Book Review: One of Us is Lying

Book Review: One of Us is Lying

Five teenagers – and almost complete strangers, at that – in a room with one old, crabby teacher is a bad enough combination. But it gets worse. The teacher leaves for a moment, and when he returns, one of the students is dead. How? 

“One of Us is Lying” by Karen M. McManus features four narrators, the students who survived that fateful detention: Bronwyn Rojas, Cooper Clay, Addy Prentiss and Nate Macauley. The story follows the mess that becomes their lives in the days and weeks after the untimely demise of the fifth student in the room, Simon Kelleher. 

At first, they were merely victims of a traumatic experience. But in no time at all, fingers get pointed at the four remaining. After all, they each had a motive. Simon was no saint – he ran a gossip app that exposed dozens of students and their dirty laundry, and he was going to ruin Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy and Nate’s lives with the ugly secrets he had on them. Then he died. 

McManus carefully lures the reader along, revealing the necessary information for the plot to make sense but never quite enough for them to unravel the mystery themselves. The characters themselves seem to withhold dark information, and with every change in the point of view, the reader has to ask themselves, “Did they do it?” 

“One of Us is Lying” is an intoxicating read that will keep you up at night mulling over the story and wondering how the given clues could possibly fit together and resolve the mystery. In a book full of lies, you’ll find one thing to be completely true: the moment you think you know something for certain, a plot twist will make absolutely everything turn upside-down, and nothing will be as it seems.