Trina (Between Chapters)'s Reviews > One of Us Is Lying

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
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did not like it
bookshelves: 2017, contemporary, mystery, standalones, young-adult, audiobooks

Content warning: Harmful representation of sexuality and mental illness.

This book was such a disappointment because I was REALLY enjoying it up until the last 3rd or so. I seriously thought this would be a 4 or 5 star read. However, upon finishing, I strongly believe that this book should not have been published as is. It's ignorant and damaging.

Aside from the parts that I found harmful, the writing was very trope heavy and relied on too many stereotypes for character development. I didn't think there was anything new here. The one thing I did like about the book is that McManus did build suspense well and kept me guessing. She casts suspicion on so many characters that you start questioning everything. This would have been a good mystery if it hadn't used people's identities for shock value. This is othering. These are some 90s plot twists that I'm honestly surprised flew by a publishing team in 2017.

I'm going to talk about these things in depth under the spoiler tag below because I know everyone has a different threshold for what they consider to be spoilery. I personally don't think these things should be written as spoilers, but that's how this book treats them so it's how I'm treating this review.

(view spoiler)

For those who may be hurt by the mishandling of sexuality or mental illness, I would suggest being cautious of this book. If you're a reader who is oblivious to or unhurt by bad rep, you'll probably enjoy this book going by all the shining reviews it has.

Other things of note:
-Bronwyn is biracial (white & Colombian).
-Addy's POV is very shallow and portrays a terrible relationship and girl drama. (But she has a good growth arc.)
-The drug-dealing bad boy trope is heavy.
-The audiobook narrators were great at their jobs.
-If you loved the book, that's great. I didn't, and this was why.
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Reading Progress

January 18, 2017 – Shelved
January 18, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
June 24, 2017 – Started Reading
June 24, 2017 –
page 0
0.0% "This is next up in my audiobook queue."
June 27, 2017 –
25.0%
June 28, 2017 –
50.0%
June 29, 2017 –
90.0% "Oh no. No no no. The direction this took is completely ruining anything that was good about the book."
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: mystery
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: standalones
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
June 30, 2017 – Finished Reading
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: audiobooks

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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Stephanie (ShyNotebooks) lol OH NO. i was just going to update my status in a positive way about this book! i can't wait for your review then.


Trina (Between Chapters) Stephanie wrote: "lol OH NO. i was just going to update my status in a positive way about this book! i can't wait for your review then."

I think you're still at the point where I was feeling positive about it too, so no worries!


message 3: by arielle (new)

arielle That's too bad, I was really interested in reading this. But I have enough books on my TBR I'm not going to give this one the time of day.


Hannah I really appreciate this review! I had very similar problems with this book, especially as someone who identifies as a lesbian. My identity isn't a plot twist, no one's should be. I think this book could have been a fun mystery (because I'll admit I really didn't see the ending coming until closer to the end) but all of the damaging tropes and "twists" ruined it.


Trina (Between Chapters) Hannah wrote: "I really appreciate this review! I had very similar problems with this book, especially as someone who identifies as a lesbian. My identity isn't a plot twist, no one's should be. I think this book..."

This book was even more of a disappointment because you're right, it could've been SO good! I wish we'd had (view spoiler) because that would've been so much more shocking and not harmful. Uggggh, when good books go bad.


Taasia (libraepaintspages) oh no, I was really hoping you'd like this book! however, i really appreciate your review for giving me a different perspectics on a book I enjoyed


message 7: by Krista (new)

Krista I appreciate this review, thank you. I read your review before I was just about to purchase. I am glad I did! Thank you


message 8: by Hayli (last edited Oct 27, 2017 11:38PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Hayli Oh wow. Yeah, that mental illness rep sounds really... yikes. I kind of suspected how Simon died and I'm surprised to hear that's what actually happened. And I hate how that is also used as a shock factor.
The main reason for me changing my mind about this book is because of the bs "plot twist". I will not read or support a book that treats (view spoiler) as a fun little shocker for the plot.
Wonderful review! <3


Annie AnniesBooks / AnniesJournals That’s curious, I didn’t feel like Cooper being gay was a plot twist at all it just gave him more motive for the police, but I was throughout the whole book convinced it was none of the 4 and first I thought it was the teacher then meave then jake 😅 It’s something that is very possible hearing about all these depressive people who have driven their cars into crowds lately. I never felt like the mental illness was villainous at all and I just treated it as a thriller. Most killers have mental health problems too and going by that every crime show in Germany should be harmful 🤔🤔


Trina (Between Chapters) Annie wrote: "That’s curious, I didn’t feel like Cooper being gay was a plot twist at all it just gave him more motive for the police, but I was throughout the whole book convinced it was none of the 4 and first..."

Saying that most killers have mental health issues is perpetuating the stigma that having mental illness makes a person bad or evil. Depression is incredibly common and not that harmful! But you tell someone you have depression and they look at you funny and treat you differently thanks to how mental illness is treated in media. For instance, when od you ever hear headlines like "Depressed man donates hundreds to charity and saves lives!" You don't. Mental illness only becomes "interesting" if it's tied to something terrible. And yet the happy stories are far more common. My review on the mental illness rep is from personal experience. You my not have seen it, but I deal with the stigmas and villainizations in my life, so I'm familiar with them.


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