While I do love a good mystery thriller, over the past few months I have leaned towards fantasy books more. I decided to mix things up and came across this absolute gem, One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, on NetGalley which I was very kindly approved to read!
From the cover:
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.
The plot is unlike anything I have read before; I was gripped from the first chapter! I really liked the characters, especially the developmental journey that each of them experienced throughout the story which felt real and natural, and not just as though it was used as a plot device. I loved their relationships with each other too. They didn’t become the best of friends out of nowhere, they were almost strangers in the beginning and throughout the story they come together to try and solve the murder mystery which was really interesting.
When I do read mysteries, I try my hardest to pick holes and guess what is going to happen, but I was far too engrossed in the story to bother doing that with this book. I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen. Told from four perspectives (the surviving students from detention) I didn’t feel that I blamed any of them for the death, but then the idea of “unreliable narrators” seeps in and straight away I didn’t trust any of them. The several perspective narrative was also really interesting, and the story was very well paced throughout. Whilst predominantly a mystery, there was also a romantic aspect to this story which I felt was not over or underdone, it was just right for me. They are teenagers in high school, of course there is going to be romance!
I was kept guessing until the very end with this book; the last few chapters are so incredibly tense! I feel that the ending was very well executed and thought out, and for a change with a mystery thriller story, I was happy with it. I felt that it was wrapped up neatly but not lazily which I really appreciated. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I think the fact that I read it in less than 24 hours is testament to that. A solid and well deserved 4/5 stars from me!
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