One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus | A swirl of never ending secrets!

One of the most anticipated releases of the month of May is finally out and we all get to see a complicated web of lies, secrets and mischief. Was it everything I was expecting and hoping for? Let’s find out!

32571395One 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.

GoodReads  |  Amazon  |  BookDepository

This book can be one of those easy summer reads that we love bringing with us to the beach for various reasons:

(A) only 368 pages long, I read it in one sitting and didn’t even notice how time flew by;

(B) secrets on top of secrets keep you glued without any possibility to escape as all you want to do is find out what actually happened; and

(C) being a very light read, it’s exactly what we need during those summer relaxations days (although I must admit that I love reading fantasy during the summer… or dystopian… or sci-fi. i.e. I just like reading. Moving on!)

And those are all the positive things I have to say about it. Unfortunately…

I was debating for a long time whether I should give it a 2-star rating and call it bad, or if the same rating and a “not for me” description would suit it best, and I chose the latter.

Let’s make it clear – I love YA, I read it all the time be it fantasy, contemporary or any other genres and I am not planning to stop any time soon, however every once in a while I will stumble upon a YA book that just does not sit well with me, and the problem of this one was the writing. (Besides a few other things that I will point out in a second)

The writing was too simple for me, and even for a YA book. Writing is usually something I am not picky about, if it’s not what I am used to, after a few pages I will stop noticing it (unless it’s really bad). I can’t say that this one was bad, but the short sentences and lack of long words really made me struggle. Here is a small example of what I mean (without any spoilers of course):

«I stand and hold out my hand. She gives me a skeptical look, but takes it and lets me pull her to her feet. I put my other hand in the air.»

Also, as you noticed from the quote, the story is written in the first person point of view and we switch between four different main characters – Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper.

The characters is the other weak point of this book – very cliché portrayals of a brain, a princess, a criminal and a jock from a very cliché high school, something that we’ve seen many times before in books and movies. (A lot of people on GoodReads mentioned «The Breakfast Club») And I would have been completely okay with the clichés if the characters had some spices in them, but for me they felt very plain, making it difficult to connect or care about what might happen to them.

And finally, let’s talk about THE MYSTERY. I love mysteries! I talk about my love to them ALL THE TIME and my verdict is: “I’ve read much MUCH better mystery novels before”, to the point where the plot and the events weren’t thrilling, they just happened and left no trace of excitement.

“Not for me” stamp has been placed on this book and I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House Children’s, Delacorte Press for a free ARC and giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts on new releases with all of you.

My Rating:
⭐⭐ / 5

Let me know in the comments down below if you like Agatha Christie / The Breakfast Club inspired books and if you have other recommendations with the similar vibe!

With love,



9 thoughts on “One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus | A swirl of never ending secrets!

  1. I was on the fence about putting this on my TBR, but now I think I probably won’t read it. I do love YA, but I usually can’t stand hypersimplistic writing, so I’ll probably have to pass on this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you are looking for a great (not YA) book, I highly recommend «All the Good Things» by Clare Fisher. It just came out this week and I LOVED it. Will be posting review very soon. But OMG, it was amazing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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