Books, REVIEWS

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

“Everybody’s got secrets,” he says. “Right?”

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.”

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Personal Thoughts:

One of Us is Lying will surely keep readers turning pages after pages till the end.

Simon is the owner and creator of About That, an application that broadcast the juiciest gossips around Bayview High. When he and other four students end up in the detention, Simon died from severe allergy after drinking a cup of water. The four students – Nate, Bronwyn, Addy, and Cooper are all subjects of About That’s next gossip, making them more suspicious for Simon’s murder. Could any of them plotted Simon’s death, or are they just in the wrong place at the wrong time?

“I know what it’s like to tell yourself a lie so often that it becomes the truth.”

Uncovering Simon’s death for me is not about the whodunnit part, but more on how and why? Not exactly on how it was done, but more on the small details actually. Only few chapters in, right after reading each of the suspects thoughts, I already had my guess on who killed Simon. And as I continue reading, getting to know more of the suspects, I know my guess is right. From then on, it a series of confirmations. As much as I don’t want the fact that I easily guessed the mystery of Simon’s death, I am still so much at awe how the whole story was delivered. Not only it is addictive, but also very engaging.

The whole time I am reading, I am mentally noting the facts and details about the characters – their involvement to Simon, their motives and alibis. Not only because of their connection to the mystery of Simon’s death but most importantly because of their own stories. Their individual secrets and side stories are what really drive the whole plot for me, more than Simon’s death.

These characters though label as stereotypical are not as simple as they appear. They are not just the typical representations of the high-school status quo. Bronwyn, Nate, Addy, and Cooper are all interesting individual whose stories went to different lows and highs. Their character development is one of the best part of this book.

“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.”

As for Simon, is it bad I don’t care much that he is dead? Sure, I had fun reading the other characters take on his death, but with my hunch about his death, it just not easy for me to see things the other way around. I wish there’s more details and explanations than just his condition, or at least more about his condition. But even then, I don’t think it will justify everything that went through with him. If only I know what’s in his head. I don’t think it’s all about revenge though. I think he is more clever than that.

“Some people are too toxic to live. They just are.”

One of Us is Lying is a well written, interesting and surprisingly fun read. Karen M. McManus did a very well job with this one. You won’t even noticed that this is her debut novel. I will definitely read whatever her next project is.

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1 thought on “One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus”

  1. Glad you enjoyed this one. I read the book and I like the writing flow even with the multiple narration. As you said addictive. It’s fun guessing who is the killer is.

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