Sunday, 4 February 2018

Book review: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Unless one of us is lying. Which is always a possibility.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus 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. They say it's a mix between The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars and while I've watched both and I can see where they're coming from I can say I was more entertained reading this book than I was watching both the movie and tv show they use to compare it to.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention for having phones (which are not theirs) with them with a certain teacher who doesn't tolerate technology. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess but holding together the cracks in her perfect life. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing and is one misstep away from a life of crime. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher who greatly improved during the summer. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app, About That, and won't ever talk about any of them again.

Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, he's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident: he was highly allergic to peanuts and somehow peanut oil ended up on a cup he was drinking from. 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 really liked how this book started with presenting typical american high school stereotypes as main characters. It has multiple points of view, one for each suspect and, as you get to know them, McManus keeps breaking the stereotypes they are one by one so it is anything but cliché. The book has a few trigger warnings as it touches on cheating, emotionally abusive relationships, mental health and homophobia, but without making it all about it because this is still a mystery book. It does get side tracked sometimes but since it's narrated by the main suspects it's understandable they sometimes need to stop thinking about the crime itself.

So did I figure out who the murderer was? Yes, I had two main suspects from the beginning and I got very suspicious about a certain someone halfway through but they keep throwing new evidences at you. I ended up being correct, though! The problem with Simon being dead is that there's always someone updating this Tumblr with new information being thrown at you from the killer's prespective. I got very frustrated with the police because they are clearly incompetent and someone else actually had to solve the crime for them.

All in all, it's a very fast paced, fun to read book. The last two chapters are pure pain, so be prepared. If you like young adult mystery books this is definitely worth a shot! I look forward to reading more from Karen M. MacManus (and honestly I'm still trying to understand the peanut oil problem)!

You can get One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus on Book Depository with free shipping. Let me know if you figured out who the killer was!

Things'll get worse before they get better.

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