Number 25 for the year is One of is Lying by Karen M. McManus. This was an impulse amazon purchase after seeing a lot about it online and then having a friend recommended it to me, as it’s not my usual kind of book.
This book is a murder mystery meets high school drama, it has all the classic characters for the genre: a jock, an airhead blonde, a nerd and a drug dealing dropout. Except in this instance, they are all just a little bit more nuanced than that, which I really enjoyed. They all have really good character development during the course of the book but none of it feels forced.
The main characters are all brought together by a detention after everyone is mysteriously found with cell phones on them by a notoriously strict teacher, in this detention, one of their classmates dies from anaphylactic shock in suspicious circumstances. The class mate who passes away is connected to each of them in some way due to a gossip and blog he ran, in which all of them featured or were due to feature in some unpublished posts that are gradually posted by an unknown person, incriminating each of them further as the investigation continues. This traumatic incident and the unfolding investigation has far reaching consequences for the group and as each of them is unfairly accused by the police, the group, spearheaded by the nerdy character, begin to investigate it themselves.
I will be honest and say that I figured out the ending about half way through but I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. A well written twist shouldn’t completely surprise a reader like the author has pulled an utterly irrelevant ending out of their arse. I really enjoyed the way each character was quite the archetypal version of that persona. The nerd has a big heart, wicked sense of humour and soft spot for the bad boy. The air head turns out to be a bad ass and not really that much of an airhead, more behaving in a way that kept her safe in a controlling in relationship. The bad boy, is a big softy just trying to make it through his horrible home life until he can escape at 18. Plus, the flirty banter between him and the nerdy girl is pure gold and was one of the things I enjoyed most. The jock also has a bit more to him but I can’t describe that without doing a major spoiler so you’ll just have to read it!
So yeah, definitely worth a read but it’s not necessarily one I will find myself re-reading again. However, I do intend to buy the second one at some point.
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