Thursday 8 June 2017

Clare Reviews: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One Of Us Is LyingTitle: One of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Format: E-Arc
Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review
Pages: 358
Rating: 4 stars
Blurb: On Thursday 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 Thursday, he died. But on Friday, 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 just 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.

The best, or at least easiest, way to describe this book is Pretty Little Liars meets The Breakfast Club. And I really enjoyed that. The story gets right in with the action with the death happening almost straight away after a little character introduction and it swiftly becomes obvious that any of the four in the room could have had a motive. (Simon really sucked). 

The book follows all four POVs and this is where it kind of lost something for me? Bronwyn and Nate felt like the main characters and whilst I enjoyed Addy's sections I found that with Cooper he didn't really make a huge impression on me. He had grown on me by the end of the book but I still didn't feel like I knew either him or Addy as well as Bronwyn and Nate. In addition to this being inside the heads of each of the four suspects really removes some of the suspense element of the mystery. This narrowed down my suspect list a lot and resulted in me solving the mystery long before the book revealed it. Which isn't necessarily that bad - made me feel super smart - but I was hoping for a little bit more tension than I actually got.

What I got instead was some good relationship development and some nice side stories. Nate and Bronwyn were easily my favourite characters. Nate is the typical "bad boy" trope which is always my favourite but I loved how human he felt - not at all like a cliche. Whilst Bronwyn reminded me a bit of myself in school. Although she is way more capable of standing up for herself than I ever was! 

Addy's story line was handled really well I think. It becomes pretty apparent early on that she is in a very controlling relationship. Later on she has to deal with some slut shaming and a lot of self discovery. Cooper didn't really have much story for the first half of the book - which is why I never really felt like I got to know him but the last half was great. I can't spoil it but I was really happy with the way it went. 

I don't think this is anything new, in a lot of ways it feels pretty much typical high school fiction, but it made me feel very nostalgic - and also made me rewatch The Breakfast Club which is always a good decision. The characters were, for the most part, engaging and whilst the mystery wasn't as suspenseful as I had hoped I didn't find myself bored at all. So I definitely recommend this if you are a fan of this kind of story and I am excited to see what Karen M. McManus writes next!

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  1. I might pick this one up for the nostalgia alone. Glad you found some good aspects. Sometimes it's fun to solve the mysteries early - it does make you feel smart.

    1. Its a definite nostalgia kick! I did really enjoy it, and yeah I could always do with feeling a little smarter so that's nice!

  2. Sounds good! I'm still on hold at the library for the audiobook - can't wait to finally get my hands on the copy. :) Great review!

    1. Hope you get a hold of it soon!! And thank you! :)

  3. Ooh I loved this one! So fun. I agree with your thoughts- Nate and Bronwyn definitely seemed like the focus, and I didn't feel like Addy or Cooper got as much attention. I loved how Addy turned out at the end though. And cooper's story improved. I also thought this was going to be more mysterious/ thrillery, if that makes sense, but I still liked it. Nice review!

    1. Yeah it wasn't quite what I was expecting I think but I enjoyed it nevertheless! Thanks! :)

  4. Great review! I'm not entirely surprised that this isn't ground breaking YA or anything, but it does sound like a really fun read to help escape reality for a lil while. I really hate when a book takes on multiple POVs and some of them don't always feel necessary, but I'm glad that by the end you were pleased with Cooper's story. Thanks for the review :)

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

    1. I think it was worth having the multiple POVs if only to add to the drama but I definitely wasn't as attached to Cooper or Addy! I hope you enjoy it if you read it!