By Robert Drinkwater
One of us is Lying by Karen M. McManus is a murder mystery novel about four high school students all suspected for the murder of one of their classmates while they were in detention. The story follows Bronwyn, the straight A honors student, Cooper, the jock, Addie, the popular girl, and Nate, the guy with a criminal record. Each of these students were in detention when one of their classmates Simon died. The police believe that he was murdered and each of the characters had a secret that Simon was about to expose on his gossip app About That. I saw this book on display at Barnes and Noble and I was really intrigued with its premise. I’ve always had a soft spot for murder mysteries and I was not disappointed. As the pages kept turning, the mystery and suspense built up and In found myself trying to come up with several theories on who the killer was. Everyone was a suspect and many had a motive. At one point I even formulated my own theory on who I thought was the killer and why ( I was very Wrong). This novel is full of mystery, heartbreak, and a plot twist I did not see coming.
Admittedly, I thought that this book was going to have vague and two dimensional characters, because everyone at first seemed to be defined by their stereotype, but as the novel progresses we learn more about each character. The four point of view characters all have some sort of secret that they were afraid of people finding out. I empathized with these characters because they all struggled with this murder case as they were all suspects. Each of the four main characters break away from their stereotypes sat some point and at one point they even work together to help solve this case.
I enjoyed the chemistry between the characters as well. A lot of book that I have read, especially, the young adult genre, usually has some sort of a forced romance in which the characters barely have any chemistry. This is not the case with One of us is Lying. The chemistry between Nate and Bronwyn flows smoothly and none of it feels forced. I also enjoyed how the main characters set aside their differences and worked together so that they can solve this case.
As for the plot of the novel, I found myself intrigued from the very start. Within the first few pages we get a first impression of the main characters as well as the death of Simon which causes everything to spiral into a murder investigation. From then on every single chapter helped keep the plot moving forward. As the book progressed there was more mystery and we learn more about each characters secrets. We also learn why these characters wanted to keep these secrets as they all have a lot to lose and Simon was about to expose these secrets which could threaten their futures. I found myself engrossed in the lives of these characters and most importantly I wanted to know who the killer was.
One of us is Lying is a murder mystery book that kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. I thought that this book had well developed characters, an intense plot, and several unexpected plot twists that I never saw coming. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery/thriller novel.