One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying starts off sounding like The Breakfast Club: a group of teenagers in detention and slowly, they get to know each other and become close. I was all for an adaptation of the much-loved film. What also made this book sound amazing was the thriller aspect of it and I couldn’t wait to read it.

One 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. 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 was instantly drawn into this book and read it in one sitting. I literally just sat on the sofa and didn’t move until I had turned the last page. The pacing was brilliant, the thrills were just crazy, the characters were fantastic and the romances were heart-wrenching. One thing that I think is really important in a thriller is that you can’t just guess what happens, it’s not predictable… And this wasn’t! I was constantly guessing who killed Simon and it was only before the big reveal that I knew what had happened, and to be honest, when I found out I was right, I was a bit disappointed. I didn’t want it to be THAT. I didn’t want THAT to happen, and yet, it did and I’m slightly disappointed.

One of the things that I look for in a novel is character development. You can’t have a 300-page book and the characters not develop in any way – otherwise, it seems like a waste of time to me. But in One of Us is Lying, all of the characters went through major character developments that were pretty much perfect. My favourite character development had to be Addy’s – by far! She grew into this strong young woman who knew how to protect herself, and she learnt that she shouldn’t take rubbish from anybody and that she’s her own person, not anyone else’s; she can’t be controlled. I also loved Nate, he reminded me so much of Jughead from Riverdale, and I could completely imagine Cole Sprouse playing Nate as well.

Diversity wasn’t a major factor in this book, there were only two characters that I would class as ‘diverse’. There really isn’t much that I can say about this book without revealing spoilers, this book is full of twists and turns on nearly every page. I absolutely love it. The romance was also well-written. I shipped the romances so hard and I just needed them to work out and when I thought that one of them wouldn’t, I think I nearly cried because they were just so right for each other.



“I miss how easy school used to be. But I guess nobody I hung out with ever really cared about me, right? Or things would have been different.”

– Karen M. McManus, One of Us is Lying



I live for whodunnit stories and I actually haven’t read very many that really keep me on the edge of my seat – this one actually did. I everything about this book apart from the big reveal. It’s like the hype surrounding a book, it gets so big and crazy that when you actually read it, you’re like ‘oh… okay…’. I feel like the reveal was rushed and that it was the ‘easy way out’ in the writing-a-thriller-novel sense. NOT IN-REAL-LIFE SENSE. AT ALL. Please do not get mistaken about what I mean when saying the ‘easy way out’. If you would like to talk to me more about this specific point, contact me on social media or email and then we can discuss it.

One of Us is Lying tackles hard-hitting issues such as cheating, abuse, death, depression relationships, love, family issues, sexuality… Everything. And I feel like there could be so many novellas written about each of the characters because I would love to learn more about each of them. As much as the reveal disappointed me, I did like the way that McManus tied everything together and how everything was linked. It reminded me so much of Pretty Little Liars and how no detail is too small. And that’s exactly what this novel is. It’s a Pretty Little Liars/Gossip Girl/The Breakfast Club/Agatha Christie mash-up, and it works so well!

Overall, I really did enjoy this novel. I consumed it all in one sitting and I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery.

Warning: this book contains triggers for abuse, death, depression, drugs, alcoholism.

Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Released 1st June

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