One of us is Lying by Karen M McManus

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One of us is Lying by Karen M McManus

One of us is Lying is one of those books you could read cover to cover in an afternoon. I tried as hard as I could not to do that because it was so good I didn’t want it to be over. I would describe it as Gossip Girl meets Agatha Christie.

 

It’s not a high-brow ‘who done it’ novel but it does grab your attention and the four main characters are extremely defined and are the type of people you would expect to find at any school.

 

Simon, is the school nerd who strives to be a part of the ‘it’ gang by having a gossip website listing everyone’s darkest secrets. Sadly Simon never gets his wish as during after school detention he has a severe allergic reaction to some peanuts and dies.

 

The only four people in the room at the time – Bronwyn, Nate, Cooper and Addy are the main suspects but none of them confess to the murder. Their part in Simon’s murder is heightened more when the police find there are unpublished posts on Simon’s computer about all four of them.

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Bronwyn is a usually a straight A student and comes from a middle class family who have set their sights on her going to Yale or Harvard. However she has cheated on a test which Simon somehow knows about.

 

Nate is the school bad boy – he sells drugs, his dad’s a raging alcoholic and his mum is AWOL. He’s the prime suspect and strikes up an unlikely romance with Bronwyn as they are thrown into this awful situation.

 

Cooper is your ultimate jock and his dad is pushing him to get a scholarship to a top university for his baseball. However Cooper has a secret which Simon knew all about – he’s gay. Once he does come out his dad can barely look at him and his school friends turn against him. However when the media gets hold of the murder story, Cooper is immediately backed by gay activist and his friends soon change their mind about him.

 

Addy is the school’s princess and beauty queen. She has had a steady boyfriend, Jake, for years however his controlling ways started to take their toll and she slept with his best friend, which Simon knows.
All four have a reason for wanting him dead but it’s an unlikely culprit who really did it.

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The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

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Everyone ever has been reading The Essex Serpent. When it first starting making waves (pardon the pun) I read the blurb and it didn’t appeal to me, mainly because it sounded so bonkers.

Fast forward a few months and I jumped on the bandwagon and thought it can’t be that bonkers if it’s winning awards and topping the fiction charts.

I am probably the only person who’s read this book and closed it thinking this is not the one for me and should probably learn by now that the books critics hail as wonderful are the books I tend not to enjoy. Perhaps my reading is low brow.

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The whole way through the book I was waiting for something to happen. I was longing for something to happen when they got a sighting of the serpent but the action never really materialised for me. Perhaps that’s the parallel Sarah Parry is trying to draw with the characters who were also on their edge of their seats waiting for something to happen.

Cora’s character intrigued me, a woman who’s ahead of her time with her confidence and big ideas and acting on her desires with rector and family man William.

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One thing I can see why everyone is raving about is the beautiful way the novel is written. The language used and the storytelling is incredible, I felt immediately transported to the 19th century.

For me the plot itself was just too ‘way out’ there however I am glad I have read it.