One of us is Lying by Karen McManus

One of us is Lying
By Karen McManus


Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date: 2017
Pages: 361
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Mystery
Days to Read: 2
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, 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.
AndSimon, 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.

Throughout One of Us is Lying we follow the perspective of multiple different characters. We begin with a Breakfast Clubesque set up with out protagonists in detention. All from different walks of life. We have all the classics from stereotypical groups. As the book progresses we move quickly from a heart warming 80’s movie to an intense murder mystery. It really put a twist on the classic high school story.

As we learn more about each of characters as a reader I began to make predictions about the whole ‘Who done it?’ situation. I was definitely not correct in these, eventually I did predict some of the twist, which I will not divulge here at all, but I believe at this point I think most people would would figure it out before me.

It was interesting to see the growth in the characters and that throughout this difficult time where they are suspected of murder as well as having more personal information divulged to the members of their high school. All the characters show growth… that I love.

There were a few characters that I did not like! One in particular, a side character was genuinely the worst person ever and I hated him,to the point where I thought it might ruin the book for me! Luckily, it didn’t and I decided to stick through to the end.

The end of this story is FIRE. I’ve recently discovered that as a reader I love a great plot twist or plot development, i eat them up!

The overall premise of ‘One of Us is Lying’ combines some of my favorite things, I love anything breakfast club themed as well as stories that keep me on the edge of my seat. This is definitely a tale that will stay with me.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 7.5/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Overall: 4/5

The Pretenders by Rebecca Hanover

The Pretenders
by Rebecca Hanover
#2 in the Similars duology

In this conclusion to The Similars duology, Emma must figure out who she really is, decide between two boys with the same face, and stop a dangerous plan based on revenge.

Emma is still reeling from the events of her junior year at Darkwood. Not only is her best friend, Oliver, shockingly alive, but the boy she loves—his Similar, Levi—is still on the island where he grew up, stranded with his deranged creator.

More importantly, she is grappling with who she really is. Emma can’t accept the hard truths she learned last year and refuses to share her secrets with anyone, isolating herself from her friends and Ollie.

But when more of the Similars’ creator’s plot is revealed, Emma and her friends will have to try to stop him from putting a plan into motion that could destroy everyone she loves. 

Throughout The Similars Duology we follow Emmaline as she attends the prestigious Darkwood Academy, where 6 clones have been enrolled. This enrollment fules huge human right debates and the schools dark histoty begins to come to light.

The Science Fiction nature of the series lends itself well to the discussion of human rights and whether cones carry the same rights as the originals. Looking at the different sides is interesting however the story doen’t really allow the reader to make up their own mind as to whether cloning and clones are right. There would have been a richer depth to the stoy if this had been the case.

None the less, the story of Emmaline and the clones is one that as a reader I found interesting. Emma’s development as a character within the second book was critical to the story and to making her a protagonist that readers have some connection with. The personal growth was minimal but the science fictional changes were imense, giving her the edge she needed to become a more dynamic lead.

The scientific elements were probably my most favourite part of the story. It was interesting to learn how the cloning began and the extent to which it runs. It could definitely make for an interesting human right debate. The clones were represented well with thoughts and ideas that were their own and an experience that would make anyone hope for better for them.

The plot twists that are thrown into this story definitely fit the science fiction genre. They added a much needed layer

Overall the story examines relationships, choice and serious human right issues all within the compass of a Young Adult story. Its a great start to what will surely be a wider debate in the future.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 7.5/10
Character Development: 6/10
World Building: 5/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Overall: 3.5/5