Review: One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

One of us is Lying by Karen McManus
Published by Penguin
Released 1st June 2017
358 Pages

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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.


A YA murder mystery? Erm yes please! As soon as I heard about One of Us Is Lying I knew I had to read it. I love reading mysteries and the feeling of trying to guess who did the crime is something I really do enjoy. Needless to say I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this story and get stuck in.

On a Thursday afternoon at Bayview high five students enter detention. Bronwyn – the brain. Addy – the princess. Nate – the bad boy. Cooper – the jock and Simon – the gossip and outcast. However, by the end of detention Simon is dead and according to the police investigation the death wasn’t an accident. Simon had been planning to post juicy gossip about the four classmates on his gossip app on the Friday. Thus making all four murder suspects. Did one of them kill Simon? Or are they just pawns for a killer on the loose? 

Okay, first things first, I loved the plot. It was mysterious, captivating and took me on all sorts of twists and turns. One minute I’d be thinking one thing and then something would happen and I’d be back to square one. I love books that leave me guessing and this certainly happened. I’ll admit that by the middle of the book I had a feeling where the plot was heading but there was so much going on that I was still surprised when the climax was revealed. 

The story is told through the perspectives of all four of the suspects which was a great way to tell the story in my opinion. It helped us understand and get to know all four of them which was needed in this kind of story. All of the characters start off pretty one dimensional and it did leave me wondering if I was going to connect with any of them. Oh boy was I wrong! I ended up connecting with every single one of the suspects. Although I will admit my favourite ended up being Nate. Who can resist a bad boy? His character is proof that beneath all that hard bravado there is a sweetness dying to come out. Addy’s character was also pretty badass come the end. At first you think she is going to be the typical popular mean girl but she proves you wrong and turns into one of the strongest characters in terms of development within the book. 

As well as this being a mystery the book also touched on some important issues such as abusive relationships, suicide, addiction and mental illness. All issues that need to be addressed more in YA fiction. Karen addressed these with great sensitivity and could ultimately help people who are suffering with any of these. I love to find a book that can be entertaining and captivating but also help with real life problems. This was definitely found within One of Us Is Lying. 

One of Us Is Lying was quite literally amazing. The pacing was perfect and kept me on my toes. The character development shocked me and I was amazed at how I ended up loving every single character within the story. It was heart racing, suspenseful and just a pure joy to read. I devoured it within two days and it is certainly going down as one of my favourite reads of 2017. I can’t wait to read what Karen McManus writes next.


Author Bio

Karen McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in Journalism from Northeastern University. When she isn’t working or writing in Cambridge, MA, she loves to travel with her son. One of Us Is Lying is her debut novel. 

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