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.

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."

Quick Thoughts and Rating: 4 stars, but I might even boost it to 4.5–maybe even 5 stars–at some point. I’m just going off pure post-book-high at the moment, and my gut is telling me four stars, though I’m not quite sure what caused the deduction.

Highly engaging with an interesting plot and a dynamic cast of characters, One of Us Is Lying had me picking up this book with every free moment I had to spare. And for those times that I wasn’t able to read it? You can bet your pretty little self that I was thinking about it and anxiously awaiting the moment that I could get back to it.

♥ Review: I’m not even going to try to deny the fact that this book totally had me at “The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars.” I’ve been a sucker for both shows for as long as I can remember, and it might have even ramped up my expectations for what this novel would be, which is nothing short of wanting it to be as iconic and memorable as both of them. I think McManus did a remarkable job of capturing the spirit of both the movie and the show without falling back on stereotypes or tropes when she so easily could have. I don’t think the novel would have suffered too terribly if she would have chosen to do that, but it definitely wouldn’t have been anywhere near as great as it actually was because of the way she decided to spin this tangled tale.

I don’t typically flock to mystery-suspense/thrillers because I usually cave and spoil myself by reading the ending first, but while I was anxious to learn the truth, I think the allure of delving deeper into the psyche of our four main suspects and their fellow classmates made it easier to stave off my need to know the big answer. Not only that, but I genuinely enjoyed the cast of main characters. I liked being in their heads and learning the many facets of each of their personalities beyond the stereotypical role others tried to shove them in. Not only that, but the summary itself would have the reader believe those superficial roles as well, and if you go into this book thinking their character won’t expand beyond those restrictive confines they you’ll be in for a very big shock. These individuals had many layers. Beyond that, I appreciated how this experience made each person reflect on themselves and the lives they were leading up until this point. This book had character growth in spades and it was a marvel to read.

As far as the plot and pacing, I was a nervous ball of stress practically the entire time (particularly every single time the focus of the investigation shifted to a new suspect), and while I had a few working theories–my main suspicion from the beginning proving to be accurate–Ms. McManus did an amazing job of dropping hints and red herrings around every corner; doing just enough to make me doubt myself at every turn. So that was some fine storytelling skills!

♥ Teaser Quote: 

    “Well.” I’m quiet for a few seconds, weighing whether I’m about to make a giant mistake. Probably, but I plot ahead anyway. “I’d like to try. If you want to. Not because we’re thrown together in this weird situation and I think you’re hot, although I do. But because you’re smart, and funny, and you do the right thing more often than you give yourself credit for. I like your horrible taste in movies and the way you never sugarcoat anything and the fact that you have an actual lizard. I’d be proud to be your girlfriend, even in a nonofficial capacity while we’re, you know, being investigated for murder. Plus, I can’t go more than a few minutes without wanting to kiss you, so–there’s that.”
     Nate doesn’t reply at first, and I worry I’ve blow it. Maybe that was too much information. But he’s still running his hand down my leg, and finally he says, “You’re doing better than me. I never stop thinking about kissing you.”

– quote taken from the eARC of One of Us is Lying at 63%

Book Rating Breakdown
Angst Me So Good

♥ Rec It? Yes! You know the mark of a good book by the feeling you get of wanting to reread it immediately after you’ve finished it. Obviously it wouldn’t be much for solving the mystery the second go-around, but more about absorbing all the little clues the author left for her readers along the way. Well, that and the fact that I pretty much fell in love with all these characters.

I can’t believe One of Us Is Lying is this author’s debut novel. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what new books of hers await me in the future.

♥ A very special thanks to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this title.

*Disclaimer: An e-copy of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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