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I pre-ordered One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus because right away it sounded like an episode out of Gossip Girl (and I'm telling you, I loved Gossip Girl!). I also liked that there were multiple narrators, which I haven't experienced too much in audiobooks. I'm glad I spent the credit on this book, and if you like teen drama or the "whodunit" type mysteries, you will enjoy it as well.
I couldn't decide whether to give it 4 or 5 stars. If I could, I'd have to settle on a 4.5 rating. I liked the fact that there were 4 narrators for 4 different main characters, but even though there were only 4 of them, it seemed like I got lost a bit keeping track of 'who was who' & 'who did what.' When you listen, make sure you pay attention to detail or you might get lost as other people are introduced into the story. I tried to multi-task while listening, and I found myself wondering what was going on in some places, mostly because my mind wasn't fully focusing on the story....learn from my mistake. I plan to listen to it again to get the full experience, even though I know how the murder of the 5th student happened. I liked it so much that I don't mind...plus I'm sure I'll come across a bunch of details that I overlooked the first time through. :-)
I thought both the writing and narration were great! It's told in alternating points of view by each of the 4 teens. Throughout the entire story I was thinking I knew who the murderer was. It wasn't until the last part that I realized I was totally off base. Wow! I didn't expect that one at all! It kept me guessing.
I recommend this audiobook to those who like mysteries, drama, and teen characters. It's not a thriller, nor is it an "edge of your seat" read; it is just a really good murder mystery that starts right away and ends 10+ hours later. It kept my interest throughout, and I felt like I got to know each of the kids well. It was a mix of Gossip Girl (TV show) and Clue (the movie & boardgame)....might be a bad comparision, but just know I used to LOVE them both! :-) I definitely think it is worth the credit, and I am looking forward to listening to it again in the future!
Thank you for reading my review. :-)
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Would you ever listen to anything by Karen M. McManus again?
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
At first, I wasn't in love with the voice acting. It took listening to a chapter or two before I realized what grated on me most. It has less to do with the voice actors and more to do with the director/producer of the audio book. The voice actors were fine, in fact, probably perfectly cast for the roles of the characters they played. What was unfair to them was that they were given the task of not only narrating their own character's voice but the other characters as well during their narratives. This meant that 4 different voice actors had to provide the voice of Nate. Four different actors had to cover Addy and so on. This would have been MUCH better had the producer/director allowed the actor who voiced his/her character to do so EACH TIME no matter which of the four characters were narrating. Continuity guys...
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
SLIGHT SPOILER ALERTJust disappointed...This is a classic example of an author who has a promising idea but not the ability to carry it out. Entrepreneur with the big idea but no engineering to bring it to life. <br/><br/>THE GOOD<br/>The premise of the book was exciting. I found it during it's pre release phase and, based on the brief description given, I was hooked and found myself thinking about it every few days up to its release. Obviously a nod to John Hughes with a twist, the idea was a strong. Five kids go into detention and only four leave - a modern setting for the age-old "who dunnit". <br/><br/>The storyline between characters was good. There were enough surprises and unique pieces added to each characters backstory to make them interesting and modern. There were plenty of details dropped to follow. These, however, were more like lines and less like red herrings. No idea challenged you to mentally chase it. You just added it to inventory of things to keep up with. <br/><br/>THE BAD<br/>The killer was pretty easy to guess - no real shock. <br/><br/>The killer's accomplice, however, was horribly written (the biggest disappointment for me) and COULD have been so much better. NOTHING in the story provided any background that would have led me to believe this character would have gone to the extremes written. Ridiculous. This character was so wrapped up in himself...he would NOT have done this. <br/><br/>In fact, it was so far fetched, that I initially thought it was an incredibly clever deception by the author. It was, however, a flat delivery and felt like a rushed exit. I had no feelings for the accomplice but no belief in his actions either.<br/><br/>The other thing that bugged me were the narratives. These are high school kids providing a narrative that vacillated between a believable "high school kid" and an omniscient narrative that just felt out of place. The kids provided too detailed and at times too mature/dramatic descriptions for the age of their characters. <br/><br/>Final things. SPOILER ALERT FROM HERE ON<br/><br/>There were stereotypes and cliche points to the letter for some characters. Lot's of "girl power" written in the story too without the need. Guy's humbly submitting themselves to the girls who are in control (Ashtyn and Bronwyn) when they've done nothing to deserve the power they've been given. <br/><br/>Addy gets a dismissive "pass" on sleeping around but Bronwyn makes Nate "pay" for not speaking to her/breaking up with her after he is released from jail? Um...yeah...<br/><br/>So, what COULD have made this spectacular? <br/><br/>Just a few simple things:<br/><br/>1) The voice actors should have been allowed to voice their characters when called to speak in each person's narrative.<br/><br/>2) A little more realistic narrative from the high school kids. They are high school kids narrating their feelings not romance novelists trying to poetically describe the world around them.<br/><br/>3) Had Jenea (sp? I purchased the audible book and not the actual book to check the spelling) been the killer (or at least the accomplice) she could have been lying to Addy about Jake to frame him. During the time she was confronted by Addy and was confirming Jake's role, I really believed the author had created an INCREDIBLE twist and that Addy would have believed Jake was the accomplice when it was really Jenea. THAT would have been an awesome twist showing that Jenea had been jilted by Simon and she had masterminded everything while throwing suspicion on everyone (including Jake). When I learned that was NOT the case, the rating when from 5+ to 2 at best. <br/><br/>The big car was entertaining but just ran out of gas...
9 of 10 people found this review helpful