Cover Image: One Of Us Is Lying

One Of Us Is Lying

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Member Reviews

A blurb that entices you and a story destined to resolve the cliffhanger, this young adult thriller is a real page turner if you like a good crime novel or mystery story. 

The writing style is a little clunky so I found it slow to get into and the pace never quite connected for me
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I first read One Of Us Is Lying back when it was first released in 2017, I remember absolutely loving it, but when I went to track down my review to remind myself of some of the characters ahead of reading the sequel I couldn’t find it. Turns out I didn’t get around to writing it at the time, so it was the perfect excuse for my first re-read of 2020!

Five high schoolers find themselves in detention one evening, but when one of them doesn’t make it out alive the remaining four teenagers find themselves suspects in a murder investigation. One Of Us Is Lying follows the Bayview Four as the investigation into their schoolmate’s death continues. Is one of them really a killer?

As this is a reread for me I went into this book with vague memories of the ending, some how it’s already been nearly three years since I first read this! That said I still found myself gripped by the plot and fully immersed into the lives of our main characters. One Of Us Is Lying is split into three parts, with each part containing a number of chapters told from multiple points of view. The layout of the book makes it very clear whose point of view we’re reading at any moment in time, with the headings giving the character’s name and the date and time. The plot is so well paced and the story really draws you in, I had to force myself to put down the book once I hit part three as it was nearing midnight, and this was despite already knowing how it ends. No wonder I read it in one sitting originally!

I recall really liking the characters at the time, but having read another multiple POV book just before this reread which really didn’t work for me I’m even more impressed at how Karen has created four characters that despite initially fitting into high school stereotypes are actually far more complex than that. Undoubtedly one of the biggest strengths of this book is the fact that all the central characters are likeable, it didn’t take me long to become invested in them and genuinely care what the outcome for each of them is.

The Geek – Bronwyn is probably the character I identified with the easiest. A good girl who does well at school and is expected to thrive and go on to study at a top college. I really enjoyed seeing her relationships develop with the rest of the Bayview Four, and especially her friendship with her younger sister. I think Maeve is one of the featured characters in Karen’s follow up so I’m hoping we might get a brief update on the original characters somewhere.

The Jock – Cooper is the baseball pitcher destined for big things, whether it’s college or straight into the drafts for professional teams. He comes across as a genuine guy from the South, I loved discovering the additional depths to his character as we moved through the book.

The Criminal – Nate, dear sweet Nate. Nate’s the school’s bad boy, on probation for drug dealing it would be so easy to write him off as the one who did it. But as with Cooper we learn more about Nate as we move through the book, information about his home life reveals more layers to him by the end I think he may have been my favourite of the four

The Princess – Addy is one of the popular girls, dating one of the stars of the school’s football team she seemingly has it all. I think Addy is probably the character that has the most growth over the course of the book and I really did enjoy seeing her come into her own as we headed towards the end of the story. I really hope she’s had nothing but good things since the ending!

Final Thoughts
This may have been a re-read but it was just the book I needed to read after not completely loving the first two books I read in 2020. Re-reading One Of Us Is Lying reminded me just how well a story told from multiple points of view can work. And now that I’ve reminded myself of the Bayview Four I cannot wait to get stuck into One Of Us Is Next!
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Loved this book so much. This really does deserve all the hype that it got. I felt that even though I guessed the twist in the story early on and where it was going, it didn’t take away the enjoyment that I got from it all unfolding. I loved the characters and thought the author developed them really well. If you love YA but with a bit more of a bite to it then I really recommend you read this. I will be posting a review of this alongside the new sequel to my Instagram soon!
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I went into One of Us is Lying pretty blind, simply knowing that five people go to detention and only four of them end up leaving after the fifth person is murdered. Despite the fact that this has been out for over three years now (where has the time gone?!) I’d managed to avoid any spoilers, so I went into this looking forward to solving a mystery.

I thought I’d cracked it pretty quickly, as mysterious Tumblr messages begin popping up and only one of the characters doesn’t read one during their viewpoint… A pretty big giveaway! Or so I thought. Turns out, Karen M. McManus had totally thought about the fact that people would use that to figure out who was responsible, making it a very clever red herring which completely duped me within a couple of chapters.

However, I was reading this one with Sean and he did figure out the big twist! It meant I was still quite impressed by the way it played out, but he lost interest pretty quickly – apparently he’s already read or seen a few things which were quite similar, but this was my first time experiencing a twist like this. I’m not going to spoil it, because it does work really well if you don’t see it (or believe that it is) coming.

The only reason I didn’t give One of Us is Lying five stars is because there’s a twist in the plot which involves a character’s sexuality, and that’s not something I ever really enjoy. I saw that aspect of the story coming from a mile away – literally the character’s second chapter, when it is first alluded to – and it just made me roll my eyes as that kind of twist is very overdone.

I’m glad I waited so long to read One of Us is Lying, because the sequel, One of Us is Next, is already out. That means I don’t have to wait long to catch up with these pretty little liars and see what crazy shenanigans happen in their lives next. This is definitely a story which doesn’t need a sequel – the story is wrapped up very neatly, and if I had read it at the time I would have anticipated it being a standalone – but Karen M. McManus is a pro at writing multiple viewpoints, making all of her characters very different and utterly compelling, and I’m really looking forward to getting to spend some more time with them. Particularly Bronwyn and Nate. Hardcore shipping those two.
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This book is aimed at young adults. But I think anyone can read it. I found this gripping and couldn’t wait to get back to it. There’s five people that go to detention  and only four leave. I loved the bad boy Nate he made me smile and I loved scenes with him it in. I wasn’t a fan of the girls as found them too full of themselves. I still have to read more by Karen but I’m looking forward to it.

Thanks goes to net galley and the publishers for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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One of Us Is Lying has intrigued me for a long time, and I had high hopes for it. Unfortunately, those hopes were quickly lost. I worked out the mystery before the end of the first chapter – I’d worked it out before the death occurred – and the secrets of the character’s I had not worked out by the end of the first chapter, I’d worked out by the end of chapter two.

This is why I stick to adult mysteries. I work out young adult mysteries far too easily, and they end up filled with teenage drama. I’m over that, have been for a long time, and this one failed to win me over in the way some rare young adult contemporary books do.

In fact, the responses this book caused were more extreme than usual. There were many things I found problematic, so many aspects that I’m tired of seeing in young adult books as it’s sending the wrong messages to teens. I’m really confused as to why so many people are okay with these things and how they were overlooked.

Perhaps I’m just looking too hard at this one, but for me One of Us Is Lying was a huge disappointment. The only saving grace was that I kept reading – if only to see if I was wrong.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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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!
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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!
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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
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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!
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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.
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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.
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