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review 2017-06-17 20:56
The Breakfast Club meets…a twisty murder plot???
One of Us Is Lying - Karen M. McManus

 

 

Book Title:  One of Us is Lying

Author:  Karen M McManus

Narration:  Kim Mai Guest, MacLeod Andrews, Shannon McManus, & Robbie Daymond

Series:  Stand-Alone

Genre:  Mystery, YA

Setting:  Bayview High- Bayview, CA

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Book Theme Song

(this link will take you to my tumblr post with video)

Don't You (Forget About Me) by Glee  --A new take on an old hit…I thought there's only one song for this story, but I wanted something with a new spin, new feel and so this feels…just right.♫

 

 

 

⇝OVERALL RATING⇜

5/5 STARS

A+

 

 

My Thoughts

 

An ingenious take on one of my all-time favorite movies, The Breakfast Club.  Reconstructed and varied with a twisty murder plot.  Each of the original players are represented from the princess all the way to basketcase…but they're changed up a quite a bit. 

 

While listening to One of Us is Lying, I thought I had a fairly good idea of who actually killed Simon.  In part, my theories were right, but ultimately, I significantly missed the mark with this one, so props to the Author.

 

This is a bonus as an audiobook because each of the four main characters has a separate person narrating.  So, I wholeheartedly recommend Audio for this book.

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  5/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  5/5

Addictiveness:  5/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Narration:  5+/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope!

 

Will I read more from this Author?  I definitely would.

 

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review 2017-06-07 20:38
One of Us Is Lying
One of Us Is Lying - Karen M. McManus

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

I’m not sure how I feel exactly about this book. I did expect a lot clichés when I started this book (which the blurb makes clear anyway), and clichés there were, but I’m still not sure I liked or not? Sometimes I do want to see how they pan out; sometimes I want something different from the start. Here, I’d say that mostly they don’t really deviate from the usual outcomes (girl falls for the bad boy, girl/boy cheats on partner, etc.), and the plot is a little heavy on high school stereotype drama at times. I suppose I also expected that the four teenagers’ secrets would be ‘darker’ than ‘oh noes I cheated on my partner’, since this seems to be so very common in plots (and here’s a reminder about how everything feels like the fate of the world depends on it, at that age).

On the other hand, even though these things were predictable, and even though I had my suspicions about the murderer halfway throughout the story, I found myself reading fairly fast because I wanted to see if other secrets would pile up on the existing one, if other characters would help shed light on what really happened, or what other clues would appear. Not that many, it turned out, but... it still kept me entertained.

The mystery was... okay-ish? The story focused more on the characters and their lives unravelling than on providing lots of clues or red herrings—entertaining, but not thrilling.

I had trouble with the 1st person narrative: our four suspected murderers take turns to tell the story, but their respective voices sounded too much like each other, so at times I found myself not too sure of who was telling a specific part, and I had to re-read, or use the ‘chapter’s title’ to see who it was about. The style is somewhat juvenile, however it wasn’t jarring (and definitely -less- jarring than that trend of having teenagers speak like 40-year-old chaps!).

Conclusion: Probably a novel that will hold more appeal for younger readers, but not so much if one is already used to such themes/plots and want to go further than stereotypes.

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review 2017-06-06 12:37
Karen McManus - One Of Us Is Lying
One of Us Is Lying - Karen M. McManus
Wow, this was a surprise. I did not expect that I would enjoy this book so much.

I am not a fan of YA books. Usually I am not interested in kid’s problems and teenage stuff. When I found this book on NetGalley I was intrigued by the blurb and hit the Request button. I just did not think about the fact that students having detention means they would be quite young. Stupid me. But I am glad now that I requested it because I really enjoyed it. I was into the story from page one. The mystery about the sudden death of one of their friends is a classical whodunit. It is hard to guess what happened and the revelation at the end was a surprise for me.

It is really funny that I liked this book so much. It has a lot of high school stereotypes and the typical teenage love mess. But somehow it worked. I liked the characters and how they changed during the investigation. The story is only told through the 4 students who were in detention when Simon died. There is no insight into the police work. But the whole thing stays a mystery until the end. I could see some things coming but I did not guess the end. It is an easy read and a very likable book. I enjoyed reading it and because I am so surprised that I liked it so much I give it 5 stars.

I would llke to thank NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review
 
 
 
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review 2017-05-31 09:59
Review: One of us is Lying
One of Us Is Lying - Karen M. McManus

I received a copy from Netgalley

 

This is a brilliant mystery that keeps the reader guessing right until the end. I had my suspects, and still turned out to be wrong. I watch a lot of crime drama so I’m usually quite good and guessing the killer, but I didn’t see the twist in this one coming at all. (Admittedly by the time I got to 80% and all my guesses were still wrong I did skim to the last few chapters to find out who it was, then went back and read it properly). Still managed to really surprise me.

 

It’s not the fluffy “Breakfast Club” retelling with a mystery aspect I was expecting. It’s a gritty novel full of secrets. While it’s filled with your typical mix of high school clichés – the jock, the brain, the dangerous but hot dude, the nerd, the princess – each character has their own secrets and well fleshed out personalities behind the cliché façade.

 

All of these characters, who don’t really know each other, they may have one or two classes together but have different friends, and they don’t hang out really. They wind up in detention because a teacher catches them with cell phones in a class where cell phones are not allowed. The phones are not theirs. Of course the teacher won’t listen. By the end of detention, the nerd, Simon, is dead.

 

Simon was notorious for running the school’s unofficial gossip app, posting students secrets. As the police investigation deepens, posts are revealed that contain damning secrets about each of the students that could ruin their reputations and possibly chances of their futures for certain characters.

 

Each one reacts differently. There’s a great sense of diversity among the characters, and I love how they all dealt with things and showed immense emotional growth over the course and came together to defend each other and solve the mystery. Nothing is as it initially seems and truths slowly start to come out creating big changes for different characters. No one is really who they are first seen to be.

 

The twists are really good.   I’m being vague, I know, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

 

It’s a really good read and I definitely look forward to more from this author.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House UK Children’s for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2017-05-27 00:23
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
One of Us Is Lying - Karen M. McManus

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

Every once in a while a book that is a joy to read ends up in your hands. This was one of those books. Initially this book completely escaped my notice but then I started seeing some really great reviews for it from a lot of different people. I saw a bandwagon and decided to jump on. I am so glad that I did. This book was such a surprise for me. I hoped that I would like it but I never expected to love it. Once I got about midway through the book, I didn't put it down until I turned the last page.

The characters in this story are great. I had hoped that I would like the characters when I started reading this book. I never dreamed for a moment that I would love them. The four main characters at the heart of this book are all very different from each other and I really felt like I got to know them over the course of the book. There were times that I felt like the book was really focusing on one character more than the others but then the focus would move on to the next character for a while. I really enjoyed getting to know all four members of the group.

This book starts out in detention. Simon, Bronwyn, Addy, Cooper, and Nate are the only students in detention that day but after a terrifying emergency only four students ever get to leave. Simon is rushed to the hospital where he later dies. The authorities think that one or all of the other students might be responsible for his death since Simon was about to reveal big secrets about each person on his gossip blog.

The mystery in this book was really very well done. I had no idea what happened to Simon. I would come up with a theory only to realize that I had to be wrong soon after. I was literally guessing until the end of the book. I also really felt for each of the characters as their secrets were revealed. All four really go through a major life change during the course of this book.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This was a very smartly written story that was next to impossible to put down. I am very impressed by the fact that this is the first book written by Karen M. McManus. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Children's - Delacorte Press via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I can't even believe how good this book was! I liked the whole thing but the ending really got to me. I cannot believe that this is the first book the Karen McManus wrote.

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