Some women collect shoes or purses, and others collect things like makeup and nail polish.  Me, I collect books.  My house is overflowing with books on every shelf and every surface, but I just can’t seem to say no to a book that looks good.   And when my mother-in-law is with me, it’s even worse.  We walk into a Barnes & Noble store and she goes straight for the hand baskets.  “Fill it up,” she says more often than not.  And so I do.  Every time.

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f4d08b_8b692ef58c504eb68379e46e20aabc65~mv2My last B&N run came in late May when I picked up this amazing stack of books you see above. Some of the books were on my list, some were titles I’d at least heard of, and at least one of them was picked up solely because the title jumped out at me.  I mean, who can resist a book entitled, One of Us is Lying?  I didn’t even have to read the synopsis on the back.  I picked it up and placed it in my carrying cart without a second thought. I took a gamble — a gamble I’ve taken a few times and so far has always paid off.  And once again, my instincts were spot-on.

First let me say that I loved this book. The story was compelling, the characters were interesting, the mystery kept me turning the pages, and the writing was top-notch. And when I turned the last page, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So what was the premise? Very simple, yet very compelling:  Five students are given detention, but before the hour is over, one of them is dead. Is it the perfectly popular cheerleader? Or the 4.0 Yale-bound brainiac?  Maybe it’s the only delinquent in the room?  Or could it be the Division I, college scholarship bound pitcher on the baseball team? Nobody knows, but they all have one thing in common:  the dead kid had a secret on each of them and those secrets are about to come out.

In Breakfast-Club like fashion, the kids know each other but none are particularly close friends.  But before the killer is found, they’ll find in each other true friendship and a lifelong connection.

Seriously — this was a wonderful read.  It kept me on the edge of my seat and, though the identity of the killer floated through my list of suspects fairly early in the book, there were so many twists and turns that I found myself shocked by the ending.

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus is a great summer read that will appeal to both teens and adults, and it’s one of the best book of any genre I’ve read in a while.


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