Author(s): Karen M. McManus
On Thursday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. On Thursday, he died. But on Friday, he'd planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they just the perfect patsies for a killer who's still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
When Simon, creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app, convulses and dies an hour into detention, it's not long before suspicion falls on the four students who were in the room with him. They are Bronwyn, Yale-bound and who never breaks a rule, Addy, the pretty and popular homecoming princess, Nate, the bad boy who is already on probation for dealing drugs and Cooper, the all-star baseball pitcher. Each has his or her own secrets to hide and the despicable Simon had planned to reveal the lurid details the day after his death.
But are these four witnesses-turned-murder-suspects just scapegoats for a killer who is still on the loose? Someone set them up for the detention and someone is still posting scandalous titbits. Who has the most to hide?
This is a fabulous whodunnit with diverse characters you really care about. Each of the four has more depth than the "walking teen movie stereotypes" label with which Simon branded them and, as they all narrate alternate chapters, we get a well-rounded overview of their perspectives. Unlikely friendships form, romance blooms and preconceived opinions change.
McManus’ debut is a nod to the plot of the movie 'The Breakfast Club', but she manages to also incorporate realistic teenage issues, complex family relationships and humour into her pacy thriller. Fans of Sara Shepherd (The Amateurs, Pretty Little Liars) and Anne Cassidy (The Murder Notebooks series) will love it. Age 13+
Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive. For fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, this is the perfect high-school whodunit.
Karen M. McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in journalism from Northeastern University. When she isn't working or writing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, McManus loves to travel with her son. One of Us Is Lying is her debut novel. To learn more about her, go to her website, karenmcmanus.com, or follow @writerkmc on Twitter.