#BookReview of One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Five teens are sent to detention for the same reason: Having cell phones in class. Each student knows it’s a setup, but the teacher isn’t buying it. When one of the students has a tragic allergy attack, the remaining teens are all under suspicion. A police investigation ensues, secrets are revealed and lives are ruined.

This book came highly recommended to me, so instead of immediately buying it I decided to borrow it from the library. I’ve been fooled before. Touted as “Pretty Little Liars meets The Breakfast Club”, One of Us is Lying left me feeling quite underwhelmed.

Although I completely understand why the author did this, and I do admit that it was indeed important to hear everyone’s side of the story, the flip-flopping POVs got tiresome. In fact, I can sum up my personal feelings on this book in one word: Tedious.

I read A LOT of YA books, so it’s definitely not that I couldn’t place myself in any one of these character’s shoes. I was once a teen and I know exactly how earth shattering and angst-ridden life can be at this stage of life. But reading about every little rumination became monotonous quickly.

The author has thrown just about every possible social issue into the mix here. Without giving away spoilers (for the ten people who probably haven’t yet read this book), I felt that the major issue of mental illness was poorly handled. Unfortunately, this is often the case when it comes to fictionalizing mental illness. It was almost added as a side note in my opinion.

In the end, I just wasn’t nearly as impressed as so many other readers seem to have been. One of Us Is Lying wasn’t terrible. It just wasn’t as good as I expected it to be.

 

3 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton