One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

This book cost me four hours of sleep. I could not put it down or rest my eyes until I finished the last page. I have seen the book around and heard the buzz but, honestly, I didn’t expect to enjoy it. I certainly didn’t think I would become completely obsessed and compelled to finish it in one sitting. Save this one for when you have time because it is excellent!

oneofusislyingThe 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. Goodreads.

There were two things that kept me from reading this book for so long. The first is the reference to The Breakfast Club. I’ll be honest, I despise The Breakfast Club. Second, the book is described as a YA thriller and I couldn’t quite tell what this meant. I suppose I guessed that it would be a little grosser or a little sexier than the average thriller.

Let me lay these two concerns to rest. First of all, the only thing this book and The Breakfast Club have in common are the are kids in detention. If Simon hadn’t died they would all have happily gone their separate ways. This was more like Jumanji than The Breakfast Club. And what “YA Thriller” really means is a highly addictive crime story set inside a high school featuring high school aged kids.

The story is told through the vantage point of all four major characters but this book stops just short of giving you the omniscient point of view. I constantly felt that I was just around the corner from solving the mystery (and I fell for two red herrings) and I was still shocked when the big reveal finally happened. The shifting narratives also gave me the opportunity to see these characters inside of school, at home, and watch them change as the impact of Simon’s death rippled deeper and deeper into their lives.

It is also important to note that I am always affected by tragedies in our schools. I think I avoided reading this book because I didn’t want to picture any of the high school aged students I knew having a life and death experience. Truthfully, the story is amazing but so ridiculously outside of the norm that the connection to the real world just didn’t happen. It was simply addictive reading. This is going to be my thriller to beat this year!

Tell me, please!

Have you read this? If not, what is stopping you?



8 thoughts on “One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Add yours

  1. I was also really pleasantly surprised by this one ☺️ Have you read two can keep a secret? If not, you should try! It is even better!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. You despise The Breakfast Club?? I love that film but am with you on the book not having a huge similarity to the film. I was quite shocked the detention aspect was over so quickly although I suppose it does play around with the stereotypes (jock, brain etc) in a similar way. It was actually the character development and relationships between them I enjoyed the most. The mystery aspect was good but am afraid I guessed it very early on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did! I know, I’m a traitor to my generation. I also thought Ducky should have won Andie’s heart.

      I agree that the character development was the best part. Good for you for figuring it out! I was really thrown by a couple of misleading clues.


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