Book Review

One Of Us Is Lying

One of Us is Lying

  • Author: Karen M. McManus
  • Genre: YA Mystery
  • Publication Date: May 30, 2017
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • Series: One of Us is Lying #1

TRIGGER WARNING: death, drug dealing, infidelity, substance use, controlling relationship, parental neglect/abandonment, mental illness, homophobia, mention of suicide

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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 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.

I know I’m wayyyyyyy late to the party on this one. Yes, I do live under a rock. 

Right off the bat, I got some strong Breakfast Club vibes. Which is awesome, because I seriously love that movie. But instead of bonding about their secret talents, this took a much darker turn … right into someone dying. 

Obviously, since this was a murder mystery, I spent the entire book trying to see if I could figure out who did it. Hint: I didn’t. But what I did realize was that everyone in the book has secrets. Come on, it is high school, who doesn’t have secrets? But with Simon making it his business to share those secrets on an app of his creating, he was certainly racking up enemies. So it wasn’t really easy to figure out who was behind his death. Everyone seemed to have something to hide.

The story was fast-paced and interesting. The tone was light, even though it dealt with some really heavy subject matter. High school is a rough time for nearly everyone, and these kids are no different. Their issues run the gamut, no matter how perfect their lives may seem from the outside — they have problems with families, relationships, grades, friends, money, sports, and legal issues. I couldn’t help but like each of the characters, and feel for the situations that they’re in. I enjoyed seeing each of the characters grow and change throughout the course of the book. 

I especially liked seeing the story develop, and my favorite part was seeing how everything wrapped up. I know that there is another book in the series, but this book ended with a complete sense of closure. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book and more of her work.

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 7

9 replies »

  1. Great review! I really enjoyed McManus’ YA mysteries and have read all but one by now. I still have to read the “sequel” to this one, although I totes agree this ends well enough without needing a sequel, but I’m so looking forward to it! McManus always keeps me guessing until the end with so many twists/turns! I love it 😂 Hope you enjoy her other books!


    • Me too – I can’t wait to read more of her work! I am definitely still planning to read the next book in this series, even though it seems like more of an adjacent book than a continuation.


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