One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I decided that every-other book I read this summer would be a young adult book in hopes of having more variety of books to recommend to my students. This is a young adult book, but the key word is "adult." The students I teach are really too young for this one.
One of Us is Lying reminded me a little bit of The Breakfast Club. Five kids are in after school detention: A jock, a brainiac, a popular kid, a criminal, and an outsider, along with a teacher who doesn't really want to be there at all. However, that's where the similarity ends. During detention, one of the students is murdered, presumably by someone in the room.
All four students are suspects, and they all have secrets that they don't want to get out. They all have something to lose. But which one has the most to lose?
McManus does a great job characterizing each person so they are not just caricatures or stereotypes, but multi-layered and dynamic characters. The plot is well-written, and every event adds to the plot and moves it forward. It's very clever and suspenseful. You may figure out what happened, or at least part of it, but you won't be sure until almost the very end, and there are some twists that will surprise you. I was not disappointed in this book!
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