Publishing date: 05/30/2017



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.



An ARC has been kindly provided by  Penguin Random House UK Children’s via, in exchange for an honest review.

4,5 stars


I finished this book today “readwalking” home as I could not put it down. I just had to know!!!

It was like Agatha Christies happening in high school with a Gossip Girl feel. I was deeply invested in this first work by Karen M. McManus.


“It’s a great story: four good-looking, high-profile students all being investigated for murder. And nobody’s what they seem. The pressure’s on now, Bayview Police. Maybe you should be looking a little closer at Simon’s old entries. You might find some interesting hints about the Bayview Four.”


It all begins in a classroom with five teenagers serving detention. They’ve been set up. Someone planted phones in their backpacks and the teacher had a strong no phone policy. By the end of detention only four will still be alive. Simon the creator of a gossip app dies poisoned.


Soon enough investigations begin revolving around the four students. Who is the murderer?


Is it Cooper the good ol’boy and rising baseball star? Is it Addy the shiny blonde Barbie? Is it Nate the school drugs dealer? Or is it valedictorian and goody two shoes Bronwyn?

One by one they’re questioned.

One by one we uncover their secrets…


They were not perfect, far from it. Unexpected alliance and quasi friendships are forged. They would never have been close before but now they’re the Murderers Gang. Framed they’re shunned by their former “so called” friends.


Told with multiple POV (something usually very difficult to execute properly when writing) Karen M McManus sucked me in this mystery novel.


Of course solving the murder is the main topic but not the only one far from it.

The author developed themes like:

– cheating to reach one’s goal;

– being your own person and daring to stand out among the high school clique;

-daring to be different and go against your family’s beliefs and expectations;

-prejudice framing someone as the perfect scapegoat;

-bullying and how our modern society feeds on gossip and scandals like some reality TV porn (media circus);

-police incompetency and court system’s injustice


all this with an omniscient narrator as background foddering little tidbits to keep rumors going strong. Gossip Girl vibes J


All along I was wondering: do I KNOW my kids? I mean really know them? Could I discover similar secrets or double lives? It was a somewhat unsettling but the right kind of unsettling. The one that gives you thrills because you love being a little bit frightened.


I also loved the characters development.

In the beginning I couldn’t stand Addy. I found her shallow and brainless. She was a “airhead homecoming princess”. She was never able to survive without being superglued to her boyfriend Jake.  Luckily for me after what happened to her she did grew-up. She unexpectedly became one of my favorite characters and ended as a kind of super ninja. Who would have guessed she would grow a backbone? Not me that’s for sure!


Nate has always been this kinda charming school badboy every girl secretly dreams of. From aloof and “I don’t give a f@ck what you’re thinking” attitude he morphed into this loyal and protective guy. The one that’s been beaten by life and doing his best to pay the bills.


I guessed Cooper’s secret pretty early on. He remained the good old boy all along.


Bronwyn was my second favorite character. She progressively let loose and we discovered a very smart and very determined girl. She would battle teeth and claws to protect her loved ones. She was the driving force of the gang. Thanks to her brilliant mind the mystery will be solved and not thanks to the police!


Truly I can’t recommend this book enough.

Convinced? Pre-order your copy HERE

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