This review is spoiler free.
“Things’ll get worse before they get better.”
Series: One of Us is Lying
Published: 2017, by Penguin.
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller, Romance, Crime, LGBT
Contains: Sexual Content, Death, Violence, Strong Language, Suicide, Self-Injury, Homophobia, Hospitals, Anger, Crude Humour
‘One of Us is Lying’ follows the mystery of four students suspected of murder after victim, Simon, dies in detention. Their secrets begin to unfold as the investigation begins, from cheating in exams to drug dealing whilst the ‘Bayview Four’ are outcast from friendship groups, singling them out as criminals.
It’s been a while since I’ve read this book, and as it was depicted as a mix between Pretty Little Liars and The Breakfast Club, I knew I’d enjoyed it. Since the release of the second book in the series, I felt it was time I returned to this world and its characters, and I’m so glad I did.
McManus has a talent for creating thriller characters, giving them each a secret that they hold dear and keeping your attention until the end of the novel. I was gripped from the opening to the climax, loving each of the characters stories and the way they unravelled.
Bronwyn was a joy to read about, loving her straight-and-narrow way of life and how she continuously sought after justice for those around her.
Cooper gave me similar vibes, his secret deeply interesting me as he was shoved into the spotlight and witnessing him trying to cope with the results of that. It was inspiring and infuriating to read, deeply empathising with his character.
Personally, Nate’s character was my favourite – I’m a sucker for a bad-ass outcast with a dark past. His character continued to impress and develop, emerging from the shadows and becoming someone who interacted with those around him.
Addy’s character, however, fell kind of flat to me, regardless of her development throughout the book. Personally, I’m not a fan of the stereotype she was replicating, her troubles not interesting me enough to commit to her character. Nevertheless, that didn’t hinder my enjoyment in the slightest.
The plot itself was beautifully played out, loving the overall mystery and its shocking ending. McManus’s writing was refreshing to read, having a talent for the target audience and narration as you’re able to picture the characters perfectly. The writing style is simple yet effective, placing you in the environment and allowing you to feel along with the characters.
Overall, I deeply enjoyed this novel, more so during my second reading than my first. The characters are entertaining, the mystery keeps you on your toes and the climax is worth the build up. I’m looking forward to returning to this story in book two.