I subscribed to Book Box Club a few months ago, and the very first book I received was One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. It was the featured volume in their “Schoolroom Scandals” box. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if I hadn’t been sent it, but I enjoyed it very much!
Before I get too far into it, though, here is the synopsis from Amazon…
Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive. For fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, this is the perfect high school thriller.
Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.
Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.
Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.
Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.
And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.
He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.
Everyone has secrets, right?
What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.
So the book opens exactly as the synopsis explains: five students are heading in to detention, and each one of them has no idea how they got there — they didn’t commit the act that got them served with a detention. In the middle of the detention, though, Simon, who runs the school gossip website, suffers from a severe allergic reaction and everything that could have been used to save him mysteriously went missing from the school.
Each of the students who was in the detention with Simon is now under investigation for murder as it is soon discovered that Simon had an unpublished blog post that contained gossip about each person in the room with him when he died.
I was very impressed with the way the book was written. Each chapter is told from a different character’s point-of-view, so you understand the background they come from, and their motivations for wanting to keep the damaging information secret. Each character alleges they did not commit the act, however, blog posts begin appearing from the murderer explaining how they committed the crime and why.
I honestly could not predict who the murderer was. I had the thought run through my head once or twice about halfway through the book, but then another detail was added where I thought, “Oh, no, it couldn’t possibly… there’s too much motivation from x’s side.”
Although this isn’t normally the type of book I would pick up, I highly recommended it, especially if you are looking for a thriller that will keep you guessing!