One of Us is Lying Review

Saturday, 18 March 2017

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Rating: 5/5
Source: Netgalley
Released: 30th May 2017

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.
I was going to wait to review this one as it isn't released until the 30th of May, but it's been staring at me from my iPad for two months and I finally had to give in. Anything compared to Pretty Little Liars is a draw for me and this book did not disappoint. Something I really liked about One of us is Lying is that it's self aware of the fact that it's a teen cliche, it doesn't try to be anything else in that respect, but it's also a great conspiracy, mystery story in a unapologetically familiar setting. What more could you want? 

Simon suffers an extreme allergic reaction while in detention with Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper and he later dies in hospital. The book flips between the four characters points of view in order to tell the story of the impacts of Simon's death. I really like first person narratives, especially when you get to experience more than one like this. Each character has something different to say about the events and it's intriguing to know everyones thoughts, it gives you a broader view of the whole situation. But who do you trust?

There's a lot of twists and false leads in One Of Us Is Lying, a few of which were easier to guess than others but there is a lot of subtlety in there too. As the blurb suggests, every character has a secret, or more than one. Cooper was a lot easier to peg than the other characters and I predicted a completely different outcome for Browyn's character early in the book, so overall I think Karen M McManus has written four very strong main characters.

One Of Us Is Lying has everything you'd expect from a book centred around high school drama, ergo a lot of teenage angst -but there's some humour in their too; "Why couldn't it have been apple day?" still cracks me up now that I've finished the book, shoutout to Luis for that quote. Like Luis, we see a lot of secondary characters in the book too, I'm particularly fond of Eli and Kris but I won't say too much about who everyone is as I don't want to give away any plot lines, just be on the look out for them when you read the book, which I highly recommend you do.

As for the ending of the book I'm sort of ashamed to say that I didn't see it coming, obviously kudos to McManus because I took all the characters for the word and as they worked things out, so did I. At no point did I feel the need to jump ahead and try and work things out before the spelled it out for me. Not because the book isn't thought provoking, but because there is so much other stuff going on that I was wrapped up in that and almost forgetting that there's a murder investigation going on. Why can't Bronwyn's love life be the centre of attention in the book, I would honestly have read that.

Critics aren't being vague with their comparisons to Pretty Little Liars and similar shows. One Of Us Is Lying is clever, sexy, exciting and the characterisation really is amazing, I can't emphasise that enough. At the start of the book I didn't particularly care for Addy but as the layers came off and we got to know her and the others, she's probably my favourite of the Bayview Four, or The Murder Club, not to be confused with The Breakfast Club. When this book comes out in two months, buy it. I promise you won't regret it. 

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