One of us is Lying by Karen M McManus
Published in: 2017
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Find it here: One of us is Lying
This ARC was provided by Penguin Random House UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
Book Worm’s Thoughts: Firstly, I would like to correct one thing in the Goodreads synopsis. The 5 people who go into detention are not strangers, they all know each other, or at the very least know of each other. I don’t think there is actually such a thing as a stranger in a closed environment like a school.
This is a YA thriller and, as such, it is light on the gory stuff. While there is tension in the narrative, I never felt that anyone was in real danger. For me, it was more a closed room mystery and with that premise in mind it worked really well.
There were 2 big reveals in the narrative and if you were paying attention they were both obvious. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Good because I hate books where the reader couldn’t possibly solve the crime and bad because I do like to be kept guessing slightly longer than the book allowed.
The narrative switches between the 4 characters who “survive” detention and as the book went on I became more and more invested in them, as they shared their faults and flaws and began to develop beyond the stereotypes with which we are first presented. There is also one brilliant scene in the school canteen that I can’t share for fear of spoilers, but all I will say is bad boy Nate is my hero in that scene.
This is a solid 3 star read with interesting characters and a touch of teen romance thrown in for good measure.
Who would like this book? If you like murder mysteries that won’t give you nightmares, this would be a good choice for you. I would also recommend this to a teenaged audience as it deals with issues that many teenagers face at school.
Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: One of us is Lying
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