One of Us is Lying Spoiler-Free Review

Hey guys,

I know what you guys are thinking…a review? On a Tuesday!
No – you haven’t fallen through a wormhole where Review Tuesday’s are a thing…at least not that I know of.
No, today I am giving you a review because last Thursday was meant to be a review but I didn’t end up liking the book enough to post my review since I was part of the tour so I thought I would make it up to you by giving you a review today instead. I have been meaning to read One of Us is Next since it came out and some of my friends read it and loved it but I just never picked it up…until a week or two ago. As always this is Spoiler Free. Normally I don’t feel the need to say that but since this is a mystery I just thought I would hammer home that point in case you haven’t read it yet.
But enough rambling, let’s jump into the full review.

Title: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: June 1st 2017
Pages: 360 pages
When I Read It: March 4th 2021
Goodreads Rating: 4.05 Stars

Goodreads Description: ~
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 Goodreads Review: *aka some of my thoughts whilst reading

March 3, 2021 – page 26  7.22% “Now that is how you start a story!! Straight into the action without leaving you feeling confused about what’s going on!
I love the Multiple POV’s. I love that it’s acknowledging the cliches. I love the writing style so far. There are so many bits where I have to stop and just like Damn that is well written!
Can’t wait to keep reading.”

Finished – This was amazing.
I genuinely can’t find a fault with this.
Incredible read. Probably going to be in my top 10 of the year.

My Favourite Quote:

Come sit. The whole Murder Club at one table.

Characters: The characters were the best part of this incredible book. They all were so amazing in their own right. No-one was lacking. They were also incredible that I started to care more about what happened to them and their lives than who the murderer was (which for a murder mystery is a pretty incredible claim to make)
Nate was my favourite – no surprises there, I love me a Bad Boy. He was probably the most underdeveloped of the characters and definitely a bit heavy on the stereotyping but I don’t mind because that’s why this book works so well because it does acknowledge the stereotypes and lean into them.
Bronwyn was awesome – I loved her micromanaging habits and her hobbies. Just her general dedication to everything she through herself at was amazing. I also loved her for her conscience, really all of the characters for that matter had a great sense of logic and conscience to their actions and their responses in the book which was so great.
Addy had my favourite ARC by far. She changed so much over the course of the story and it was so great to see her come into her badass self as the story progressed.
Cooper was just too sweet. My heart broke for him so many times in this book and he had an awesome development too. I think I preferred Addy’s ARC more as it was more relatable to me – but Cooper’s was still so great to read and it really warmed my heart to see him improve over the story.
Characters = 10/10

Humour: I did laugh a decent amount at this book, mainly because of Nate. His internal thoughts were so funny and probably a big element of why he was my favourite character. It was a little cliché in the humour but I think that was one of the reasons this book was so good was because it played on the cliché’s and the obvious things but with a twist.
Humour = 8/10

Atmosphere: I enjoyed the high school setting. It didn’t blow me away but I still felt it was accurate. To be honest, the fact it didn’t blow me away is really a testament to the accuracy of the book. School is mundane and so getting across the formulaic nature and the structured banality of it across shows how successful it is. Because it was so dull and realistic, despite the crazy murder mystery taking place, it still felt relatable.
Atmosphere = 8/10

Writing Style: I really loved the writing. It felt so authentic to high-school and it made me laugh a lot. The multiple POVs helped keep the pace while also coving a lot without there being much if any overlap between characters. There wasn’t one person I favoured reading over any others and no-ones chapters felt slower or lacking in comparison. They were all amazing and on very level pecking with each other. There was so many times I had to stop reading just to appreciate the way this was written because I loved it.
Writing Style = 10/10

Plot: I don’t want to touch on the plot too much because…it’s a murder mystery and I’m a no spoilers kind of gal! But I mean – I gave it 5 stars so if that doesn’t suggest that I thought it was amazing then I don’t know what will. It kept me guessing right until the end (which is saying something because I read/watch a lot of murder mysteries) It didn’t exactly shock me, but I also wasn’t unhappy that I wasn’t shocked. I liked that the answer was plausible and felt real and authentic and not out of left field.
Plot = 10/10

Intrigue: The pacing was absolute perfection. It jumped straight into the plot and continued this way throughout. There wasn’t a single second that sagged or lulled. It was so intriguing and I just wanted to keep reading.
Intrigue = 10/10

Logic: I watch a lot of murder mystery tv shows/films. I am a bit of an aficionado…okay I am a LOT of an aficionado haha but the point of me saying this is that I thought it was really logical. As someone who loves this genre and has REALLY seen it all before I thought this was really logical. I loved that the author stuck with what was the most plausible and logical answer rather than trying to outsmart the reader like a lot of mysteries do, which only leaves the reader/water unsatisfied. But this was not like that at all. A downside to being logical is that it did mean there was a mild predictability to it but it didn’t lessen enjoyment or intrigue so I don’t think it matters much.
Logic = 9/10

Enjoyment: As you can probably tell from my constant gushing – I adored this. It was pure enjoyment start to end. One I picked it up I didn’t want to put it down. It jumped straight into the action which is exactly what I wanted from this fast-paced and gripping mystery. I was constantly on the edge of my seat and loved every minute of reading this.
Enjoyment = 10/10

Relationships: Like I briefly mentioned above, what makes this so successful I think is the relationship between the members of “the murder club”. The unlikely group of people pushed together by bizarre circumstances, but in the end become so close but there is always that unease to their relationship because of how they became friends. It was such a good balance between distrust but also wanting to trust and I just loved it and it felt so believable and authentic to how odd their bond was.
I don’t want to dwell too much on the romance because although it was a part of the plot, and a big part of my enjoyment because it’s me and I adore romance, it obviosuly wasn’t as important as the main Murder Mystery plot but the romance between Nate and Bronwyn was one of my favourite parts of the book. It balanced out with the main plot so well and I loved seeing their relationship develop. I was worried that since it was a murder mystery and romance wasn’t the main aim that it would be tacked on the end feeling forced or rushed but not at all – it was actually one of the nicest slowly developing and building romances I have read in a while because I felt that you really got to see how they connected and how their relationship grew.
Relationships = 10/10

Overall Score = 85/90 or 9.4/10
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐

That’s all for today’s review folks. I have decided I am going to switch up some of the headings I focus on in my reviews because I think I could focus them a bit better so stay tuned for that change soon.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this and I will see you guys again tomorrow ❤

Have you read this?
Are you a fan of Karen M. McManus’s writing?
What was the last Mystery book you read?

6 thoughts on “One of Us is Lying Spoiler-Free Review

  1. Wonderful detailed review, May! I loved this book, the characters made it for me and I agree that Addy had a fantastic arc. I was so rooting for her by the end. Hope you’re having a nice weekend 🙂


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