One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Publication Date: 30 May 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery

Pages: 361

Rating: 1.5 stars

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 8.20.08 pm


One of Us Is Lying follows five students who walk into detention. By the end of the hour, one of them is dead. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

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.



The combination of two genres that I love is what really drew me to this novel. It is both a Young Adult and Mystery, and the synopsis alone made me want to read it immediately.

The story is told in the perspectives of four students in High School. These characters at first glance are stereotypical, but the readers eventually learn that they all have secrets that they do not want to get out. Their secrets make them less like stereotypes, and much more interesting.

The readers learn straight away that Simon is the one to die. This sounds strange, but he dies in a really creative way! It was not what I was predicting, but I thought it was great. Simon is the outcast of the school and because of a gossip app that he created he is hated by many of the students. Therefore, it is not unusual that someone would want him dead.

Going into this book I guessed who the murderer would be. I think that is natural because of the way the description of the novel is written. For me it was one of those books where I just had to know how Simon had died. This made me get lost in the story, and I loved that about this book.

Telling the story in the four perspectives makes the novel much more fast-paced. If there is one character you are more interested in reading about, then you will have to go through three other characters before you get to them again. That character for me was Cooper. I sensed his “twist” from the beginning, and wanted to know if I was right. Some reviewers have found his twist to be insensitive, which I agree, it is. But my love for the character and his storyline is too genuine to negatively rate a novel just for this reason.

The four secrets that each individual has are not mind-blowing. Considering it is Young Adult, I preferred the story more for the great character development. By the end of the novel, each character is fleshed out well, and I especially enjoyed the relationships that are formed.

While the murder mystery is fun to follow, it did disappoint me. I guessed it about half-way through, but I felt as though the author hinted at it by the way the characters were investigating it. There was, however, a twist that I didn’t see coming that I thought was pretty shocking!

The way the author handles two important topics are not fantastic. If you want to know what I mean, then read this review. However, I’m not going to rate it poorly because of these reasons, as everything about the structure of the novel is very creative.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading about the characters and thought that the murder mystery was fascinating. I would recommend this novel to those who like Mystery, but can also handle Young Adult.


See One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus on Goodreads and purchase through Book Depository.

  • Do you want to read One of Us Is Lying?
  • Have you already read it? 
Image Map

21 thoughts on “One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

  1. Great review! I’m really looking forward to reading this. i love YA and have been in a mystery mood so this sounds like a nice mix. I agree with your choice to review it highly even if it had some problems. I think for a book like this where that isn’t the main focus and it isn’t HARMFUL, then it’s okay if you enjoyed it and it did the aspects it was supposed to well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I hope you like it if you do get to read it. I’m glad you agree with my choice, I didn’t want to sound too negative seeing as authors can’t do everything right. That’s so true! If you enjoyed it then you can acknowledge what was wrong but still admit it was a good read 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I rated this book 3 stars, mainly because I found it super cliched (even though I generally like cliches) and I think I just heard so many good things about it and it wasn’t what I was expecting. But I still really enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t really what I was expecting either! It was quite cliched and the mysteries weren’t that interesting, but I don’t know, I guess I still thought it was enjoyable enough for 4 stars

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I know it’s hard to write a review that’s different from the rest! I’d still read your review of course if you write it 🙂 I had more to say about this book compared to all the other books I’ve read.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, so glad to hear you’ve enjoyed this, Charlotte! I’ve heard wonderful things about this debut – it sounds almost too good to be true? I need to read it! Even if it’s not my usual type of read.
    Amazing review, of course 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Liebster Award

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s