title: one of us is lying
author: karen m. mcmanus
“Things’ll get worse before they get better.”
what it’s about:
“one of us is lying” is about five teenagers going into detention. they are five different characters with five totally different lives. they are not friends, they don’t interact in school and have mostly nothing in common. there’s the prom queen, the nerd, the sports guy, the bad boy and the outsider. they meet one afternoon in detention and then an incident happens, that ends one life and changes the other ones.
WARNING: there will be spoilers ahead, because without, it would be impossible for me to put down my thoughts.
what i think:
i went into “one of us is lying” thinking it was some kind of “the breakfast club” but with a mystery twist. but after the first chapter, the detention was already over and the story started with the death of the outsider in school, simon. he had an allergic reaction in detention and had to go to the emergency room, where he died. and suddenly everybody is a suspect. of course it’s obvious from the beginning of the book, that the four remaining students are suspects, but also there is the teacher and the car accident outside the classroom, which you always keep in mind throughout the book.
i was a little bit sad, that the detention part was already over after the first chapter, because that took away the “the breakfast club”-feeling. but that didn’t matter, because this book is so thrilling, that you can’t put it down. it is written very well, so that you fly through the pages and you get to know the characters page by page. i loved, that we got the perspectives of all four students. with their point of view, it was impossible to guess, who the killer was. step by step you learn more about their imperfect lives and there were a lot of WTF-moments, that completely screwed with your head. i had no idea, what to think and what to believe. in this point, “one of us is lying” did everything right. you keep guessing until the big revelation. is it one of them? is it one of the side characters they talk a lot about and that seems to become a bigger suspect? was it the teacher? who was it? there is no way to tell, which was so much fun! 🙂
but here is the bad thing. the big revelation. i am still undecided, what to think of it, because it was an easy way out. i don’t know, what to think about simons suicide and dragging other people with it. on the one hand you think that simon just wanted his revenge and end his miserable life. and with his private chatrooms and websites he was influenced. he wanted to go with a big bang and he did. something you see a lot on the news these days – sadly. 😦
on the other hand you think: why did the outsider need to take his own life? why did all the actions of the other kids get him to this point? it kind of reminded me of “thirteen reasons why” by jay asher, where hannah ended her life and wanted to show all the other students, that it’s their fault. and here is the point where i don’t know, what to think about. simon was depressed and wanted to take revenge and end his life. he almost destroyed the lives of the others. but wasn’t it their fault, that i came to that point? it is so hard to take sides in this matter. of course you sympathize with the characters throughout the book, because they go through hell and you start to love them all. and you can’t ever imagine something like that happening to you, because everybody has his faults and makes mistakes. but then you find out, that a boy took his own life, because he couldn’t take it anymore and some of those people where the reason why. do you still love them? could they have prevented it? i would have been more satisfied, if it would be another outsider, who’s life was destroyed by simon, but i am not satisfied with simon taking his own life just to take revenge.
that also brings me to another point. his best friend: janae. she knew about it. she knew the whole plan, everything simon was up to. she knew, he wanted to take his life. WHY DIDN’T SHE DO ANYTHING? i mean, come on. your friend is plotting something like that and you decide not to do anything about that? what is wrong? go to the police, go to the parents of that kid. but don’t just sit around and wait, until your best friend really kills himself. that really makes me mad, because it does not fit. i know, why jake is mad and why he wants to take revenge on addy, but i can’t understand janae at all. maybe i have to think about that all a little bit more.
another thing, that didn’t fit for me, was the romantic relationship between bronwyn and nate. don’t get me wrong. i love me some good romance. and i always love the bad guys (i kind of have a week heart for them 😀 ) but in this mystery it didn’t really fit, because it took a huge part of this book. i mean, a student takes his life and four other lives are a mess, but in the end, a huge part of that book is the relationship between those two different people. if that were a contemporary romance book, hell yes (bad boy and geek – a dream come true) but this was a mystery about a death in school. i don’t think, that romance should have been such a huge part of it. but that’s just my personal opinion.
what you should know:
after reading this, you would maybe think, that i don’t like “one of us is lying” at all. no, that’s not true. i really enjoyed it. it was a thrilling read, which was written very well. you keep turning the pages, because you have no idea, who is who and what the hell is happening. mystery wise this book did everything right. also the characters are very lovable. you instantly get this “i want to protect you, because you are amazing”-feeling. nate, addy, bronwyn and cooper are great characters, that you fall in love with. they have their faults, but they learn from it and make a huge development throughout the book. you cannot not like them, there is no way. you feel for them and you want them to be safe. the revelation in the end is a thing everyone has to decide for themselves, if it’s appropriate or not. all in all, “one of us is lying” is a good and suspenseful debut novel by karen m. mcmanus, which makes you look forward to her next book(s).