Book Review: ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus

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Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 5/5 stars
Series: First book in series


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Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


I’ve been hearing so much about YA thrillers at the moment. I rarely read outside of SFF (well, even Sci-Fi is rare) and one of my goals for this year to step outside my comfort zone. There were several thrillers on special at my local bookshop so I decided to try them. Being the shortest, ONE OF US IS LYING was first on my list. I’m so glad I tried this book . I’ve essentially just read for three hours today, rather than study as I ought to.

It’s a thriller, and hooked me from the first page. The gossip app and its impact on lives felt all too real, not to mention how horribly vicious the rumour mill was. The writing was tense, the control of information so tight I raced through to find out what happened.

I never thought they were guilty, because they were honest about hiding secrets (even if they didn’t say what). They didn’t come across as unreliable narrators, and all seemed shocked by the verdict. I loved this, because it made me all the more desperate to know who had done it, and why they’d framed the ‘murder club’.

When they did work out who’d dunnit, it came as a real surprise, and a great payoff.

The characters were great. They seem so 1-D at first, actual stereotypes, but within a few chapters, as we start to know them – and they each other – their depths open up. Bronwyn was my favourite, as I’m quite like her – though I doubt I’d have her cool in a situation like that. I loved how she was determined to investigate. Addy’s arc was the best, and I love the role she has in the climax.

So glad I read this book, and looking forwards to reading more YA thrillers.

Read my reviews of other books by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying (this series):


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