• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

I suspected each of the main players at one point or another and couldn't wait for the big reveal for this young adult mystery, the first in a series.

Five loosely linked Bayview High students walk into detention on Monday afternoon, all busted for having phones in class. The phones in question didn't belong to them, so none of them should even be there. But before they can put together the pieces and determine who might have wanted to get them all together in that room, one of them is dead.


The gossip site run by the deceased student made him detested and feared. And he was about to publish some juicy, devastating tidbits about each of his detention partners. Did one of them want so desperately to stop him that they would kill to keep him quiet?


In this first book in the One of Us Is Lying series, McManus takes us through each of the suspects' experiences in their own points of view and establishes them as unreliable narrators.


I suspected each of the main players at one point or another and couldn't wait for the big reveal. The parents of the disparate teens were significantly faulted characters, and the kids are left to find their own ways emotionally or financially or morally. Bronwyn, Nate, Addy, and Cooper largely feel like stereotypes when the story begins, but as they become more open and honest with each other, they each grow into what feels like their authentic selves.


This is an absorbing young adult mystery; I listened to it as an audiobook and really liked hearing each character's voice.

Any Bossy thoughts on this book?

One of Us Is Next is the second book in the series, published last year.


If you like this book, you might also like the young adult mystery A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson, which is part of an in-progress series.


I mentioned this book (along with The Searcher by Tana French and In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren) in the Greedy Reading List Three Books I'm Reading Now, 12/22/20 Edition.