One of Us is Lying || a murder mystery in YA = brilliant

one of us is lying.jpgTitle: One of Us is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Genre: Mystery

Status: Standalone



The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little LiarsOne 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’ve seen nothing but good things about this book EVERYWHERE. And it sounded so interesting so I picked it up.

I’ll be honest, I almost DNFed 20% into the book. It was SO SLOW and boring and I just couldn’t muster up the interest to continue reading. But when I mentioned that I’m reading it, quite a few people online told me how much they loved it and so I gave it another try. I pushed through.

I’m happy to say that after 30% I was INTO IT and read the rest in one sitting. It was utterly captivating.

The Plot

We’ve got the five stereotypes of high school in detention—even though none of them did any wrong. When unsupervised, one student dies of an allergic reaction. The other four are instantly suspects in a murder investigation.

Every few chapters I would reevaluate and suspect another character of the crime. The author brilliant steers our thoughts with careful clues that leads and misleads. I can happily brag saying that I guessed correct at one point of time but then I pretty much suspected EVERY character.

The book was so much more than the investigation, though. We follow the four characters closely in their POVs and learn their lives and it seemed like EVERY detail mattered to the investigation which covers them overall, binding The Four.

The Characters

Bronwyn—”the brain”— was pretty much typical. The very hardworking straight A student who falls for the “bad boy”. Who has a secret that might upend all her plans for the future and everything she’s worked for.

Addy—”the beauty”—was my favourite character. She’s the beautiful girl with no personality and independence. When describing her, you would refer to her as “the popular guy’s girlfriend”. On her own? Nothing interesting. BUT as we go through the book, she has character development and I LOVED her relationship with her sister. She grows and I was proud of her at the end.

Nate—”the criminal”—is the typical high school bad boy. Bad life at home, does small illegal stuff to pay through and does not care about what others think of him. He’s the character I felt the least for. Probably because I’ve seen similar versions of him throughout books and the other characters were more interesting than him.

Cooper—”the athlete”—is my favourite character after Addy. I admit, I wasn’t very interested in his POVs because of the amount of baseball talk. Being from a country where we don’t play baseball, I did not care about the basics about it AT ALL. All the talk about it was so casual as if everyone knows about baseball and that threw me off.

But disregarding that, I really loved him after the half mark. His insecurities and worries made sense, and (this isn’t a spoiler, don’t worry) I loved his decision in the end as to the college he’ll go to. It cemented his character and I’m fond of him.

The supporting characters were really interesting as well! I liked a TV show host, a lawyer more than characters directly related to the main characters, actually. Although there IS one character directly related to them that I love, but I can’t say because it’s spoiler. I also liked Addy’s sister.


I think what made me REALLY love the book is that after a certain point The Four accepted that their reputation has changed and banded together. They had something huge in common which no one else can relate to and in the high school setting, it’s very important.

“Come sit. The whole murder club at one table. They can stare at all of us together.”

So yeah, I loved this book and I didn’t give it 5 stars only because of the slow beginning. If you do pick it up, stick through the first part and I promise it’s worth it.


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Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Do you like books with murder mysteries? Which is your favourite? Recommend it to me in the comments!


8 thoughts on “One of Us is Lying || a murder mystery in YA = brilliant”

  1. I feel exactly the same about this book! 20% in and I thought it was slow going and a little boring but I persevered and, as you say, finished the rest in one sitting! It was so gripping and having finished it at the weekend I’ll surely be doing a review. I really enjoyed it and I loved the character diversity, never got bored of any of them. I also really liked the multiple POV which was written really nicely. Great review 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had this on my long list for October Reads, but didn’t get a chance to pick it up. I love that the author leaves clues along the way. One of my favorite parts about mystery books is being able to get a chance to guess and participate in the unveiling of the mystery ourselves. If I’m tempted to DNF, I’ll be sure to stick with it based on your review. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you ended up loving it! I read this book in one sitting over the summer, and now I can’t stop recommending it enough. The beginning is a bit slow, but it draws you in without you realizing it!

    Liked by 1 person

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