Monday, September 17, 2018

One of Us Is Lying

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus (2017), narrated by Kim Mai Guest, MacLeod Andrews, Shannon McManus, and Robbie Daymond

Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, Cooper, and Simon are all in detention. Outside the window, they all see an accident in the parking lot and their teacher leaves to make sure everyone is ok. While he's gone Simon gets a drink of water, and then falls to the floor, struggling to breathe. His EpiPen isn't in his backpack, and all the EpiPens are missing from the nurse's office. Simon dies. Everyone else in the room is now a suspect. But when the investigation tries to uncover who might want to kill Simon, it turns out he had a lot of enemies.

I was riveted from the beginning, and had so much fun trying to figure out who was behind Simon's death. I don't often try to figure out mysteries because I'm terrible at that, so usually I just go with it. But with this story I kept feeling like there were clues everywhere, if only I could just put them together. I knew there were red herrings because of all the kids who didn't like Simon or who had been hurt by him. He had made a name for himself by finding out people's secrets and revealing them through a app he designed which, as you can imagine, made him unpopular but notorious. And the four kids in detention with him definitely had secrets.

The book was narrated by the Bayview Four, as they came to be called, and getting to know them was one of my favorite aspects of the book. Bronwyn is a super-perfect excellent student. Addy is pretty much controlled by her boyfriend Jake, who she has been with for two years. Cooper is a baseball player hoping to turn the sport into a career. Nate has a very rough living situation and a bearded dragon named Stan. Because of their situation, of course they got to know each other during the investigation, supporting each other while trying to get to the bottom of what happened. Although I liked some of these characters more than others when the book began, I came to sympathize with all of them and really appreciated how they changed and grew during this experience.

I was a bit hesitant to listen to the audio version of this one, but there are four different narrators and they sound different enough that I had no trouble distinguishing them. Each chapter also begins with the name of the character who is narrating, so that helps. I got into the story right away and couldn't wait to get back to it each time. Altogether, a totally satisfying read that I'm sure I'll recommend over and over again.

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