One Of Us Is Lying

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Jun 2017

Member Reviews

Excellent book for YA lovers and crime fans. Keeps you guessing all the way. Have sold this to many customers.
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I first heard of One of Us is Lying during a #SundayYA chat on Twitter and I was immediately intrigued and knew I would have to get my hands on it somehow. I was lucky enough to get approved to read this via NetGalley and have since been out to buy a physical copy to keep on my shelves too. This book is excellent.

5 teenagers in detention. Only four of them leave. One of them is now dead. But who killed Simon? Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy and Nate all have their reasons to want Simon dead but who would actually act upon them? One of Us is Lying has some serious Gossip Girl / Pretty Little Liars vibes and being a fan of both shows I just knew I would love it.

This book was DELICIOUS! It doesn’t mess around at all. Within the first few pages Simon is dead and we are thrust straight away into the murder mystery that I so often think is missing from YA books. We see parts of the story from all four points of view and this definitely added to the mystery and intrigue. As I got to know each character for myself I started to make a mental check list of all the people I just knew weren’t the killer. Then I realised I had crossed them all off and had to start over again. My mind was racing to find out who the killer was because I just couldn’t work it out for myself. It wasn’t until a few pages before the reveal that I did manage to work it out and my mind was blown, so much so that I reread over some parts of the book to see if I could pick up clues.

I really liked that Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy and Nate all had their own voices within the book too and I found a way to connect to each of them. There were definitely times where they frustrated me but also a lot of times where I could relate to them so clearly (I have not killed anyone, just to be clear!). I loved that across our four main characters we had the classic character stereotypes: the clever girl, the jock, the prom queen and the bad boy. But I am so glad that this book peeled back those stereotypes and in fact there was some really excellent character development for each character in their own right.

I really enjoyed this as a quick read that kept me flipping pages until I had discovered the answer to the big question: who dunnit? I love the way McManus wrote her characters and I’ll certainly be looking out for more from her in the future.
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This was a really enjoyable YA mystery.

The author does a great job at creating suspense and casting suspicions on so many characters that the reader is never entirely sure what is truth and what is going to be the overall outcome.

I did think the different POVs could have been slightly more distinctive as there were occasions in which I had to think about which character's chapter I was reading.

I really enjoyed the main romance featured in the novel and overall this was a really fun mystery.
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Five students are in detention having been discovered with cell phones by a technophobe teacher.  They are a varied group. There is Cooper, upper athlete, courted by colleges, destined for a glittering career as a baseball player. Addy is the popular girl, dating the handsome jock. Nate is the black sheep, on probation for a drug offence, trying to keep himself going despite a drunken father and an absent mother. Bronwen is the smart one, top marks in classes, looking to get into a top-class university. Then there is Simon, bit of a loner always on the edge of things and also the writer of the most hated gossip blog in the school.
When one of them dies the finger points at the other four. What secrets do they hide and who would have done this and why?
I enjoyed this book although I felt it was a bit sketchy in places. At times, I began to lose interest, only to come across another piece of the puzzle that made me keep reading. I found the characters a little stereo-typed but I guess that was the point of them.
All in all an enjoyable read. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read and review this book.
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Oh my GOD this was one of the best books I've read this year, I absolutely LOVED it, its got everything - Mystery, suspense and teenage angst! Definitely a title to pick up if you're suffering through a reading slump like I was.
Karen McManus writes with a knife and cinematic prose that grabs on and just wont let go. Im not a big reader of YA fiction but I was instantly drawn to the plot of the book and it definitely delivered. I loved the characters, the setting, and a satisfactory ending like this one, just cant be missed. 5 stars.
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Fabulous YA book - think Breakfast Club for the snapchat generation
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This book was amazing! The writing was great, the plot was always intriguing and intense. Each page had me wanting more and I loved trying to decipher who the killer was. The ending shocked me because I was definitely not expecting it, or who the killer was. I loved some characters and enjoyed others. There were none I hated, but I didn't enjoy all of them. 
I would definitely recommend this book if you are looking for something quick to read or a mystery type book
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This is a fairly decent whodunnit.  There are enough red herrings to keep you guessing and enough suspense to keep you reading. It is clearly aimed at a YA market and I think it will be fairly popular within this age group. I agree with some reviewers that the characters are stereotypes but I disagree with with the negative comments about the portrayal of mental illness and the gay community.  In my view the author handles both quite sensitively .
My thanks to netgalley for this copy.
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This was such a great book- full of suspicion and paranoia. Everyone is a suspect and you don't know who to trust. The relationships were developed well and the plot well paced. 
I will admit that I was a bit disappointed with the final reveal of the murderer- it was someone I'd guessed quite early in but tossed the suspicion away as it didn't even seem like a possibility- it just eliminated any surprise and betrayal from one of the characters that we loved. 
If all that makes sense without spoiling anything.
Full Book Talk coming soon.
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Rating: 4/5 stars

I really liked this book! I was initially a bit wary- will this just be another Breakfast Club (but without my lord and saviour Molly Ringwold and a classic 80’s soundtrack), will this be another dumb murder mystery where you know who-dun-it the entire time? 

Well the answer folks, is both no, and no. 

I won’t lie, I was mostly in here for Bronwyn and Nate. I’ve just finished watching Riverdale and the pair give off a Betty/Jughead vibe that I feel like nobody’s business. 

Overall, this book wasn’t predictable, the characters were all really interesting, and I couldn’t pick who the murderer was. Which is really all you could want from a murder mystery novel. 

I was a bit disappointed with the ending… everything felt a bit rushed and unresolved. But overall I was a big fan of this and couldn’t wait to come home after work and devour it over a period of a couple of days.
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When I began reading 'One Of Us Is Lying' I was unsure how much I would enjoy it. I love most YA but felt as though this may be aimed at young teenagers. How wrong I was! Don't get me wrong, I think there's a lot in the book to be enjoyed and learnt from for that age range, but as a 26 year old (you are never too old for YA) I absolutely loved it.

A 'who-dunnit' mystery surrounding the death of a high school student, this book kept me guessing who the culprit was right until the reveal! The multiple view points, while at first hard to keep track of, add an interesting and effective depth to the narrative, and help to make you feel a part of the book. 

The characters are very well written and I came to think of them as my friends (& enemies) and was invested in what happened to them throughout the story.  They are the kinds of people you know, not the kinds you only read about in books!

The ending was also well done and, in my opinion, very good. I feel as though more and more YA books seem to have endings that feel rushed and/or incomplete but OOUIL is not one of them. McManus provides a suspenseful,  can't put down but also realistic ending that left me wanting more while also feeling very satisfied with where it was left. 

I don't want to give too much away so I'll stop there, but I would highly recommended this book and will be eagerly awaiting McManus' next book!
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With flavors of the TV series Riverdale practically seeping through the pages, One Of Us Is Lying is better than your typical teenage murder mystery. Although certain possibilities are easy to predict, you'll still be enjoying the plots and characters. Even by using typical stereotypes, McManus carves a few deeper layers into them.
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While being gripped by the initial first few chapters, I had to unfortunately give up on this one.
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One Of Us Is Lying has been on my TBR since I read the synopsis. Five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. For someone who enjoys murder mysteries, I don’t read nearly enough of it. This book did not disappoint.

The story is told from four perspectives – Bronwyn, Nate, Addy and Cooper. At first, I found it really difficult to distinguish between them to the point where I kept forgetting who was narrating. Whilst the writing is easy to follow, the four voices aren’t distinct enough. That being said, as I got to know the characters better there was much less confusion.

The main characters were all likeable, relatable and realistic. I adored Bronwyn and Nate, both individually and together. What’s that famous quote? A couple that watches the Divergent movies together, stays together? Yeah, that’s it.

Aside from the little romance, I also loved the friendship that blossoms between the four. From the murder club meetings to sitting on the same table at lunch, the dynamic was unusual and unexpected but it actually worked. It doesn’t matter that there’s a brain, a beauty, a criminal and an athlete. At the end of the day, they’re just Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper.

The plot itself is cleverly written. Much like How To Get Away With Murder and Broadchurch, which are two of my favourite shows, everyone is considered a suspect. Personally, I thought it was too obvious for the murderer to be one of the Bayview Four, but I still doubted them at times. I tried to think outside the box and came up with multiple theories, and one of those theories just happened to be correct. Despite this, it still managed to have the shock factor when I found out how all the puzzle pieces fit together.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and I’d definitely recommend it. Although, I’d suggest to proceed with some caution as it engages with serious topics such as mental illness.
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One of Us Is Lying isn’t just a thriller. It’s part-high-school drama, part-romance, part-plottwists and part-mystery. It’s a mashup of a lot of things, and you’ll enjoy this book only if you enjoy each aspect together; otherwise it’s pretty much a disappointment.

The premise follows five students who enter detention, and one of them dies inside. Each remaining student is lying and hiding things, and it is necessary to find out who did the murder. That, basically is the story and to be completely honest, it’s a very interesting premise. I got so excited when I read the summary on Goodreads because I was really expecting something interesting and shocking.

However, that’s not the case. I’m going to get the positives over first. The whole mystery element, and the big reveal in the end was pretty good. I wasn’t expecting it at all, and I felt satisfied reading the ending, when things came together and everything was solved. I felt that the whole question of who committed the murder, the connecting threads and the little bits and parts which are revealed throughout the book as plot twists were really good.

The writing was addictive, and you’ll find yourself finishing this book in no time. I think with books like this (which don’t have too much going for them – I’ll get to the cons of the book in a minute) – the writing matters a lot. The writing had a huge part in me not giving up on the book, and because I could fly through this in such a short time, I did not even feel too bad about not liking the book. It is the kind of writing where you have to keep reading to know more and more, even if you don’t care too much. It was very difficult to stop reading even for a while.

And now, the things I didn’t like. The characters, for example. They’re extremely cliché, cardboard, and generic characters which we’ve seen over and over and over again in YA books of all genres. I was so pissed off by the characters because it felt like these characters have been popping up in so many books, and there is  nothing new the author has to present here. Not only are the characters cliché, they’re massively underdeveloped. The author doesn’t provide a wider, emotional insight into any character, they’re basically cardboards, not humans.


The romance was so irritating. Hah. And cliché. Generic bad boy meets generic good girl, and start sharing their woes and ‘deeper’ thoughts and turns out they’ve liked each other since childhood hurrahhhh. I completely skimmed over most of the lovey-dovey conversations they had towards the end of the book, I just couldn’t take it anymore.

The high school drama. Yep, there’s lots of it. If you are someone who enjoys reading about bratty teenagers and their gossips and shenanigans, you will love this book. I’m just tired of such stories, and I didn’t think the author wrote anything new or interesting in this book.

Another thing I disliked was how the term ‘depressed’ was used in the book. You can read the book yourself to know exactly what I mean; but all I can say is one of the characters is said to be doing certain things in high school, and all of a sudden the he’s being referred to as ‘depressed’ which I found really odd.

All in all, I would recommend this book if you like YA contemporary, teenage dramas and high school setting. You will love it then. But if you’re looking for a thrilling mystery, definitely don’t pick this one up. It’ll disappoint.
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One Of Us Is Lying was an entertaining, quick read which perfectly captures the murky world of High School - a great guilty pleasure read with a little more depth. Five students enter detention. Only four leave alive.

All the stereotypical High School characters are here - the successful jock, the prom queen, the brain and the rebel. The only character who is a slight enigma, an outsider, is Simon, a character who dies within the first chapter. But why did he die? Who is a culprit and who is a victim? Using Simon’s death as a catalyst, the author casts a tale of High School secrets and lies.

The story is told from the viewpoint of the four survivors from the detention - Bronwyn, Addy, Cooper and Nate. Each has their own agenda and their own secrets to protect, and the multi-narrative works well.

This book moves quickly and has a little bit of everything - there’s plenty of controversy, she tackles some controversial teenage issues wrapped up in a tale of murder, with some romance thrown in. It’s a great piece of YA, although I have to admit that at times I felt the murder at the heart of the story got lost amongst the other mini dramas throughout the story.

But, there is a mystery at the centre of this story, and it’s told well with a twist I really didn’t see coming. It’s a light read, but it’s more intelligent than it first appears. Well worth a read for any fan of the YA genre, but maybe not so much for those after a thrilling murder mystery.
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YES! This book was amazing in so many ways that I couldn’t stop reading, dreaming and thinking about it. 

Highschool students Nate, Addy, Bronwyn, Cooper and Simon end up in detention. It becomes very clear that something isn’t right. The whole reason for having detention seems to be a misunderstanding…or a set up? 
Things get worse when one student, Simon, dies. The others are witnesses turned suspects. Each of them has a secret to hide but the question remains: who killed Simon?

We have Nate, the criminal. 
Addy, the princess. 
Bronwyn, the nerd. 
Cooper, the jock. 

Sounds familiar? 
The Author, Karen McManus was inspired by The Breakfast Club. Four kids who have nothing in common wind up in detention. I loved the idea especially how Karen spiced things up with a murder. 

The story is fast paced (extra Like for that!) and told from the four main character’s point of views. Nate, Addy, Bronwyn and Cooper are very diverse people and come from different backgrounds. I never had the feeling that one of them were left behind in the description or the story itself. Karen managed to sprinkle her magic on everyone - including me. I was SO into the story and couldn’t stop guessing who the real suspect is.

While there’s a murder case to solve, the story isn’t too focused on the crime/thriller section. For all the romantic hearts out here, Karen mixed some of that into the story as well. We have a well placed rollercoaster ride of mixed emotions. From love to hate to jealousy and pain. There are some exhilarating ups and heart-wrenching downs. 
All those emotions contributed to the development of every character. AND I LOVED IT!

To sum it up: 
The Breakfast Club meets Gossip Girl and How to Get Away With Murder. :) 
I can totally see this as an upcoming Netflix series or film. Finger’s crossed. 

Thank you Netgalley, for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is Karen McManus’ debut YA novel and on the surface it looks like one which would skirt close to highschool stereotypes and tired tropes, but of course that’s the point here in a way.
In what is both a clear nod to The Breakfast Club and the resurgence in interest for John Hughes-influenced stories like Spider-man: Homecoming and The Edge of Seventeen, we meet our five (soon to be four) main characters in detention in the first few pages. They’re all accompanied by the stereotypes they’ve either gravitated towards or been labelled with unfairly. The stereotypes work well for a start as the story is told from the perspective of four characters, which would be difficult if they were more similar.
From here you might imagine that the plot revolves around what happens to Simon and the investigation into it. While that is a major part of this book, it serves other purposes too: as a device to keep these four characters together loosely even though they didn’t enter that room as friends or even acquaintances for the most part.
On the other hand, the stereotypes that are presented in the blurb are exactly what Karen McManus sets out to tackle. I know that for example even reading the quick description of each person in the room, there is an immediate assumption as to who the blame for Simon’s death could be apportioned to. This is an important point throughout the book, as each of these characters finds themselves straying away from their stereotypes and becoming known as more complex individuals.
Without going into spoiler territory, the blurb mentions Simon planning to post ‘juicy reveals’ about each of the other four in the room, as part of his in-school gossip app, which is rarely wrong in its claims. It’s these reveals that are the catalyst for each of the characters as they deal with the fallout from telling family and friends secrets that have been burdening them.
The resulting narrative has some twists and turns but Karen McManus is clearly focused on trying to create an arc for each of the four main characters. This is successful to a point, with the reader inevitably investing more in one or two characters over the others and thereby finding their perspectives more appealing. I particularly enjoyed Addy’s arc, which started out as very highschool relationship based and actually became more about her family. I also liked Bronwyn’s story. She is that seemingly straight-laced character, but with the amount of pressure on her to continue her family’s Yale legacy, she is the type of person who hasn’t really figured out who she is and what she really wants. She is a strong and determined character and really drives the bulk of the plot along. Her interactions with Nate were great to read too and went in unusual directions at times.
One of Us is Lying also deals with such a huge scenario becoming news in the modern era. Karen McManus is quick to involve all manner of technology and social media in the mix and it creates a real claustrophobic environment for the main characters. From Simon’s gossip app About That, to TV cameras showing up at the school, to burner phones and even some Reddit threads, it’s all in there.
One of Us is Lying has become one of the buzz books of the summer, mainly based on its hook, but it’s well worth sticking around to see how these characters develop right up to the end. And of course to find out who did it!
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A brilliant and beautifully written book which was a complete page turner.,
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