Saturday, September 21, 2019

Book Review: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Title: One of Us Is Lying (One of Us Is Lying #1) 
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 361
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The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he'd planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who's still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

I've recently been in the mood to read YA mysteries. I have no idea where this desire came from. I'm usually a YA fantasy or adult horor kind of girl. But when I decided to search out a good mystery to start with, One of Us Is Lying was on every single "best of" list I looked at and I knew I needed to read it!

Five high school students go into detention together, but one never makes it out alive. While in detention, something outside the window distracts Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, Cooper, and the teacher long enough for something terrible to happen to Simon and everyone is a suspect.

I immediately worried that I'd have trouble telling the characters apart, but the author actually did a pretty good job of making them all distinct. Admittedly, it took me until halfway through the book to be sure of who was who, but it's possible I wasn't paying close enough attention.

The characters, while distinct, were my least favorite part of this book. I didn't care much for Addy or Cooper. There was a bit of a romance between Bronwyn and Nate which I did grow to like, but honestly the story would have been fine without it. Nate was by far my favorite character even without the romance. Bronwyn was fine, but I probably would have been much more bored if she hadn't had the relationship with Nate.

Of course the mystery is the most important thing in a mystery novel and I definitely didn't guess the ending! I'm sure the clues were there for a better sleuth to pick up on, but I was surprised by who actually killed Simon. Every character was a suspect and I was suspicious of (almost) all of them at least once.

Overall, while One of Us Is Lying did have an interesting mystery that kept me guessing, I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that it's contemporary YA in a high school setting and that's just not my genre. If you don't mind contemporary YA romance and are in search of a good mystery, this is definitely the book for you!