100 books like The Selection

By Kiera Cass,

Here are 100 books that The Selection fans have personally recommended if you like The Selection. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Handmaid's Tale

Jawahara Saidullah Author Of We are...Warrior Queens

From my list on transporting you across time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Travel and writing are my two great passions. Since I was a child, I escaped reality by escaping into my own mind. I had relied on my stories of the warrior queens ever since I learned about them as a child. It was only a few years ago, when I lived in Geneva, that I had a memory flash at me of the statue of Queen Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi on a rearing horse with a curved sword held in one hand. I knew then that it was time to tell a story—my own story and that of my favorite warrior queens.

Jawahara's book list on transporting you across time and place

Jawahara Saidullah Why did Jawahara love this book?

Having read this book when I was 22, it helped shape my fear of the danger of complacent societies. Simply but powerfully written, its first-person narrative creates a sense of claustrophobia, a glimpse into the isolating and dehumanizing life of a handmaid. 

Through Offred, the traumas she experiences, and the people she interacts with the whole world of Gilead springs to scary life. While reading the book, it struck me that nothing was totally made up. Every incident in the book was derived from history. These things had already happened, and they could happen again. It showed me that victory is not always heroic and impressive. Sometimes, victory can be just surviving oppression.

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

30 authors picked The Handmaid's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **
**A BBC BETWEEN COVERS BIG JUBILEE READ**

Go back to where it all began with the dystopian novel behind the award-winning TV series.

'As relevant today as it was when Atwood wrote it' Guardian

I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.

Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford -…


Book cover of The Hunger Games

Dave Buschi Author Of Reality Recoded

From my list on science fiction books with an everyman hero.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a house of books. Bookcases in almost every room. At an early age, I discovered some great ones that were usually recommended by my dad. The Odyssey. Tarzan of the Apes. Princess of Mars. It is a long, long list, and I won’t give you all my faves—but one thing about it: I was drawn to books with heroes, particularly when those heroes were clearly good. There are no shades of gray for me. I like my heroes to have honor and humility and to always strive to do the right thing.

Dave's book list on science fiction books with an everyman hero

Dave Buschi Why did Dave love this book?

Katniss Everdeen is the type of hero you want to root for. She’s kind, good, self-reliant, and the type of person who makes the world a better place. And her world needs it—badly. But her world is trying to kill her, and she has to fight.

I love this book. I’ve always been drawn to underdog stories where the underdog has a heart of gold but is put in terrible situations—situations that test them until they almost break. But they don’t. They survive. And they do so on their terms even when everyone else is playing by different rules.

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

44 authors picked The Hunger Games as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before - and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever...


Book cover of Divergent

Katerina St Clair Author Of The Order: Kingdom of Fallen Ash

From my list on dystopian books that leave a mark.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I could read, I have found myself finding security and escape through the words on the paper. As I grew older, I no longer wanted to just read these realities, I wanted to create them for myself. Writing is the one thing in my mundane existence that has made me feel like more than just a number in the system. I laugh with my characters and love with them. My writing is a part of me that will live long after I am gone. Whether it be a novel, or a simple letter, I want my words to linger with the reader long after the page is turned.

Katerina's book list on dystopian books that leave a mark

Katerina St Clair Why did Katerina love this book?

Veronica Roth's Divergent is like a loyal companion that stuck by me during the unpredictable ride of middle school.

Tris Prior's journey felt strangely familiar, like a reflection of my own struggles—moving from vulnerability to discovering an inner strength I never knew existed. Roth crafted Tris into more than just a character; she became someone I looked up to, a personal source of motivation. The whole faction system, sorting people based on traits, hit close to home, echoing my own battles with fitting in.

In the maze of adolescence, Tris's rebellion and acceptance of her divergence felt like a reassuring guide through my own self-discovery. Divergent was groundbreaking for its time, making it a comfort and a source of courage when times got tough.

Veronica Roth's storytelling, paired with Tris's tenacity, turned a dystopian tale into a deeply personal journey through identity, resilience, and survival.

By Veronica Roth, Nicolas Delort (photographer),

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Divergent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The explosive debut by No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth.

DIVERGENT - a major motion picture series.

For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs.

Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead....

A debut novel that will leave you breathless.


Book cover of The Maze Runner

Katerina St Clair Author Of The Order: Kingdom of Fallen Ash

From my list on dystopian books that leave a mark.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I could read, I have found myself finding security and escape through the words on the paper. As I grew older, I no longer wanted to just read these realities, I wanted to create them for myself. Writing is the one thing in my mundane existence that has made me feel like more than just a number in the system. I laugh with my characters and love with them. My writing is a part of me that will live long after I am gone. Whether it be a novel, or a simple letter, I want my words to linger with the reader long after the page is turned.

Katerina's book list on dystopian books that leave a mark

Katerina St Clair Why did Katerina love this book?

Maze Runner was a wild ride I couldn't put down. The plot's originality had me hooked with all its twists and turns, turning it into this page-turner I couldn't resist. Dashner's maze world? Pure genius.

Every mystery unfolding kept me racing through the pages, completely caught up in the characters' urgency and the need to unravel the maze's secrets. It felt like a personal challenge, a puzzle I just had to solve.

Dashner's talent for keeping the suspense alive made the whole experience immersive, and I couldn't help but appreciate the intricate plot. Maze Runner is a personal victory, and a story that grabbed me and held on tight until the very end.

By James Dashner,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Maze Runner as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The first book in the New York Times bestselling Maze
Runner series - now a series of major movies starring Dylan O'Brien!

SEE THE FILMS. READ THE BOOKS. ENTER THE MAZE ...

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers
is his first name. But he's not alone.

He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade - a
walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone
maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they came to
be there - or what's happened to the world outside.

All…


Book cover of Caraval

Angela Kecojevic Author Of Scareground

From my list on kids books to give you serious goosebumps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved horror stories, right from when I was a kid, and I first watched Friday the 13th, the ultimate scary movie. The jump scare moment was everything. I spent time studying great suspense writers like Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King, and R L Stine. I was in awe at how they had me turning the pages, unable to look away! I think more and more children are discovering the fun and thrill of scary stories, and I love nothing more than making sure I try and implement some of these rules, adding in my own originality, too! 

Angela's book list on kids books to give you serious goosebumps

Angela Kecojevic Why did Angela love this book?

This is more suited to the YA market with an appealing darkness that had me gripped from page one.

An allure of illusions, rich description, and magic. I loved this book! Every sentence was beautiful and intriguing–it was quite unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Add in the mystique of a carnival, and this makes for a remarkable read.

Scarlett was a strong female protagonist, and her desperate need to escape had me reading this long into the night. 

By Stephanie Garber,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Caraval as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

***The Sunday Times bestseller***

WELCOME TO CARAVAL, WHERE NOTHING IS QUITE WHAT IT SEEMS . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser,…


Book cover of The Night Circus

Caren Simpson McVicker Author Of Henderson House

From my list on believing in magic again.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a debut novelist at the age of fifty-seven, I’ve spent most of my life as a reader, not an author. My love of reading began with The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and flourished when I discovered the genre of fantasy with The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin. Is it any wonder I giggle with delight when I stumble upon a book that makes me believe in magic again? When an author weaves the supernatural into their story in a natural way, my expectations shift, and my heart opens to the power of the unknown to teach me something new and take me somewhere extraordinary.

Caren's book list on believing in magic again

Caren Simpson McVicker Why did Caren love this book?

This book is always on my list of favorite reads. Morgenstern invites us to inhabit a world where magic not only seems possible but wholly believable. I’ve read this book numerous times, and it always casts a spell over me so completely that the rest of my troubles disappear as quickly and mysteriously as the circus moves to another town.

The competition-turned-love story between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, moves the plot forward at a driving pace while enchanting subplots abound. Whenever I feel like I need to rekindle the magic in my own life, I pull this novel off the shelf.

By Erin Morgenstern,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked The Night Circus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE TIKTOK SENSATION

Rediscover the million-copy bestselling fantasy read with a different kind of magic, now in a stunning anniversary edition to mark 10 years since it's paperback debut.

The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Against the grey sky the towering tents are striped black and white. A sign hanging upon an iron gates reads:

Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn

Full of breath-taking amazements and open only at night, Le Cirque des Reves seems to cast a spell over all who wander its circular paths. But behind the glittering acrobats, fortune-tellers…


Book cover of Branded

K.M. Robinson Author Of Jaded

From my list on swoony dystopia that aren’t Hunger Games.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love dystopian stories because these are tales that could actually happen if a particular series of steps fall into place over the course of the next decade, century, etc. Dystopia is set in our real world, just in the future. There’s no unbelievable magic…just what our real world could be generations from now. The evolution or devolution of science, law, law enforcement, medicine, education, etc is fascinating to explore…especially since I’m an incredibly techy person. I love exploring what could happen in our future if we follow certain paths, good, bad, or otherwise. Asking “what if” is my favorite question.

K.M.'s book list on swoony dystopia that aren’t Hunger Games

K.M. Robinson Why did K.M. love this book?

Branded is one of my favorite dystopian novels and really inspired how I write my own dystopian because it explores the dystopian realm beyond chosen ones and government overthrows. This book gave me permission to make my fans cry because I put their hearts in a blender and laughed just like these authors did to me. Branded is about a girl thrown in prison, branded with the sin of lust, and forced to rely on her gorgeous guard…who puts us through a whirlwind of emotions as we see his hatred…and not-hatred…expressed throughout the story. Tissues are required for several different exciting and heartbreaking reasons.

By Abi Ketner, Missy Kalicicki,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Branded as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t…


Book cover of Perfected

K.M. Robinson Author Of Jaded

From my list on swoony dystopia that aren’t Hunger Games.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love dystopian stories because these are tales that could actually happen if a particular series of steps fall into place over the course of the next decade, century, etc. Dystopia is set in our real world, just in the future. There’s no unbelievable magic…just what our real world could be generations from now. The evolution or devolution of science, law, law enforcement, medicine, education, etc is fascinating to explore…especially since I’m an incredibly techy person. I love exploring what could happen in our future if we follow certain paths, good, bad, or otherwise. Asking “what if” is my favorite question.

K.M.'s book list on swoony dystopia that aren’t Hunger Games

K.M. Robinson Why did K.M. love this book?

I enjoyed Perfected because it was a very, very soft and gentle take on dystopia where young girls are genetically engineered in labs and trained with special traits as young girls only to be sold to wealthy families as pets. They’re treated as puppies who are dressed in fancy clothes, paraded through events, sat on pretty couches and chairs, and very, very few make it through without being manipulated and used in worse ways. When she falls in love with her owner’s son, and he starts to fall for her, bad things happen. I love putting twists on dystopian worlds so this one was a brilliant, unusual concept that brought such a unique look into the genre and its possibilities and gave me permission to do the same.

By Kate Jarvik Birch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Perfected as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Kate Birch's PET melds the feel of The Handmaid's Tale with the historic underground railroad and wraps it in a glamorous-and dangerous-bow.

Man's best friend just got a little prettier.

Ever since the government passed legislation allowing people to be genetically engineered and raised as pets, the rich and powerful can own beautiful girls like sixteen-year-old Ginger as companions. But when Ginger moves in with her new masters and discovers the glamorous life she's been promised isn't at all what it seems, she's forced to choose between a pampered existence full of gorgeous gowns and veiled threats, or seizing her…


Book cover of Taken

K.M. Robinson Author Of Jaded

From my list on swoony dystopia that aren’t Hunger Games.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love dystopian stories because these are tales that could actually happen if a particular series of steps fall into place over the course of the next decade, century, etc. Dystopia is set in our real world, just in the future. There’s no unbelievable magic…just what our real world could be generations from now. The evolution or devolution of science, law, law enforcement, medicine, education, etc is fascinating to explore…especially since I’m an incredibly techy person. I love exploring what could happen in our future if we follow certain paths, good, bad, or otherwise. Asking “what if” is my favorite question.

K.M.'s book list on swoony dystopia that aren’t Hunger Games

K.M. Robinson Why did K.M. love this book?

This one was very unique in that it barely introduces the dystopian world in the first book and focuses on it much later in the series despite the significant impact it has on the characters from the very first page. The lead is male, which is becoming less common these days, and gives us a more calculating look into the world of dystopia. I enjoyed seeing things from another angle as that really reminds me to explore those less-common threads in my own writing as well. And what could be more interesting than people disappearing on their birthday and then finding out who is taking them, right?

By Erin Bowman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Taken as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Fans of Incarceron by Catherine Fisher and Variant by Robison Wells won't want to miss this magnetic first book in a gripping dystopian sci-fi series. Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy, raves that Taken is "an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end. More, please!"

Gray Weathersby has grown up expecting to disappear at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. They call it the Heist—and it happens to every boy in Claysoot. His only chance at escape is to climb the Wall that surrounds Claysoot. A climb no one has ever survived . . .


Book cover of The Book of Ivy

K.M. Robinson Author Of Jaded

From my list on swoony dystopia that aren’t Hunger Games.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love dystopian stories because these are tales that could actually happen if a particular series of steps fall into place over the course of the next decade, century, etc. Dystopia is set in our real world, just in the future. There’s no unbelievable magic…just what our real world could be generations from now. The evolution or devolution of science, law, law enforcement, medicine, education, etc is fascinating to explore…especially since I’m an incredibly techy person. I love exploring what could happen in our future if we follow certain paths, good, bad, or otherwise. Asking “what if” is my favorite question.

K.M.'s book list on swoony dystopia that aren’t Hunger Games

K.M. Robinson Why did K.M. love this book?

Similar to my story, this is about a girl forced to marry the son of a dictator against her will…only instead of fighting to save her own life as she’s about to be murdered, this girl is the murderer trying to take out her new husband. She’s being manipulated by her family to act as an assassin and starts to waiver in her mission when her new husband proves to be absolute book boyfriend perfection. It’s kind of the opposite of mine where my leading lady is cunning and manipulative to save her life, this leading lady is trying to be stumbling through being stealthy enough to murder a man who was supposed to be her older sister’s victim—not hers.

By Amy Engel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Book of Ivy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a future where girls no longer control their own fates, sixteen-year-old Ivy Westfall has the power to give girls back their choices. If she's willing to commit murder to do it. After a brutal nuclear war, followed by famine and disease, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over who would govern the new nation. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual. This year, it is Ivy…


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