Review | One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

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.
AndSimon, 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.

One of the biggest appeals of mystery novels is the twists and turns, and trying to unravel the clues to solve the mystery. I was easily able to guess how this one ended, and while there were some twists along the way, they weren’t enough to fully immerse me in the story.

To fit along with the Breakfast Club inspiration, the characters fit into the following archetypes: the bad boy, the good girl, the jock, and the popular girl. I didn’t love any of them, and their voices weren’t distinct enough for me to readily differentiate between chapters (without the obvious context clues of sports, siblings, etc.). I didn’t love how one of the character’s coming out scenes was presented in the context of an “unexpected twist” — after that point, I really lost interest in the story.

Overall, One of Us Is Lying was a fast-paced but cliched YA mystery. I don’t think I’ll continue with the series, but it was not the worst way to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon.

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