Title: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre(s): Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller, Romance
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: May 30th, 2017
Number of Pages: 361
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (3.0/5.0)
This book was actually my first mystery thriller book I read in a very long while. If you read my Unpopular Opinions post a few days ago, you’d find that I said I would never read these two genres if I could help it. Yet here I am coming to you with a review of this book. I bought a copy like two weeks ago. The reason I bought it was because my friend loves horror or murder mystery thriller books, and I wanted to persuade him to try reading books in English. I thought this was a good opportunity. Thankfully, it turned out to be a good bribe because he liked it. 😂 Though he did also have a few issues with the book. My next mission is now to get him to like other genres similar to mine. 🤞 After my friend read this book, I decided to give it a shot as well so that we could talk about it together.
One of Us is Lying was not what I expected of a (good) mystery thriller book. It was good, but it was neither amazing nor mind blowing. One of the reasons I don’t read murder horror mystery thriller books besides that I’m just not into those genres is I don’t want to be scared and feel haunted. With this book however despite its genres, I felt none of those. I’m not complaining because it was still a good book and I enjoyed reading it so much. However, I do think that this book could’ve been better. 🙂
As said in the book, the characters are all stereotypical. Each of them represents a certain type of stereotype. I’m not sure this is a good idea. I think this book raises many issues one of which is stereotypes. On the other hand, instead of projecting them in a good or positive way they were rather harmful. Sure each character has their own conflict and problem, but labeling them to a certain stereotype is still not right and could be very insulting.
I know what it’s like to tell yourself a lie so often that it becomes the truth.
👩 Bronwyn, THE BRAIN, is Yale-bound and never breaks the rule.
She is a good character. She makes mistake, but she publicly admits it and is sorry. For someone who is claimed to never break the rule, she is very stubborn and would do anything to protect the people she cares about. I was annoyed and worried that she never did what she was told to stand down during the chaos because she was busy roaming around looking for evidence to help Nate. However, I also admire her about it.
👸 Addy, THE BEAUTY, is the picture perfect homecoming princess.
I already didn’t like Addy since the murder took place. She portrays a weak front. Rather than the bitchy annoying type of homecoming princess we often meet in YA books, all she does is crying like a baby which is still not a good character portrayal. However, among other characters she has the best character development. I liked her more than before. She learns to be strong, brave, caring, and independent.
“I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to admit that sometimes they’re just assholes who screw up because they don’t expect to get caught.”
👦 Nate, THE CRIMINAL, is already on probation for dealing.
He is my favorite character. I just think he is more real than the others. Sure he only cares for himself and he does bad stuff to survive, but he knows that and he isn’t ashamed of himself. He knows his worth. He is not entirely uncaring towards others either. He’d help if he thinks it’s the right thing to do and he knows how.
I have to figure out a way to live with that, and it won’t be by not forgiving other people’s mistakes.
🤾 Cooper, THE ATHLETE, is the all-star based pitcher.
He is a good friend and a good person. Or at least he always tries to be. I didn’t like his relationship with his father and how he hurt Keely, but I can say I understand although I know what he did wasn’t right. He came around in the end.
💩 Simon, THE OUTCAST, is the creator of Bayview High notorious gossip app.
I hate Simon. I sympathized with him at the beginning, but all that was gone after he did what he did. He was one of the main reason I didn’t like this book or how the story went.
“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.”
Now what I liked about the plot is that it was really intriguing at the beginning. I could see it was going into the right direction, except it wasn’t. A very stupid plot twist happened and it didn’t brought the story to a good end. 😤 The story was told from the perspectives of the four murder suspects. Although I always had my own suspect, the entire time I was inside their heads I didn’t see an absolute reason that one of them was the killer. This vagueness was good because it would keep readers excited and question their suspects. The pacing was fine. Though I think part two of the book was kind of unnecessary. In general, this book was not enough mystery thriller. It lacked spookiness and too much teenage drama. THE BIG REVEAL was crap. 💩
Nate 💑 Bronwyn
I didn’t have a problem with their romance I guess. I quite liked them together. Their parts are the only one I want to reread.
Jake 💑 Addy
I didn’t like their relationship since the beginning. Addy is unable to let-loose whenever she is with Jake. She has to be this perfect girlfriend who let the boyfriend decides everything. I understand that Jake is one of the first good things that happens to her and he is her first in everything. Thus, she is afraid to lose him because she hasn’t yet experience other possibilities that may be better than Jake. In other words, she doesn’t really have anyone else to compare Jake with. However, she also has doubts and feel uncomfortable with him at times. This is enough to give her reason to question and rethink their relationship. She often dismisses and dodges this thought away.
There is one more romance I’d like to discuss, but I’m afraid it’s too spoilery. So I’ll just skip. Predominantly, the romance in this book was quite significant. Not what I expected, but I won’t complain because I did like it a lot. 😊
All in all, I liked this book but I didn’t love it. Hence, I’m giving it a 3.0 stars. The story had a good potential. It was appealing enough to make me want to read until the end. The romance had two different story good and bad which both I enjoyed reading. The biggest let down for me was the stereotypes, LGBT, and mental health representations. 😭 While the author did try to prove that the characters weren’t like the stereotypes their friends believed them to be, she kind of did it by creating another stereotypes instead. LGBT was portrayed negatively albeit I think it was understandable. Also, in handling mental illness the author didn’t give a good closure. Another let down for me was the big reveal. 🙄 I hate the ending plot twist so much. I cannot explain this to you without spoiling anything.
Many readers say that this book is similar to Pretty Little Liars and The Breakfast Club, I haven’t watch either of the two so I cannot judge. 🤷 However, if I were to compare this book with anything, it had to be 13 Reasons Why, a show which I also hate. One of Us is Lying is pretty much 13 Reasons Why in its own way. You have the murder, the killer, the diversity, the mental illness, the gossipy school, the teen drama, and the stupid Hannah Baker.
That’s all for this review. What do you think of the book, guys? As always, thank you for reading. See you in the next post! 😘