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

By Pawsforreaction @PawsForReaction
Book Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Paws For Reaction Book Review One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus


Described as The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us is Lying serves up exactly that: a soapy young adult mystery soaked in teen angst, juicy gossip, and teen movie stereotypes. I read this book in three days- and it's long for a YA novel. Each of the four main characters narrates the book, which moves the story along quickly. In a lot of ways, this is your average YA novel, but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it. If it was a Netflix TV show I would have binge-watched it in one day.  



Five high school seniors walk into detention and only four of them walk out. The outcast Simon, creator of a gossip app that shares the high school student's darkest secrets, dies an accidental death. But after someone starts posting suspicions of murder online, the police discover his death was due to foul play- and the other four students in detention become the prime suspects.


The story is a portrayal of what it would be like if four post-millennial students were accused of murder. All four of them must try to solve the mystery before they end up in jail- or worse. This story was very trope heavy. The four main characters all seem to fit very specific stereotypes, and while their story arc develops and their characters grow, the main love story is your typical teen bad boy dates a nerdy girl who becomes more beautiful when she removes her glasses. This story won't be the story that moves you or provokes deep thought. It won't go down as a great piece of literature that shaped the world. 


That being said, I really enjoyed it. It was an entertaining, gripping, and indulgent read. It was easy to finish in a few days and I looked forward to the times when I would get to sit down and read more. The characters are likable- even their flaws- and the story keeps you guessing right up until everything unfolds. The author cast suspicion on everyone, and while I'm usually able to predict most YA thriller books I read, this one was tough to figure out. I'm a huge fan of modern YA and this book did not disappoint. The more I learned about the character, the more doubt was cast or innocence confirmed. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, the book would throw a curveball that I couldn't swing at. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel One of Us Is Next


If you're willing to overlook the cliched stereotypes and the occasional predictability, One of Us Is Lying is an enjoyable story that will challenge your preconceived notions about innocence, and take you on twists and turns with every page you flip. 


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