Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it's been a while since I've posted a review.
But instead of going straight in deep with a 500+ page (like Crooked Kingdom) I think I'm going to slowly diverge myself back into them, which is why I'm starting off with a review of One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus.
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Mystery & Contemporary
Release date: 29th May, 2017
Blurb: "FIVE STUDENTS
WALK INTO DETENTION.
ONLY FOUR LEAVE ALIVE.
Yale Hopeful BRONYWN has never publically
Sports star COOPER only knows what he's doing in
the baseball diamond.
Bad boy NATE is one misstep away from a life of crime.
Prom Queen ADDY is holding together the cracks
in her perfect life.
And outsider SIMON, creater of a notorious gossip app at
Bayview High, won't ever talk about any of them again.
He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest
secrets online. Investigators conclude it's no accident.
All of them are suspects.
Everyone has secrets, right?
What really matters is how far
you'll go to protect them."
Let me just jump right in. Even though I hadn't seen hide nor hare of the Breakfast Club, the premise was what attracted me to the idea of this book from the start. I find it really interesting that a group of characters, all from completely different social groups would meet in detention, and when one of them well, dies, these people are the ones that are under suspicion of being guilty of murder.
What I loved about the premise was that they were all completely different people, from different socials groups. I love an authentic and realistic character, it's the thing I most look out for when reading a book. I love the story arcs of a character, seeing a noticeable difference from the start of the book to the end, and that was such a big part of this book, that I couldn't help but love it.
But what did it for me, with this book, is that I was able to clearly see the character arcs of them as individuals, as well as see the role each of them took in the group dynamic. It was super easy to tell which perspective I was reading from, which is always a good thing when reading a book with multiple perspectives.
I don't mean to say that they were all stereotypes. Far from it. I mean, they did have a couple, but it was easy to look past that because of the situation they were in.
Which brings me to the character arcs and the dynamics of the group. Even though these four remaining people were from completely different family situations (which did play a substantial part in the book, I'm glad to report- it's too easy to forget about the family of the protagonists in these types of books) and completely different socials clubs and groups, they were thrown together in a whirlwind of events in which they were being blamed, and it was lovely to see them become close, and come to rely on each-other, because they were all in the same situation. Those social groups, and the fact that they were from completely different backgrounds became meaningless, because they all had one goal- proving that they weren't guilty.
It would have been so easy to make this book seem depressing and like the characters had no hope (I mean, having the media out all your deepest secrets just to make them seem guilty isn't good), but the feeling that I got from this book was that the characters were determined to prove that they were innocent and unable to give in, even when the situation seemed impossible, which I really liked about this book.
What I now know about how Karen M McManus is that she can pack one hell of a punch into her novels. The things she put her characters through were super personal to that character, to the point where I would find myself wincing when she did something to a character that I knew would change them- for the better or worse. And before you knew it, you were emotionally invested in the characters, and the story they were in.
On the other hand, with a title like One of Us Is Lying, it would make sense that each person would have doubts of those close to them. And by that, I mean out of the three others. That question of, "Did somebody else possibly kill Simon?" and "Do the others know more about this than they're letting on?" That question of whether there is a rat in the group never went away, which added a layer of mystery to what was already a dense story.
This book just got me so frustrated, the way it was told. Not in a bad way, just that the police weren't investigating why those four-specific people were in detention in the first place, even though there was circumstantial evidence against what landed them in detention!
But what I mean by being frustrated was all in the story, frustration at the characters, not the writing.
Which is what I mean by being emotionally invested in the story.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was short, so it isn't a big time commitment either, which is always a bonus. These characters are realistic and authentic, and if you are a fan of good characters, I highly recommend you pick this up because you are going to be glad you did (once you've read it).
So that was my review of One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any thoughts on the book, let me know in the comments!
I hope you have a wonderful day, and I will see you all on Monday!