Title: One Of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publication Date: 1st June 2017
Format: Paperback (eARC originally)
This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About the book:
Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.
Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.
Bad boy Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.
Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.
And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.
He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.
Everyone has secrets, right?
What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.
What I Thought:
I first read One Of Us Is Lying back when it was first released in 2017, I remember absolutely loving it, but when I went to track down my review to remind myself of some of the characters ahead of reading the sequel I couldn’t find it. Turns out I didn’t get around to writing it at the time, so it was the perfect excuse for my first re-read of 2020!
Five high schoolers find themselves in detention one evening, but when one of them doesn’t make it out alive the remaining four teenagers find themselves suspects in a murder investigation. One Of Us Is Lying follows the Bayview Four as the investigation into their schoolmate’s death continues. Is one of them really a killer?
As this is a reread for me I went into this book with vague memories of the ending, some how it’s already been nearly three years since I first read this! That said I still found myself gripped by the plot and fully immersed into the lives of our main characters. One Of Us Is Lying is split into three parts, with each part containing a number of chapters told from multiple points of view. The layout of the book makes it very clear whose point of view we’re reading at any moment in time, with the headings giving the character’s name and the date and time. The plot is so well paced and the story really draws you in, I had to force myself to put down the book once I hit part three as it was nearing midnight, and this was despite already knowing how it ends. No wonder I read it in one sitting originally!
I recall really liking the characters at the time, but having read another multiple POV book just before this reread which really didn’t work for me I’m even more impressed at how Karen has created four characters that despite initially fitting into high school stereotypes are actually far more complex than that. Undoubtedly one of the biggest strengths of this book is the fact that all the central characters are likeable, it didn’t take me long to become invested in them and genuinely care what the outcome for each of them is.
The Geek – Bronwyn is probably the character I identified with the easiest. A good girl who does well at school and is expected to thrive and go on to study at a top college. I really enjoyed seeing her relationships develop with the rest of the Bayview Four, and especially her friendship with her younger sister. I think Maeve is one of the featured characters in Karen’s follow up so I’m hoping we might get a brief update on the original characters somewhere.
The Jock – Cooper is the baseball pitcher destined for big things, whether it’s college or straight into the drafts for professional teams. He comes across as a genuine guy from the South, I loved discovering the additional depths to his character as we moved through the book.
The Criminal – Nate, dear sweet Nate. Nate’s the school’s bad boy, on probation for drug dealing it would be so easy to write him off as the one who did it. But as with Cooper we learn more about Nate as we move through the book, information about his home life reveals more layers to him by the end I think he may have been my favourite of the four
The Princess – Addy is one of the popular girls, dating one of the stars of the school’s football team she seemingly has it all. I think Addy is probably the character that has the most growth over the course of the book and I really did enjoy seeing her come into her own as we headed towards the end of the story. I really hope she’s had nothing but good things since the ending!
This may have been a re-read but it was just the book I needed to read after not completely loving the first two books I read in 2020. Re-reading One Of Us Is Lying reminded me just how well a story told from multiple points of view can work. And now that I’ve reminded myself of the Bayview Four I cannot wait to get stuck into One Of Us Is Next!
About The Author
Karen M. McManus is the author of the New York Times and international bestselling young adult novels One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret. Her work has been translated into 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels.
Connect With Karen
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As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?