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Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Hey all, Dani here.

Today’s book was one that I had been anticipating because it sounded interesting, even if not my normal type of read. It also turns out that it works for GLBT Book Month as well, so that’s a great bonus.

Are you ready for the premise of this story? Basically it is if you took the character types of The Breakfast Club and put them in detention but one of them does not leave the room alive. Then it turns out that it may have been murder. Want to know more? So did I, and so I eagerly dove into this book and devoured it in no time at all.



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.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

The Brain, the Beauty, the Criminal, the Athlete, and the Outcast. Sounds familiar right? Well, yes and no. I loved the way this book explored the characters and all the secrets and revelations that were prevalent throughout the story. I was hooked from the very beginning and really did not want to put this story down.

Also, can we take a moment and appreciate the cover? I just think it has a clever design to it and it does capture the concept of the book rather well.

And as I mentioned in the beginning, it turns out that one of the main characters is a homosexual. I don’t want to say which one because this story is all about these different secrets being revealed, but I thought it was an interesting aspect of this character’s story and development. I liked the variation in reactions from friends, family, acquaintances, and more.

There’s a reason I don’t typically read thriller and mystery type novels: I like to just dive into a story and enjoy it without trying to figure out the hows and whys before they are revealed. But I admit that this one got me thinking and wondering and trying to figure things out. As it turns out I was part right and part wrong, so that’s pretty cool.

That intrigue was one of my favorite parts of this novel. I also genuinely liked how the Bayview Four–as they called the four suspects of this crime–developed and connected with each other. I liked the ways that the characters fit their respective stereotypes, and I liked the ways that they broke those stereotypes.

So I’m glad that I read this book and there’s a really decent chance that I’ll check out more books by Karen M. McManus in the future.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

5 thoughts on “Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus”

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