One of Us is Lying Book Review

Birds eye view of One of us is lying book on a bed with spotted bedding and a cat to the right with a cup of coffee next to it


Getting back into reading has been one of the best things to come out of lockdown, before I always made excuses that I was too busy, but with nothing but time on my hands at night now, reading has become a comfort, a way to escape. Recently I have been reading One of us is Lying by Karen M. McManus and although I was a little slower in finishing this one, I thoroughly enjoyed it.


I've saw this book recommended a lot on Instagram, so I was pretty happy that I pick it up when I was food shopping back at the start on June. Before I bought it, I hadn't looked into it or saw anyone posing about it so all I had to go on what the blurb. Because I was picking up Good Girl, Bad Blood and was in the mood for mystery fiction I thought that this would be a solid choice, and I'm glad I went for it. 

Much like my review of This Lie Will Kill You, I'm going to stay away from spoilers, so if you haven't read it yet, this post will be safe to read. 

One of us is lying is about 5 teens who enter detention and only 4 leave. It's a fiction mystery book full of secrets and lies as we follow the journey of the 4 teens, each with their own story to tell. The book has been described as The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars but I personally don't see where The Breakfast Club reference comes into play other than the fact they were all in detention together and that was only for a short period of time, blink and you could miss it entirely. So, to me I don't understand that reference, but I definitely get where Pretty Little Liars comes into play with the individual point of views and the secrets all whilst uncovering what happened.

From Goodreads: 

"The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, 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."



Birds eye view of One of us is lying book on a bed with spotted bedding and a cat to the right with a cup of coffee next to it

Every character is different, and each have they own thing going on, as the story unfolds it is told from their perspectives so that the reader can get to know each of them and experience what is happening from their point of view. Admittedly, I wasn't too keen on this style to begin with as I was worried that the overall plot would become murky and confusing, but it was an easy narrative to follow and each person’s section was labelled appropriately so you knew who was telling the story and at which point. I also found that the characters were quite relatable and the way social media came into play felt realistic as there have been real world news stories on the role it has played in young people's lives being turned upside down due to the accessibility for secrets to come to light and online bullying has been getting worse. It was obviously exaggerated for the story but I wouldn't be surprised if I read a story on a news website similar to what happened in the book as it seems these sort of things can happen easily now compared to when I was a teen so I found this to be a nice touch in the story telling McManus displayed.

I was also pleased to see that the action started pretty much straight away as I thought the whole story would lead up to the teens getting detention and then only 4 leaving but it happens at the start of the book and the story progresses as we find out why it happened. To me it felt like a good pace as sometimes stories like this can take a while to get into and once the main event happens, it goes downhill, but in One of us is lying, it jumps straight to the action and has a follow up that is satisfactory. There weren't any parts in the book that I wanted to skip over, it was nicely paced, and I got the gripping feeling which is always a bonus as I like to be on the edge of my seat, eagerly awaiting what comes next. 

I got a lot of what I like in a story from this book, murder, mystery, budding romance and secrets. I was also blessed with not knowing the exact twist that was coming which normally I tend to spot straight away. At first I suspected one character of murder, sure that it was them until about 30% of the way through and that's when I scrapped them as a suspect and had two people on my mind that it could be, lucky enough one of them was right but the fact I couldn't be 100% sure made this story exciting to read as I didn't have it all figured out within the first few chapters.


Birds eye view of One of us is lying and one of us is next books on a bed with spotted bedding and a cat to the right with a cup of coffee next to it

The whole plot of this story felt like it could be made into a movie or a TV series, which I think is happening from my research on Google. It says that NBCUniversal's streaming service, Peacock has already cast the actors and actresses for the pilot based on Karen M. McManus book. I'm looking forward to seeing if this does come to fruition because I would definitely watch it. Although it has vibes of Pretty Little Liars, I could also see this as a plot from Riverdale, well, maybe circa season one or two, not the new musical style Riverdale. 


All in all, I really enjoyed One of us is lying and I'm eager to read the next book in the series, One of us is next. It was a thrilling read with characters that felt relatable. If you enjoy young adult fiction books that cover thrilling mystery's, I would definitely recommend you pick up a copy and give it a read yourself.

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6 comments

  1. Ive had this book sitting on my shelf for a while but keep skipping over it for some reason. Maybe I'll have to give it a go pretty soon!

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  2. I actually feel like I get that whole "Breakfast Club meets PLL" reference, but I totally get where you're coming from as well! I like that it's the start of a series, that sounds fairly intriguing. Although this is a genre I'd never normally reach for, I'm still quite interested in the storyline!

    brineandbooks.com

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  3. I absolutely adored one of us is lying when I read it! I literally couldn't put it down and ended up reading it instead of revising for a microbiology test oops!!

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  4. Ooh this sounds a good book! Me too with the reading during lockdown. I am trying my best to keep up the reading habit now the pub is back open. I'm halfway through A nearly normal family by M.T. Edvardsson, which I'm loving so far x

    Helen | www.whathelenloves.com

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  5. Fantastic review, Jordanne. 💚 Obviously as a book blogger, I was already reading quite a bit 😘 but lockdown has certainly increased my quality reading time.

    Hope you have a good weekend.

    Flora ¦ www.florasmusings.com

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  6. I absolutely love thrillers! This one looks really good, and that comparison to The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars is super intriguing. Great review. (:

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