PLOT: 4.5/5

“I guess we’re almost friends now, or as friendly as you can get when you’re not one hundred percent sure the other person isn’t framing you for murder.” 
― Karen M. McManus, One of Us Is Lying

My Musings

A viewer of my YouTube channel recently recommended a book. Since I had just downloaded the Storytel app on my mobile, I decided to look for an audiobook of the same. Having found it I decided to wait no more and just get into it right away.

One of Us is Lying is a tantalizing high school drama combined with a mind baffling and suspense laced mystery.

Read on to know more about this amazing book and about why I think you should definitely give it a try.

What to expect?

Expect a highly entertaining power-packed thriller with a generous dose of drama, gossip, and scandals that is inadvertently synonymous with high school fiction.

Expect a murder mystery with a very unique twist of turns and events. And while being all of this, expect a book that does not fail to entertain.

Who can read?

The book can be picked by beginner Indian level readers. The English used is simple and easy to understand. Except for references to popular American culture, the book doesn’t deviate much from familiar English.

Let’s talk about the storyline

Five students are thrown into detention but only four of them come out alive.

Bronwyn – the Yale-bound studious girl who shoulders the responsibility of taking her family name forward.

Cooper – the most handsome guy in school; a hot athlete who is looking forward to his baseball career.

Nate – the backyard drug dealer who with his ongoing probation is already a criminal-in-the-making.

Addy – the delicate homecoming beauty who has perfect hair and a perfect boyfriend.


Simon – the gossip king of the school, who because of his notorious gossip blog has made enemies everywhere.

Before the detention ends, Simon is dead and all of the people that he went into detention with had motives to kill him. There are scandalous details about each of them that Simon was about to post on the very next day.

So, who killed Simon? and to protect which of their ugly secret? – this is for you to know when you read this tantalizing thriller.

How good are the characters?

The characters are probably the most exciting part of the book. Once a strong plot has been cast, it falls on the shoulders of the characters of the story to take it forward. And, in case of One of Us is Lying, they totally live up to the expectations.

Given that the blurb puts a lot of spotlight on them, Karen M McManus makes sure that her characters don’t disappoint.

What about the author’s writing style?

The promise of an intriguing mystery is what made me pick up this book. But more than that, it is the story itself – how things change, new mysteries unravel, and the latest findings are revealed – that makes this book such an amazing read.

The other aspects of the book deliver that extra edge in One of Us is Lying. Each character is so well thought of and so varied. There are side stories about love, friendship, and family that add complexity and layers to the fundamental plot.

It is a book well-conceived and well-executed.

Is the climax good enough?

Barring the last 5 to 10 pages (the epilogue) where we get a peek into the aftermath of the conclusion, the climax draws us to a decent ending.

It does manage to feel a tad rushed but that can be excused when everything else about the book is perfect.  Even though it may not be as appealing as the rest of it, the book definitely ends on a satisfying note.

It all boils down to the entertainment quotient

One of Us is Lying is a book that makes good use of a tight-knit plot, an awesome string of complex characters, racy narration, easy to understand language, and an overbearing sense of mystery to bring to us a book that is excessively high on entertainment.

Every one of its 360 odd pages is a treat to read and there is never a dull moment in the book.

And, I must say this – I will be headed for a big disappointment if this book is not turned into a movie soon!

My final verdict

Definitely go for it!

Pick it up if

  • You are a YA fan.
  • The idea of a high school drama combined with a scandalous murder mystery excites you.
  • You are looking for a 5-star entertainer.

Skip it if

  • You don’t enjoy young adult fiction.
  • The idea of a high-school murder mystery doesn’t excite you.

Can’t wait to read it. Buy your copy of One of Us is Lying at the link below.