My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance
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?
This is an adequate mystery YA novel. The writing is engaging and accessible. The story itself is narrated by the four main characters—Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper—, thus keeping things moving at a fast pace.
I was very curious about this book. How can one not be, when hearing the premise? Five students walk into the detention room and only four come out? I love these kinds of stories—like And Then There Were None—in which everyone is a suspect and no one is to be trusted.
But I was disappointed with the story. I never felt thrilled and I never felt mystified. That’s the problem: this book doesn’t make you feel anything. And the way I see it, it’s a requirement for mysteries/thrillers to make you feel something. Otherwise it’s just a book like any other. You could say that I wasn’t as invested in One of Us Is Lying as I would have wanted to be.
I liked how different the characters were from one another, even if they are complete clichés. The synopsis makes that perfectly clear from the start. However, as the story progresses, we discover new facets of their personalities. I cared for the future of each of them, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I’ve never met anyone like Bronwyn, Addy, Nate or Cooper. Because again, clichés.
If this is one of the first YA mystery novels that you read, I guess there’s a chance you’ll enjoy it more than I did. Honestly I just can’t stop thinking of better YA mystery novels than this one. But that’s because I’ve read many of them.
Those are books that actually make you feel something.
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