One Of Us Is Lying

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Jun 2017

Member Reviews

https://thebookishmind.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/review-one-of-us-is-lying-by-karen-mcmanus/#more-7000

This is a book about bullying, recognize your true friendship and finding yourself.
I ship BRONWYN AND NATE so much. They are definitely my favorite characters.
And Cooper is such a puppy. OHMYGOD. I totally whip everything when I read the cafeteria scene. 
MY HEART WAS SO BROKEN. Still can't believe that thing like this actually happened in 2017.

Back to the story: "One of us is lying" is also about LIES. 
Every single character has his/her secrets. Some are darker than others. 

THIS BOOK IS SO RELATABLE ON SO MANY LEVELS. 
The main characters might represent four clichès at the beginning but they are more than what they seem. I actually loved all the characters reveals. 

If you loved Breakfast Club and a bit of mistery you cannot not love "One of us is lying".
Was this review helpful?
I wasn't entirely sure about One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus before I read it. I thought it sounded interesting, but murder, and these four students lying... I was worried I wouldn't like it, wouldn't like cold-hearted teens lying about someone's death - because they would all be lying, right? Even if they didn't do it, they would have witnessed it, and for there to be a story, they would ll have to be lying, or three of them just would have said who did it from the very beginning. But One of Us is Lying is not the story I was expecting. In actual fact, it was amazing!

Addy, Bronwyn, Cooper, Nate and Simon are all in detention because mobile phones were found in their bags by a teacher who won't have phones in his classroom. When Simon has a drink of water and collapses, the four other students do what they can to save him. He's had an allergic reaction and needs his Epipen. But his Epipen isn't on him, nor are there any in the nurse's office. Sadly, Simon dies, and a police investigation is started to find out what happened. Turns out, Simon was going to share secrets of each of the four other teens on his gossip app, About That, the very next day, and now all four of them are suspects in his murder. What secrets was Simon about to reveal? And who would kill to keep their secret safe?

One of Us is Lying is told from the perspective of all four of the suspects; Bronwyn, a straight A student who is bound for Yale; Addy, popular, pretty Homecoming Princess; Cooper, the school's star baseball jock; and Nate, who is on probation for drug dealing. What I loved about this book is, when you read about the type of people they are like that, as I've listed them, you're already making certain assumptions about who they are. Yes, Bronwyn is highly intelligent, but she's also under a lot of pressure to be the daughter her parents expect her to be - and to keep clear of the stereotypes of latinx people her father hates. Yes, Addy is pretty and popular, but she is plagued by insecurities and self-doubt. Yes, Cooper is a star athlete, but he's not stupid, and he's struggling to be who he really is. Yes, Nate was a drug dealer, but with an alcoholic father and a dead mother, he has to make a lot of money quickly in order to keep his debilitated roof over his and his father's heads. None of their lives are easy, and all of their lives as they know them would be ruined if Simon revealed their secrets. Which of them is desperate enough to kill Simon to stop their world crumbling around them?

I actually genuinely liked all of them. They were such great characters, and all so individual. I really think it can be difficult, when you have multiple narrators, to keep each character's voice separate, to keep their personalities intact and stop them all blending into one. McManus manages this perfectly, and never once did I confuse who's section I was reading. I loved the mystery aspect of the story, trying to work out who killed Simon and why, but at the same time, liking all the characters, I was really worried about the big reveal. I didn't want any of them to have been the one to have killed Simon, it would have meant i trusted the wrong person, that I fell for their lies. So while, individually, I thought that each of them was innocent, I was also wondering, "are they?" I did have a theory, or rather., half a theory, involving more the what than the who (I know that may not make much sense, but I can't explain without spoiling the story), and I was right, which I was so happy about. I had this half of a theory in my head by the end of chapter three, but I was never really positive about it. With a mystery like this, it really messes with your emotions, because while I was thinking, "I'm sure XYZ is going to be the case... but will it?" I was constantly questioning myself, questioning the characters, and feeling guilty for doing so. I trusted them all, and yet I didn't trust any of them. I never stopped liking them, but I did wonder if perhaps one of them was a very good liar, and I had been duped.

As well as a mystery, One of Us is Lying is also about each of the suspects individual stories. They were such great characters and I worried for and cared about all of them in regards to their own problems. But, of course, it's their own stories that add to the mystery, because they do all have their own things going on, and would they think those things are enough to kill for? What I loved is that there is a bond that is formed between all four of them; only they understand what the rest are going through - how they are treated by others, the media focus, etc - and it's the most unlikely of friendships, but I loved seeing them together, seeing them suffer together, and support each other, and then try to work things out for themselves, because the police are determined to pin it on one of them if not all of them.

God, I absolutely loved this book! And it's reminded me how much I love a mystery! Such a fantastic story full of intrigue, but also heart, and four suspects you can't help but love and feel for! A brilliant debut novel, and I'm so excited to read what McManus writes next!

Thank you to Penguin via NetGalley for the eProof.
Was this review helpful?
One of us is Lying

The synopsis drew me in to this book and once I started, I was gripped from the very beginning. This is a fantastic YA thriller that will be one of 2017's most talked about novels. 

Even as an adult, I love these kind of YA books; set in a high school, we find some stereotypical students coming together, who ordinarily wouldn't interact.  Five of them walk into detention but only four come out alive. This book will totally grip you, a great storyline, amazing twists and you'll be guessing right until the end!!!  Four stars from purplebookstand.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to netgalley for the opportunity to have read this interesting read.  I don't read a lot of Young Adult, but this was an entertaining mystery read, much in the fashion of Pretty Little Liars! Recommended!
Was this review helpful?
A good teenage read focussing on different characters in the aftermath of a murder.  I thought it was written well and I enjoyed at slow revelation of what actually happened.  I will be recommending this one to my students.
Was this review helpful?
I'd heard about this book on social media and thought that it sounded like a pretty cool premise. Not only was the initial set up reminiscent of The Breakfast Club (a nerd, a princess, a jock and a rebel all find themselves in detention together) but it was promised to be a big hit. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much as some others, but then I left school nearly 20 years ago (before the internet was really A Thing – can you imagine?) so I’m not really the target demographic. I thought some bits were good, other so-so.

Let me explain… 

Bronwyn, Nate, Addy, Cooper and Simon all go to the same school. Bronwyn is a stereotypical high achiever, Nate a part time drug dealer barely attending school, Addy the beautiful blonde whose boyfriend is the most important thing in the world and Cooper, whose life revolves around baseball. Seemingly with nothing in common, they all find themselves in detention together for having a mobile phone with them in class. The problem is, none of them know where the phones came from – they appear to have been planted on them to purposefully get them into trouble. But why?

Then there’s the fifth member of the group, Simon. Universally loathed and revered in equal measure, Simon is the owner of the About That app, where school rumours end up…except somehow Simon always manages to make sure that they’re true before publishing them. An incident during detention leaves all of the characters under suspicion and as the story unfolds it seems that they all have something to hide – just not what you were expecting.

See, it sounds like a good premise, right? I was definitely intrigued. However, the way that the book was written kind of spoilt the story for me. For a start, the chapters are short and broken up by character, where each in turn is the narrator. I found this quite confusing, especially when the two girls are quite similar in character – Addy is fairly bland for the most part of the book so it was easy to forget where her storyline was going when you had immersed yourself in the world of Nate. I found it quite jarring sometimes when I had to swap between them all.

The other problem was that it was quite easy to work out what had happened. For me, it was very obvious that certain people had nothing to do with the incident, so by process of elimination I had worked out the culprit before half way through. There was also Cooper’s big secret that I worked out way before it came out. Because of this, I found that the book dragged a bit. It seemed quite long for a YA novel, especially when not much goes on for chunks of pages (I didn’t really care about Addy’s hair or what films Bronwyn and Nate were watching). If the main characters were a little more secretive or had more to loose then it would have given them better motives and cast more doubt about them, which would have added to the intrigue.

In saying that, there was some fast paced bits and it had enough going on to keep me interested. I did enjoy reading One of us is Lying but the story could have been so much better if it were just a little less bland. As I previously mentioned though, I’m not the target demographic for this book and so if you’re into YA fiction then you might get more out of it.
Was this review helpful?
What an amazing story and could almost be a real life tale. Guilty by association and trial by media that almost destroyed the lives of four young people. It makes you fear for the future. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down.
Was this review helpful?
five walk into detention, with secrets they want to hide. four walk out, still with secrets that will begin to unravl through the course of the story. one lies dead, the boy that knows everyone secrets, the boy that would expose and publish everyones secrets.
who did it?
well everyone is a suspect, everyone had a motive. cleverly wrote.
a mystery that will keep you guessing and gasping right to the end.
Was this review helpful?
An interesting book. It did scare me a bit, how many problems are faced with the addition of media, how high school students can be so nasty - it's true! The book gave nothing away, even when everyone was thinking it was one person and then moving onto the next, but the ending and the answers were not expected. The epilogue was rather nice though, a nice end to an awful experience.
Was this review helpful?
We're just entering the second quarter of 2017 and I already know that One of Us is Lying will become a standout book of the year.

Described as a cross between The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars, this YA thriller focuses on a group of 5 high school students, strangers to each other at the start of the narrative, attending an after-school detention. By the end, these students know each other much more intimately...

But only four of them emerge from the detention alive.

I loved this book from start to finish. The characters were so well fleshed out, their narratives believable, though of course with so many twists and turns we cannot fathom the big reveal until it is presented to us. And what a twist it was! I have read many mystery/thriller stories, though can honestly say One of us is Lying really kept me guessing!

Make sure you read this book, no matter what your taste in fiction. You won't be disappointed!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
It's obviously no accident that this book feels very much like the John Hughes' classic The Breakfast Club with a crime twist. I'm not sure how I feel about that and although I usually love YA high school books, I was almost mad that the author had so obviously copied a classic. However, I'm still working out how I feel about the book overall. I was simultaneously glued to it and wanting to shout at the characters. It bugged me alot, but I haven't worked out if that's a good thing yet.

However, I think I ultimately didn't like this book because of the representations of sexuality and mental health issues. It also used the character's identities to shock the reader and this feels really lazy. As a society we are leaning towards acceptance and this book kind of puts that all back in the closet. That felt very, very 90's and I'm surprised the publisher didn't see that. Being gay isn't a revelation anymore. It felt demonised in this book and it's clear that the author hasn't been in a school in a very long time. I also didn't like the way Simon was seen as a terrorist throughout the book, only to have ultimately killed himself. OH and his accomplice is depressed too. It seemed as though this demonising of mental health was purposeful and it's ultimately dangerous. There's enough of a stigma as is. It also felt like the author had no experience of mental health and was furthering the stigma with cardboard-cutout depression. 

I can't recommend this book to anyone - and those I would usually recommend it to are too impressionable. I wouldn't WANT them to be influenced by this author who seems really out of touch.
Was this review helpful?
A misfit group of students are gathered together in detention and become suspects in a terrible crime. I thought it was very well written and balances the murder mystery element with the often turmoil of being a teen. I was rooting for all the main characters and am enjoying recommending this to my customers.
Was this review helpful?
Loved the story would recommend you felt as if you were on a rollercoaster of emotions brilliant story
Was this review helpful?
Twists and turns but this stays real and engaging.  Very enjoyable thriller debut.
Was this review helpful?
An incredibly gripping book from beginning to end. It may hold some stereotypes about people in high school but the character development shows that even if you fit into that mould you are completely unique. I simply couldn't put this book down and am excited to discover what this debut author has coming out in the future
Was this review helpful?
Soooo....where do I begin? This book has been venturing into ever corner of the blogosphere with mostly positive reviews and thoughts. I got this e-ARC from NetGalley but then started it and never finished. Sadly, it expired so I could no longer read it. But then I managed to buy the book, so it's all good. 

I have to say I normally don't read books like One Of Us Is Lying. I mean yes I've read murder mysteries and school deaths but honestly, I really like how this book was put together. It's a realistic contemporary which surprised me. The story is told by the 4 suspects, Brownyn, Addy, Cooper and Nate. This book has a fantastic and intriguing premise which kept you glued to the pages. 

What I really liked about this book is how it really discussed and delves into certain topics and didn't gloss over them. Even though half the book wasn't about the 'murder' , it still manages to keep you turning the pages. You work out the voices after a while as they become more distinguished and it's really enjoyable. 

We have some wonderful characters. You end up really liking all of the four main characters. I admit I guessed half of the plot twist [ I guessed that it was a suicide but nothing about Jake but much later on. 50 pages in, I guessed that the car accident was no coincidence at all and that none of them (apart from Simon) was lying (h] but still...some of it surprised. 

It's incredibly well written, fast paced and full of mystery. To get 5 stars, I wanted a spark, to be blown away by the plot twist but I'm a genius? What can I say? Honestly, this review is a bit all over the place. I don't think it's entirely a memorable story, but a super good one! I guess I don't have much to say about books that are not fantasy. *shrugs*
Was this review helpful?
My initial thought when I finished this one was 'what the actual fuck' and I'm still not really sure I think differently now. It was just so intense, I'm very impressed by Karen M. McManus' debut novel. 

The book is told in four POVs. At the beginning I had a hard time telling the characters apart. I just really couldn't connect with any of them but once I let go of the book for a while and then gave it another try I managed quite well after all. The writing was gripping and not a single moment was it boring, I would binge watch it if this book was a netflix show!

I really don't want to go much into detail about this book because everything is rather spoilery but let me put together the key parts for you:

Five kids end up in detention for the same exact reason but only four make it out alive. What happened to the fifth kid? He died. In detention. And all of the others are suspects as the boy who died was the infamous bully Simon who writes for Bayview High's gossip blog and knows secrets about all of them. Of course their teachers don't exactly believe him when they said that they did not mess with Simon's water bottle. Simon has a peanut allergy and someone poisoned him with peanut oil. But who was it?

Throughout the book we get to see the different lives of the main cast in this book and also their possible motives. We deal with their daily struggles in life and also with how they react to the death of one of their classmates. The characters quickly grew on me once I got to know them and I enjoyed the different roles they played in each life.

It could be absolutely everyone, but when it finally got out I was a little surprised as I didn't expect what happened in the end. Absolutely thrilling and exciting!
Was this review helpful?
This book started off great, but this wasn't for me, I'm sorry to say. In the beginning, I got confused with the male characters. but great interaction between characters and a good storyline.
Was this review helpful?
This needs to be made into a TV series. Awesome! Couldn't put it down.
Was this review helpful?
Actual rating 4.5 stars!

One of Us Is Lying is a story of 5 teenagers who all arrive in detention for having phones in their bags, only four of them exit. 

Bronwyn, the brain the slightly nerdy good girl who follows the rules and is headed for Yale 
Addy, the beauty, the homecoming princess with perfect hair and the perfect boyfriend, the popular girl everyone wants to be!
Nate, the criminal, he is already on probation for dealing drugs, he has a shattered home life with a drug addicted mother who is presumed dead and an alcoholic father.
Cooper, the athlete, the baseball pitcher with a bright future in front of him
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app. He has more or less shared all the secrets of the students of Bayview high.

This was a real twisty turney novel and I was hooked from the first chapter, one of the above characters dies in detention, what follows is a murder investigation where the reaming four of our students there that day are under suspicion, every one of have a secret that was about to be reviled, every one has a motive but who is guilty and is everything as it seems, bonds are formed and broken and secrets and lies are revealed.

I could not put this book down, I suspected every one of our characters at some point and I did not see the twist coming at all! I haven't read a good thriller in a while and this one ticked all the boxes, I felt that we really got to know and like all of our four suspects and could even relate to them, I didn't want any of them to be guilty and was worrying about each of them!.

I would highly recommend this book to thriller lovers out there and the addition of this being set in a high school added to the experience for me. Can't wait to see what this author comes up with next.
Was this review helpful?