One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

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One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s

Publication date: May 30, 2017

Genre: mystery, contemporary, fiction

Category: YA

Blurb:

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.

* Received an electronic copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars’ (Penguin Teen) in this murder mystery involving five teenagers who find themselves in detention on the wrong day. Simon, the author of the About That app – a platform that reveals the secrets of local High school students – drinks water from a glass at the back of class and dies. Someone in that room was involved in Simon’s murder but each teen has secrets of their own to protect.

Addy, Simon, Cooper, Nate and Bronwyn are victims of a cell phone prank, which puts them in detention after school. A car crash outside causes an uproar – or the perfect distraction – which gives any teen in detention enough time to cover the glasses at the sink with peanut oil (Simons allergy). Simon carelessly drinks water from the glass and immediately takes a reaction that causes him his life.

What we know:

-Five students go into detention and only four come out alive.

-Someone in that room is involved in Simon’s murder.

-Each teen had a secret that Simon knew about.

-Everyone had a motif to kill Simon (to keep their secret hidden).

Addy is a popular, beautiful girl with a lot of insecurities. She relies on her popular boyfriend, Jake, to make decisions for her. That is until her secret is revealed and her world comes crashing down.

Cooper is the likeable jock who is destined for greatness – or so his father pressures him to believe. His girlfriend, Keely, is one of the most beautiful girls in school and their relationship is the perfect cover up for Cooper’s secret.

Nate, the bad boy with the criminal record is the obvious scapegoat for a murder mystery, however, Nate is much more than the son of an alcoholic.

Bronwyn is a brainy teen destined for an Ivy League school. She must protect her damaging secret if she is going to keep her good girl image intact.

Simon is the star of the show, the outcast who publishes the secrets of his fellow classmates. Although, there is much more to Simon than his About That app, he has a secret of his own that costs him his life.

McManus tells the story from the viewpoints of Addy, Bronwyn, Cooper, and Nate. Every couple of pages the viewpoint changes, which is one of my favourite style of narratives. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the characters, everyone was stereotypical: the brains (Bronwyn), the jock (Cooper), the beauty (Addy), the gossip (Simon) and the bad boy (Nate), made the characters predictable and boring. I did like how Addy grew as a character towards the end of the book, she became her own person. Though I was constantly waiting to be shocked and it never happened. Even as the mystery surround Simon’s death unfolded I found myself turning pages, not because I was hooked but because I wanted to finish the book. Usually I love mystery, contemporary teens, and a puzzle that keeps you guessing but this didn’t do it for me. This book would suit teenagers 13 + who enjoy a Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars theme. Overall, the book fell flat, which is why I only gave One of Us Is Lying two stars.

2 stars

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