Book Review: One of Us Is Lying

lyingTitle: One of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Pages: 361
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date Started: September 8, 2018
Date Finished: September 9, 2018
Format: Hardcover


Five students go into detention, but only four come out alive. The four survivors are the image of high school clichés: the jock, the brains, the punk, and the beauty. The student who is killed in the room is none other than Simon, the student responsible for running and maintaining the school’s gossip app, one that is never, under any circumstance, wrong.

Whenever I read descriptions for books that compare a story to other, famous works, I always take them with a grain of salt because they hardly ever stack up to what they are being compared to. In this case, One of Us Is Lying is described as “the Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars.” In this case, I’d actually have to say that the story lives up to this promise (and the writing is vastly superior to PLL, thank goodness). I was so pleasantly surprised with this book and genuinely enjoyed it.

When I read a mystery-esque novel, I love to try to solve it myself, and a mark of a good mystery is the ability for the solution to be eloquent and believable. As I was reading this book, I had to stop and puzzle it out and when I tried to pull out what the clues were, I found it hard to distinguish the clues from the every-day life of the characters. It was much more subtle than I find in many other books of the same genre, especially in books marketed as YA. While I was able to reason out whodunit long before the grand reveal, I don’t feel it actually took away from the reading experience.

Even though the characters were the predictable tropes of a high school drama, I didn’t find their personalities to be flat. In fact, I was surprised at the level of development and growth they showcased throughout the novel. I gotta say,  I enjoyed this book and I’d even say it lives up to the hype!

Overall, 3.5/5 moose


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