One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Publishing Date: 1st June 2017
Source: Received from the publisher via Pigeonhole, thank you!
Number of pages: 358
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
On Thursday 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 Thursday, he died. But on Friday, 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 just 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.
In this novel, five students get detention and during spending their time there one of them dies of an allergic reaction. The remaining four young people are suspected, even though all of them claim they didn’t do it and that someone wants to destroy their lives. However, as it turns out, all of them might have had a reason to kill Simon – so what has really happened?
I didn’t guess who did it. But there is a reason why. I simply stopped to care. The book had an interesting premise, I heard great things about it, the whole hype about it and the next books in the series made me curious and yes, the beginning was really good and had me hooked, but the more I read the more I was losing my interest. The author has build a momentum, things were happening quickly, she’s been adding clues and hints and then… well, then the things went downhill and I found myself skipping through the book, not being able to stand the characters. It’s a YA book and I didn’t know about it – my bad, as I don’t read YA books because I simply need something much more demanding for my brain but of course it’s not the book’s fault and I’m not judging it through it genre. I’m judging it after reading it, taking all my feelings and emotions into consideration.
Now I can see that what was bothering me so much was the fact that the story was truly stereotypical (the good girl, the bad boy, bonding over in the time of crisis, the blossoming romance, the coming – outs and the very talented) and there was really not much moving the plot forward. Instead we were involved in the characters’ lives that were full of problems that really weren’t real problems. Or I’m too old for them to feel like real problems. The characters themselves were… well, young. I’m not sure how I should feel about Simon – sympathise with him because he was the victim or hate him because he was an absolutely awful person. All of the characters had secrets and lied – not only one of them was lying, but actually all of them, on different levels. I appreciate how the author tried to make them different and interesting but for me they were not memorable and too full of clichés.
I liked how the author build suspense, casting suspicion on many characters and giving us many possibilities, making you start questioning everything and everyone, but not to the point of obsession. However, she should not be portraying mental illness and depression as equal with being almost a terrorist – it’s very wrong. Altogether, the book didn’t make me invested in reading.