One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

One of Us Is Lying follows a multiple point of view murder mystery centered around five students that attend detention. Only four get out alive. The victim, known for exposing everyone's darkest secrets through a gossip app, has plenty of enemies, but who has the biggest motive? Based loosely on The Breakfast Club, the four contrasting personalities begin to figure out what really went down in the classroom that day in order to clear their names.

Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Ideal for Fans of: Pretty Little Liars, Riverdale, Gossip Girl
Themes: Betrayal, Family, Social Stereotypes 
POV: Multiple

Upon hearing this synopsis, I freaked the hell out. A Geek, a Jock, a Criminal and a Princess, all caught up in a murder investigation? Let me tell you, this hits the jackpot. My immediate reaction after finishing it was slightly unstable and I say that with pride.  
First of all, it is imperial that I state outright - I rarely read standalones. The key reason for this, is that I fall deeply in love with the characters and story and then that love is ripped away after a few hundred pages. One of Us Is Lying fits perfectly into this scenario. Yet, I never would have detested myself more if I had not read this book.

This is a very intricate story, the twists are cleverly plotted out and the character growth is off the charts. Standalone books often lack character development, as it is difficult for a character to learn from their mistakes in a single novel, yet somehow McManus masters this perfectly. 

At first instance, we are exposed to the characters acting in line with their stereotypes, such as Addy 'The Princess' being perceived as shallow and hopelessly in love with her sports star boyfriend and Nate 'The Criminal' who is immediately viewed as the murderer due to his reputation. I need not tell you how misconceptions about someone can have an impact on their sense of identity. Reading about these four individuals, each with a different label attached to them, is very relatable to a lot of young adults and it's empowering how they all grow into themselves by the end.

A great deal of the story focuses on family and friendship and what it is like to be put into the limelight. Each character has a respective side plot as they deal with being questioned by the police and their lawyers as well as meeting their parents' expectations. It becomes apparent how a persons upbringing can influence their reactions to various situations and this is explored in a lot of detail.

Don't get me wrong there is plenty of investigating and betrayal that keep this plot CRAZY, despite the other themes playing a key role. The gossip app continues to provide clues as to what really went down that fateful day; I began to question my sanity after being paranoid about all the characters by the end. Which was hard because I fell in love with one of them within a few chapters.

Talking of romance, there are vast opportunities for emotional breakdowns due to the heartbreaking scenes that revolved around love interests. Seriously believe me when I say, you will become so invested in everyone's relationships, it is as if we have known these characters for several books. 

One Of Us Is Lying is definitely a debut to look out for, I haven't stayed so attentive in a book for a while.

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