A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
“Pretty Little Liars meets The Breakfast Club” (EW.com) in this “flat-out addictive” (RT Book Reviews) story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive.
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.
And don’t miss Karen McManus's newest novel Two Can Keep a Secret , on shelves spring 2019, that Bustle says is "a must-read YA thriller if you love Riverdale and Sharp Objects."
Praise for One of Us Is Lying
An EW.com Best YA Book of the Year Selection
A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of the Year Selection
A Popcrush Best Young Adult Book of the Year Selection
A New York Public Library's Best Book for Teens Selection
A CBC Teen Choice Book Award Nominee
A Bustle.com Best Young Adult Book of May 2017
A Goodreads Best Young Adult Book of the Year Nominee
A YALSA Best Fiction Book Nominee
A YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
“You’ll tear through this juicy, super-fun (if murder can ever be fun?) thriller."—Bustle.com
"A whodunit with a Breakfast Club twist...following four unique voices on a chase to find the killer, this one will keep you guessing until the very, very end."—Popcrush
"Twisty plotting, breakneck pacing and intriguing characterisation add up to an exciting, single-sitting thrillerish treat."—The Guardian
"This is no ordinary whodunit…surprising and relevant."—USA Today
“An addictive, devour-in-one-sitting thriller with so many twists and turns you'll be wondering until the very end: Who really killed Simon?”—Kara Thomas, author of The Darkest Corners and Little Monsters
★"[As] McManus's intense mystery unfolds...each character becomes more complex and nuanced, adding richness and depth to the suspense." —VOYA, Starred Review
"This fast-paced blend of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and classic John Hughes will leave readers racing to the finish as the try to unravel the mystery on their own."—Kirkus Reviews
"A smart, twisted, and unpredictable YA mystery that will have readers guessing until the very end."—SLJ
"An engaging, enticing look at the pressures of high school and the things that cause a person to lose control."—Booklist
"Readers will have a hard time putting this clever page-turner down."-BookPage.com
About the Author
Karen M. McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in journalism from Northeastern University. When she isn’t working or writing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, McManus loves to travel with her son. The New York Times bestseller One of Us Is Lying is her debut novel. To learn more about her, go to her website, karenmcmanus.com, or follow @writerkmc on Twitter.
Read an Excerpt
Monday, September 24, 2:55 p.m.
A sex tape. A pregnancy scare. Two cheating scandals. And that’s just this week’s update. If all you knew of Bayview High was Simon Kelleher’s gossip app, you’d wonder how anyone found time to go to class.
“Old news, Bronwyn,” says a voice over my shoulder. “Wait till you see tomorrow’s post.”
Damn. I hate getting caught reading About That, especially by its creator. I lower my phone and slam my locker shut. “Whose lives are you ruining next, Simon?”
Simon falls into step beside me as I move against the flow of students heading for the exit. “It’s a public service,” he says with a dismissive wave. “You tutor Reggie Crawley, don’t you? Wouldn’t you rather know he has a camera in his bedroom?”
I don’t bother answering. Me getting anywhere near the bedroom of perpetual stoner Reggie Crawley is about as likely as Simon growing a conscience.
“Anyway, they bring it on themselves. If people didn’t lie and cheat, I’d be out of business.” Simon’s cold blue eyes take in my lengthening strides. “Where are you rushing off to? Covering yourself in extracurricular glory?”
I wish. As if to taunt me, an alert crosses my phone: Mathlete practice, 3 p.m., Epoch Coffee. Followed by a text from one of my teammates: Evan’s here.
Of course he is. The cute Mathleteless of an oxymoron than you might thinkseems to only ever show up when I can’t.
“Not exactly,” I say. As a general rule, and especially lately, I try to give Simon as little information as possible. We push through green metal doors to the back stairwell, a dividing line between the dinginess of the original Bayview High and its bright, airy new wing. Every year more wealthy families get priced out of San Diego and come fifteen miles east to Bayview, expecting that their tax dollars will buy them a nicer school experience than popcorn ceilings and scarred linoleum.
Simon’s still on my heels when I reach Mr. Avery’s lab on the third floor, and I half turn with my arms crossed. “Don’t you have someplace to be?”
“Yeah. Detention,” Simon says, and waits for me to keep walking. When I grasp the knob instead, he bursts out laughing. “You’re kidding me. You too? What’s your crime?”
“I’m wrongfully accused,” I mutter, and yank the door open. Three other students are already seated, and I pause to take them in. Not the group I would have predicted. Except one.
Nate Macauley tips his chair back and smirks at me. “You make a wrong turn? This is detention, not student council.”
He should know. Nate’s been in trouble since fifth grade, which is right around the time we last spoke. The gossip mill tells me he’s on probation with Bayview’s finest for . . . something. It might be a DUI; it might be drug dealing. He’s a notorious supplier, but my knowledge is purely theoretical.
“Save the commentary.” Mr. Avery checks something off on a clipboard and closes the door behind Simon. High arched windows lining the back wall send triangles of afternoon sun splashing across the floor, and faint sounds of football practice float from the field behind the parking lot below.
I take a seat as Cooper Clay, who’s palming a crumpled piece of paper like a baseball, whispers “Heads up, Addy” and tosses it toward the girl across from him. Addy Prentiss blinks, smiles uncertainly, and lets the ball drop to the floor.
The classroom clock inches toward three, and I follow its progress with a helpless feeling of injustice. I shouldn’t even be here. I should be at Epoch Coffee, flirting awkwardly with Evan Neiman over differential equations.
Mr. Avery is a give-detention-first, ask-questions-never kind of guy, but maybe there’s still time to change his mind. I clear my throat and start to raise my hand until I notice Nate’s smirk broadening. “Mr. Avery, that wasn’t my phone you found. I don’t know how it got into my bag. This is mine,” I say, brandishing my iPhone in its melon-striped case.
Honestly, you’d have to be clueless to bring a phone to Mr. Avery’s lab. He has a strict no-phone policy and spends the first ten minutes of every class rooting through backpacks like he’s head of airline security and we’re all on the watch list. My phone was in my locker, like always.
“You too?” Addy turns to me so quickly, her blond shampoo-ad hair swirls around her shoulders. She must have been surgically removed from her boyfriend in order to show up alone. “That wasn’t my phone either.”
“Me three,” Cooper chimes in. His Southern accent makes it sound like thray. He and Addy exchange surprised looks, and I wonder how this is news to them when they’re part of the same clique. Maybe überpopular people have better things to talk about than unfair detentions.
“Somebody punked us!” Simon leans forward with his elbows on the desk, looking spring-loaded and ready to pounce on fresh gossip. His gaze darts over all four of us, clustered in the middle of the otherwise empty classroom, before settling on Nate. “Why would anybody want to trap a bunch of students with mostly spotless records in detention? Seems like the sort of thing that, oh, I don’t know, a guy who’s here all the time might do for fun.”
I look at Nate, but can’t picture it. Rigging detention sounds like work, and everything about Natefrom his messy dark hair to his ratty leather jacketscreams Can’t be bothered. Or yawns it, maybe. He meets my eyes but doesn’t say a word, just tips his chair back even farther. Another millimeter and he’ll fall right over.
Cooper sits up straighter, a frown crossing his Captain America face. “Hang on. I thought this was just a mix-up, but if the same thing happened to all of us, it’s somebody’s stupid idea of a prank. And I’m missing baseball practice because of it.” He says it like he’s a heart surgeon being detained from a lifesaving operation.
Mr. Avery rolls his eyes. “Save the conspiracy theories for another teacher. I’m not buying it. You all know the rules against bringing phones to class, and you broke them.” He gives Simon an especially sour glance. Teachers know About That exists, but there’s not much they can do to stop it. Simon only uses initials to identify people and never talks openly about school. “Now listen up. You’re here until four. I want each of you to write a five-hundred-word essay on how technology is ruining American high schools. Anyone who can’t follow the rules gets another detention tomorrow.”
“What do we write with?” Addy asks. “There aren’t any computers here.” Most classrooms have Chromebooks, but Mr. Avery, who looks like he should have retired a decade ago, is a holdout.
Mr. Avery crosses to Addy’s desk and taps the corner of a lined yellow notepad. We all have one. “Explore the magic of longhand writing. It’s a lost art.”
Addy’s pretty, heart-shaped face is a mask of confusion. “But how do we know when we’ve reached five hundred words?”
“Count,” Mr. Avery replies. His eyes drop to the phone I’m still holding. “And hand that over, Miss Rojas.”
“Doesn’t the fact that you’re confiscating my phone twice give you pause? Who has two phones?” I ask. Nate grins, so quick I almost miss it. “Seriously, Mr. Avery, somebody was playing a joke on us.”
Mr. Avery’s snowy mustache twitches in annoyance, and he extends his hand with a beckoning motion. “Phone, Miss Rojas. Unless you want a return visit.” I give it over with a sigh as he looks disapprovingly at the others. “The phones I took from the rest of you earlier are in my desk. You’ll get them back after detention.” Addy and Cooper exchange amused glances, probably because their actual phones are safe in their backpacks.
Mr. Avery tosses my phone into a drawer and sits behind the teacher’s desk, opening a book as he prepares to ignore us for the next hour. I pull out a pen, tap it against my yellow notepad, and contemplate the assignment. Does Mr. Avery really believe technology is ruining schools? That’s a pretty sweeping statement to make over a few contraband phones. Maybe it’s a trap and he’s looking for us to contradict him instead of agree.
I glance at Nate, who’s bent over his notepad writing computers suck over and over in block letters.
It’s possible I’m overthinking this.
Monday, September 24, 3:05 p.m.
My hand hurts within minutes. It’s pathetic, I guess, but I can’t remember the last time I wrote anything longhand. Plus I’m using my right hand, which never feels natural no matter how many years I’ve done it. My father insisted I learn to write right-handed in second grade after he first saw me pitch. Your left arm’s gold, he told me. Don’t waste it on crap that don’t matter. Which is anything but pitching as far as he’s concerned.
That was when he started calling me Cooperstown, like the baseball hall of fame. Nothing like putting a little pressure on an eight-year-old.
Simon reaches for his backpack and roots around, unzipping every section. He hoists it onto his lap and peers inside. “Where the hell’s my water bottle?”
“No talking, Mr. Kelleher,” Mr. Avery says without looking up.
“I know, butmy water bottle’s missing. And I’m thirsty.”
Mr. Avery points toward the sink at the back of the room, its counter crowded with beakers and petri dishes. “Get yourself a drink. Quietly.”
Simon gets up and grabs a cup from a stack on the counter, filling it with water from the tap. He heads back to his seat and puts the cup on his desk, but seems distracted by Nate’s methodical writing. “Dude,” he says, kicking his sneaker against the leg of Nate’s desk. “Seriously. Did you put those phones in our backpacks to mess with us?”
Now Mr. Avery looks up, frowning. “I said quietly, Mr. Kelleher.”
Nate leans back and crosses his arms. “Why would I do that?”
Simon shrugs. “Why do you do anything? So you’ll have company for whatever your screw-up of the day was?”
“One more word out of either of you and it’s detention tomorrow,” Mr. Avery warns.
Simon opens his mouth anyway, but before he can speak there’s the sound of tires squealing and then the crash of two cars hitting each other. Addy gasps and I brace myself against my desk like somebody just rear-ended me. Nate, who looks glad for the interruption, is the first on his feet toward the window. “Who gets into a fender bender in the school parking lot?” he asks.
Bronwyn looks at Mr. Avery like she’s asking for permission, and when he gets up from his desk she heads for the window as well. Addy follows her, and I finally unfold myself from my seat. Might as well see what’s going on. I lean against the ledge to look outside, and Simon comes up beside me with a disparaging laugh as he surveys the scene below.
Two cars, an old red one and a nondescript gray one, are smashed into each other at a right angle. We all stare at them in silence until Mr. Avery lets out an exasperated sigh. “I’d better make sure no one was hurt.” He runs his eyes over all of us and zeroes in on Bronwyn as the most responsible of the bunch. “Miss Rojas, keep this room contained until I get back.”
“Okay,” Bronwyn says, casting a nervous glance toward Nate. We stay at the window, watching the scene below, but before Mr. Avery or another teacher appears outside, both cars start their engines and drive out of the parking lot.
“Well, that was anticlimactic,” Simon says. He heads back to his desk and picks up his cup, but instead of sitting he wanders to the front of the room and scans the periodic table of elements poster. He leans out into the hallway like he’s about to leave, but then he turns and raises his cup like he’s toasting us. “Anyone else want some water?”
“I do,” Addy says, slipping into her chair.
“Get it yourself, princess.” Simon smirks. Addy rolls her eyes and stays put while Simon leans against Mr. Avery’s desk. “Literally, huh? What’ll you do with yourself now that homecoming’s over? Big gap between now and senior prom.”
Addy looks at me without answering. I don’t blame her. Simon’s train of thought almost never goes anywhere good when it comes to our friends. He acts like he’s above caring whether he’s popular, but he was pretty smug when he wound up on the junior prom court last spring. I’m still not sure how he pulled that off, unless he traded keeping secrets for votes.
Simon was nowhere to be found on homecoming court last week, though. I was voted king, so maybe I’m next on his list to harass, or whatever the hell he’s doing.
“What’s your point, Simon?” I ask, taking a seat next to Addy. Addy and I aren’t close, exactly, but I kind of feel protective of her. She’s been dating my best friend since freshman year, and she’s a sweet girl. Also not the kind of person who knows how to stand up to a guy like Simon who just won’t quit.
“She’s a princess and you’re a jock,” he says. He thrusts his chin toward Bronwyn, then at Nate. “And you’re a brain. And you’re a criminal. You’re all walking teen-movie stereotypes.”
“What about you?” Bronwyn asks. She’s been hovering near the window, but now goes to her desk and perches on top of it. She crosses her legs and pulls her dark ponytail over one shoulder. Something about her is cuter this year. New glasses, maybe? Longer hair? All of a sudden, she’s kind of working this sexy-nerd thing.
“I’m the omniscient narrator,” Simon says.
Bronwyn’s brows rise above her black frames. “There’s no such thing in teen movies.”
“Ah, but Bronwyn.” Simon winks and chugs his water in one long gulp. “There is such a thing in life.”
He says it like a threat, and I wonder if he’s got something on Bronwyn for that stupid app of his. I hate that thing. Almost all my friends have been on it at one point or another, and sometimes it causes real problems. My buddy Luis and his girlfriend broke up because of something Simon wrote. Though it was a true story about Luis hooking up with his girlfriend’s cousin. But still. That stuff doesn’t have to be published. Hallway gossip is bad enough.
And if I’m being honest, I’m pretty freaked at what Simon could write about me if he put his mind to it.
Simon holds his cup up, grimacing. “This tastes like crap.” He drops the cup, and I roll my eyes at his attempt at drama. Even when he falls to the floor, I still think he’s messing around. But then the wheezing starts.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The suspence and mystery were addictive. I seriouly couldn't put the book down and The Ending just has me wanting more. Amazing craftsmanship and beautiful plot. It was the best book ive read yet.
When it comes to books, I tend to be very picky based on the fact that I usually don't like to read. I ordered this book online thinking it might be an okay book to pass time with since I'm always at home doing nothing, but once I got it I couldn't stop reading. Shockingly, I read the whole book in a day, that's how good it is. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery, and trust me when I say that it will leave you in SHOCK. I'm just waiting on a movie to come out because I'd watch that for sure. Overall, it's the best book I've read in years and I would read it more then once.
One Of Us Is Lying is about 5 teenagers who find themselves in detention after someone pulled a cell phone prank on them. Random cell phones that didn’t belong to them were found in their backpacks and nobody knew why. Simon, the guy who runs a popular gossip site at school, takes a drink from a cup of water and dies. The story was sooo incredibly intriguing right from the start. The whole detention scene takes place in the first few pages/chapters and it immediately makes you curious and take guesses who could have killed Simon. It definitely got me hooked. I also took a liking to the 4 main characters right from the start. We experience the story from the perspectives of the 4 other students who were at detention with Simon aka the “suspects” of Simon’s murder. The four characters are deliberately portrayed as your stereotypical high school students – the jock, the princess, the brain and the criminal. But they were still such likable characters and I found myself rooting for each of them to get out of the whole murder mess safely! Throughout the story, there were a lot of twists and turns, new secrets and truths being revealed and unravelled and it made the whole thing very exciting! I never really knew who to suspect but I do have to say I had one or two suspicions (which also happened to be right) but that totally didn’t make this any less exciting! I’m very impressed by this debut novel like I seriously can't believe that this is a debut because it's so good! I definitely want to read more of McManus’ work! A wonderful 5 star read that I would definitely recommend! *I received a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way!*
The title alone cought my attention and when I read the sample I knew I had to buy it. I finished the book in a matter of two days I could not put it down for the life of me. Especially when I got to the twist I was thrown so off guard I actually dropped my nook with my mouth hanging open. Meanwhile thought the whole book I was playing defective trying to figure out who killed Simone. I truly enjoyed this book I can't wait to read what else this author has in store.
Thia book had me hooked within the first few pages! I never wanted to put it down and was sitting on the edge of my seat towards the end. It is definutely a must read summer book. I can't wait to read more from this arthur.
One of the best plots and twist in a book that I have read in awhile! I suspected the twist but there are so many options that i flipped flopped throughtout reading the book. Great summer read!
This is a book that you can't put down.
Awesome! Had me hooked and also had lots of twist and turns
It w as one f the best book I've ever read
When five students at Bayview High walk into detention but just four of them walk out of it alive, all the evidence points out that one of these four students murdered Simon, if not the four of them, since they had very revealing secrets to protect from being posted the morning after the murder in the app that Simon Kelleher managed. Since that point on, Bronwyn Rojas, Addy Prentiss, Nate Macauley, and Cooper Clay have to endure the repercussions of being accused of murder, but the thing is… they all claim to be innocent in front of the police. However, the evidence is very clear, and the police is convinced that one of them is Simon’s assassin. A book that has plenty of enigma and changes in plot, it will make you wonder day and night who really killed Simon after all, and it will make you change your murder theories from day to day that you will not be able to stop reading until you find out the real truth, which believe me… it will leave you absolutely shocked. A mix of teen drama and police mystery, I highly recommend this book to fans of TV shows like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and fans of electrifying suspenseful books. Its narration in first person, based on the whole panorama of the “Bayview Four,” including their feelings, side of the story, and the incredible secrets and storylines behind them will make you act like a detective to try to solve the homicide, just like in these two shows. Besides this feature of One Of Us is Lying, the novel will also make very intriguing and profound connections between the characters in a Breakfast Club kind of style that will be loved by every teen romance reader and will be a pivotal and absorbing facet throughout the narration of the mystery. Finally, I also recommend this book to people who are trying to begin getting into the magnificent world of reading, as it was my case, because of the way the book captures the reader with the characters and the plot, and the great absorption that you experience while reading. These are some of the components that will make a beginner reader want to read more books after reading One Of Us is Lying. I had an amazing time reading this book and I’m looking forward to seeing what this novel brings up next on the TV show that is being planned by E! entertainment!
3.75/4.0 STARS I thought the author did a great job of keeping the reader engaged as well as building well developed characters, creating suspicion on each character, and ending each chapter with a hint of wonder. This story grabs you from chapter one and will roller coaster you until the end.
I loved it
Read it by chance and spent my weekend solving the mystery with them.
This book was great, it wasn't too predictable. I loved every moment
Easy to read. I never wanted to put it down.
Literally made my heart race crazy ending too
I could NOT wait to read more!GREAT BOOK! and Take a Barnes $10 Off coupons code from bookscoupons.com
A real ‘who-done-it’ with a high school setting, wherein various aspects of student life, love, dating, shaming, grades, popularity, drugs, hook-ups, etc. have an impact on the investigation. This was amazingly quite good and not graphic, so younger children can read it, though they may not get the nuances of the legal facets. Adult mystery readers will enjoy, but since the target audience is less sophisticated, it may be more engaging as a study of current high school student angst and interactions. Recommended.
Book is very good. You will not let go of it. Mystery genre. Book highly recommended!
Very exiting! Murder mystery meets teen drama.
I was so excited when I saw this book on my Libby shelf. I haven’t read a mystery story in such a long time, so it was nice to read something out of the ordinary. What drew me to this book was how each point of view had a different narrator. I like listening to single-narrator stories, but by the end, they can get monotonous. Within the audiobook, there was a different narrator for each point of view; the different voices added another layer to the characters and made the story as a whole feel grounded in reality. As for the story itself, I enjoyed it so much I started looking for an excuse to listen to it. I just HAD to know what was happening next. I felt like there was something to hook me in every chapter, and if it were a physical book, I wouldn’t have been able to put it down. The felt the farther I got into the story, the more there was to uncover. As soon as I thought I had all the clues laid out in front of me, BAM, there was another secret revealed. This book was an onion; there were so many layers to peel back. One of the things I always look for in a book is its relatability. If I can connect with a book, I’m more likely to enjoy it. Bronwyn was the key for me in this story. As a high school senior who focuses on doing the best I can in my schoolwork and extracurriculars, I found myself connecting with her situation (though I’ve never cheated in a class). She stood out to me at the very beginning, and I definitely experienced the story through her the most. The only thing keeping this book from being a five-star read were the few cliche elements in the story. It isn’t that I am 100% against cliches (I actually like them most of the time), but I felt there were a few cliche elements overdone in this book. They didn’t take away from the story at all; I just think they are what kept this book off my all-time favorites list.
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus definitely feels like the Breakfast Club in the beginning, and it kind of keeps that essence through he whole story as these people from different cliques get to know each other through unfortunate circumstances. I thought I knew who the killer was from the beginning, but it wasn't until about half way through that I figured it out. Of course, I still wasn't 100% sure, because you just never know, but it was the only thing that made sense to me. Guilty or not guilty, I liked how the characters interacted and coordinated amongst themselves. It felt believable to me. This story was interesting and kept my attention all the way through.
Started off really promising, but then i figured it out before i wa halfway through the book. Not a bad read just predictable.