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20 Must-Read Books Like “One of Us Is Lying” for YA Mystery Lovers

Uncover Secrets and Lies in These Thrilling Books Similar to "One of Us Is Lying"
by The Blinkist Team | Apr 15 2024

20 YA Mysteries Like 'One of Us Is Lying' You Can't Miss

“One of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus is a captivating young adult novel that perfectly blends intrigue, suspense, and drama. The story revolves around a high school detention which turns into a gripping mystery filled with unexpected twists and turns.

The book not only delves deep into the complexities of its characters but also keeps readers guessing until the very end. If you enjoyed the tension, secrets, and unexpected alliances in “One of Us Is Lying,” and are looking for more books with similar themes of friendship, suspense, and mystery in a high school setting, this curated list is just for you.

Each of these compelling reads is perfect for fans of McManus’s enthralling storytelling style, so prepare to be hooked.

Top 20 best books to read if you liked “One of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus


1. “Two Can Keep a Secret” by Karen M. McManus

Echo Ridge is full of secrets, and when Ellery moves there, she’s determined to uncover them all, but someone wants the past to stay buried.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A small-town setting with deep secrets.
  • A mystery involving high school students.
  • Themes of secrets, lies, and the pursuit of truth.


2. “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart

A wealthy family, a private island, and a summer that changes everything—Cadence Sinclair’s story is one of love, lies, and tragedy.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • The exploration of family dynamics and secrets.
  • A shocking twist that redefines the entire story.
  • Themes of privilege, deceit, and guilt.


3. “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” by Holly Jackson

Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t convinced the case of a missing girl is solved; diving into the investigation, she uncovers secrets that someone in town wants to remain hidden.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A high school setting with a protagonist conducting an investigation.
  • Themes of justice, truth, and untangling lies.
  • A community filled with secrets and hidden darkness.


4. “All Your Twisted Secrets” by Diana Urban

Six students are locked in a room with a bomb, a syringe, and a decision to make: kill someone among them or die. What led them here uncovers deep secrets.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A high-stakes situation involving a group of students.
  • The unraveling of mysteries through past and present perspectives.
  • The tension of secrets and the lengths to protect them.


5. “The Cousins” by Karen M. McManus

Three cousins uncover their family’s dark history when they’re invited to an island estate they’ve never visited by a grandmother they hardly know.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying: 

  • A mystery centered around a dysfunctional family.
  • The intertwining of multiple perspectives to unravel secrets.
  • Themes of inheritance, identity, and deception.


6. “People Like Us” by Dana Mele

When a girl’s body is discovered in a lake, Kay Donovan follows a cryptic scavenger hunt revealing her darkest secrets.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A boarding school setting with a close-knit community.
  • A web of lies and secrets among the characters.
  • A murder mystery that involves the protagonist directly.


7. “This Lie Will Kill You” by Chelsea Pitcher

One year after an incident they promise never to speak of again, five students are lured to a mansion with the promise of winning a scholarship, only to be faced with their past misdeeds.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A story of revenge entangled with past secrets.
  • A twisted game unveiling truths about the characters.
  • An atmosphere rife with suspense and accusation.


8. “The Cheerleaders” by Kara Thomas

In the town of Sunnybrook, the cheerleaders seem cursed. Monica’s investigation into her sister’s death reveals the dark side of her high school’s past.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A female protagonist investigating a series of deaths.
  • Dark community secrets affecting high school life.
  • Themes of conspiracy, tragedy, and the search for truth.


9. “One of Us Is Next” by Karen M. McManus

A sequel to “One of Us Is Lying,” this book dives back into the secrets of Bayview High with a new mystery to unravel, proving that no secret is safe.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • The continuation of the school and community environment from the original.
  • A new mystery with callbacks to previous events.
  • The ongoing themes of secrets, lies, and the impact on friendships.


10. “Sadie” by Courtney Summers

When her sister is murdered, Sadie embarks on a journey to bring her sister’s killer to justice, captured in a true-crime podcast format.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A strong female lead pursuing justice.
  • A mix of narrative formats to tell the story.
  • Themes of sisterhood, vengeance, and uncovering the truth.


11. “Genuine Fraud” by E. Lockhart

Jule Williams is a fighter, a social chameleon, and a survivor. This intense novel explores the themes of identity, deceit, and desperation through a series of reverse chronology.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A twisting plot that keeps readers on their toes.
  • Complex character relationships built on secrets.
  • An exploration of the implications of lying and its consequences.


12. “There’s Someone Inside Your House” by Stephanie Perkins

As students at Osborne High begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, the race is on to uncover the killer among them.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A high school setting filled with fear and suspicion.
  • A mystery thriller aspect with a strong focus on character dynamics.
  • Themes of trust, secrecy, and teenage romance amidst chaos.


13. “That Weekend” by Kara Thomas

Three friends go to a remote family cabin for the weekend, but only one returns, with no memories of what occurred. The truth of that weekend unravels layer by layer.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • The mystery of a missing person among a group of friends.
  • Dark secrets and lies leading to unexpected revelations.
  • A high-stakes plot with the tension of uncovered truths.


14. “Killing November” by Adriana Mather

At Academia Absconditi, November learns that students specialize in the arts of deception, espionage, and murder. Trusting anyone could be fatal.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A secretive school setting with deadly stakes.
  • The themes of survival, alliance, and the quest for truth.
  • Complex inter-student relationships underpinned by mystery and competition.


15. “They Wish They Were Us” by Jessica Goodman

Jill Newman investigates her best friend’s murder from years ago, meant to have been solved, only to realize nothing is as it seems.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A prep school setting with elite social groups.
  • A protagonist digging into a past crime affecting the present.
  • Intrigue and drama fueled by secrets and lies.


16. “The Perfect Candidate” by Peter Stone

Cameron Carter’s internship in Washington D.C. turns deadly when a fellow staffer dies, leading him into a web of political intrigue and conspiracy.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A young protagonist embroiled in a dangerous investigation.
  • A setting that showcases a different aspect of competition and secrecy.
  • The unraveling of a mystery that changes the main character’s perspective on trust and truth.


17. “Truly Devious” by Maureen Johnson

Stevie Bell arrives at Ellingham Academy with a plan: to solve the historical case that has baffled detectives for decades. But when the past and present collide, Stevie finds herself in a real-life mystery.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A boarding school setting rich with history and secrets.
  • A determined protagonist with a knack for solving mysteries.
  • A blend of old unsolved cases with current crimes.


18. “The Inheritance Games” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Avery Grambs inherits a fortune from a billionaire she’s never met, but to claim it, she must move into his mansion, where she unravels the family’s secrets and games.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • Complex puzzles and riddles integral to the plot.
  • A high-stakes family dynamic filled with secrets.
  • A central mystery interwoven with danger and deception.


19. “Good Girls Lie” by J.T. Ellison

The Goode School is a prestigious prep school where appearances are everything, but its polished exterior hides a morass of lies and untold stories.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • An exclusive school setting with dark undercurrents.
  • The exploration of the lengths individuals go to protect secrets.
  • A murder mystery that slowly peels back the layers of truth.


20. “Little Monsters” by Kara Thomas

When Kacey’s new life in Broken Falls is disrupted by the disappearance of her friend, she discovers not everything in her newfound friendships is as it seems.

Elements in common with One of Us Is Lying:

  • A theme of new beginnings shadowed by past secrets.
  • Complex female friendships with hidden depths.
  • A suspenseful plot that explores the fragility of trust and the ease of deception.

In conclusion, for fans of “One of Us Is Lying,” these 20 books offer a diverse range of settings, characters, and mysteries but share the core elements of suspense, teenage dynamics, and the captivating unraveling of secrets.

Whether delving into the dark corridors of prestigious schools or uncovering the layers of small-town mysteries, these selections promise readers gripping narratives and page-turning twists. Dive into these tales of mystery and intrigue for your next compelling read.


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