GOODREADS RATING: 4.06 out of 5 | AMAZON RATING: 4.4 stars out of 5 | MY RATING: 4.7 stars out of 5
My husband and I constantly do this thing when we watch TV shows where we guess what’s going to happen next or as a result of whatever a character is up to. SPOILER ALERT: He’s ALWAYS right, and I’m ALWAYS wrong.
I was definitely wrong about who the killer was in Karen M. McManus’s debut novel, ONE OF US IS LYING.
I knew I wanted to read this book the first time I saw it in Barnes and Noble a few months ago. I have a group chat with some of my friends from college (shout out to my 2014 Bluestone Babes, you guys are the real MVPs). I texted them and said, “Guys, I found a book that’s basically The Breakfast Club BUT WITH MURDER.” And as someone who can say all of Bender’s lines along with him in that movie, I absolutely had to read this book!
So the book starts out on the way to detention. You have the usual suspects… “You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?” (I couldn’t resist.)
By the end of detention, only four students are left alive, and there’s no one who sticks out as the main suspect. The school’s outcast, whistleblower, and victim, Simon, had a lot of enemies.
There’s Bronwyn, the brain, who had a decent enough relationship with Simon that she thinks will keep her away from suspicion, but everyone has their own secrets to keep.
There’s Addy, the beauty, who would have done anything to make sure Simon didn’t dig into what she did while her boyfriend was away.
There’s Cooper, the athlete, who has MLB scouts staring him down and therefore has a lot to lose if Simon managed to ruin his reputation.
And there’s Nate, the criminal, whose frequent run-ins with the police make him a prime suspect for a crime.
There you have it, the Bayview Four. The only people in the room when Simon died, except for the teacher administering their detention. I’d tell you who I suspected the entire time, but I already said that I was wrong, and I don’t want to spoil anything for you!
I was completely hooked. McManus does a fantastic job weaving this story and showing how a group of people can come together in a tragedy. Everyone’s secrets get unraveled, debunked and laid out for the world in 358 pages of pure mastery. But who is the killer? I’ll give you a hint: if you truly guess it, I’m going to officially suspect you as either a murderer or a secret FBI agent. (Karen M. McManus…anything you’d like to tell us…?)
My only critique on this book was the difficulty I had with the switching POVs, but that’s such a trivial critique that it doesn’t even matter. The book switches between the Bayview Four chapter by chapter so you fully see into each of their lives, and the way that their lives are seen by the others. I had a hard time keeping up with it at the beginning, but it was also so interesting to see all the different angles!
Just tonight I finished COLD SUMMER by Gwen Cole, and that’s next up on the review list! Perfect now that it’s started getting super cold around here…