One of Us if Lying by Karen M. McManus

Standalone Book - No Series

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.

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.

“I know what it's like to tell yourself a lie so often that it becomes the truth.”

I’m not a big YA fan, but this one deserves its reputation. It can hold its own against any well-done adult mystery. I read this during a read-a-thon and it was an ideal choice because it became impossible to put down.

It’s sort of like a cross between The Breakfast Club, And Then There were None, and YA rebel romance thrown in there. Told through a first person point of view, although there are hints at unreliable narration, the story starts where five students are in a strange detection where things go wrong. Once one of them is killed, it’s up the core group - and the town - to solve this particular murder. Having the victim being someone universally disliked and untrustworthy made it even more intriguing.

While I didn’t fully dig the almost borderline angst romance that came later, all the characters stood out as interesting on their own. I had no idea who did the deed because it was kept on its toes. The ending wasn’t something I would have guessed, and digging in to secrets and intricacies of the four lives of the teens eventually became fascinating. Each was so different, which is another reason a tribute to the Breakfast club comes to mind.

It’s well written and smoothly flowing, with characters standing out as unique enough with their flaws. The mystery ends up being not only about solving the case, but how it’s going to affect all these people we’ve come to care about and what will happen next for them.

The soap opera vibe with lies and leads, misleads and not sure when honesty is told, as well as the personal melodramas each character has individually and when they are together, makes this one shine. Not forgettable, there are twists, and I will enjoy re-reading it in the future. One of my favorite YAs.

Book Quotes

'It concerns me you're avoiding a promise not to murder me.”


A #1 New York Times, USA Today, ABA IndieBound, and international bestseller
A YALSA 2018 Teens’ Top Ten Selection
An Best YA Book of the Year Selection
A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of the Year Selection
A Goodreads Best Young Adult Book of the Year Nominee
A New York Public Library's Best Book for Teens Selection
A Popcrush Best Young Adult Book of the Year Selection
A CBC Teen Choice Book Award Nominee
A YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction Book Nominee
A YALSA 2018 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

Cover Gallery

Audio Sample

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