One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
What It’s About:
Five students are stuck in detention after decoy phones were mysteriously planted in their backpacks and went off during class. Simon, the outcast and most disliked in the group, dies from an allergic reaction after someone laced his water with peanut oil. A post on Simon’s gossip app was scheduled to reveal BIG secrets about each of the four other students in detention with him, which changed the death to a murder investigation. Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, and Cooper must decide what is more important. Keeping their secrets under wraps, or revealing the truth and uncovering Simon’s killer.
What I liked:
The pacing of One of Us is Lying was fun and it gave me a good mystery experience. The characters were interesting when you start to find out all the secrets and skeletons in their closets. The students start out the story trying to project only what they want people to see and then you see them start to transform as they go through the difficult times of the murder investigation together. The author does a good job of showing the reader that everyone has their own personal demons and battles to deal with.
What I didn’t like:
There was not much that I didn’t like. I was a little disappointed when I got to the whodunit moment. It didn’t quite give me the big reveal feeling that I was hoping for. Maybe because I was so invested in the character development that I lost focus on the actual murder case.
Usually, I only read books before bed, but in this case I was taking my Kindle with me everywhere! It was a nice respite from my usual historical fiction. The story had a nice balance of easy reading with just enough depth that I could just pick it up and get right back into it.
I saw alot of reviews that describe this story as The Breakfast Club mixed with Pretty Little Liars. I haven’t seen Pretty Little Liars so I can’t attest to that comparison. It did remind me of the Thirteen Reasons Why Netflix series with the way that they both slowly delve into and reveal the secrets that influenced the characters perceptions and actions.
I would recommend this book to readers who:
-enjoy mystery books and shows
-stories about peer pressure and wanting to fit in
I have seen that the book will be made into a series through NBCUniversal. You can read about it here.
There is a sequel that came out this past year called, One of Us Is Next. I haven’t read it yet but it looks interesting because it’s a game of truth or dare instead of a gossip app.