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One of Us Is Lying #1

One of Us Is Lying

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This is an alternate cover edition of ASIN B01M98J44U.
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.

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.

360 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 30, 2017

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About the author

Karen M. McManus

23 books29.3k followers
Hi, and thanks for stopping by my Goodreads page! I don't visit this site often, so the best way to reach me is via my website at www.karenmcmanus.com, or on Twitter/Instagram, where I'm @writerkmc.


Karen M. McManus is a #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of young adult thrillers. Her work includes the One of Us Is Lying series, which was turned into a television show on Peacock and Netflix, as well as the standalone novels Two Can Keep a Secret, The Cousins, You’ll Be the Death of Me, and Nothing More to Tell. Karen's critically acclaimed, award-winning books have been translated into forty-two languages and have sold more than seven million copies worldwide.

To learn more, visit www.karenmcmanus.com or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.

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5 stars
238,311 (31%)
4 stars
308,994 (40%)
3 stars
162,695 (21%)
2 stars
37,811 (4%)
1 star
11,741 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 64,560 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
May 23, 2017
What a marvelous, delectable read! There was something so addictive about this book; it felt at times distinctly young adult while also having moments that felt so well done it was beyond the stereotype of what a teenage thriller tends to be. It’s taken me 4 days just to collect my thoughts to the point that I can attempt writing a proper review, and I’m certain this will be one of the most talked about books in the YA genre this Spring/Summer season. My issues with this book were minor, and I’ll get to those later, but when I first picked up this book I knew I would enjoy it based on the description stating “Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars”, two things I love to pieces. While this was in some ways a traditional whodunnit, I believe many of the minor influences were the reason this novel reads so well.

According the the books I’ve logged on Goodreads, I’ve managed to read over 700 mystery, thriller, and suspense novels. That is an overwhelming number of books that tend to be fiercely judged on their ability to provide a solid, mind-blowing twist. The reason I mention this is due to the fact that it is very difficult for me to pick up a mystery and not have it solved in the first 10% if the clues are provided; otherwise, I typically pick it up when said character is first introduced into the narrative. One of Us Is Lying is bound to be one of many fabulous novels that gets thrown into that category and is scrutinized solely by it’s ability to keep the reader guessing “whodunnit” until the big reveal. Again, I mention this because I think it would be a grave mistake for the reader to be so focused on this aspect when the book has so much more to offer! Personally, I had it figured out in the first chapter. As stated in the summary, the pieces are there for the reader to put together if they are clever enough. I applaud the author for her cleverness and storytelling abilities; there will be many readers who will be fooled by the red herrings and receive that glorious AHA moment at the big reveal. Why am I rambling on about this you ask? I really want to drive home the point of what makes this book stand out from others that are similar.

The Characters. It is a rare day indeed that I find fleshed out, grounded, relatable characters that draw me in to a young adult narrative the way that these did here. My AHA moment may not have come during the big twist, but it certainly came in waves abounding throughout my experience journeying with these various high school kids. I was sure this would be another read with those stereotypical teenagers that give contemporary YA novels a bad rep; for crying out loud the stereotypes are printed on the inside of the book cover in the description! I think this was a clever move by the publisher and author; if other readers pull the same underestimation as I did, they will be more than pleasantly surprised at what they get out of this book. In referral to the wrapping up of characters and not the twist, the ending was one of the best I’ve seen in awhile. There is no gag worthy happily ever after where everyone is perfectly paired up in couples and they ride off into the sunset on their baby unicorns while the sun beats down on their pimple free faces…. No, while there are some upbeats moments, the ending is messy and real and I welcomed it whole heartedly. People made mistakes beyond the central narrative and there were consequences and some things were left open-ended in the way that makes you wonder what their eventual decisions lead to. I’m extremely pleased that the author chose to take some risky leeway with her writing direction and applaud her with a standing ovation.

Alright, I said I would get to the minor issues and I kind of lied. Please don’t hate me, but there was a tiny aspect of this book that I thought I could get past, and even though I can’t discuss it outright (because these spoilers involve blowing the entire plot of the book), my conscience just wouldn’t let me finish this review without mentioning them in the broadest of terms. Again, I applaud the author for tackling some really tough issues and concerns in this book, and I don’t think she wrote anything wrong on her end. I think it’s more of an issue I’ve seen present itself across a wide number of YA books recently. Some who may be dealing with mental illness may perceive the outcome of this novel in an unrealistic way and I can see the possibility of various readers being split on their opinions of some of the content presented. I will say, I feel it was handled better in this book than in others I have read previously. As always, if you’ve read this book early or once you have a chance to read it and would like to discuss, please feel free to private message me and I’ll gladly have a respectful chat with you.

This is a review I’ve been struggling to write for a few days now and I hope I’ve done it justice. There just aren’t words to describe how completely readable this book really is. McManus did such a fabulous job of making me just as interested in the individual secrets and side stories of the “Murder Club” as I was in the central mystery surrounding Simon’s death. The author had me convinced that this couldn’t possibly be her debut novel, and if this is what she has published first, I can only imagine the treats we will receive in written form from her down the road. I’m a committed fan now and I can’t wait to see what she publishes next. Highly recommended to teens, sure, but I think loads of adults are going to enjoy this one as well. There’s something really special and unique to this story that defies the boundaries of age gaps and will have me remembering it for months to come.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to post my honest thoughts here.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
872 reviews3,754 followers
July 21, 2017
Content warning: Harmful representation of sexuality and mental illness.

This book was such a disappointment because I was REALLY enjoying it up until the last 3rd or so. I seriously thought this would be a 4 or 5 star read. However, upon finishing, I strongly believe that this book should not have been published as is. It's ignorant and damaging.

Aside from the parts that I found harmful, the writing was very trope heavy and relied on too many stereotypes for character development. I didn't think there was anything new here. The one thing I did like about the book is that McManus did build suspense well and kept me guessing. She casts suspicion on so many characters that you start questioning everything. This would have been a good mystery if it hadn't used people's identities for shock value. This is othering. These are some 90s plot twists that I'm honestly surprised flew by a publishing team in 2017.

I'm going to talk about these things in depth under the spoiler tag below because I know everyone has a different threshold for what they consider to be spoilery. I personally don't think these things should be written as spoilers, but that's how this book treats them so it's how I'm treating this review.

For those who may be hurt by the mishandling of sexuality or mental illness, I would suggest being cautious of this book. If you're a reader who is oblivious to or unhurt by bad rep, you'll probably enjoy this book going by all the shining reviews it has.

Other things of note:
-Bronwyn is biracial (white & Colombian).
-Addy's POV is very shallow and portrays a terrible relationship and girl drama. (But she has a good growth arc.)
-The drug-dealing bad boy trope is heavy.
-The audiobook narrators were great at their jobs.
-If you loved the book, that's great. I didn't, and this was why.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,739 reviews5,281 followers
October 9, 2021
I feel like one of maybe four people in the world who just... really did not enjoy this book? I've been putting off this review for weeks because I just don't know where to start. I have so many friends who raved about this book to me, so I was so disappointed by it.

These are only my opinions, and I would never dream of disrespecting anyone who disagrees with my review, so please show the same courtesy and don't hate me for what I'm about to say. ❤

what i liked

This is a very quick read; if I had enjoyed it, I'm sure I would've knocked it out in one sitting. As it was, it still felt like it moved pretty quickly.

The main romance is fairly cute. Incredibly trope-y "goody-two-shoes smart girl falls for the brooding bad boy!" stuff, but, I mean, their interactions are fine, and I was rooting for them by the end of the book, which is a big plus. I would say I was more attached to the budding relationship between them than I was to any of the individual characters in this story.

Nate, 'the criminal', is a very likable character. He's got a really dark and twisty back story that explains away a lot of his motives, and I definitely enjoyed his perspectives of the story the most. He just feels like a really authentic teen who's trying to muddle through a hard, screwed-up life, and I loved that about him. Whenever it was any other character's POV, I definitely found myself rushing to get back to his sections.

what i didn't like

This book is so problematic and most of it is NEVER challenged. First of all, can we talk about the immense amounts of slut-shaming? I could handle it if it was coming just from the characters and/or was actually being challenged consistently, but 1) it isn't challenged every time in the dialogue, and 2) the author contributes to the slut-shaming narrative regarding women cheating.

We have two characters in the story who are cheaters; one is a female character, who does it one time, while drunk; the other is a male character, who carries on an emotional and physical affair for MONTHS. We spend a tremendous portion of the book focusing on the girl's one-night-stand, while the text literally does not ONCE actually name the boy for what he is: a cheater. There's no remorse shown, and there are no consequences whatsoever for him. It also seems kinda gross to me that the girl who's guilty of cheating is a "pretty, vapid, popular girl" type - can we please stop with these cliches?

Also, can we please NOT make the only queer character in the cast a horrible character who cheats and hurts people? AND can we not make the character's coming-out scene a bigger twist than the actual murderer reveal? This book also does some serious vilifying of mental illness, but I won't get started on that rant.

Beyond all of that... honestly, the writing is just not that good, and the "twist" is so predictable it hurts.

final thoughts

All in all... I almost hated this book. If it hadn't been for the quick pace and how much I enjoyed Nate, as well as his relationship with Bronwyn, I absolutely would have DNFed this. As it stands, I cannot in good conscience recommend this book, and I will probably not be picking up any future releases from this author.

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This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,509 reviews29.5k followers
June 7, 2017
I'd give this 4.5 stars.

If One of Us Is Lying was a television series, I would binge-watch it wholeheartedly. It's been a while since I've gotten so into a book I've devoured the majority of it in one sitting when I haven't been on a plane. This hooked me completely, and I'm surprised how much I liked it.

Five students have detention one afternoon. There's Cooper, the golden boy and star baseball player trying to decide between college and the major leagues; Bronwyn, the class valedictorian who plans to follow her family's legacy and go to Yale; Addy, one-half of the picture-perfect couple and a homecoming princess; Nate, the bad boy, on probation for dealing drugs (and still selling them not so secretly); and Simon, the despised (and kind-of feared) creator of About That, Bayview High's gossip blog. They're all in detention for something none of them did, and they can't understand why the teacher doesn't believe them.

Before detention is over for the day, Simon is dead, and apparently, it wasn't an accident. It's not long before investigators discover that the next day, Simon was planning to publish items about Cooper, Bronwyn, Addy, and Nate—items which could potentially destroy all of their lives. Suddenly the four of them are the suspects in Simon's murder, and are pariahs among their fellow students, most of whom hated Simon until he died, then turned him into a tragic figure.

Suddenly four people who weren't really friends (or at least since childhood) are brought together. Each claims their innocence—but is one of them lying, or did someone else get involved? And how, when it was just five of them in the classroom that day? Can they clear their names and get their lives back?

It turns out that Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy, and Nate all have secrets they'd prefer to have kept hidden. In some cases these aren't even the secrets that Simon threatened to expose. But when the truth is revealed it will impact their relationships with each other and their friends, as well as their futures. Can they handle it?

Karen McManus did a great job with this book. It's amazing—she basically took most of the typical high school stereotypes, yet gave her characters a little more depth than you'd expect. Even though you probably will have suspicions of how the plot will unfold (and most of those suspicions will be correct), it's still interesting the way McManus pulls everything together. I couldn't get enough of this book, and even though the story wrapped up, I wouldn't have minded if it ran longer.

This was a great read. And let's put it this way: only for a novel as skillfully written as One of Us Is Lying would make me willing to relive memories of some of the angst, emotions, drama, and insecurities of high school. (And since you know so many books have me singing a particular song, for no reason whatsoever, this book had me singing "One of Us" by ABBA. But this was an easy one: the song actually has the lyric "One of us is lying.")

See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,112 followers
April 22, 2018
‘Everybody’s got secrets,’ he says. ‘Right?’

THIS BOOK!! You guys, I thought this book was brilliant! So many great elements all thrown together.

- murder mystery
- high school drama
- secrets, both big and small
- suspicion

I love a murder mystery anyway, but this one was made better as I cared about the 4 kids who were suspects.

The star of the baseball team harbouring a huge secret.
The Prom Queen who has never been able to find herself as a separate person from her long term boyfriend.
The rebel with previous criminal convictions - the obvious suspect.
The goodie two shoes. Surely she’s never broken the rules?

All 4 end up in detention with Simon Kelleher, the guy who runs a gossip app that ruins reputations with its secrets. All four of them have a secret to hide and would do anything to keep it hidden. But at what cost? Because by the end of detention Simon is dead, but who did it?

‘Some people are just too toxic to live.’

I was absolutely addicted. I couldn’t put it down until I found out the answer. Plus there are so many tropes that get walked all over. My personal favourite THE GIRL WITH GLASSES GETS THE HOT GUY! This literally never happens in books or films so thank you Karen McManus for including this and not making her take them off ‘to be prettier’

I loved Addy’s character development too. In the beginning she was just some jock’s girlfriend with no thoughts of her own. By the end of the book she really became her own person and I LOVED THAT.

5 stars ⭐️ for amazing characters, gripping writing, and a killer ending (see what I did there 😉) highly recommend!
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
July 5, 2023
Five kids, one room, one mysterious death and endless possibilities. ((dun dun dunnnn))

One of Us Is Lying is the classic set-up for one of my favorite Mystery subgenres: the locked-room.

I love Locked-Room Mysteries on a level that borders on the unhealthy. We're talking next level obsessed. I will pick up any that come my way!

They're so nostalgic for me, bringing back memories of family games of Clue, watching Murder, She Wrote with my Mom and binge-reading Agatha Christie books while on summer vacation.

Add in the fact that this cast is similar to the stereotypical cast of characters found in The Breakfast Club, one of the best movies EVER created, and you have an equation for a near perfect book for Megs!

I listened to the audiobook and was pleased that it had different narrators for each of the main characters.

They did a fantastic job bringing the story to life and consequently, I flew through it.

Even though I predicted the whodunit less than halfway through, I still ended up genuinely enjoying the story.

Getting to the conclusion was pure fun and I never felt bored, or that the story was dragging.

Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the suspects, one of the four kids left alive after detention, and each chapter ended in a revelation of incriminating facts related to that character. I felt that format really pushed the narrative along at a nice, steady pace.

This was my first Karen M. McManus book and I look forward to picking up more books from her in the future!

Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,983 followers
November 22, 2017
4 to 4.5 Stars

Every time I walk into the living room my wife is watching Pretty Little Liars or Revenge or Riverdale or Veronica Mars or . . . well, you get the idea. Sometimes I watch a bit with her. As I started this book I immediately thought “this book will be perfect for her – it’s the same type of thing”!

So, if you like those shows, books like those shows, books those shows are based on, etc., then this is the book for you. While not the most complex mystery I have read, it is quite a bit of fun. Backstabbing rumors, questionable relationships, online gossip all combine to keep you engaged from page one to the Epilogue. There are no lulls or filler here!

I voted on this book for the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards while I was reading it (yeah, that’s right, I wasn’t done with it yet when I voted! Whatcha gonna do about it!? 😁). I stand by my vote – this is a pretty good selection for Young Adult Fiction. If you are a fan of that category, I don’t think you can go wrong. That is, unless you don’t like gossipy cat fights and brooding bad boys in love with nerdy girls . . . hey, if you don’t like those things, why are you even reading the review of a Young Adult book!?!?
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
April 22, 2021
4.5 stars

It concerns me you’re avoiding a promise not to murder me.
One Monday afternoon, five teens walk into detention. Only four walk out.
You find out who your real friends are when stuff like this happens. Turns out I didn’t have any…
Simon, the school outcast, dies from a peanut reaction and considering the method he ingested the peanuts...the eyes of the world turn on the other four.

Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper each have a secret that they are desperate to keep and they all swear that they are innocent.
Unless one of us is lying. Which is always a possibility.
So, who did it? Can you figure it out before the end?
Things'll get worse before they get better.
Soooo... I didn't figure it out, which was great BUT keep in mind I'm notoriously bad at picking apart mysteries.

When I read the HP books for the first time, I went into each one fully expecting Harry to die by the end of it (Mind you, this was when I was 12...but still, the series was CALLED Harry Potter and the ______, and I was on book 2).

The characters in this book were really well-done - each one was completely distinct and truly memorable.

Every time I got to know one of them I started crossing my fingers that they weren't the murderer. And as their secrets were revealed, I was shocked time and time again.

I don't read too many contemporaries but gosh-dang was I glued to this plot - the way the clues were revealed slowly and steadily. It was thrilling.

While I had no idea who did what the entire book, that didn't ruin my enjoyment. I just sat back and went along for the ride and what a wild ride it was.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews595 followers
October 26, 2019
More addicting than lays potato chips! Well, I can't remember the last time I've eaten lays potato chips. Do they still make them?

My 5 stars are for pure page-turning enjoyment. I LOVED "The Breakfast Club" ---(my kids watched it a half dozen times too) ---and this was The Breakfast Club on steroids!

Moral of the story: All kids lie! haha!
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
546 reviews34.7k followers
June 16, 2019
”Six hours and five minutes from then we were heading to detention. An hour later, he died.
Seventeen years, gone just like that.”

Six people
A detention room
A cup of water
1 teacher
5 students
4 students
1 dead body

This is the recipe this book was made of and since I enjoyed solving the murder mystery I decided that I won’t go into detail all too much.
This is the kind of book in which you get four POVs and have as much information as the characters that talk about the happenings. You have to guess with them, you have to experience what they see and you have to take all the pieces of their puzzle and try to solve it. ;-)
So who’s the culprit? Whodunnit?

Cooper Clay:

Athlete, Mr. Clean, honourable and honest soul, rising star, likable guy
BUT one hell of a secret that might eventually break his neck

Nate Macauley:

Outsider, Drug dealer, black sheep, intelligent loner, on probation, sexy bad boy
The obvious culprit, right? ;-P

Adelaide Prentiss:

Yes person, follower, submissive, one of the “cool kids”
BUT there’s a fire within her and it’s about to break out

Bronwyn Rojas:

Geek, nice girl, respectable, compassionate and driven
Smart enough to plan the perfect murder?

Every one of them has a secret,
all of them would have had a reason to silence Simon.
Yet, nothing ever is what it seems to be.

All I’m saying is:
Enjoy the ride and have fun guessing! ;-P

I wanted to read this book for ages so I was very glad when I went for my monthly blog meme and chose to “hug and read” it!

I really dunno how long “One of Us is Lying” was already on my list but it feels like it’s been on my TBR forever. *lol*
To be honest, I don’t even have a clue what it is about. I only know there’s supposed to be a murder and some sort of “Breakfast Club”? XD
It sounds promising enough though, so wish me luck! ;-P
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,936 followers
June 16, 2019

I'm going to go ahead and leave this at a 4 star. I wasn't sure between 3 and 4 because it's one of those books that was driving me crazier than I am. I couldn't put the book down and wanted to smack everyone in the book!

Major players:


They all go to detention and one dies. Why?

There are lies and evilness all around! Stupidity and sadness.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,832 followers
July 5, 2017
I’m always so hesitant with thrillers bc they’re always a hit or miss for me buT DAMN THIS WAS SO GOOD


Things that this Book will Bless your Life with
- Friendship
- A precious boy who deserves the world
- Writing so addictive you’re willing to let your tea go cold for it
- A mystery that will have you punching pillows to solve
- 4 kids with different personalities, backgrounds that will FOR SURE have you relating to
- late night phone calls
- A kicka*s grandma
- Its so bloody binge-able you guys, like I finished it in a day and I wasn’t even intending to binge it
- It just happened and I was like damn can I get some more please
- Also I SOOOOOOOOOOO guessed it

Honestly, there’s really not much to complain about with this book. Though I must point out that it’s more like a contemporary ft. mystery than a mystery ft. contemporary



“She's a princess and you're a jock," he says. He thrusts his chin toward Bronwyn, then at Nate. "And you're a brain. And you're a criminal. You're all walking teen-movie stereotypes.”

also i want to make a public apology to my br group for ditching them but you know what guys, your fault, you should have read faster

4.5 stars!!


Buddy read with this terrible mess that keeps me living, Jiji & Chai latte & Praggy & Marmoosha & Tylre
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,302 reviews43.9k followers
May 14, 2022
This is mostly Breakfast Club meets Riverdale crossover Heathers!
It’s fast, entertaining, whodunnit reading. I took Olivia Pope menu during my reading (lots of popcorn and gallons of red wine)
Now I’m all set for second book! Cheers🍷🍿

Profile Image for  Teodora .
329 reviews1,778 followers
April 29, 2023
3.35/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf

Hmm, okay so.
“The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars” was somehow a fair description for the general, overall idea of this book in the beginning but then (thank god) it wasn’t entirely like that. Which I appreciate because, you know, I like sparks of differences here and there.

Originality is sexy and it works even in small doses.

This wasn’t entirely original, I think I’ve heard of some other handful of stories similar, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

How does this work?
Everyone wanted that bastard dead, he was spreading everyone’s dirty laundry on social media, not directly giving names, but accusing them of various things in a manner that I can only describe as petty and annoying. Like, I would’ve punched him in the mouth several times if I’d ever laid my eyes on him on the school hallways.

But he’s dead so who cares anymore? Oh, yeah. Everyone.


Of course, the four major suspects of this terrible, apocalyptical crime are part of four well-known high school stereotypes:
- The geek;
- The bad boy;
- The princess;
- The jock.

I’m not even kidding, they’re for real and they form a group, deal with it.

At first, I only cared about Bronwyn’s and Nate’s POVs, they seemed the most plausible of them all and I was rooting for them to be together, like seriously. They were completely adorable and, oddly enough, perfect for each other.
As the story moved forward, I started warming up towards Addy and Cooper, respectively, with each chapter something about their lives being unravelled.

Of course, they all have "sinned" at some point. And Simon had dirt on them all, the filthy gossip. Because of that, all four of them previously mentioned were suspects in this murder. Because they had motifs.

On top of that, there were some school bullies picking up on them too. I am so glad I wasn’t in that high school at the same time as these four because I would’ve got expelled and possibly arrested for bitch-slapping hard some petty creatures. Why do bullies feel fulfilment out of being bullies? Doesn’t your tummy ache after being nasty like that?


On the other hand – not a bright side – the answer to the tormenting question “Who is the killer?” is quite obvious so the mystery itself is not that strongly wrapped in unknown and delusion, which on my list is a weak point, but the good news is that the story is quite enjoyable so it kind of balances things out.

Thank god for some other great characters too – characters such as Ashton and Maeve. Those girls are definitely sister-power and they rock. You go girls!

Also, a shout-out to Kris, the real and only smart one here. Mystery solves thanks to Kris’s smart brain, you go Kris, you go!


All in all, it wasn’t a bad book. It was good. Just a bit on the average side of a mystery with a side of ‘hmm I don’t like how things were left off at the end’. Because I didn’t. But oh well, we cannot have everything in life. But I’m still going to read the sequel!
Profile Image for Annemarie.
250 reviews696 followers
March 4, 2018
As a huge fan of "The Breakfast Club", I loved the concept of five characters with different personalities meeting in detention from the get go, and I'm incredibly happy to report that my high expectations were even exceeded!
(By the way, besides the detention-concept, the story is completely different from "The Breakfast Club", so you don't need to fear that this is some cheap knockoff!)

All the main characters get introduced within a few pages right at the beginning. I often find this rather problematic, as I easily get confused by many characters entering the scene at once, and I then have trouble telling them apart. This was not the case here! I surprisingly was able to tell them apart easily and developed a picture of them in my head right away.

I fell in love with all of them and their different personalities. Besides the main plot, everyone has a personal and interesting storyline as well. They all live/lived through some not so nice things, but none of them play the victim. They have realistic views on their situations and aren't delusional. I was so happy about that! It often ticks me off when I see teenagers acting like little children in YA-novels, so it was nice to see something else for once.

Actually, there were many opportunities to go down the typical YA-route, but thankfully that didn't happen. I was very (pleasantly) surprised at that!
Sure, there were some (very) minimal cheesy scenes, but I (unexpectedly) found them rather cute, and not annoying and unnecessary like I usually do. There are also kept on a small scale, so the attention never drifts away from the main plot.

All of the characters go through some personal growth throughout the book. This growth is done realistically; nothing is over the top or too unbelievable.
My personal favorite was Addy - I truly had a soft spot for her! Her individual storyline and development is something so important. I was rooting for her the whole way through and was cheering her on at every step of the way. I'm sure that they are people reading this book who are in the same situation as her, and I really, really hope that their eyes might be opened with the help of Addy's portrayal.

The title obviously keeps you guessing throughout. The level of suspense was perfect and I never knew who and what to trust and believe. I kept thinking about possible solutions even when I wasn't reading. I thought I had discovered every possible solution, but I was still surprised at the end!

There is only one small thing I have to complain about: I would have liked a little bit more insight into Simon's life. But to be honest, I'm not even too bothered about this though, as all the fantastic things definitely outweigh this small issue.
Profile Image for Erin .
1,274 reviews1,199 followers
June 28, 2017
This book should be called All of Us Are Liars.

One of Us Is Lying was fasted paced, fun, and very addictive. Once I picked this book up I could not put it down. It also served as a pallet cleanser after The Handmaid's Tale. I needed something fun and lighter in tone(yes I know its about the murder of a teenager).

At about 100 pages in I developed a theory about who was behind the crime and it turns out I was right. All my years of watching SVU, Criminal Minds, and 48 Hours have not been in vain. I should probably quit the Library and become a PI or Bounty Hunter, I'd be amazing at it.

One of Us Is Lying is Karen McManus' debut novel and I can't wait to read more of her work in the future. I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Always Pouting.
575 reviews761 followers
February 27, 2020
It sounds like the Breakfast Club with five teenagers, all from different groups, stuck together in detention. Yet things are off from the start, all of the kids claim that the cellphones that landed them there didn't belong to them. When one of them suddenly collapses from an anaphylactic attack, things get even stranger. Now Simon, the boy who had that anaphylactic attack, is dead and everyone in the room is a suspect when the tox screen comes back and it becomes clear that someone purposefully gave him peanut oil.

Uh spoilers probably?? ok most likely I can't really shut up so. Anyway I really enjoyed this one. It reminded me of one of those CW shows, and like I've said before, that is something I'm totally into. I just totally felt like a teenager again while reading this, in a good way, and that was fun. I even liked the ending here and I'm usually pretty eh about endings most of the time. It was a happy ending but it also felt real enough that I wasn't vomiting from how amazing everything was. I can't stand saccharine sweet endings. I mean I wish Nick hadn't pushed Bronwyn away after he gets out of jail but it felt like a really consistent reaction when considering the rest of his behavior in the book.

Also I really liked how each character's POV felt like an individual new person. I think a lot of times when authors have multiple POVs it feels like all the voices sort of blend together and sound too similar. And can I just say I really lobed Addy's growth as a character, like yes fuck your dick head boyfriend. Speaking of which the whole Jake thing was pretty fucked up. Once they started talking about Simon posting on 4chan on school shooting threads, I knew he set it up, but I totally didn't see the Jake thing coming. I also don't even know what to say about that because like what a huge fucking overreaction honestly, like just cause your girlfriend cheats on you doesn't mean you let someone who was your friend kill themselves and then frame her for it jesus fucking christ.

I also saw a bunch of reviews about the portrayal about sexuality and mental illness, and I'm not trying to disqualify anyone else's opinions or feelings but personally I didn't find it consistent with my own reading of the book. I don't think the author ever really slut shames, like the villain is the one doing it and it's clearly not endorsed. Also the homophobia wasn't glorified either. The picture of mental illness it paints isnt that nuanced but this book reads like pretty little liars or something and I wasn't really expecting it to have some conversation inducing portrayals of those things. It plays up on the drama and stereotypes and I guess thats not enjoyable for everyone but I personally liked it and just read for the enjoyment aspect more than much else.
757 reviews2,348 followers
October 17, 2017
Is this what AKLDSBSAJL;FRSFWHATTHEFUCKJUSTHAPPENED??? feels like? Because I think I just experienced that shit, dude.

My heart is literally beating so fast from this thrill and mystery and feels fulfilled with something heavy called satisfaction. I haven't been so content and had screamy feels over a thriller since Dangerous Girls, which was 213324 decades ago.

Tbh, it's so hard to find a thriller that literally has you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, screaming at and suspecting everyone, saying "WHAT THE FUCK" every 3 pages, wanting to flip to the last page to find out who dunnit because you're so fucking full of it and can't stand the mystery and suspense.

It's so hard to find a thriller that's actually???? thrilling???

Well, I can 99% gaurentee your search has come to the end because let me present to you this book which lives up to the damn hype and everything you can possibly want in a thriller.

What it's about:
You, you're a murder suspect and all your secrets are gonna be exposed, have a nicE LIFE!!! Want a cookie? :))

Ight, seriously, these 5 kids get in trouble and have detention where they're talking and it's all detention stuff when one of the kids starts choking and having an allergic reaction. he's taken to the hospital and later the four kids find out he dies. His death is all suspicious and now all four of 'em are suspects and we need to figure who dunnit and who's lying.

“She's a princess and you're a jock," he says. He thrusts his chin toward Bronwyn, then at Nate. "And you're a brain. And you're a criminal. You're all walking teen-movie stereotypes.”

Addy, Nate, Cooper and Bronwyn are incredible characters, imo. After being put under suspicion, the four of these learn so much about themselves and make decisions that is best for themselves and for everyone. It's heartbreaking and sad to learn about what they hide, but spoilers so read it and find out yourself, thanks. :)

No but seriously, these are the type of characters, I wouldn't associate with at all when first reading about them, but like???? honestly, I'm willing to turn myself in if it means having them free and unharmed. i love them so much oh my god.

Can we talk about how precious Cooper is? This kid, without a doubt, is my favorite. i love this precious cinnamon roll so much.


^yes bro, this is an actual footage of me caught hugging Cooper, bYE.

Also, I guessed it oh my god. I think it's because I'm so obsessed with non fiction crime and murder or probably because I'm just plain morbid??? But even though I had my predictions, I was shook when that ending happened, son.

Overall, this book is so fucking precious and I totally recommend.
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
432 reviews1,794 followers
March 10, 2020
It's been a while since I've read a good YA mystery. And gosh am I glad that I finally picked this one up.

First chapter and BOOM! I was sucked in.

What I loved:
• the mystery and suspense element was top notch 👌.
• the characters were so interesting to read about. At first they all seemed to fit their respective labels - the geek; the princess; the golden boy and the badboy criminal. Pretty straight forward right? But delving into each of their lives we see that there is more to each of them. And they all had secrets.
• the writing and the pacing had me feeling like I was binge watching an addictive Netflix series. If that's not an indicator of a good book then I don't know what is.
• I love me a good sibling bond in a book. Recently I've been reading books where there is sibling hate or no siblings at all. Personally I have five siblings - not that we all get along all the time. But I feel like sibling relationships don't get enough rep and are unappreciated.

Even though I figured out the twist I still think the above reasons is what made this book so good.

I am so glad to know that there will be a sequel to come, because gosh I need more of these amazing characters and when I got to the last page I was sad to let them go. 😔
Profile Image for Layla.
341 reviews384 followers
November 23, 2021
~ 2 stars ~

This is definitely the type of book that the more you think of, the more resentment you will have towards it. The more problems that you will think of and the more you will question what you just read. I enjoyed it when I was reading, simply because of how fast I sped through it, but, was it really, truly, actually good? Upon further reflection prior to this review, ok going to have to say no.

Summary: angsty teenage drama and whatnot.

What I disliked:

the mystery aspect: It was so easy to guess who did it. Who killed Simon. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out. It was so heavy handed and obvious with the clues and in your face. It tried to take focus and incriminate other people, because everyone hAtEs ThiS cHaRacTeR, but it did so in such a weak way, that I didn't even consider anything else other than what was true. But really, for a murder mystery book, there wasn't enough mystery.

And then there was a big reveal, and while I was interested in how the feat was accomplished, the reveal itself was so anti climactic. I wasn't on my toes, I wasn't speculating and doubting everyone (as I should be), and jumping between theories. I simply wasn't blown away by the end, which is what I want when I'm reading a mystery book. I want for the plot twist to be shocking, but not so preposterous that I cannot look back and fit together the pieces. I had known who the perpetrator was the for the majority of the book, and even then I hoped for it to not be true, that it wouldn't take the easy and cheap route, but it sadly ended up doing just that, as I feared it would.

the characters: I liked Bronwyn and Nate enough to stay I didn't hate them. Not Addy and Cooper though. They were laughable and Addy's whole empowering story line was corny. Also, you're not going to catch me uplifting a bunch of cheaters. And everyone else didn't have a prominent personality and I didn't care for them.

double standards: Back to the cheating thing. When the character that is a girl cheats ok her partner, it's presented in a way where she is obviously in the wrong, but when the male character cheats, his situation is presented in a sympathetic way. As if he had no other choice. The girl cheats once, but the boy cheats for months on end, and it isn't even refered to as cheating. Not that it really matters, they are both in the wrong, but it seems worth mentioning to difference in treatment and how it was written.

romance: I thought it was tolerable, but instead of being a sub plot, it had a big focus on it and I feel as if it may have taken away from the actual story. Why did I end up caring about this romance more than the main conflict?? Though the way things played out with the romance, I didn't like (see summary).

mental illness rep: Nope nope nope. Let's please not use mental illness as a motive or in such a degrading way. _____ is depressed, and using that as something to explain why a person did something horrible, is not something I ever want to read. Villainizing all the characters with mental illnesses and degrading them to just that, is an automatic no for me.

This probably doesn't make any sense because I don't know how to put my feelings into words especially without context, but if you know you know I suppose.

The ending: Horrible. The last quarter was so bad, and just ruined the entire book. I'm just going to pretend it never happened.

Final Thoughts: I thought this could have done a lot with the concept, but it took the easy route and did a lot of annoying things on the way. I could have loved this, but instead ended up being immensely disappointed. It was predictable, and that made the entire journey have no meaning. Good concept, weak execution

Let's hope the next mystery I read is better. I'm still contemplating whether to read the sequel or not, as it seems useless, but I might if I have nothing better to read?

Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
December 1, 2021
detective jessica, human lie detector, reporting for duty!

i got to the bottom of this and figured it out pretty easily early on, but that didnt detract from the story in the slightest. initially, i was worried this was going to be too much like the breakfast club meets murder she wrote but, other than the student stereotypes, this wasnt like that at all and i was so glad.

i loved how entertaining this was. i appreciated the little twists and turns, here and there, that kept me on my toes whilst i was so focused on the big end reveal. i also thought this was especially impressive for a debut - stories like this are pretty common, so it quite ambitious to try to make it your own, but i thought mcmanus nailed this. it had great pacing, solid writing, an engaging plot, and interesting characters. and i also now have a new book boyfriend in the form of nate, so thats always a bonus!

i cant wait to see what kind of books mcmanus writes next! hopefully its more of this, please and thank you!

4 stars
Profile Image for Nicole.
749 reviews1,934 followers
December 12, 2020
"Everybody's got secrets," he says. "Right?"

This book was a pleasant surprise! It was refreshing and a change from the usual young-adult contemporary.

Bronwyn, Nate, Cooper, and Addy are suspects for murdering the school's gossiper, Simon. When the 5 of them were in detention, the last thing they expect is for Simon to drop dead... Unless one of them planned the whole thing.

The story is told from their POVs. The nerd, the bad boy, the jock, and the princess are the most common high school stereotypes. Until you start to see they're more than that. Bronwyn has the highest grades, Nate was (is?) a drug dealer, Cooper is the best baseball player in school, and Addy is used to being popular, true, but these are more than their just titles. Soon, you sympathize with them but at the same time, you can't neglect anything they do/think. Everyone has secrets that they'll do anything to not let them see the light, but at what cost?

Everyone is flawed. We see them transform from one-dimensional characters to teens with more developed personalities as they try to deal with everything. Bronwyn and Nate's chapter were my favorites, although I have to admit how much Addy grew on me. Cooper's were fun. Most important of all, they're real .

Even though the mystery wasn't hard to figure out, it was still fun. I'm sure it's because we're seeing the bigger picture, everyone had a piece of the truth. Yet, you can't help but feel skeptical, I shouldn't like this character, he looks innocent but what if ?

One of the things I liked is how this book relies on social media, something many books set in our days ignore. It's not logical, social media is a part of everybody's life. I liked how Karen used it to create a good story. How our lives, privacy, secrets are violated. How it's so easy to uncover anything.

This was a quick read, even if I have to admit that it stretched a bit too much eventually. It was fun and a page turner. I highly recommend if you're looking for something new in the YA contemporary genre. It has a bit of everything, even a little romance.

This book would make a great movie! Karen M. McManus did a great job for a debut, I'm already looking forward to reading her future books.

arc provided via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,063 reviews1,473 followers
March 18, 2021
First Read: April 2017, Rating: 4 stars
Second Read: November 2020, Rating: 4 stars

After a typical day in a typical American high school, five teenagers enter detention but only four make it out alive. Simon, notorious due to his gossip-style blog that revealed all the dark and dirty secrets his fellow students never thought would see the light of day, had made many enemies. But which one would want to see him dead? Which one of them is lying?

The multiple perspectives all provided their own angle to the plot. These all pulled together, towards the end, to turn their individual stories into one cohesive whole. Each dirty secret that was uncovered made each character less of a walking stereotype and more of a flawed, and therefore real, individual. I will admit that when I first was introduced to this cast of characters - the overachiever, the bad boy, the jock, and the popular girl - I had assumed these were going to be nothing more than a set of weakly constructed and overused cardboard characters. How wrong could I be?

The actual plot was a thrilling and interesting one, but it was the characters who circled it that really compelled me to keep reading. I admit that I figured out part of the mystery pretty quickly, but this didn't detract from my enjoyment in any way, purely because the characters. With their flaws and their individual insights they continued to interest me, and made this a very real and very suspenseful read.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Karen M. McManus, and the publisher, Delacorte Press, for this opportunity.
Profile Image for emma.
1,866 reviews54.3k followers
December 25, 2017
Recently, I started watching How to Get Away with Murder. Because I am totally untrendy and if by some trick of nature I am somehow participating in something that people at large appreciate, I must do so four years too late in order to keep the world running and not break fundamental laws of world operation, probably.

It’s a very entertaining show! Twisty and turny. Very dark. I’ve gasped a few times. Viola Davis is a national treasure.

That show is a lot better than this book.

It, like this book, follows a group of young people and a murder, and mystery surrounding that murder. It, too, involves steamy romance and social media and endless drama.

But it’s just totally, full-on better at doing all of it. There’s no avoiding it.

That’s not to say that this book isn’t good! It is. Or at least it isn’t bad.

Here’s the thing. It’s the watered-down, YA version of How to Get Away with Murder. Some people prefer those versions! And that’s okay.

If you liked Warcross better than Ready Player One. If you’re more interested in Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale than Mindhunter or Making a Murderer. It’s fine if you are! They’re just two totally different things.

YA murder stuff is frothier. There are YA requisites it has to meet: budding romance; groups of friends; high school drama; usually some sort of impending-future college-slash-career-goals plotline.

It all depends if you want a side of fluff with your murder mystery.

I, personally, don’t. Give me darkness and thrills and creeps and gore. Do not give me baseball drama and romantic miscommunication and phones getting taken away, please. I’m not interested.

But as far as that goes, this book was pretty good at it. It, at the very least, incorporated the drama into the murder and the motive.

The ending was predictable, yes, and sort of messy really, and definitely not creepy or shocking or the things I really want, but it was unique and somewhat creative.

This whole shindig, actually, was much more unique and creative than I expected. I really didn’t not enjoy it, even though I’ve been so busy trying to lock down the “Most Pretentious Person Alive” award while writing this that I may not have had the time to convey that.

I think it’s that I just finished You by Caroline Kepnes. And that’s really just a much better book than this. Unfair standard, though.

Bottom line: If you want young adult sh*t in your thriller and not just thrills, this book is perfect for you. If you’re here for the thrills, there are way, way, way better choices.
Profile Image for Jaidee.
605 reviews1,198 followers
July 2, 2023
1 "scooby oooooby dooooby ....what a downer" star !!

Third Most Fun Review Written in 2019 Award

Please Note: There will be spoilers, perhaps even a few swear words, perhaps some projectile missiles of anger, perhaps even a dollop of laughter but remember there are spoilers !! Let me insert a picture so you don't see any of them if you don't want to !

I had high hopes for this book. No I did't I'm lying ! My fifteen year old niece has been urging, cajoling, threatening me ! This is the bestest ever!! she squealed, yelled, gushed. My bf would look at her and then look at me...with that better you than me glance.

So I add it to my GR queue and avoid and avoid and avoid ! She insisted I add it during the christmas holidays to my tablet...in fact she added it from the library as I would not read her hard copy and she watched me read and grimace and roll my eyes and she would pinch me hard. "Jaidee you love it don't lie" she'd squeal. I would look at her and shake my head in dismay.

Well I thought the beginning was pretty dull but OK

Four paper doll teens:

Bronwyn the brain who is also an academic cheater !....whatever!
Cooperstown the golden boy jock who also is a closeted gaylad.....yawn !
Addie the dependent insecure pimpled barbie doll who ends up being a feminist heroine....no way...yes way...no way...yes way

Finally there is Nate....the sultry badboy drug dealer with attachment issues that ends up being sweeter than Winnie the Pooh in honey....yup you better believe it....I'm not lying

One of them killed Simon the pieman who has a gossip app.....oh boy...and he exposes all these bitches for little despicable acts cuz he is an outcast. Throw in a school slut, a talk show host, a cougar mom, a bipolar mom, an alcoholic dad, a goth girl, a chinese crossdresser and what you have is a very dull circus side show...dull and I mean dull....did I say dull ! Yes DULL ! No I am not lying !

But are they framed....read it and find out or like me WEEP !!

Mind you this book is so very predictable I figured and saw every twist coming until the very end and I am not lying...no I am not lying !!

Was I entertained...in one or maybe two scenes...in a small way !

Was this overhyped, overated....ummmm yeah !!

Am I lying...hell NO !!
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,478 reviews7,775 followers
February 22, 2017
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“Some people are too toxic to live. They just are.”

Welcome to detention, where a princess, a jock, a brain, a criminal and . . . a gossip???? Wait, that’s not historically accurate . . . . .

Have all earned a spot for violating one of the most serious rules of high school: NO PHONES IN CLASS. They’ve done the crime, now they have to do the time as well as write a 500 word essay about how technology is ruining American high schools. If they fail to do so, well . . . .

Plans quickly change, however, when the gossip drops dead of anaphylactic shock. (He didn’t belong in the story anyway, right? The basketcase was the final member.) Now the four remaining delinquents are all suspects in his death when the questions of just how did peanut oil get in the disposable cups near the sink and what happened to all of the epi pens in the nurse’s station get raised. But there’s even more in store for these kids when the gossip’s dishy blog starts revealing secrets none of the four ever thought would get out . . . . .

First, kudos to whoever was in charge for finally getting a dang blurb right. This absolutely was “The Breakfast Club Meets Pretty Little Liars.” Per usual, I was not the target audience for this selection, but hey the sun shines on an old dog’s butt every once in a while because I thought it was . . . .

I suspect One Of Us Is Lying will become a bestseller P.D.Q. (that’s pretty darn quick for you young’ins) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it optioned as a movie in the not-so-distant future either. If you read mysteries . . . like ever . . . . you'll probably see the end coming about 12 miles away, but the getting there is all the fun. Obviously this isn't a story that’s going to change anyone’s lives, but if you have a teen (or in my case a 30 year old male attorney boss) who enjoys all the guilty pleasures Pretty Little Liars has to offer on the ABC Family Channel, this will probably be a winner.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, NetGalley!
Profile Image for Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill.
571 reviews618 followers
February 15, 2020
You had me at.... it starts out like The Breakfast Club...I mean yes! Bring it on. Now I am left wondering what took me so long to pick up this book. I loved it. I think I was hesitate to read it due to it being classified as YA and I really have not read many YA. That might have to change!

Bayview High...detention...be there! The Breakfast Club vibe is strong when we start out with a rather unlikely group of kids meeting for detention. This is not your typical bunch of kids that frequent such punishments, in fact I think only one of them has had this joyful experience and that is Nate. I loved how the students were classified into their "groups" they associated with. The beauty, the brain, the criminal and the athlete...I mean we all know these groups really do exist in high school.

What did I love most? As a thriller genre reader, this book was a breath of fresh air. It had such a unique storyline and honestly I did not guess the ending. I had no idea who was to blame for only 4 students making it out alive! Everyone had a reason to want Simon silenced, but who actually silenced him forever?!!

I never thought I was a YA kind of girl but I guess I am 🤷‍♀️I really enjoyed this book ❤️Looking forward to One Of Us Is Next !
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
December 14, 2021
I won't spend too long complaining about this. I don't get the hype, but then books like this-- clearly aimed at a younger teen audience --were not really written for me, were they?

I found this a very basic murder mystery with one-dimensional characters and a predictable conclusion. None of the main cast stood out as memorable to me and I found their dialogue and actions often leaning towards cliche.

I don't often complain about writing. Or, well, if I do then it's usually criticising overly flowery metaphor-laden prose, not simplicity. But here I really did find the writing quite juvenile. Which, of course, is fine if it's aimed at middle-schoolers, but given some of the themes in this one (sex, drugs and depression, to name a few) I suspect that wasn't the case(?)

My lack of connection to the characters, among other things, made it a boring read.
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