Review: One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManusOne of Us Is Lying
Karen McManus
Delacorte Press
Published May 30, 2017

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About One of Us Is Lying
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.

My Review
One of Us Is Lying is definitely the kind of story that keeps you turning pages late into the night. Every chapter hints at and slowly reveals new secrets that change what you know about each character in the room with Simon when he dies. I liked that each character had a lot more going on than it originally appeared, and each is a lot deeper than her classmates initially perceive her to be. Important clues come from surprising places, which again kept me guessing.

There was a point at which I thought I had the plot figured out and was pretty close. Honestly, by then, I was so invested in the story and so curious as to what would happen to the truly innocent parties, that I didn’t care if I turned out to be right.

If you’re a fan of the cult classic The Breakfast Club or murder mysteries in general, you need to add this one to your summer reading list. If you’re like me, once you read the first chapter, you won’t be able to put it down.

One of Us Is Lying on AmazonRecommended for Ages 14 up.

Cultural Elements
Bronwyn and her sister are half-Latino. One character comes out as gay midway through the story.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used with moderate frequency.

Romance/Sexual Content
Addy’s mother teaches her that the only way to keep a man is to keep him sexually satisfied. She and her boyfriend make out on her bed, and it’s clear she means to have sex with him. Through the course of the story, she begins to question her mom’s advice and eventually decides to take a break from dating and be herself.

Some kisses are exchanged between boy and girl or between two boys.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
A boy goes into anaphylactic shock and dies.

Drug Content
Nate sells drugs to pay the bills his father ignores. After Simon’s death, he stops, knowing the police investigation puts him at too great a risk of getting caught. Eventually he finds other reasons not to pick the habit up again.

One of Us Is Lying on GoodreadsNote: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

3 Responses to Review: One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

  1. Linda says:

    Thank you for this great review. I have read a lot of YA and have been able to recommend appropriate books (no sex and low romance) to my bookworm 12-year old. But she has outpaced me and I have run out of books to recommend. Thank you for your thorough review and including Romance/sexual content in your assessment. I think I may hold off for a year for her. But sounds like a great read for me. It will certainly help me prepare to have conversations with her regarding the topics in this book. Thank you agsin.

    • Thanks, Linda! My daughter is twelve also, so I know what you mean. It’s tough to find things with the right balance! You might try THE WONDER OF US by Kim Colbertson or THE DISAPPEARANCES by Emily Bain Murphy. You can find both reviews on the blog. They have some romance (no sex) but it’s not the focus of either story. 🙂

  2. Colleen says:

    Oh man, how you piqued my interest!!!