ONE OF US IS LYING by KAREN M. MCMANUS
A REVIEW by ALEXA DUNCAN
If you read YA at all and you aren’t living under a rock, I doubt you missed One of Us is Lying. Unless you’re me. Then you read a LOT of YA and just avoided this book for no apparent reason because I do that sometimes. I avoid things I think I might like simply because I
like to delay gratification. Or something. Maybe I was just ignoring this book. Anyway, I decided not to ignore One of Us is Lying this week and decided to give it a shot.
One of Us is Lying, in my humble opinion, is what started the YA mystery-thriller boom. The genre has always existed in YA but it’s never really taken off…Until this book happened. Featuring a Breakfast Club cast of characters–the Brain, the Jock, the Criminal, the Beauty Queen, etc–One of Us is Lying follows this group of high school students as they’re investigated for the murder of their classmate, Simon. What follows is an addicting thriller I didn’t want to stop reading.
As for the specifics of the plot, I won’t really be discussing them here because discussing them would ruin the book. This is a mystery-thriller after all. I will talk about the characters and the basic structure of the book, however. OOUIS is told in four different perspectives. There’s Bronnwyn, the Brain. Cooper, the Jock. Nate, the Criminal, and Addy, the Beauty Queen. Each stereotypical character archetype turns into its own full blown character by the end of the book. My favorite characters by far were Nate and Addy. I’ve always liked the “reformed bad boy” trope in fiction and Nate fits that bill. Addy has the best character arc out of the cast and really changes from the beginning of the novel to the end. Bronnwyn and Cooper were also fun to read about, but I didn’t connect with them as much as I did with Nate and Addy.
Is this book a revolutionary thriller? No. Will it blow your mind with its plot twists? Probably not. But I didn’t care about that. One of Us is Lying is a truly fast-paced, fun ride of a book. Once you start reading it, you don’t want to stop turning the pages. The mystery is well thought out and the characters are all enjoyable to read about. It seems like I’m not the only one who enjoyed this one, either, because NBC’s streaming service has optioned it for a TV series: https://deadline.com/2019/10/one-of-us-is-lying-peacock-ya-mystery-drama-pilot-cast-1202772422/
If One of Us is Lying sounds like your cup of tea, pick it up at the Argenta Library today!