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One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus (BOOK REVIEW) || One of Us is Bored

The tv series was released on Netflix (if you’re outside of the U.S.) so I thought I would read the book first. Honestly, I would have been fine just watching the TV series without reading the book. That’s why I wrote the title like that πŸ˜‚ because I was bored.

This is a spoiler-free review, with slight references to the plot twist, who won’t be spoiled. If you have read it, or haven’t but don’t care about being spoiled, feel free to chat to me on whichever social media platform because I have… a lot of thoughts.

Disclaimer: I loaned this book out of the library with the intention of reading and reviewing it honestly. The featured image is my own. The summary is taken from Goodreads. All opinions expressed are my own.


One of Us is Lying - Karen M. McManusTitle: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen McManus
Narrators: Kim Mai Guest, McLeod Andrews Shannon McManus, Robbie Daymond
Hours/Pages: 10h46m/316pg
Series: #1 in One of Us is Lying
Year Published: 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press – Penguin Random House
Cover Art/Designer: Cover photographs by numerous stock image websites.
Genre: Young Adult ~ Mystery ~ Romance ~ LGBTQ+ characters

Stars: use this use this use this
Links: Goodreads || The Storygraph
Copy: Audiobook – from library
CW/TW: (Taken from The Storygraph) Suicide, death, outing, violence, drugs, bullying.

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, 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.”


I found this an average book. I’ll probably read the sequel. Hopefully I’ll like the adaptation better. Definitely didn’t live up to the major hype everyone was talking about – something I’ve seen with other Booktok books…

For the first about 20% of the book I kept getting Addie and Bronwyn confused with each other. I couldn’t remember which stereotype fit which character, even with the boys. It didn’t get better. I mostly just liked the boys. I think Cooper was my favourite, Nate was ok – I didn’t really think much of him. Addy, I only liked near the end of the book and Bronwyn I only liked in the beginning of the book.

I think the book pushed too much on pushing their stereotypes to the readers. But also like Cooper was the only one who really ‘kept going’ with regards to his stereotype. Was Addy ever on the cheerleading squad or was I thinking of Quinn Fabray since I was rewatching Glee at? Nate… Didn’t really ‘fit’ the whole bad boy stereotype, but rather acted like he wanted to play it? Bronwyn I felt more fitted the overachieving stereotype than good student, and even that was reaching it.

Also, Simon? Annoying as heck. Won’t put any spoilers but like, dude. Get a life or get some therapy. What you went through was not enough to begin posting secrets about people (that’s not a spoiler – that he posted secrets) I’m sorry if that’s rude – It’s just that I was expecting his reasons to be way more convoluted than what we were given. Were you planning on putting it on a college application? Dear College: during high school I said some really rude and damaging things about my fellow students because I thought everyone was rude to me and should’ve paid more attention to me. Please let me study here.

There’s no real merit in everything Simon was doing. Like you’re a loner in high school? So? You’ll graduate high school and hopefully be able to leave town and possibly never see anyone again so WHY focus on destroying your peers’ lives when you could just??? GO TO SCHOOL.

And also??? So everyone basically KNEW he was behind the blog? Why didn’t any teachers or his parents say or do anything?? It’s not like Gossip Girl where no one knew until the end (and also then it’s a letdown).

I absolutely disliked the plot twist. That type of plot twist felt very weak and I instantly dislike books that take something very seriously and turn it into something with less value, for shock value. It didn’t feel like it fit what the book was building up to. Did I have a clear idea of who it might be, how the mystery might finish? No, but did I like how the mystery panned out? Also no.


I know the tv series will end the same way/have the same plot twist. I’ll just have to make sure I’m reading a book at the same time so I don’t get too annoyed.

Have you read this very popular book? What about the TV series? What were your thoughts? Come tell me your thoughts down below!

2 responses to “One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus (BOOK REVIEW) || One of Us is Bored”

  1. Great review and sorry that it wasn’t the best of reads. I have had this on my owned TBR for years but my best friend made a snide comment about the book being set in San Diego (where we live) and it’s obvious the author had never been here and there was no reason for it to be set here… so I haven’t read it yet lol. And honestly? Your review makes me think this book will annoy me. Noooooo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hoping her other books are better 🀞🏻
      πŸ˜‚ I like those type of comments
      Yeah I have to start the tv adaptation so I hope that’s better!


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About Me

Hi! I’m DB and I really like reading! I mean, of course I do – otherwise this wouldn’t be a book blog. It would be full of pictures of my cat. But come and look at whatever I’ve got on this blog!
Read more about me in my About page.

March 2022

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