Book Review, Thriller

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus



“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.”


Breakfast Club with a side order of murder.

I didn’t have very high hopes when I started this book. I usually keep the bar low when it comes to YA novels, but I absolutely loved this book. I feel like I spend a lot of my time on this blog writing about YA novels that surprised me but I think for every YA book I write a good review for there are five that I quit reading or hated. There are a lot of books I read that I don’t write about on here. Luckily this wasn’t one of those books.

I loved the plot, the characters, how the LGBT elements of the story were handled and the various twists throughout the novel. It was a near perfect YA murder mystery. I can see why it was being so hyped up everywhere I looked.

I think what I found most impressive was the ending. I read a LOT of mystery novels and when it comes to mysteries for adult audiences I can usually guess who did it a few chapters in. It is a gift and a curse. I ruin so many novels on myself with this superpower. But I wasn’t able to guess the ending of this book! I worked out a few elements of the ending pretty early on but I didn’t work out who actually did it until near the end. It is so rare for me to find a mystery novel that keeps me guessing. I was expecting to know who did it by chapter 5 because that is usually how I roll. It was  refreshing and made the book so addictive. I wont say any more because I don’t want to spoil it.

It is cliché but I am a fan of the teenage high school character tropes. The jock, the nerd, the rebel, the popular girl etc. I love it even more when characters are introduced as those tropes but you watch the characters develop and become deeper than those tropes. This novel was full of that. All of the main characters are lying about something but what those things are will surprise you. The novel is also told through changing perspectives so you get to hear every character’s thoughts on the situation they are in.

I cant praise this novel enough. Just go read it. If you are a fan of YA or you want a murder mystery that would be an easy read, I highly recommend checking this book out, because who doesn’t like a high school murder mystery?


Older teen – YA levels of mild violence, sexual references and murder.


4 star copy

4 out of 5 skulls

1 thought on “One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus”

  1. I agree with you that it’s not so easy to find YA novels that are really strong in plot and character development. I really liked this one as well. I did figure out who before it was revealed but even that didn’t spoil the fun. Great review!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.