I recently dived into Karen M. McManus’s One of Us Is Lying, and let me just say—wow, what a ride. I’ve heard some buzz about McManus’s talent for juggling a crew of protagonists, and yep, she totally delivered.

More than Just One Voice

You know those stories where there are so many characters that you need to scribble down a list just to keep track? Not this one. McManus’s skill is evident in the way she seamlessly moves between each character, giving them their own unique voice and space. I was hooked from page one, thanks to the rich layers she weaved in for every single character. It’s kind of like The Breakfast Club but with a darker twist, or if you’ve read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, think that depth of character interaction, but set in a contemporary high school with a mystery at its core.

Guessing the Mystery

Okay, so I’ll brag a little: I did guess who the real culprit was. But! In my defense, I was reading with my author hat on, trying to pick apart techniques and guess the next plot twist. It’s the curse of being a writer, right? We can’t help but see the cogs turning behind the scenes. For those of you who just want to dive into a story for the sheer joy of it, there’s every chance this mystery will keep you guessing. It reminded me a little of the vibe I got from We Were Liars by E. Lockhart—both books give you that urge to keep flipping pages, hungry for answers.

A Study in Character Dynamics

One standout aspect of One of Us Is Lying is its exploration of relationships—how they evolve, break, and reconnect in the cauldron of high school drama. It’s not just about solving the central mystery; it’s about understanding the complex web of emotions and past histories that bind these characters together. Remember reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and getting absorbed in the intricate interpersonal dynamics? McManus captures a similar essence. It’s this careful and compelling portrayal of relationships that sets the book apart, making it more than just a whodunit. It paints a picture of how young adults navigate the challenging waters of friendship, love, and betrayal, all while facing the pressures of growing up.

Why It’s Worth Your Time

If you’re into mysteries with layers of teen drama and rich character development, you’ll love this book. Plus, for writers who are keen to see how to handle a group of protagonists without turning the plot into a confusing mess, McManus is basically offering a masterclass here.

To wrap up, I genuinely recommend One of Us Is Lying. It’s a quick, thrilling, and totally engaging read. If you’re curious about it, here’s the Goodreads link so you can check out other reviews and see if it’s your cup of tea.

Happy reading, everyone. And if you’ve got any other book recommendations with a similar vibe, pls drop them in the comments!