If you’ve read my new years resolutions post, then you’ll know one of my resolutions was to start reading more; while I’ve only managed to read one book in January (partially because I was busy with school, but also because my local library is slow beyond belief), I figured I’d review it anyway because I loved it so much and so many people haven’t read this – which is totally beyond me, it’s REALLY good. Better than I expected it to be.
All images are from Goodreads.
It only took me two days to finish reading One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, and I’m a fast reader – the reason I didn’t swallow it all in one sitting is simply because the first quarter of the book was a little bit slow paced; there was a lot of focus on what seemed to me slightly pointless waffle, when really what I wanted was to get to the nitty gritty murder mystery point of the book. If you didn’t know, it’s about a boy who dies in detention with four other students; he was the creator of About That, Bayview High’s notorious gossip website and was going to post something big about each of the students he was in detention with, giving each of them a motive to kill him. The book unfolds the real culprits behind his death and I think you learn a lot about Simon, even though he isn’t there to tell you; I quite enjoyed the fact that we really didn’t know him as a character, because his death was right at the start of the book – you really had to read on and find out from the other characters what he was like.
I think the murder mystery element of it was done really well, I expected it to be somewhat nondescript and a bit lacking, but it definitely wasn’t and I was hooked right until the end when we found out who was behind Simon’s death, and the characters who orchestrated everything once he’d gone (I’m really trying my hardest not to give away any spoilers here – it’s so hard! How on earth do you book bloggers do it?!). The murder mystery element worked really seamlessly with the multiple POV thing, it was written very well and I never lost track of who was talking at once; sometimes the whole Cooper baseball thing was lost on me (i’m from the UK, very very much a hater of sports, and as far as I’m aware we don’t do baseball over here) but it wasn’t a plotline I found too tedious.
Did I like the characters?
I loved all the characters! I liked how McManus played on the stereotypical high school students, but managed to make them relatable and not boring. The representation was really good too. I didn’t have a favourite character (I suppose I liked Bronwyn the best, but Cooper and Addy were up there too and so was Nate!) but I did love that the families of the main characters were involved; Bronwyn’s sister, Addy’s sister, Nate’s mum and Cooper’s Nonny all have a place in my heart (especially Nonny – she was amazing!).
Overall, I’d give this book a 5/5 rating and I really think everyone should read it; it’s something that I can see almost anyone enjoying, as the multiple POVs make it really interesting for anyone. The murder mystery isn’t cringey, and I found myself getting super passionate towards the end as it unfolded as to who had really done it!