‘One Of Us Is Lying’ by Karen M. McManus is a hooking story.
Five students get detention – all for the same thing – but before the hour is up, one of them is rushed to hospital and later pronounced dead. The police believe it was one of the four students, and as the investigation heats up, lives get out of control and reputations are ruined. But one question won’t go away, ‘Who killed Simon?’
This book gave me a lot of ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Gossip Girl’ vibes. The mix of these two along with the ‘whodunit’ feel gave this story a major edge. It strangely also reminded me a little of ‘An Inspector Calls’, maybe it was how connected everyone was to Simon. I really didn’t expect to enjoy this book or get involved in any way but I couldn’t help myself. The way that Simon died is very creative and I have to admire the planning that went into his death. The secrets that came out (deliberate pun here) over the course of the investigation had me gasping.
Simon is a very unique individual and the type of person you don’t hear much about in day to day life. Especially not in England. However, I am familiar with America’s school shootings and I could see how some parts of this book may come across offensive to victims and their families (creativity being a large point here). I do have to admit that I would have liked to have seen more of Simon alive but then perhaps the intrigue of this book wouldn’t have been as great as it was.
The other four students were diverse and complex in themselves. They are where I got that breakfast club feel from. You have Bronwyn: your geek and all-round clever box. Nate: your drug dealing criminal who generally doesn’t care. Cooper: the good-looking popular athlete. And Addy: the meek girlfriend of another popular guy. On paper it doesn’t seem like they would get along or even bother talking to each other much, but once they are thrown into the suspicion storm that is a murder investigation, they connect on a level that not many understand and by the end of it, they still make time for each other.
Simon’s view of how he should be treated seems to be a common thread that connects the majority of high school shootings. The occurrence of these incidents is a frequent thing and it makes me wonder if this is all a by product of social media. These murders have the ability to connect with other like minded people and they all manage to goad each other and create better ideas of how to kill people. It’s an interesting subject matter to base a story on and it does make you dwell on your own actions and if they could have provoked anything similar.
I loved this book. It’s a great, engaging escape from reality and I cannot praise it enough. I am fairly certain that my friends are bored of hearing about it now but I am still riding the high of this book.
“Some people are too toxic to live. They just are.”
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