one of us is lying | review

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Title: One Of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Random House

Publication date: May 30th, 2017

N° of pages: 368 pages

Genre: YA Mystery



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’m starting to realize there are some things you can’t undo, no matter how good your intentions are.

Breakfast Club + Pretty Little Liars + Murder = I’m sold! Honestly, when I first read the synopsis, all I was thinking was: Oh my God! I NEED this! Buuuut… (Yes, there’s a but!) It wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be.

Of course, that is not to say that I did not enjoy the story because I did. It was real fun and it makes you want to keep reading because you just need to know who did it, right? I don’t know about you but it is very hard for me to DNF a book with a mystery murder in it. It’ll just make me crazy not knowing who did it. It was far from being a book that I would DNF though because the writing was great and the plot even better. I find that the whole idea of a detention turning into murder and a bunch of people, who have nothing to do with each other, being accused of committing it really interesting! I think that’s why I enjoyed Pretty Little Liars. I just love seeing people framed for crimes they didn’t (or did) commit.

My issue with this book was with the characters. They are the kind of characters we find everywhere. When I’ve read the synopsis the first time and I saw Bronwyn: The Brain, Addy: The Beauty, Nate: The Criminal, Cooper: The Athlete and Simon: The Outcast, my first thought was: Well I hope they’ll manage to make something out of this! Also, since I’ve watched Pretty Little Liars I found a lot of similarities which kind of played a certain role in why I didn’t really get attached to the characters. I wasn’t expecting this to be a retelling. Or is it? Now I don’t know about everyone else but Addy sounds a lot like Hanna (PLL). They’re both “The Beauty”, they both go through struggles that make them think they’re better than that and they both have a single good looking mother. And at the beginning of the book, I almost felt that something was going to happen with the police officer but thank God it didn’t because that would’ve been PLL. I have no problem with retellings but only inspired retellings, not “copy-everything” retellings. This might not be a problem for a lot of people but I guess it was for me! Especially since I found out that Simon’s best friend was Janae. I couldn’t stop myself from picturing her as Jenna Marshall from PLL. Jenna and Janae…

I did like how they were all different from each other and I loved seeing them bond and develop a certain kind of friendship. It was probably my favourite part of the book along with knowing more Bronwyn and Addy’s sisters: Maevae and Ashton. They really are incredible supportive sisters and I think that Ashton is my favourite character in this book. The main characters being too cliché for me to feel for them or to care. I did enjoy the romance in the book though which is very unlikely because I usually don’t like romance. Oh, and at the beginning of the book, I really liked Nate “the criminal” but in the very last few pages I just came to realize that he’s not that good after all.

There are four POVs in this book but, in my opinion, they are so similar we end up thinking there’s only just one voice that is narrating. That didn’t really bother me all that much. I found the writing to be beautiful and quite simple. It’s an easy read that is slow paced but it fits well the story. You won’t find yourself bored while reading this book although for me to enjoy a mystery, I need to be more than just “not bored”. Nothing was really a surprise which is a bummer.

If you haven’t read a lot of mysteries and if you’re just looking for a light quick read for summer, then this is the book for you! It has a great premise (and a very beautiful cover!) and I’m sure you won’t regret picking it up! I fairly enjoyed it but it could’ve been way better and sadly this just wasn’t for me.

This book was provided to me by Random House and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Hope you’ve enjoyed this review!

Have you read One of Us is Lying? What did you think of it? Does it sound like a book you would enjoy to read?


2 thoughts on “one of us is lying | review

  1. Oooh, great review and I totally agree with you! I was super sold on the premise too but I just didn’t fall in love with the book, and the characters did seem kind of cardboard cutout-y to me. Thankfully the writing’s pretty good though and it does make for quite an easy book to read. 😂


    1. Thank youu! 💖 When I got to the middle of the book, I started reading other reviews that talked about great character development. It got me excited but it didn’t live up to my expectations unfortunately because I was looking forward to being wow-ed. Love me a mystery though! 😂 It is a debut novel and I can’t wait to read more by her because just like you said, the writing’s pretty good!


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