Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

one of us is lying -karen m mcmanusOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.


4 Drink Me Potions


One of Us is Lying was as good a mystery as its particular style of narration among 4 main characters. It was a delight to read!

I don’t know about anyone else but the synopsis initially reminded me of The Breakfast Club. A couple of students coming together in detention class, hmm? I find that’s what attracted me to this book in the end. A familiar feel to it while still being completely its own novel that wasn’t exactly like anyone else.

I adored the back and forth POVs between the 4 suspects – er, I mean protagonists. It gave us a chance to slowly discover each person’s backgrounds, and of course, their deepest secrets that Simon somehow found out. The slow reveal had my blood curdling. I couldn’t decide on who I thought was hiding something even from us, the omniscient reader. And that’s half the fun of it, right? For a mystery lover, the culprit wasn’t immediately made known to me and that’s what I love. The ability to guess. And change my mind as more details come to light.

And I think the who-dun-it answer would a) surprise some and b) be the perfect conclusion that made the most sense. I believe it’ll satisfy even the most hardcore of mystery lovers. Hopefully not be too predictable either.

Besides the mystery (which definitely takes the main stage), the amount of character development in these 4 were surprising. Come on. Look at that synopsis. They’re cliched stereotypes of typical high schoolers. The smart one/nerd. The hot jock. The most-envied blonde girl. The hot bad boy. Yet through this ordeal, each had to grow from their mistakes, their secrets. Some secrets were more surprising than others, and likewise, some personal changes were also more astonishing. Either way, this was brilliantly executed.

You romance lovers out there! Never fear. There’s a bit of somethin’ for you too here. Unsurprisingly, a potential love match was developing between Nate and Bronwyn. Maybe I’ve read too many Katie McGarry novels but this didn’t seem so out of the blue to me. It never overshadowed the main components of the book, but it was a relevant component of both their POVs and helped them deal with their own problems. It was cute and just the right amount.

What else can I say? Since the beautiful hook in the synopsis, I was reeled in deep. I might’ve expected something a bit more from this novel (hence the less than full rating) but it’s sure to be a winner for most people.

Overall Recommendation:

One of Us is Lying does not disappoint in its main mystery. From the fun cliched cast of suspects to the craziness of Simon’s death, the slow reveals of this novel kept me happily guessing at the real culprit. With plenty of character growth in each of the protagonists and even a blossoming romance between two of them, I seriously only have good things to say about this book. Mostly fast-paced and steeped in delicious secrets, I’m sure this book would delight you too.

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