One of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus

32571395One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance

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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.

Here are some recommendations:
Dangerous Girls
Dreamland Burning
All the Rage
City of Saints & Thieves

Those are books that actually make you feel something.


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5 thoughts on “One of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus

  1. Have you seen the Breakfast Club? The set up sounds like that, but then this takes a different turn. I have to imagine the author was “borrowing” from that movie.


  2. This sounds exactly like The Breakfast Club meets Gossip Girl! I agree with Marie about the author borrowing from the Breakfast Club, the blurb is WAY to similar to not be. Such a bummer that this book didn’t make you feel invested or anything. Great review!


  3. Ah, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like it :/
    One of Us is Lying is one of my most anticipated books this year, and now my excitement for it went down a notch.
    That being said, I haven’t read all that many thrillers, so maybe I *could* enjoy this one more.
    Then again, a book that ‘doesn’t really make you feel’ does not sound like a good one. *sigh*.
    I’ll definitely still give it a chance but I’m going to be cautious.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! (:
    Your reviews are, as always, clear and to the point. I love reading them ^^ .


  4. Pingback: 5 Books You Might Enjoy if You Love 'The Breakfast Club' – Strung out on Books

  5. Pingback: 4 Books You Might Enjoy if You Love ‘The Breakfast Club’ – Strung out on Books

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