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

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

Synopsis

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?

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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!).

 

Lyndsey

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Summer holiday TBR

Hello, hello! I haven’t done a TBR for a while so I thought I’d share with you all what I’m planning to read on my upcoming family holiday in Southeast Asia. I’m off to the Singapore Formula One and a cruise round Thailand and Malaysia with my mum, stepdad and two brothers – sadly my husband couldn’t get the time off work, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me!

If you’ve been here before, you’ll know I’m a huge fantasy fan, so it might surprise you to see the stack of contemporaries I plan to take away with me. I’ve been desperate to read more YA contemporary as so many amazing sounding books have been released this year.

Here are the books I’ll be packing next month for my holiday…

Summer holiday TBR Lyndsey's Book Blog

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

I’m dying to read this and will probably start at the airport or on the drive down, light permitting. I ordered it a few months ago but I’ve been trying to catch up with library books so it’s still sitting on my shelf giving me the eye.

If you haven’t read, or even heard of THUG, firstly, where have you been?! Secondly, it’s inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, and has been on the NY Times best seller list for 22 weeks. Twenty two! Everyone I know who’s read it absolutely raves about it, so I need to catch up and read this pronto.

It’s about a teenage girl called Starr who’s in the car when her friend is pulled over and then shot and killed by police. It’s a pretty heartbreaking, gut-wrenching read by all accounts so I’ll read this one first and then follow it up with some lighter, more easy-reading style novels to ease the pain. Oh, the joys of reading for pleasure!

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One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

One of Us is Lying

I see this book everywhere online and it sounds like such a fun, thrilling mystery that I picked it up as soon as I saw it in Waterstones. It’s billed as a cross between The Breakfast Club and Gossip Girl, with a good, old-fashioned murder mystery thrown in – how awesome does that sound?

I’m hoping this will break me out of the THUG book hangover and give me a good whodunnit to mull over while I’m sunning on the beach with a cocktail.

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Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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I bought this book for my best friend’s birthday and with the movie coming out soon she let me borrow it when she was done (I’ll give it back soon, I promise!).

It sounds like a nice light-hearted read, even with the heavy subject matter of living life in a bubble, allergic to everything. I get the impression it’s more about the budding romance between the MC and her cute, new next-door neighbour, and learning to live life to the full even when the odds are against you.

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The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury

The Scarecrow Queen

OK, so I couldn’t go away and not take at least one fantasy book… This is the last in the Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy and it’s been sitting on my bookcase for months waiting for it’s moment to shine.

This series incorporates a few fairy tales, including the Pied Piper of Hamelin and the Sleeping Prince (both German in origin, funnily enough), but it gives them a fresh spin and sets them in a new fantasy world where the people have all but forgotten that fairy tales are real. This is one series where the second book was just as good, if not better than the first, so I’m really excited to see where book three takes us.

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And that’s it for my holiday reading list, four books might not seem like many to some of you, or it might seem like a lot! I’m a pretty slow reader, but they’re all relatively slim and I can get through a book in two or three days on holiday, especially as the flights to Singapore will be about 16 hours in total!

What’s on your TBR this summer? Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought in the comments, and recommend any other YA contemporaries you think I’ll love!

 

Lyndsey

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I am a member of the Book Depository affiliate program, so if you click through and buy any of the books mentioned in this blog I might make a little commission, but I am not paid to review books and all reviews are my own opinions!

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Ten book series I want to read

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is ten series I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t, so get ready to scream at me in the comments for not having read your faves yet! TTT is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish, head over there and check out next week’s topic so you can join in the fun.

Top Ten Tuesday

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer Lyndsey's Book Blog

First on my list is The Lunar Chronicles because it’s probably the biggest, most popular series I still haven’t read yet. I’m taking part in a buddy read of Cinder next month, so this one is due to be rectified very soon! Have you read The Lunar Chronicles? Would you recommend it? I’m not usually a sci-fi fan, but I can’t escape how well-loved this series is.

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Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsidian Jennifer L. Armentrout

This one has been on my list for absolute years, and I’ve heard the love interest is serious book boyfriend material, but I’ve just never gotten round to it. If you’ve read Lux, did you love it? It has great Goodreads reviews, but I worry it will be a little too Twilight for my taste…

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Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic V. E. Schwab

Now, this one I really, really need to rectify! A Conjuring of Light came out this year so I can finally binge the whole series, I just need to get my hands on it. I have a feeling I’ll be waiting a while if I request it from the library…

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Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song Victoria Schwab

Continuing the Schwab love, I also need to read This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet. Like, immediately. Which Schwab series would you recommend I read first?

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The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites Marie Lu

I haven’t read any Marie Lu yet, but I hear all good things, so this is right up there on my list. It’s said to be a villain origin story, which sounds amazing (Vicious by V.E. Schwab is another villain origin story on my list) and it has a pretty high rating on Goodreads, so I’ll check this one out soon too.

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To all the boys I've loved before Jenny Han

I’m not usually a fluffy contemporary girl (in case you didn’t notice from all the fantasy on this list!) but I’ve seen so many people flailing over this series and how cute and adorable it is, how diverse and amazing it is, so I put it straight on my TBR. This is another trilogy where the final book was released recently, so I won’t have to worry about a long wait between books!

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The Falconer by Elizabeth May

The Falconer Elizabeth May

Set in 19th Century Scotland? Yes, please! The Falconer sounds amazing, and I follow the author on Twitter and she’s just fabulous, so I’m dying to get round to this series soon.

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Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands Alwyn Hamilton

I don’t even have an excuse for not starting this series, I own Rebel of the Sands and have Traitor to the Throne on hold at my library. I’ll definitely read this one in the next few months!

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Gentleman Bastard by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora Scott Lynch

This is billed as part Robin Hood, part Ocean’s Eleven – how good does that sound? Living near Sherwood Forest, I have a soft spot for anything even remotely Hoody. Anti-heroes are definitely my jam, just ask Kaz Brekker. I’m definitely going to see if my library has this now…

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Penryn & the End of Days by Susan Ee

Angelfall Susan Ee

This is another that has been on my list for years, and I’m slightly worried might not be my thing anymore. My tastes have changed quite a bit since Fallen and Hush, Hush. If you’ve read this, would you recommend it now?

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Time for you to sound off in the comments – have you read any of these? Loved them? Hated them? Pop your TTT post links in the comments too, I need more series recs to add to my vertiginous TBR!

 

Lyndsey

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