Author: Karen M. Mcmanus
Buy: Amazon US
I’m in two minds with this book. It both enforced and defies traditional teen stereotypes in a way which I’m not sure I’m comfortable with. It was as if each character was a 2-Dimensional trope – one side completely stereotypical, the other the total opposite. Usually, I wouldn’t have a problem with defying the norm (in fact, I’d celebrate it), but I felt like the characters had no depth to them besides these points. Exhibit A: Addy. I’m the perfect princess meets I cheated on my boyfriend. Exhibit B: Nate. I’m a criminal meets I’m a good guy. Exhibit C: Cooper. I’m a jock meets I’m gay. Exhibit D: Bronwyn. I’m a straight-A student meets I cheated on a test. I wish that there was more to these characters!!
However, I didn’t hate the book. There were moments that I adored, such as Bronwyn and Nate’s epilogue, the discovery of Kris being a boy, and the initial death scene. I enjoyed how the author fed us subtle clues and information. I liked the POV setup – in 1st person from 4 different perspectives but with clear definition of who was narrating (looking at you 5th Wave). There were a lot of things that this novel did right.
I’m split about the ending, too. The novel is called One Of Us Is Lying and WOW none of them were lying. But I did enjoy the shock of the plot twist, and it was well-executed (even if a little anticlimactic).
The final thing I want to talk about is Simon’s suicide. I felt like it was a bit of an afterthought, as if it were a side-effect if his death and not the cause of it. The whole way it was addressed concerns me. For people with suicidal ideations due to bullying or other reasons concerning there peers, Simon’s plan may be considered an option. Once again, suicide is being advertised as a revenge plot (looking at you 13 Reasons Why). It upsets and angers me, suicide is a tragedy which needs to be dealt with, not disfigured until it’s a way to get you attention. Not only does this encourage the act of causing yourself death, but it damages the view of suicide and suicide victims. The majority of suicide victims didn’t do it ‘for the attention’ for god’s sake – but that’s what the media is spreading.
So, there you have it. There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this novel, but it was the content that I disagreed with.