One of us is lying: A Book review

Sep 24, 201834 comments

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, 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 the book

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

The plot

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.

Related:  The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - A book review

My initial thoughts

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.

Related:  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: A book review

Pin me

One of us is lying

Let us chat

Have you read this one? How did it fare on your scale? What are the cliches that turn you off the Young Adult genre? Let us talk.

34 Comments

  1. Olivia Roach

    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…

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      It was too long for my taste but I loved her writing style.

      Reply
  2. AYUSHI NAIR

    Lovely review adding this book to my tbr

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Glad to be of use.

      Reply
  3. Amanda McGill

    I read this a month ago and I really enjoyed it! Like you, I flew through it. Unlike you, I had no idea who was the killer! Great review!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Well, I will blame the hundreds of mystery novels that I have read for spoiling most books for me.

      Reply
  4. Heidi

    That cover is kind of freaky – haha!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Yes. The cover kinda makes sense right?

      Reply
  5. Sam@WLABB

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

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Sometimes figuring it out makes it enjoy better, right?

      Reply
  6. Tracey

    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.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thanks for the encouragement on my design. I will try to improve.

      Reply
  7. Tasha

    I have seen conflicting reviews on this one and I have already bought it. Oops. Brilliant review.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I hope you will enjoy it.

      Reply
  8. Stormi

    I really enjoyed this one!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Glad you liked it.

      Reply
  9. Cia Black

    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.)

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Even while reading the book there were not much difference between the different POVs sadly.

      Reply
  10. Whispering Stories

    I’ve looked at this book a few times but never gotten around to reading it. Lovely review. I must get it read soon.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thanks, and this one was quite popular on the Twitter a while ago.

      Reply
  11. DJ Sakata

    I seem to be conflicted about this one…

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I understand, I did the same a while ago.

      Reply
  12. Jennifer

    Hmm, I don’t know

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I understand how that is.

      Reply
  13. o Linsdell

    I had an ARC of one of Us is Lying and loved it. Can’t wait to read the sequel.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      There is a sequel? I never knew that, will check for it.

      Reply
      • Jo Linsdell

        It’s due out in January 2019. It’s called Two can keep A Secret. I can’t wait!

        Reply
        • Gayathri

          Yay! Will check out.

          Reply
  14. Shelleen Toland

    I read this last year and thought it was really good.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Yes, it was kinda unputdownable right?

      Reply
  15. Vivien

    Sounds like a good read. I like the way you explained what worked and what didn’t work for you.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Yay, thanks.

      Reply
  16. Jenn @ Bound to Writing

    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!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I have been working out on some design changes for my blog. Hope it works out.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hello there!

Gayathri loves reading, recommending books and talking about bookish things in real life. Her blog is just an extension of that habit. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she freelances as a beta reader. She lives currently in Dubai.Head over to meet me

Categories

Like what I do?

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com
%d bloggers like this: