Published by Penguin UK on June 1st 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Thrillers & Suspense, Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General
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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.
OH YOU GUYS. I had so much to say about this book and then Karen McManus kind of killed it dead. I had IDEAS. I had A THEORY. I was convinced I had the most bizarre idea known to man as to what had happened in that detention room AND NOW I CAN’T TELL YOU ABOUT IT BECAUSE I WAS BLOODY WELL RIGHT. There is immense satisfaction in guessing a plot twist less than 10% into a book. So may say it’s frustrating, but in this case I never, ever thought it would pan out in a million years so it was actually like WOAH, YOU WHAT. I felt like I was being Punk’d. That Karen McManus had a direct line into my thoughts and re-wrote the whole book just to screw with me. Maybe she did!
But this book though! It’s so incredibly compelling. I love stories like this, where something happens and you have to read the novel to figure it out, ESPECIALLY when the synopsis dares you to figure it out. “Pay close attention and you’ll solve this.” OH YAH. YOU DID NOT JUST GO THERE. But it had me worried that it would all go over my head (ha, not in the slightest), and I was just determined to BEAT THE BOOK. I loved the plot, that Bronwyn, Nate, Cooper and Addy were the most unlikely four people to be in detention, that they were determined it was some kind of mix-up/prank and then Simon goes and dies and you’re just like WHAT and WHO DID IT and WTF? So you’re reading and reading and reading because you just have to know what happened! You have to know who did it!
I loved the Pretty Little Liars/Gossip Girl aspect, where there’s this app that goes around spilling secrets (and I kinda agree with Addy’s boyfriend Jake in that if you don’t do secret stuff, that stuff won’t then get discovered and spread but that kinda also feels like victim shaming? So not really but it IS a valid point, imo) and I LOVED the fact it seemed like the murder group were being trolled, after Simon’s death, and it just seemed to cast more doubt and more suspicion. Surprisingly, I trusted Nate. Of all four, I trusted him the most. Bronwyn, too. It was Addy and Cooper I was iffy about – not for any particular reason, but it was clear Cooper was hiding something and Addy just seemed a bit off? Ha that’s so weird to say, because I don’t have solid proof, it was just a hunch.
I genuinely felt unsettled while I was reading One Of Us Is Lying. The clue is in the title! SOMEONE IS LYING. And it’s really weird to not know who. It’s not like Criminal Minds where you get to see the unsub, you suspect everyone and as more truths come out and new things emerge, you don’t know who you can trust any more. However, I liked that throughout it all, the murder group kinda became closer – they started out as strangers, who knew each other but not really, and through all the pressure and infamy and home truths dropped on them, they didn’t just turn on each other, and that is what made this book for me. It would have been so easy for one of them to turn, to save themselves, and I think it spoke about Bronwyn, Nate, Addy and Cooper as people that they didn’t do that, even right from the start, when they were strangers and this thing had happened that upended their lives, it really reminds you there is faith in humanity. What a ride, man!