My Rating: ★★★★★ 5 Stars
Debut Novel you say? Why yes!
The author seems to be a well-established writer with a few published novels out there already. But I digress; let’s get into the review of the actual book and not how surprised I am by the quality of the writing.
One of Us Is Lying has a brilliant plot with enough twists to make the ride a dizzy journey.
The “Bayview Four”, as individuals, were the quintessential, most popular cliques found in any given high school, much like we’ve seen in the Breakfast Club.
We had the jock, the princess, the straight ‘A’ student and the delinquent; and as the author said, One of Us is Lying was initially inspired by The Breakfast Club.
The characters were, in no way, superficial. They all had depth and dark secrets which influenced their actions. I appreciated how they weren’t one-dimensional and how the author put time into creating solid characters.
The peripheral characters were also interesting and had me wondering if they were involved in the death of the victim. I found myself taking notes and trying to solve the mystery before the big reveal, which I kind of did.
The relationship between the characters genuinely grew. It didn’t feel forced even though the characters were, in a sense, forced to gravitate toward each other because of the situation they were in.
I could feel when things started changing and when they began getting closer, not just because they were all murder suspects, but because they realized that they did have something else in common.
Naturally, I felt more of a connection toward Bronwyn, it could be because she was the first character’s POV which showed up, or it could be that I identified with her the most. In turn, I also felt a connection toward Nate, and thus, their relationship and POV held my attention more than the others. I ended up looking forward to reading their stories and seeing their relationship grow.
There was an underlying theme which I won't mention which becomes quite prominent toward the end. The author was brilliant and creative in the way she presented this theme, yet it was heartbreaking in its truth. Social media plays such a great part in our lives these days and can connect us to others who share our interests, all the good, as well as the destructive interests that we may have; and teenagers are so easily influenced by others, especially when they seek acceptance from others. I was angry at a peripheral character in particular, knowing that she could have prevented something from happening if only she had spoken to someone.
I know this was just a fictional book but it presented us with a sad reality that needs to be addressed. Some teenagers/Young adults around the world do not seem to fully understand the severity of situations and thus consequences occur which cannot be reversed (in many cases).
My wish is that if this book is read by a high school student, or a college student who is experiencing something similar to what went on in the book that he/she will do something, speak up, get help.
I really did enjoy this book and I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
Digital Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.