Book Review – One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

‘Everybody’s got secrets,’ he says. ‘Right?’

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.

Hello Bookworms, I read this novel a couple years ago, and since the sequel will be coming out next year, I will finally be reviewing it!

Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4/5 stars)

Publisher: Published May 30 2017 by Delacorte Press

Length: Hardcover, 361 pages

Summary: 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. (Goodreads)

Recommendation: One of Us is Lying is an engaging book that contains insights to common adolescent struggles, and has relatable and lovable characters. This book contains so many great elements, that makes it so easy to fall in love with. First of all, since this book is a murder mystery, I am already immediately in love with it. It combines a high school drama, with a murder mystery, and contains secrets both big and small.  It’s always fascinating when an author writes multiple perspectives and is still able to capture each individual’s thoughts and personality.  I found myself relating to each character without even realizing because of how relatable the writing style and the characters are.  

One of Us is Lying is narrated by the four main characters—Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, and Cooper, which helps keep the plot moving at a fast pace. This approach also allows the reader to see into what the character is hiding, and try to figure out what their secrets are.  One of Us Is Lying was fast-paced, fun, and very addictive. I really enjoyed this book because although it is a cliche YA book, its mixed into a murder mystery. 

This book also deals with the inclusion of LGBTQIA, depression, and psychological issues. I would recommend this book to the ages of 14-18, and to anyone who enjoys an intense, mysterious read.  I would highly recommend this book for the ages of 14-18, and for anyone that loves plot twists, suspense, and thrilling mysteries. One of us is Lying could also be read as a family, and could be used for a topic of discussions. This book contains serious themes such as bullying, violence, high school cliques and more.

A little about the author: Karen M. McManus is the author of the New York Times and international bestselling young adult novels One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret. Her work has been translated into 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels. For more information, visit or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram. (Goodreads)

Praise for One of Us is Lying

“You’ll tear through this juicy, super-fun (if murder can ever be fun?) thriller.”—

“This fast-paced blend of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and classic John Hughes will leave readers racing to the finish as the try to unravel the mystery on their own.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A smart, twisted, and unpredictable YA mystery that will have readers guessing until the very end.”—SLJ

“An engaging, enticing look at the pressures of high school and the things that cause a person to lose control.”—Booklist


Westchester Fiction AwardWINNER 2018

Louisiana Young Reader’s Choice Master ListNOMINEE 2019

Maryland Black-Eyed Susan AwardNOMINEE 2019

American Library Association’s YALSA Quick PickSELECTION 201


One response to “Book Review – One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus”

  1. I loved this book!


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