By Karen M McManus

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 4.07

Genre: YA Mystery

Publication Date: May 30th 2017

Format Read: Audiobook

Goodreads Summary: 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.


This book first caught my attention because it was a “Breakfast Club” spin-off, and I adored the entire concept of that movie and so I 100% wanted to check this out.  I was super happy because although it started with the stereotypes, it made each person into a 3D character, each of whom could have had a motive for killing Simon.  The type of books where it LITERALLY COULD HAVE BEEN ANYONE are my absolute favorite, since it keeps you guessing and changing your opinion until the very end.

Even though this book definitely wasn’t my favorite that I’ve read this year, it’s certainly a solid YA read and I enjoyed it the entire time. It was an audiobook, and I listened to it super fast (much to the annoyance of the family who was trying to have human interactions with me while I walked aimlessly around the house), which is always a win in my book


Like I mentioned earlier, McManus did a wonderful job of taking stereotypes of people and turning them into real living breathing human beings.  One thing I wasn’t a huge fan of, though, is that she perpetuated the “dumb jock” stereotype throughout, even with the MC that was an athlete.  I felt like she bought into this particular caricature and everything she did to 3 dimensionalize one of the two main jocks just reinforced the stereotypes for the other one.

Other than that, I ADORED all of the characters, their flaws, etc, and I think she did a great job making you feel the same things that the other characters felt.


The plot was decent, if predictable, but that’s exactly what I wanted from this book.  Nothing about it was particularly jaw dropping, and even though it was supposed to be sort of a mystery twisty thing, I saw nearly everything coming before it happened. Still, I think the twists were understandably logical, and made the story interesting.  Basically, I never rolled my eyes at what was happening– I nodded along because I felt like it worked.  For a YA mystery, I thought that was really great.

As far as the ending goes, there’s sort of a debate as to whether or not it was predictable.  Personally, I guessed it and then double thought it somewhere in the middle, then realized it for real about 2/3 of the way through.  But other people did not see it coming AT ALL so I think that means that McManus did a great job balancing clues and intrigue.

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That being said, it was VERY contemporary YA and had all of the typical catch points– romance, drama, etc.  which I think is part of what took away my enjoyment a little bit.  Eventually I think I’m going to have to learn that I’m not really a huge fan of YA in general, especially anything remotely contemporary, but until then I might bring stuff down with 3-4 star reviews :/

Writing Style

I loved the fact that this book was told from 4 different perspectives rather than just one.  It made you relate to each of the characters equally, and yet you still managed to suspect each one at different times.  It was amazing because the author somehow managed to make them incriminate themselves and make them seem innocent all at the same time…

the writing wasn’t incredible, but overall it was very enjoyable and I think the format was very well done.

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What did you think about One of Us Is Lying? Have you watched The Breakfast Club? What similar style books would you recommend?


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