One Of Us Is Lying

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Jun 2017

Member Reviews

When I first heard about the release of this book, I was extremely excited for it. The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars? I was signed up instantly! I was even more excited when I was approved for a NetGalley copy of it.

Five teenagers -a brain, a princess, a jock, a criminal and an outcast- are in detention together but only four of them come out alive. Simon Kelleher, the outcast, runs an app called About That which publishes juicy gossip and secrets about his classmates. Everything that has ever been revealed on About That has eventually been discovered to be true. So when he dishes up some dirt on Ivy League cert Bronwyn, troublesome drug dealer Nate, pretty popular Addy and rising baseball star Cooper, they all seemingly have a motive for wanting him out of the way. When Simon dies in mysterious circumstances during detention, who -if anyone- is lying?

We get the story from the perspectives of all four of the suspects so naturally, we are constantly looking for evidence in their narratives that might give them away as the culprit. Indeed, all of them make a suspect comment or two at some point and I was constantly conflicted as to who was responsible, if anyone. There are a few side characters who appear to know more than they’re letting on too, so all of this confusion really makes for a very unpredictable exciting story.

As the brains of the operation, Bronwyn takes it upon herself to do the detective work into what has really happened. She is relentless in uncovering the truth in order to save all four of their reputations. Although she has no loyalties to any of them initially, she shows a voracious hunger for justice and a determination to clear all of their names. Despite knowing her for most of his life, Nate eventually realises how selfless and smart she is and their blossoming relationship is one of the most touching aspects of the book. I was rooting for them so much and desperately wanted something great to come out of the traumatising experience they were all going through.

Nate comes from a very troubled background. His father is an alcoholic, his mother has been largely absent for the majority of his life and he has a reputation as a dangerous bad boy. Known by the police for his dealings with drugs, he is instantly deemed to be the most likely to be guilty. However, I never suspected him for a second. Sometimes he reads as a misogynistic idiot (see above quote) but often he reads as a lost soul who has all of the capability of gentleness and romance. My heart went out to him on several occasions and I really wanted everyone else to finally see the real Nate.

There is a lot more to Addy than meets the eye. Pretty and popular, she is the quintessential prom queen but her life is not as perfect as it might seem. She is dating Jake, who appears to be pretty controlling but Addy is switched on enough to eventually realise this. Her close relationship with her older sister Ashton is beautiful to watch and it’s Ashton who eventually helps Addy to see the light. Her transformation throughout the book is definitely the most drastic and by the end, she’s a bit of a badass. Although ultimately a boy has died, the case is a great character-building exercise for Addy, as it forces her out of her naivety and comfort zone into a much stronger and healthier head space.

Perhaps the suspect with the biggest, life-altering secret is Cooper. As a star baseball player and boyfriend of the beautiful Keeley, Cooper seemingly has it all and a glittering future ahead of him. However, Simon knew his deepest darkest secret and Cooper is terrified about it coming out. He constantly struggles with his true self and the pressures from his father to make it in baseball. I just felt so much love for him and I found myself constantly wanting to hug him and let him know that it was OK! When he did eventually let his secret out, I was so proud of him and happy that he had finally come to terms with who he is.

One Of Us Is Lying constantly springs surprises on its readers. Unpredictable and gripping, it’s four self-growth stories that can all be traced back to the same tragic event. Yes, Simon is dead but his death spirals hugely beneficial changes in the lives of those accused of killing him. If you like your fast-paced intrigue stories that constantly keep you guessing with characters that you’ll really root for, One Of Us Is Lying is a great pick for you.
Was this review helpful?
Loved this book - I loved the twist and the 'breakfast club' feel the book had to it - it will definitely be a one to re read
Was this review helpful?
Did I just read another thriller? Why yes I did. One of Us Is Lying instantly caught my attention with its killer synopsis. 5 unlikely high school students find themselves all in detention for something they claim to never have done - but only 4 leave and one is dead. Pitched as The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars, but honestly it was only a little of each.

We all know how high school can get, with its cliche clicks and predicable people. The book was full of it - bad boy? The loner, the jock, the princess and the nerd. We've seen it all before. Bronwyn - Yale bound, Addy - treated like a queen, Cooper - the baseball champ, Nate - the all round bad boy and Simon - the one who never fitted in but knew everyone is deep dark secrets. The 4 main characters were so well written, but honestly I instantly connected connected with Bronwyn and really liked Nate. It took a while to like Addy and Cooper but by the end I was loving them all. I just really liked the side but really cute romance between Nate and Bronwyn - yes I know, super cliche bad boy and good girl. But you are lying to yourself if you've never enjoyed this before. 

The plot was hella intense at times? I found the alt stating POVs a bit tedious at times. But I'd be lying if I say I didn't act like Sherlock trying to figure this mystery out. I felt because this was YA it wasn't as intense mystery but gripping nonetheless when you're thrust into the lives and minds of 4 really difference people trying to get by at life and high school.

I felt McManus has really captured what school feels for young teens. High expectations. Bronwyn getting Hugh grades to get to Yale just like her prenatal. The idea of having a boyfriend makes everything better - Addy finding herself and standing up on her own feet. But mostly being subjected to hateful bullying and humiliations. Nobody likes it but it happens. No one may talk about it but it's there. The development and growth that was seen with the 4 characters was amazing to see. The ending will surprise you - unless you guess the plot like I did but I'm Sherlock - but it was still shocking and now all I want to do is watch The Breakfast Club.
Was this review helpful?
Damn, this book is fantastic. An absolute page turner and one with an ending that I truly didn't see coming. I find a lot of YA mysteries frustrating as it is often clear from early on who the culprit is but this kept it ambiguous until pretty far through. I could not put this creepy, thrilling, intelligent read down. Definitely a Karen McManus fan now.
Was this review helpful?
Compelling "locked room" type of mystery with well written characters and a satisfying denouement this book is a must buy for my library patrons (teen and adult alike).  The teens in this story are far more like the teens I actually encounter than the ones I see on the CW and all the better for it.
Was this review helpful?
This was so much better than I expected it to be. Despite it being written from 4 people's 1st person perspectives, each character was fleshed out and I could always tell who was speaking at all times. The mystery aspect was so well done, I thought and it kept me guessing. I figured it out a few chapters before the characters did but that didn't matter because it still made so much sense and it was still a really enjoyable read finding out how it was all going to pan out.
Was this review helpful?
I read Karen McManus' second book before this one, and loved it, so my expectations were high! But I wasn't disappointed - the characters and plot were just as fun and exciting, and once again I couldn't put it down.
Was this review helpful?
I’ve heard good things about this book so I finally got around to reading it. I throughally enjoyed it. A perfect young adult mystery. Four suspects all with their own secrets. The book is told through each of the four characters. Each had a reason they could have killed Simon… But so did a lot of other students.

A very clever story. Didn’t expect the outcome at all. A great story. I found it an easy, fast paced read. A page turner. I loved the ending! I think this would make a brilliant series or film. I kept suspecting each person but was then like no. Wrong. I don’t want to give much away but it will take you back to your high school, teenage and drama days. The perfect break from reality.

A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend. I look forward to reading the next book that follows on from this (Two Can Keep A Secret).
Was this review helpful?
Late review - I read this in one sitting...the characters are great fun and cover your typical high school groups with suspense round every corner. I certainly didn’t see the ending coming, cannot wait to read what McManus comes up with next!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC of this book and apologies for the delay in writing a review (illness- ugh).  

This book sucked me right in, right from the initial scenes.  The concept is a simple and familiar one, straight from Agatha Christie: a group of people in a room and one dies.  Who did it?  

The book evolves at a fantastic pace, building relationships, revealing secrets, and overthrowing the typical teen book tropes.  I really loved it and have recommended it to my teen book group.  Can't wait to see who they think did it!  For the record, I was wrong, and for me that's the sign of a great murder mystery!
Was this review helpful?
Brilliant storyline a who done it for teenagers i really enjoyed this what i like best is hearing about everyones lives and it flitting from one person to the other
Was this review helpful?
Karen McManus' debut completely blew me away. One of Us is Lying is full of twists and turns, which kept me guessing up until the very end. I loved that each character had a motive and that every one of them was unreliable. The secrets were revealed with punch which kept me turning the pages. Cannot wait to read the next one!
Was this review helpful?
Five students in detention one afternoon. There’s Cooper, the golden boy and the star player of the baseball team trying to decide between college and the major leagues; Bronwyn, the class valedictorian who plans to follow her family’s legacy and go to Yale; Addy, the popular girl and homecoming Queen and has never been able to find herself separate person from her long time boyfriend; Nate, the bad boy who is on probation for dealing drugs and then there’s Simon, the disputed creator of the About That App, Bayview High’s gossip blog. They’re all in detention for something none of them did. 

But before the detention is over, Simon is dead and apparently it wasn’t an accident. It’s nit long before the police discover that Simon was planning to plublish items on them blog about, Cooper, Bronwyn, Addy and Nate, which all of these items could potientally destroy all of their lives.

Four people who aren’t really friends, are brought together, who each claim their innocence. 

I felt unsettled while I was reading this book, Mystery/thriller/suspense is a genre I read, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. As soon as I finished reading this, I immediately recommended this to my brother (it’s more his type of book, than it it’s mine) and the enjoyed it aswell. We were able to discuss the book between us, which we normally don’t get the chance to do. Karen pulls everything together, even though you will have your suspicions and most of them are probably correct, the book keeps you guessing about what actually happened to Simon.

A great debut by Karen, and I look forward to reading her new book next year.
Was this review helpful?
5 Words: Friendship, death, mystery, whodunnit, cheating.

Wait... What?

On the one hand, this was an excellent mystery told from multiple perspectives. It was gripping and kept me reading, and the fast pace and jumpy narrative made it a quick read.

On the other hand it was a wee bit predictable and MY GOD more than a little problematic. Girl hate, slut shaming, queer-is-evil, cheating. Bah.
Was this review helpful?
This was so much fun!

If a book is sold to me as The Breakfast Club + murder, then it's a book I want to check out. I can't say that The Breakfast Club is a favourite film of mine, I've only seen it once or twice, but I love reading a thriller from time to time and this sounded like such an interesting premise.

I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Of course I hoped I'd like it, none of us request review copies of books we think we won't like (I hope), but what surprised me most about this book is what I thought would be a very plot-heavy book turned out to be a very character-heavy book, and I really liked this group of characters. A lot more than I was expecting to. Actually, by comparing this book to The Breakfast Club and giving us characters described as 'the geek', 'the jock' etc. was a clever way of making sure I got more than what I was expecting, because while I was expecting The Breakfast Club + murder with some teen angst I was caught off guard with a group of characters who I ended up rooting for.

Five teenagers, Bronwyn, Nate, Addy, Cooper and Simon, find themselves in detention after being caught with phones in their bags that have been planted there. After a drink of water Simon begins to have an allergic reaction and is rushed to hospital when no one could find his EpiPen or any in the nurse's office. Simon dies soon after, and murder is suspected when it's discovered his drink was laced with peanut oil.

Simon wasn't exactly a popular kid. He ran an app where he shared people's deepest, darkest secrets, and the police soon discovered that four stories, about the students he was in detention with, were scheduled to go live the day after he died. Suddenly, all four of them are suspects, all of them deny it, and all of them are liars.

This book, McManus's debut novel, was such an easy read. I sped through it in one evening because I just had to know who did it, especially when more and more secrets began to be revealed about our four protagonists - one or more of whom could be a murderer.

As I mentioned before, it's McManus's characters who make this novel. They so easily could have been stereotypes and yet they weren't. I particularly loved Addy, who's lost something of herself in the years she's been dating her boyfriend and letting him make all the decisions, and when she finally comes into her own it's brilliant. 

I loved Cooper, too, and his secret, in particular, was heartbreaking to watch unfold in such a public way, especially with journalists and news crews showing an interest. In fact one of the things I enjoyed most about this book was McManus's commentary on how much the media can hinder a police investigation, and treat people as guilty before anything has been legally proven. She never lets us forget that, while there is a death at the centre of this story and that is tragic (even though no one's really that sad to see Simon go), these people who have yet to be proven guilty are only teenagers. The media condemn them for the mistakes they make, but how is a 17 year old supposed to know how to handle a situation like this? As if high school isn't difficult enough.

I even enjoyed the main romance in this book - I mean, you can see it coming a mile off, but the characters do have chemistry - but McManus didn't only focus on the romance and I appreciated that. The four suspects end up developing this charming friendship, despite the fact that they can't be sure one of them trying to set up the others. Cooper has a wonderful relationship with his grandmother, too, and both Addy and Bronwyn have sisters that they're close to, and they all play active roles in the plot.

Day by day, layer by layer, secrets are revealed so that, at the beginning of the novel at least, you're constantly left thinking 'Oh maybe it was Bronwyn', 'Hm, maybe Cooper did do it' and I enjoyed trying to play detective.

The only reason I didn't rate this book any higher was because I felt like there were some moments, particularly nearer the end, that I wasn't entirely sure I could believe, especially when the killer was revealed. It didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book, though, and I'd definitely be interested in reading something by McManus in future.
Was this review helpful?
Young Adult book with some pretty annoying characters from an adult point of view. I'm just glad that my high school days are long behind me.
Was this review helpful?
What I found interesting from the very start, was how this novel is a combination of a typical teeny-highschool-drama and a typical murder-thriller. What I realized while reading ist, is that firstly this combination works perfectly and secondly that this novel is in no way "typical".

We have four very interesting main charakters. All of them very different and the reader gets to know them thoroughly, as the chapters are written alternating between the perspective of each of them. In the beginning I was wondering how the author would manage to keep up the tension and keep the story realistic by doing so, but she did. At one point I did realize who the murderer was, but that didn't harm the story or tension.

What I really liked, are the character developments. You get to know these four how they appear to be in the beginning, after a bit how they actually are and then you get to witness their developments. Especially the character arc of Abby is great. But apart from that they are quite clichée and that doesn't change by making one of the charakters point that out.

You definitely have a few plot twists and the ending is well written and an interesting one. A very important point is also that the author addresses a few very important topics and problems of (young) people. But there's also something problematic about it: The way mental illnesses are displayed here is not especially positiv and can be harmful, which is a major minus point for me.

All in all: Interesting characters, a lot of tension, important topics, well written - but partly quite problematic.
Was this review helpful?
LOVED this book. Bought a copy for my niece after I finished reading it. Would read more from this author too.
Was this review helpful?
Five students go into detention. Only four come out alive.

Simon knew all their secrets and has been leaking them on the school's notorious gossip app. Would what he had been about to leak be enough for any of them to resort to murder?

This high school mystery-thriller is told from the alternating perspectives of the four suspects as they deal with their own secrets, guilt and shame, whilst trying to prove themselves innocent of the murder. The story deals with issues of bullying, internalised homophobia, mental health, the sometimes unbearable pressures of school life and the impact of social media on young people's lives. It is an engaging, readable page-turner, with complex characters, an intriguing premise and a satisfying conclusion.

This book has already proved itself hugely popular with my students, and is one I never hesitate to recommend (if it's on the shelf long enough for me to recommend it!)
Was this review helpful?
I am a huge fan of Y.A titles, partly because I wish they had been around during my formative years but also because they highlight the issues that teens face today and partly because the writing is just superb..
This book, 'One of Us is Lying', looks at the impact of rumours, social media and reputations. Just how far does a person go to protect themselves, how do you defend yourself against rumours in the age of the internet?
5 people attend a detention session after school, 3 boys, 2 girls but only 4 leave alive.
The deceased was murdered by his own allergy to peanuts, but only 4 people had access to the drinking water that was spiked with peanut oil.
But when the victim was an obsessive secret revealer on the internet(all anonymous but just enough detail to work out who was who), who had not scruples, is it really fair to pin the blame on one of these 4?
All had a secret that they didn't want revealing but would one of them be prepared to kill to keep it safe....
This was an intriguing and engaging book that reminded me of the classic teen writer, Christopher Pike in his 'Peak Fear'/'Peak Horror' era. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and am grateful to the publishers and Netgalley for allowing me to read the proof...and  I have already pre-ordered Karen McManus' next book
Was this review helpful?