Title: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Disclaimer: I received a copy free from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This review contains major spoilers for the book.
Five students end up in detention on a normal Thursday afternoon. Most of them are there because of a mistake – they all got caught with a phone in class. But, it wasn’t their phone, it was planted there. In detention there is:
Bronwyn, the brain.
Addy, the princess.
Nate, the criminal.
Cooper, the athlete.
And finally, Simon, the outcast and creator of the school’s most notorious gossip app responsible for wreaking havoc on the school and tormenting numerous pupils.
However, only four of them get out of detention alive. It was murder. It is later discovered that Simon was about to post a piece of gossip on all four students and they are all prime suspects. Who is the murderer and have they been set up?
One Of Us Is Lying is an enjoyable read which is described as The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars. I’d say the ‘mystery’ itself is pretty weak, made even more so due to the first person narrative in each of the four main characters POVs. So, *spoiler*, it was pretty obvious none of them was the killer.
One of my favourite aspects of One of Us is Lying was the characters. I liked how we saw them develop and delved deeper into themselves. We saw that they weren’t just their stereotypes. I loved Addy, I felt like the went through the most growth and self-discovery. She learned how co-dependent she was on her controlling ex-boyfriend. I liked Bronwyn, she was intelligent and ambitious and I really enjoyed her romance with Nate. I liked Cooper but did not like how he was forcefully outed and that it was used as a ‘plot twist’ to shock the reader. I also disliked the suicidal ideation and how Simon’s suicide appeared to be used as a ‘revenge plot’, hence the lower rating.
There were four separate POVs, which I felt sometimes got a little confusing because it wasn’t always a distinct change between voices and narratives.
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus deals with a lot of different and difficult themes, such as drugs, alcoholism, poverty, neglect, suicide, sexuality and homophobia, but I felt like McManus didn’t always deal with them in a sensitive or helpful way.
Overall, One of Us is Lying was an entertaining and enjoyable read at times, but I felt the mystery was lacking and the portrayal of aspects, such as suicide, to be problematic.
Megan (pronounced MEE-GAN bc her Irish grandfather refused to use the English pronunciation) is a 21 year old british blogger, history graduate, lover of books and expert procrastinator. She is anxious and introverted and is currently attempting adulthood. She loves potatoes which is often blamed on her irish heritage and can often eat her weight in food. She predominantly reads and reviews YA which includes historical fiction, science fiction, contemporary, and f/f romance. She loves reading about unlikeable female characters, positive female friendships & relationships, and is a sucker for a pretty cover.