Book Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

January 10, 2018 Book Reviews, Fall, Thriller 1

I received this book for free from Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManusOne of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Published by Delacorte Press on May 30th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Pages: 361
Source: Library
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The 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."

Reading Challenges: Library Love


Thrilled that I chose this as my first read in 2018! And I got my library card working again so it also goes for the Library Challenge that I’m taking part in this year! Plus, for some reason lately YA mixed with mystery or psychological thrillers is my form of a perfect book!

This was right up my alley, if that was not already obvious. I love the premise of it. The great thing is you, as the reader or as a character, suspect everyone. No one is not suspected and as such as I was able to read this with my normal negative, everyone is guilty thinking! Which worked very well with this mystery!

The plot of the book is pretty straight forward. A guy that everyone hated because he has a social media app that gives out everyones dirty laundry, winds up dying. Not a casual death but death by peanuts. We all know how serious this allergy is and while working at Disney I found out even more about it. Just the oils from a peanut on a cutting board could send someone into an anaphylactic shock! Needless to say, when Simon dies from ingesting peanut oil, those four in the classroom with him are all suspected.

So, the entirety of the book is getting down to who did it. Every life is picked apart and examined. And yes, everyone does have something egregious to hide. Well, egregious to a point. The main idea is if any of these secrets were to get out, all of their lives would change dramatically.

What I loved, and hated, was that the characterization was so good, that I wound up loving all of the characters. It may have helped that each chapter changed pov so I got to see what they were thinking BUT not so much that the reader would know if they were innocent or not. Which I thought was brilliantly done. At the end of one chapter one of the characters even hints at something he did that was worse than what Simon was going to write about!

As the plot moves along I found myself loving each of the characters more and more. I did not want any of them to be the traitor. They wind up needing each other and knowing that one of them could be the killer, and is framing the others, is horrible! Again, well executed, and I didn’t figure it out until about 75% in. As I was suspecting everyone it hit me who it really was. There are a few clues but not so many that the killer will be obvious on page 20. They are subtle hints, that are repeated at the end to remind the reader why this happened.

In short: this was right up my alley. I almost wish I would have waited to read this one for my bday but I was excited to see it at my small local library! If you love YA and mysteries, pick this one up!




Rating Report
5 / 5
Character Development
5 / 5
Writing Style
5 / 5
Personal enjoyment
5 / 5
5 / 5
Overall: 5 / 5



About Karen M. McManus

Karen M. McManus' debut young adult novel, ONE OF US IS LYING, was released from Delacorte Press/Random House in May 2017. The book is a New York Times and international bestseller, and is being translated into 30 languages.

To learn more visit, or follow @writerkmc on Twitter.







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One Response to “Book Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus”

  1. Greg

    I liked this one too! So fun. And I agree about the characters, and the changing POV’s. Glad your first book of 2018 was a good one!