Blood Red Road by Moira Young: This book has not gotten near enough love for how amazing it is! It’s Dystopian just like HG, and has several scenes centered around some coliseum style cage matches that definitely remind me of Hunger Games. Saba is an incredibly strong heroine. She can be a little selfish, which is slightly off-putting, but like Katniss, she’s doing what it takes to survive. This book starts a little slow, but when it gets going you won’t be able to put it down!
Legend by Marie Lu: Legend is the 1st in a trilogy. It’s a dystopian tale of a futuristic civil war between the two sides of the United States, The Republic and The Colonies. It’s an evil time of physical and biological warfare. June, a fifteen year old prodigy was lucky enough to be born on the rich side of the tracks. Day on the other hand, was born on the wrong side of the tracks and happens to the most wanted criminal in the land. When June’s brother is murdered, and the prime suspect is Day, June is sent on a special operations mission to bring him down. But, what happens when secrets are revealed and the lines between what June thought was good and right are blurred forever. Will June believe what she’s always known or will she take the biggest chance of all on the boy from the other side. (**sigh** I loved this books so much! It has all the excitement and love story of Hunger Games with a classic star-crossed lovers twist.)
Delirium & Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver: Lucky for all of you, the 2nd book in this series was just released, so all you will be waiting for is book 3! Like Hunger Games, Delirium is after the fall of modern day society. There is a new established government but instead of holding a massive death match to keep their citizens under control, the government has created a cure. A cure for deliria amor nervosa a.k.a. love. That’s right, they believe love is the cause of all things evil, so they have created a cure for it. And once you turn 18, you are required to take the cure and join the ranks of the emotionless. Of course with all corrupt governments, a resistance forms. People who believed in the cure, become infected with love and will do anything and everything possible to now avoid the cure. The idea of the novel is absolutely brilliant while the writing casts a love spell on its own.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi This is a little different than Hunger Games in that it has some supernatural elements along with the dystopian. If Hunger Games and X-men had a baby it would be Shatter Me. It doesn’t have quite the amount of action-packed plot as Divergent and Hunger Games; however, if you enjoyed the love story aspect in HG, then Shatter Me is the book for you! The sweetness and the depths that Adam will go to protect Juliette will rival that of Peeta any day. Also, this has one of the most twisted, mulit-layerd villains to walk the pages of literature. Something about him is so hypnotic and at some point in time he might has been redeemable, but something must have happened to push him over the edge. I’m hoping that in the coming books we will find out what that was! I still sometimes think about him even after reading this book months ago. (creepy, huh?) All in all, give this one a try, you will not be disappointed! I also need to say that with the love story element it is a tad more mature that HG, so I would definitely read it first before passing it on to your junior high child.