Book Reviews

One of Us is Lying – Karen M.McManus

I received this book for an honest review from Netgalley.

Five students walk into detention but only four walk out alive, the big questions that begins to dominate their lives are, was one of them involved? And how much motive does a person need to commit murder?

A book that gripped me from start to finish with the culprit revealed within the first pages – if you know what to look for. McManus has woven the clues in beautifully and makes the writing looks effortless. With multiple characters to maintain and write their narratives are blended together seamlessly, each following perfectly on from one another.

The main premise of the novel is that everybody is hiding something and the lengths a person will go to to keep that secret. Simon – who later dies –  has created a gossip page which spills the latest school news weekly. No one is safe, not even the teachers. As Simon collapses and dies in front of their eyes none of them could be prepared for the witch hunt that begins.

The stereotypical cliched teenagers are present within the novel; the geek, the jock, the princess and the trouble maker. As the police seemingly close in on each of them and try to force them to “roll over” on one another, the four of them unravel clues which may end up saving them all from prison. What this book does brilliantly is to show how dependant we as a society are on social media, how we are becoming more engrossed in gossip and how we present ourselves. It also shows how there are still many areas which need to be addressed in school environments. How much knowledge on one another is too much? And do the schools have a responsibility to police apps like this?

The conclusion rocked me and will rock you too. I won’t reveal any spoilers but, it shows how we need to be vigilant of our peers in any environment and how quickly they can be turned to different and dangerous view points.

While focusing on the murder investigation McManus has given the reader a clear picture of what school is like for many and the fears that children and teenagers face. The novel has a very clear message that teenagers need to be confident in themselves and their choices and the pressures that are placed on teenagers are sometimes beyond what they can deliver.

I related most to Browyn, the geek who is struggling to maintain her grades to get into her chosen college (university). While I achieved high grades in school it was not without pressure from teachers, peers and myself to keep pushing. I felt, like Browyn, that the image of the “geek” means achieving high grades even if you are struggling and doing so without asking for help. I loved how the main four protagonists transformed during the novel and accepted themselves and the choices they had made which brought them to the police’s attention.

For anyone looking for a crime thriller with more twists and turns than I most certainly am used to I would recommend this book. Fast paced with thought provoking scenarios it is a book that I will be going to buy once it is published.

This book is due to publication on 1/06/2017.



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