Review: One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (UK edition)

Title: One Of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Books (1st June 2017)


Yale hopeful BRONWYN has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star COOPER only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad boy NATE is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen ADDY is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider SIMON, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it was no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus is a cross between the film The Breakfast Club (1985) and a who-done-it. It tells the stories of five high school students who end up in detention together and one of them ends up dead. There’s Bronwyn who wants to go to Yale, Cooper who has a promising career in baseball ahead of him, Nate who the gossip mill claims is on probation, Addy the prom queen, and Simon the creator of the notorious Bayview High gossip app. He dies twenty-four hours before he could lift the lid on the other four’s darkest secrets, and the police say it’s no accident.

I’ll be honest the thing that sold ONE OF US IS LYING TO ME was the thought it could have a very similar feel to The Breakfast Club with a murder mystery twist. It was exactly what I hoped it would be. ONE OF US IS LYING is a brilliantly told story that will just pull you in, and you want to find out who is lying. But there is also much more to the book than that, as the story is narrated by the four accused and you get to know them and get a glimpse into their lives.

I really liked Bronwyn from the moment she appears as the narrator. It was interesting to see more facets of her character appear as the novel progresses. It took me a while to warm up to Cooper, as I found him pretty enigmatic for a lot of the book. Nate was exactly how I hoped his character to be, but at the same time he didn’t feel like a caricature. Addy was an interesting character that really evolved and grew through the book, and it was lovely to watch her journey. I thought McManus created some really believable and relatable characters.

ONE OF US IS LYING is a pretty plot focused book. Focusing on the main area of the plot first, I thought McManus wrote a really interesting and compelling story. I did guess who did it, which I don’t usually, before the end but I didn’t get all of it and there were still a few surprises along the way. I also enjoyed the fact that because the story is narrated by all four main characters there were also character specific subplots which I really enjoyed following. I thought all the subplots were really interesting and helped me to get to know the characters and their lives. McManus did a brilliant job in keeping me guessing.

ONE OF US IS LYING is perfect for fans of The Breakfast Club and people who enjoy who-done-its. This was a really difficult review to write because I don’t want to spoil you, because honestly not knowing a whole lot about this book going into it is half the fun. At the same time I want to talk about how much I enjoyed this book, because I honestly did. If you take anything from this review, then take this – if you think this sounds like something you would enjoy, then go for it. It certainly lived up to my expectations.

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