21 Books Like The Inheritance Games

books like the inheritance games

If you’re a fan of mysteries, puzzles, and thrilling plot twists akin to “The Inheritance Games” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, then you’re in for a treat! 

This blog explores a selection of amazing reads that will keep you on the edge of your seat, unraveling secrets and diving into complex family dynamics. 

From intricate puzzles to unexpected inheritances, these books offer the same level of intrigue and excitement that made “The Inheritance Games” a must-read

Let’s check them out.

Books Like The Inheritance Games

1. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

This book centers around five students who walk into detention, where only four walk out alive. The story is told from multiple perspectives, unraveling a tangled web of secrets, lies, and a murder investigation that puts everyone under suspicion. As the investigation unfolds, the four students must navigate their personal issues while dealing with the public and police scrutiny.

Major Similarities: Like “The Inheritance Games,” “One of Us Is Lying” combines mystery and intrigue with a cast of young characters who must solve a puzzle. The multi-perspective storytelling enhances the complexity of the plot, similar to the layered narratives and secrets found in “The Inheritance Games.”

2. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

The book follows Pippa Fitz-Amobi’s senior project: investigating a closed murder case in her small town. She dives deep into the lives of those involved, uncovering secrets and lies that many want to keep buried. Her determination to find the truth leads her into danger, as some secrets are deadly to uncover.

Major Similarities: Both books feature a young protagonist determined to solve a mystery, leading them into a web of lies and danger. “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” and “The Inheritance Games” share a theme of digging into the past to uncover secrets that someone is desperate to keep hidden.

3. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Set in the small town of Echo Ridge, this story follows Ellery, who moves to town and quickly becomes entangled in its mysteries, including the disappearance of a homecoming queen and the murder of another. As Ellery digs deeper, she uncovers secrets that someone is willing to kill to keep. The story is filled with twists and turns, keeping readers guessing until the very end.

Major Similarities: The theme of small-town secrets and the atmosphere of suspense are common to both “Two Can Keep a Secret” and “The Inheritance Games.” Both novels involve young protagonists who are new to their surroundings and find themselves in the middle of a dangerous investigation.

4. The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

This story revolves around three cousins, Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah, who barely know each other but are summoned to their wealthy grandmother’s island resort—a grandmother who disinherited their parents before they were born. Once there, they begin to uncover their family’s dark secrets and the real reason behind their sudden inheritance call. The narrative weaves through the cousins’ perspectives, revealing secrets and lies within the family.

Major Similarities: “The Cousins” shares the inheritance and family mystery theme with “The Inheritance Games.” Both novels feature young characters who are thrust into a world of wealth and deception, forcing them to uncover truths about their family’s past.

5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Set on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts, “We Were Liars” follows Cadence Sinclair as she spends her summers with her prestigious family and a group of friends known as the Liars. After an accident leaves her with amnesia, Cadence tries to piece together what happened, unraveling family secrets and the realities of privilege and power.

Major Similarities: The themes of wealth, family secrets, and the pursuit of truth connect “We Were Liars” to “The Inheritance Games.” Both stories are set against a backdrop of luxury and privilege, with a central mystery that slowly unravels through the protagonist’s determination to uncover the truth.

6. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

“Truly Devious” takes place at Ellingham Academy, an exclusive school where student Stevie Bell plans to solve an old kidnapping and murder case tied to the school’s founder. The story alternates between past and present, detailing both the original case and Stevie’s investigation, as she uncovers clues that lead her closer to the truth, putting her own life in danger.

Major Similarities: Like “The Inheritance Games,” “Truly Devious” combines a unique setting (an elite school) with a layered mystery involving past and present events. Both stories feature a sharp, determined protagonist who dives into a complex web of clues and secrets to solve a mystery.

7. Killing November by Adriana Mather

At Academy Absconditi, November Adley finds herself in a school unlike any other, hidden away and filled with secrets, where students are trained in the art of survival and deception. As she navigates dangerous classes and social dynamics, November uncovers a murder mystery that she must solve to save herself and others.

Major Similarities: “Killing November” and “The Inheritance Games” share themes of danger, mystery, and a young protagonist thrust into an unfamiliar, secretive environment. Both novels involve solving puzzles and uncovering secrets in a high-stakes setting.

8. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Four friends are bound by a secret involving a game of lies they played at their coastal boarding school until it went horribly wrong. Years later, they are reunited by a text that brings them back to the scene of their crime, forcing them to confront the lie that changed their lives and discover the truth before it’s too late.

Major Similarities: “The Lying Game” shares with “The Inheritance Games” the theme of secrets from the past affecting the present. Both narratives involve a group of characters linked by a complex history, unraveling mysteries that threaten their current lives.

9. The Murder Game by Carrie Doyle

Julia, a freshman at a prestigious boarding school, finds herself in the middle of a game that turns deadly. As players of the game start dying in real life, Julia must solve the mystery before she becomes the next victim. The story combines elements of friendship, rivalry, and the dark underbelly of a competitive academic environment.

Major Similarities: This book parallels “The Inheritance Games” through its setting in a prestigious institution where the characters must navigate danger and deception. Both stories involve a game-like scenario that turns deadly, requiring the protagonist to solve the mystery to save themselves and others.

10. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15 is a geeky girl who attends an elite boarding school. She transforms into a savvy manipulator who challenges the school’s secretive and male-dominated society. As she masterminds her own series of pranks, Frankie uncovers the power dynamics within the school and fights for her place within it.

Major Similarities: While not a mystery in the traditional sense, “The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks” shares with “The Inheritance Games” a young, intelligent protagonist challenging the status quo and uncovering secrets within a prestigious setting. Both books explore themes of power, social dynamics, and the quest for identity amidst complex social structures.

11. Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

When Kacey moves to a new town, she quickly befriends a tight-knit group of girls. But when one of them goes missing after a party, Kacey becomes entangled in the investigation. As she digs deeper, she uncovers a web of lies, secrets, and betrayals among her new friends and the small town.

Major Similarities: “Little Monsters” shares the element of a newcomer delving into local mysteries and facing the dark undercurrents of seemingly close relationships, much like “The Inheritance Games.” Both novels explore themes of trust, secrets, and the pursuit of truth in a tight-knit community.

12. People Like Us by Dana Mele

At Bates Academy, Kay Donovan finds a girl’s body in the lake and a computer-coded scavenger hunt that implicates her and her friends in the murder. As Kay races to solve the clues and clear their names, she uncovers secrets about her friends and herself, realizing that nobody at Bates is as they seem.

Major Similarities: The themes of elite schooling, a mysterious death, and a protagonist forced to solve a puzzle under pressure are key similarities between “People Like Us” and “The Inheritance Games.” Both books feature complex female protagonists navigating a web of lies and societal expectations in a prestigious environment.

13. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

A Louisiana teenager, Rory, studying in London, becomes involved in a series of murders that mimic the infamous Jack the Ripper killings. As Rory gains the ability to see the suspected murderer – a ghost – she becomes deeply involved in the case, which takes her on a terrifying journey through London’s history and its present.

Major Similarities: Like “The Inheritance Games,” “The Name of the Star” combines elements of mystery and a young protagonist in an unfamiliar setting who becomes embroiled in a dangerous investigation. Both stories blend historical elements with contemporary settings to deepen the mystery and challenge the characters.

14. The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

As the sequel to “The Inheritance Games,” “The Hawthorne Legacy” continues the story of Avery Grambs as she delves deeper into the Hawthorne family’s secrets and the mystery of her inheritance. With new clues and challenges, Avery must navigate a path fraught with dangers and unexpected allies to uncover the truth about her family and her place within the Hawthorne legacy.

Major Similarities: Directly continuing the narrative of “The Inheritance Games,” “The Hawthorne Legacy” expands upon the themes of family secrets, inheritance puzzles, and the quest for identity. It offers readers further exploration into the complex dynamics and mysteries introduced in the first book.

15. Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

In modern-day London, teenagers Lock and Mori decide to solve a murder in their neighborhood. As they delve into the case, their investigation takes a dangerous turn, revealing secrets that test their friendship and Mori’s loyalty. The story reimagines Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as teenagers, adding a contemporary twist to the classic detective tale.

Major Similarities: “Lock & Mori” shares with “The Inheritance Games” a young, dynamic duo embarking on a dangerous investigation. Both stories modernize classic mystery elements, focusing on the development of the protagonists’ relationships amidst the unraveling of a complex case.

16. Panic by Lauren Oliver

In the small town of Carp, the graduating seniors participate in Panic, a legendary game of fear and chance, to win a large cash prize. Heather decides to compete, uncovering secrets about her friends and the town itself. As the stakes get higher, Heather realizes that Panic might be more deadly than it seems.

Major Similarities: “Panic” and “The Inheritance Games” share themes of games with high stakes, secrets, and the lengths to which people will go for a chance at a better life. Both novels explore the motivations and backstories of their characters, set against the backdrop of a dangerous competition.

17. The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

When Seneca Frazier joins an online community of amateur sleuths, she finds herself deeply involved in a cold case. Along with her new friends, she digs into the disappearance of a girl named Helena, uncovering secrets that someone is willing to kill to keep buried. The investigation leads them on a dangerous path, challenging their skills and their friendships.

Major Similarities: “The Amateurs” echoes “The Inheritance Games” in its theme of young people engaging in detective work to solve a mystery. Both stories feature a group of characters with unique skills coming together to uncover the truth, facing unexpected dangers along the way.

18. The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons

At Vale Hall, Brynn Hilder is recruited to join a school of con artists, using her skills to right the wrongs of the wealthy elite. As she becomes entangled in the school’s operations, Brynn uncovers a more sinister plot that challenges her morals and her heart. The story explores themes of deception, loyalty, and the quest for justice.

Major Similarities: Both “The Deceivers” and “The Inheritance Games” involve protagonists navigating a world of wealth and deception, where they must use their wits and moral compass to uncover hidden truths. The setting in exclusive institutions adds a layer of intrigue and complexity to the characters’ journeys.

19. This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

A year after a tragic event that they’ve all tried to move on from, five teenagers are lured to a mansion with the promise of winning a scholarship. However, they soon realize the game they’ve been invited to play is deadly, as it forces them to confront their darkest secrets and the lies they’ve told. The night becomes a fight for survival, as truths are revealed and relationships are tested.

Major Similarities: Like “The Inheritance Games,” “This Lie Will Kill You” combines elements of a deadly game, secrets, and the quest for truth within a high-stakes environment. Both novels feature young characters forced into situations where they must confront their past actions and mysteries.

20. Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison

At The Goode School, an elite prep school for girls, a series of shocking events unfold, beginning with the death of a popular student. As the story unravels, it becomes clear that the school harbors deep secrets, lies, and betrayals. The protagonist must navigate this treacherous landscape to uncover the truth, revealing that sometimes, good girls lie.

Major Similarities: “Good Girls Lie” and “The Inheritance Games” share a setting in elite educational institutions where secrets and lies prevail. Both stories delve into the complexities of female friendships and the dark underbelly of a seemingly perfect environment.

21. The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Five years after a series of tragic deaths claim the lives of five cheerleaders in a small town, Monica, the younger sister of one of the victims, starts to investigate. She uncovers secrets that could upend everything she thought she knew about her sister, her town, and the deaths themselves. The deeper Monica digs, the more danger she uncovers, as some people will go to great lengths to keep the truth buried.

Major Similarities: Both “The Cheerleaders” and “The Inheritance Games” involve a protagonist uncovering the dark secrets of their community, challenging preconceived notions and facing dangers as they seek the truth. Themes of investigation, uncovering hidden truths, and the impact of the past on the present are central to both stories.

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