Book Review: One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying - Karen M McManus

YA is not a genre I read a lot of but when I read Kate @ BibliophileBookClub’s review of this one, I knew I had to read it. She doesn’t read much YA either so for her to recommend this book, I suspected I’d enjoy it too, and I did, I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would!

Book Description:

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:

Told from the perspective of the four surviving students, this mystery kept me guessing until the end. I enjoyed trying to figure out who the killer was as little pieces of the puzzle fell into place, and on the information revealed, I lost count of how many times I changed my mind.

McManus does a great job creating the teen/high-school atmosphere, tapping into the cliques, social media, and the whole ‘my-parent-don’t-understand’ mantra that teens live by. I liked that the students in this one were from different cliques, were familiar with each other but not friends, thus allowing the suspense to build as they were not sure if they could trust each other. As the secrets were revealed, I applaud their realistic nature, secrets I believe some teens in real life are struggling with. As I suspected once I read the blurb, Nate, was my favourite character – not in a dreamy crush on a bad boy way but in a motherly-way, like with some love and attention all is not lost.

There’s only one tiny, and I mean teeny tiny part of the story that annoyed me – and this is not a spoiler in anyway – why when the female is running away, must she always trip and fall and twist her ankle? – It’s so frustrating, so cliché, so typical ‘teen movie[/book]’. Other than that, I have no complaints, this is quick and enjoyable read. Each chapter is date and time stamped helping the flow of the book, it gives the story a fast-paced nature that the writing doesn’t and this worked really well; allowing small time jumps that don’t discombobulate the flow and the reader is kept aware of whose perspective is being given at that particular time.

The writing is as you’d expect for a YA read so if you struggle to get on board with the simpler (than you’d find in adult mystery books) writing style, I don’t think that will be a problem here, as the mystery is strong enough in its delivery to keep you turning pages. If you don’t usually read YA and you’re able to guess ‘who dunnit’ right away, you may find this read less satisfying but it’s always fun to read on and see if you’re right! And the writing style means you’ll fly through the pages, possibly in one-sitting.

I’ve seen fellow reviewers relate this book to Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, and I have to agree, they were spot on. If you’re looking for a YA mystery recommendation, look no further than One Of Us Is Lying.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK / Book Depository (release date: 01/06/17)

*My thanks to the author (Karen M. McManus) and publisher (Penguin Random House UK) for granting me access to a digital copy of this book via Netgalley*

22 thoughts on “Book Review: One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

  1. I have this one to read very soon! I don’t normally read YA mystery (or YS in general) and I totally get what you mean by the “simpler writing”, I’m glad I wasn’t the only who thought this! I tried to describe it in a review once, where I felt the writing was more YA that Adult, and I couldn’t work out a way to say it without making me sound patronising haha! You said exactly what I wanted to and didn’t make it patronising at all, so I was obviously getting myself worked up haha. Anyway, ramble over! Great review as always 👍☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I didn’t struggle with how to word that bit with out it sounding like I’m slamming YA but it’s the truth, YA is essentially aimed at a lower age range, although adults read it, so I think it’s a fair comment. I hope you enjoy it when you read it and I look forward to reading your review 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Renee! From the little YA I’ve read, they do tend to have more cliches than adult mystery books. This one was only described in a line or two but it really bugged me but maybe these cliches are something regular readers of this genre find a comfort, maybe? Lol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I won’t be dropping adult fiction for YA any time soon but this is definitely one of the better YA books I’ve read. And omg, hurting the ankle – so cliche, it was only a line or two describing it but it stuck with me cos it was so annoying lol but overall a good book!


      1. ah ye… I haven’t seen Pretty Little Liars! 🙂 I just finished my second YA book a little while ago within a month so I think I’m currently quite done with their YA dramatics, but it does sound interesting, what with the murder so will keep an eye out 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I might enjoy this one, as it’s a mystery and it seemed like The Breakfast Club and PLL (as you said) haha but the ankle thing is so typical, you’re right!

    Liked by 1 person

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