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Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

“I guess we're almost friends now, or as friendly as you can get when you're not one hundred percent sure the other person isn't framing you for murder.”

Name: One of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Series: Book 1 of the One of Us Is Lying Series

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, LGBT

Gossip Girl, Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars all mixed up and had a baby and this is the outcome. Being compared to economic movies and shows like the ones mentioned above is kind of tough because already there is this instilled expectation of what it should be or what type of voice it should have. In reality I agree with the statement because of the themes that the shows share with this book, but the overall voice is very different from the iconic adaptations. I was never a fan of different POV's but with more YA and NA books coming out that follow this structure, the changing POV grew on me. The structure makes sense for this story and in a way makes it more interesting to read, however the big BUT is that it made it very hard for me to really know the characters as I felt the POVs weren't very fair and some characters got more backstory and history than others.

This is a very character driven story although it might not seem like it, however the story is built around these group of individuals that were all in detention when Simon passes away. Soon, we realize that Simon was murdered and all the people in detention are primary suspects. Following the similarity to the Breakfast Club we have a jock, a criminal, a princess, a nerd, who are all being accused of a crime they may or may not have committed. The truth however was that our outcast Simon had a blog that was going to out the suspects' main secrets.

As the book progresses so does the tension and I really enjoyed the banter and friendship that begins to bloom within the group. I also enjoyed the mystery, I was not expecting the twists and turn in the end which was nice because in these YA thrillers I always seem to figure out the case before it is solved. Hence it was nice to actually be taken my surprise and have my stomach drop about the craziness of it all (the ending and the twist really did remind me of A in Pretty Little Liars).

However what didn't cut it for me was, like mentioned before, the character development. I felt that we were able to see our princess Addy really grow and mold into the hero she became in the end. The story became about her in many parts and I felt that characters like Nate (whom I loved and wished we could have had more of) and Bronwyn felt flat in comparison. Bronwyn was supposed to be the brain and at the end she felt a little too mushy and in love with me which was wrong since Nate's love made her stronger so I just didn't like how this played out.

All in all the story is funny and made me smile here and there. Apart from that, the mystery was well built and the climax made it worthwhile.

“These murder club meetings are becoming a regular thing. We need a new name, though.”

-- 3.5 stars --