ONE OF US IS LYING
Written by Karen M. McManus
Published by Delacorte Press, May 30, 2017
My star rating: 4 stars
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.” Find it on Goodreads
I’ve heard so many great things about this book for months. Problem is, YA mystery isn’t usually my thing. I can’t pinpoint the problem but I can’t seem to connect with them. But when I heard it being compared to The Breakfast Club (which is one of my ALL TIME favourite movies!) I was interested. Having read this book, I would say that comparison is true and well done! The things that I loved about that movie were also in here, but mixed with a murder mystery. I enjoyed this book immensely!!
This book doesn’t mess around! We don’t even really get time to meet the characters before there’s an untimely death. Which I kind of appreciated in more way than one. We didn’t spend a lot of time wondering when the shoe was going to drop, and we also didn’t get to see these students (now suspects) before they were under investigation. I liked that we were never really given an impression of these 4 students before the tragedy. It helped my emotions keep on a “whodunit” quest. I didn’t feel emotionally attached to any of them in the beginning so my mind was always busy “working the case” and trying to figure out who was the killer.
Along that same line, the fact that we were introduced to them when they were already suspects gave them so much dimension. This book was told in alternating perspectives between Brownyn, Addy, Nate, and Cooper and we followed all of their lives as they struggled to deal with the death of their fellow student. None of these people were friends before this. They weren’t in any of the same circles, yet here they were, thrown together, and trying to figure out how to not get pinned for this murder. As we learn more and more about them, it quickly becomes apparent that they all have secrets. But, more importantly, that there is more to them than it seems. Each one of them portrays themselves as completely different people in order to be popular, perfect, or accepted. This tragedy forces each of them to own up to their secrets and consider who they really are and what they really want. Being the suspect in a murder has a way of alienating you from your friends and typical support groups, so now that they were on their own, they had time to reflect on their lives before this incident and see if that’s really who they are. The personal growth of the characters was just SO well done, not to mention all of their support systems. I absolutely loved how each one sought out support and sometimes that came in the most unlikely of places, building friendships that were purely authentic. But seriously, the character development from start to finish made this book stand out so much to me!! I went from feeling just blah about them to loving them for all their faults and emotions.
One of the biggest problems I have with the YA mystery genre is the suspense. I struggle to connect with it and it sometimes just feels so forced and fake. Not with this book! Instead of plot twists coming out of nowhere that really made no sense, this book had many twists that started off a small pebbles and grew to boulders. And each of these little twists would connect to something else and cast even more shadows on something you thought was no big deal. I found myself changing my mind so many times! I did call the killer though, which was a little bit of a let down for me, but the reasons why everything played out the way it did was a whirlwind that I didn’t expect!
All in all, I thought this was a really fantastic YA mystery! It kept me guessing, made me fall for the characters, and being totally invested into the mystery of it all. I highly recommend this one!
Until next time, happy reading!