Thursday, May 25, 2017

Book Review: One of Us is Lying

Title: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Young Adult | Mystery | Murder
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Source: Publisher
Format: Audiobook

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 (goodreads)

One of Us is Lying is a refreshing mystery with complex characters. 
Plot: One of Us is Lying began with five high school students in detention and none of them were in the same social circles. Theses unlikely friends found their paths crossing after witnessing their classmate, Simon, dying. While the characters were very much aligned to the Breakfast Club characters, I found that the overall story was reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars. Simon had dirt on each one of our characters and they would do anything to keep those secrets under wraps. As someone who reads a lot of Young Adult murder mysteries, I find that I've exhausted all of the possible Great Reveals, but I was thoroughly impressed by how McManus crafted her story and led us to the ending. I can't give One of Us is Lying full stars because the ending surprisingly dragged. Everything was well paced and engaging until the mystery wrapped up, but then it kept going on for three of four more chapters; I wholeheartedly think that those additional chapters could have been wrapped up in one final epilogue. 

Characters: One of Us is Lying explored all characters through multiple perspectives and I thought that McManus did a wondrous job capturing everyone's independent voice. While this book follows everyone's involvement with Simon's death, Bronwyn (the brain), and Nate (the criminal) were clearly the stars as they had the majority of the chapters. This isn't a complaint, but I would have loved to learn more from Addy's perspective as well as Cooper's. Cooper didn't feel like a fleshed-out character until 3/4ths of the book but that was because he had the least amount of chapters from his perspective. 

Worldbuilding: The setting was very diverse and the voice was authentic. The characters all read like real teens and they seemed like actual people in this town. I also loved the observations that the author made and how she used every aspect of her world and people. 

Narrator(s): I love when multiple perspectives are told by multiple narrators and each narrator in One of Us is Lying was A+! We had Kim Mai Guest, MacLeod Andrews, Shannon McManus, and Robbie Daymond leading us through the mystery and each captured their character's voice well. I had listened to Kim Mai and MacLeod in various other audiobooks and they were great additions to this novel. Each narrator did an exceptional job performing various voices and it was easy to lose myself in this story thanks to them. 

Short N Sweet: One of Us is Lying is an addictive mystery that will make you think. 


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