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Friday, June 16, 2017

Blog Tour Book Review: One of Us Is Lying + Giveaway!


Release Date: May 30, 2017
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Length: 370 pages
Source: Review Copy for Blog Tour.

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.

    

Review:

Protagonists: This is a story told from four first person points of view. Each of the main characters is a suspect in a murder of the resident and very public gossip monger that, at the time, seemed to be the perfect crime. Bronwyn, arguably the main character of this novel, is your typical intelligent rule follower who puts pressure on herself to be perfect to compensate for what happened with her sister. Cooper is the star athlete, his father has high hopes for his professional future, and Cooper would do anything to keep his father's adoration. Addy is always the princess and never the queen and her mother makes sure she knows that her relationship with popular and successful Jake is the best thing in her life. Finally, there's Nate, the kid from the wrong side of the tracks who sells drugs, weed and painkillers only, to make ends meet and does anything he can to stay away from his incessantly passed out drunk father. I was completely blown away at how the author was able to, very successfully, in my opinion, juggle real character development for these four characters and do so in such an entertaining and addicting way. I don't want to get too specific on each character since I could be here all day and there are other topics in this book to discuss, but I have to say my favorite one, even though it was an incredibly close race, would have to be Addy since her character development is the most pronounced and dramatic.

Romance: There was more romance in this story than I had anticipated going in, granted these are four high school students and the juiciest romantic drama seems to come out of high school so it shouldn't have shocked me. While each character had a romantic storyline, and all of them were pretty phenomenal, I really want to talk about the two characters who have a romance with each other. Part of me wants to keep who they are a secret because even though it's heavily foreshadowed early on enough in the book that I wouldn't call it a spoiler, I would want to keep it a bit of a surprise. The thing I love most about this couple is that the romance doesn't feel overdramatized for the reader. It doesn't feel like these characters are being pushed together, or even cleverly puppet mastered into falling for each other. Each interaction leading up to them getting together feels real like if two identical people were thrust into a similar or the same, situation it would turn out the same way. This couple has fantastic chemistry and is such an easy couple to root for.

World Building: I've honestly considered throwing this section out. I mean, this story takes place in a very typical school, it's very character driven, and the murder mystery aspect should probably be saved for the next section of this review, but I have to say that the author did a wonderful job of incorporating this gossip app Simon developed, About That, into a high school community and how that sort of freedom of information lack of privacy can lead to a very toxic environment. I mean, this book was like Gossip Girl if everyone knew who was posting people's secrets and finally did something about it. At first, I thought this high school was a bit over dramatic and too cliche, but it hit me that if something like this existed in my high school, as accepting and anti-clique as it was, it would be perceived in pretty much the same way. If everyone had to look over their shoulder when doing anything and agonize nearly every second of the day whether that mistake they made might be made public, I could easily see it spinning out of control. Though I do have to say that the police in this book were the very definition of incompetent, and honestly, mixed in with everything else, it somehow made the book better.

Predictability: So, who killed Simon? Well, I won't tell. The thing is the entire time I was reading this book, nearly up until the big, twisted reveal I still had doubts as to the innocence of the four main characters. As much as I loved them and didn't want any of them to be a murderer, I've read books with more out of the blue, yet perfectly believable, twists before, and the fact that it was told in the first person didn't matter to me, this book is called One of Us Is Lying after all. The funny thing is though, all of these characters are lying about something or another. Each of them a feature on Simon's next big gossip bomb and so they all had a reason to kill him. These secrets they had are pretty juicy too, and it doesn't take long to either figure them out entirely or at least get some pretty heavy foreshadowing as to what those secrets could be.

Ending: The ending to this book was pretty much everything to me. The thing is since this story is heavily character driven, the end for me wasn't the answer to the whodunit mystery this story has, though that was sure something exciting, let me tell you. The killer isn't revealed all at once either, it's something that spans quite a few POV changes and when we get the equivalent of a parlor room scene, where the killer's full plan finally comes out it's definitely a plot to remember. The final climax is really a testament to how far some of these characters have come and while it was a bit painful to read at times, it was still epic. Then there's the cooldown where I was pleasantly surprised to see that this story doesn't end in an overly idealistic way. When something like this story's main plot happens it's not something that can be tossed aside so easily and have everything be perfect, and that's not even taking into account the superb subplots. I liked that this story kept a realistic feel until the very end.

Rating:


Yeah, like this rating is much of a surprise, I pretty much gushed about this book all the way through my review. It really was fantastic. If you like a juicy and exciting murder mystery with fantastic and realistic characters, I would HIGHLY recommend this book! P.S. If the author wrote a book about the side character Vanessa where she dies and no one cares, it would be short and possibly boring, but I would read the story with delight.

About the Author:



As a kid I used to write books when I was supposed to be playing outside, and not much has changed. I'm a marketing and communications professional who also writes Young Adult contemporary and fantasy fiction in Cambridge, MA.

When not writing or working I love to travel, and along with my nine-year old son I've ridden horses in Colombia and bicycles through Paris. A member of SCBWI, I hold a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Which I have never, ever used professionally.


Giveaway!


3 winners will receive a finished copy of ONE OF US IS LYING, US Only.

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