Annike: Hey guys, today I wanted to review a book called One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. I have been talking about this book a little bit lately and how it was on my TBR as I got it for my birthday. The book was really good and such an engaging mystery novel so I’ve included both a non-spoiler and a spoiler version in case any of you want to read it! If you haven’t read it make sure not to go past the spoiler title but if you have happened to read this, let me know what you thought in the comments!
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.
So, one of the things that I liked the best about this novel was the way that it revolved around 4 different characters who embodied typical stereotypes but also had much more depth. From here, these 4 people had secrets exposed about them after the death of their classmate and this made for a really interesting read about their responses.
First there was Bronwyn who was your common high achiever and diligent school girl. Bronwyn was a really intriguing character to me but I felt that of all of the 4 characters she probably had the least really major problems when it came to her secrets being exposed. Next came Nate who was the notorious bad boy at school and again, his secret wasn’t really a secret per se, but it left him in a lot of trouble. Nate was one of my favourite characters because you really got to delve into his home life and some of the motives behind his trouble making to see his other side. Next came Cooper who was the common jock, successful in softball and really popular. I loved how his secret really did affect him and the diversity that this secret created in the book. Cooper was thoughtful and just a really good guy, so another amazing character. And lastly there was Addy who was labelled as the princess with the perfect boyfriend and perfect friends. Addy was a really interesting character because of all of the characters it was her who changed most in response to the exposing of her secret, however I found that she was the character I identified least with. Through those small profiles I hope you got the sense that I really enjoyed a lot of the characters in this book and the way they were able to drive the plot forwards.
In regards to the plot this time, as soon as I read the blurb I knew this was going to be a book that I wanted to read and I wanted to hook me. And hook me it definitely did. I loved the intricate details of the murder and the whole idea behind a boy dying in detention and the 4 students who witnessed it, being the same 4 who’s secrets were going to be exposed the following day. I do think that the ending was a little predictable, and personally I had suspected it, however there were twists that were great to read about and gave a whole new perspective on everything. I also thought the book was extremely effective at involving the families of the involved students and ensuring that we were shown the support systems the kids did or did not have. This being said, I loved the bonds between Addy and Bronwyn’s respective sisters.
Overall, this book was a really good mystery book and the fact that a majority of it in 1 sitting should be a good enough indicator of that! It was really enthralling and the development of the characters meant that I couldn’t pull myself away. I would most definitely recommend this book to like everyone because it is definitely worth it!
SPOILERS (PLEASE DON’T READ IF YOU WANT TO READ THE BOOK CAUSE IT’LL SPOIL THE ENDING!!)
So I also just wanted to talk a little bit about some of the things in the book I liked and didn’t like when it came to the exposed secrets and the ending. I have listed some of them below:
- I loved the relationship between Bronwyn and Nate. I kind of love the good-girl, bad-boy thing in books but the added characteristic of Nate being so kind and supportive while Bronwyn was more reserved and insecure meant they complemented each other perfectly and were fun to read about.
- Due to the reason above, I was so sad in the ending of this book. I know that the author was probably trying to stray away from the common cliché ending where everything ends up perfectly, but I am such a sucker for happy endings and would have loved to see the relationship between Bronwyn and Nate wrapped up.
- I thought that through having Cooper as a gay character who was struggling to come out to his family we got to see so much more of Cooper and his character which was great and the devastating response from the school was so heartbreaking but also very insightful on a lot of characters. On that note, Kris and Cooper were so cute!
- I honestly did not see that coming with Jake as an accomplice in Simon’s murder but I definitely did see the idea of a suicide coming. In a way, I was a bit disappointed that a murder mystery turned out to be something that was none of the sort, however I liked seeing how the plan and Simon’s plot to frame others was created and succeeded in many aspects. I guess my feelings are a little mixed because while it might have been cool to see someone so unexpected turn out to be the killer, I really loved the main characters so wouldn’t want them to turn out bad after all.
Thanks for reading guys, let me know what you thought of the book if you’ve read it or want to read it! Definitely recommend this book it was really good!