#BookReview: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus


About the Book

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

On Thursday 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 bad boy, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the jock, 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 Thursday, he died. But on Friday, 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 just 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.

My Thoughts

I was thrilled when I was approved to read this book from NetGalley as it has such an intriguing premise. I loved the movie The Breakfast Club so for it to have comparisons to that gave me high hopes!

The opening chapters of this novel are really intense, they grabbed me immediately and had me wondering what was going to happen next. The novel is then told from each of the perspectives of the four students who survived detention – we gradually get to see what their lives are like and it seems that they all have a potential motive for killing their classmate.

I really enjoyed how the teenagers changed as the novel progressed; it was also nice to see how, even though they all hung around in different groups before Simon’s death, they began to look out for one another in the aftermath. It made it really interesting as a reader too because as you get to know more about their pasts, you grow to like them more and it adds to the suspense that you don’t know for sure who you can trust. I did have my suspicions early on about what had happened in detention, and I was right, but there was more to the story than I had figured out so there were still shocks in store as the novel moves on. I would say that while this book does have the element of suspense there is much more to it than that. It’s more about the people left behind who suspicion falls on and we get to see how they cope with being under such scrutiny.

I have to be honest though and say that I did struggle to follow this novel because the voices of the main characters were not distinct enough from each other. I kept having to flick back because I couldn’t remember whose chapter I was currently reading and it made this novel a slower read for me than it might have been. It’s a small criticism but it would be remiss of me not to mention it because it did affect my enjoyment of the novel to a degree. That said, I would still recommend this novel because aside from this issue everything else is great and very enjoyable.

I’m a lot older than the target audience for this book but I have to say that, in terms of plot, it was one of the best YA books I’ve read in a long while so there are definite positives to this novel and I will be looking out for whatever Karen McManus writes next.

One of Us is Lying is out now!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Karen McManus

Karen M. McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in journalism from Northeastern University. Her debut young adult novel, ONE OF US IS LYING, will be released from Delacorte Press/Random House on May 30, 2017. It will also be published internationally in 18 territories including the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia.

(Author Bio and Photo taken from Goodreads)


14 thoughts on “#BookReview: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

  1. Ooh this sounds like a really good book. I’m also older than the target audience, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying some YA novels. Looks like it should be one where I’m alert and paying attention if the voices don’t differ that much from one another, but I think this is one for the TBR pile. Lovely review!

  2. You know, I was wondering about this one. It sounds like such an intriguing premise for a story, and I can see how it’d appeal to the YA audience, too. I’m glad you found a lot to like about it,

  3. Using a Breakfast Club premise will definitely pull in a lot of readers. I’m also a lot older than the target reader, but I always like to revisit the high school experience. Sounds like an interesting story!

  4. This sounds great and I am glad that you enjoyed it so much despite the issue with the voices/POVs. I hope to read this soon. Great review!

  5. This does sound super interesting. But, one of my biggest turn-offs for a book is when it’s written from many different perspectives and their voices aren’t distinct enough. It’s hard for me to get over that. I know that portraying different voices is challenging and not the strong suit of every author, but there are many other ways to tell a story that would perhaps play to the author’s skill set.

  6. I was sent a copy of this book, but dismissed it because I generally don’t care for YA. After reading your review and a couple others, I’m more interested. If things slow down a bit, I may give it a try.

  7. It’s always so much more complicated when the characters’ voices are not unique enough to distinguish them. I like the idea of the book but this plus the fact you had a feeling of what had happened early on, on top of the fact YA and me are not often friends, confirms that I won’t be reading this one, but I’m happy you enjoyed it! Great review! xx

  8. Yikes, it sounds like being unable to tell one narrator from the next would be a huge problem. If the story is supposed to be told from four distinct voices, and each voice talks about what happened that day, then they can’t be the same person unless this book has some weird twist in which they ARE the same person… :O

  9. I was approved this by NetGalley too and I really enjoyed it. Similar to you, I found that the characters perspectives weren’t distinct enough from each other. A promising debut though!

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