Book Review: “One Of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus

Warning: This book review contains spoilers for “One Of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus. If you don’t want spoilers, click the back button now!

Cover of "One Of Us Is Lying" by Karen M. McManus.
Cover of “One Of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing the book “One Of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

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.”

Content Warnings:

There are mentions of homophobia, suicide, and dysfunctional family relationships, including mentions of abuse, scattered throughout the books due to them being involved in some of the main characters’ backstories. If you are sensitive to such information, I suggest that you either read this book carefully or skip reading this one entirely.

Character Development: 3 out of 5 stars

I thought that the main characters were decently developed for the most part. I enjoyed reading Cooper and Addy the best out of all of them. I also enjoyed reading Janae and Jake, after learning more of their connections to Simon. However, I felt that the rest of the characters lacked a bit of development, given that their development was spent on finding out all the secrets they hid, as well as the consequences of how it affected each other. The book didn’t spend enough time showing how the characters felt individually after their secrets were found out, most of the time.

Plot Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

If there was anything this book did right with its plotline, it was the actual mystery of finding out the truth behind Simon’s death. The reveal that it was a planned suicide (including the vehicles outside the detention room!) was something I didn’t see coming as a reader, though all the pieces came together at the end with reveal, so it made more sense. However, I do think the sideplots (consisting of everyone’s secrets being revealed) slowed down the main plot of the book a lot. The book felt too slow in its pacing because of the sideplots by midway through the story.

Overall, I’m rating this book 3.5 out of 5 stars!

I recommend this book for those that are interested in reading complicated relationships. However, if you are sensitive to any of the above-mentioned triggers, I suggest that you read this book carefully.

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