A review by brendaxxo
One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus

emotional mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Nate watches them for a few seconds, tilts his chair back, and looks at Officer Budapest. "Everybody's got secrets," he says. "Right?"

my library was sick of me. i kept borrowing the book and letting the loan lapse. for months, something kept me from picking this up. when i finally did, i read this in one sitting. my friends thought i died. three and a half stars.

i loved so much about this book: the premise, the characters (for the most part), but above all, the MESS. whoever said secrets weren’t fun was a damn liar. despite all of this, i have some major qualms with one of us is lying. based solely on my enjoyment, this would have been a four star read! it stirred up the right feelings and kept me curious until the end. however, the writing and the book in general left a lot to be desired.

the ending, the reveal, and the entire mystery was so underwhelming! the bayview four's secrets were honestly not that deep and the reveal was predictable. not that it's a bad thing; i don't think that knowing the outcome ruins a book but the way mcmanus reached the destination felt far fetched, clumsy, and contrived. a character was outed and the author touched upon topics like depression and suicide, all of which were not handled carefully in my opinion.   

the romance between nate and bronwyn was a highlight at the start of the book. there was just enough romance to keep you hooked* but not so much that it eclipsed the overarching story... until we reach the end and mcmanus loses the plot. (what the hell was up with the epilogue and that epi-epilogue??)

*we do not acknowledge the cafeteria kiss in this household. i pretend i do not see it.

Spoiler additionally, i would’ve loved it if mcmanus went the extra mile and actually made one of the four we’d come to trust and care about become the murderer or directly involved in the aftermath of simon’s suicide. i never felt tense or questioned if i could truly trust any of the bayview four. that would’ve elevated the story, but she never goes there.

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