Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

One of Us is Lying - image

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

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’s no accident. All of them are suspects. 

Everyone has secrets, right?

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

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus was described online as a mixture of Pretty Little Liars and The Breakfast Club, which convinced me to read it in about 3.4 seconds.

I finished the book very quickly, and when it was over I just wanted to read a little bit more. It had those classic high school tropes, with the added mystery of a murder case. And while I did eventually guess some aspects of the ending, it took some time for me to consider all the potential suspects and wonder about what could have happened, seemingly behind everyone’s noses, in detention.

Bronwyn, Cooper, Nate and Addy are each so different (and somewhat stereotypical at first), which I believe is definitely intentional, and also makes me think that most people should be able to relate to some or all of the characters in different ways.

I liked the character development as you learn the group’s secrets, and in turn learn more about their personalities. I think this was helped by the fact that the chapters were written from the perspectives of the four students suspected of the murder, because you get to learn how individual characters think and also how they feel about the others in the self-procclaimed “murder club.” I also liked the romance and friendship that developed between Bronwyn and Nate, Cooper’s bravery, and Addy finding her independence.

A quick stalk of @writerkmc on Twitter pulls up words like “page-turner,” “binge reading,” “mind blowing” and “captivating” – all pretty great stuff! I’d say Karen McManus’s writing is honest, suspensful, youthful.

Also, the COVER ART. I love it the Aus/UK edition. Simple, eye-catching, spot on.

One of Us is Lying was a light and fun read, so if you’re intrigued by this point I recommend you pick up a copy!