If you are somebody who loves mystery stories with a little added high school drama, then One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus is definitely for you. This book will keep you turning the pages until the very end. It is filled to the max with plot twists, unexpected secrets, and scandals, which makes it almost impossible to put it down once you start.
This novel takes place at a typical high school in the 21st century. Each one of the main characters comes from a different mainstream group: a nerd, a beauty queen, a bad boy, and a jock. Although all these character descriptions may seem very cliché, each one of the four has a secret to hide.
McManus wastes no time jumping into action by having the school outsider, Simon, supposedly murdered in the detention room. Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, and Cooper are the only other people in the room when Simon drops dead, apparently having been poisoned. At their school, Simon was not a very popular or even a very liked person. He ran an online blog from his home that posted all his fellow classmates’ secrets; because these four all had secrets, they all had a motive to kill him. Now, with the police hot on their trail, these four contrasting characters have to come together to try to figure out who murdered Simon, because even though they all claim not guilty, there is evidence against each of them.
This book is very fast-paced with alternating point of views in every chapter. The multiple narrations make it an even greater read because you really get to connect with each character individually. Also, seeing different perspectives of the same story helps you to develop some ideas and clues yourself, so you can start to put together who you think may have murdered Simon. For example, while Bronwyn may only see the small details, Cooper can only focus on the big picture. McManus did a wonderful job in how she wrote the book using this structure, and it seems to give readers more of an insight into the characters and the unsolved case itself.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery. Do not let the length of the book scare you. Although it is on the longer side, it is not too challenging of a read, and with such a great plot line, it goes by quickly.