Cover Image: One Of Us Is Lying

One Of Us Is Lying

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Member Reviews

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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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.
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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.
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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.
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LOVED this book. Bought a copy for my niece after I finished reading it. Would read more from this author too.
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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!)
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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
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Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for the ARC of this book.

This book is a blast! I had so much fun reading it. I was so worried when it started with 5 stereotyped teens entering detention that it would be a dismal, unnecessary retelling of ‘The Breakfast Club’; but then one of the kids dies and immediately I knew I was in safe hands.

It’s a teen murder mystery set in an American high school with really likeable characters and a sweet unbelievable romance. My favourite element was the transformation of the character Addy from clingy girlfriend to independent girl who realises it’s better to be alone that be with a man who won’t let you be yourself.

I guessed two thirds of the solution to the crime but there was one element I didn’t see coming. I really enjoyed the whole book and would love to read more by this author.
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I found this to be a very predictable and often boring read. I was very disappointed with One Of Us Is Lying; I felt it had a lot of potential to be an interesting, original YA novel but unfortunately it didn't live up to that potential. Not the worst YA novel I've ever read, but definitely not the best either.
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No surprise I loved it!
It was a good page-turner! I really love the characters, the plot, the twists! I really love that we have all the POVs! The theme is really contemporary, we can't stop thinking about it! I recommend it!
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Hitchcock's take on The Breakfast Club, for his young adult fans. 
Five teens end up in detention together... only four of them leave alive. Simon suffers a severe allergic reaction and dies as his peers look on. Then the police find evidence that all four teens had reasons to want Simon dead, but which one is guilty? 
The story is told from the perspective of each of the four murder suspects, over alternating chapters. This makes the reader develop a relationship with each of the characters, whilst still doubting their innocence. I was constantly changing my mind about who was guilty, including the background characters. But I never worked out whodunnit until the reveal. And I ALWAYS work it out!
I could not praise this book enough. Its YA characters still appealed to me as an older reader; the plot was clever and exciting, the ending was awesome and unpredictable. I can't wait to see the movie adaptation (please someone make this happen!) and I can't wait to see what the author writes next. An engaging, surprising, 5 stars story.
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Plot: 5 teens head into detention on a Monday afternoon like any other, but only 4 of them make it out. Simon has been killed and the others immediately become suspects in his murder, but no one knows who did it or how. All that’s clear is that it wasn’t an accident as it is revealed that the following day, Simon was planning to release gossip that could change, or even ruin, each of their lives. Was it all of them? Was it just one of them? Or was it somebody else?

My thoughts: I enjoyed how current this book was without seeming like an adult trying to write about the world of kids today. You often find when there’s a storyline that delves so deep into school life like this, that it sounds like the author is trying to be cool and throwing in references to modern culture to seem cool and down with the kids, but luckily this didn’t suffer from that. The characters were fun and not too samey, but they did seem to represent all the stereotypical characters you might find in a modern high school, aside from a couple of quirks here and there.
It’s definitely a stereotypical, tropey, YA, teen-mystery, kind of story and I have to admit, there were points at which I wished the twisting and turning would calm down so that it would get to the end of the story – because I really wanted to know what had actually happened – but it was definitely a fun ride in the meantime. I saw someone likened it to shows like Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale, and being a big fan of both of those, I have to agree – it was a bit like a literary version of teen drama thriller, which was a little odd but fun.
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Unfortunately, I didn't get time to read this book before publication.
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This book consumed me from the moment I turned the first page. I cannot express enough just how much I enjoyed this book! And I have never in all my years of reading come across a book quite like this in the YA genre and I doubt I will find another that will match it.
The plot line was extremely well thought out and keeps you guessing and asking yourself 'who did it?' I feel like I've suspected every single character at one point or another! 
I absolutely loved how the author starts off with these four completely different characters you don't quite trust as they all have something to hide but then gradually she brings out subtle details that make each of them more human and real to the point where you adore all of them. They will definitely be staying with me for a long time after finishing the book.
I look forward to seeing more of this author's work as her masterful writing ensnared me from the moment I started till the moment I finished. I was intrigued throughout the story and felt that I simply could not put it down!
I also enjoyed how she used the four main stereotypes for the main characters (jock, nerd, princess, criminal) but gradually warped and broke them to show us a meaningful message: stereotypes are not to be believed and even seemingly perfect people have flaws and secrets.
I think it's safe to say that this book definitely deserves its 5-star rating.
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This was a great YA read - until the end. Full of suspense and intrigue, I raced through it, only to hit the final chapters and wish I hadn't. Not all stories need to be wrapped up with a bow. Sometimes they can end messily and awkwardly, like life. A frustrating end to a great book.
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Sometimes when you've just read one book and dive into the next, your brain has to catch up especially with how different the writing style and plot line was from my previous read. But once I got into it there was no stopping me. One of Us is Lying is one of those books you have to know what happens, it was just such a refreshing, engaging and thrilling ride from start to the end of the book. You won't want to put this one down.

When 5 students each get detention for getting caught with a phone in Mr Avery's class, they didn't realise they were being set up from the beginning. A car accident happens, outside the window of the detention, they get distracted, they all get up but then one is lying on the floor. One is having an allergic reaction, and then he's pronounced dead at the hospital. Simon is dead and it's not over yet. Those four students, Bronwyn, Nate, Addy and Cooper each have secrets and Simon had something against them, they are all suspects in Simon's death and it's only going to get worse for them.
What I found interesting was as the book progressed it didn't solely focus on the mystery. Karen very much focused on life of an senior, student identity, how social media can inflict pain and targeting people, that was very much Simon's agenda using his blog 'About That' to relay gossip to one another. 

“She's a princess and you're a jock," he says. He thrusts his chin toward Bronwyn, then at Nate. "And you're a brain. And you're a criminal. You're all walking teen-movie stereotypes.”

It will probably become no surprise that my favourite characters are Bronwyn and Nate, Bronywn  has this uncanniness and strength of always looking on the bright side along with 'bad boy' Nate. I couldn't not love him, I'm a sucker for bad boys like anyone. They themselves can seen as the power couple of the book, they strike an unlikely romance between each other which given the circumstances becomes so much more than that. But the character I saw the most potential and grew most as a person was Addy. She was the princess at the beginning, the one who had the jock of the boyfriend and did exactly as he said. I loved how she became into herself, she cut her hair, she focused on herself and that everything else like boyfriends became second nature. Her family, her sister and getting her life back on track was more important. Cooper, sweet Cooper, a jock with the fastest hand and has a boyfriend, is the most likeable of the group, kind of adorable as well. Cooper has the trouble of his family and friends dealing with his identity and how batting for the other team, shouldn't stop him from batting on the pitch at all.  These 5 students proved to be beyond that. As their personas grew, they supported each other, they became The Murder Club but so much more than that, they became friends. 

This is Karen's debut and it's a belter! It's addictive, fast-paced and really does keep you guessing to the end. What I loved was the writing style of the book, every chapter is time-stamped, it kind of reminded me of an episode of Law and Order. Alongside the storyline of each of the suspects, they supported each other in it's own way as well as their own story outside of Bayview. Karen's writing can totally throw you off your game, ring circles around you when you think you might know who it is. I thoroughly enjoyed the unpredictability of the book, this is a cleverly crafted YA mystery thriller. 

“Things'll get worse before they get better.”
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What a great little book. This is so much more than your average teen story! Five teens find themselves in detention, but only 4 of them make it out alive..... 
Kind of a cross between The Breakfast Club and Thirteen Reasons Why with a bit of Agatha Christie thrown in for good measure, this is an intelligent and gripping tale. I could not put it down.
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Really enjoyed this crime thriller. Great cast of characters and a gripping and entertaining plot with enough twists and surprises to keep this reader guessing. I Couldn't put it down.
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The characters are all from the 1985 film, Breakfast Club. The detention has a murder thrown in. I couldn't get that out of my head, so couldn't really enjoy the story. Maybe not go for such obvious characters?
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Unfortunately I replaced my Kindle and this didn't transfer over and I couldn't resend so I was unable to read!
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