Wednesday, 31 May 2017
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus REVIEW OUT NOW
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One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
I went into this book not really knowing what to expect but I did know that the Breakfast Club parallels were not something I was looking forward to. Yes, please don't hate me but I hate the alleged classic that is The Breakfast Club. Instead I found this really wonderful book. I always say YA is for more than young adults and 90% of the books I read in that genre prove me right. YA authors don't take the time to dumb down their books, they have rich stories and even deeper meaning than some "adult" books I've read, even from noted authors.
One of Us is lying follows four students following the death of one of their classmates in detention. Simon runs a gossip blog and basically is a bit of a jerk and I can't say I was entirely sorry to see him go. Don't worry, if outcast potential psychopaths are your thing, he pops back up from time to time.
With our remaining detention kids we have Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper who amongst them provide a pretty varied range of characters. So many authors hide behind "I'm scared to not tell stories accurately" and thus don't even try, whilst I can't say for certain that Karen put a lot of research into any diverse characters in her story, I can definitively say she never made the characters come across as significantly "other" and that makes all the difference. I wish the rest of the literary world would catch up, there's few things sadder than loving books and never seeing yourself more literally involved in them.
I loved both the mystery and character led portions of this book. The mystery was so well thought out, I guessed it prior to the reveal then said "nah" but not only was I right but it was played out in such a way that it really highlighted the earlier moments in the book that spoke to the truth. Additionally there were some great curve balls that I honestly did not see coming and were perfect for the story. In terms of the character led storytelling, I loved how realistic and ultimately revealing it was. It can take some of us a really long time to find out who our friends are but once you do, you're golden. I loved how this story approached this aspect of life/high school and how much it can really take to realise this and even more importantly, learn to not repeat the same actions. Leading on from this [redacted] is such a dick and I'm glad that this book highlights that this behaviour also happens in teen relationships, in fact it's probably worse as girls are continually conditioned to believe that their boyfriends being jealous is a good thing. There comes a time when jealous is not cute, it's extremely disturbing.Also, there's something that we find out towards the end and the length of time [redacted] lied makes them an actual sociopath though 👀
This book truly took me on a rollercoaster of emotions, I laughed, I screamed and I cried, and this is why I love YA. If anything, YA demands more of authors as teenagers are more prone to strong dislike or intense love of items.
Rating: 5 stars