Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying Karen McManus Lyndsey's Book Blog

I read One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus on my holiday in Singapore in September and I literally flew through it, it was such a fun read.

TL;DR Five kids go into detention, but only four come out alive. They’ve all got secrets, but do any of them have a motive for murder? Simon’s plan to expose all their deepest, darkest truths on his popular gossip app could be the key…

One of Us is Lying Karen McManus

4 stars


A jock, a geek, a prom queen, a bad boy, and Simon the outcast are all thrown into detention for having phones in their bags. The weird thing is, they’re not their phones. That doesn’t seem to matter to the overzealous teacher though. When a crash in the school car park draws the teacher away from the room, leaving the kids alone, it’s not long before Simon is dead, the cause a suspected allergic reaction.

One by one, the kids are questioned by the police and their darkest secrets start to come out, secrets so big they might push anyone to kill to keep them hidden. Any one of the four could be responsible, or could they just be the scapegoats for a killer who’s hiding in plain sight?

By the end of the book, no one is who they seemed at first glance, and they’ll never be the same again. Isolated and feared by their schoolmates, and demonised by the local media, Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper gradually form a tight-knit circle, but is it a case of keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Or are the four witnesses to Simon’s death the only ones who can solve the mystery before the crime is pinned on the wrong person?


This book is a fun, fast and gripping read with so many twists and turns it’ll keep you up at night turning page after page. Billed as a cross between The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars, it brings together a band of misfits from every well-known high school clique and throws them into a compelling murder mystery plot for the modern age.

I had my suspicions about the climax from somewhere in the middle, but I certainly didn’t predict the whole reveal and was pleasantly surprised by some of the twists. The only reason this wasn’t a five star read is because a few of the secrets were pretty predictable and some of the drama was very high school, which is not a criticism as such, but knowing that I’m not exactly the target demographic for YA, despite it being my favourite, from a personal point of view some of the issues could have been easily resolved with a little communication. I’m sure that wouldn’t be a problem for younger readers, so that’s a very personal feeling on the novel and definitely wouldn’t make me recommend this book any less, I still think it’s a brilliant read.

I gave One of Us is Lying four stars, it’s a great contemporary thriller with well-written, flawed and interesting characters and an explosive plot twist. Have you read it yet? If not, what are you waiting for? If yes, tell me in the comments what you thought! Who was your favourite character? Did you see the twist coming? (No spoilers please!).





  1. Rosie Amber says:

    I do like a book that keeps you guessing, it must be so hard for authors to think it all up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jasmine, singprettyreadbooks blog says:

    I really enjoyed this one too. I also had it figured out when I was about halfway through the book and while the ending made sense, it sort of gave me similar feelings I had when reading 13 reasons why. A gripping read, regardless!

    Liked by 1 person

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