Published by Delacorte Press on May 30th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
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."
Reading One of Us is Lying was the result of a social media twist. I somehow started following Karen McManus on Twitter some time ago, and it’s been a kick to watch in real time as her book went from unpublished to New York Times Best-Seller. It’s a well-deserved place as she put together something that is outstanding.
One of Us is Lying puts the pedal to the metal from the word go and doesn’t let up. Taking a classic theme straight from The Breakfast Club, McManus follows the likes of Patricia Highsmith for a tight mystery thriller. The alternating voices between the main characters keeps you guessing and gives you peeks into their lives, lies, and secrets. McManus uses the tropes of high school and it’s cliques to excellent effect. No one is exactly who they seem, everyone has something to hide, and the relationships the characters build are not anything they would predict. It’s hard to say more as I don’t want to give anything away. I’ll just add that it was a race to the finish kind of book. And when I was done, I went back through it to pick out clues that I missed.
“What’s your point, Simon?” I ask, taking a seat next to Addy. Addy and I aren’t close, exactly, but I kind of felt protective of her… she’s a sweet girl. Also not the kind of person who knows how to stand up to a guy like Simon who just won’t quit.
“She’s a princess and you’re a jock,” he says. He thrust his chin toward Bronwyn, then at Nate. “And you’re a brain. And you’re a criminal. You’re all walking teen-movie stereotypes.”
“What about you?” Bronwyn asks. She’s been hovering near the window, but now goes to her desk and perches on top of it. She crosses her legs and pulls her dark ponytail over one shoulder. Something about her is cuter this year. New glasses, maybe? Longer hair? All of a sudden, she’s kind of working this sexy-nerd thing.
“I’m the omniscient narrator,” Simon says.
Bronwyn’s brows rise above her black frames. “There’s no such thing in teen movies.”
“Ah, but Bronwyn.” Simon winks and chugs his water in one long gulp. “There is such a thing in life.”
He says it like a threat, and I wonder if he’s got something on Bronwyn for that stupid app of his. I hate that thing… And if I’m being honest, I’m pretty freaked at what Simon could write about me if he put his mind to it.