ARC, Book Review, Books

One Of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus

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.

Have you ever sat there and think why am I reading this? No. Well, with this book. I did. This was by far the most I don’t even have a word for it. I liked 2 well 3 things out of this book and oh my god other than that. It was terrible. It’s hard to say that about books it really is but this book deserves it.

When I first heard of this book it sounded amazing, and I was super excited for it, so when it appeared on NetGalley I requested and I was lucky enough to get an ARC. So thank you for that! But then I started it, and it went downhill straight away. The main characters are very stereotypical, you have the nerd, the popular girl, the loner, the bad boy and the jock, it wasn’t until halfway through the book I managed to learn what their names were. Simon is the lonerCooper is the jock, Bronwyn is the nerd, Addy is the popular girl and Nate is a bad boy. So yeah it took ages for me to learn the name. I hoped this would get better as it went on and it did a bit but I guessed the ending from like 5 or 6 chapters in, I saw it coming. It was so obvious. (I’m not going to spoil in case you want to read it) but I guessed it. The beginning was terrible it got goodish. near the middle and other than guessing the end it was sort of okay.

Before we even got started on the story let me just rant this out, one thing I hate is when authors use stereotypes (I did my dissertation on stereotypes in television anyway) like you know what if you want to use them do it. But actually, go towards trying to change the stereotypes as young people we are all brushed with these stereotypes that are frankly very harmful, yes I know it’s a book, but people will read this, impressionable people and they may think, is that how school is? Is this how we are meant to be? No, I don’t like it. If you want to use a stereotype then use it but challenge it, I felt in this book it was not challenged at all, in fact, the author buys into the stereotype and just reinstates it. These characters were flat, they didn’t really have a personality, they are your basic high school stereotypes, they were very 2D. I didn’t know much about them and it was just really hard to connect to the kids and characters are a massive part of me liking the book. I just wish we had more character building. Also, where was this even set other than a high school? I don’t even remember. I feel really bad saying all this but it’s truth. I just can authors not use stereotypes for their characters? Or if you do, actually give them personality. They were all annoying and honestly you wouldn’t know the difference if it wasn’t for their stereotypical identity whose pov it was. Many times I had to go back and be like whose chapter is that?

The story is about 5 kids who go to detention and only 4 come out, Simon one of the kids dies from an allergic reaction to peanut and in the detention room is Cooper, Bronwyn, Addy and Nate and thus when he dies it begins a police investigation and they are suspects in the murder of Simon. So even that sounds appealing and I was like yeah this is going to be amazing. Yep nope.

It’s soon revealed that they are suspects because Simon was about to release something on his About That blog page thing he had which exposed mostly everything that happened. Cooper was accused of steroids, his original post was deleted and changed, Bronwyn cheated on a test, Nate did drugs and sold drugs, and Addy cheated on her boyfriend. So not great people in the first place but that’s beside the point.

Parents really seemed absent in this book they were there but only when needed, like the only time Bronwyn’s parents were mentioned was when it came to the investigation, the same with Addy’s and Cooper’s and we got small mentions of Nate’s family who becomes slightly more involved. It bugs me that in YA novels that we have an absentee of parents or that they only appear when we need them. It drives me nuts. And these parents some of them are very questionable like just in what they do and even supporting their kids, it just they very questionable. But yes parents would be good.

I have a massive problem with the end of this book but I will put it down after the good parts and if you want to read it I shall say spoiler. 

I feel like all I’ve been talking about is the bad… Well… I’ll say something good. I liked how all 4 suspects and sister and boyfriend kind of all came together to figure out what happened that day in detention and actually solve it. So I really liked that. I also really liked the growing relationship we had for Bronwyn and Nate that was the only time we really saw much personality from both of these characters. I really liked their relationship that they formed. So yeah that was a big plus for me in this book. Oh and we had one tiny bit of diversity, one of the characters are gay, but it honestly felt like it was there for the sake of causing drama. You don’t really have any inkling from the character himself that he is gay. So good but also kinda sucked.

That’s my ranting for those who don’t want to read the spoiler. Stop reading.

SPOILER. 

STOP READING. 

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED. 

IT’S GOING TO TELL YOU THE END. 

STOP NOW. 

That was really dramatic haha. 

My massive problem with this book was the fact I feel like it kind of romanticises suicide. Simon killed himself it’s honestly the shittest reasons ever why he did it. It wasn’t justified in fact it felt stupid to his reasons. He was just jealous of these kids who had what he wanted. It was pure jealousy and the fact he got Jake (Addy’s boyfriend who she cheated on) involved too was stupid. He basically stabs all his friends in the back because he couldn’t control the fact he girlfriend cheated on him. The reasons that we are given for Simon committing suicide and Jake help him are stupid. They have no basis and they were pretty pathetic.

In the story, we are told Simon has depression which is how I guessed he did this to himself FYI. Nobody picked up on it, and everyone just ignored it. I get sometimes it slips through the cracks but no way, not one person noticed this. The book romanticises suicide for this and for the YA audience that this is directed it’s dangerous. It’s basically could be saying to someone you haven’t got all this so kill yourself. That is not OK. Nobody should be committing suicide for crap like what is in this story.

Rant over. But seriously. I just I didn’t like this book as I say it had 3 good things about it.

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