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

Posted February 8, 2021 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManusOne of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Series: One of Us is Lying #1
Published by Delacorte Press on 2017-05-30
Length: 359 pages
Reviewing eBook from Library

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One 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.

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus is an intriguing mystery following four high school students after one of their fellow classmates dies during detention. This book reminds me of a darker version of the 80’s classic The Breakfast Club, which happens to also be the original inspiration for the story. Delivering a keep-you-guessing mystery while also addressing some of today’s biggest social dilemmas, One of Us is Lying is a must-read for those that enjoy a realistic thriller.

“She’s a princess and you’re a jock,” he says. He thrusts his chin toward Bronwyn, then at Nate. “And you’re a brain. And you’re a criminal. You’re all walking teen-movie stereotypes.”

The Brain: The story begins with Bronwyn Rojas, one of the smartest girls in her school, heading to detention, wrongfully accused in her opinion. I really liked Bronwyn, probably because she reminds me a bit of myself in high school: Good with books, bad with people. Well, maybe not bad, but definitely awkward in social situations. She has her small clique of friends she can be herself with, and then outside of that people don’t really understand her. Bronwyn is what most would consider high strung, an overachiever. Yet she has her reasons. 

The Princess: I love Addy. Of all the characters, she grows the most. Dating the same boy since she was 14, Addy tends to disappear in his shadow. No one really thinks of her outside of her role as Jake’s girlfriend. Even she has lost herself somewhere along their relationship. After that fateful afternoon in detention though, Addy’s life spirals out of her normal, and she finds that the life she was living wasn’t really living afterall.

The Jock: Cooper is the last person you’d expect to find in detention. Labeled a golden boy by his peers, he really is a golden boy. He’s kind to everyone, makes good grades, avoids trouble, and a star pitcher. But like the others in detention he’s hiding a part of himself from everyone. 

The Criminal: Nate is currently on parole for drug dealing, and he’s still doing it because someone has to pay the bills and it isn’t going to be his drunk dad. I empathized with this character. He has basically given up on making anything out of his life. His mom abandoned him, his dad may as well have, and the only person he can rely on is himself. But now he makes the perfect scapegoat. 

The plot of this one moves at lightning speed. During detention these four realize that they are there for the same reason. Someone snuck phones into their backpacks that weren’t theirs, and the teacher caught them. Then, the fifth student in detention dies, leaving each of them as a suspect in his potential murder. The student that died happened to have a gossip blog/app where he would post true gossip about fellow classmates using their initials so everyone knew who was being gossiped about. He made a lot of enemies, and the four in detention? They were his next target. I love how this story unfolded. Lots of shock and awe moments for sure! I had an entire chart of possibilities for what the end was. 

Overall I really enjoyed One of Us is Lying. The only reason it isn’t five stars is the predictability factor. While I didn’t predict with 100% accuracy the conclusion of this one, I did get the main idea within the first few chapters of the book. Despite this, I still enjoyed the story. The author addresses mental illness stigmas, emotional abuse in relationships, drugs, and the effects of social media on teens throughout the book….just to name a few. If you are looking for a mystery that will keep you up all night, look no further than One of Us is Lying.

About Karen M. McManus

Author Karen M McManus

Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, One of Us Is Next, and The Cousins. Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master's degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels.

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