One of us is lying by Karen M McManus: A Book review

Do you know who is up to date on all book trends and posts reviews as soon as they finish a book? Not me. Even when I rarely catch up with trend and read something that everyone likes and raves about, everything doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. Let us take the example of One of us is lying by Karen M McManus, a YA ‘whodunnit thriller that rocked the Twitter and blogs last, read on to know more.

Almost a year ago, everyone I knew and followed read and spoke about One of us is lying. After a tedious hunt I found the book and read it as fast as could. You see, I do try to keep up. But I never posted a review because I am generally forgetful and I forgot about the book. Read further to know why the book was so forgetful.

About One of us is lying

One of us is lying

Book Name: One of us is lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Mystery

Characters: Bronwyn, Nate, Addy, Jake, Cooper, Simon

Setting: California, The USA

Plot Summary of One of us is lying

The story begins at detention with five students that fit the popular stereotypes – Bronwyn the class nerd, Nate the brooding bad boy, Addy the pretty and popular girl, Cooper the athlete, and Simon the outcast.

Simon holds a knife over everyone else’s head with help of the school’s gossip website and he knows a lot. Things go haywire when Simon dies of an allergic reaction right in front of them at the detention center.

The police suspect foul play and the four teens are brought under spotlight. Did the fact that Simon was going to publish their secrets the next day had anything to do with his death? You will have to read One of us is lying to know more.

Book review of  One of us is lying

As someone who loves reading whodunnit, I sorta guessed the murderer easily. Well, my theory almost worked, though not completely. Karen M. McManus’s writing was fast at some places, especially around the murder, and then lagged in other places. I wish it had a consistent pace but it was not a deal breaker.

Things that worked for me

  • It is definitely an easy to read book and I finished reading it in a few hours. And needless to say it was un-put-down-able.
  • Kudos to the author for writing such a mostly fast paced story with typical characters and yet, make her mark. 
  • I liked Addy’s character growth, from an airhead to sort of empowered(?). It would have been great if there was such a character development for all the other characters as well. 
  • Though marketed as a thriller, it has much more of romance and drama from the other side plots, which kept the story moving, all though slowly. 

Things that didn’t work for me

  • The multiple POVs for various characters sounded pretty much the same to me. 
  • How many red herrings are too many? ‘One of us is lying’ many. Since I kinda already guessed it, I felt the clues were too many apparently misleading. 
  • The romance kinda felt forced and the book might have been more crisper without it.
  • I think I keep repeating this on all my YA reviews. Where are the adults? And why is the police so incompetent? 

Bottom line

Despite the cliched characters and events, One of us is lying held my attention for the few hours it took for me to finish it.If you like a YA mystery that is more on the side of YA, you might like One of us is lying. If you are looking for more solid mystery/thriller, there are better options.

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Let us chat

Have you read One of us is lying by Karen M McManus? How did it fare on your scale? What are the clichés that turn you off the Young Adult genre? Let us talk.

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34 responses to “One of us is lying by Karen M McManus: A Book review”

  1. I read this one last year and loved reading it. I agree that some of the POVs sound the same, and the police are scary incompetent. But the story is mysterious and enjoyable. By the way, I love the way your layout for this post!

  2. I tried this in audio format and I couldn’t do. While they had separate narrators for the cast it became to muddled for me. I plan on reading it but have moved to the bottom of the TBR. (Maybe not the bottom, but pretty close.)

  3. Love the review, the book sounds really good, I haven’t read it but if there was so many POV’s I would get confused trying to figure out which one i was reading. I also agree with Jenn your design layout really works.

  4. I figured it out, but that didn’t spoil this book for me, because I was fully engrossed and invested in this story.

  5. It sounds like this one was an okay one. It sounds like the pacing could’ve used improving and maybe a bit of a different marketing as it wasn’t quite in the right genre as it was promoted for, but it also sounds like it was a hooking read and you did manage to enjoy it as well! I know my younger sister read this one but I’m not sure if I will or not…

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