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

spoiler free graphic


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!

26 Comments Add yours

  1. anatomyofabookthief says:

    Great review! I loved this book so i’m really happy to hear you enjoyed it too and i feel exactly the same about the characters, their development is so amazing and i ended up really connected to them which always makes a book and reading experience better! 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard so many good things about this book, but I’d never bothered to find out what it’s about. What an intriguing concept!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The concept was REALLY well done! Having so many perspectives in a book can sometimes be messy, but here it made the difference 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Zircon says:

    So true! I loved this book and its individual character plotlines, especially Addy’s! I’m a huge fan of YA mystery as well, do you have any recommendations?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Addy ended up being my favourite! I didn’t like her at all at first, then she turned out to be so strong!
      I wish I could recommend more but I don’t read much YA mystery. They all seem kind of flat to me. I read City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C Anderson last year and it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t my favourite but it might be worth looking into 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Zircon says:

        In that case, you should try Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L Armentrout, and the Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes….I have a feeling you’ll enjoy them!


  4. Fantastic review! I bought a copy of this recently and now I’m going to bump it up the tbr!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! And I hope you love it when you get to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this book, especially the characters. It helped get me back into mystery books, so I’m really thankful to it. I can’t wait to read more of her books in the future, I enjoyed this one so much. (Plus character development. Ugh I loved it so much)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She is definitely an author I will read more of!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same. I was surprised to find out she was a debut author. If this was a first book…wow.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s a definite shock for me as well!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review! I loved reading and reviewing this book! It was suspenseful. I also really like the character development. I never really thought about how well they were developed until you pointed out how we see them as suspects first which is an element I didn’t even think of. That is definitely a reason that I liked this book so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I hope to read more of her in the future. If the rest of her books have so many great characters I’m sure I’ll love them!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Norrie says:

    Great review!
    I enjoyed this a lot as well. I saw some people complain about lack of character development and cliche stuff, but i honestly didn’t mind. I thought it was cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Clarice Anne says:

    I asked for this book for Christmas after hearing people comparing it to The Breakfast Club, but still haven’t got round to reading it yet. After reading this, it might just be the next book I pick up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you love it when you get to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Andie @ Andrea's Nirvana says:

    Read this book back in 2017 and I loved it, glad to see it’s getting the recognition it deserves!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s still currently on then NYT best sellers list as well! I really hope more people give this one a chance! It was great!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Steph says:

    I felt the same way about this book as you- I kept guessing and re-guessing who the killer was, but in the end it was kind of who I’d suspected all along. But it gets points for keeping me guessing, at least 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True! I usually find these books so predictable. So for a book to keep me guessing is pretty good!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I totally agree a great novel that delves into the mystery YA genre mix effectively but doesn’t go too far, for example Genuine Fraud by e. lockhart – a gripping novel and interesting plot structure but I felt too violent to remain in the YA catergory

    Liked by 1 person

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