One Of Us Is Lying by Karen. M. McManus (Book Review)

One Of Us Is Lying is the mystery YA/Coming-of-age debut novel by the author Karen. M. McManus, and was June’s featured read in the Bookboxclub! (Find the unboxings here). It also made the New York Bestsellers list on the 28th June!

One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Following the Bayview four, during detention – Simon, Bayviews school gossip – is murdered; and a jock, a geek, a princess and the schools resident bad boy are all under suspicion, but which one of them are lying? All of them have secrets, secrets that could ‘ruin’ their lives, secrets that should have died along with Simon, but they haven’t.

A mystery thriller with all the suspense added, One Of Us Is Lying is both original and creative, and a different take on your usual who-done-it scenarios. It just grips you – even if you figure out the killer early – until the very end – easily a one-sitting book (if you don’t have to go to work that is).

I’ve not read many, if any crime/mystery novels, but I do enjoy TV shows like Lethal Weapon, Death in Paradise, Person of Interest, Sherlock Holmes and all the other sorts, so I’m quite good at putting things together, and if you’re clever enough, you will figure it out, but this book is more than just a mystery novel!

I really got a 13 Reasons Why vibe from it whilst reading it – a book I still have mixed feelings on –  I don’t know why, but I think if you liked that book, you’ll really enjoy this one. Karen managed to make the characters feel so real, so fleshed out, and so hindered by every day life, and worried about small things that shouldn’t really matter, but I feel like it just made it that more authentic.

There are some problems with it, but it’s too spoilery to explain, and there not problems, more like ‘negative views’ on certain things, but when your reading this, you just have to remember that kids nowadays are absolutely terrified of being ridiculed, of being different and teenagers and kids can be so much more worse than adults, it may not be the best to publicize, but it’s what really happens! It’s relateable, even if the whole thing does sound very cliche at first!

Overall, it changed my mind on crime novels, and I think I won’t be adversed to adding some to my tbr pyle! Karen. M. McManus is surely going to be full of great things and I can’t wait to be there for her next book, which is a YA thriller, hopefully coming out in 2018!


My Rating – 4.5/5


Karens Website

Featured photo found on

End photo from the publisher – Penguin

Sebastien de Castell’s New YA Series Brings The Results With Spellslinger

Magic may be a con game, but Sebastiens de Castell’s Spellslinger isn’t!


Spellslinger is a new young adult fantasy series with tricks, traps, magic, lots of laughs and a talking squirrel cat! And, was recently the featured read in the Book Box Clubs Wizards at War May Box (Unboxing here)! It scores a 4.17 on the goodreads website!

Set in the same universe as Sebastien’s Series T’he Greatcoats’, but on a different continent, we follow Kellen, our young protagonist, a Jan’tep initiate who must prove his worth as a mage as he approaches his sixteenth birthday, or, live his life as a Sha’tep servant!

The only problem is, Kellen doesn’t have any magic!

So, with the introduction of the witty and mysterious, red headed argosi wanderer, Ferius Parfax, who just so happens to be in the right place at the right time to save Kellens life, may be his only way to escape his fait! And, add in a cunning, manipulative, arrogant, but adorable squirrel cat Reichis, and perhaps you have a whole bunch of unlikely heroes ready to take on the world!

I’ll be honest and say it’s not a book I would usually pick of the shelf. The cover is obviously beautiful, but it probably wouldn’t have found itself in my TBR pile! I’m glad it did though (thankyou book box club). It was so easy to read and so humorous that I’m surprised I’d never heard of the author before. I think I found my new favourite author.


However, there are a few things that didn’t necessarily put me off, but might be a problem for some. This book does lack a bit of world-building at the beginning, with more being diversed further in to the story, but in all honestly, I didn’t need it. I got so infused with Kellen, his witty argosi wanderer and assholish squirrel cat that it wasn’t really necessary. I think it also leaves a lot to your imagination, meaning that everyone can have a different experience with this book. For me, I think this is a great thing!

Another downer is all the different titles and names that just made my head hurt at first. I don’t really like books that make up all these weird names and words and such, but I loved the story and the characters so much that it didn’t matter in the end. I understood who was who and that was enough for me!

Despite all that, it is written beautifully by Sebastien, in a humerous style that had my sides hurting and looks of crazyness from the other people in the room. I haven’t had a book that’s made me laugh this much in a while, so will definitely go on to read Sebastiens Great coat series whilst I wait for Shadowblack to come out in October.

If your looking for a little bit of magic, loads of laughs, some beautifully written characters and a new obsession with squirrel cats, then read this book, use your imagination and fall in love with the world that Sebastien created!

Here’s some links for you to get started on your journey in to a world of magic and tricks!

Look at Sebastiens website here

Buy the book here

Pre-order the second book here (because you’ll want to)

Buy the first in ‘The Greatcoats’ Series Traitors Blade here