Title: One of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Young adult mystery
Published: By Delacorte Press on May 30th, 2017
Grade: Exceeds expectations
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’d be lying if I said that premise didn’t draw me in with the first line itself. I was definitely planning to solve the mystery and not miss a clue because I’m just one of those people who likes to feel clever by knowing all the answers. I obviously expected the answer to elude me and the ending to shock me. I’d never read a young adult murder mystery before, so I didn’t have a lot of expectations going in.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked all the other aspects of the book more than the crime itself. The first few chapters fly by quickly with lots of action. Then comes the character growth part where the reader becomes intricately familiar with all the suspects and the title is hanging over your head making you think which of the narrators is unreliable. From that time till the very end, the only thing that kept me going was my connection with the characters, because I had fairly good guess about the murderer’s identity. It warmed my heart to watch these characters cope with all the stress and media attention that came with the murder investigation. None of them were flawless and perfect, the very image some of them had maintained before death turned their worlds upside-down, and realness of these characters was refreshing to read. Although the high school setting has been done and overdone, I enjoyed it this time around because of all the drama and heightened tension. I was very happy with the fact that the book dealt with serious topics that real teens face on a daily basis in addition to the mystery aspect. Also, the family and elders were present throughout the narrative and it hit all the right notes for me in that department. While I loved the story itself, since the murder aspect didn’t blow my mind away, I’m giving this only an ‘E’.
I would highly recommend it to readers who are looking for a YA contemporary set in high school with a criminal twist. If you like books where the family plays a huge role and stories dealing with friendship, you can give this a spin. Pair this up with the usual lunch you’d take to school. It is the sort of book best enjoyed with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or other classic lunch options like that. For the music, you can go down the nostalgic road and listen to hits from the time when you were in school. If you ask me, I think Taylor Swift’s songs go perfectly with this novel.
Have you read this book or is it on your TBR? I’m trying out a new review style, so let me know what you think about it. I wanted to post unique content on the blog and an ‘expectations vs reality’ style of reviewing was one of the ideas I came up with. Do you know if anyone else reviews books in this way? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.