Book review: One of Us is Lying

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Paraphrased from Goodreads

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.


3/5 stars

So I just finished this about an hour and still have a lot of feelings about it. I gave it a 3/5 because until about the last third, I was leaning toward 2.5/5, but at the end was closer to 3.5, so I compromised at 3.

Honestly, this book is not bad. My biggest issue with it is it was fairly clichéd. I know that’s kind of the point, with the characters being stereotypes and such. But it still felt kind of unoriginal. Even the secrets about them were stereotypical. MINOR (very minor) SPOILERS Like, the smart girl cheated in a class, the pretty girl cheated on her boyfriend, the jock is gay, the criminal has an alcoholic father and mentally ill mother. I feel like I’ve seen those all before. END OF SPOILERS

That being said, it was an entertaining and easy read. I wanted to read it and get to the end. I thought about it when I wasn’t reading it, which is a good sign. I never felt like I had to skip anything, and there wasn’t really any filler. It was well-written in that regard, and I did genuinely enjoy it.

Also, I definitely didn’t see the ending coming, although in hindsight it did make sense. I figured most of it out before the characters, which is always satisfying, and it was still an intense finish. I liked it.

I also (for the most part) liked what happened to all the characters. I wish we got a little more closure on Nate and Bronwyn. That part felt a little rushed and not as well-thought out as the rest of the endings, so I wish we had more there. I really liked Addy’s story arc and her conclusion. I think she developed into my favourite character out of all of them, and I liked how her story touched very briefly on sexism and ingrained misogyny.

Overall, I did enjoy reading this book. I’d probably reread it as a light, summer read, but I don’t think it’ll become one of my favourites.

I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys Pretty Little Liars, because it had the good parts of PLL (think PLL if it was actually written well). Also recommended for those who like YA romances but want something a little different.


Thanks for reading! Let me know if you’ve read this book and what your thoughts on it were!

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4 Replies to “Book review: One of Us is Lying”

  1. Thanks for the honest review! Sorry you didn’t enjoy this book as much as anticipated. I have seen many 5 stars reviews for this book and it seems almost too good to be true 🙂 I’m glad the book was still good on some level and provided an intense ending. I do enjoy an entertaining read too so I can’t wait to read this book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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