Book review: “One of Us Is Lying”


Adler Amolsch

Five students walk into detention, but only four end up walking out alive. Karen McManus’ thrilling high school story was the perfect summer read to keep the slow, humid days at bay. 

     Karen McManus, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, known for her young adult fiction, writes to inspire youth and to reflect the universal experience of discovering yourself and your place in the world. “One of us is lying” with its dynamic plot and relatable characters draws both teens and adults alike to her darker stories. 

     The captivating novel, “One of Us is Lying,” brings readers into a world of murder mystery. Bronwyn the brain, Addy the beauty, Nate the criminal, and Cooper the athlete all go to great lengths to defend their innocence after being suspected to the murder of the outcast, Simon— the creator of Bayview Highschool’s most notorious gossip app. 

       “One of Us is Lying” isn’t just a traditional murder mystery, but rather a story that accurately covers serious issues such as how the unjust criminal system can affect the growth of high school students. Personal topics such as the effects of cyberbullying and addiction were also addressed. 

     The author’s use of alternating narration allowed the readers a window into each character’s thoughts and emotions as they faced hardships. The different perspectives created a new level of suspension, keeping me on the edge of my seat as I attempted to guess who the murderer was.    

     Despite its originality in other aspects, the story still follows the cliché route of high school dramas, as the characters fit perfectly into the stereotypes of the nerd, outcast, athlete, and more. Although this may have been an artistic choice for McManus, it still would have been interesting to see her try something different with her characters.

     Overall, the story was a solid 8/10 as the book was an awesome summer read that kept me engaged and interested the whole time. “One of Us is Lying” gives us an unusual take on a murder mystery even if the characters were somewhat predictable. I highly suggest putting this on your “books to read” list, as I know I will definitely be purchasing the sequel: “One of us is Next!” A new Bayview four, who are lured into a catastrophic game of Truth or Dare… •