backgrounds. Day is a notorious criminal, and June is a prodigy who is enlisted in the Republic’s elite military. When June’s brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect, their paths cross in an unexpected way.
Major Similarities: “Legend” and “Divergent” share a dystopian setting and a government that divides its citizens into distinct groups. Both novels feature dual perspectives that offer insight into their complex worlds, as well as themes of injustice, family loyalty, and the questioning of authority.
3. Matched by Ally Condie
In the Society, Officials decide everything for its citizens, including what they eat, where they work, and whom they marry. When Cassia is matched with her best friend Xander, it seems perfect until she sees another boy’s face flash on the screen for a moment. This leads her to question the Society’s infallibility and her own destiny.
Major Similarities: Both “Matched” and “Divergent” are set in societies with strict controls over their inhabitants. Themes of choice, love, and rebellion against the constraints of a controlling government are central. The protagonists in both novels embark on journeys of self-discovery and defiance.
4. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
In a future America, love is considered a disease called “amor deliria nervosa,” and everyone must undergo a procedure called the Cure upon turning eighteen to be protected from it. Lena looks forward to the procedure until she falls in love with Alex, an outsider who lives under the government’s radar.
Major Similarities: “Delirium” and “Divergent” both feature young female protagonists who challenge the status quo of their respective societies. Themes of forbidden love, freedom, and the questioning of societal norms are prevalent in both stories. Additionally, both settings involve a government that exerts extreme control over personal choices.
5. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
When Thomas wakes up in a lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone. They’re trapped in a massive maze with no way out, and they must join forces to escape. But as Thomas slowly regains his memories, he realizes they’re all part of a larger, more sinister experiment.
Major Similarities: “The Maze Runner” shares the theme of survival in a controlled environment with “Divergent.” Both novels involve young protagonists facing dangerous trials, with societal structures that hide the truth from their populations. The element of mystery and uncovering hidden secrets is a central plot point in both stories.
6. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
In Tally Youngblood’s world, turning sixteen means undergoing surgery to become a ‘Pretty’—a society-standard version of beauty designed to eliminate conflict. But when Tally’s friend Shay runs away to avoid the surgery, Tally learns about a whole side of the world she never knew, including the downsides of the Pretty life.
Major Similarities: Similar to “Divergent,” “Uglies” explores themes of conformity, beauty standards, and the rebellion against societal norms. Both novels are set in futuristic dystopian worlds where the government exerts control over personal identity and freedom, prompting the young protagonists to fight back.
7. The Selection by Kiera Cass
America Singer is one of thirty-five girls chosen to compete in the Selection—a chance to escape the caste-assigned life laid out for them since birth and live in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels, vying for the heart of Prince Maxon. But America’s heart is torn between a new future and her past.
Major Similarities: “The Selection” and “Divergent” share elements of societal division and the journey of a young female protagonist who challenges societal expectations. While “The Selection” focuses more on romance, it also explores themes of social class, competition, and the desire for a different life, similar to the societal divisions in “Divergent.”
8. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the elite, whose Silver blood grants them superhuman abilities. Mare, a Red, discovers she possesses a deadly power of her own, one that threatens to upset the status quo. She is thrust into the Silver world, where she must navigate a dangerous game of power and betrayal.
Major Similarities: Both “Red Queen” and “Divergent” feature a society divided into groups, with the protagonist belonging to a perceived lower class. Themes of power, inequality, and the fight against a corrupt system are prevalent. The discovery of the protagonist’s unique abilities also parallels the discovery of Tris’s divergence.
9. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Juliette has a lethal touch, making her an outcast and a weapon that a repressive government wishes to control. When she’s given the opportunity to fight back against those who have wronged her, Juliette must make a choice about who she wants to be and whom she can trust.
Major Similarities: “Shatter Me” and “Divergent” both explore themes of oppression, resistance, and the journey of self-discovery within a dystopian setting. The protagonists grapple with their unique abilities and the moral implications of using them, facing challenges that test their strength and resolve.
10. The Giver by Lois Lowry
In a seemingly perfect community without war, pain, suffering, differences, or choice, a boy named Jonas is selected to inherit the position of Receiver of Memories. He learns the dark secrets behind his fragile community and faces profound challenges regarding freedom, happiness, and the true nature of humanity.
Major Similarities: “The Giver” and “Divergent” both present societies that suppress individuality and enforce conformity. Themes of choice, freedom, and the questioning of societal norms are central. Jonas’s journey to understanding and challenging his society’s limitations mirrors Tris’s rebellion against her own society’s divisions.
11. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Set aboard a spaceship on a centuries-long journey to colonize a new world, this story follows Amy, a cryogenically frozen passenger who awakens 50 years too early, and Elder, the ship’s future leader. Together, they uncover the ship’s many secrets, including its dark past and the truth about their mission.
Major Similarities: Like “Divergent,” “Across the Universe” features a controlled society with secrets and lies at its core. Both novels involve young protagonists who challenge the status quo, explore themes of leadership, and uncover the hidden truths of their environments.
12. Pure by Julianna Baggott
In a post-apocalyptic world, there are those who are “Pure,” having escaped the devastations that fused humans with objects, animals, or other humans, and there are those who are “Fused,” survivors marked by the detonations. Pressia, a survivor, and Partridge, a Pure, come from different worlds but must unite to uncover the truth about their society and their identities.
Major Similarities: “Pure” and “Divergent” share post-apocalyptic settings and themes of division between different classes of society. The journey of discovery, the questioning of authority, and the fight against a corrupt system are central themes. The contrast between the “Pure” and “Fused” mirrors the societal divisions in “Divergent.”