Friday, April 28, 2017

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

One of Us is Lying
Karen M. McManus
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads

"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."

This blurb from GoodReads really encapsulates the essence of this book into a nice, concise statement. 

When the four main characters are each found with a cell phone in their bag, they earn an afternoon detention. Oddly, the cell phones didn't belong to them, and while they are serving their time, one of the attendees, Simon, dies. It all appears to be a tragic accident, until the police begin investigating them for murder. The investigation uncovers some incriminating evidence. It seems Simon was planning to publish each of their darkest secrets under the guise of juicy gossip. This reveal turns them from witnesses into suspects.

This was such a great reading experience for me. The story pulled me in from page one, and I just wanted to keep reading and collecting clues. I did develop a hypothesis, which ended up being correct,  (*pats self on back*) but that's half the fun when I read a mystery. I have seen that this was pitched as "Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars" and I have to say, that is a great description for this book.


"'She's a princess and you're a jock,' he says. He thrusts his chin toward Bronwyn, then at Nate. 'And you're a brain. And you're a criminal. You're all walking teen-movie stereotypes."
Each of the four main characters do fall into one of those typical high school cliques, but as the story plays on, we find out that there is a lot more beneath the surface of each character. They were all quite layered and well constructed. They all had such depth, and I thought McManus did a great job developing them throughout the book. I really enjoyed getting to know each of the characters as they dealt with the investigation and their secrets being revealed.

I know having your deepest, darkest secrets unveiled publicly is not a positive thing, but the outcome for these characters was. Each of them was forced to admit the truth ,and face the consequences of the fallout once others learned of it. One character found her inner strength and independence, while another was able to feel more comfortable in his own skin. Two found love, while most of them found acceptance on some level. Some developed a reinforcement or renewal of family ties, but all of them experienced growth, and it was a positive growth. All four characters were a better version of themselves at the end of this book, and I always find that the mark of great YA story.

Another great outcome, was that the four bonded together. This group of disparate teens became "the Bayview Four", and they were there for each other. In their quest to clear their names, they found friendship and more.

And yes, there is a romance. *heart-eyes* Sorry, not sorry, but I always want a little romance. I don't care what kind of book I am reading, a little romance is always a good thing. This was a wonderful and meaningful romance, and by no means took away from the overall plot. It was well integrated, and a ship worth shipping. Seriously, at one point, about 63% through the story, the heroine goes on this rant about why she wants to try dating the hero, and it is the cutest, most adorable thing ever. I liked her already, but I loved her after that outburst.

Overall: A riveting mystery filled with twists and turns, which had me hooked from page one.


**I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book









The Breakfast Club was a defining movie for me. I love it!
Have you seen The Breakfast Club?
Let us know in the comments!

18 comments:

  1. I'm SO EXCITED for this novel! I love mysteries like this, and the fact that it has some resemblance to The Breakfast Club, aka one of my all time favorite movies, makes me even more pumped for this. Can't wait. Great review!

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

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    1. I did not expect to much, and was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I hope you like it too!

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  2. I am so happy to see you give this one 5 stars! I have a copy and cannot wait to read it. I love all things Breakfast Club so this sounds like a lot of fun. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. I sort of love books where you follow the breadcrumbs. When I guess and I am right, I can feel all smart and what not. The Breakfast Club really was all sorts of awesome.

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  3. This one has been on my radar for a bit, but I haven't yet got to it. I haven't watched the breakfast club, but I do like the idea of the characters being drawn together in detention!

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    1. The Breakfast Club shaped my generation. I mean, John Hughes shaped my generation. His films were everything when I was a teen.

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  4. I've seen this book around quite a bit in the last few weeks and it's piqued my curiosity. Here's to my TBR pile getting out of control! Awesome review!

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    1. I really liked all the aspects of this book. I have so many books on my TBR, it's a lost cause.

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  5. Ah I love that you included that Breakfast Club pic. Awesome! I've been really curious about this since hearing about it a few months ago. Also nice to hear that the Breakfast Club meets PLL description is accurate! And yes that movie is one of my favorites... :)

    I like that they come together at the end too. Can't wait to read this now!

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    1. I would say PLL is a good reference, because of all the anonymous web postings and whatnot. John Hughs was a teen film genius.

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  6. Ohh YAY I definitely MUST get this one up to the top of my list of books to read! I have been excited about it, and knowing it lives up to the hype in my head (and The Breakfast Club hah) makes me extra happy! Great review!

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    1. I really liked it, and I am always a fan of people crossing those invisible social lines to become friends.

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  7. I definitely need to check this one out. I love a good YA mystery. Great review, Sam. :)
    Jess @ Dreams of Faerytales

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    1. Even though I had my suspicions, I still thought McManus did a great job with the distractors and red herrings.

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  8. Um yes, sign me up for any and every book that could be described as "Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars" because that sounds amazing! Personally I don't mind being able to suss out whodunnit as long as it's not too obvious. :)

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    1. This book was a total win for me. I did not guess whodunit immediately, it happened over the course of the book. I totally enjoyed how it unfolded.

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