ARC Review: One of Us Is Lying

June 11, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

ARC Review: One of Us Is LyingOne of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Published by Delacorte Press on May 30th, 2017
Pages: 370
Source: Edelweiss
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I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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.
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.

So I wasn’t totally sure how I should rate One of Us Is Lying. On one hand, it was fast paced and held my attention for the majority of the novel. On the other, I felt like there was a lot of problems with the characters and the plot. I feel like maybe the author was being overly ambitious with having four different POV’s. Some of these characters seemed to blend together instead of having distinctive personalities. I was also extremely disappointed by the ending. Ultimately, this was an entertaining read, but it wasn’t the thriller that I was expecting it to be.

As mentioned, there’s four main characters instead of just one. The characters are kind of (except for one) similar to The Breakfast Club gang on the surface: we have a popular Princess, jock, criminal, and then we have the smart girl. When you take a closer look at them, they turn out to have much darker secrets that challenges these identities. Bronwyn is the super smart, Ivy League bound next valedictorian at the school. Bronwyn was a decent character, and I found her relationship with Nate to be one of the highlights of the book. Nate is the criminal, the misunderstood bad boy who has a reputation for doing drugs and hooking up. Once we get inside his head, we learn that he has a rough past and we learn that he isn’t capable of murdering someone else, though he probably seems like the most likely suspect based on his history alone. I’m not going to lie, Addy was a little boring and hers and Bronwyn’s points of views ran together at times. I felt bad for Addy once her secret was revealed, but I still felt like she wasn’t a totally unique character. Cooper is the All-American athlete with a bright future in baseball, and a secret that may or may not ruin that entirely. I thought Cooper was a pretty interesting character as well, though his secret was a little predictable.

So there obviously isn’t much romance in this book since it is meant to be a thriller. However, I felt like the romance was still a sweet part of the story, even if it was rather small. Early on in the story, it becomes obvious that Nate and Bronwyn have a connection between them. Like I said, Bronwyn is a serious student who hasn’t had any time for dating in the past. Nate is a guy who has no problem with messing around. Ultimately, they end up exploring the spark that they have and taking it a step further. I thought it was adorable, and I loved all the texts and calls that went down between them.

Though I’ve hinted at it some already, I want to talk more about how the thriller aspect of the book. So basically, there are five kids in detention. All of the kids there were there under shady circumstances. Each of them had phones confiscated that didn’t actually belong to them. In the end, one of them doesn’t make it out of the room alive. It appears as if someone put peanut oil in his water and he’s allergic to peanuts. They tried to get him an EpiPen but there were none in the nurses office. He ended up dying, and the police thinks that one of them had to have done it since there’s no way anyone else could have done it. The kid who was killed ran a gossip blog about people in the school, and his reports were always accurate. Things get interesting when they find that he had a post in his drafts about secrets belonging to all four of the people in detention. So who killed Simon? You have to read to find out!

One of Us Is Lying wasn’t a bad book, but I still found it slightly disappointing. I was expecting way more excitement and thrills. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. There were some characters that I obviously liked more than others. I felt like some of them could have been more developed so they were more distinguished. In the end, it was still a book that I wanted to keep reading. I don’t think I put it down once after I started reading it. While I’m glad that I read it, it still wasn’t a super memorable thriller as a whole.


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