REVIEW ✧ ONE OF US IS LYING

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“Is everybody in it together, or is somebody pulling strings? Who’s the puppet master and who’s the puppet? I’ll give you a hint to get started: everyone’s lying.”

☆☆☆☆☆

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, 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.

Alright everyone, mark your calendars: Thursday, June 15, 2017. I’m calling it now. One Of Us Is Lying is the best book of 2017. I can’t remember the last time I read a good murder mystery. I think it was probably a Sara Shepard book, the murder mystery queen. But this wasn’t just a good murder mystery, it was a GREAT murder mystery. The tagline/pitch for this book is what initially captured my eye because I loved the Pretty Little Liars series (not the show, that’s garbage) and while I’m not really the biggest fan of The Breakfast Club you can’t go wrong with the typical high school stereotypes. But, like the movie shows, these kids are more than their stereotypes and I loved the way that they proved it. Add that to a twisted murder mystery and you’re golden. Still not convinced that this is the best book of 2017 yet? Well, let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

THE GOOD

  • The writing of this book was, in a word, fantastic. As you all probably know, I firmly believe that what makes a book great is the writing, and this did not disappoint. The plot was so captivating and enticing that I literally could not put it down. The day I started it I was up until 2am reading it and even then I didn’t want to stop. The following day I was glued to the book. The thing with a murder mystery is that you desperately want to know who did it and how so the only way to get there is to keep reading and thankfully the way McManus writes made it that much easier. The plot flowed easily, the conversations between characters felt real and organic, and each POV had their own distinct voice. And while I’m mentioning POVs, not a single one bored me. Each chapter was essentially split between two characters and I thought that was interesting instead of the typical “one character’s POV per chapter” thing that most authors go for. So it was kinda different in it’s own way and I liked that.
  • Even though this book is kinda-sorta based on The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars, it still manages to be it’s own story. I think the similarities start and end with the fact that these kids are each of the stereotypes from The Breakfast Club (the Brain, the Athlete, the Princess, the Criminal, and the Basket Case) and the fact that one of them is dead and the remaining four become suspects, a la Pretty Little Liars. But after that I feel like the story moves away from both works and becomes it’s own separate work. I really enjoyed that McManus got her inspiration from these two stories and meshed it into one incredible ride, yet maintained her own voice throughout. There wasn’t really any “oh this is just like the movie” or “ah yes, PLL did this too” and I liked that. There were some similarities, but they seem pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.
  • I loved the core four characters so much but you know what I loved more? Their development. Who these kids started off as are not who they ended up as and I really want to tell you all why but, hello, spoilers! They all have such a beautiful journey in becoming the people they’re meant to be and are now so much stronger. I will say that I think Addy’s development is my favourite and it makes me so proud to see the person she became. And it’s also great to see how these four kids who didn’t really have anything in common come together after this disaster and just be there for one another, creating such a strong friendship that you know will last.
  • Two words: Nate Macauley. He’s my favourite, he’s my type, he’s perfect. I love him. He was definitely my favourite thing to come out of this book it’s almost like he was written for me so thank you Karen McManus, you’re my hero.
  • I won’t say “you’re NEVER gonna guess who the killer is!!!” because you might! I was definitely wrong but ironically I toyed with the idea of what actually happened as a joke but was like “nah, that’s not gonna happen.” And yet, it did. That’s the great thing about murder mysteries; they have you thinking and trying to see if you can figure out who did it and what happened before you get to the end, making the overall reading experience a lot more fun and enjoyable. You’ll either be going “*gasp* I knew it!!” or “OH MY GOD” but either way you’re gonna be surprised. And the killer and the way the murder happened is really insane, I couldn’t believe it. So, again, shout out to McManus for such a crazy and intricate murder.

THE BAD

  • Um. Well. The fact that it’s over? And it’s a standalone? I need more of these characters? That’s all I got.

THE BOTTOM LINE

  • Do you like murder? Do you like mystery? Do you want to read the best book of 2017? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then your only choice is to read this book.

BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: One Of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Pages: 358 (Hardcover)
Goodreads

What did you think of the book? Leave a comment below!

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